Since food is so intricately linked to survival, it begs the question whether modifying your food consumption can also increase your lifespan. So, can it?
You may have heard about the restricted-calorie diet, which aims to slow metabolism and thus prolong life. Now, does it work?
The only hard evidence comes from studies in both lean and obese mice recently published in the Journal of Nutrition: only mice prone to obesity experienced the life-prolonging benefit of such diets, according to the results of a recent investigation by researchers from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.
Based on their studies with normal and obese mice, the authors hypothesize that caloric restriction is beneficial only when an organism has an energy use imbalance that causes weight gain – that is, when you’re predisposed to putting on the pounds.
I always urge people to celebrate food – so these results are just fine by me. But I also think that it’s easier to splurge on your favorite foods when you’ve done the basics: integrating locally-grown vegetables into your overall diet to get the necessary vitamins and nutrients, as well as “diluting” your carb load with fiber and whole grains so that it’s easier to maintain a healthy weight.