Do we really need to restrict calories? What a terrible thought… it makes me hungry just thinking about that.
A group of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have done some research on calorie restriction as a way to prevent disease and slow aging. The results are that a 30% reduction in calories can do just that. That’s great news except that I like to eat and I know you do to and this sounds like a formula for hunger. Ugh!
Here’s what’s interesting though… there is a protein called IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) which causes growth in children… so it has a great name as well as a great use. We do want children to grow. But too much of this protein in adults increases the risk of developing certain cancers (cancers grow out of control) and causes us to age quickly.
In the research studies they found that calorie restriction did not lower the IGF-1 levels, but protein restriction did. Ohhh, now this is interesting… you and I already know how to restrict protein consumption. (Hint: reduce or eliminate animal foods because they are very high in protein). Restricting protein is a lot easier than restricting calories… I can’t sign up for a diet that keeps me hungry all the time and I’ll bet you can’t either.
As most of us grew up we heard that we needed to be sure to get enough protein and many people still say that. If someone asks you “Where do you get your protein?” just tell them that you’ve checked the foods you eat and they give you more than enough protein. Pass the mashed potatoes, asparagus and corn muffins.
I’m going to continue to…