Eat Less for a Long and Healthy Life

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.

Calorie Restriction

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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Over 50% Of Canadians Believe Healthy Eating Improves Well Being

Most consumers all over the world are becoming more conscious about their health and overall well-being. In a market study conducted by research company Mintel, 63% of Canadian consumers believe that what they eat has significant influence over their emotional and physical health. As a result, 45% of consumers are interested in trying out different foods that are marketed for their health benefits. The sales of superfood items like quinoa, spirulina, kale and chia seeds have grown by 35% since last year.

According to Mintel’s Senior Lifestyles and Leisure Analyst, Carol Wong-Li, many Canadians are becoming proactive in looking for ways to maintain good physical and mental well-being. This also gives opportunities to marketers who develop products that convey wellness and overall well-being.

The Statistics Of Healthy Eating

The eating habits of Canadians have changed over the years. In today’s food culture, 49% of Canadian consumers feel guilty after eating unhealthy foods. The Mintel research also noted that the motivation of Canadians to eat healthy stems from guilt especially among women under the age of 55 and mothers, which account for 59% and 60%, respectively.

The research revealed that many Canadian consumers are more mindful of their eating habits and that 76% of the respondents claim to follow healthy eating strictly or most of the time. However, some of the respondents believe that they should also indulge once in a while such that 41% believe that allowing a cheat day once in a blue moon is a good way to motivate healthy eating habits.

Obstacles To Maintaining Healthy Eating Habits

Although there is an increasing trend of healthy eating among Canadians, most of the respondents claim that it’s hard to maintain healthy eating habits because of their busy lifestyles. Some of the interviewees are misinformed when it comes to making healthy choices as such 40% find it difficult to discern which foods are healthy and which ones to avoid.

These are the reasons why health claims on the packages are paramount as 27% of the respondents look at the label and are likely to buy a particular product if it comes with health claims. This has pushed many food manufacturers to include health claims on their packages as well as use all-natural ingredients in making their products.

Possible Solution

While eating healthy is a popular trend among Canadian consumers, there are still obstacles and challenges that prevent them from eating healthy.  Carol Wong-Li added that as much as the respondents would like to eat healthily, they fall back to their old eating habits because it takes too much to time to prepare healthy foods. This problem is now being addressed by many food manufacturers in Canada as they think of ways to create processed foods that are healthy to meet the demands and needs of busy and health-conscious Canadian consumers.

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