Living well Your Health & Wellness

Eat less, live longer

Written by Diane Archer

Over the last 30 years, the risk of chronic conditions in people 55-64 has declined. Researchers now believe that we can improve quality of life and live longer, if we eat less.

While studies have not been done on humans, studies on rats, mice and monkeys show that reducing their daily calorie intake by 30 percent–while ensuring good nutrition–improves their health and extends their lives.

According to the BBC, even in Ancient Greece, eating less was considered best for one’s health. Plain and simple, slim Greeks lived longer than obese Greeks.

Two major studies on calorie intake of rhesus monkeys show that a 30 percent lower calorie intake means longer life and better health. Their risk of cancer and heart disease was cut in half.  And, none of them developed diabetes. Moreover, almost four in ten (37 percent) monkeys who did not reduce calorie intake died of age-related causes in 20 years; fewer than one in eight (13 percent) monkeys with reduced calorie intake died in 20 years.

And, while we are not rhesus monkeys, our DNA is 93 percent identical. We also age in a similar way, with skin and muscles that typically sag, and hair that generally thins and goes grey. Like people, rhesus monkeys are also prone to diabetes, heart disease and cancer as they age.

Stat reports that a professor at USC, Valter Longo, is selling diet boxes based on the theory that fasting and eating less will improve our health and extends our lives, as it has been shown to do in mice and other lab animals. Longo suggests that fasting allows us to turn off cells that are otherwise active if we’re always eating. In the process, fasting strengthens the cells so they can burn more fat.

Here’s more from Just Care:

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