What cutting calories does to your skin and hair

Do some people just naturally age better than others, or is there a secret to looking younger, longer?

New research from the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil may just hold the answer.

So, hold off on those chemical-laden anti-aging creams and skip the painful injections of Botox and fillers and try this instead…

Eat 40 percent less.

That’s right, the secret to younger-looking skin and thicker hair could be as easy as restricting the number of calories you consume each day.

Let’s take a look at why.

Not just for weight loss anymore

Caloric restriction diets have been associated with various health benefits, including weight loss and lower cholesterol, fasting glucose and blood pressure but their effects on the skin had not been previously studied.

So, the researchers at USP set out to find answers.

The experiment involved two groups of mice and lasted six months. In one of the groups, the mice were allowed to eat as much as they wanted at all times and became obese. The other group was fed a diet with only 60% of the calories consumed by the non-restricted group on average.

After six months, the body mass of the mice fed a caloric restriction (CR) diet was 40% lower than that of the mice fed an unrestricted diet.

Not only did the mice on the CR diet gain less weight, as the fat that helps keep the body warm diminished in the CR mice, fur growth was stimulated to keep their bodies warm. After six months, their fur was more uniform, thicker and longer.

Skin vascularization in the CR mice also changed. Compared with the obese group, the CR diet group had three times more blood vessels in their skin. This change increased blood flow to skin cells. Moreover, skin cell metabolism exhibited differences between the groups.

On the other hand, signs of premature skin aging appeared in the overweight mice.

According to the researchers, “The change in vasoconstriction helped the slimmer mice stay warm, and their skin also remained young.”

Put CR to work for you

The goal of a CR diet is to replace calorie-dense foods with calorie-sparse, nutrient-dense foods to ensure that the foods in your diet provide sufficient nutrition to avoid malnutrition once you begin to restrict them.

Points to remember include:

  • Avoid simple sugars and flours – Sugars and flours generally contain very little nutrition for their calorie content. They also have high glycemic indices, which means that your body absorbs them quickly, leaving you wanting more a short time later.
  • Eat both green leafy (salad) and other vegetables – Vegetables, both green leafy vegetables and non-leaf vegetables, contain the highest content of a wide variety of nutrients for their calorie content. By volume (and often by calories), vegetables are the major component of many calorie restricted but not nutrient deficient diets.
  • Don’t forget the protein – Make sure your protein intake is sufficient, but not overly abundant.
  • Choose high-quality fats – Fats are necessary to your health. Choose high-quality sources like avocadoes, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.

Sources:

  1. Calorie restricted diet — ScienceDaily
  2. Less fat, more hair and younger skin: Study in mice shows benefits from calorie-restricted diet — Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo
  3. What is Calorie Restriction (CR)? — CR Society International

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Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.