New Study Finds That Eating Just A Little Less May Have Big Health Benefits

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What would happen if you cut your daily food intake by just 15 percent? According to a new study published in Cell Press, quite a lot. The study took a careful look at exactly what happened when a group of healthy, non-obese adults cut 15 percent of their daily food intake over a two-year period.

By the end of the study, which was the first randomized controlled trial on the metabolic impact of food restriction conducted on non-obese humans, researchers found that participants lost an average of almost 20 pounds over that time period without any adverse health effects, like period loss, anemia, or bone density loss. Participants also saw a decrease in systemic oxidative stress, thus decreasing the risk of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cancer, diabetes, and more.

"Restricting calories can slow your basal metabolism, and if by-products of metabolism accelerate aging processes, calorie restriction sustained over several years may help to decrease risk for chronic disease and prolong life," lead study author Leanne M. Redman, associate professor of clinical sciences at Pennington Biomedical Research in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, explained.

This isn't the first time food restriction has been studied as a mode of preventing the adverse effects of aging. One of the reasons intermittent fasting is so popular, for example, is because it typically leads to a lower food intake level overall, which has been shown to increase life span. "When you fast, it gives your cells the ability to detox and recycle, so your body can slow down aging and even prevent age-related diseases," explains celebrity nutritionist and mbg class instructor JJ Virgin.

So what's the harm in eliminating few snacks here and there? It might just save your life.

Want more ideas for how to slow down the aging process? Here's what your food choices have to do with that.

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