There is currently a diet style that mimics fasting, which has been shown to slow down the aging process. Think back to our ancestors, and we’re saying way back. Those people didn’t have food readily available to them at all times, so they would go through periods of “fasting” until their next meal.
Well, this idea of fasting for a period of time is being heavily researched and the findings may aid in anti-aging.
Five-day fasting slows down aging: Study
Researchers at the University of Southern California put cycles of fasting to the test in terms of its effect on anti-aging. Typically, fasting involves not eating, but for this study the researchers simply limited calories and increased them over the course of five days.
The original research was conducted on mice as mice typically have a short lifespan. The researchers noted that over the course of four days of high calories and low calories conducted bimonthly the lives of the mice were extended. The human trials saw similar results.
Nineteen volunteers were allowed to consume whatever food they wanted for 25 days of each month. For the remaining five days they cycled between 1,090 calories on day one and 725 calories between days two and five. After three months of this style of dieting, researchers found biomarkers linked to aging, diabetes and heart disease were reduced. Biomarkers are a substance in an organism that indicates the onset of disease or infection.
But why does the fasting diet work to prevent aging?
Researchers propose that by dieting this way hormones in the body that encourage growth get cut in half, which in turn slows down aging.
Researchers from the study believe that this style of dieting is easy for people to embark on because they are not completely cutting out food for days on end. It still allows people to enjoy what they like the remaining days in a month. Furthermore, this anti-aging diet doesn’t need to be done every month. The researchers suggest it can be completed every three to six months, depending on the weight and abdominal circumference of the individual. Basically, there is no need for lifelong dieting with the fasting diet.
How to do the five-day fasting diet
So what exactly is involved in five-day fasting? Well, as mentioned, for the first day you can enjoy up to 1,090 calories. This consists of 10 percent protein, 56 percent fat and 34 percent carbohydrates.
On days two to five you restrict your calories down to 725. Protein now becomes nine percent of your diet, fat makes up 44 percent and carbohydrates are 47 percent.
Please note: Even though for the remaining 25 days you’re technically allowed any food item you wish, healthy eating should always be practiced. There’s no sense in stocking up on processed foods and unhealthy options. Even though the fasting diet may reduce biomarkers or illness, 25 days is still enough time to cause some damage to your health.
If you think you can embark on the fasting diet for its anti-aging properties, always remember to speak with a doctor. Personal medical conditions may prevent you from eating this way.
Other means of slowing down aging
Besides a healthy diet, some other means of slowing down aging include physical activity, reducing stress, not smoking, moderating alcohol intake, protecting yourself from the sun and having close social ties. These are all effective steps to promote good health and can lead to a longer life.
Although science may have revealed a way to slow down aging, remembering to enjoy good things in moderation is also key for promoting a long life.