A Carbohydrate Concentration Regimen that Segregates Protein-Rich Foods into Low-Carb Meals May Represent a More Practical Way to Achieve the Healthspan Benefits Conferred by Calorie Restriction or Alternate-Day Fasting

Calorie restriction and alternate-day fasting boost healthspan and lifespan in rodents and other species, and can promote leanness, but are too rigorous for most people to stick with as a lifestyle. This essay reviews proposed alternative strategies that have the potential to achieve a measure of the same benefits, but with greater practicality. Carbohydrate concentration diets, in which the bulk of the day’s carbohydrate intake is confined to one meal daily, and insulin levels are kept low for most of the day, are likely to be useful in this regard, and are highly practical, since people are allowed to eat three meals daily and consume the foods they like – albeit at specified times of day. The efficacy of this approach can be amplified by excluding protein-rich foods from the high-carbohydrate meal, inasmuch as co-ingestion of protein can markedly boost the insulin response to ingested carbohydrate. Hence, in this strategy, high-carb/low-protein meals are alternated with high-protein/low-carb meals, the intent being to minimize daily insulin secretion. Maintaining lower insulin levels decreases the growth factor activities which drive the aging process and cancer induction, while also promoting the burning of stored or ingested fat.

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