According to a recent study carried out by Duke University School of Medicine, restricting your caloric intake by just 300 calories a day could significantly improve your cardiovascular health. There are lots of methods for achieving this slight amount of caloric restriction. Intermittent fasting, strict meal prep, selective eating, carb counting, etc. can all help you cut calories out of your diet.
The study was held over a period of two years. Study participants who were on a calorie restricted diet experienced some pretty impressive health benefits. Their blood pressure and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels were both decreased. Some participants saw as much as a 24% drop in triglyceride concentrations. Triglycerides are a type of fat contained inside the blood. If left untreated, triglyceride buildup can harden the arteries or cause the arterial walls to thicken. They can also cause the pancreas to become acutely inflamed.
Calorie Restriction and Heart Health
The study looked at 218 healthy adults ranging between ages 21-50. 143 of the adults were randomly assigned to start a 25% caloric restriction diet; the remaining adults ate normally. Researchers discovered that the adults in the calorie restriction group experienced significant reductions in both levels of total cholesterol overall and LDL cholesterol.
More importantly, these changes were observed to take place quickly. The calorie restriction group experienced lower blood pressure within half a year, and a significant reduction after one year. Improving your cholesterol levels, especially reducing your “bad” LDL cholesterol is one of the most important steps a person can take to improve their heart health. Not only does this decrease a person’s chances for developing cardiac diseases, but it also stops a person from developing other heart related diseases like stroke or type 2 diabetes.