ANTI-AGING: Taking Breaks from Methionine with Vegan Days


This article is intended solely for informational purposes. It is not meant to be taken as, and should not be construed, as medical advice. Any changes to your lifestyle or diet should be done in consultation with your doctor or health care professional.

Hi, this is Nils. This video is one of a series about possible approaches to life extension and improving our longevity.

Lately I’ve been alternating days in which I eat animal foods products freely, with vegan days in which I try to avoid them.

This seems funny to some friends of mine because I’m often critical of the vegan diet –– partly because my own health took a major nosedive when I was vegan for three years, and I was able to restore my health by adding animal foods back into my diet. I can’t imagine myself ever going vegan again. (Not to put down those who make this choice –– we each have to decide what’s important to us –– but being vegan again would not be a good path forward for me.)

What’s working for me at the moment is not being vegan full time, but being vegan two or three days a week, and eating a diet rich in animal foods, including fats and proteins, on the other days.

On my vegan days (currently Tuesdays and Thursdays and sometimes also Saturdays), I’ll eat things like celery, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts, romaine lettuce, cruciferous veggies, onions, lentils, pinto beans, mushrooms and edible pod peas (with olive oil and avocado oil dressings), all of which are low in methionine –– but avoid animal products entirely. I will also avoid some vegan foods like soy and tofu, hemp hearts, spinach, and sunflower seeds even on my “vegan days.”

I do this because when our body’s deprived of methionine, it goes into panic mode and turns on our longevity genes. Eating vegan (in this way) also keeps our protein low, under 15 grams a day, which turns on autophagy can cleans debris out of our cells.

On my carnivore or omnivore days, I’ll eat things eat things like salmon, sardines, pastured eggs, salmon roe, poultry, grass-fed beef, beef liver, and other foods high in protein and healthy fats from animal sources. Most of them are high in taurine and methionine.

What I’m describing here is (of course) really a type of AFD (alternate day fasting), because when you eat plant-based foods low in methionine, and avoid animal foods, your protein consumption and calories will be low (unless you drench them in fats and oils).

Some people who do AFD eat no calories on their “fasting” days. Others eat up to 500 calories (for women) or 600 calories (for men). Doing “vegan” alternate day fasting gives me a break from high quality animals-based protein 3 or 3 days a week — along with a break from the amino acid methionine. (Hemp hearts, spinach, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are all rich in methionine, which is great if you’re trying to activate mTOR, but not if your goal is to activate your sirtuin genes and extend your lifespan.

Some links of interest:

Extension of Cellular Lifespan by Methionine Restriction Involves Alterations in Central Carbon Metabolism and Is Mitophagy-Dependent

Methionine Regulates mTORC1 via the T1R1/T1R3-PLCβ-Ca2+-ERK1/2 Signal Transduction Process in C2C12 Cells