Eat Less to Live Longer?

Is it possible to live a good deal longer by eating a good deal less? Proponents of a strict dietary regimen called calorie restriction (CR) claim that it can extend your life and prevent diseases associated with aging. The diet consists of eating a very low-calorie but nutritionally balanced diet that meets 100% of vitamin, mineral, protein and essential fat needs. But can such a lifestyle, which means a dramatic change in eating habits for most Americans, be the "fountain of youth" its followers claim?

The Science Behind Calorie Restriction

CR gained momentum in the 1930s after studies on mice showed that reducing their normal food intake by about 40% increased their maximum life span by 30% to 40%. Since then, research on worms and monkeys has shown that CR works in other species.

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