Valter Longo and Longevity: Diet, FMD and Supplements

Valter Longo and Longevity: Diet, FMD and Supplements

17th Jun 2024

What Supplements Does Valter Longo Take for Longevity?

Who is Dr Valter Longo?

Valter Longo is a 56-year-old Italian-American biologist and professor of gerontology and director of the University of Southern California Longevity Institute.

The most famous Valter Longo book is The Longevity Diet, delves into his diet program to help people lose weight, fight disease and live a longer, healthier life. His new book, Fasting Cancer, will be published in early 2025.

Valter Longo Diet

Valter Longo is known for developing the Longevity Diet, which is described as a vegan plus fish diet.

The Valter Longo longevity diet is relatively low in protein but high in legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Two or three times a year, Dr Longo reduces his calorie intake to between 800 and 1,100 calories over five days to get the longevity benefits one can gain from fasting, while still eating. This Dr Valter Longo fasting longevity method is also followed by other longevity gurus, albeit in a different manner.

Further Reading: David Sinclair’s Supplement Stack and Longevity Regime

What is the fasting mimicking diet Longo? The fasting mimicking diet (FMD) is a five-day fasting program that incorporates healthy products and ingredients. As the body doesn’t realise it’s being fed, it causes itself to go into a fasting mode. The diet was scientifically developed and clinically tested at the University of Southern California, led by Dr. Valter Longo. One study found that this diet may be better than the Mediterranean diet in overweight subjects.

What does Dr. Longo eat for breakfast? Valter Longo’s breakfast is small, containing whole grains, nuts and fruit, such as almond butter on whole grain bread, as well as an apple. He also has a cup of tea with one of both a green and black tea bag.

The rest of the Valter Longo FMD meal plan goes like this: He tries to mimic fasting by not eating until around 4 or 5pm, except for an espresso at lunchtime for some energy. Around 4 to 5pm, he has a light snack of whole grains, nuts and fruit, then has a large dinner. He also suggests swapping dinner and lunch, having a larger lunch and smaller snack-sized dinner if you can’t make it to dinner without eating.

Does the Longevity Diet Work?

This Valter Longo fasting method is different to others as it doesn’t require the levels of prolonged fasting that you often find in other diets. It only restricts calorie intake over five consecutive days, following a specific meal plan. This can be easier to follow as it has a guide and tells you exactly what you need to do during the diet. It also includes the scientifically researched level of macronutrients and micronutrients you need to induce a fasting-like state and helps you avoid the rebound effect that commonly occurs when fasting.

Due to this, studies have found it may help improve metabolic health, reduce body weight and body fat, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, improve insulin resistance, improve cognitive function, improve the function of organs as well as possibly affect sirtuin gene expression, which has been linked with longevity in animal studies.

Further Reading: Bryan Johnson’s Supplement Stack and Longevity Regime

The Valter Longo Supplement Stack

Valter Longer hasn’t publically spoken about taking a whole variety of supplements. In his book, other than the ones below, he also mentions taking vitamin D if you’re deficient and possibly a probiotic, but before you add any supplement to your diet, make sure to speak to your doctor to see if they’re right for you.

Plant-Based Protein: As someone on a vegan diet, although he does sometimes eat fish two to three days per week, Valter Longo understands that a vegan protein supplement is required when he feels as though he’s not getting adequate protein intake from food.

Multivitamin: He takes one dose of multivitamin and mineral supplements every three to four days.

Omega-3s: Every three to four days, he takes algal oil supplements, a natural source of omega-3.

Longevity Tips from Valter Longo

  • Choose fish high in omega-3, omega-6 and vitamin B12, like salmon, anchovies, cod, sea bream, clams, trout and shrimp.
  • Keep protein intake low if below the age of 65, then increase this slightly over the age of 65.
  • Keep saturated fats from animals and vegetables to a minimum while maximising good fats and complex carbs.
  • Eat whole grain and 3 tablespoons of olive oil each day, along with nuts.
  • Depending on your age, weight and abdominal circumference, decide whether to have two or three meals per day.
  • Eat all your food within a 12-hour period, and don’t eat anything within three to four hours before bed.

Further Reading: How Spermidine Mimics Fasting

End Note

There’s no harm in trying the fasting mimicking diet to help promote longevity. It’s important to try fixing your diet, exercise, sleep and stress before incorporating supplements and medications into your longevity routine, as they can help improve your health and set the basis of your longevity routine going forward.

It’s quite interesting to see the different methods that longevity gurus are following to improve their longevity. To read about these methods, check out our articles on David Sinclair, Andrew Huberman and Bryan Johnson