In the United States, about 16% of people between the age 50 and 64 suffer from chronic illnesses. The number of occurrence of chronic disease rises with each decade of increment of age. Aging is an inevitable part of the human process. But there are ways on how to delay aging so that –both physical and physiological–do not manifest at all.
Researchers are now studying ways of how we can enhance not only the quality of our lives but also our lifespan. According to Julie Mattison from the National Institute on Ageing (NIA), the most effective way to live longer and healthier is to eat less. Also dubbed as calorie restriction, eating less goes further than just cutting back on fatty foods but it also involves making radical reductions in terms of portion size in the long run.
In many studies on animals, researchers revealed that flies, worms, rats, and monkies subjected to 30% reduction of food intake are able to live longer and more actively. While it has been proven within the lower animal taxa that eating less can contribute to longer lives, this can be applicable to humans as well.
Aside from scientific research, the benefits of the effects of calorie restriction have been recorded in historical texts. For instance, the great Greek physician Hippocrates claimed that many diseases were associated with gluttony.
What Happens When You Eat Less?
So how does eating less help one live longer? To understand what is going on, you need to look at what is going on inside the body. In a study published in 2015, blood was extracted from people who underwent calorie restriction. The blood analysis revealed that the amount of good cholesterol inside the blood increased and the tumor necrosis factors (TNFs) reduced by 25%. The tumor necrosis factors are molecules that are associated with the tumor formation. The more you have them in your blood, the more likely you will develop cancer in the future.
Aside from TNF and cholesterol, calorie restriction also increases insulin sensitivity by 40% thus it can also stabilize the blood sugar levels back to normal. But more than anything else, the most obvious benefit of eating less is massive weight loss. This is a very important advantage especially for people who have body mass index (BMI) above 30.
How to Eat Less Despite the Temptations
While it is easy to control the calorie intake of laboratory animals, the same thing cannot be said for humans. So how can we eat less despite the presence of too many temptations around us? It is important for us to have access to low-calorie meals whether we are eating at a restaurant or buying prepared meals in convenience stores. It is also crucial to develop discipline when it comes to eating foods because no amount of low-calorie food delivery can match your discipline.
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