A while back New Scientist magazine announced research that showed how fasting can be a route to a longer lifespan. Eating less is apparently very good for us.
Now there’s another piece of research showing that eating less may also extend your ‘health span’ – the amount of time you spend healthy, hearty and hale.
It’s exciting news when we’re living longer than ever but often suffer very poor physical and mental health in old age. And it’s good news for your pocket too.
Some creatures extend their lifespans by eating less. But according to a team of scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, mice engineered to create higher levels of a hormone called FGF21 experienced a lifespan a third longer than ordinary mice. And they didn’t eat any less than normal.
Humans produce the FGF21 hormone too. Apparently FGF21 might prolong life in various ways including via the insulin-like growth factors thought to be involved in ageing. Because it also blocks the growth hormones associated with cancers and metabolic diseases, the engineered mice live longer and healthier lives.
What about you – could you handle eating less?
It’s great to know that not eating much doesn’t do you any harm. I’d find fasting pretty easy. I do it already… sort of. I can’t eat breakfast – I’m just not hungry at that time of day – and by lunchtime I’m too deep in work to bother with food. I usually eat one meal a day, at around half six. My husband is the same – food is just fuel – but I imagine it’s much harder for food lovers to cut out meals.
Tips for eating less
Here are a few tips for eating less, saving cash, living longer and perhaps even enjoying a healthier life:
- fast for one day a week
- cut out one meal a day
- eat less each meal
- buy smaller plates to trick yourself into getting used to smaller portions
- eat slowly to give your “I’m full” signals time to work properly
What about you?
Could you cut down on your food intake without batting an eyelid or would you struggle? Do you have any tips for eating less?