Aging Cell. 2023 Oct 24:e14018. doi: 10.1111/acel.14018. Online ahead of print.
Calorie restriction (CR) is a promising approach for attenuating the risk of age-related disease. However, the role of diet composition on adherence to CR and the effects of CR on cardiometabolic markers of healthspan remains unknown. We used the Geometric Framework for Nutrition approach to examine the association between macronutrient composition and CR adherence during the 2-year CALERIE trial. Adult participants without obesity were randomized to a 25% CR intervention or an ad libitum intake control. Correlations of cardiometabolic risk factors with macronutrient composition and standard dietary pattern indices [Alternate Mediterranean Diet Index (aMED), Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII), and Healthy Eating Index (HEI)] were also evaluated by Spearman’s correlation at each time point. The mean age was 38.1 ± 7.2 years at baseline and the mean BMI was 25.1 ± 1.7. The study population was 70% female. The CR group, but not the control, consumed a higher percentage reported energy intake from protein and carbohydrate and lower fat at 12 months compared to baseline; comparable results were observed at 24 months. Protein in the background of higher carbohydrate intake was associated with greater adherence at 24 months. There was no correlation between macronutrient composition and cardiometabolic risk factors in the CR group. However, statistically significant correlations were observed for the DII and HEI. These findings suggest that individual self-selected macronutrients have an interactive but not independent role in CR adherence. Additional research is required to examine the impact of varying macronutrient compositions on adherence to CR and resultant modification to cardiometabolic risk factors.