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Switch your sugars if you want to reach 100

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Eating less every day could be the key to living a very long life—but there’s an easier way to achieve longevity.

A calorie-restricted diet is a strategy you need to start when you’re very young, and there’s no cheating—having the occasional splurge undoes all the benefits.

If that all sounds a little too hard, it may be enough to switch your sugar sources, and ensure you only consume galactose, a simple sugar or monosaccharide that’s found in cheese, avocado, honey, beets and celery.

Researchers from Barbraham Institute have been exploring different strategies for longevity on mice and yeast samples.  With the mice, the calorie-restricted diet improved longevity, but it had to be started soon after birth and it also had to be maintained.  But the tests on yeast produced a more interesting strategy.  Switching from standard carbs to galactose as the primary sugar source, the scientists noted that this alone interrupted the molecular changes usually seen with ageing, and the yeast samples that were exclusively fed galactose were as healthy as much younger samples.

“It is hard to translate what youth means between yeast and humans, but all these studies point to the same trend—to live a long and healthy life, a healthy diet from an early age makes a difference,” said Jon Houseley, one of the researchers. 

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PLOS Biology, 2023; 21: e3002245
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