Today I forgot my lunch. Typical rush in the morning and being hassled by my kids to get out of the house to start the 25 minute school run in the car.
I had some errands to run today, so late this morning I decided to go to M&S and buy some lunch. As my holiday is fast approaching, and I’m keen to lose a couple more pounds, I decided to go for an under 500 calorie option – harder than you think! After much deliberation and calories counting on the packets, I settled on Sushi for £1, a basic salad with French Dressing for £2 and a Count on Us rhubarb yoghurt for 80p – and all for 270 calories. Result!
At the check out I read the Daily Express front page as I waited – it said that researchers have discovered that eating 40% less food can enable you to live 20 years longer and limit the chances of cancer, dementia and diabetes.
Ironically, when I got to the check-out I was asked by the cashier if I wanted to purchase a packet of Jammie Dodgers that were on offer – a pile had been strategically placed by each till. I politely pointed out that not only had I spent ages finding an exciting low-calorie option for my lunch, but that I had also read the newspaper headlines and Jammie Dodgers were the last thing I needed, on offer or not.
When I got back to the office, I ate my lunch and Googled the Daily Express article written by Jo Willey. Researchers believe that eating fewer calories can slow down the ageing process as well as staving off age-related diseases such as dementia, cancer and Type 2 diabetes. I like the anti-ageing bit!
Scientists at the Institute of Healthy Ageing at University College London have been studying genetics and lifestyle factors, particularly diet, to develop treatments to combat the effects of growing old. So far the research has been carried out in flies, rats and mice. These insects/animals share around 60% of our genetic make up and age in the same way as we do. The research points to an improvement of lifespan by up to 30%, which all adds up to an extra 20 years for us humans.
A second study carried out at Buck Institute for Research on Ageing in America found that dietary restriction in flies caused enhanced fat metabolism in the muscle and increased physical activity, both critical for extending life.
I can’t help thinking that whilst this is good for the human race on the one hand (I think we’d all like to live longer if we can live healthily) it could well add pressure to our already burdened society in terms of resources if people live longer. Would you like to live longer?
If you would like to read more about these studies then click on this link