The Benefits of Calorie Restriction

The secret of properly eaten live foods is that they restore health and promote longevity. The interesting question is: how do they do this? Let’s start with some of the basic information that has been known for centuries about longevity, as well as the more recent research starting back in the 1930s. Dr. Kenneth Pelletier, as part of his longevity research, studied cultures that had the highest longevity and created the healthiest people, such as in the Vilcabamban region in Ecuador (particularly the Vilcabamban Indians), the Hunzas of West Pakistan, the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, and the Russian people of the Abkhasian region. He found that they ate significantly less total calories, about 50% less than the typical American diet.

Back in the 1930s, Dr. Clive McCay of Cornell University found that he was able to double the lifespan of rats when their food intake was halved. Professor Huxley studied the lifespan of worms, and he found that by periodically underfeeding them, he extended their life-span by nineteen times. Please note that Dr. McCay published his study with rats in the Journal of Nutrition, and he found that the calorie-restricted rats were not only considerably longer-lived, but more healthy and youthful as compared to the control rats. The control rats became weak and feeble, and when they neared the end of their natural lifespan, which is approximately 32 months of age (equal to 95 years in human terms), all of the control rats were dead. However, the calorie-restricted rats were still alive, youthful and vigorous, and the oldest lived 1,456 days, approximately 150 years in human terms.

Calorie restriction is the only thing we know that is able to consistently slow aging in all varieties of animals, including the various mammalian species. Calorie restriction results in extended lifespan and lower blood pressure, reduces destructive antibodies that attack the brain, reduces the loss of certain brain cells, strengthens the immune system, slows the aging process, lowers cholesterol and heart disease risk, reduces muscle oxygen loss and improves muscle function, reduces free radical damage to the body’s tissues, helps stabilize the blood sugar in adult-onset diabetes, and helps the body run at peak metabolic efficiency. Caloric restriction has passed every test as a treatment for aging. In fact, it seems to help every measure of health that we check for longevity.

Although doing double-blind research on humans is difficult, there are many historical cases of health and longevity benefits from undereating. This is not a new finding. For example, Saint Paul the Anchorite lived to be 113 eating only fresh dates and water. Thomas Cairn, born in London in 1588 and who lived to be 207, was another famous undereater. A Mr. Jenkins, born in Yorkshire, England, who lived from 1500 to 1670, ate no breakfast, like Thomas Cairn, and had either raw milk or butter with honey and fruit for lunch and dinner. The French also understood this. The Countess Desmond Catherine lived to be 145 eating only fruit. This information is taken from the work of Dr. Edmond Bordeaux Szekely. One of the most famous undereaters of all time is Luigi Cornaro, who lived from 1464 to 1566. Luigi was a Venetian nobleman, in the Ministry of the Bishop of Padua. By the time he was 40, he had nearly eaten himself to death. He was attended by Doctor Father Benedict, who schooled him in the art of natural living and undereating. Father Benedict had been taught by an Essene from Africa called Constantine, who was teaching the Essene natural ways at the Solano School of Medicine, where Doctor Father Benedict was trained. Luigi survived his overeating and lived to be 102. Once he learned the simple techniques, he simplified his diet to twelve ounces of food and fourteen ounces of fluid per day. He had two simple statements about longevity, which incidentally, he taught to the Pope. They were, “The less I ate, the better I felt,” and “Not to satiate oneself with food is the science of health.” So, this new research that we are looking at is not quite as new as we think it is.

Dr. Stewart Berger in his book Forever Young speaks clearly about working with this anti-aging principle. All of this research shows that a reduction in daily caloric intake, down to about 60% of “the normal American diet,” seemed to create an anti-aging effect. When the different test animals underwent a 40% drop in normal calorie intake, they lived approximately 83% longer. This is approximately 137 years in human terms. Dr. Berger clarified what a 60% level of calories means. For women, who normally need 2,000 calories per day, it is about 1,300. For men, who run around 2,700 calories, it is about 1,650. Dr. Berger extrapolated that if your weight is approximately 20% less than the normal insurance scale weights, you are achieving that caloric restriction effect and, ideally, optimal longevity and well-being.

One of the beneficial effects of eating live food and detoxifying the system is the anti-cancer effect. It is well established that caloric restriction is “pro-apoptotic,” meaning it promotes cell suicide of damaged or cancerous-type cells.


Live foods—a natural way of calorie restriction

Eating live foods is the simplest and most powerful way to achieve a healthful caloric effect, without even having to diet. This is because cooking foods usually results in destroying 50% of the protein, according to the Max Planck Institute, and approximately 60–70% of assimilable vitamins and minerals, up to 96% of the B12, and 100% of enzymes and phytonutrients. In other words, one need only eat approximately half the amount of food and calories on a live-food diet as on a cooked-food diet to get an equivalent amount of vitamins, minerals, protein, and phytonutrients. On a healthy live-food regime one automatically gets the anti-aging calorie-restriction effect without having to diet. On live foods, one normally achieves what I consider a healthy weight. This is the optimum weight for life extension and protection against chronic disease. Periodic fasting, as we have known for centuries, is one of the most powerful ways to extend life and minimize chronic disease. Fasting is an accelerated form of calorie restriction, and its effects go right along with Dr. Spindler’s caloric restriction research findings. The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center is one of the leading (if not the top) spiritual fasting retreat centers in the world. Because we lead group fasting retreats, Shanti (my partner) and I are fasting a total of one month per year on green juices.

These two simple health measures, eating live foods and periodic fasting, create optimal conditions for extending life, avoiding and/or minimizing chronic disease, and optimizing quality of life. This is really a subtle secret of live foods.


For the full article, read Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine, by Dr. Gabriel Cousens