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Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Reduce calories, live longer

Cutting daily calorie intake by 30 percent may slow down the aging process, have beneficial effects on the brain and result in a longer life span, according to a new 20-year study on rhesus monkeys published in the journal Science. The findings of the study may well be applicable to the humans.

The calorie-restricted monkeys preserved volume in areas of their brain that have been linked to motor control, memory, and problem-solving.

Recent studies show that lighter diets can also keep memory intact in the old age

Delaney is an advocate of calorie-restricted diet. He says he is not starving, despite his low-calorie lifestyle.

He eats a hearty breakfast which includes a large bowl of low-fat granola and fruit, soy milk, nonfat yogurt and a cup of coffee. Delaney admits his 900 calorie breakfast is more than most people consume in the morning, but he then skips lunch, works for 8-9 hours day, eats a high-fiber, vegetarian dinner, keeping his total intake under 2,000 calories a day. An average adult male consumes about 2600 calories a day. As a result, Delaney may live a longer and healthier life than his peers, who consume more calories. The studies in mice, worms and flies have confirmed this finding. The calorie-restricted diet also results in lower risk of some cancers, heart disease and other illnesses associated with aging.

How a calorie-restricted diet helps stave off age-related diseases and extend lifespan is unknown, but controlling calories can help people lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a major risk factor for many diseases. Eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods can also produce important physiological changes in the body, which may lower disease risk.

However everyone does not agree with these findings. Some experts argue that it can lead to a lot of problems such as dizziness and fatigue in the short term. In the long term, there can be nutritional deficiencies, decreases in bone mineral density that can lead to osteoporosis and menstrual irregularities that can lead to infertility. Perhaps a milder version of 5 percent calorie restriction could be tried.

The first step is to get rid of high fat, high sugar foods in the diet and then move on to the quality of diet and make sure there are adequate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy in the diet