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Healthwatch: Cutting Calories Can Have Big Benefits For Heart Health

NEW YORK (CBSMiami) - New research shows even if you're not overweight, cutting just a few hundred calories from your diet may help lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Dr. Carl Pieper from Duke University Medical Center is the study co-author.

"Caloric restriction even in young people, even in normal-weight people, can assist in reducing these markers that are predictive of future cardiovascular events. That's important," he said.

Dr. Pieper and researchers at Duke University Medical Center looked at 218 normal weight adults under 50 years old for two years. One group ate their usual diet, the other group was told to restrict calories, cutting about 300 calories a day on average. The study shows they lost about 10-percent of their body weight and significantly improved already good levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and other markers.

While it's not always easy to cut your calories every day at first, researchers say people in the study adapted over time and eventually needed fewer calories to feel full.

"Just be cognizant of what you are eating, how you are eating and the amount of calories that you are putting in," said Pieper.

Researchers say if you're looking to cut calories, reducing sugar and carbohydrates is a good place to start. Another way to try to cut calories is to avoid snacking after dinner.

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