A study in mice at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has analysed the link between diet and life span.
They wanted to investigate the link between metabolism and ageing.
Experts found there was a 13 per cent increase in median life span for the mice on a high fat versus high carb diet.
The scientists said this could equate to seven to ten years in humans.
Experts said the finding were ‘surprising’ and even noted the mice ‘retained quality of health in later life’.
High fat diets are also known as ketogenic diets. They include high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diets which experts said help the body burn fat.
The study split mice into three groups – those on a regular high carb diet, those fed a low carb high fat diet and mice fed a ketogenic diet.
Researchers kept the calorie content of each diet the same because the experts wanted to focus on metabolism not weight loss.
HOW TO LIVE LONGER
Jon Ramsey, nutritionist, and senior author of the study said: “We expected some differenced but I was impressed by the magnitude we observed – a 13 per cent increase in median life span for the mice on a high-fat versus high-carb diet.
“In humans, that would be seven to ten years.
But equally important, those mice retained quality of health in later life.”
In addition to the effect of the diet on life span, experts also looked at the effects of the ketogenic diet on memory and even motor function.
Experts found the diet increased memory and strength and coronation and prevented an increase in inflammation caused by ageing.
Ketogenic diets are believed to be very effective at achieving two common aims of diabetes control, lowering blood glucose levels and reducing weight.
A ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, considered to be when you eat a level of carbohydrate of around 30g of carbohydrates per day or below.
There are usually no limits on fat content in the diet, but protein intake should be around 40g to 60g a day.
The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
BRIGHTLY COLOURED VEGETABLES COULD BOOST LIFE EXPECTANCY