High-Protein Diet Dubbed Deadly By Controversial Expert Who Names 5 “Poisonous ‘P’s”

Research suggests that the reason obesity rates have spiked is because of our quickness to embrace the five "poisonous five P's"

High-Protein Diet Dubbed Deadly By Controversial Expert Who Names 5 “Poisonous ‘P’s”

Image: Getty

We’ve covered all aspects of wellness for years here at DMARGE, helping blokes work on their fitnessmental healthrelationships and much more. However, one of the hottest topics in recent months has been longevity, with the increasing publicity of famed ‘Blue Zones‘ and the rise of longevity experts like Dr Mark Hyman sparking a wider conversation about living longer and living better.

In a world where extreme biohacking is becoming increasingly popular, with billionaires like Bryan Johnson pushing the limits of human longevity through super-strict, bordering-on-ridiculous wellness regimes, there exists a quieter but no less passionate voice in the field…

WATCH: 100-Year-Old Shares The Secret To His Longevity

Valter Longo, a professor of gerontology and director of the USC Longevity Institute, has spent decades studying the secrets to living a long and healthy life, long before it became a fitness fad. In stark contrast to Johnson’s Silicon-Valley-centric approach to his health and the world writ large, Longo’s philosophy is deeply rooted in his Italian heritage, drawing inspiration from the Mediterranean lifestyle — and accompanying diet — that has long been a cornerstone of the longevity movement.

Longo’s research suggests that the reason obesity rates have spiked in Italy — along with most other nations in the so-called developed world — is because they have strayed so far from the classic Mediterranean diet and instead embraced what he calls five “poisonous five P’s”: pizza, pasta, protein, potatoes, and pane (bread).

He fears that this shift in nutritional intake will lead to generations of young people who, thanks to the fast-evolving marvels of modern medicine, live longer but not necessarily healthier.

Image: Valter Longo

Instead, Longo advocates for a return to the tried and tested Mediterranean diet, putting an emphasis on plant-based foods and nuts. He also introduces a novel concept called “faux fasting“, which aims to mimic the many benefits of fasting without complete abstinence from food. According to Longo, this diet allows the body to enter a fasting-like mode, triggering protective responses that help to rejuvenate cells and optimise performance.

Whether or not you subscribe to the idea that your long-lauded high-protein diet could actually be doing you damage, Longo’s work nevertheless offers a unique perspective on longevity that flies in the face of future-minded, tech moguls like Jonson and instead embraces the wisdom of the ancient world.