Faking a Fast: how a low-calorie diet can trick your body into healthy aging

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The Dilemma: Low-Calorie Diets are Hard to Stick To

Many of us know that eating fewer calories can help us live longer, healthier lives. But let’s be honest: cutting calories is tough, and doing it for a long time can make you feel miserable.

Plus, it can even lead to health problems like fatigue, constipation, and nausea. So what’s the solution? Scientists think they may have found a clever way to get the benefits of a low-calorie diet without all the downsides.

A “Fasting-Mimicking” Diet: The Best of Both Worlds?

Researchers from the University of Southern California tried something new. They developed a diet that makes your body think it’s fasting, even though you’re still eating.

This “fasting-mimicking” diet is low in calories, sugars, and proteins, but it’s rich in good fats.

The diet tricks your body into a “sweet spot,” where you can enjoy the health benefits of fasting without actually going without food.

Here’s how it works: You eat around 500-600 calories for two days, then eat normally for the next five days. It’s like the popular 5:2 fasting diet, but a bit easier to follow.

The researchers then studied how this diet impacted people over three months, comparing them to folks who ate whatever they wanted. The results were encouraging.

People following the fasting-mimicking diet lost weight, had lower blood pressure, and even saw improvements in markers that often indicate future health problems, like blood sugar levels and bad cholesterol.

What’s Next: Still Some Questions to Answer

The early findings are promising: this diet seems to lower risks for all kinds of health problems as we age, from heart disease to diabetes. But there’s still a lot to figure out.

The scientists need to do more research to see if the diet works long-term, especially for people who already have health issues like high blood pressure or obesity.

The study was led by Valter D Longo and his team, and it’s already creating a lot of buzz in the world of nutrition science.

However, while we wait for more details, this diet could be a more comfortable alternative for those who find it difficult to stick to a low-calorie plan.

Bonus Nutrition Tips

If you’re interested in nutrition, keep an eye on other research too. Studies have shown that whole grains can add years to your life and that vitamin D supplements might reduce cancer risks.

Plus, natural coconut sugar could help lower blood pressure, and an anti-inflammatory diet might help prevent liver problems.

In a nutshell, what you eat plays a massive role in how well and how long you live. The fasting-mimicking diet is just another tool in the toolbox, offering a potentially easier way to enjoy the benefits of a low-calorie lifestyle.

So if the idea of long-term calorie counting has you feeling down, this might be a way to cheat the system—for your health, of course!

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