Telomere length is a big favourite of ours within the pages of this site. Why? Because the more research we come across into lifespan, ageing, longevity, the more we read about the importance of the telomeres, those caps found at the ends of chromosomes that protect DNA.
These are the little things that stop you ageing, because they impact the repair and replacement of cells. If a telomere is too short, a cell ages and becomes dysfunctional. You want to do anything you can to maintain your telomere length and stop them shortening.
Research shows that diet plays a crucial role, for example one report published in 2017 showed that following a Mediterranean diet is positively linked to telomere length.
For most people, the Mediterranean diet is the one to focus on. It has so much research behind it, that evidences the value in terms of health and longevity.
To help you on your way here are some reliable reference points all about the Mediterranean diet:
And here’s more about the research that is so compelling:
Generally, diet is crucial to both how healthy you are and how long you live. So if it is not the Mediterranean diet, what else points you in the right direction?
Most chronic illnesses are influenced by obesity. Indeed even modest levels of excess and unnecessary weight influence the prospects of suffering at least one chronic illness, and in many cases, more than one. Therefore any dietary habit that controls weight at the optimum level will be beneficial.
This is complicated, however, by older age groups swinging too much in the other direction and malnutrition becoming a problem. As appetite lessens in older age groups, this is a very real risk, and some studies have shown that at certain older ages malnutrition is more prevalent than obesity.
This means that the ideal diet is one that avoids all those things that add to weight, such as processed foods, sugar, red meat, but still retains the crucial nutritional elements to avoid the malnutrition – for example, protein is crucial to maintain muscle strength. The task must be to avoid the sugary, fatty rubbish, at the same time as continuing to eat well with all the healthier foods being balanced into the diet.