Mike's Book Reviews

Beyond the 120 Year Diet


Roy Walford, M.D.

Subtitle: How to Double Your Vital Years

Click here. Classification: Nonfiction

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 the book:

(Feel free to "page down" until you see topics that particularly interest you.)

We'd all like to have a longer "healthspan."
When you've read this book I think you'll want
to lend it to your family and friends.
Click here.
Click here for more reviews of the book,
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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.

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(C) Copyright 2002 - 2007 by M. O'Gara -- all rights reserved.