Maintaining a healthy diet is a major part of longevity as previously mentioned, and turning back the hands of time maybe impossible but you can alter the effects of time on your body. Here Susie Neilson, National Public Radio, Inc., reflects on recent study about modest reduction in daily caloric intake having protective benefits for our hearts:
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With that in mind, if you knew that you could help keep your heart healthy by eating just a little bit less every day — about six standard-size Oreos’ worth of calories — would you?
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Researchers have found evidence that just a modest reduction in our daily caloric intake could have protective benefits for our hearts, according to a paper published this week in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
The paper drew on data from the Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE) study. That landmark project, supported by the National Institutes of Health, was one of the most in-depth efforts to measure the long-term impacts of caloric restriction in humans. Researchers have published numerous analyses drawing on data from the two-year study, examining various factors associated with life expectancy and longevity.
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This paper, the latest to draw from the data, primarily examines how moderate caloric restriction impacts heart health and how it may potentially prevent aging-related decline.
The experiment began with 218 participants, all of whom were normal weight or just slightly overweight and between ages 21 and 50. Researchers started 143 participants on a diet that reduced their caloric intake by 25%; 75 others were assigned to a normal diet. In the end, 188 participants completed the study — 117 with caloric restriction and 71 without.
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For the first four weeks of the study, people in the calorie-cutting group were fed in-house at one of three clinical centers. During this time, they were instructed on how to reduce their caloric intake and gradually fell into one of six eating plans based on their own preferences.
Over the first six months, most people stuck pretty well to their diets. On average, they cut back on calories by about 20%. But they didn’t fare as well over two years: Overall, they trimmed their caloric intake by an average of about 12% — or about 300 fewer calories per person per day.
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Even so, this relatively modest reduction in calories had significant effects on the participants who ate less: They lost about 16.5 pounds on average and saw improvements, including lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, on all six primary factors associated with risks to heart health. They also saw improved insulin resistance and metabolic rates.”
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