Should you eat less to live longer?

Friday, February 10, 2023
should you eat less to live longer?

Everyone knows that eating fewer calories can help reduce weight. It is because when you consume fewer calories than your body uses, your body burns stored fat for energy, which can lead to weight loss. This can be beneficial for people who are overweight or obese, as carrying excess weight is associated with a number of health problems, including:

Cardiovascular disease: Excess weight can increase the risk of coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, stroke, high blood cholesterol, etc.

Type 2 diabetes: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes significantly, which can lead to a number of complications, including nerve damage, kidney disease, vision loss, heart ailments.

Certain cancers: Excess weight is associated with an increased risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, colon, and endometrial cancer.

Sleep apnea: People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop sleep apnea, a condition where breathing stops and starts during sleep.

Osteoarthritis: Excess weight can put extra stress on joints, which can lead to the development of osteoarthritis.

A recent study published in the journal Nature Aging suggests that restricting calorie intake could slow down the aging process, even in healthy adults. The study followed 220 healthy participants, who either continued with their regular diet or had a 25% reduction in consumed calories, for two years. Their rate of aging is measured through DNA analysis and  the results showed a slowing of the aging process based on three DNA markers.

However, it is important to note that the study is limited in scope and further research is needed to confirm its findings and determine the long-term effects of calorie restriction on healthy aging. Additionally, experts caution against long-term calorie restriction, as it can harm the metabolism, energy levels, and general well-being, especially for people with eating disorders, those with osteopenia or osteoporosis, those who are underweight, and those trying to gain weight.

It is recommended to focus on a healthy dietary pattern that is customized based on individual preferences and cultural traditions, while limiting foods with high added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, and limiting alcoholic beverages. Intermittent fasting is another option that may support healthy aging. However, it is important to find the right balance of caloric intake and daily exercise for a longer lifespan.

It's important to note that reducing calorie intake should not be done in an extreme or unhealthy way, such as skipping meals, cutting out entire food groups, or engaging in fad diets. A balanced and nutritious diet, along with regular physical activity, is the best way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.






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