Is calorie restriction really necessary for a longer life?

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You may have heard that calorie restriction diets, eating 30-40% fewer calories forever, can extend your lifespan. You might have also heard the joke that it doesn’t actually extend your life. It just feels that way. Other problems with a calorie restriction lifestyle, besides being constantly hungry, include reduced libido, infertility, very low blood pressure, cold sensitivity, loss of bone mass, slower wound healing, depression and irritability.

Hardly seems worth the trade off. Eat less, so you can live a long, miserable life.

New research published on calorie restriction emphasized that overeating can shorten your life through obesity, heart disease and diabetes. The researchers* were surprised that regardless of how much fat was eaten, low-fat or high fat restricted diets. It was the reduction in calories that improved oxidative stress, lipid metabolism and resulted in healthier gut microbes in mice.

Eat too much you are destined to get a chronic disease. Eat too little and it feels like that isn’t a bad option.

But, what if you could have the best of both worlds? Eat in moderation. Prevent disease. Feel great. Stay young. Sound impossible?

Another study and one proven with humans, shows that it is not so much the calories or even the amount of fat, but the amount of protein that one consumes that makes the difference. And cutting down on protein is relatively easy to do.  Especially if you focus on proteins high in the amino acid leucine.

Instantized, never heard of it.

Instantized, never heard of it.

Leucine is a favourite supplement of the bodybuilder world because it stimulates muscle growth and that should be good, but you don’t need a bucket of it. We know from many other studies that supplements just don’t work like food does. Foods high in leucine include dairy products, whey, cheese, eggs, fish, meat and chicken. Vegetables have leucine too, but you would have to eat 100 apples to get the same leucine as your steak, chicken breast or milk.

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So who are these real people that eat a low leucine diet and live a long, healthy life?

Okinawans.

 

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Their traditional diet is 10% protein, no cholesterol and less than 1% of their diet was fish, meat, eggs or dairy. About one serving per month.

Proving that eating normal meals can extend your life, help you feel good and prevent disease. Eat less protein,  less processed foods and eat more vegetables.

Change your mind, change your health,

Shayla

 

*Even researchers that study calorie restriction rarely practice it, it’s too hard.

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