It almost seemed too good to be true: eating less could double lifespan – at least in lab rats, mice, fruit flies, and yeast. That’s what researchers discovered back in the 1930’s when they restricted test subject’s caloric intake by 10% to 40%.
This spawned a growing movement (and subsequent studies) seeking to improve health and extend lifespan by limiting food. A new diet book was even published (surprise, surprise) in 2005 titled, The Longevity Diet.
But recent research reveals that, what seems too good to be true… actually is. Two long-standing studies conducted on primates (the species most resembling us humans and thus good for inferring results from) concluded that while eating less can make you healthier, sadly it won’t help you live longer.
This contrasts what was initially believed to be the case. By 2009, 80% of the free-fed monkeys had died in one of the studies, whereas 50% of the calorie-restricted monkeys were still alive. Again, this led scientists to believe that eating less helps you live longer.
However, the second study showed no such correlation. Furthermore, when the first study was examined more closely, it was found to have a flawed control group. Specifically, those monkeys not only ate more, but their diet consisted of junk food that was high in sugar (28% of calories; not unlike the typical American diet).
So, while these studies have failed to prove that eating less leads to a longer lifespan, they’re not without merit. In fact, the logical conclusion here is that eating less sugar will not only keep you healthier, it will keep you alive much longer.
This is the way of eating I recommend as part of my Cruise Control Diet. To lose the weight, first and foremost, sugar must go. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t indulge from time to time, but it needs to be severely restricted. So, not only will you drop the pounds and be healthier, but as these studies show, you’ll also live longer than your sugar-hoarding counterparts.