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How to eat healthy: Is the CRON diet for you?

Are you a CRONie? What the heck is a CRONie? This is a term given to individuals who eat a CALORIC RESTRICTED with OPTIMAL NUTRITION diet. What exactly is the CRON diet and why would you want to try it?

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What is the CRON diet? (1)

The CRON diet is really a misnomer. CRON is a lifestyle, NOT a fad diet. People who adhere to the CRON lifestyle restrict calories an average, 30 to 50% daily for years or even decades, while eating a diet high in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. The goal is to reduce calories without becoming nutrient deficient. In other words, you can’t reduce calories, then eat anything you want, up to that calorie goal. So no meals at McDonald’s! CRON is a nutrient dense way of eating. Adherents to this lifestyle eat whole foods, mainly plants, with small amounts of fat, protein and whole grains. Basically, CRONies restrict calories, eat a very healthy, nutrient dense, whole food diet, and minimize the intake of harmful substances.

Why would you want to eat the CRON diet?

In a nutshell, people live a CRON lifestyle to prolong their lives, it really is that simple. The belief is that caloric restriction will prolong life, and there is scientific evidence to support these claims. Many scientific studies have shown that if you reduce the caloric intake of rodents by 30%, they will live 30% longer (3). As you might imagine, this is much more difficult to prove in humans and scientists are still researching this aspect of the CRON diet.

Here are several scientifically proven benefits

of the CRON diet in humans (3,4):

  • prevents age-related chronic disease:
    • stroke
    • heart disease
    • diabetes
    • cancer
  • lower cholesterol and blood pressure
  • healthy heart and arteries
  • reduces inflammation and autoimmune disorders
  • improves digestion, bowel disorders
  • reduces signs of aging, including healthier skin and hair
  • improves immunity

Possible problems with the CRON diet (1)

I think, at least for me, the main issue with CRON is simply sticking with the lifestyle. After all, humans are not known for their ability to eat a low calories diet, especially when we are surrounded and bombarded by junk food on a daily basis. With that said…

Here are some possible problems associated with CRON:

  • feeling cold easily
  • hunger (while in a weight loss phase – this does pass as the body adjusts)
  • social pressure
  • reduced libido (if this happens, you’re missing some nutrients)
  • hating it – if this happens, this lifestyle is not for you

Cold Water Fish In Diet - cocogala

Tips on implementing the CRON diet… (2)

  • Study food labels
  • Learn how to estimate portions sizes
  • you can’t eat too many vegetables, so load up
  • Eat fruit (especially strawberries) instead of other sweets
  • Eliminate sugar
  • Variety is the spice of life. Make your diet colorful
  • Eat only when you’re hungry
  • Sit down, relax and be mindful when you’re eating (don’t eat on the run)
  • Use small plates – you eat less
  • Use intermittent fasting principles – eat first meal later and last meal earlier
  • Don’t jump into the lifestyle full force. Do it gradually by slowly eliminating problem foods and cutting calories

An example of a CRONie.

In the following video, you’ll meet Dave Fisher, an avid CRONie, who has been restricting calories for 20 years. Keep in mind, when you watch this video, Dave is 53 YEARS OLD!

Closing thoughts

I hope you found this interesting. Part of the reason I decided to post this today, was due to the assignment I had this past weekend, which was on energy restriction and aging. I haven’t received my grade yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll share the results of my research with you. Suffice it to say, I was VERY impressed with the health benefits of the CRON diet. With that said, CRON is VERY hard to maintain, which is why I have found alternatives, which mimic CRON, without having to cut calories…. But, I’ll tell you more about that later.

Until next time…Namaste my friends.

Tamara 

Sources:

  1. http://www.optimal.org/voss/cron_overview.html
  2. http://www.optimal.org/voss/easycron.html
  3. Omodei, D., and Fontana, L.,  (2011). Calorie restriction and prevention of age-associated c chronic disease. NIH public access. doi:10.1016/j.febslet.2011.03.015 Retrieved from: https://febs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1016/j.febslet.2011.03.015

 

About Tamara Hoerner (1261 Articles)
Welcome to The Purple Almond! My name is Tamara Hoerner. I am a student at Hawthorn University working toward a Master of Science in Health and Nutrition Education. For me, the name Purple Almond symbolizes “Good, nutritious, whole food bringing light and life to the body, awakening the inherent healing mechanisms within.” I'm all about getting back to the basics, good old fashioned traditional organic, whole food, the kind your great-grandmother used to eat. You'll find no processed foods here. Just good food to heal your whole body. I also believe a healthy body isn't just about food. Stress plays a large part in the physical health of our body. I, therefore, believe in using anything that relieves stress and heals the body, including: mediation, yoga, music, laughter, inspiration and helping others. You'll find all these included in my blog as well.

12 Comments on How to eat healthy: Is the CRON diet for you?

  1. I have been eating this way for years. I have Crohn’s Disease and this is the best way for my tender tummy. I make sure I eat nutrient rich foods and I don’t eat meat. Works for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the older you get, the less social pressure is an issue. However, some people really have issues with fruits and vegetables (it’s a disorder). People need to take into account medical issues they have before trying dietary changes. There is no guarantee eating a certain way will increase your life. However, it can’t hurt to make some dietary changes to assist in that assumption. People need to eat in a way that works for them. No one should ever say this/that is what everyone should do. No two people are the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you’re a regular follower of my blog, you’ll know I’m not the type to push one style of eating. I just love research and sharing what I learn with my followers, as is the case with CRON.
      I agree that people need to eat in a way that works for them. We are all unique, in all aspects of life, including nutrition. During my studies at Hawthorn, I’ve studied the concept of biochemical individuality. There are 7 billion people on the planet and each of those 7 billion people has a unique diet for them. There is no “one size fits all” plan for all humans. One man’s food is another man’s poison, as the old saying goes.
      I’ve done extensive research on the health benefits of the CRON diet and while you are correct that there is no proof of longevity in humans, (as I stated in the article) longevity has been proven in other forms of life, such as rodents, worms, yeast etc. With that said, the CRON diet has been studied extensively as it relates to age-related chronic diseases. It improves, reduces or eliminates the incidence of diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. These improvements are seen in all animals studied, including rats, monkeys and humans. There is even evidence that it can improve brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Actually, it’s already considered a fact that CRON prevents age-related chronic disease. What is currently unknown, is HOW it prevents these diseases, which is the current area of study. It is a very promising area of nutrition research right now.
      Of course, it absolutely isn’t for everyone. It’s difficult to follow and you run the risk of undernutrition and malnutrition if you don’t eat properly. No one should take up this lifestyle, or any other lifestyle, without first consulting their doctor.
      Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for chiming in on this topic. I appreciate viewpoint. Namaste my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, the comment was in response to another person who commented that everyone should eat this way. I am not so much into what “science” says. They are often incorrect or cause more harm than good in a lot of areas of people’s lives. I don’t hold the medical field in high regard. Today’s doctor’s are more about profits vs patients.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I understand. Thank you. 😊🙏

        Like

  3. Wow, the results were outstanding! Still curious why Dave’s telomeres were shorter than Michael’s 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

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