Shards of Consciousness

Eat Less, Live Longer

Do you want to live longer? Do you want to live healthier? Do you want to decrease your chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, or cancer? There is a way. It's free, and may well save you money.

Sounds like a late night infomercial doesn't it? But it's not. How, you ask, can I achieve these miracles? How can I improve my health while saving money, and live longer, too?

The simple answer - don't eat. It has been known since the 1930s that when animals are maintained on a calorie restricted diet they live longer. They also show a lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and various types of cancer. A recent six month study by Dr. Eric Robinson at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Lousiana shows that these same benefits occur in humans who are on a restricted calorie diet. Two age-related biological markers - core body temperature and fasting insulin level - both showed a decrease. In addition there was a decrease in DNA damage caused by free radicals.

So how much do you need to restrict your caloric intake? In the study one group had a 25 percent reduction in calories. For men this works out to taking in around 2100 calories a day, for woman around 1650 calories a day. The exact amount will depend on your current caloric intake. A second group had a 12.5 percent reduction in calories along with an exercise regimen to give them the equivalent of a 25 percent reduction. The first group showed the most improvement on the biological markers. Animals in which similar research has been done received a 35 - 40 percent reduction in calories.

Until your body adjusts, you will be hungry, but this goes away. You're hungry for the first few weeks, but after that your body adjusts. You won't starve. Better yet, you won't be focused on food.

The way we pursue health care now doesn't work. We are spending more and more on health care, with less and less benefit. Isn't it time to try something different?

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