What is the answer to a healthy long life? Some may say its being active, while some may say it is what we eat. Well science is trying to find an answer to this question and turns out the answer to long life is rather “How we eat”.
Think back to our ancestors, and I mean way back. These people didn’t have food readily available to them at all times so they would go through periods of “fasting” until their next meal. Well, this idea of fasting for a period of time is being heavily researched and the findings may aid in anti-aging.
Researchers from the University of Southern California conducted a test to determine if fasting slows down aging. For the test, 19 volunteers were allowed to consume whatever food they wanted for 25 days in a month. For the remaining five days they cycled between 1,090 calories on day one and 725 calories between days two and five. After three months of this style of dieting researchers found biomarkers linked to aging, diabetes and heart disease were reduced. Biomarkers are a substance in an organism which indicates the onset of disease or infection.
But why does the fasting diet work to prevent aging?
Well according to the researchers, by dieting this way hormones in the body which encourage growth get cut in half which in turn slows down aging. According to the researchers, this kind of diet is favorable and is easy for people to embark as they are not completely cutting out the food rather it allows people to enjoy what they like when not in fast. The researchers suggest it can be completed every three to six months depending on weight and abdominal circumference of the individual.
So, How is this 5 day fasting done?
- For the first day you can enjoy up to 1,090 calories. This consists of 10 percent protein, 56 percent fat and 34 percent carbohydrates.
- On days two to five you restrict your calories down to 725. Protein now becomes nine percent of your diet, fat makes up 44 percent and carbohydrates are 47 percent.
- Even though for the remaining 25 days you’re technically allowed any food item you wish, healthy eating should always be practiced. There’s no sense in stocking up on processed foods and unhealthy options. Even though the fasting diet may reduce biomarkers or illness, 25 days is still enough time to cause some damage to your health.
- If you think you can embark on the fasting diet for its anti-aging properties, always remember to speak with a doctor. Personal medical conditions may prevent you from eating this way.
Dr Victor Marchione