Eat a Lot Less
Slimming down can help prevent disease, and cutting way back on the amount you eat (a strategy called calorie restriction) may even slow the aging process. The results are hard to deny: When rodents eat a very low-calorie diet, few get cancer, and they don’t develop diabetes or obesity. “I think there’s reason to believe this is also the case in humans,” says Eric Ravussin, PhD, a professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In his study, when people cut calories by 25 percent, they had less DNA damage than did those not on the diet. They also had lower fasting insulin levels and body temperature, both of which are linked to longevity. Calorie restriction isn’t easy. You have to eat 25 to 40 percent less than usual. The more you cut, the better, but 25 percent is a good goal. So if you usually consume 1,800 calories a day, you’d have to drop to at least 1,350. The diet is low-sugar and low-fat, and the foods you eat must be nutritional powerhouses. A typical dinner: two ounces of salmon, one broccoli spear and a cup of whole-wheat spaghetti topped with five sun-dried tomatoes, three shiitake mushrooms and 1?2 cup spaghetti sauce.