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study: low calorie diet keeps heart young


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The study looked at the heart function of 25 members of the Caloric Restriction Society, ages 41 to 64, who consume 1,400 to 2,000 nutritionally balanced calories per day. They were compared to 25 people who eat a typical Western diet, consuming 2,000 to 3,000 daily calories on average......Fontana said simply consuming less food is not the answer. Members of the study group eat food resembling a traditional Mediterranean diet, focusing on vegetables, olive oil, beans, whole grains, fish and fruit. They avoid refined and processed foods, soft drinks, desserts, white bread and other sources of "empty" calories.

The group with the younger hearts ate a much healthier diet compared to the typical western diet, which is high in saturated fat, sugar and processed foods. It would be interesting to see how much the researchers attributed the healthier hearts to the lower calories alone, that is, quite apart from the quality of the food these people consumed.

A regular exercise program is one of the best things you can participate in for your longevity, period. While I was studying I was amazed at the amount of research reinforcing the regenerative and restorative effects of exercise. It really does cover a "multitude of sins" lifestyle-wise. Hence even if it does turn out that lower calorific intake is better for you, the fact that we are all exercising on a regular basis will carry much more weight (IMO).

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The trouble with such studies is that they fail to isolate particular causes. Here the advantage to the low cal group probably came from the avoidance of processed foods with all their harmful additives such as MSG and aspartame. You would have to read around the subject to get any kind of sense of the optimal diet.

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