Eat Less and Live Longer
A recent 6-month study examined the impact of calorie restriction and weight loss in overweight middle-aged people on several biomarkers previously associated with longevity in people as well as animals. Subjects were randomly assigned to a control group, which maintained their body weight, or to one of 3 experimental groupings illustrated below.
The controls weighed 1% less at the end of 6 months. This study found both lower core body temperature and insulin levels in the two groups losing about 10% of their initial body weight compared to the controls. Insulin levels were also lower in the 3rd experimental group, which lost 13.9% of their initial body weight. All 3 experimental groups also experienced a significant decline in oxidative stress-associated DNA damage, compared to the control group.1
Bottom Line: This study demonstrates that reducing calorie intake and losing body weight improves insulin sensitivity, lowers body temperature, and reduces DNA damage. While it is still premature to conclude that calorie restriction slows aging in humans, the metabolic changes seen in this study should dramatically cut the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. It also seems increasingly likely that if these metabolic changes were maintained by consuming fewer calories (with or without more exercise), they may have the added benefit of slowing the aging process as well.
By James J. Kenney, PhD, RD, FACN.
- JAMA. 2006;295:1539-48
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.