Are you looking younger than your age?
I’ve always believed that there is benefits to be gained from starting an ‘anti-ageing’ diet or ‘programme’ from an early age. I wouldn’t recommend calorie restriction before age 20, but eating healthily from a young age is important. It never made sense to me to start eating healthily and looking after yourself when the damage has already accumulated, and is visible on the outside.
It’s often thought that the appearance reflects what is going on inside the body – so if someone looks quite healthy on the outside, there’s a good chance that the person is healthy on the inside as well. This of course may not always be true, but more often that not, it probably is a good indicator of health and perhaps even how long a person might have left.
In a recent study researchers took about 1000 people and looked at their biological age over a period of 12 years – starting from age 26 – and tracked changes in 18 biomarkers across chronological ages: 26 years, 32 years, and 38 years to determine the pace of ageing among the individuals. They looked at their metabolism, mental abilities, telomeres, and others biomarkers associated with organ function, and found that most people’s biological age matched closely with their chronological age, but a few aged more slowly (or not at all), while others aged much faster than normal.
As you can see, most people’s biological age closely matched their chronological age (38), but there were a few outliers.
What’s more is that their internal health as measured by these tests reflected how old they looked on the outside. People who had younger biological health also appeared to look much younger than their age. And those who had worse results tended to look older than their chronological age. That in itself shouldn’t be much of a surprise, actually. But then again, seeing such dramatic differences even at a young age does show us that we need to take action early in life to have the biggest impact in staying young.
It’s assumed that we are optimized and functioning at peak performance in being able to deal with the day-to-day damage when we are young; and that good or bad lifestyle choices wouldn’t really affect the rate of ageing all that much, but this is wrong. Although the body can tolerate a lot at say, 25, it’s by no means immune from the damaging effects of bad lifestyle choices; whether it be junk food, smoking, too much alcohol, lack of sleep or whatever. The study also suggests that there might be room for improvement, and that we can make our cells and body more resistant to damage even in our 20s and see dramatic results if we maintain a good lifestyle.
As we get older, the risk of disease grows exponentially and we notice the effects of ageing come more rapidly, especially after the age of 60. It could be argued that the greatest impact from diet would only apply at middle age, but the study above refutes that idea. Anecdotally I can say that I know people who have looked after themselves when they were younger and are now benefiting from it. They look young and are generally much healthier than most people for their age. Starting a healthy lifestyle early in life means you get to enjoy more of your youthful period of life and also extend middle age period too.
Inspiration from people who are looking younger than their age
I know of two people who are really impressive when it comes to looking younger: Masako Mizutani who is now around 47 years old and looks in her late 20s to 30; and also my friend Paul who is 46.5 years old but still genuinely looks around 25 years old. It’s incredible… and hard to believe! But they look amazing. And I know that it’s not all about how young a person looks, but it does help, because it reinforces and validates the healthy choices you’ve been making.
Do you know anyone who looks very young for their age? And do you think your diet has slowed down ageing for you?
People age at wildly different rates, study finds (CBS MORNING SHOW)
Have you been on a healthy diet for a long time? if so, do people say you look younger than your age?
I’m really interested in hearing from people who’ve been eating either a raw food diet, on calorie restriction, or maybe just eating healthily for decades, and hearing if they get comments from people saying they look younger than their age. Sometimes it can be genetic, but I really believe that people who live healthy lifestyles can sometimes look decades younger, and it’s not always down to genes.
If you want to know what foods can improve your skin and slow the apperance of ageing, read How To Look Younger