By the food intake man is daily exposed to numerous chemical agents with impact on ageing and longevity. Over the last two centuries longevity in the affluent societies has increased by 2 years per decade. Improved food habits are important contributing factors. Dietary patterns of populations with long life-spans, like the traditional Mediterranean diet and the Okinawa Island diet, provide the basis to recommend plant foods like vegetables, legumes, fruits, non-tropical vegetable oils as basic fat, light meat (e.g. poultry) of moderate amounts, plenty of fish and moderate beverage intakes of wine, coffee and tea. Oxidative damage is suggested as one major reason for exaggerated ageing. Foods that promote longevity are rich in antioxidants. Still there is no evidence that extra anti-oxidant supplementation has any beneficial effects. Energy balance to avoid obesity at young and middle ages, e.g. by calorie restricted diets and increased physical activity, promotes longevity, whereas at older age overweight is usually associated with a longer life-span.
2016. Vol. 113, DYMA