What we eat has the potential to increase or decrease our life expectancy. But apart from this essential truth, how to eat to our best advantage is facing debate.
In a study published Monday, researchers offer some clues – and ask new questions. They argue that human mortality is largely influenced by the balance of macronutrients – with the proviso that the composition of this balance must change throughout life.
Macronutrients provide the body with energy and the body needs them to maintain its structure and systems. These are the building blocks of the foods you know well: carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
This study suggests supply of macronutrients ̵
This contradicts the idea that intake of macronutrients, in other words, the absolute amount of specific macronutrients you eat is most important for the impact on longevity. They found that the presence of macronutrients was a strong predictor of mortality and hence showed how the ideal supply balance to increase life expectancy changes with age.
The first author, Alistair Sr., is a research associate at the University of Sydney. He says Back that in future studies he was interested in “attempts to identify discrepancies between supply and demand”.
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But he argues that this study does address the issue of intake – what you should actually eat – in some critical ways. In essence, this shows that it is crucial not to approach the diet as a whole or anything.
Seniors and colleagues found that the optimal composition of the diet to reduce the risk of mortality varies with age. Under the age of 25, mortality was closest when the total energy supply took place 16 percent protein and 40 to 45 percent both fat and carbohydrates.
But in later life – if a person is more than 55 years old – the balance changes to a total energy supply 11 percent protein, 67 percent carbohydrates and 22 percent fat. It was no longer best for survival to keep the percentage of fat and carbohydrates equal.
These findings are published in the journal Notices of the National Academy of Sciences.
You cannot use micro on macro – Senior is reluctant to extrapolate his findings directly to dietary advice, but says they demonstrate that “focusing on one aspect of your diet can lead you to a dead end.”
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“Nutrients inevitably accumulate in the foods we eat, so if you focus on, say, increasing protein intake, you could inadvertently change another aspect.”
This is a logical opinion that may have been forgotten in the world of dietary whims. The Atkins diet, for example, restricts carbohydrates and encourages the consumption of more protein and fat. The keto diet maintains almost the same, even increasing the percentage of fat intake.
Senior research shows that balancing the various macronutrients, rather than eliminating any of them, improves the chance of survival. In addition, this balance changes: When you are young, equal amounts of fat and carbohydrates are key, and in old age you need to reduce fat instead of carbohydrates.
This conclusion is based on an analysis of a set of data including 1879 life tables from 103 countries, covering the years 1961 to 2016. The life tables follow a group of people born in the same population in the same year and track the probability of reaching a certain population. age. Scientists have obtained theirs from the database of human life. They also analyzed these factors in relation to the data on the supply of macronutrients from the Corporate Statistics Database of the Food and Agriculture Organization and the historical data on gross domestic product per capita for different countries.
In different age groups, the team found that mortality was lowest when energy supplies were 3,500 kilocalories per capita per day.
In fact, Senior explains that achieving that number would involve a high-energy diet – which can be built in a variety of ways – which, without compensation, can likely lead to weight gain and obesity.
He notes that “this very high assessment of total energy probably reflects the fact that we are looking at supply rather than acceptance.”
“A number of factors interfere between what a country supplies per capita and what a person eats, but the loss of food will certainly be part of 3,500,” said a senior. “The number of absolute energy wastes varies greatly from country to country – as well as from country to country, but it is estimated that the US average is 1,249 kilocalories per capita per day.”
This affects the tension in the study of the ideal diet: Different countries have different problems when it comes to food. Low supply is a sign of malnutrition and this contributes to deaths worldwide. But overeating is the signature of rich countries – and large reserves of fats and carbohydrates can also lead to high mortality rates.
This is useful for people who set food policy. What is perhaps most useful for the average person trying to navigate their diet are the differences in the composition of the macronutrients they identify. National macronutrient supplies reveal age-specific mortality patterns – and people can take these patterns into account when making their own dietary choices.
Thinking of the ideal energy balance later, Senior did not see “any well-known dietary models that would mark all three dimensions.”
He notes that the traditional diet for Okinawa is low in protein – about 9%, but higher in carbohydrates – 85% – and much lower in fat – 6%. There is also the diet of the Okinawan elder, which “comes a little less in carbohydrates and fats” – reaching 58 and 26 percent, respectively – but it is 16 percent higher in protein.
Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan, is known for the life expectancy of its inhabitants and in turn for the large number of centenarians. Their longevity suggests that they hit the right marks – traits that Senior research shows we strive for. Ultimately, it is about achieving the right balance and avoiding foods that are known to cause harm.
Summary: Animal experiments demonstrate that energy intake and macronutrient balance determine life expectancy and age-specific mortality (ASM) patterns. Similar effects have been found in epidemiological studies in humans. Using global supply data and 1,879 life charts from 103 countries, we test for these effects at the macro level: between nations’ food supplies and their ASM models. We find that macronutrient supply is a strong predictor of ASM even after adjusting for time and economic factors. Globally, the signs of malnutrition are evident in the effects of low supply on life expectancy at birth and high mortality at different ages, even recently in 2016. However, in rich countries, the effects of overeating are visible when high supplies, especially fats and carbohydrates are expected to lead to high mortality rates. The energy supplied by about 3,500 kcal / cap / d minimizes mortality with age. However, we show that the composition of macronutrients in energy supplies, which minimizes mortality, varies with age. In early life, 40 to 45% of energy from each of the fats and carbohydrates and 16% from protein minimizes mortality. In later life, replacing fats with carbohydrates to about 65% of total energy and reducing proteins to 11% is associated with the lowest mortality rate. These results, especially those for fat, are consistent with both experimental animal data and epidemiological studies in the country on the relationship between macronutrient intake and the risk of chronic age-related diseases.