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Mechanism

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I have been experimenting with lower GI foods for optimal BG levels and to lower TG ( with a likely dried fruit blip last draw at 170 but chol 178 and moreover HDL 62 and LDL 82... Historically TG was always normal until the blip and no known atherosclerosis in my family with high functioning to age).

To make clear, the nut intervention is after the TG reading which went with impaired OGTT. While nuts are high fat, most save macadonia are low SF.

For one night I had > 10 ounces ( 299 grams) of nuts and seeds, including walnuts, pecans, filberts, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, pine nuts and of course my daily 2 Tbsp of fresh ground flaxseed ( other nights I may have some pistachios, etc.). BG was terrific with this.

Even with all those nuts and seeds & other sources of oils such as EVOO and found in the rest of my entree, the total % oil in my meal was only 55% ( high but not as high as a strict kerogenic diet) and moreover still in same meal get in a ton of vegetables ( > 1pound) including leafy veggies, cruciferous & allium, 1.5 cup of berries, great additional fiber in the same meal via black rice and black beans ( along with very diversified spices, vinegar, etc., all whole foods, good cron-o-meter micronutrient profile.

Are there theoretical concerns ( besides weight gain, but not my problem, naturally low BMI) regarding so many nuts/seeds? They were well tolerated & enjoyable.

Edited by Mechanism

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Mechanism,

 

Are there theoretical concerns ( besides weight gain, but not my problem, naturally low BMI) regarding so many nuts/seeds [~300g = ~1500kcal]? They were well tolerated & enjoyable. 

 

That's certainly a lot of nuts, seeds and EVOO. There are at least a few people (mostly lurking) around here who are believers in the "calories, calories, calories" mantra of CR benefits. They would (presumably) say you're eating too many calories, and it will result in a shortening of your life, or at least you'll miss out on the life extension that eating fewer calories is likely to give you.
 
As you probably know already, I don't pitch my tent in that particular camp.
 
In fact, yours looks remarkably like my own diet, although I eat (a bit) fewer nuts/seeds, no EVOO, and more fruits & veggies. As long as you are meeting your nutritional needs (which it sounds like you must be if you're diligently using Cron-O-Meter), I don't know of any problem with getting much of one's calories from lots of healthy (plant) fats. It should help with your blood glucose relative to a diet with higher carbs.
 
There are some (like the less-than-credible Denise Minger) who have put forth the hypothesis (discussed here, with link to her long and reasonably entertaining blog post about it) that there is a "no man's land" of (increased) diabetes risk between the two extremes on the fat vs. carbs scale - i.e. a very high (healthy) carb, low-fat (i.e. Pritikin, Ornish, Esselstyn, Bernard, McDougall-style) diet will help your avoid diabetes, and a very low-carb, high-fat (Paleo, Atkins-type) diet will help you avoid diabetes too, or at least help to mask / deal with its symptoms and prevent its deleterious effects. But a diet that falls in the middle, which she calls "macronutrient swampland", i.e. the way most American's eat, with ~40% (crappy) fat and 50% (crappy) carbs, will get you into diabetes purgatory, according to her hypothesis. Her (laywoman's) explanation for this effect is that the fat gums up your blood and your cells, so that the glucose can't/won't get absorbed.
 
I personally think there may be something to this hypothesis, but probably only if you're eating quickly digesting, fiber- and micronutrient-poor carbs, and crappy, SFA and cholesterol-laden animal fats. Which neither you nor I eat. So I take Denise's perspective with a big grain of salt.
 
Closer to home, if Michael were (or is) paying attention, he is likely to say that the amount of Omega-6 PUFA-rich nuts and seeds you are eating is "stupid high", as he has said about my nut consumption on several occasions (here and more recently here), based on what seems like an ex cathedra pronouncement rather than any reasoned argument, as far as I can tell. The one justification for his disparaging remark he gave (in the second link):
 

Dean, your 36 g/d of omega-6 (linoleic acid, since you're vegan) is right up on the extreme of the acceptable intake range, and higher than the at-least-slightly-too-high AI — this being one criterion by which to judge it "stupid high."

 

But that is simply appealing to an even higher authority than himself, rather than to actual evidence. I'm surprised Michael hasn't tried to actually make the case, and  I'm skeptical of Michael's skepticism, both because the evidence seems to suggest PUFA is healthy, or at least not unhealthy, especially since the foods we get it from (nuts, seeds, avocado, EVOO) are a lot healthier sources than the refined oils and margarines that were the assumed primary sources of PUFA when the standards Michael points to were put together.

 

I'd love to see Michael (finally) argue convincingly why a diet high in fat from nuts, seeds and avocado (including all that PUFA) is likely to be deleterious, period. But I'd even settle for a cogent argument as to why such a diet would simply be less healthy than one high in his favorite MUFA-rich fat source, EVOO. I would further hope it would be based on clinical evidence, rather than speculative biochemical models of membrane peroxidizability, eicosanoids etc. One can only dream...

 

It's another one of Michael's "Fermat's Last Theorems", scribbled cryptically in the margins of several posts over the last couple years...

 

--Dean

 

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Fascinating Dean. The most interesting part of your reply to me was the play-by-play breakdown of how you order your meal presently albeit as you noted some of this is habitual and taste. Our diets are actually a lot closer alike even than that I think ( my meal description did not capture typical leafy green and crufierous content which are very high, along with unique veggies such as beets, nightshades like tomato/eggplant, some allium, etc.). Having said that I don't have green smoothies so I spend quite a bit of time chewing! FYI I mentioned filberts which is another name for hazelnuts [corrected: original typo erroneously dubbed as chestnut] ( I didn't know that until recently) though I don't use sunflower seeds much given the omega 6 to 3 ratio even compared to others nuts. I never add EVOO to my meals... but my wife cooks with it so I do get a modest portion... I have now gone with one of Michael's favorite brands via a link he kindly provided to Amazon previously. I also have a lemon or two with peel +/- lime juice. For vinegar I have at least 1-2 Tbsp with dinner. And prominent component of often over a dozen spices makes the meal fun!

 

Great links on food combining. I was not previously familiar with The Chalkboard Mag but it is now on my radar. I certainly break a lot of rules such as avocado with nuts which they say is a no-no since the nuts are a protein though in practice examining the macronutrients I think most of them would be better regarded as a fat than a protein, not to mention that digestion is of the whole food.

 

I tentatively thought that this aspect of design in "food combining" with respect to "toxin" formation was woo-woo but your interest in the area with the scrutiny you incorporate evidence-based dietary practices into lifestyle choices gives me pause. Have you found a good evidence-based source or review articles to backup the claims on toxins with different orders?

 

For those interested, found a garlic and insulin sensitivity / resistance publication here ( particularly suitable for higher fruit diets) though I'm not sure how to translate dosing of the fruit intake by rodents into equivalent for humans. I remember asking this question before, but I do not recall an answer, does anybody know? I assume it may not be a simple multiple of rat weights to get to human rights as we metabolize differently.

 

I haven't really experienced any discomfort being active following a meal, maybe owing, in part, to the fact that I have a lunch also hence divide out my calories somewhat. More likely my post-prandial activity: I tend not to jog after the meal but rather use a stationary bicycle and/or resistance training which is easy enough. On the other hand I have seen evidence that having vegetables earlier helps, vinegar with meals helps ( along with some spices like cinnamon), etc. I like that N=1 experiments are personalized. At the same time I am always skeptical of introducing bias and idiosyncratic differences in my own non-blinded experiments. So a mix of both evidence is really helpful including your own shared N=1 experiments ( along with Gordo & other "trackers").

 

Michael R, your posts are always illuminating. Hope to meet you at a future conference.

 

Off-topic question digression removed as not to detract from this thread

 

I'm not sure I see the great data to support Denise Minger's hypothesis. Fats comprised 55% of the meal above. Other meals had not quite so many nuts and I see more like 40-50% calories from lipids/fat/oil. So far, this seems to be a viable option too ( need to test reputability under different circumstances).

 

I do know Dean Ornish's <10% fat diet is one of very few ( only one?) that reverses atherosclerosis and may be a unique advantage to ultra-low fat diets. But if my arteries clean and LDL/HDL good ( and presuming the one time bump up in triglycerides before I started experimenting with nuts is just that and TG are low too ), I am thinking that this may not be relevant. Something great about crowdsourcing is peer groups here will not doubt call me out if they have a different take on things...

Edited by Mechanism

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Mechanism,

 

A few minor responses / corrections.

 

You wrote:

Having said that I don't have green smoothies so I spend quite a bit of time chewing! 

 

Be careful with all that chewing. I've always had good teeth, and my dentist says I have really hard enamel. But nevertheless she says my teeth show a lot of wear on the top surfaces. She thinks it's probably from nighttime teeth grinding, but I'm positive I don't do this. Instead, I'm almost certain it's a result of many years of all that chewing of fibrous vegetables. These days I compromise. I chew about half my veggies whole, and blend (in my Vitamix) the other half of the veggies with some fruit (berries, orange, tomato, cucumber), apple cider vinegar and a bit of water to create the salad dressing for the veggies that I eat whole. The dressing tastes good (to me) and makes for easier digestion since some of the veggies are already partially broken down, in addition to reducing tooth wear by cutting down on some of the chewing.  

 

FYI I mentioned filberts which is another name for chestnuts ( I didn't know that until recently) 

 

Good that you just found that out. I hope you haven't told anybody else about it, since you're mistaken. The nut you are referring to is a hazelnut, which is sometimes also called a filbert for weird reasons having to do with St. Philbert, described here. Chestnuts are an entirely different animals (er... vegetable). See here and subsequent posts on that thread for why I think chestnuts are worth including in my nut mix, and where I get them (Amazon and Nuts.com).

 

The Chalkboard Mag but it is now on my radar.

 

Note - I have never heard of this magazine, nor do I endorse anything it says. It was simply where I found (via a Google search) information on commonly held (mis?)beliefs about food combining and the elaborate rules some people employ surrounding it.

 

I tentatively thought that this aspect of design in "food combining" with respect to "toxin" formation was woo-woo but your interest in the area with the scrutiny you incorporate evidence-based dietary practices into lifestyle choices gives me pause. Have you found a good evidence-based source or review articles to backup the claims on toxins with different orders?

 

Have you read anything I've said on this topic in previous posts?! I never claimed I believed (to say nothing of had evidence) that violating any of their crazy food combining rules generates so-called 'toxins'. That is almost certainly woo-woo, as far as I am concerned. I simply pointed out that many whole plant-based eaters (including me) find that certain orderings of foods during a meal can result in less post-meal bloating and digestive issues. I'm certain there is no "one size fits all" approach to food ordering, and for many people (apparently including you) it isn't even an issue.

 

I'm not sure I see the great data to support Denise Minger's hypothesis.

 

I didn't say there was great data to support her "macronutrient swampland" hypothesis by which a diet that is intermediate in carbs (~50%) and intermediate in fat (~30-40%) is bad for diabetes risk. I said it's possible that it might have some merit, but it's more likely a function of the crappy carbs combined with the crappy fats the average person is eating when occupying the "macronutrient swampland". 

 

--Dean

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Thank you for the tips on chewing. I'll really have to give it some thought as I have never before considered the long-term impact so much chewing on my long-term dentition.

I apologize I misunderstood which was my carelessness as your own reason for food ordering you made perfectly clear in your post. Clearly I was distracted as I also had a slip of the finger so to speak and meant hazelnuts and filberts not chestnuts as you pointed out. I don't have chestnuts as part of my regular diet but rather filberts/hazelnuts but thanks to your reference, I'll need to look further into their benefits (great sourcing). The historical origin / background on filberts is neat, thanks for sharing. Hope you're enjoying the weekend!

Edited by Dean Pomerleau
Fixed obvious chestnut ↔ hazelnut substitution mixup

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Hi Mechanism!

 

I'll chime in about high fibrous vegetables and dental effects:

 

It's one of the cases in which I think that Dean is entirely wrong -- and that his dentist is correct.  

 

I'm only an n=1 case (but so are each of us), and I have excellent, healthy teeth -- and I NEVER blend  veggies (or anything else) -- I want the fiber in them.   Blending a veggie makes the sugar in it much more available -- e.g., a solid carrot is a healthy vegetable, while a blended carrot is sugar water plus vitamins (not unlike the junky "Vitamin Water").

 

Dean probably grinds his teeth at night, like his dentist thinks (or does something else) -- eating raw veggies strains your teeth, and actually stengthens them.

 

The real "secret" to good teeth is good oral hygiene -- I use interdental brushes to clean between my teeth twice every day (and multiple times during the day, using portable interdental brushes) -- and I use a rotary toothbrush twice daily.

 

I should note:  From Dean's earlier posts, his dental habits are excellent, too.

 

My point is:  I think that Dean is entirely wrong about there being advantages in blending -- IMO, it's a pure negative.

 

  --  Saul

Edited by Saul

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I understand Saul is a mathematician? I find that hard to believe  :Pxyz - just kidding Saul! If find it hard to believe, because mathematicians are supposed to carefully follow rules in order to derive results.

 

You say that Dean advocates or practices "juicing". I find no evidence that he does any such thing. What he does do with half his vegetables is he blends them in a blender. Here I quote from Dean:

 

[...]I chew about half my veggies whole, and blend (in my Vitamix) the other half of the veggies with some fruit[...]

 

Blending and Juicing are two completely and utterly different things. Saul is right about juicing removing pulp and valuable fiber. Which is why it's a good thing Dean doesn't do that. Instead, he blends, which preserves all the pulp and thus is not the same thing at all. Here it's explained on the University of Washington site:

 

Juicing vs. blending – what’s the difference?

 

"Juicing is a process where the liquid part of the fruit or vegetable is separated from the pulp, or fiber. You get a thin and concentrated liquid product that contains vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients, which are bioactive plant-derived compounds associated with positive health effects. You specifically need a juicer to do this.

With blending, the whole fruit or vegetable is used: what you put in the blender is what you consume. The volume of the drink, which is often called a smoothie, will be much greater than that of a juice made from the same amount of fruits or vegetables. You can use anything from a standard blender to higher-end products like a Vitamix."

 

 

Note that they mention Vitamix for blending - exactly what Dean has mentioned he throws his veggies in, a Vitamix blender. Completely and utterly different things.

Now, one may discuss the pros and cons of blending vs consuming raw vegetables, but then let it be a discussion of blending, and not the straw man of juicing. After all, you wouldn't insist on discussing nothing but profinite groups while elaborating on non-Hausdorff completion.

 

Edited by TomBAvoider

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Saul, I think Dean uses a blender more than a juicer.  I agree that using a juicer and tossing the pulp after extracting juice is likely a negative as one is losing the fiber and probably quite a bit more.    Using a blender doesn't destroy the fiber benefits.  While it may make sugars more readily available it is undoubtedly making some anti-oxidants and other beneficial components more available too.  I'm not suggesting one should blend all of their produce, but a modest amount of blending might be better than not doing any.  And  considering the volume of stuff Dean eats blending a small amount seems reasonable.

 

(doh!  I just read Tom's post and should have finished the thread before jumping in and saying the same thing less well...)

Edited by Todd Allen

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Hi Todd et al!

 

You're right -- I actually meant "blending".  Where I said "juicing", I meant "blending".  (I actually hadn't known that there was any procedure so bad that it totally eliminates the fiber -- Yuk!)

 

But, blending degrades the fiber -- what would have been fiber in your intestines will appear as simple sugars -- particularly bad in you have problems with a GTT.

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Hi Tom!

 

"Juicing" vs. "blending" has nothing to do with mathematics -- it's English.  (Definitions of words.)  But thanks for your correction -- I edited my original post, replacing "juicing" with "blending".

 

Remember, we're a group of "fanatics" :)xyz by popular definitions -- blending might look great to someone who is proud that they don't juice, but that doesn't match our "much over ad lib" standards.

 

But thanks again, for your friendly :wacko: correction.

 

  -- Saul

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Hi Todd et al!

 

You're right -- I actually meant "blending". Where I said "juicing", I meant "blending". (I actually hadn't known that there was any procedure so bad that it totally eliminates the fiber -- Yuk!)

 

But, blending degrades the fiber -- what would have been fiber in your intestines will appear as simple sugars -- particularly bad in you have problems with a GTT.

reference, please

Edited by Sthira

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Guys,

 

Thanks for coming to my defense in my (sort of) absence - we've had a second fun and very active day at Niagara Falls - it is great place to visit for folks who like an active vacation.

 

Saul, you continue to amaze me with how carelessly you read, and the lack of any scientific backup for your proclamations - in this case that blending is nearly as bad a juicing for glucose control.

 

First, everyone is correct. I don't recommend juicing, but I see no harm in blending, expecially since my blended vegetable "salad dressing" has the consistency of tomato paste - i.e. quite thick and still pretty "chunky". I admit it was a cursory search, but I could find no evidence from studies that blending vegetables negatively impacts glucose control. And more importantly, I see no evidence of negative impact from my own glucose experiments.

 

Once again, Saul, you appear to be living in you own little world. Am I right in guessing you are a mathematical Platonist?

 

--Dean

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Well, I agree that blending can have disadvantages vs eating raw. It certainly breaks down the fiber matrix and so may make sugar uptake too fast. But as Todd points out, it also makes other nutrients available, some perhaps not as accessible otherwise. I mean, we have been equipped by nature with a very crude blender/masher in the form of molars - predators have much more in the way of tearing/slicing/prey-holding teeth (plus some bone-crushing ones), because they consume mostly meat. We are omnivores and so have teeth that can mash seeds, vegetables and the like - now why would we have that, if it's better to just consume F&V plus nuts and seeds without mashing them down? For sure some of it is in getting the outer layers broken and discarded (fruit peel, nut shells etc.), but some of it is indeed the same idea as a blender - crushing the matrix (plus adding saliva to start the digestive process). Apparently accessing those nutrients through mashing (i.e. less efficient blending) is of value. We don't just discard the shells and then swallow the rest whole. Snakes swallow their prey whole, we don't. There is value in eating raw vegetables, but we don't f.ex. extrapolate from that to swallowing whole since that is even less "processing". Humans invented cooking to also essentially liberate nutrients. It was a boon to our nutrition (and civilization). Now we've invented blending - had we been able to do it, we'd have done the same thing earlier (hints of that trend: grinding into flower).

 

Todd makes the best point here: it's about the total diet. We can't just focus on Dean's blending. We must see his blending in the context of his whole diet. Analogy: you don't want to eat all your veggies raw, nor all your veggies cooked - because there are unique benefits to both. Same here. If Dean were to only blend, one may attempt to make a case that it's suboptimal (though given how many F&V he consumes, I doubt it's a problem). But he only blends part of his F&V and given the absolute amounts, he's on safe ground.

 

Meanwhile, I think, Saul, that you are wrong about the impact on teeth. It's all a question of the specific individual - some people have naturally harder teeth surfaces than others. Some may be able to chew a lot more without damaging their teeth. But you can definitely grind down your teeth through overuse, and not just from grinding at night. Yes, teeth benefit from the pressure of biting on food (more specifically the bone in which the tooth is anchored benefits) but you can absolutely overdo it if you consume as much in the way of F&V as Dean apparently does. I think Dean is doing exactly the right thing  here. All IMHO, and YMMV.

Edited by TomBAvoider

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I agree that Dean is eating good food -- but, as you note, totally raw is undoubtedly better.  (But, as you also note, blending might make some nutrients more available -- even if it messes up the fiber.  (Best example:  lycopean from tomatoes.)

 

However, Dean's diet is so good, that I can't believe he's lacking in any nutrient.  So, the net effect of what (I assume little) blending that he's doing is probably undesirable for someone who is glucose intolerant -- a problem that Dean had a problem with (IGTT) before he went off severe CRON.

 

  --  Saul

Edited by Saul

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Thank you Saul for your reply, great follow-up comments by everyone all around. On green smoothies I found the summary here helpful including dispelling a potential objection I raised earlier:

: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-downside-of-green-smoothies/

 

"There has been concern expressed that drinking green smoothies would bypass the nitrate-reducing bacteria in the mouth, but our body’s way too smart for that, and pumps nitrate back into our salivary glands. So, even if you deposited greens directly in your stomach with a tube, you’d still produce the nitric oxide so important for artery health."

 

Legitimate concerns albeit with little emperical research data I could find so far include: Saul's point on faster absorption and corresponding plasma glucose spike ( NOT an issue for Dean based on the heavy V ( vs F ) smoothie emphasis and exercise based on Dean's postpradial PG numbers) and satiation ( also not a problem for Dean who titrates his weight to the nearest pound at will). Greger also raised the point of acidity and enamel decay which can be lessened by using a straw and/or rinsing ( with postpradial brushing who knows how this compares to wearing down enamel via chewing)

 

On the pro side I'd add it can help incorporate less palatable parts of the plant too.

 

I confess that I'm a bit of a purist and as it is hard to reliably predict all the potential consequences both bad and good of newer forms of processing but Tom's excellent point on levels of processing already inherent to eating, all with pros and cons is well-taken. In my case proclivity towards chewing include that I enjoy chewing which has the adddd benefit of giving my natural insulin response a head start before my higher calorie bolus later in the meal though this can be accomplished many other ways.

 

Since blending is not an all or none proposition, and in this case I see little potential harm and some potential benefit of diversifying in this way, Dean's approach of blending some but not all vegetables seems quite reasonable for those inclined... YMMV!

Edited by Mechanism

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