Calorie counting can keep your heart young
A study recently published in Aging Cell found that a calorie restrictive diet might keep your heart beating as if it was twenty years younger. We all know that over time a lower calorie intake means less weight accumulating on your body. This weight loss comes with many positive benefits such as a reduced risk of diabetes, lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Each of these diseases is a risk factor for heart disease. Back to the study results.
This study focused primarily on heart rate variability, a measurement of how the heart reacts to the changing needs placed on it. It is well established that a healthy heart is better able to make the necessary adjustments to meet changing conditions of activity and stress. As an example, if after walking up a flight of stairs your pulse rate drops quickly back to its normal rate once you are at the top, then it can be said that your heart is healthier.
The research found that age related heart rate deterioration variability slowed down when the people in the study ate thirty percent fewer calories than the control or normal groups. However, the ideal calorie intake per day is not a universal amount. It depends on the gender, level of physical activity and the size of the individual.
Even though the study found the calorie reductions were beneficial to heart health it cannot be said that such a large reduction in food and drink is easy to do. In fact, it may even be dangerous for some to reduce their calories this much for a long term.
If this study spurs you on to reducing your weight, see your doctor or a registered dietician and get going on it the right way. Your heart will love you for doing so.