Cutting just 300 calories from your daily diet could significantly benefit your cardiovascular health, even if you're already at a healthy weight, according to a new study.
Such caloric restriction can be achieved through techniques such as intermittent fasting, or by skipping that slice of cheesecake for dessert.
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. The study was published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology on Thursday.
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.
"Exercise and diet are the two most profound and easily implemented interventions we have in our environment that can reduce our cardiovascular risks," he said. "There aren't five drugs on the market when combined that could approach what we saw in this study from moderate calorie restriction."