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Pathway to Healthier, Longer Living: Check Your Caloric Load

Pathway to Healthier, Longer Living: Check Your Caloric LoadRecent studies show that the amount of calories you consume may be a serious marker as per your future health and life. It may pay you to cut down on the numbers, experts say. In the near future those who did not strictly adhere to this will find themselves looking like fish out of water. A guy may be ‘toasting’ a lady who is almost two decades older than him and still thinking he is the older, and vice versa.

 Julie Mattison is an expert on ageing, working with the National institute on Ageing (NIA) in the United States. In the future she foresees a time where chronological age would be markedly separated from biological age. Both will run at different timers, and old age or elderly will then mean a different thing from what you know of it.

This might seem improbable but modern science and medicine has made great advances in this direction already so natural healthy living is not really a mirage. A health study carried out in the US in 2014 showed that 16% of people aged between 50 and 64 were encumbered on a daily basis with chronic illness. About 30 years before then the rate was like 23%. The truth is that especially in advanced modern societies where the basic things of life are not really their primary focus and worry, lifespan generally has increased just as health markers have improved tremendously too. You could as well say that indeed, life is being ‘added to years’ even as years are being ‘added to life’.

There is what to do therefore to improve the length and quality of your life. Many scientists are looking in many directions to achieving this, but for Mattison and his team there could only be one way – simply change your diet. They say the route to a more rewarding old age may be just to reduce the quantity of food you take at each serving through a method referred to as “calorie restriction”. This they say is even more important than merely cutting down on the fatty foods each time. It enables you achieve a slowly but careful lasting reductions in food quantity.

Laboratory studies done with specimens such as worms, flies, rats, mice, and monkeys since the early 1930s show that a 30 percent decrease in the quantity of foods consumed have been associated with longer lives. Therefore humans stand to also gain from calorie restriction just as animals.

It is also born out of native intelligence that what you eat sways the way your health eventually turns out. From centuries back this was alluded to by the father of modern medicine – Hippocrates when he also made the claim that diseases came from natural causes and nothing mystical or paranormal as many Nigerians today are wont to believe. He also noted that many sicknesses were traceable to gluttony (over-feeding); he observed documented that Greeks who were overweight seemed to die younger than slim Greeks.

Further corroborating these assertions, from a study published in Nature Communications, scientists working at the University of Wisconson – Madison and the National Institute on Ageing, reported recently that Chronic calorie restriction produces great health gains in rhesus monkeys – a primate with ageing patterns similar to humans. This shows clearly according to the authors, “that CR mechanisms are likely translatable to human health.”

They describe a monkey used for the research – beginning with 30 percent calorie restriction diet when it was 16 years old as last middle age for its type of species. The monkey later at 43 years was said to have achieved a longevity record for its type, with the equivalent for humans being like 130 years!


Morgan Nwanguma


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