Saturday, May 11, 2013

Eat like a Rabbit, Live Forever?

Want to live longer and you're willing to make sacrifices by paring down what you eat?  Join the Calorie Restriction movement.  Various studies, including some led by the researcher, Dr. Roy Walford, have indicated that humans might obtain a longer lifespan by eating fewer calories each day.  And I do mean FEWER.

The primary experiments showing the value of calorie restriction were on rodents, but Dr. Walford (and others) maintain the effect has also been shown to apply to humans.  Support for this assertion can be found here:  You can also get information from the association dedicated to the methods of Calorie Restriction, the CR Society International, which has a conference coming up soon in California:

Don't know about you, but I would LOVE to live longer in good health.  But calorie restriction to the extent required in this model -- well, I don't know.  Too hard for me and, I expect, too hard for many other people.  In my opinion this is an option suited mostly to those with an austere mind and a discipline that's beyond me.  I know because I've tried.

Here's some bare bones info about the diet (this is my summary so take how you will):
  1. no junk food (pretty obvious, eh?)
  2. LOTS and LOTS of salad (I think to do this diet, it would help to be part rabbit!)
  3. eat lots of other non-starchy veggies.  As the CR website says, "By volume (and often by calories), vegetables are the major component of many calorie restricted but not nutrient deficient diets."

Put another way, kinda like being a vegan without getting to claim the hipster label and wear the cool non-leather shoes...

Because you will be restricting calories pretty severely, the diet seems to require you pay serious attention to calculating  and monitoring exactly what nutrients you will take in.

So, this diet falls off my list of "possibles" for 2 reasons:
  1. severe restriction of calories and what you can eat;
  2. lots of work keeping track of exactly what you eat each day and balancing it out with the other things you are eating.

That being said, I think this would probably be a great thing to do and encourage anyone who thinks they can keep up with such a robust program to take it on.  And then you are sure to live forever (without having to become a vampire -- there is no fresh blood on the CR diet!).

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