Whilst watching How to Stay Young last night on BBC, a documentary with Angela Rippon and Dr Chris van Tulleken, I was struck by the correlation of people who follow a vegan diet and people who live longer. A 100 year old surgeon from Loma Linda, America only retired 5 years ago and not only did he look a great deal younger than this but claimed he suffered with no aches and pains. He had still been performing heart surgery at 95 and claimed the only reason he retired was so that he could spend more time at home. This was one example throughout the show of how to stay young which went on to further claim internal visceral fat is a factor of ageing quicker and can be reduced by eating more pulses, as well as stress being another big contributor to speeding up the ageing process – no shock there!
But I still couldn’t stop thinking about the 100 year old man and the inhabitants of Loma Linda. Is this a one off? Did the programme need to really search for the people it featured to get the portrayal it was looking for? Or should we stop eating so much meat and change our diet in order to give ourselves a better chance at living longer?
Who knows, and to be honest not only will we probably never know in this lifetime but in ten years time we will be presented with a new cure. Personally I believe it is a combination of factors that contribute to staying young but that doesn’t stop me contemplating giving Meatless Monday’s a go! Neither did it stop me attempting to sit down and stand up cross legged without putting my hands or knees down as support to calculate what age I will live to – apparently this relates to balance and muscle.
I’d love to hear from any vegans out there either with some yummy recipes for my Meatless Monday trial or with any more information on the correlation between a vegan diet and youth.
Fascinated (but could never completely give up meat!).
Catch up here and the second episode is on BBC next Thursday at 9pm.