A new study reveals that, cutting calories can drastically reduce the risk of clogged arteries, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure . High triglyceride levels can lead to atherosclerosis, or clogged arteries, which can be a precursor to heart attack or stroke.
Researchers studied two groups of individuals. The first group consumed a restricted-calorie diet. Participants in this group still tried to maintain proper nutrition by consuming nutrient-dense foods. They followed their restricted diet for three to 15 years. The second group included individuals who followed a normal diet.
Those in the restricted calorie group consumed between 1,100 calories and 1,950 calories per day, depending on their height, weight and gender. Their calories consisted of about 26 percent protein, 28 percent fat, and 46 percent carbohydrates. In contrast, those in the normal diet group consumed between 1,975 calories and 3,550 calories per day, with only 18 percent of their calories from protein, 32 percent from fat, and 50 percent from carbohydrates.
Researchers found individuals in the restricted-calorie group had much lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and much higher HDL (good cholesterol) levels than those who followed a normal diet. Researchers say this finding was surprising because HDL levels typically drop when people follow low-fat diets to lose weight.
Blood pressure scores in the restricted group were also equivalent to those of much younger individuals. The average blood pressure score in the normal diet group was about 130/80. However, those in the calorie-restricted group had an average blood pressure reading of only 100/60. Insulin levels were also as much as 65 percent lower in the calorie-restricted group.
Thus researchers conclude that based on their findings , it has become clear that calorie restriction does have a powerful, protective effect against diseases associated with aging.