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A precision medicine doctor shares 5 diet tips that could help you live longer

Serafina Kenny   

A precision medicine doctor shares 5 diet tips that could help you live longer
  • Dr. Florence Comite is a precision medicine doctor who specializes in healthy aging.
  • She shared five diet tips she shares with patients to help them live longer.

A precision medicine doctor shared with Business Insider six diet tips she gives her patients to help them live healthily for as long as possible.

Living longer is a hot topic, and the longevity therapeutics industry is predicted to be worth $44.2 billion by 2030, according to Allied Market Research. But experts agree that nailing the basics can make a huge difference to our long-term health.

One recent study found that a healthy lifestyle, including a good diet, could add years to a person's life even if they were genetically predisposed to life-shortening illnesses.

A separate study from 2023 found that people who ate diets rich in whole grains, nuts, and fruit lived around 10 years longer than those who consumed more red meat, processed foods, and sugary drinks.

Here is how Dr. Florence Comite, an endocrinologist and founder of the New York-based Comite Center for Precision Medicine & Health, advises her patients to eat to help them extend their healthspans.

Cut down on ultra-processed foods

"I don't think any food group is bad, but highly processed food and overly sugar drinks can undermine your health," Comite said.

What are known as ultra-processed foods are made using methods and ingredients that aren't found in a home kitchen, and are linked to an increased risk of health conditions, including cancer and obesity, as well as early death.

Dietitians say we should eat fewer UPFs but don't need to cut them out completely, as some processed foods can be a cheap and accessible source of nutrients.

Eat a Mediterranean-style diet

"Don't get fixated or hung up on any particular diets out there," Comite said. "The Mediterranean way of eating is probably the healthiest."

Despite its name, the Mediterranean diet is more of an eating plan that is low in processed foods and red meat. It mostly focuses on fruits and vegetables, legumes, olive oil, and lean protein sources, including fatty fish and chicken. Plus, you can enjoy the occasional glass of red wine, depending on which version you follow.

Start every meal with a source of protein

"One of the markers of aging that we can stop and reverse is the loss of muscle that begins in our 30s," Comite said. "One of the ways to do this is to eat enough protein."

The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine recommends eating 0.36g of protein per pound of body weight each day, but recent studies have suggested that people looking to increase muscle mass or lose weight should aim for 0.7g. For a 160-pound adult, that's 112g of protein a day, or the equivalent of around five skinless, boneless chicken breasts.

"I tell every patient to start every meal and every snack with a source of protein. So, if you're having an apple, try to have a handful of nuts or a little bit of yogurt as a source of protein with it. Or for breakfast, have something like eggs or cottage cheese," Comite said. This helps spread out the protein so you feel satiated all day, she said.

Eat balanced meals

Comite said that eating balanced meals that contain a source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, helps the body release glucose more slowly — avoiding the crashes that tend to follow sugary meals.

"Starting with protein and eating enough healthy fibers and fat allows you to feel satiated," Comite said, "and it triggers the right release of the glucose and the insulin that follows so you don't feel weak and jittery soon after eating."

Dietitians have previously told BI that simply adding cheese to bread is one way to make a meal more balanced.

Don't blindly follow what others are doing

Don't get caught up in how your friends are eating, or any fad diets, because everyone has different needs and preferences, Comite said.

"For some of us, that means eating small amounts every few hours. For others, it means three square meals a day. For others, it means fasting for eight or 12 hours overnight, only eating between noon and eight," she said.

Just do what works for you and don't push yourself to try any fasting routines that your body can't tolerate, she said.

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