The Theory Behind the Diet
The basic idea behind the CRON (Calorie Restriction and Optimal Nutrition) diet is to limit calorie consumption while simultaneously fulfilling all of the body’s nutrients needs. While most people might not immediately see the benefit of such a diet, there is in fact a lot of scientific research that has proven it to be effective at slowing the aging process.
In one research study, perhaps the most dramatic one on the practice of calorie restriction, mice fed a minimum amount of calories while having all their nutrient needs met lived up to twice as long as the control group. Subsequent studies have found that test subjects also retain a youthful appearance much longer, and are also more active for much longer.
Since the 1980s, when research first began on the subject of calorie restriction, there has been a push to discover how calorie restriction leads to slowed aging, and whether it would work in humans too. Because humans live so long, it will be a long time before we can say definitively whether calorie restriction diets actually slow aging in humans, and so researchers try to discover the how it works.
One researcher announced in 2007 that he had discovered a gene responsible for the relationship between calorie restriction and slowed aging, and claimed that based on his research, similar results can be expected in humans. Other researchers have conducted limited human trials, and have shown that many indicators of a body’s age are slowed by a calorie restriction diet. Other theories of how calorie restriction works, such as the theory that free radicals and glycation, both of which contribute to aging, are reduced by calorie restriction also have a great deal of merit.
Ultimately, because calorie restriction has been shown to work in so many other species and because there is some limited evidence to support it working in humans, it is probable that calorie restriction does work for humans.
How the Diet Works
CRON is very much a personalized diet. We all have different nutritional needs, and determing one’s precise calorie needs so that an amount of calories below that number can be consumed is very much an important part of the process. And once that is determined, it takes a fair amount of regimentation and restraint to maintain limits on calories while also maintaining proper nutrient levels.
But if the desire to reap the rewards of such a diet exist, and if the self-control to stick to such a diet exists, the CRON diet may certainly be something that interested people should consider.