Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oprah's Calorie Restriction Diet Plan


Dr. Oz says calorie restriction is the number one way doctors say we can extend longevity. "The data that we have in rodents and some larger animals now indicate you can probably extend your life expectancy by up to 50 percent potentially from doing this," he says.

How does a limited diet change how your body ages? Dr. Oz says when you restrict your calories, the body understands that it doesn't have any resources to waste.

"The body gets really efficient," he says. "You turn on this new chemical pathway we never knew existed called the sirtuin pathway. What it tells you is don't make more babies because you don't have the excess abundant energy to do that—just live longer."

The body's cells also benefit when calories are limited. "We don't have toxic waste products coming out of our energy cells," Dr. Oz says. "So we're actually able to get the individual cell lines to live longer."

Many people tout the benefits of a calorie restriction diet, but Dr. Oz says there are some risks.

Without proper research and medical advice, some people may eat the wrong kind of foods and become vitamin deficient. If you chose to get all your calories from burgers or sweets, Dr. Oz says you could develop health problems.

"You wouldn't get the right amount of calcium, so you might develop weakening of your bones," he says. "There are factors we have to take into account."

People who've adopted healthy eating plans that follow the program's principles, however, will see a difference over time. "If we took, and it has been done, people like John, and collect them together and look at how young their heart is or how young their arteries are, they end up turning out, over a couple of years, to get younger…not older," Dr. Oz says. "That's the best evidence to us."

If you eat natural foods and exercise, Dr. Oz says you may be able to extend your life by 20 years…just like that!

To give your cells an extra boost, Dr. Oz suggests a resveratrol supplement.

"The resveratrol chemical, which is in red wine, when it's concentrated in this dose, in laboratory animals, it prolongs life expectancy," he says. "If you're interested in experimenting with this, do some homework on it."

To get the same benefits without a supplement, Dr. Oz says you'd have to drink more red wine than you can handle.

"It raises the big question of, 'Where will the proof be?'" he says. "But we've got to live a long time in order to prove that these kinds of things benefit us."

Antiaging Recipes

Resveratrol can also be found in unsweetened red grape juice and red wine. Grapes also contain a high concentration of the phytochemcial caffeic acid, which has been show to prevent cancer.

Glazed Chicken and Grapes

* 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
* 1 tbsp margarine
* ½ cup seedless grapes
* ¼ cup apple or currant jelly
* 1 tbsp dry sherry or dry white wine
* 1 tsp lemon juice
* 1/8 tsp salt
* 1 tbsp snipped parsley

Rinse chicken and pat dry. In medium skillet cook chicken in hot margarine over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until tender and no pink remains, turning once. Transfer chicken to individual plate, reserve drippings in skillet. Cover chicken to keep warm. Cut grapes in half, set aside. For glaze, add apple or currant jelly, dry sherry or white wine, lemon juice, and salt to skillet with reserve drippings. Cook and stir until jelly is melted. Stir in grapes and parsley. Heat through. Spoon glaze over chicken. Makes 2 servings.

Red grapes may inhibit blood vessel growth. If a cell becomes damaged and begins to divide rapidly to form a tumor, it has to be stopped from building a blood supply and invading surrounding tissue, a process called angiogenesis. Grapes are rich in an antioxidant called resveratrol, which may inhibit blood vessel growth.


A recipe for a summery beverage that may offer a nutritional double whammy. It includes wine and fruits rich in vitamins and minerals.

2 liters of red wine (any house red will do)
1 12-oz. can of frozen lemonade
8 oz. of pineapple chunks
2 peaches or nectarine cut into chunks
2 pears cut into chunks
2 bananas cut into chunks
2 large oranges, cut into thin slices
juice squeezed from two more oranges
1 lemon cut into thin slices
cinnamon to taste
optional garnish: lemon peel

Mix the ingredients together in a large jar or pitcher and let the flavors meld at least 3 hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge. Serve with a spoon for all those fruity chunks.

"Sangria needs to be served very cold," NĂºria emphasizes. And for "a touch of glamour," she says, "put a long thin curl of a lemon’s peel into the glass, leaving a little hanging over the top."

Benefits and drawbacks of the calorie restriction diet plan

Advocates of calorie restriction claim they feel younger and have increased energy. But with the majority of Americans consuming far too many calories and nutrient deficient foods, are there risks to making such a dramatic lifestyle change?

Potential Benefits:

  • Extended Longevity - calorie restriction dieters claim to feel decades younger and plan to live much longer than the average person
  • Improved efficiency - according to Dr. Oz, the body becomes better at using all available resources when excess calories are not available.
  • Decreased disease risk factors - losing excess weight often leads to decreases in risk factors such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high blood cholesterol and diabetes.
  • Focus on healthy foods - calorie restriction depends on consuming nutrient dense foods. Examples include fruits, vegetables and nuts. Someone restricting calories may begin consuming healthier foods.

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Nutrient deficiency - since the majority of available foods aren't nutrient dense, restricting calories and maintaining health is difficult. Calorie restriction could lead to deficiences in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
  • Eating disorder tendencies - many who practice calorie restriction are very regimented about counting calories and limiting what they eat. This type of behavior has the potential to cause obsessive behavior similar to those with anorexia and bulimia.
  • Loss of lean muscle - since there are fewer calories immediately available for energy, the body will look to other sources for energy. This could lead to lean muscle depletion.

If you are considering The Calorie Restriction Diet, proceed with caution. Those who make this lifestyle change must be diligent with purchasing, preparing and consuming food. The weight loss associated with this diet is often dramatic and may result in a person becoming underweight.