If interested in enjoying a long, healthy life, you should learn about one of the most incredible “anti-aging” discoveries ever. It was reported in the famous 1935 Cornell Calorie Restriction Study. In that year, rats fed a calorie restricted diet achieved radically-extended mean and maximum life spans, along with a delayed onset of age-related diseases. Since this finding was published 79 years ago, dozens of experiments on humans and mammals have validated that reducing the number of ingested calories—while maintaining healthy intake of essential nutrients—triggers a cascade of anti-aging mechanisms in the body extending life up to 50% longer!
This, in a simplified summary, is how CR works. The body responds to the low-level stress produced by lower food intake by reducing the rate of cell growth while preserving irreplaceable cells. Spurred by activation of a family of vital youth genes, the natural reaction in response to calorie restriction triggers an array of incredible biological benefits including:
1) Weight loss
2) Reduced risk of heart disease
3) Deep, restful sleep
4) Increased energy levels
5) Decreased cholesterol
6) Decreased triglycerides
7) Improved immune system
8) Lowered blood glucose levels
9) Decreased blood pressure and heart rate
10) Inhibited cell mutation which provides cancer protection
11) Decreased inflammation which wards off arthritis, wrinkles and diseases of aging
12) Activated brain-alertness chemicals which improves concentration and mood
13) Creates a more youthful physiology which translate into feeling and looking younger than your biological age
14) Up-regulates genes that suppress cancer and down-regulates genes that permit cancers to form or spread
15) Prevents cancer cell reproduction and proliferation, while inhibiting the blood vessel growth cancer cells require to develop and metastasize.
Fast forward from 1935 to 2014, Joe Cordell is a living testimony of someone who has found the fountain of youth through calorie restriction (CR). Researchers say that at age 51, he has the body of a 20 year old athlete. Dr. Mehmet Oz featured Joe in an expose on “Living Longer with a CR Diet”. Dr. Oz states, “It might be possible for some people to live to see their 120th birthdays.” He goes on to say, “I’m talking about very specifically allowing us to go into our second century of life with the vitality and the bounciness that you have when you’re a young person.” Learn more from Dr. Oz and Joe in this article, “The Benefits of Calorie Restriction”.
David Murdock is an amazing 90 year old who does 50 push-ups without a break, jogs, has the blood pressure of a teenager and doesn’t take one pharmaceutical drug! His goal: to live to be 125! See Oprah’s interview in this video: David Murdock’s Diet and Fitness Routine. In over 100 hours of research for this series on CR, I found many, many examples of men and women who live healthy, active, virile lives into their 90’s and past 100 using a CR diet. Scientific evidence and testimonies presented in this blog such as David’s and Joe’s should give you hope that you can live long and thrive.
Once again, Okinawans have beat science to the punch! This is one more reason why I have modeled my extended series on “living longer and thriving” on the Okinawan Way. For centuries the Okinawans have practiced what they call “Hara Hachi Bu” which means that they eat until 80% full. That’s probably one of the reasons why you will never see a fat Okinawan who follows the “Traditional Ways”. In our society, most of us eat too much and too many of the wrong foods which leads to weight gain. And weight gain leads to metabolic syndrome which leads to all kinds of diseases including cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
This is the first of a series on the benefits and implementation of a calorie restricted diet. It forms the “5th Pillar of the Traditional Okinawan Way”. Subsequent posts will discuss ways to implement a CR diet, precautions, other methods that mimic many of the same benefits of CR, and scientific studies supporting CR. In fact, in a very exciting Harvard Medical School study, the “genetic switch” responsible for slowing the aging process that Joe Cordell spoke of is revealed! I will share more on this landmark, breakthrough study in the next post.
Since I want you to stick with me through this series, you need to know that calorie restriction does not mean starving yourself. As a matter of fact, you can eat a lot of food! It simply means eating nutritionally dense foods that contain fewer calories like selected vegetables and fruits while, in some cases, adding nutritional supplementation. I will share how to implement a CR diet in the 3rd post of this series. But before that, I thought you’d want to be convinced that changing to a CR diet is scientifically proven. So, we’ll take up the “scientific evidence” in our next post in a couple days. See you then!