What it's about:
In Beyond the 120 Year Diet Dr. Walford discusses the discoveries that arose from his work as resident physician in the closed-environment Biosphere 2 experiment. He discusses how restricting caloric intake extends one's "healthspan" and maximum lifespan.
He gives a lot of supporting data for this caloric-restriction effect, citing studies in everything from yeast cells, insects, birds, mammals, and primates. He also illustrates recent studies in humans.
Something I found quite interesting are the do it yourself at home tests he describes in the second chapter that you can use to evaluate your own physiological age.
Main facts or viewpoints I got from this book:
Restricting calories WILL most likely extend your healthy years, perhaps up to the 120-year value cited by Dr. Walford (he *does* give extensive supporting data). But calorie-restriction must be done properly to be safe. Dr. Walford gives you guidelines on how to do that.
Caloric Restriction also appears to prevent many cancers and other diseases of old age.
I also learned that one does not have to "go hungry" to follow his recommended diet. High-volume foods -- vegetables, salads, etc. -- can keep you comfortably "full-feeling" while maintaining a low caloric intake.
Be aware, CR (caloric restriction) is NOT a "diet." C R is a lifelong way of eating. An acronym for this eating approach is "CRAN". CRAN = Calorie Restriction with Adequate Nutrition. Another name for it is "CRON". CRON = Caloric Restriction with Optimum Nutrition. Same thing, just carried further.
My evaluation of
Beyond the 120 Year Diet:
It changed my life. I've followed the C R dietary practice since 1999. It's lowered my blood pressure -- which had started to rise alarmingly, as happens in my family, and improved endurance, exercise tolerance, and so on. Perhaps it will change your life too. I hope so.
Why read this book:
Boy, so many reasons: To live longer, and be healthy during that time. To avoid many cancers and other diseases of old age. To help your friends and family live long and healthy lives alongside you.
To quote from one of our founding fathers: "To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals."
-- Ben Franklin
To give you a better feel for the contents, here are the chapter and section titles in
(Feel free to "page down" until you see topics that particularly interest you.)
Better Health and Greater Longevity
Let's Get Oriented
Proof and Probability
Principles of the CRON Diet
Interacting with Your Chosen Physician
Average and Maximum Life Spans
Questions and Answers
The Nature of Evidence
Gauging Aging and Measuring Success: What is Your Biologic Age? Is the CRON Diet Working for You?
The Concept of Biomarkers
The Biomarkers of Aging
Tests You Can Do on Yourself
Tests Your Doctor Can Do or Arrange to Have Done
When and How Often to Get the Biomarker Tests Done
The Biomarkers of Success
Scientific Background of the CRON Diet: The Animal Evidence
Introduction to Evidence
Effects of the CRON Diet on Life Span
Effect of the CRON Diet on Disease
Diseases of the Heart, Blood Vessels, and Kidneys
Other Age-related Diseases
Effects of the CRON Diet on Biomarkers
The CRON Diet and Brain Function
The Monkey Experiments
How Does the CRON Diet Work?
The CRON Diet for Humans: First Principles
Parameters of the CRON Diet for Humans
Reaching for Maximum Metabolic Efficiency
The Concept of Nutrient Density
The Parable of Ross's Rats
Nutrient-Dense Food Combinations
When to Go on the Diet
How to Lose Weight
Appetite and Its Control
Will it work?
The Okinawan Experience
Dr. Vallejo's Experiment
Two Venerable Gentlemen
Prevent What is Going to Kill You
Aging without Sickness
The Average American Diet: Quantity without Quality
The Scale of Obesity
Body Weight and Overall MOrtality
Diet and the Killer Diseases
Arteriosclerosis and Heart Disease
"The Big C"
Hypertension and Stroke
Aretaeus of Cappadocia Named It Diabetes
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease
A Lesson from Biosphere 2
The Complex Philosophy of Supplementation
Criteria for Looking
Where is the 45-Month-Old Mouse?
Fundamental Difference Between Preventing Disease and Retarding Aging
Let's Look at the Faddists and Commercializers
And Now for the Establishment Prejudices
The Recommended Daily Allowances
The Seventh Criterion
The Classes of Supplements
Hormones and Hormone Replacement Therapy
Drugs as Supplements
Summary and Conclusions
Vegetables and Fruits and Other Foods
The Chemicals of Tea
B-Vitamins: B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B6 (Pyridoxine), Folacin, and B12
Carnitine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine
Fatty Acids: the N-6s (Omega-6s) and the N-3s (Omega-3s)
Hormones: Growth Hormone, DHEA, Melatonin
Exercise, Stretching, and the Maladies of Wear and Tear
Human Population Studies
Effects of Exercise on Actual Disease Incidence and Longevity
The Interplay between Diet and Exercise
Recommendations for Exercise
The Maladies of Wear and Tear
The Whole Program
Step One: Change of Food Habits
Step Two: General Health Measures
Find a Doctor Sympathetic to Life Extension
The General Status Examination
Body Mass Index (BMI) and Percent Body Fat
Step Three: Your Biomarker Program
Biomarkers of Aging
Biomarkers of Success
Step Four: The Dietary Program
How Much Weight Should You Lose?
What Calorie Level to Settle on
Amounts of Protein, Fat, Cholesterol, Carbohydrate, and Fiber
Food Types to Favor
Daily Menus the Easy Way
When Eating Out, Dine
Food and Tips for a CRON-Diet Cuisine
Stocking the Larder
Bites and Tidbits
Appendix A: Food Combinations and Tasty Menus for the Healthiest 14 days of your life
Appendix B: Nutritive Values of the Best Foods
Readings and Resources
References and Notes
We'd all like to have a longer "healthspan."
When you've read
I think you'll want
to lend it to your family and friends.
for more reviews of the book,
or to place it in your Amazon shopping cart.
The above book discusses the principles of Dr. Walford's "Caloric Restriction" approach to life extension. A book by another author -- "A Week in the Zone" by Dr. Barry Sears -- is a good "follow-on" book to Dr. Walford's. It's emphasis is on giving practical details of how to eat a balanced, pleasant CR-like diet. To see my review of "A Week in the Zone" just click here .
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Here are two other health-related pages I've found useful for myself and family members: Sleep Problems Resources -- How to sleep better and be happier. Back Pain Resources -- Relief for everything from nagging backaches to severe back pain.
And here's another thought:
Maintaining proper diet with exercise helps prevent the need for health supplements like the abs diet or other weight-loss programs. Vitamins should be an integral part of the daily diet, you need all the nutrition vitamins provide but should avoid overdoses far above the RDA amounts. Vitamins are available in several forms and you need to know which one you need. For example vitamin C protects against bacterial and viral threats. Vitamin D in combination with Calcium is essential for our bones. Similarly other vitamins have their own unique benefits.