One feature of modern society is the prevalence of obesity. As societies become more developed, the inhabitants tend to gain more weight. As a result, more and more people acquire the need to lose some weight and the way to do that is to go on a diet.
Dieting is the practice of regulating your food intake to control your body weight. Dieting is most often used to lose weight, but can also be used to maintain or gain weight. In addition, physical exercise is often used to supplement a diet.
With dieting is in high demand, there are many varieties out there. One of the more interesting ones is the CRON diet. Not only can it help you lose weight, it can help you live longer and look younger. At least, that is what some people claim.
What is the CRON diet, longevity diet or anti-aging plan?
Due to the enormous need among the public, a wide variety of diets have appeared. One of these is known as the Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition (CRON) diet, also known under several other names such as the longevity diet and the anti-aging Plan.
Regardless of what name is used, the CRON diet is a type of diet involving calorie restriction without malnutrition to yield a number of health benefits. It advocates eating certain types of foods which are high in nutrients, but also low in calories. It varies from person to person, but most people will need to eat less in practice than what they're used to.
Depending on several factors, such as an individual's body fat content, the amount of calories per day is reduced by about 20 to 35 percent. Consumption allowed could be around 1800 calories, which is significantly less than what most adults usually have on an average day.
What sets the CRON diet apart from other types of diets?
The CRON diet is notable for its objectives. Like other forms of calorie restriction, for instance fasting, the CRON diet offers various health benefits such as improved memory. However, unlike other diets, the CRON diet is more than just about losing or controlling weight. On the contrary, it actually goes much further.
The CRON diet is not so much about losing weight, but about slowing down the aging process in humans. The CRON diet is not supposed to be a temporary measure like other diets, but a permanent change. It is more like a different lifestyle that people need to adopt. To continue reaping the benefits, someone must follow the CRON diet without stopping.
By slowing down the aging process, the CRON diet promises that you will look younger, live longer and healthier. These are of course highly desirable objectives, which explains why the CRON diet is so fascinating to some people.
What's the difference between fasting and the CRON diet?
Both fasting and the CRON diet employ calorie restriction, but the difference between the two is that the former is usually intermittent for a selected time period and has different objectives. Fasting does not seek longer life, but looks to improve people's health for which there is much more solid evidence than longer life. Fasting can also be done for religious reasons.
Fasting may be a better alternative than the CRON diet because of its temporary nature and less ambitious goals. Fasting can yield health benefits such as reduced insulin levels and reduced blood pressure. On the other hand, the CRON diet is more of a permanent or constant form of fasting with different primary objectives.
Is the CRON diet proven or just a theory?
The CRON diet is based on some medical studies that have shown since the 1930s that restricting the amount of calories allowed can slow the aging process in some animals. These experiments, conducted several times on animal species such as rodents, have resulted in a longer lifespan and increased health.
In the case of rodents, average lifespan was increased by about a third using calorie restriction. The rodents involved seemed to suffer less from adverse health conditions that would normally be expected from animals at such an age.
However, while calorie restriction may yield health benefits to certain types of animals, there is no conclusive evidence that these benefits also apply to humans as the CRON diet says. Medical research is still being conducted, but it's hard to prove that calorie restriction leads to longer life for humans.
While there are some medical studies that suggest calorie restriction leads to an increased lifespan, there are other medical studies with findings that suggest that is not the case. These contradictions can be frustrating, but are common and part of scientific research.
Trying to prove that calorie restriction results in longer life is problematic for several reasons. First, the lifespan of individual people is not uniform, but can vary greatly. People would have to spend a lifetime restricting their eating habits for reliable results, which is very difficult in practice.
Just because some people live for a very long time does not mean that it's thanks to the CRON diet. These people may have grown very old regardless of whether they had adopted the CRON diet or not. One must take into account that there's the possibility that other unforeseen factors may be at work.
That does not mean calorie restriction may not lead to longer life in humans. It just has not yet been proven conclusively at this point. More medical data is needed. As a result, the CRON diet in terms of living longer is more of a theory or a hypothesis than actual proven fact.
Yet despite all of this, the CRON diet and its lofty promises have managed to gain a number of followers all around the world. They believe in the CRON diet and are convinced in what it can do for them. However, there are reasons why that may not be such a good thing.
Can the CRON diet or too much calorie restriction be bad for your health?
The CRON diet can have adverse consequences for someone's health. For example, excessive calorie restriction can lead to malnutrition or even starvation if not properly supervised by a health professional. People can lose muscle mass or weaken their bones, which in turn can lead to other injuries.
Some people may not like the feeling of being hungry all the time. These are some measures that can be used to mitigate these effects, but there is always the possibility that you will often feel hungry if you follow the CRON diet.
Calorie restriction is also not for everyone. Calorie restriction is not suitable for people under the age of 21 who are still growing or pregnant women. In these cases, calorie restriction can interfere with normal physical and mental growth.
People need sufficient amounts of nutrients for growth and the absence or deficiency can result in retarded mental development and other negative health conditions. For an unborn child, this can be especially damaging. Like all types of dieting, the CRON diet needs to be properly evaluated before use with continued supervision by trained professionals.
The CRON diet has a certain appeal, but people should be aware
The CRON diet is certainly one of the more interesting types of dieting. By eating less, the CRON diet promises a longer life, better health and a longer-lasting youthful look. There are very few people who would not want to have these benefits. It's often the reason why some people are attracted to the CRON diet and not because they're interested in losing weight.
However, even though the CRON diet has a tremendous appeal, it's important for people not to be blinded by its promises. The benefits of calorie restriction to humans in terms of aging is not proven. Therefore, the basis of the benefits using the CRON diet is based on assumptions and not scientific fact.
If it were ever proven that calorie restriction does not help with living longer, it would mean that the CRON diet cannot obtain its primary objectives. So even though the CRON diet has a loyal group of followers, they would essentially have wasted their time on something that does not work. That's a risk that may not be acceptable to everyone.
John Tsang (author) on September 21, 2013:
Hi Chuck, thanks for commenting!
Chuck Bluestein from Morristown, AZ, USA on September 20, 2013:
Joel Fuhrman M.D. has an ANDI scale used by Whole Foods markets. ANDI stands for aggregate nutrient density index. It scores foods by dividing the nutrients by calories. The food that is highest on this scale is kale.
Greens are nutritious but very low in calories. They are high in folates that greatly help people to lose weight. Also they have a substance that protects the inner lining of the arteries. You can fast and eat healthy.