As I’m sitting here on a terrace in the sun, watching people walk by while sipping on my black coffee and 14 hours into my fasting window, I’m asking myself how we did come so far that every single senior takes poor health for granted.
Everyone ages and eventually dies, obviously. But this doesn’t have to come with obesity, sarcopenia, diabetes and all the other chronic ailments.
The first step to get out of this mindset is to ignore mainstream nutrition advice and start reasoning from an evolutionary perspective.
Aging is not necessarily about living longer, but about being healthy now and in the future.
Problem 1: Excess body fat
The way people eat and how they are recommended to eat flows from one single wrong idea: saturated fat causes heart disease because it raises cholesterol.
How can cholesterol, an essential molecule in your body that has evolved over millions of years, be bad for you in itself? If it would have been bad, it would have been removed a long time ago by natural selection.
Yet, all nutritional advice is based on this premise, causing two gigantic health issues:
- They tell you to eat less animal foods and more plant foods, e.g. to replace meat with grains. But the nutrient density of plant foods is way lower than that of animal foods, which makes you overeat automatically, resulting in a higher body fat percentage. And excess body fat accelerates aging.
- They tell you to limit your saturated fat intake, and instead eat vegetable oils, e.g. to replace butter with margarine. But vegetable oils are highly processed sludge and the worse thing on the planet you can eat, as they provoke instant inflammation in the body and disturb hormone regulation, gene expression and metabolism.
They got it all blatantly wrong.
Cholesterol only starts getting bad for you when there is inflammation in the body. Inflammation is provoked by vegetable oils causing oxidation and sugar and other carbs causing constant blood sugar spikes.
So, it doesn’t make sense to cut out the good guy so the bad guys can keep doing their work because there is money to be made by Big Food and Big Pharma.
The problem is not in our system, but in the environment we created. The agricultural and industrial revolution have been wreaking havoc on our bodies ever since they started, simply because the human evolution can’t keep up with the technological progress.
Problem 2: Muscle loss
Sarcopenia is muscle loss because of aging. As you age, starting at about age 30, you’ll be losing about 5% of your muscle mass every 10 years. This compounds quickly.
Having less muscle means you expend less energy each day so it’s easier to eat in a calorie surplus and gain fat. Because all energy you take in that’s not being used by the body to burn for energy will be stored as fat.
With less muscle and more fat daily life becomes harder. You move less as a result, and gain more fat as you continue to lose muscle. So it’s really a vicious circle.
This leads to decreasing quality of life and greater risk of chronic diseases, and makes strength training to fight muscle loss basically mandatory for everyone. The older you get, the more important strength training is.
Result: Insulin resistance
Both problems together cause insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, the root cause of all chronic diseases that can be avoided very easily if you are prepared to put in the work instead of “enjoying life” while slowly killing yourself.
In short, insulin resistance means that your fat cells are getting full because you are getting overfat, making the pancreas produce more and more insulin because it wants to store the energy you eat in those fat cells. This is a trigger for a cascade of problems in your body.
WHY is insulin resistance linked to almost all chronic diseases?
WHY do chronic diseases and the diseases of aging have almost 100% overlap?
Understanding this is critical to seeing why modern medicine focuses on the wrong things (like cholesterol). pic.twitter.com/cRlt4Oz6HK
— P. D. Mangan Health Maximalist 🇺🇸 (@Mangan150) July 15, 2020
We need to understand again that feeling and looking a lot worse at 65 than at 25 certainly isn’t normal, and avoidable. We have come to a point where everyone is in bad shape nowadays, so you think it’s normal to be like that.
If you do what everyone else does, you will be like everyone else. But I’m not like that and refuse to fall for this societal trap. I want to feel my best and to look my best and am obsessed with it.
As long as you are overfat, you have no business having your cake and eating it too. Body composition is all you should really care about. That means learning about nutrition and lifting weights instead of drinking wine and watching TV.
It’s important to define overfat here. Overfat means your body fat percentage is too high. You can’t see this from the outside in most people with clothes on. This is called “skinny fat” and very important to understand.
A good body fat percentage is 10-14% for men and 20-24% for women. If yours is higher than that, it’s in your very best interest to improve your body composition before everything else.
Nine out of ten adults in the western world are overfat, so there is a 10% change you aren’t.
I’d advice every person older than 30 to create a Twitter account just to follow @mangan150. This 65 years old microbiologist teaches you how to eat right, get fit and live long with science-based health & fitness.
I learned a lot from him and this article is greatly based on his content.
Mainstream health authorities know nothing but prescribing drugs and surgery, advising to “eat less and move more”. This is nothing but damage control and comes with a lot of unpleasant side effects.
Instead, the premise should be “eat densely, move intensely“. That is, eat nutrient dense foods, do not eat all day (intermittent fasting) and practice strength training.