Caloric Restriction (CR) is a dietary regime based on healthy but reduced calorie intake. It is about eating less, while still getting adequate levels of essential nutrients (i.e. proteins, minerals, and vitamins).
Several studies on various animals have shown that caloric restriction improves lifespan. In one 1934 Cornell University experiment, laboratory rats that had a severely reduced calorie diet (while maintaining micronutrients levels) lived up to twice as long as rats with normal diets. The calorie-reduced rats also had more youthful appearances and more delays in age-related illnesses. Since this experiment, other studies have shown caloric restriction diets to give similar health benefits to dogs, fish, rodents, and monkeys.
Because it would be expensive to run longitudinal studies and restrict diets for humans in well controlled environments for several years, the long-term effects of caloric restrictions on human diets aren’t conclusive scientifically speaking. However, studies comparing CR practitioners to normal population show several trends including: lower BMIs, lower rates of cardiovascular aging, healthier blood pressure, reduced risk of diabetes, as well as a plethora of other good health indicators. It has also been shown to improve memory.
A diet, or better yet, a life style that’s worth trying should be based on Caloric Restriction. So, may I recommend that we all start eating 10% less that we average currently. Don’t compromise on the quality of the nutrients and vitamins. Rather, let us be intentional and methodical in reducing the copious amounts of food that we consume on a regular basis.