With all this discussion of the biochemistry and genetics underlying the increased healthy longevity granted by calorie restriction (CR) to almost all species studied to date, you might be wondering where to find out more about the practice of CR as a practical matter for humans. Fortunately, there is an introduction to calorie restriction as a diet and lifestyle choice at the Longevity Meme:
What is CR? In short, a CR diet aims at reducing your intake of calories to 20-40% less than is typical, while still obtaining all the necessary nutrients and vitamins. ... Calorie restriction ("CR" from here on in) is the only diet that has been proven to extend healthy life span in mammals such as mice and primates. Some studies have shown up to a 40% increase in healthy life span over non-CR test subjects. CR also provides numerous secondary health benefits, such as a far lower risk for most of the degenerative conditions of aging. From what scientists know of the way in which calorie restriction works, and from the results of recent studies like CALERIE, many are confident that it will produce the same secondary healthy benefits in humans. The degree to which CR can extend the maximum healthy human life span is open to debate, but the evidence for at least some healthy life extension is compelling.
Other good short introductions and overviews online include the follow:
- Peter Voss' CRON overview
- Calorie restriction at Wikipedia
- Calorie restriction at InfoAging
- Calorie Restriction Society's CR Guide
These guides and overviews will point you to some of the better books on the subject, such as "Beyond the 120 Year Diet" by the late Roy Walford, or the recent "The Longevity Diet." I wouldn't recommend starting CR without having read at least one of these - calorie restriction is very simple in concept, but managing the practical details and finding a routine you are comfortable with can be a challenge. It's a great deal easier with a map in hand, so to speak.
With this in mind, it's also very helpful to keep up with the various CR bloggers; a selection follows:
Last, but far from least, you should certainly join the Calorie Restriction Society email lists - which are high volume at times, so you might want to consider the digest versions. The society and its yearly conventions are the center of a friendly and supportive community of CR practitioners of all stripes; a good place to take your questions and comments.
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