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The Prolon Diet: Fasting for Longevity and Health

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Dietitians have long debated the benefits of various diets for sustainable weight loss, with many fads failing to live up to their promises. However, shifting the focus from weight loss to increasing longevity presents a new perspective on dieting. Dr. Valter Longo, the director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, aims to achieve this with the Prolon diet.

The Prolon diet is a five-day fasting protocol designed to improve cellular rejuvenation and longevity. The diet consists of pre-packaged meal kits with plant-based whole foods, omega-3 supplements, and a supplemental energy drink. While fasting has benefits such as weight loss and improved immune function, it also carries risks and may not be suitable for everyone. Consultation with a healthcare provider is advised before starting this low-calorie diet.

What Is the Prolon Diet?

The Prolon diet is a commercially available fasting-mimicking diet intended to boost cellular rejuvenation and slow aging. Dr. Longo has studied the impact of calorie restriction and fasting on longevity since the 1990s. The Prolon diet, launched in 2016, allows individuals to benefit from fasting without extreme caloric deprivation.

The Prolon diet lasts for five days and can be repeated monthly for one to six consecutive months based on individual health goals. After the initial period, it is recommended to follow the plan three times a year for maintenance.

During each of the five days, participants should consume a minimum of 70 ounces of water daily. After the fasting period, a gradual return to normal eating is advised, starting with liquid foods and progressing to light meals.

What Do You Eat on the Prolon Diet?

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The Prolon meal kit includes plant-based whole foods in specifically formulated quantities and ratios, excluding all meat, dairy, gluten, GMOs, and processed foods. Typical food items in a Prolon meal kit include olives, kale chips, dehydrated soup powders, herbal teas, nut bars, vitamin and mineral supplements, and a proprietary glycerol mix.

Prolon offers various subscriptions and bundles. The basic five-day program costs $175 with a subscription or $195 for a one-time order. The expanded variety plan costs $185 with a subscription or $205 for a one-time order. Bundles range in price from $99 to $282, depending on the specific package.

Benefits of Fasting with Prolon

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Fasting offers several health benefits, including weight loss, improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels, reduced inflammation, slowed aging, enhanced immune function, and improved relationship with food and eating patterns. Fasting may also benefit cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy by protecting healthy cells.

Potential health risks include dehydration, nutrient deficiencies, dizziness, fainting, hunger, reduced cognitive function, constipation, mood changes, and disordered eating. Extended calorie deficit can lead to muscle loss, as the body breaks down fat and muscle for energy.

Certain groups should avoid the Prolon diet, including pregnant or breastfeeding women, individuals with a BMI of 18 or lower, people with certain medical conditions, and those with a history of eating disorders.

The Prolon diet offers a low-calorie, structured approach to fasting with potential benefits for longevity and overall health. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any fasting regimen, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.

“With the support of your healthcare provider, you can decide whether it’s right for you,” says Jordan Hill, a Denver-based registered dietitian nutritionist.

Have you tried the Prolon diet or a similar fasting regimen? What was your experience? Share your thoughts and insights in the comments below! Your experiences could help others make informed decisions about their health and wellness journey.

 

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