Eating fewer calories slows muscle aging: study Last Updated Wed, 05 Jul 2006 17:39:40 EDT

A sparse diet helps rats maintain strong, healthy muscles well past middle age, Canadian
researchers say. We want to discuss this idea of longevity and eating. The only way scientific study has ever proven longevity or increased activity is by decreasing caloric intake eating "nutrient rich" calories, where despite less calories, there was complete nutritional adequacy.

Meaning, even though less calories were taken in, because the calories were Nutrient Rich, the eater was getting all the nutrients they needed to succeed and be satisfied.

Russ Hepple (CBC) Elderly rats fed a nutrient-rich but restricted diet were able to keep
up with much younger rodents, physiologist Russ Hepple and his colleagues at the University
of Calgary’s kinesiology department found. This makes perfect sense. If your body is getting all the nutrients it needs, essential fat, health promoting protein, real food carbohydrates, water, fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, and in a package that has less calories, your body get’s more for less expenditure of energy, and less burden on the metabolism to process higher calorie foods. This is naturally going to have a less wear and tear effect, promote health and greater longevity.

Metabolism encompasses all the physical and chemical processes occurring within a living organism that are necessary for the maintenance of life. If you are costing your metabolism less energy, putting in less waste, and giving it more of what it needs to run efficiently you are going to be able to be more active and live longer.

"If you can think of an 80-year-old still being able to go out and have as active a lifestyle as someone in their early 20s, when they’re considered largely to be in the prime of their life, I think that’s a very attractive thought," Hepple said.

One group of rats had their calories cut by 40 per cent, while a second group ate normally
for the three-year study. Whenever the subject of calorie restriction comes up I think to myself, these authors are bad marketers. Does anyone want to eat a calorie restricted diet? There is actually a whole society called the CR Society of some really smart people.

The Calorie Restriction Society was inspired by the author Roy Walford who wrote one of the first books on the subject of the Nutrient Rich calorie – The Anti Aging Plan. Dr Walford was the founder of Biosphere I and Biosphere II. It is a very good read.

The reality is, it’s EASY to eat 40% less calories when you eat Nutrient Rich. The CR’s refer to 1800 calorie diets as if that was eating sparsely. Calorie restriction should really be called eating when you’re hungry. If you actually ate when you were hungry and were eating the most Nutrient Rich or "nurient dense" foods, you would get lots and lots of food for 1800 calories.

The South Beach diet advocates diets that have less calories than that and those diets are mostly nutrient poor foods. Now you know why dieters are so hungry.

Decreasing the visible signs of aging, increase levels of activity and getting more nutrients for less cost is simple ONLY when you eat Nutrient Rich Foods.

Mimicking benefits of low-calorie diet

The team doesn’t suggest humans should severely cut back on what we eat. For the average
active person, a similar diet  would be drastic and possibly destructive to muscle,
especially if the calories come from protein. When eating Nutrient Rich food, you don’t have to purposely cut back on calories. Your body will do that for you, since you’ll have less of a need for constant consumption when eating Nutrient Rich. It’s only when you eat nutrient poor food,that you have to purposely cut back on eating, so as not to overeat; stress notwithstanding.  

Excessive stress can cause people to overeat, even when eating Nutrient Rich.

"The body will borrow protein from its muscles – heart, liver, kidneys etc. – to make up
the deficit," said exercise physiologist Lee Coyne. This is only when you are drastically reducing calories and are not supporting energy needs, very few people will ever do that, or ever be in a position where starvation like that is achieved; certainly not in developed nations, where Nutrient Rich food is so abundant.

Elderly rats fed fewer calories were able to keep up with the speed of younger rats. (CBC) The scientists hope the research will lead to ways to mimic the effects of limiting calories to reap health benefits without limiting what we put on our plates. Why hope? Start eating Nutrient Rich today, the solution exists right now!

As for the immediate implications, Hepple said: "Probably get regular activity, and don’t eat too much. I mean it sounds so simple and boring, but that happens to be true, and sometimes truth is like that." Learn how to eat a Nutrient Rich diet, and increase your activity levels and you can get on with your life free of diet, weight and long term health issues.

The study will be published in this week’s Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences.

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