Diet FAQ

What is the difference between an anti-aging diet and a weight reduction diet?

The anti-aging diet is not a “diet” in the sense that its objective is weight loss. Anti-aging diet is actually a lifestyle of dietary habits that will improve your longevity. It is therefore not a weight reduction diet per se, although it has weight reducing effects.

How much food do we eat to be considered anti-aging?

The average American consumes 2-3 pounds of food per day. That’s 600 pounds of food per year and close to 20 tons of food over a lifetime. That’s way above what you actually need daily. As you age, your calorie intake should be restricted to minimize the accumulation of fat, yet be sufficient to provide enough nutrients for your body to function optimally.

Why is calorie restriction so important in anti-aging?

For the past 60 years, calorie restriction has been the only proven method known to reverse the aging process. In many controlled laboratory animal studies, restricting calorie intake has always resulted in the test animals living a longer and more functional life with less chronic disease. Calorie restriction studies in rats showed a doubling of lifespan from an average of 101 days to 197 days.

What is the difference between calorie restriction and malnutrition?

Calorie restriction, if properly carried out, provides the body with all the nutrients it needs without overburdening the organs and system function. On the other hand, during malnutrition or starvation, your body breaks down your muscles and organ structures for energy, which is very destructive.

What happens to my body when I overeat?

When you eat more food than you need, the engine of your body goes into overdrive in order to digest the food, increasing the oxidative stress that can be damaging to your digestive system. In addition, you will store what you don’t need (the excess energy) in the form of fat.

What happens to your body as your calorie intake decreases?

First, the work necessary to digest the food decreases. In other words, there is less oxidative stress. Secondly, the body’s metabolic rate automatically slows and readjusts itself to match your energy expenditure to that of intake. This is the body’s way of preserving itself. Thirdly, the slowing down of your organ system gives them more rest and prolongs the life span of each of the organs. As your organs remain healthy, you live longer.

I have heard that eating six small meals is better than three big meals, what is the reason behind that?

Eating 6 small meals per day, rather than the traditional 3 square meals, will help your body maintain a balance in your blood sugar and the level of nutrients in your body throughout the day, so that you blood vessels maintain the elasticity as found in the younger individuals.

How does calorie restriction increase antioxidant levels in the body?

Calorie restriction causes an increase in protective enzymes such as superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase, both of which oppose free radicals. The production of certain hormones such as melatonin, which have antioxidant functions, is also increased.

How does calorie restriction decrease free radicals in my body?

As food intake decreases, metabolism goes down. Free radical formation as by-products of the metabolic cycle decreases. Fewer free radicals means less cellular damage and less likelihood of cancer and other free radical linked diseases.

Is there a difference between male and female when calculating ideal body weight?

Yes, there is a difference because the body fat and muscle composition between males and females is different. The average female generally has a higher body fat percentage and is lighter in weight, whereas the average male has a higher muscle content being heavier in weight.

I am 5’6″, what is my ideal body weight?

If you are a female, your ideal body weight is equal to 100 pounds plus 5 pounds for each inch above five feet. If you are 5’6″ tall, for example, your ideal body weight is 130 lbs. Add a couple of pounds if you have a large frame (your thumb and middle finger encircled around the opposite wrist do not touch), or subtract a couple of pounds if you have a small frame (the thumb and middle finger overlap).

If you are a male, your ideal body weight is equal to 106 pounds plus 6 pounds for each inch you are above five feet. If you are 5’6″ tall, for example, your ideal body weight is 142 lbs. Add three to five pounds if you have a large frame and subtract a couple of pounds if you have a small frame.

What is the difference between the anti-aging weight and the ideal body weight?

Numerous studies have shown that animals with a lower body weight as compared to the “norm” live longer. The anti-aging body weight is the weight an individual should be at (for a given height) for optimal longevity. To calculate your target anti-aging weight, subtract 5-10% from your ideal weight.

I am a woman, height is 5’5″, weight is 140 lbs. I am active and I feel fine, do I need to lose weight?

At 140 pounds, you are about 12% above your ideal body weight. Not only do you have to lose this extra weight to get down to the ideal body weight, you also need to lose an additional 5-10% to reach your target anti-aging weight for maximum longevity. 80% of the most common causes of death in age-related illness result from cardiovascular disease, strokes, and cancer. These degenerative diseases get their start years before outward symptoms are detectable, and weight is a major contribution to aging.

I notice that my weight has been increasing slowly over the years. I didn’t change my eating habits or lifestyle. Why is that so?

If you don’t make any changes to your current diet, you are going to slowly increase your weight, assuming that your life style does not change and your current caloric input and output are balanced. This is because you basal metabolic rate slows down with age and you need less fuel. As a result, the extra energy gets stored as fat.

My doctor said I need to lose about 20 lbs to reach my anti-aging weight. How do I go about doing that?

You will need to get rid of 3,300 calories for every pound of excess weight you are now carrying per week. And comes to a dietary reduction of 500 calories a day. It is not recommended that you lose more than two pounds per week. There are only two ways that can help you to lose weight and, more importantly, help you keep the weight off. These are exercise (2,000 calorie per week) and calorie restriction. To put it simply, all you have to do to loose 1 pound of body fat per week is just eat 20% less 5 days a week and do aerobics exercise about 30 minutes 3 times a week.

How long does it take for me to lose 17 lbs of weight?

If you are 17 pounds away from your target weight, budget 17 weeks to get there. Add 3 weeks in case your schedule is disrupted. Total time budgeted is therefore 20 weeks. Don’t forget that it has taken you many years to gradually put on the weight. Be patient. Losing it slowly over a 1 to2 year period is not uncommon. Most quick-fix diets do not work and you get a rebound effect.

Do I get enough nutrients when I am on a diet?

Key nutrients like 400 IU of Vitamin E and 50 mcg of Chromium are needed for optimum function. To get these amounts, however, would require a 5,000-calorie diet. It’s a catch twenty-two, 5,000 calories a day leads to excess weight, but anything less provides nutrients that do not meet anti-aging levels. That’s where nutritional supplementation comes in. Taking nutritional supplements allows you to participate in a calorie restriction program and still get an optimum level of nutrients. And numerous studies have shown that both calorie restriction and optimal supplementation increases longevity.

I heard that plant products are beneficial for anti-aging. I would like to eat more foods from the plant sources. Can you recommend what I should take?

An abundance of food come from plant sources, including fruits and vegetables, potatoes, breads and grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Any of these foods would make good dieting choices. From an anti-aging perspective, you cannot go wrong with foods from plant sources.

Will I be deficient in nutrients if I cut down on animal products and take more plant products?

A diet high in plant sources and low in animal sources will sufficiently provide all the essential nutrients necessary to maintain health.

Is sugar allowed in the anti-aging diet?

Sugar should be kept to a minimum. Take special care to minimize your intake of sugar hidden in processed foods under names such as glucose, sucrose, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, as well as sugar. Sugar provides calories, and calories only – no nutrients to speak of at all. That is why sugar is called an “empty-calorie” food. Empty, that is, of any vitamins, minerals, or phytochemicals.

I love to eat meat. It is so hard for me to practice the anti-aging diet that leaves out meat. Can you recommend an easier way?

You can increase your fish and poultry (preferable white meat) and cut down on your beef and pork intake. Red meat should be taken a few times per month, and consumption should be limited to a maximum of 12 to16 ounces per month of lean cuts. After you have adjusted to fish and poultry, then you can gradually cut down the fish and poultry and increase the beans and nuts in your diet. The anti-aging diet is not an overnight diet. It is a gradual lifestyle change that takes time and commitment to adapt. But your body will be thanking you.

If I follow the anti-aging diet, I can’t eat things that contain sugar. I have a sweet tooth. What can I do to take care of my cravings?

Fresh fruit should be the typical daily dessert in an anti-aging diet. Fruits are relatively high in fiber and provide many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are essential in the daily repair of your body. You can take a small serving of desserts, 1-2 times a week to satisfy your craving. Remember, the key is SMALL.

I heard so much about the importance of breakfast. What is the rationale behind it?

Have you heard the saying, “Eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch and a pauper at dinner”? Breakfast is the most important meal. It provides you nutrients to start the day, and you have all day to burn off the calories. Dinner should be the lightest meal, or you can eliminate it because there is less time for the meal to be digested and the calories to be burned off as you will soon be going to sleep.

Is it good to have a late night snack?

If you eat late in the evening, there is less time for the food to be digested and the calories to be burned off as you will soon be going to sleep. As a result, you will be storing the extra calories as fat.

What are the benefits of chewing my food thoroughly? It wastes so much time.

One way to restrict calorie intake without feeling deprived is to eat slowly, savoring each mouthful. There are at least three advantages to doing this. Firstly, the proper amount of chewing prepares the food more adequately for the stomach and digestion. Without adequate mastication, much of the valuable nutrients in plant food passes right through you remaining locked in their cells, so you don’t get as much nutrients as you think you are getting. The second advantage of chewing well is that your stomach will not have to work so hard or so long to get the food to the right consistency for digestion. The third reason has to do with caloric restriction. When you chew more, you feel more satisfied with the same amount of food. You also take longer to eat, allowing the appestat in your brain, which takes about 20 minutes to kick in, to say – “Hey, you’ve eaten enough. Call it quits.”

What does it means by “nutrient dense diet”?

The anti-aging diet is a nutrient dense diet, meaning every calorie comes with other nutrients as well. On the contrary, fat and sugar-laden foods provide empty calories – calories without other beneficial nutrients, resulting in a calorie-dense diet. For anti-aging purposes, the nutrient dense diet is optimal as it provides the most nutrients with the least number of calories.

Can you give me some example of what a nutrient dense diet is?

Vegetables and fruits are recommended as the major food source of your anti-aging diet. The calories vegetables and fruit contain are accompanied by vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and various kinds of fibers. Therefore, they are considered nutrient dense.

Am I allowed refined food in an anti-aging diet?

All refining processes remove important nutrients. In addition, the refining process removes fiber, which, although not a nutrient, has many anti-aging benefits. The richest source of antioxidants in grain is found in the germ, which is removed in the refining process. The highest percentage of types and amounts of minerals and vitamins in the grain is found in the germ and the bran layer, which are removed in the refining process.

Is enriched bread better than whole grain bread?

In the enrichment process, only a small proportion of both amount and type of nutrients that were removed in the refining process are replaced. Therefore, enriched bread is not as good as the whole grain bread, which has all the original nutrients.

What is a good anti-aging breakfast?

Try different kinds of whole grain cereals such as oats, rye, barley, rice, triticale, amaranth, wheatberry, buckwheat, millet, or spelt. Top these cooked cereals with dried fruits and different kinds of chopped nuts and seeds. Another delicious cereal that is really easy to prepare is muesli. Add shaved fresh fruits, low fat yogurt and chopped nuts for a good morning anti-aging treat.

With eating so little meat in the anti-aging diet, won’t I feel weak?

Meat is not the only source of protein in your diet. Grains, legumes and beans also provide sufficient protein. All proteins, from whatever source, are broken down to be remade into our own unique proteins. Whereas meat is high in cholesterol and saturated fats, plant sources are low. Therefore, there is no reason for you to feel any weaker than being on a high meat diet. In fact, you should feel more alert and less sluggish because the body is working less in digesting plant than meat sources.

Why is drinking water so important in the anti-aging diet?

Water helps rid your body of the toxins and unwanted waste materials that accumulate from today’s environmental and dieting hazards. It also keeps you hydrated, helping to prevent premature aging of the skin and joints. Adequate amounts of water are necessary to prevent body temperatures from rising too high when exercising, or in hot weather.

I used to be able to drink milk, but lately I found that I have a lot of gas and sometimes I even have diarrhea when I drink milk. What can I do to prevent that from happening?

It sounds like you are developing lactose intolerance, meaning your do not have the enzymes necessary to break down the milk sugar lactose. Therefore, you may experience gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea and often gall bladder distress. Plain low fat yogurt, however, is beneficial for the intestinal tract. The beneficial bacteria found in the yogurt digest the milk sugars, and maintain the health of the intestine by promoting absorption of nutrients that are crucial for anti-aging. Another option is to take lactase pills before consuming dairy beverages and foods. These enzyme pills break down the lactose to the simple carbohydrate parts, allowing them to be absorbed into your body and not passed into your large intestine where undigested carbohydrates results in the gas, bloating, diarrhea, etc.

Is tap water good for anti-aging purposes?

Most of the nation’s water supply is contaminated by agricultural run-off, manufacturing waste, fluoride, chlorine and other chemicals and chemical by-products. Even small amounts of toxins accumulate and eventually wear down the body organs and cause premature aging. Install a good water filter, not only for the kitchen sink but also for the tub and shower as well.

Are there any foods that speed up the aging process?

Saturated fat, excessive protein, fried foods and sugar from your diet create free radicals in your liver, and also make you feel sluggish. Increased free radicals in the body will increase oxidative damages, which is not anti-aging.

Can I order sandwiches for lunch on this anti-aging diet?

When ordering a sandwich, ask for whole grain bread or whole wheat bread. For lower fat meats, the best choices are turkey or chicken breast, and lean roast beef. Try a vegetarian sandwich with grilled portobello mushroom, peppers, zucchini, or eggplant slices. A slice of reduced fat or part-skim cheese is also delicious cold or melted in a sandwich. Add lots of veggies to make your sandwich complete. Lettuce is always a good addition, but use darker versions like Romaine for more nutrition. Tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, and sprouts also add flavor, crunch, fiber, and nutrients.

Is everything in the salad bar good for me when I am following the anti-aging diet?

At the salad bar, fill up on vegetables. Limit intake of foods like eggs, bacon, and cheese, and prepared salads like potato or macaroni salad. Go easy on the salad dressings – and choose low-calorie dressing or oil and vinegar when it’s offered, or use a squeeze of lemon juice.

My children like to go to McDonalds and KFC. I find it so difficult to order things for myself that will go with the anti-aging diet principle. Please give me some suggestions.

At fast-food restaurants, choose small sizes of food. Avoid sodas, drink water instead. Even fast food chains nowadays are offering healthier menu choices. Order salads and grilled chicken or fish sandwiches with no sauce. Ask for yogurt, instead of ice cream. Peel the fried skin off the chicken, and have the potatoes with just a dab of gravy.

I have been on a diet all my life. Nothing seems to work, so how am I going to follow the anti-aging diet and expect it to work?

Dietary habits are formed over a lifetime. Give yourself 1-2 years to be completely comfortable with the Anti-Aging Diet. Only change your overall habits a little at a time. Be happy with the progress and be proud of making the change. Start by following the anti-aging diet plan for 1 meal a day, especially if you have not been used to eating lots of vegetables before. Gradually move to 3 anti-aging meals a day for 1 day a week, increasing the number of meals as tolerated. Reward yourself with a slight indulgence once a week or so at which time you should not feel guilty if you eat whatever you like. It’s OK! You’re well in your way.

My mother is overweight or obese. How would the anti-aging diet benefit her?

The Anti-Aging Diet is low in fat and sugar. It will definitely help your mother to lose weight. In addition, it is high in fiber, which helps with the satiety feeling when one eats.

Would the anti-aging diet help me lower my blood cholesterol level?

The Anti-Aging Diet is high in soluble fibers, a component of fruits and vegetables, which helps to reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides and also reduces plague formation in the arteries. Cholesterol levels are determined by both genetics and diet with 2/3 being genetically determined and the remaining 1/3 by diet. Most people can successfully control their cholesterol by reducing their fat intake and weight. Therefore, the Anti-Aging Diet helps to prevent the development of heart diseases and strokes.

Would the anti-aging diet help me to lower my blood pressure?

The anti-aging is low fat, salt, and sugar, so it will help to decrease blood pressure for those afflicted with High Blood Pressure. For those that are overweight, this diet definitely helps to reduce your weight. By losing weight, blood pressure also will decrease.

How would the anti-aging diet help me with my diabetes?

The Anti-Aging Diet is high in complex carbohydrates, which is a long strand of glucose molecules. Complex carbohydrates require hundreds of chemical reactions to break and produce individual glucose units that the body can use. Therefore, the blood sugar level increases slowly and remains steady, as opposed to simple sugars, which are quickly absorbed by the body. There is no need for the pancreas to produce a surge of insulin all at once. This will prevent the premature hardening of the arteries and incidences of heart diseases, which are the side effects of diabetes. Diabetes are often overweight, and the anti-aging diet definitely helps to reduce weight. Being overweight causes an increase of insulin production by the pancreas.

Can what I eat cause cancer?

Americans die of breast, colon, and prostate cancers at rates 5-30 times higher than people in many parts of the world. Poor eating habits may account for one third of all cancers. Researchers have shown that what you eat can trigger cancer development. You put an average of 3-6 pounds of food in our body every day. It is your greatest contact with possible carcinogens other than the environment.
High-fat diets have been associated with an increase in the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum, prostate, and endometrium. A weaker association exists between high-fat diets and breast cancer. Half of all cancer deaths are caused by tumors in the lung, breast, bowel and prostate. Apart from lung cancer, which is mainly caused by smoking, diet is the most important lifestyle factor in up to 80 percent of the other three types of cancer.

What kind of diet is good for cancer prevention?

The Anti-Aging Diet, which is comprised of complex carbohydrates, legumes, green leafy vegetables, fruits, and lean protein sources, is high in strong antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, which battle the free radicals in the body and prevent the growth of cancer cells.

I keep hearing low carbohydrate diet works great in helping people to lose weight. Are there any side effects to this diet?

The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body. If you do not eat an adequate amount of carbohydrate, your body will have to divert the protein in your diet to make energy. This prevents the protein to be used for its major purposes of building body tissues, enzymes, hormones etc. And elimination of the by-products of protein can cause the kidney to overwork.

What is the Glycemic Index?

Glycemic Index (GI) is the relationships between type of carbohydrate and its effect on blood sugar levels. A food with a higher GI will be absorbed by the body faster and creates a greater release of insulin and a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. A food with a lower GI will be absorbed by the body slower and produces a steadier increase in blood sugar levels.

How do you measure Glycemic Index?

The GI of a food is determined by actually measuring its affect on blood sugar levels when certain food is eaten, compared to the effect of the ingestion of the same amount of pure glucose. The effect of glucose on blood sugar levels is given a value of 100. The higher the glycemic index, the more pronounced is the effect of that food on your blood sugar level.

Is wheat bread better than white bread in their Glycemic Index?

There are no significant differences in glycemic response between wholemeal or white bread, or between whole wheat and white spaghetti. However, the whole grains are still preferable because they supply important nutrients that their white, refined counterparts do not.

Do different ways of preparing food vary the Glycemic Index of the food?

It has been found that refined flour in the form of spaghetti has a lower GI than when it is prepared as bread. Potatoes as new and boiled have a lower GI than when instant or mashed. Potato chips have an even lower GI. This indicates that the form of the food is also a factor in how quickly its digested metabolites enter the blood stream.

I am a prediabetic and my doctor asked me to watch my carbohydrate intake. Can you give me some recommendations on what to eat?

The relevance of the Glycemic Index is especially important for the diabetic, or insulin resistant individual. It is now realized that some foods previously considered as having a low glycemic effect, for example, bread and potatoes, should be consumed with caution, or at least with other low glycemic foods, by the diabetic. On the other hand, such healthy items as fruit do not have to be limited as much as they used to be. Also, eating legumes and soy products can help protect you if you do occasionally eat a sugary sweet.

Now that we have discovered that the effect of sugar on blood sugar levels may be modified somewhat by eating it with other foods, does that mean it is not harmful to indulge?

Definitely not! Uncontrolled blood sugar level speeds up the aging process. In addition, ingestion of sugar increases the number of calories in your diet without providing any other nutrient. In other words, sugar provides only empty calories. Secondly, simple sugars, especially in the liquid form, increase levels of triglycerides and are associated with an increase in clot-forming metabolites in the blood. Thirdly, animal studies show that dietary sucrose significantly shortens life span compared to equivalent amount of cornstarch.

What are the benefits in ingesting unrefined foods?

The anti-aging diet contains unrefined foods, they are naturally high in complex carbohydrates are generally low in fat but high in nutrient density. They are high in essential vitamins, especially the B family, minerals, and antioxidants that are hard to get from other foods. Appropriate amounts of unrefined complex carbohydrates in your diet protect you against many age-related health and nutritional problems such as high serum cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and some forms of cancer. They also are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibers.

Is there a recommended amount of carbohydrate I should take?

It is recommended for the anti-aging diet that 50 to 60% of our total calories come from carbohydrates. About 45-50% come from complex carbohydrates and 5-10% from simple carbohydrates. If you perform heavy weight training or heavy training, carbohydrate intake should range from 7-10 grams per 10 kilogram of body weight per day of up to 55-70% carbohydrates.

I have trouble with constipation. What can I do to lessen this problem?

The anti-aging diet can actually help you because it consists of unrefined foods, which are high in soluble and insoluble fibers. Because of their water holding capacity, fiber makes large soft stools, provided there is also adequate water intake, which will alleviate constipation problems.

Ever since I was young, I always felt constipated. What kind of disease would I get if I don’t correct my problem?

Constipation means that your stools are hard and have a hard time passing through your colon. Decreased passage time has been associated with an increased risk of colon cancer.