Duke University conducted a two-year study of 218 healthy adults of normal weight to determine if a modest, sustained calorie reduction would show appreciable benefits. The plan was to reduce calories consumed by 25 per cent, but participants were unable to achieve that much.
(Author’s note: I sure couldn’t do it! A 25% reduction in my 2,000 daily calories would leave me staggering around at only 1,500 per day.)
Participants were able, however, to cut calories by an average of about 12 per cent. This smaller change allowed them to stick to the plan without any adverse effect on mood (wherein lies a useful message in itself). The results? Lowered blood pressure; decreased insulin resistance; as well as a drop in several predictors of cardiovascular disease.
But the most appreciable result concerned C-reactive protein, a substance produced by the liver and a marker of inflammation in the body. The participants’ C-reactive levels plunged by almost half: a remarkable 47%!
It’s a no brainer that poor dietary habits would exacerbate internal inflammation. But very often this is an invisible menace (see my article ‘The Truth About Inflammation’, October 2015). Most of us remain blissfully unaware of any chronic inflammation cascading throughout our bodies. Yet this exposes us to chronic health risks as a result of knocking the body out of whack. In my case, I had the aforesaid silent inflammation and observable inflammation, which I felt in my poor old joints. And I am pretty convinced that chronic inflammation was one factor in my developing cancer.
An elevated C-reactive protein level can be a valid identifier of inflammation in the body. So, if just a 12% calorie restriction can reduce this marker by almost 50%, this is as good information as that available to an insider trader.
In the blindness of youth, so many of us can compromise our health in a mad dash for wealth. But from the other end of the lifespan, a good many seniors would gladly sacrifice some wealth for even a smidgen of better health. Those who don’t make time for their health early on in life more often have to make time for illness later.
5 ways to improve your physical health
So, if you are young, young at heart, worried that you are no longer young, here is some insider information. Five smart, little investments you can make, the aggregate interest of which, over time, will have compound into positive health returns. Continue Reading…