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How to cut out 300 calories a day to benefit your heart

How to cut out 300 calories a day to benefit your heart

It’s no secret - watching what you eat can help keep your heart healthy. We take a look at research that says calorie restriction for healthy weight people is good for the heart and how to cut out 300 calories a day - a magic number according to the study.

How to cut out 300 calories a day to benefit your heart

Research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology has reached a surprising conclusion: even those of us with a healthy weight might benefit from cutting out a relatively small number calories from our daily diet. 300 to be precise.

The paper drew on data from the Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE) study. That landmark project, supported by the National Institutes of Health, was one of the most in-depth efforts to measure the long-term impacts of caloric restriction in humans. Researchers have published numerous analyses drawing on data from the two-year study, examining various factors associated with life expectancy and longevity.

During the course of two years, participants in the study who were on a calorie restriction diet lowered their blood pressure and levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol, and saw a 24% drop in concentrations of triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood.

A reduction of 300 calories daily refers to the average cutback in calories obtained by the study participants, said Dr. William Kraus, distinguished professor at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, who was senior author of the study.

“We wanted to investigate the effect of calorie restriction on disease markers in healthy, young humans,” Dr. Kraus told ABC News. “We found that a small calorie reduction – around 300 – appears to be beneficial to the heart.”

The researchers found that those on a calorie restriction diet, levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol decreased significantly after one year, and that change was maintained at two years, while changes were very small in the ad libitum group.

The researchers also found that the lowering of blood pressure was evident as early as six months, reached statistical significance by one year and persisted for the duration of the study.

How to cut out 300 calories a day

Such caloric restriction can be achieved through techniques such as intermittent fasting, or by skipping that slice of cheesecake for dessert.

Choose your fruit carefully: Whether you’re trying to watch your weight or just want to hit the recommended daily serving, eating fruit is a good idea. But if you’d like to slash calories, pay attention to the type and size of fruit you choose. A small orange has about 45 calories, compared to 120 calories in a large banana.

Say not to mayo: Mayonnaise, that omnipresent sandwich spread and salad filler, has around 90 calories per tablespoon, thanks mostly to its oil and egg content.

Make your own salad dressing: A typical salad dressing serving size is 2 tablespoons. For ranch, French and blue cheese dressing, that comes out to around 140 or 150 calories. To knock that number down, try making your own .

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