For some time now, the only known means of increasing life expectancy was thought to be a relatively low calorie diet…in other words if you ate like a pig then chances are you will die sooner, no matter the quality of the calories! Ultra- low calorie diets were considered the best way to prolong life expectancy although studies were only in worms and mice…until recently.
Interestingly the same findings were found in primates too, and this is somewhat exciting. The studies reported in Nature Communications found that monkeys benefited from a low calorie diet. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, the researchers advise not to go ahead and commit to a low calorie diet, especially without the input of a Dietitian. Low calorie diets increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies if not compiled properly. Calorie restriction was seen to increase life expectancy in primates over a period of decades.
Should you opt for a low calorie diet…not necessarily, the research is still very much in its infancy, however things are becoming interesting.
Dr Emma Williams of the British Nutrition Foundation suggested perhaps Benjamin Franklin was right when he said:
“To lengthen thy life lessen thy meals”
News Health, (2104). Dieting Monkeys Offer Hope For Long Life. Retrieved 4th April, 2014, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26837211