NYS Certified Nutritionist

Benefits of Modest Calorie Reduction

It has been known for decades that laboratory animals live longer when their daily caloric intake, not their nutrients, is reduced. To find out if this principle applies to humans, a randomized study was initiated to search for answers.

As reported in Lancet Diabetes Endocrinology, 218 people from 21-50 years of age were either told to eat their usual diets, or to cut their calories by 25%. All subjects in the study were overweight to some degree.

Evaluated after two years, the reduced calorie group had shaved their intake of calories by 12%, or 300 calories a day. This change alone resulted in an average loss of 16 pounds, reductions in LDL [“bad”] cholesterol and triglyceride levels, improved blood pressure readings, and the reduction of CRP [C-reactive protein/inflammation]. Moreover, just by eliminating 300 calories per day, the subjects produced an increase in insulin sensitivity with improved glucose readings, and an elevation in their HDL [“good”] cholesterol levels.

Modest reductions in caloric intake can have a big impact on health, quality of life, and self esteem. This study validates my own theory that deprivation dieting is unnecessary to achieve significant, positive results.

Dateline: Latham, Albany County, New York