We know that cutting Calories will help you lose weight. But, now, researchers have demonstrated that a calorie-restricted diet can also positively effect a number of afflictions including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as cancer and diabetes. But who among us will actually do it?
Researchers have now shown that calorie restriction can have wide-ranging positive effects on your system – a connection that was previously proven only in mice.
“Restricting calories can slow your basal metabolism, and if by-products of metabolism accelerate aging processes, calorie restriction sustained over several years may help to decrease risk for chronic disease and prolong life,” says Study Lead Author Leanne M. Redman, Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences at Pennington Biomedical Research in Baton Rouge, LA.
The key to the benefits is that calorie restriction reduces harmful oxidative action on your system. That’;s why we take anti-oxidant supplements and eat anti-oxidant foods in the first place. Now, apparently, we can avoid a lot of oxidative stress just be restricting our caloric intake.
What they did…
The findings come out of a survey called CALERIE (Comprehensive Assessment of the Long-Term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy), the first randomized controlled trial to test the metabolic effects of calorie restriction in non-obese humans. The second phase of the study reports results from 53 healthy, non-obese men and women between ages 21 and 50 who cut calories by 15% over 2 years and underwent additional measurements for metabolism and oxidative stress.
Subjects also lost weight…
Subjects on the calorie restricted diets also lost an average of 9 kg of weight during the story, although the main focus of the study was to observe the effects of restriction on aging-related afflictions.
On thing that took me by surprise – a good surprise, though – was that Calorie restricters lost weight even though they were allowed to eat whatever foods they wanted.
In addition, no adverse effects, such as anemia, excessive bone loss, or menstrual disorders were noted. In fact, both trials led to improvements in mood and health-related quality of life. “We found that even people who are already healthy and lean may benefit from a calorie restriction regimen,” Redman notes.
There you have it…
The evidence is clear. A calorie restricted diet can help you avoid a whole host of unhealthy conditions, especially those which come on as you get older.
But will the masses espouse this new regimen? Probably not. Western eaters are addicted to Sugar and Salt, both of which encourage them to want more food, not less. And all our baits are geared toward excess and plenty, rather than toward conservation and ‘enough’. I predict it will take another generation at least before the doctrine of calorie restriction has a chance of taking hold on across the general population.
~ Maggie J.