1. Eat more vegetables, about 1 to 2 pounds or 5 to 10 cups per day.
2. Minimize refined carbohydrates. Avoid sugar and processed foods.
Protocol: Aim for a plate that is 80 percent vegetables and 20 percent protein. Omit refined carbohydrates. Eat limited real (true food, non=-processed, non refined) carbohydrates: starchy vegetables like squash and root vegetables, nuts, seeds, and tubers.
Scientific Rationale: Reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance to turn off the genes related to fasting glucose, such as G6PC2, and the genes related to insulin secretion, such as TCF7L2. Preserve function of the beta cells of the pancreas, which produce insulin, if you tend to have impaired function (gene SLC30A8). Restore mitochondrial function.
3. Reduce unnecessary inflammation by avoiding foods most likely to cause intolerance.
Protocol: Avoid gluten and dairy; minimize grains (eat none if you need to lose weight or have an autoimmune condition).
Scientific Rationale: Turn off IL-6, TNF-alpha, and CRP genes, which contribute to low-grade inflammation.
4. Eat more omega-3s.
Protocol: Eat wild-caught fish once or twice per week (3 to 4 ounces per serving for women; 6 ounces for men). Avoid seafood that contains mercury. Eat chia seeds and flax seeds.
Scientific Rationale: Turn on PPARγ and vitamin D genes.
5. Consume more medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and avoid toxic fats such as trans-fats, corn oil, cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil, canola oil.
Protocol: Use coconut, avocado, hemp oil or ghee for cooking; MCT oil and olive oil for salad dressings and for drizzling on steamed vegetables.
Scientific Rationale: MCTs help you feel more full than long-chain fatty acids found in vegetable oils and can help regulate obesity genes. MCTs may “turn off” the genes that code for cardiac disease and Alzheimer’s.
6. Incorporate healthy fasting intervals between feedings.
Protocol: Fast intermittently for 16 to 24 hours once or twice per week. Extend your fasting intervals as tolerated for weight loss and to manage inflammation. For instance, stop eating at 6 p.m., and eat again at noon the next day for an 18-hour fast, which seems to work well for most adults. Be sure to eat a nutrient- dense meal before the fast to make sure you have the nutrients you need.
Scientific Rationale: Turn on SIRT1 and turn off mTOR longevity genes; boost autophagy.
7. Eat more meals at home to prevent diabetes and obesity.
Protocol: Eat homemade meals, 11 to 14 lunches and dinners per week.
Scientific Rationale: When middle-aged people eat more homemade meals, they lower their risk of diabetes by 13 percent and obesity by 15 percent.
8. Minimize toxic red meat and fat.
Protocol: Avoid processed meat like sausage, hot dogs, deli meats, and bacon. Limit grass-fed red meat to 18 ounces or less per week. Grass-fed beef has higher levels of omega-3s than grain-fed beef.
Scientific Rationale: Red meat is associated with a greater risk of heart disease and cancer in men and women. Processed meat is linked to heart disease and diabetes. Data on grass-fed meat is limited. In general, the more you exercise… the better you can tolerate the inflammatory effects of eating red meat. If you are sedentary and/or smoke cigarettes, you should probably eat a vegan diet.
9. Reduce Alcohol intake
Protocol: Limit alcohol as much as possible, no more than four drinks per week. Organic, red wine is healthiest and it is best to drink it with food.
Scientific Rationale: Alcohol is a depressant that is aging and disrupts sleep. Alcohol consumption is closely linked to cancer and heart disease.
10. Feed your microbiome
Protocol: Avoid artificial sweeteners, candy, processed foods, unnecessary antibiotics and high levels of stress. Vary your diet with healthy prebiotic foods and introduce new vegetables and fruits to your diet.
Scientific Rationale: A balanced and diverse microbiome determines a healthy immune system, lean metabolism and production of healthy neurotransmitter and hormone levels.