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This Eating Habit Can Help You Live Longer, Says New Study

There are several habits that can help extend your life, and according to a recent study.
FACT CHECKED BY Kristen Warfield

If you're aiming to enjoy a long and healthy life, then there are definitely a few things that you can do to increase your chances of being around for as long as possible.

For instance, there are particular life-extending habits that you can make a part of your regular routine as well as foods you can eat to prolong your life. There is also a certain eating habit that can help you live longer: Sticking to a calorie-restricted diet.

In a recent study that was published in the journal Science, more than 200 people who were between 21 and 50 years old took part in what was deemed the Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE) clinical trial.

During the two-year study, it was found "that moderate calorie restriction may benefit human health," while the "trial had already shown a reduction in cardiometabolic risk factors, involving cholesterol levels and blood pressure," per Medical News Today.

"​This study and its findings do not surprise me," Dana Ellis Hunnes, Ph.D., MPH, RD, senior dietitian at UCLA medical center, assistant professor at UCLA Fielding school of public health tells Eat This, Not That!. "There have been many models in animal research (and some in humans) that restricting calories by 20% can reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases (cancer, diabetes) and extend life."

How does a calorie-restricted diet result in these benefits? Hunnes explains that "it has to do with the way IGF1 and insulin are expressed in the body," noting that "lower levels are associated with less inflammation, less cellular proliferation, and longer life (ie. this study)."

"However, with that said, similar goals can be achieved with a plant-based, low-meat diet (at least in animal models that's the case, and likely in humans too, as is likely seen in Blue Zones around the world where there is a much higher than the expected population of people in their 80s, 90s, and 100s)," according to Hunnes.

When it comes to properly incorporating a calorie-restricted diet into your lifestyle, Hunnes tells Eat This, Not That!, "Time-restricted eating—where you eat within certain hours is one way to incorporate a calorie-restricted diet without it feeling/seeming calorie-restricted."

Beyond that, "another good thing to do is a plant-based diet because you can still eat a lot of food (that is whole and natural) without feeling like you are restricting your calories owing to the bulk, fiber, and water contained within the food and the anti-inflammatory properties."

To find out more about how a calorie-restricted diet can benefit your body, be sure to read One Surprising Side Effect of Cutting Calories, New Study Finds.

Desirée O
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more
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