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A recent study suggests that even healthy, slim adults can improve their heart health by cutting a few calories each day from their diet.
The study, published in the July 2019 edition of The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, found that people who cut just 300 calories a day from their diet over the course of two years reduced inflammation and saw improvements in their blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammation and sugar levels — suggesting that a small change in your calorie intake could reap big benefits for your health and possibly stave off cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
“We weren’t surprised that there were changes,” William Krause, the lead study author and a professor of medicine and cardiology at Duke University, told the New York Times in a recent article. “But the magnitude was rather astounding. In a disease population, there aren’t five drugs in combination that would cause this aggregate of an improvement.”
The study, dubbed CALERIE, followed 218 adults over the course of two years. It was the first clinical trial to examine the effects of a calorie-restricted diet in young or middle-aged adults who were at a normal weight or just slightly overweight.
The average man needs about 2,500 calories a day to maintain his weight and the average woman needs about 2,000 calories a day to maintain her weight.
Participants were divided into two groups — one that did not change their calorie intake and another that was asked to reduce their calorie intake by 25 percent.
Though those in the calorie-restricted group did not meet the original goal, they did cut an average of 300 calories, or 12 percent, from their diet and saw health benefits.
While other studies have shown that a calorie-restricted diet improved the life span of other organisms, Krause said additional study is needed to see the long-term benefits of a calorie- restricted diet. Some have also questioned the sustainability of a calorie-restricted diet given how popular and easily accessible “nutrient poor” foods are.
If you want to try cutting a few calories from your diet, try these tips:
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