Eat to Live: 94 Year-Old’s Advice For Long Life

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, 94, gives a speech at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forumm in Vladivostok, September 5, 2019. Photo: AFP Forum/ Vladimir Smirnov

How to live as long as Mahathir

by Nile Bowie/Singapore/Asian Times

Whether one admires his political tenacity or abhors his often controversial candidness, it is beyond dispute that Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad functions exceedingly well for a man of his age.

At 94, the world’s oldest elected leader amazes people with his stamina and is frequently asked his secret to long life.

Mahathir, who worked as a physician in his home state of Kedah before entering politics in 1964, recently published two columns in local broadsheet the New Straits Times listing his habits and practices for keeping up a healthy lifestyle, touching on everything from practicing good posture to treating a receding hairline.

According to the nonagenarian political heavyweight, staying in the pink of health begins with self-discipline, particularly through conscious eating habits and controlling one’s desire for tasty foods.

“We should eat to live and not live to eat…the amount must not be more than what is needed,” he advises. “Obesity is not good for health or longevity.”

The accumulation of “fat around the waist” is a sign of a person eating beyond their body’s needs, which Mahathir says can be remedied by reducing the quantity of one’s meals by one-fourth or one-third.

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  1. I am doing a water fasting for at least 14 days, currently on my 4 day. Yup, you don’t have to eat nothing except drink water, too much water
    The first 3 days were tough but now i feel very weel, i’ve experienced diaharrea and heavy headaches the first 3 days.
    You can find the science behind water fasting on internet, or watch videos on youtube of people doing it

  2. He grew up on a farm in Missouri. He observed when they ground up the field crops for animal food they added pellets of vitamins and minerals to them. He asked his Dad why they didn’t do this for humans. His dad replied: “Shut up boy be glad you have fresh food to eat”. He was quiet then because he didn’t want to miss any meals. Only years later after he entered Veterinary School did he learn the answer: Humans have the genetic potential of 120-140. In order to reach this goal they must avoid land mines. They must also take daily 90 vitamins and minerals and essential fatty acids etc. to avoid deficiency diseases. Farmers add these to animal food to avoid losing animals to make a profit. He cites many doctors who died young even heart doctors who simply did not take any Selenium. Listen to his great speech in 1994 “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie” by Joel D. Wallach, DVM, ND. Read the 1992 TIME cover article extolling vitamins and minerals for health. A doctor Victor Herbert MD criticized the article that all you do is produce expensive urine. That doctor is quite dead at about 75.

    • I think that if at 70 there will be serious health problems, then living with it for another 50 years … This is torment.

  3. I am relatively young compared to most of you on VT. Still 40 years old. Or already 40 years. For 20 years in a row I eat little, but often during the day. I can generally not eat for half a day. I don’t eat chips and stuff. I drink 5-7 cups of coffee a day. Well, I move a lot physically. In principle, I especially do not bother with any diets. I feel my weight and it is normal. Everything else is genetics. Someone drinks every day and smokes, but lives up to 100 years. And athletes at the age of 25 and 30 can drop their hooves off.

    • And I want to add.
      Our people say: we need to work to live. And do not live in order to work.
      Take care of yourself and your nerves. All diseases are from nerves.

  4. Eat to live, not live to eat, is great advice. Abundance is a double-edged sword. One can make the argument that in the west it is the greatest cause of morbidity and early death. It’s been found that continuous calorie intake (or more than 12 hours in a day) keeps the mTor genetic pathway switched on for too long. This pathway is responsible anabolic processes such as protein synthesis and cell division. This needs to balanced with catabolic processes, where mTor is switched off, such that cell apoptosis(cell death) or autophagy; the cleaning out of senescent cells and the recycling of dysfunctional organelles within the cell, can take place. One of the best practices for accomplishing this is intermittent fasting; not restricting calorie intake per se, such as a traditional diet, but limiting the time window for eating in a 24 period. ( A lot of people have success and consistency with a 16/8 hour scheme), fasting for 16 hours(sleep time included) and limiting calorie intake to the remaining eight hours. This allows the body, in particular the digestive system, to recover, it aids in lowering insulin levels, and circulating blood glucose. You’re also burning more body fat in the process through lipolysis, and helps one get off the compulsive habit of eating to cycles of blood sugar spikes and crashes.

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