Eat Less, Age Less


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aging.pngHave you ever looked on the back of a food label? As someone who takes working out and eating right serious, I find myself doing this a lot. On just about every food label I look at, I've noticed something. The all say, "Percent daily values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet." Why 2,000? I feel like the average person consumes much more than 2,000 calories per day. Maybe it's an American thing to consume more than the 2,000. In a lot of cases, the more calories that you consume, the worse off you are. What if you consumed less? Would that have a positive effect on the human body? Well, some researchers are saying that calorie restriction is a good thing. In fact, many are saying that it promotes longevity.

            Actually, not long ago I was listening to a talk show on the radio one morning, and the hosts were discussing how a man in a country in Asia just reached some ridiculous, unheard of age. I can't remember all of the details exactly, but I do remember one thing specifically. The man had said that his secret to living that long was that he only ate until he was %80 full. I would say that this fits into calorie restriction, and this man is a good example.

            Scientists from the Gladstone Institutes have found that a diet called a "ketogenic diet" can reduce effects that are caused because of aging. This specific diet is a low-carb and a low-calorie diet, and with the aging delay that it aids, scientists may be able to better treat diseases that are caused by aging. An example would be Alzheimer's disease. Age related diseases are amongst the top causes of death in the U.S. The researchers found that the body creates a ketone body when on this specific ketogenic diet. This ketone protects your cells from what they call oxidative stress. As you age, your cells weaken due to this stress.

            Tests were done on tissue from mice, and also they tested human cells in a dish. With these experiments came this breakthrough. Could this ketone protect all cells in the body from aging? This question is still being investigated, but they have strong reason to believe that it may. If they are able to delay aging, scientists may be able to cure many diseases. Watch what you eat, calorie count, and maybe you'll add some years to your life. Is the loss of some food throughout the day worth a few years of life to you?

 

Websites used:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206142025.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001767/

Picture from:

http://blog.smu.edu/quitsmoking/2012/03/26/smoking-and-skin-aging/

2 Comments

This blog was very cool. It brought up a bunch of points that fascinate me. First, Alzheimer's runs in my family so it caught my eye to keep reading. Second old age runs in my family as well, my Great Uncle is 102 and turning 103 in just a few short months. He was over my house for Thanksgiving and only ate a little bit of food. I didn't get to ask him if this was a regular habit, but maybe based upon his age it is, proving this theory correct.

I find dieting to be a very touchy subject for many, but for me personally I think it can be pretty cool and fun. I read the Steve Jobs Biography a little while back, and found it fascinating to learn that Steve was on multiple diets throughout his short life. He was on a fruitarian diet, which is a strict diet where you only eat fruits and vegetables. He was also huge vegan and vegetarian. Manny Pacquio, the famous boxer and congressman has to eat at least 5,000-6,000 calories a day because he burns so many calories up with his intense training and high velocity workouts. I too feel like eating 2,000 calories a day seems like a lot, but if you really break it down to how you are supposed to plan and eat your meals you could easily get away with only consuming 1,600 calories or so. The problem America seems to have is that we are very obese, people binge eat, and do so with unhealthy foods. A perfectly acceptable days food intake could include a piece of fruit and toast in the morning, an apple around 10 or 11, a medium sized lunch of 500 or so calories consisting o some source of protein, fruit, and vegetable and then dinner of 800 or so calories. This is a really healthy diet, and if broken down properly you will be eating higher quality foods and be better off for it. We are so bombarded at grocery stores with all these choices, it can sometimes be hard to not grab for that new flavor or Doritos that just came out. And then it comes to dessert and you're like, "Woahhh there are 6 different kinds of Oreos now? I was hear yesterday and there were only 3."

Although I don't consider myself fat by any means, I am always interested in changing my eating habits for various reasons. I may give this

This idea slightly worries me because our society has become so obsessed with staying skinny (for the most part unsuccessfully), that if the idea of less food meant more years of life, nobody would eat at all. If the man that found the fountain of youth ate until he was roughly 80% full, that shows an incredible amount of discipline that I doubt the majority of people would have. I can't help but wonder, the FDA and other government regulators have set the Daily Values for a reason, are they worth challenging? They certainly might be, but it seems like undermining those values based on little scientific evidence may be unhealthy. Then again, if an "unhealthy" person lives 5 years longer, then maybe the "healthy" person consuming the daily values is completely naive.

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