Beyond the weight-loss benefits of eating fewer calories, new study findings suggest that a low-cal diet may extend your life.

Studies of both human and animal subjects show that eating fewer calories causes the body’s energy output to decrease, resulting in reduced production of free radicals, which damage cells and lead to aging.

In one study, overweight adults who ate calorie-reduced diets designed to cause weight loss not only lost weight but experienced deceased insulin levels, lower body temperatures and less cellular damage—all signs that the aging process was slowing, reports Healthnotes Newswire. The study subjects in a weight-maintenance group experienced none of these results.