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Someone asked me off-list what my current diet looks like, and I realized I haven't updated the on-line information about it in a long time, although I've alluded to it in scattered places on this forum. I figured I consolidate and expand on what I've shared, for others to criticize : These days I eat the following (by calories): ~30% vegetables ~15% starch, ~35% fruit, ~20% nuts/seeds by calories a few other miscellaneous things. Vegetables The vegetables are a huge variety, and prepared once per week into a big mix. Its a combination of 'chunky' vegetables (just about any veggie in the produce aisle), and greens - where the greens typical include a mix of Kale, collards, chard, spinach, and spring mix - mostly organic. I also eat about 80g of homegrown sprouts and microgreens per day, a mix of broccoli, fenugreek, radish, and arugula sprouts. Starches The starches are about 1/2 sweet potatoes, and the other half and even mix of lentils, black beans, chickpeas, wild & brown rice, quinoa, and barley, all cooked al dente. Fruit My fruit calories come from the following. Below the first two, which are the biggest calorie contributors, the others are probably similar in calorie contributions: Berries - Mix of strawberries, blueberries, wild blackberries, cranberries, sour cherries every day Bananas - I modulate these depending on my weight trajectory - I'm around 2-3 per day these days. Melon - Alternating between cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, papaya, pineapple Durian - I admit it, I'm addicted to durian... Orange - 1/2 an small orange per day, with a bit of the peal/pith Apples - One small-to-medium (crabapple-like) wild apple per day, picked in the fall from wild trees near my house Other Tree Fruit - Persimmons (one of my favorites), plums, peaches, nectarines, pears, pomegranate. Depending on the season. About 1/2 of one of these per day. Note - this does not include the non-standard fruits I eat, like avocado (1/2 per day), cucumber, zucchini, tomato (~100g / day), etc. Nuts / Seeds The nuts I eat include: Hazelnuts, Almonds and Walnuts, in equal parts. The seeds I eat are a mix of the following (in descending order of calories): Flax, chia, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame. Miscellaneous The miscellaneous category includes the following per day: 1/3 ear of corn - 'buttered' with avocado and 'salted' with curry powder, because its tasty. 12g of natto - for vitamin K2 and amyloid breaking. 1.5 tsp of fresh chopped mix of garlic, ginger, tumeric root & horseradish 2 tbsp of cider vinegar 2 tbsp of my ketchup - a homemade mix of cider vinegar, water, tomato paste, sriracha, hot mustard and psyllium as a thickener ~2 tbsp of wide mix of herbs and spices, heavy on the tumeric, but just about anything from the spice aisle you can think of, in a mixture I sprinkle into my "salad dressing" and on my starch mix. 1 Tbsp of fiber & resistant starch - Used as thickener for my salad dressing. Even mix of psyllium husks, plantain flour and potato starch. A small amount of sweetener in my salad dressing (see below) - erythritol & pure stevia. Other Notes: The dressing I make to put on my salad is taken from some of the items listed above, blended together until smooth in my Vitamix. It includes: About 150g of the salad greens - so I don't have to eat them all in leaf form :-) 60g of berry mix The 1/2 orange ~60g of cucumber 100g of tomato 2 tbsp of cider vinegar ~100ml of water 1 Tbsp fiber / resistant starch ~1 tbsp of spice mix A bit of sweetener - erythritol & pure stevia - to make it a little tastier. I eat the exact same thing every day - except for minor variations in fruits and veggies depending on seasonal availability The macronutrient ratio of my diet is about 70:15:15 C:P:F I eat one meal per day, from 6-7:30am. I also drink a lot of lemon water (distilled) before and after my meal from this stainless steel tumbler to avoid coffee/tea close to meal which impedes mineral absorption - ~40oz per day. I also drink a mix of cold & hot brewed, heavily filtered, coffee, black/green/rooibos/herb tea, & ground cacao - about 40-50oz per day. I haven't been counting calories - but it is probably shockingly high, given that I'm weight stable at a BMI of 17.3 (115lbs @ 5'8.5" tall) and my Fitbit tells me I'm exercising in one form or another for an average of about 8-9 hours per day, about 5 hours of that pedaling leisurely at my bike desk. That's it (I think). Criticize away! --Dean
All, Over on this thread about the hazards and benefits of a fruitarian diet we've talked (and debunked) about the concern that some so-called nutrition experts have about fructose, even in whole fruit. I was surprised to see that neither in that thread nor anywhere else I could find have we discussed this study . With this post I will remedy that. It's a real winner and I don't mean that facetiously. My only complaint is that it was a small study, involving only 10 people (8 men and 2 women) who were "prepared to eat a large amount of leafy vegetables" - perhaps they couldn't find too many subjects... The participants were healthy folks, average age ~38 and average BMI ~25. That had each subject follow three different diets for two weeks each - "Vegetable Diet", "Starch Diet" and "Low-fat Therapeutic Diet" so as to serve as their own controls. All meals were prepared for each subject and delivered in pre-weighed quantities to them twice weekly. Here are the specific foods eaten for the three diets: Note for the "Vegetable Diet", there were three different days of meals that subjects ate in rotation, while for the other two diets subjects ate the same thing every day for the entire two weeks. Also note that it's not clear from the text whether the olive oil in the starch or low-fat therapeutic diets was extra virgin or not. Here is a high level nutrition breakdown of the three diets: What's noteworthy is that the Vegetable diet looks remarkably similar to my own, whole food, plant-based diet - except for the fact that I eat a wider variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as more nuts, and therefore more fat & calories. Here are a few facts about the vegetable diet from the full text of the paper: This very high intake of fruit and vegetables translated into 63 servings per day for a 2,500 kcal diet (Table 1) It was 18% protein (entirely from plant sources), 22% fat (half from MUFA), and 60% carbs It contained almost 140g of fiber per day The total weight of food was 5.1 kg / day (~11 lbs) The fecal weight during the vegetable diet was over 900g/day (~2lbs) Yup, that's a diet after my own heart. In fact, I'd consider it nearly perfect except I'd replace some of the "chunky" veggies with "leafy" ones, add some omega-3 from walnuts/flax, and of course someone eating this way would need to supplement with at least B12 in the long term. So what did they find? Not surprisingly (to me anyway) the starch diet beat the low-fat therapeutic diet, but the vegetable diet kicked both their butts when it came to markers of cardiovascular health - which was the focus of the study. Here is the time course of changes to total cholesterol, Tot-chol:HDL , LDL:HDL, and APOB over the two weeks on each of the three diets: As you can see from those graphs, and the summary changes below, on nearly every metric the vegetable diet beat the other two: The only thing that the vegetable diet didn't excel at was reducing triglycerides. Note that it didn't raise triglycerides, despite all that fructose, but it didn't reduce them like it reduced all the other CVD indicators. Finally, one more thing the vegetable diet excelled at - satiety: With the maximum satiety rating as 3.0, satiety ratings were highest on the vegetable-based diet (3.0) compared with the starch-based (1.9) and low-fat diets (0.7) and related to the daily weight of food consumed (vegetable-based, 5.1 kg/d; starch-based, 1.9 kg/d; and low-fat therapeutic diet, 2.0 kg/d). So if you are ever asked how you know your crazy whole food, plant-based diet is healthy, or how you know that all that fructose isn't spiking your triglycerides and trashing your liver, beyond sharing your own blood tests, I'd say this is the best study I've found to offer as evidence. --Dean ----------  Metabolism. 2001 Apr;50(4):494-503. Effect of a very-high-fiber vegetable, fruit, and nut diet on serum lipids and colonic function. Jenkins DJ(1), Kendall CW, Popovich DG, Vidgen E, Mehling CC, Vuksan V, Ransom TP, Rao AV, Rosenberg-Zand R, Tariq N, Corey P, Jones PJ, Raeini M, Story JA, Furumoto EJ, Illingworth DR, Pappu AS, Connelly PW. Full text: http://sci-hub.cc/10.1053/meta.2001.21037 We tested the effects of feeding a diet very high in fiber from fruit and vegetables. The levels fed were those, which had originally inspired the dietary fiber hypothesis related to colon cancer and heart disease prevention and also may have been eaten early in human evolution. Ten healthy volunteers each took 3 metabolic diets of 2 weeks duration. The diets were: high-vegetable, fruit, and nut (very-high-fiber, 55 g/1,000 kcal); starch-based containing cereals and legumes (early agricultural diet); or low-fat (contemporary therapeutic diet). All diets were intended to be weight-maintaining (mean intake, 2,577 kcal/d). Compared with the starch-based and low-fat diets, the high-fiber vegetable diet resulted in the largest reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (33% +/- 4%, P <.001) and the greatest fecal bile acid output (1.13 +/- 0.30 g/d, P =.002), fecal bulk (906 +/- 130 g/d, P <.001), and fecal short-chain fatty acid outputs (78 +/- 13 mmol/d, P <.001). Nevertheless, due to the increase in fecal bulk, the actual concentrations of fecal bile acids were lowest on the vegetable diet (1.2 mg/g wet weight, P =.002). Maximum lipid reductions occurred within 1 week. Urinary mevalonic acid excretion increased (P =.036) on the high-vegetable diet reflecting large fecal steroid losses. We conclude that very high-vegetable fiber intakes reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and possibly colon cancer. Vegetable and fruit fibers therefore warrant further detailed investigation. PMID: 11288049