One of America's Oldest Men - Is His Controversial Anti-Aging Advice Right For You?

You can skip this video in  seconds
Skip Ad

Visit the Mercola Video Library

Bernando LaPallo, author of "Age Less, Live More," offers living proof that living and eating the way nature intended is rewarded with a long life. Having eaten of primarily raw food diet, LaPallo is more alive at 109 than most people are in their 70's and 80's.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:

At 109 years of age, Bernando LaPallo is truly a powerful inspiration and role model for a healthful lifestyle, and more specifically: RAW food! It's a tremendously important part of a long, healthy life, and is key for preventing disease.

LaPallo credits his long life and good health to the advice from his father, who told him that "health should be your first priority, and in order to do that, you eat properly, and… keep your colon clean, above all."

In order to maintain optimal colon health, "you have to eat properly -- not a bunch of stirred up, boiled-to-death food," LaPallo says.

Amazingly, LaPallo has been eating raw for over 104 years!

Lifestyle Advice from One of America's Oldest Men

Although health-, weight-, and lifestyle fads come and go, one way to establish what truly works is by looking at the common lifestyle denominators between those who have enjoyed healthy lives up to, and over, the age of 100.

In Walter Breunig's case, proper food choices, abstinence from alcohol, daily outdoor exercise, a spiritual and optimistic outlook on life, and "taking things in stride," has made him the oldest man in America.

His daily diet consists of:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit (especially blueberries and cantaloupe)
  • Beans (his primary source of protein)
  • Nuts
  • Soup
  • Clean water
  • Cinnamon tea

Leafy green vegetables make up two-thirds of his daily diet, and foods that need cooking are either lightly sautéed or lightly cooked. He doesn't touch processed foods, and this is yet another key to optimal health.

One of the primary reasons why so many people are getting sick with "modern-day" diseases like heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes is because they're relying on processed food as their primary form of nutrition.

Processed foods are loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, which we now know is a primary culprit in creating many diseases. This food ingredient alone can completely wreck your health, and it is only one of the dangerous ingredients found in processed foods...

Although I heartily recommend taking the vast majority of LaPallo's advice to heart, I want to address the potential problems inherent with two specific items in his diet, namely alkaline/ionized water (which, at the time of the taping, he'd been using for three months), and the lack of animal protein.

A Special Note about Optimal Water...

Personally, I'm convinced that drinking alkaline water for extended periods of time can cause far more harm than good, although many, as in LaPallo's case, will feel better initially. This is likely because alkaline water can have a potent detoxing effect.

Long-term, however, alkaline pH can have a detrimental impact on cell mitochondria. For a far more in-depth discussion on this, please see my recent report on alkaline water.

Your stomach has hydrochloric acid to help you digest your food. It simply makes no sense to neutralize the acid that was put there for a reason. Some assert that it is also a potent source of antioxidant free electrons, but I would suggest that grounding or earthing is a far more natural and cost effective way to achieve this benefit.

Should You Shun Animal Protein to Live Longer?

It's very important to realize that while the basic cornerstones of a healthful diet do not change, there are still personal differences that need to be taken into account, and the need for animal protein is one of them.

LaPallo has successfully sustained himself on a meatless diet for well over 100 years. Perhaps he would not have lived to this age and have his good health if he had eaten meat regularly. However it would be dangerous to claim that this strategy would be ideal for everyone to extend their lifespan.

Please understand that I am not advocating that everyone needs to eat meat (and I certainly do not recommend anyone eat factory farmed meat), but many who decide to become vegetarians do so without the proper understanding of their own biochemical needs, and end up ruining their health as a result.

Many who decide to become vegetarians for health reasons are often encouraged by research like The China Study written by T. Colin Campbell, who is not a physician but a PhD researcher with no clinical experience. Unfortunately, there are a number of problems with the "evidence" laid out in Campbell's work, which many ironically consider to be the gold standard of proof for the vegetarian diet...

I recently interviewed Chris Masterjohn from the Weston Price Foundation and found out that last month he did a far more comprehensive analysis of some of the central tenets of the China Study.

He carefully reviewed all of the major references in the book and showed major inconsistencies and glaring omissions in the major premise of Campbell's assertion in that protein causes cancer.  I will have his interview in two weeks but you can read his article on the Weston Price site now. In my view this is the strongest rebuttal of the China Study to date.

Please understand that I would never disagree or object to anyone choosing to avoid animal protein for spiritual convictions. That clearly is their decision. However, my concern is that they need to make that an informed choice and recognize that there may be some fairly significant adverse health consequences as a result of that choice.

There is No Perfect Diet for Everyone

So, before embarking on a strictly vegetarian diet, I strongly recommend you first determine your nutritional type.

The people who fare the worst on a vegetarian diet are those who are naturally protein types, as they're depriving their bodies of essential fuel, determined by their genetic and biochemical makeup.

It's quite likely that LaPallo is a strong carbohydrate type, which would explain how he can maintain optimal health without any obvious primary sources of animal protein.

Nutritional typing is a central part of my health plan and is now available for free on my site. We previously charged $29 to take this test, but now offer it at no charge so more can take advantage of this powerful tool.

This plan categorizes people into three different groups:

  • Protein: High amounts of healthy fats and protein and lower amounts of vegetables
  • Carb: High amounts of vegetables and lower amounts of protein and fat
  • Mixed: Somewhere between the above options

The US population is divided fairly equally between these three groups, with about one-third of the population in each group.

Although strong carb types can benefit from a mainly vegetarian diet, it is my clinical belief that virtually everyone benefits from some animal protein. And even strong carb types would benefit from other animal proteins like raw organic dairy and eggs. (These protein sources would also not violate any ethical concerns about sacrificing animals for their meat.)

Three Factors to Consider when Devising Your Ideal Diet

When making a decision about which foods to include in your diet, there are a number of factors that need to be considered. These factors all contribute to people's confusion about diet, and about whether or not they should eat meat:

  1. Your nutritional type, which determines what ratio of fats, carbohydrates and protein your body needs to thrive.

    I believe it’s safe to say we all need some of each of these three categories, but our bodies require different ratios of each. This means that some people will thrive on very large amounts of vegetables and very little animal protein. For others, this ratio would spell disaster for their health.

  2. The quality of the meat, and the way it is cooked will impact its health benefits.
  3. The types and amounts of vegetables chosen, as not all vegetables are suitable for all nutritional types, and different types need more or less vegetables to thrive.

Raw versus Cooked Food

That said, let's return to the central and primary issue of RAW foods.

Why are raw foods so beneficial?

Well, as LaPallo's father told him over a hundred years ago: because this is what God (or the Earth) created to sustain you... Raw foods, in their unadulterated form, contain all the inherent synergistic benefits of the food in question. When it comes to raw food, the whole is definitely far greater than the sum of its parts.

Ideally you'll want to eat as many foods as possible in their unprocessed state; typically organic, biodynamic foods that have been grown locally, and are therefore in season. Personally, I aim to eat about 80-85 percent of my food raw, including raw eggs and humanely raised organic animal products that have not been factory farmed.

Many do not think about this, but when you cook your food, especially at high temperatures, you destroy nutrients and naturally occurring enzymes in the food.

Enzymes are proteins; catalysts to speed up and facilitate reactions in your body. In fact, some biochemical reactions will not even occur without these enzymes (you have about 1,300 of them). So if all of your food is cooked, your body will become deficient in the enzymes it needs to function properly.

But that's not all.

Eating enzyme-dead food places a burden on your pancreas and other organs and overworks them, which eventually exhausts these organs.

Cooking your food will also:

  • Create toxic substances and "byproducts." The higher the cooking temperature, the more toxins are created.
  • Deplete, alter and destroy essential nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
  • Create unusable waste material, which has a cumulative congesting and clogging effect on your body.
  • Alter your gut flora. Putrefactive bacteria, particularly from cooked meat, dominate the natural population of beneficial intestinal flora resulting in dysfunction in your intestine.

Cooked food is also devoid of biophotons, the light particles or "stored sun energy" that exists in raw foods.

Why You Need Biophotons...

Biophotons is a term that many are still unfamiliar with. But in Europe (Germany in particular), significant research is taking place in this area.

Biophotons are the smallest physical units of light, which are stored in, and used by all biological organisms – including your body.

It is thought that the higher the level of light energy a cell emits, the greater its vitality and the potential for the transfer of that energy to the individual which consumes it. Hence, the more light a food is able to store, the more nutritious it is. Organically-grown fresh vegetables, for example, and sun-ripened fruits, are rich in this light energy.

Once inside, or part of, your body, biophotons control complex vital processes via the bio-information they contain. They have the power to order and regulate, and, in doing so, to elevate your physical body to a higher oscillation.

This manifests as a feeling of vitality and well-being.

For more in-depth information about biophotons and their importance for optimal health, I recommend watching my video interview with Dr. Klinghardt, who is well-versed in this area.

Bottom Line: Eat Raw, but Adjust Individual Food Selections to Fit Your Nutritional Type

In closing, remember that eating a major portion of your food raw is definitely key to optimal health. But, as I mentioned earlier, WHAT foods you eat (whether raw or lightly cooked) is a highly individual affair.

One of the underlying principles of the nutritional typing program, which will determine whether or not you're successful, is to "Listen to Your Body" and to adjust your foods based on how you feel mentally and physically after consuming them.

If you've tried nutritional typing before and did not gain noticeable health benefits, you may have overlooked this essential point.

Nutritional typing is a way to determine what YOUR customized diet is. It is not even a one-size-fits-all diet for each nutritional grouping...

So please, do not skip this step of the nutritional typing process!

You must pay attention to how you feel, and know that you can use that as a reliable gauge for what works and what doesn't work for YOU.

If, after a meal, you feel sluggish, tired, nauseous, or depressed, your meal was not ideal. Feeling "off" is a giant clue that you need to make modifications; either in your choice of individual foods, or in the ratios between carbs/fats/protein.

If you take nutritional typing seriously, its guidelines will help you modify your food intake until you find the right balance; the optimal ratio of fats, carbs and protein, and the optimal foods within each of those three nutrient groups.

Final Words of Wisdom

Please remember you really have to trust your body, not Dr. Campbell or me or anyone else you hear or see in the media, no matter what their credentials. If your body is telling you something different, then it would be to your advantage to honor that and seek to adjust your intervention in an effort to optimize your health.