Pleading Guilty to the Turkey
November 07, 2012
I don’t know about you, but I can smell that turkey already! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays—after Halloween and Christmas (you really can’t beat getting free candy, dressing up, and getting presents, but after those two holidays Thanksgiving is king). I love the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, but after a good meal, I usually feel a little guilty about how much I ate—especially as my eating in general tends to increase around the holidays, not just on the holidays themselves. Now, I've never cared for biology, but I know that the less I put into my body, as it continues to burn at its regular rate for a while until it so decidedly decides to conserve calories, the more weight I’ll lose, which is the main goal for most of us after the holidays. But is it really worth it?
The media sure likes to tell us that if we only restrict how much we eat, our calorie intake, we can reach that fabulous body for the beach vacation time. However, recent studies show that restricting your diet, while it can possibly get you to that so-called "beach body," may not help lengthen your life, as the media and scientists once believed. Studies of rhesus monkeys shows that calorie restricted diets don’t do much to lengthen the life span of animals that already have longer lives. The studies on worms, spiders, fruit flies, fish, and rodents on a CR diet revealed a 30% longer life span than the subjects that were able to eat freely. Now that it’s been seen that CR diets don’t really help the longer lived species such as the monkey, and most likely us, we should probably reconsider our options.
However, there was a similar study in Wisconsin University where the monkeys studied did show that the CR diet lead to a longer lifespan.The fact that the monkeys were allowed to eat as much as they wanted might have thrown off their results to show a lifespan extention. Also, they ate up to seven times more table sugar than the monkeys int he NIA study (National Institute of Aging). So, maybe, it’s not necessarily the amount that’s the big issue but just WHAT we put into our bodies that matters most. Of course, eating 4,000 calories a day and not doing anything to use up those calories probably won’t be good for a body, but I think it’s more the quality of the things consumed that is the bigger issue for us longer-lifespan creatures.
Or, you could just do what I do on Thanksgiving and run a 5k race before the meal. Then you don’t have to feel as guilty about eating a whole pumpkin pie on your own.
As Spock says, "Live long and prosper."