Low Cal Diet, Good RX?


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — We all know a low-calorie diet can help you lose weight, but could it do even more for your health?

Research shows periodic fasting – eating very little for a couple of days followed by a few days of “normal healthy eating” – improves asthma symptoms and reduces inflammation in the airways. One study found those who ate 300 to 400 calories a day for one week followed by six months of a healthy “Mediterranean diet” reported significant improvements in their health and quality of life.

Animal studies have also shown periodic fasting can protect against the side effects of chemo and make it more effective at killing cancer cells. New research suggests calorie restriction two days a week may also lower the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

It might not be what you eat but how much you don’t eat that counts.

Researchers believe periodic fasting works by increasing the resistance of cells in the brain and body to stress. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines recommend that an adult woman should have 1600-2400 calories a day and a man should have 2,000-3,000 a day. Experts say young children, pregnant women and frail elderly people should avoid calorie-restrictive diets.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, producer; and Jesse Draus, editor and videographer.