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  1. All, I know there are a couple Dr.. Greger detractors on the forum, but he's got a new video talking about the diets and lifestyles of the long-lived Okinawans and vegetarian Adventists that I think people will find interesting.. He mentions that both groups eat a mostly plant-based diet.. He cites [1], which found that the vegetarian Adventists who also practiced a healthy lifestyle had average lifespans of 87 (men) and 90 (women).. That's 10-14 years longer than the general population, and even longer than the traditional Okinawans (77.6 for men and 86.0 for women). For those who don't like to watch videos, I've included the transcript at the bottom, along with all his references. My one criticism of this video is his claim that: The plant-based nature of the diet may trump the caloric restriction, though, since the one population that lives even longer than the Okinawa Japanese don’t just eat a 98% meat-free diet, they eat 100% meat-free. The Adventist vegetarians in California, with perhaps the highest life expectancy of any formally described population. His claim may be true, but its a big stretch to try to argue it from a comparison between the Okinawans and the vegetarian Adventists, to say nothing of attributing the (small) difference to the 98% vs..100% meat-free diet. There are plenty of other differences between the two groups that could explain they longevity difference besides the (perhaps) tiny bit more meat eaten by the Okinawans relative to the vegetarian Adventists - things like access to healthcare. Here is the gist of the Adventist paper he's referencing [1]: High physical activity [> 15min 3x / week vigorous exercise], frequent consumption of nuts [>5 times/wk], vegetarian status [eating meat less than once per month], and medium body mass index [not specified, but presumably 22.5 - 25.0] each result in an approximate 1.5- to 2.5-years gain in life expectancy compared with the corresponding high-risk values [high risk for BMI wasn't specified, but was presumably > 25.0]. The sum of these independent effects (9.7 years in men and 10.4 years in women) is similar to those predicted in subjects who have contrasting values for all variables simultaneously. So from this we can conclude the following two interesting things: Being vegetarian ("low risk" as defined by the authors as eating meat less than once per month, although mostly not vegan - the authors say "few Adventists in this study were vegans") vs. eating meat once a week or more ("high risk" as defined by the authors), provided a 1.5-2.5 year gain in life expectancy, and Having a medium BMI (vs. low or high) provides a longevity advantage. First BMI. The fact that having a medium BMI was better than a low BMI in this Adventist study, while having low BMI was better than medium BMI in this other Adventist Study [2] discussed a couple days ago in this post can best be explained by the fact that this study followed subjects for only 12 years, and excluded only the first 4 years of mortality data in an attempt to eliminate the confounding effects of pre-existing conditions. As we saw from [2], the lingering effects of pre-existing conditions (esp. respiratory problems and a prior history of smoking) have an impact on both BMI and mortality for much longer than 4 years. So I think it's safe to say that this study's conclusion that a medium BMI is better than a low BMI should be taken with a big grain of salt in light of the better evidence of the opposite on another group of Adventists in [2]. Regarding the extra 1.5-2.5 years gain from being vegetarian vs. eating meat more often than once per week. Consider what the following graph from [1] shows us. The interesting thing about this graph is its left-to-right structure. Here is the text describing the figure: The first bar shows life expectancy when all variables take medium-risk values. Then passing from left to right through the figures, additional variables are also set at either high- or low-risk values, those variables to the right of a particular bar being still at medium-risk values. In the final contrast, when all variables are at either low- or high-risk values, the differences in the expected ages at death are 10.8 years (men) and 9.8 years (women). So for men who are in the "medium risk" category for all these health factors, their average lifespan was 85.1 years (first, white bar on left). Now consider the first 3 bars in the graph above. Keeping all the other factors at their "medium risk" category, eating meat less than once per month (i.e. vegetarian) resulted in a mean lifespan of 85.3. Eating meat more than once per month but less than once per week (semi-vegetarians) resulted in a lifespan of 85.1. And eating meat once per week or more resulted in a lifespan of 83.8. Given the confidence intervals, there really wasn't any difference between almost never eating meat and eating it occasionally (but less than once per week). This is virtually exactly what the Okinawans do, since according to the video, they get about 1% of their calories from fish and < 1% from meat. Here is a cool pie chart of the traditional Okinawan diet: The limited benefit from being a very strict vegetarian Adventist vs. an Adventist who occasionally eats meat is further supported by [2], which found that the subpopulation of Adventist "vegetarians" [sic] with the lowest mortality rate were the pesco-vegetarians, followed by the vegans, lacto-ovo-vegetarians and semi-vegetarians, in that order: The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause mortality in all vegetarians combined vs nonvegetarians was 0.88 (95% CI, 0.80-0.97).. The adjusted HR for all-cause mortality in vegans was 0.85 (95% CI, 0.73-1.01); in lacto-ovo-vegetarians, 0.91 (95% CI, 0.82-1.00); in pesco-vegetarians, 0.81 (95% CI, 0.69-0.94); and in semi-vegetarians, 0.92 (95% CI, 0.75-1.13) compared with nonvegetarians. So as much as it pains me to say it , and contra what Dr. Greger suggests, being a strict vegetarian, as opposed to eating meat (esp. fish) occasionally like the Okinawans, doesn't appear likely to be responsible for much of the lifespan advantage enjoyed by the Adventists relative to the Okinawans, which is substantial for men (average of Adventists man with best diet/lifestyle = 87.0 years, average Okinawan man = 77.6 years). --Dean Transcript: The Okinawa Diet: Living to 100 The dietary guidelines recommend that we try to choose meals or snacks that are high in nutrients but lower in calories to reduce the risk of chronic disease.. By this measure, the healthiest foods on the planet, the most nutrient dense, are vegetables, containing the most nutrient bang for our caloric buck.. So, what would happen if a population centered their diet around vegetables? They might end up having among the longest lives. Of course, any time you hear about long-living populations, you have to make sure it’s validated, as it may be hard to find birth certificates from the 1890’s.. But validation studies suggest that, indeed, they really do live that long. The traditional diet in Okinawa is based on vegetables, beans, and other plants.. I’m used to seeing the Okinawan diet represented like this, the base being vegetables, beans, and grains, but a substantial contribution from fish and other meat, but a more accurate representation would be this - if you look at their actual dietary intake.. We know what they were eating from the U.S.. National Archives, because the U.S.. military ran Okinawa until it was given back to Japan in 1972, and if you look at the traditional diets of more than 2000 Okinawans, this is how it breaks down. Less than 1% of their diet was fish; less than 1% of their diet was meat, and same with dairy and eggs, so it was more than 96% plant-based, and more than 90% whole food plant based—very few processed foods either.. And, not just whole food plant-based, but most of their diet was vegetables, and one vegetable in particular, sweet potatoes.. The Okinawan diet was centered around sweet potatoes—how delicious is that? Could have been bitter gourd, or soursop—but no, sweet potatoes, yum. So, 90 plus percent whole food plant-based makes it a highly anti-inflammatory diet, makes it a highly antioxidant diet.. If you measure the level of oxidized fat within their system, there is compelling evidence of less free radical damage.. Maybe they just genetically have better antioxidant enzymes or something? No, their antioxidant enzyme activity is the same; it’s all the extra antioxidants that they’re getting from their diet that may be making the difference—most of their diet is vegetables! So, 6 to 12 times fewer heart disease deaths than the U.S.—you can see they ran out of room for the graph for our death rate, two to three times fewer colon cancer deaths, seven times fewer prostate cancer deaths, and five and a half times lower risk of dying from breast cancer. Some of this protection may be because they were only eating about 1800 calories a day, but they were actually eating a greater mass of food, but the whole plant foods are just calorically dilute.. There’s also a cultural norm not to stuff oneself. The plant-based nature of the diet may trump the caloric restriction, though, since the one population that lives even longer than the Okinawa Japanese don’t just eat a 98% meat-free diet, they eat 100% meat-free.. The Adventist vegetarians in California, with perhaps the highest life expectancy of any formally described population. Adventist vegetarian men and women live to be about 83 and 86, comparable to Okinawan women, but better than Okinawan men.. The best of the best were Adventist vegetarians who had healthy lifestyles too, like being exercising nonsmokers, 87 and nearly 90, on average.. That’s like 10 to 14 years longer than the general population.. Ten to 14 extra years on this Earth from simple lifestyle choices.. And, this is happening now, in modern times, whereas Okinawan longevity is now a thing of the past.. Okinawa now hosts more than a dozen KFCs . Their saturated fat tripled.. They went from eating essentially no cholesterol to a few Big Macs' worth, tripled their sodium, and are now just as potassium deficient as Americans, getting less than half of the recommended minimum daily intake of 4700 mg a day.. In two generations, Okinawans have gone from the leanest Japanese to the fattest.. As a consequence, there has been a resurgence of interest from public health professionals in getting Okinawans to eat the Okinawan diet, too. References: D C Willcox, G Scapagnini, B J Willcox.. Healthy aging diets other than the Mediterranean: a focus on the Okinawan diet.. Mech Ageing Dev.. 2014 Mar-Apr;136-137:148-62. A Drewnowski, J Hill, B Wansink, R Murray, C Diekman.. Achieve Better Health With Nutrient-Rich Foods.. Nutrition Today: January/February 2012 - Volume 47 - Issue 1 - p 23–29. D C Willcox, B J Willcox, H Todoriki, M Suzuki.. The Okinawan diet: health implications of a low-calorie, nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich dietary pattern low in glycemic load.. J Am Coll Nutr.. 2009 Aug;28. S Davinelli, D C Willcox, G Scapagnini.. Extending healthy ageing: nutrient sensitive pathway and centenarian population.. Immun Ageing.. 2012 Apr 23;9:9. B J Willcox, D C Willcox.. Caloric restriction, caloric restriction mimetics, and healthy aging in Okinawa: controversies and clinical implications.. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care.. 2014 Jan;17(1):51-8. M Poulain.. Exceptional Longevity in Okinawa:: A Plea for In-depth Validation..Demographic Research;Jul-Dec2011, Vol.. 25, p245. N S Gavrilova, L A Gavrilov.. Comments on Dietary Restriction, Okinawa Diet and Longevity.. Gerontology.. 2012 Apr; 58(3): 221–223. B J Willcox, D C Willcox, H Todoriki, A Fujiyoshi, K Yano, Q He, J D Curb, M Suzuki..Caloric restriction, the traditional Okinawan diet, and healthy aging: the diet of the world's longest-lived people and its potential impact on morbidity and life span.. Ann N Y Acad Sci.. 2007 Oct;1114:434-55. D C Willcox, B J Willcox, H Todoriki, J D Curb, M Suzuki.. Caloric restriction and human longevity: what can we learn from the Okinawans? Biogerontology.. 2006 Jun;7(3):173-7. G E Fraser, D J Shavlik.. Ten years of life: Is it a matter of choice? Arch Intern Med..2001 Jul 9;161(13):1645-52. D C Willcox, B J Willcox, Q He, N C Wang, M Suzuki.. They really are that old: a validation study of centenarian prevalence in Okinawa.. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci.. 2008 Apr;63(4):338-49. M Suzuki, B J Wilcox, C D Wilcox.. Implications from and for food cultures for cardiovascular disease: longevity.. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr.. 2001;10(2):165-71. M Suzuki, D C Wilcox, M W Rosenbaum, B J Willcox.. Oxidative stress and longevity in okinawa: an investigation of blood lipid peroxidation and tocopherol in okinawan centenarians.. Curr Gerontol Geriatr Res.. 2010;2010:380460. ----------- [1] Arch Intern Med. 2001 Jul 9;161(13):1645-52. Ten years of life: Is it a matter of choice? Fraser GE(1), Shavlik DJ. BACKGROUND: Relative risk estimates suggest that effective implementation of behaviors commonly advocated in preventive medicine should increase life expectancy, although there is little direct evidence. OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that choices regarding diet, exercise, and smoking influence life expectancy. METHODS: A total of 34 192 California Seventh-Day Adventists (75% of those eligible) were enrolled in a cohort and followed up from 1976 to 1988. A mailed questionnaire provided dietary and other exposure information at study baseline. Mortality for all subjects was ascertained by matching to state death tapes and the National Death Index. RESULTS: California Adventists have higher life expectancies at the age of 30 years than other white Californians by 7.28 years (95% confidence interval, 6.59-7.97 years) in men and by 4.42 years (95% confidence interval, 3.96-4.88 years) in women, giving them perhaps the highest life expectancy of any formally described population. Commonly observed combinations of diet, exercise, body mass index, past smoking habits, and hormone replacement therapy (in women) can account for differences of up to 10 years of life expectancy among Adventists. A comparison of life expectancy when these factors take high-risk compared with low-risk values shows independent effects that vary between 1.06 and 2.74 years for different variables. The effect of each variable is assessed with all others at either medium- or high-risk levels. CONCLUSIONS: Choices regarding diet, exercise, cigarette smoking, body weight, and hormone replacement therapy, in combination, appear to change life expectancy by many years. The longevity experience of Adventists probably demonstrates the beneficial effects of more optimal behaviors. PMID: 11434797 ----------- [2] JAMA Intern Med.. 2013 Jul 8;173(13):1230-8.. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6473. Vegetarian dietary patterns and mortality in Adventist Health Study 2. Orlich MJ(1), Singh PN, Sabaté J, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Fan J, Knutsen S, Beeson WL, Fraser GE. Author information: (1)School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA. morlich@llu.edu Comment in JAMA Intern Med.. 2014 Jan;174(1):168-9. JAMA Intern Med.. 2014 Jan;174(1):169. JAMA Intern Med.. 2013 Jul 8;173(13):1238-9. Dtsch Med Wochenschr.. 2013 Sep;138(39):1930. IMPORTANCE: Some evidence suggests vegetarian dietary patterns may be associated with reduced mortality, but the relationship is not well established. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between vegetarian dietary patterns and mortality. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study; mortality analysis by Cox proportional hazards regression, controlling for important demographic and lifestyle confounders. SETTING: Adventist Health Study 2 (AHS-2), a large North American cohort. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 96,469 Seventh-day Adventist men and women recruited between 2002 and 2007, from which an analytic sample of 73,308 participants remained after exclusions. EXPOSURES: Diet was assessed at baseline by a quantitative food frequency questionnaire and categorized into 5 dietary patterns: nonvegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, and vegan. MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURE: The relationship between vegetarian dietary patterns and all-cause and cause-specific mortality; deaths through 2009 were identified from the National Death Index. RESULTS: There were 2570 deaths among 73,308 participants during a mean follow-up time of 5.79 years.. The mortality rate was 6.05 (95% CI, 5.82-6.29) deaths per 1000 person-years.. The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause mortality in all vegetarians combined vs nonvegetarians was 0.88 (95% CI, 0.80-0.97).. The adjusted HR for all-cause mortality in vegans was 0.85 (95% CI, 0.73-1.01); in lacto-ovo-vegetarians, 0.91 (95% CI, 0.82-1.00); in pesco-vegetarians, 0.81 (95% CI, 0.69-0.94); and in semi-vegetarians, 0.92 (95% CI, 0.75-1.13) compared with nonvegetarians.. Significant associations with vegetarian diets were detected for cardiovascular mortality, noncardiovascular noncancer mortality, renal mortality, and endocrine mortality.. Associations in men were larger and more often significant than were those in women. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Vegetarian diets are associated with lower all-cause mortality and with some reductions in cause-specific mortality.. Results appeared to be more robust in males.. These favorable associations should be considered carefully by those offering dietary guidance. PMCID: PMC4191896 PMID: 23836264 ------------- [2] Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord.. 1998 Jun;22(6):544-8. Body mass and 26 y risk of mortality among men who never smoked: a re-analysis among men from the Adventist Mortality Study. Lindsted KD(1), Singh PN. Author information: (1)Center for Health Research, Loma Linda University, CA 92350, USA. OBJECTIVE: To re-analyse the previously reported linear relation between Quetelet's body mass index (BMI) and mortality, among men from the Adventist Mortality Study after accounting for effects due to age at measurement of BMI, smoking history and race. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.. To specifically account for effects due to age at measurement of BMI, smoking history and race, our methodology includes: 1, computing hazard ratios for BMI quintiles from a proportional hazard regression, with 'time on study' as the time variable, and age at baseline as a covariate; 2, conducting separate analyses of middle-aged (age 30-54y) and older (age 55-74y) men; and 3, restriction of the analyses to never-smoking, non-Hispanic white males. SUBJECTS: 5062 men (age: 30-74 y, BMI: 14-44 kg/m2) from the Adventist Mortality Study. MEASUREMENTS: Subjects reported data on anthropometric, demographic, medical, dietary and lifestyle characteristics at baseline and were enrolled in mortality surveillance during a 26y study period (1960-1985). RESULTS: During the early years of follow-up (years 1-8, 9-14), we found some evidence of excess risk among the leanest men that was probably due to the effects of antecedent illness.. During the later years of follow-up (years 15-26), effects due to antecedent illness were not apparent and a significant positive, linear relation between BMI and all-cause mortality was consistently found among middle-aged (30-54 y) and older (55-74 y) men.. Disease-specific analyses of the later follow-up (years 15-26) revealed that the positive linear trends with all-cause mortality, were primarily due to excess risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer among the heavier men.. Among older men, a significant inverse relation between BMI and respiratory disease mortality risk was identified during later follow-up (years 15-26), but this effect attenuated after restriction of the analyses to men with no baseline history of respiratory disease. CONCLUSIONS: The re-analysis confirms the findings of a positive, linear relation between BMI and all-cause mortality, reported in the original study. PMID: 9665675
  2. I had missed this affirmation of what the estimable Dr. Greger started tackling in an earlier video series on the subject of nuts. Walnuts Consumed by Healthy Adults Provide Less Available Energy than Predicted by the Atwater FactorsResults: One 28-g serving of walnuts contained 146 kcal (5.22 kcal/g), 39 kcal/serving less than the calculated value of 185 kcal/serving (6.61 kcal/g). The ME of the walnuts was 21% less than that predicted by the Atwater factors (P < 0.0001). So now we have both almonds and walnuts confirmed to be -20% of estimated calories. Pistachios less so, but -5% if I recall. So for at least walnuts and almonds, which are mainstay nuts for me, I am thinking to modify Cronometer with a custom nut entry to account for the reduced calories to ensure greater accuracy in daily tracking. Would welcome opinions for/against this! I don't know if we can assume the -5% for pistachios would be a safe lower bound to apply to all nuts, or if any folks on the forum know why there would be such a discrepancy...
  3. Dean Pomerleau

    The Calorie Controversy

    All, There is a good article out today in the Atlantic on just how difficult it is to accurately calculate the energy value available from food. It talks about how the USDA does it, and how it varies from food-to-food (e.g. almonds & walnuts provide 20-33% fewer calories than expected), and person-to-person depending on one's genetics and microbiome. It talks about eating for satiety rather than targeting a certain calorie level is likely to be more effective for regular people trying to lose weight. Here is a passage I found quite interesting, given my advocacy of fruit: Since 2005, David Wishart of the University of Alberta has been cataloguing the hundreds of thousands of chemical compounds in our bodies, which make up what’s known as the human metabolome... According to Wishart, these chemicals and their interactions affect energy balance. He points to research demonstrating that high-fructose corn syrup and other forms of added fructose (as opposed to fructose found in fruit) can trigger the creation of compounds that lead us to form an excess of fat cells, unrelated to additional calorie consumption. “If we cut back on some of these things,” he says, “it seems to revert our body back to more appropriate, arguably less efficient metabolism, so that we aren’t accumulating fat cells in our body. An interesting article worth reading in its entirety. --Dean
  4. Many CR practitioners, including me, consume a lot of nuts, for their benefits to health (e.g. reduced CVD) and mortality. And it is been pretty common knowledge among those who follow this stuff closely, that it is surprisingly hard to get fat eating nuts. In fact, several years ago, Dr. Greger had did a 7-part video series (beginning here) seeking to explain the missing calories in nuts by looking at all the various theories. I highly recommend watching for those who haven't. Now, it finally looks like the USDA is waking up to the issue of missing calories in nuts, specifically walnuts. In this new study [1], discussed here, researchers at the FDA tracked 18 people in very controlled conditions on a diet lacking or supplemented with walnuts. They took samples of what they ate, and what they excreted, and determined that walnuts, "consistent with other tree nuts", contained 21% fewer available calories than predicted by the Atwater method typically used to compute calorie content of foods, basically a sophisticated version of the 9-4-4 Fat-Carb-Protein method for estimating calories. They found walnuts contained 5.22 kcal/g, rather than 6.61 kcal/g as predicted by Atwater. They said their finding could result in changes to food labelling practices. And as the authors indicate, this lower calorie content than predicted is almost certainly true of other nuts as well. No word on seeds though... As of now, the USDA food database, and hence CRON-O-Meter and other diet tracking tools, still used 6.61 kcal/g (actually I just checked, CRON-O-Meter uses 6.54 kcal/g) rather than the lower, more realistic, 5.22 kcal/g. --Dean ----------- [1] J Nutr. 2015 Nov 18. pii: jn217372. [Epub ahead of print] Walnuts Consumed by Healthy Adults Provide Less Available Energy than Predicted by the Atwater Factors. Baer DJ(1), Gebauer SK(2), Novotny JA(2). Author information: (1)USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Beltsville, MD David.Baer@ars.usda.gov. (2)USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Beltsville, MD. BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown that the metabolizable energy (ME) content (energy available to the body) of certain nuts is less than predicted by the Atwater factors. However, very few nuts have been investigated to date, and no information is available regarding the ME of walnuts. OBJECTIVE: A study was conducted to determine the ME of walnuts when consumed as part of a typical American diet. METHODS: Healthy adults (n = 18; mean age = 53.1 y; body mass index = 28.8 kg/m(2)) participated in a randomized crossover study with 2 treatment periods (3 wk each). The study was a fully controlled dietary feeding intervention in which the same base diet was consumed during each treatment period; the base diet was unsupplemented during one feeding period and supplemented with 42 g walnuts/d during the other feeding period. Base diet foods were reduced in equal proportions during the walnut period to achieve isocaloric food intake during the 2 periods. After a 9 d diet acclimation period, subjects collected all urine and feces for ∼1 wk (as marked by a Brilliant Blue fecal collection marker) for analysis of energy content. Administered diets, walnuts, and fecal and urine samples were subjected to bomb calorimetry, and the resulting data were used to calculate the ME of the walnuts. RESULTS: One 28-g serving of walnuts contained 146 kcal (5.22 kcal/g), 39 kcal/serving less than the calculated value of 185 kcal/serving (6.61 kcal/g). The ME of the walnuts was 21% less than that predicted by the Atwater factors (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Consistent with other tree nuts, Atwater factors overestimate the metabolizable energy value of walnuts. These results could help explain the observations that consumers of nuts do not gain excessive weight and could improve the accuracy of food labeling. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01832909. © 2016 American Society for Nutrition. PMID: 26581681
  5. Dean Pomerleau

    Does Celery have Negative Calories?

    While I wouldn't consider celery a key CR food from a health/nutrition perspective, it is often touted as special because it is thought to be so low in calories that it takes more energy to digest it than it provides - meaning the more you eat, the more calorie restricted you'll be! Today Dr. Greger posted a video investigating this idea to determine if its a myth or a fact, relying primarily on study [1] for the evidence. The researchers had 15 women eat 100g of celery (2 large stalks = 16kcal). Then, using a ventilated-hood indirect calorimetry system, they measured diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) in the women over the next three hours. They found that on average, they burned 14 extra calories digesting the celery, effectively leaving a net energy balance of +2 calories for 100g of celery. So while not a negative energy food per se, celery appears to provide only about 1 net calorie per large stack, meaning its pretty safe to conclude you can snack on celery to your heart's content without worrying about gaining weight! --Dean ---------- [1] Proceedings of the Nutrition Society / Volume 71 / Issue OCE3 / January 2012, E217 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0029665112003084 Exploring the myth: Does eating celery result in a negative energy balance? M. E. Clegg and C. Cooper Functional Food Centre, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane, Oxford, OX3 0BP, UK With the prevalence of obesity increasing across the world, there is growing demand for effective strategies to reduce the severity of the problem and moderate risks for developing other associated diet-induced diseases. Celery is a readily available whole-food that has the ability to add bulk and flavour to a meal, without adding excess calories. Celery is also subject to a renowned health myth, that when consuming celery there is a ‘negative’ intake of calories and therefore the energy required for its digestion, assimilation and nutrient storage is assumed to be greater than the energy it itself contains. The aim of the current study is to explore the diet induced thermogenesis (DIT) associated with celery consumption. Fifteen healthy female volunteers (age: 23.5 (SEM 0.6) yr; height: 1.67 (SEM 0.02) m; weight: 59.6 (1.8 SEM) kg) came to the laboratory for testing following an overnight fast. In the laboratory they rested for 30 minutes in a supine position before resting metabolic rate (RMR) was measured for 30 minutes using an indirect calorimeter. During the last 10 minutes of the 30 minute rest period, the ventilated-hood of the indirect calorimetry system was placed over subject’s heads to acclimatise them to the hood environment. Following the 30 minutes RMR measurements, whilst still under the hood and measurements were being taken, the volunteers then consumed 100 g of celery (16 kcal(1) in 10 minutes. For the subsequent 180 minutes, DIT was measured at regular 30-minute intervals for 20 minutes. Throughout the assessment, subjects rested quietly but stayed awake. Energy expenditure and substrate oxidation were calculated using the equations developed by Lusk(2). RMR varied considerably between volunteers, ranging from 1283.56 to 1893.69 kcal/day, with a mean value of 1657 (SEM 40) kcal/day. During the first 20 minute DIT measurements, all subjects experienced an increase in EE and fat oxidation: mean increase 0.15 (SEM 0.02) and 0.08 (SEM 0.01) kcal/min, respectively. Total DIT was 13.76 (SEM 2.65) kcal and total fat oxidation was 8.31 (SEM 1.76) kcal. From the consumption of a 16 kcal (100 g) sample of celery, 13.76 kcal were expended in total. In conclusion, it was found that the consumption of celery (16 kcal) did not induce a negative energy balance in healthy women. However the DIT of 100 g of celery was 86% of the total energy intake. This fact combined with the high fibre and water content of celery does make it a good snack for inclusion in a diet for weight loss or management.
  6. I have a BMI ~20 at 5'10" / 140lbs. My body fat percentage is possibly as low as 8%? As far as I can tell with rough tracking on cronometer, my current caloric intake is around 1900-2100kcal -- Right now, I exercise for around 30-45m 3-4x a week, although, I would like to increase this as the weather improves, which will likely require more calories. I like the idea of practicing mild caloric restriction and protein / methionine restriction. However, I would also like to gain some muscle mass, or at least maintain a high level of lean mass. I'm not particularly active, so I wouldn't want to drop activity lower. Is there a way to balance these competing goals of mild CR / protein restriction vs gaining muscle mass / strength & staying physically active (perhaps eating lower protein / calories most days, and higher calories / protein on exercise days?) What sort of protein intake (grams) / caloric intake does the average CR practitioner consume? Gaining muscle mass seems to require eating at a caloric surplus with a high quantity of protein and it seems like eating fewer calories would drop body fat even lower, where I don't have too much to burn there. If I have a low body fat percentage at a 2,000kcal intake, am I already practicing caloric restriction for my activity level?
  7. Dean Pomerleau

    Food Labels are Bunk

    All, Here is a interesting article from Marketwatch.com about how misleading food labels can be. It turns out that according to FDA rules, companies can legally err by up to 20% on their food packaging labels. That means they can get away with underestimate calories, sugar, trans-fats, saturated fat etc. by up to 20%, and overestimate vitamins and minerals by up to 20% as well. All the more reason to eat foods without labels, and not to put too much stock in calorie estimates for foods. --Dean
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