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Miraenda

My current healthy eating philosophy

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Hey,

 

Since I'm new and I'm not entirely into the entire CRON lifestyle yet, I'm working first on the ON part of that strategy. I'm posting this in chitchat to get feedback from others on what I've written as well as discussions on other people's progress at an early point in their journey to becoming healthier (and hopefully living longer).

 

I wrote up a post at http://promise.city/index.php/2017/05/25/learning-the-healthy-lifestyle-of-optimal-nutrition/ on where I stand right now on what I'm doing. It's a list of tenets I try to follow, why I picked what I picked, and what challenges I'm currently facing.

 

I'd appreciate any feedback, especially details on what others have done over the years in the early stages to get where you are today.

 

Thanks!

Edited by Miraenda

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Miraenda, I don't know why in your blog you are so concerned about snacks and reduction in hunger at night. If your aim is weightloss (besides ON) you should be glad about that. Actually, the fewer the meals (snacks included) the best, usually (unless some specific strategies like McDougall's MWL are implemented).

 

Huge amount of micronutrients with few calories are ingested by simply consulting something like the ANDI score table by Dr. joel Fuhrman. Usually they are vegetables like spinach, swiss chard, green collard, kale.

 

post-7347-0-95287800-1495806900_thumb.jpg

 

Also, one ounce of nuts /seeds per day, even though caloric, appears to enhance weightloss, and you should mix as many of the varieties you like (including almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts).

 

 

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As to the 'healthier', now that depends. as far as I understood (pls correct me wherever I got it wrong), you are presently following a keto diet with CR to loose weight, since you are about 300 pounds (but you don't tell your height).

 

Now, the possible, sensible strategies I envisage are two:

 

  1. Priority to weightloss: depending on some factors like immediate danger of CV disease, conditions like diabetes and so on, they might pose an immediate hazard to health so weightloss should have priority, then your keto+CR diet is ideal, taking supplements and increasing the amount of vegetables with a high ANDI score.
  2. Priority to health. You might not be in such a hurry to loose weight and a slow but safe weightloss would be preferable. In such a context, among all the dietary regimens I examined, Dr. Joel Fuhrman's regimen is the one which grants weightloss and optimum health at the same time. 

In my personal quest, which has been unrolling for 40 years now, I found that the options discussed in this site, without fanatism and without ruling out a priori any food are the healthiest.

 

Gordo follows a very balanced vegan plan close to Fuhrman's diet, you can see the details clicking on his avatar

 

I'm on his tail, with some personal variations. It took time to me to get accustomed to legumes but there is overwhelming evidence that they are so favourable to longevity & health. Some canned legumes are very good, right cooking point, tender and tasty but not mushy 

I read a lot in the latest months and all the doctors with credentials insist on the following foods for healthspan and longevity:

 

  • Vegetables, especially green-leaved vegetables and crucifera
  • Fresh fruit especially berries
  • Legumes, all of'em even canned, including soy products
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Seeds and nuts
  • spices, all of'em especially curcumin
  • Garlic, onion, leeks, aliacee
  • mushrooms
  • oily fish (all except the vegan doctors)
  • EVOO (all except the vegan trio: McDougall-Barnard-Fuhrman)

Fermented dairy products like kefir and yogurt are also good

 

Plus there is the exercise & lifestyle part which is important, very important as well.

Edited by mccoy

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Yea I think for weight loss, you will benefit by increasing exercise, even if that just means taking a long walk in the evenings, or walking up and down a staircase for as long as you can handle (start at 5 minutes and try to increase that time by 30 seconds each day).

 

As for hunger, first I think its very important to start doing time restricted feeding.  That means only eating during certain hours that you set (like noon to 7PM for example).  Your body will get used to eating only in this window and will not expect food at other times.  Many Americans eat around the clock except when sleeping, this is not good for your health or longevity.  Also, its important to learn that the feeling of hunger does go away after a little while as long as you do not give in and eat anything - your body will switch over to burning stored fat, which is exactly what you want to happen, and then the hunger feeling will subside if not go away entirely.   This usually happens within 15-30 minutes and you can feel your body switching modes.

 

I agree with mccoy about nuts - buy a big container of mixed nuts, and eat them regularly, they will satisfy hunger and likely help you lose weight, and they are one of the most healthy foods there is, particularly good for longevity.  

 

I also recommend you start getting used to high fiber meals.  This is something you have to build up to slowly.  Just keep adding a little bit more fiber to every meal, each day.  This will help you feel fuller.  Beans, sweet potatoes, and grains are great for this, huge salads are good for you, but will not satisfy hunger and virtually no one can stay on a "salad diet" for very long.

 

Longer term, the reason low carb diets are bad is that they generally activate both mTOR and IGF-1, leading to accelerated aging and higher risk of cancer mortality.

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Thanks for the input and suggestions. I'd picked seeds like pumpkin and sunflower over nuts for my diet currently, although I do have almonds that I've been eating from time to time. When I look at the nutritional benefits of nuts versus seeds, they are less likely to meet all as many nutritional requirements than the seeds, which pack a denser amount of nutrients per ounce. This is what I've found when plugging them each into cronometer for a day and comparing. 

 

Now, split peas, which I've purchased but haven't eaten yet, also provide a slew of vitamins and nutrients, so the idea of adding legumes is something that would be a huge benefit.

 

Of course, eggs, spinach and avocados also are top at the list for nutrients, and I eat those nearly every day.

 

Of note, personally, I preferred to focus first on optimal nutrition because eating healthier has actually managed to make me feel better. I've lost 13.4 pounds since May 1, but my actual focus is on making sure what I eat is nutritious and to gradually lose weight with nutritious foods.

 

The nutrition I'm getting now is hitting 90-93% of targets daily in cronometer with most nutrients at 100% other than biotin, calcium, iodine, molybdenum, and potassium. I'm also not hitting the 100% mark for fiber and need to add more fiber into my diet (as Gordo recommended), which would be the case if I just start adding the split peas each day. I'm meeting these targets without adding a large amount of supplements (I only take cod liver oil, vitamin c 500 mg, chromium (recently added) and spirulina chlorella). I was taking another multi-vitamin that I dropped a few days ago because I don't need it.

 

I am currently exercising 36 minutes on an exercise bike at my company's gym for three days a week. I will be increasing that to four days a week next week, then after about 3-4 weeks of that, I'll increase to five days a week. Eventually, I'm going to add in the rowing machine to my routine, and then after I get about 5-10 minutes added for that, I will eventually work up to doing some weights. For walking exercise, I prefer not to walk in public on sidewalks (Houston has atrocious sidewalks and drivers who like to hit pedestrians, which I have almost had happen to me when work used to be only a mile away and I would walk to work and was almost hit on multiple occasions).

 

Now, for me, focusing on nutrition and exercise is an easier task than focusing on weight loss, because weight loss is a projection on what you'd like to see, while nutrition and exercise are tasks that you can work to meet goals and improve each day. Unfortunately, calories don't always indicate weight loss as I've had days with far fewer calories (1200-1400) and exercised on a bike for 36 minutes, but not lost weight the next day. As such, I don't want to focus on something I can't control (weight loss). I could easily get caught up in expectations of losing so much this day or that day, and then become disenchanted because I did not lose weight.

 

Feeling better, which is something that is happening by focusing on nutrition and exercise, is a main motivator for me. I have never felt as good as I do now on any weight loss efforts I tried even when I lost vast amounts of weight on Atkins several years ago. At the end when I was the final weight I reached, which was 80 pounds lighter than I am now, I still didn't feel as good as I do at this very moment after only a few weeks of focusing on nutrition. On that prior Atkins diet, I did walk for my exercise and biked, so exercise was also there.

 

If it isn't obvious, I'm very OCD and the inability to control weight loss makes it untenable as any type of goal-oriented approach. Nutrition allows me to tweak and be as OCD as I like with my daily meals, figuring out as I go how to improve what I'm eating. Since this approach so far has resulted in feeling better than I have in 20 years, it's already paying back for the effort.

 

This response also explains why I'm unwilling to go about fasting for long periods of time (I'm not against the idea of intermittent fasting though, just long-term fasting), brought up in another thread, even though I'm currently having trouble eating lunch or dinner nowadays. I'm unwilling to go back to feeling crappy, which is how I felt before I was meeting 90+% targets for optimal nutrition. I guess I don't want to be the mouse standing in cold water 5 hours a day just to live longer, since that would make me miserable if I don't feel good. Living longer is only worthwhile if I also feel good while doing it.

Edited by Miraenda

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Longer term, the reason low carb diets are bad is that they generally activate both mTOR and IGF-1, leading to accelerated aging and higher risk of cancer mortality.

 

I've never seen anything anywhere that suggests that consuming more carbs suppresses mTOR or IGF-1.  I suppose if one consumes enough sugar to become severely diabetic they might suppress mTOR and IGF-1 but I wouldn't advise it for longevity.

 

Most of the data I've seen suggests mTOR and IGF-1 are linked to protein intake and one can manipulate them by shifiting between protein and fat independent of carbohydrate intake.

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Miraenda, most people pursuing weight loss actually want fat loss.  If that's your goal use tools that better measure body fat such as a tape measure or skin fold calipers.  I've found taking a picture of myself once a week or so a fairly good tool for tracking change.  I've recently been gaining weight but because of the other tools I know I'm still losing fat and am excited instead of discouraged.

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Longer term, the reason low carb diets are bad is that they generally activate both mTOR and IGF-1, leading to accelerated aging and higher risk of cancer mortality.

 

I've never seen anything anywhere that suggests that consuming more carbs suppresses mTOR or IGF-1.  I suppose if one consumes enough sugar to become severely diabetic they might suppress mTOR and IGF-1 but I wouldn't advise it for longevity.

 

Most of the data I've seen suggests mTOR and IGF-1 are linked to protein intake and one can manipulate them by shifiting between protein and fat independent of carbohydrate intake.

 

 

Most probably gordo omitted the 'Hi protein' from the 'low carb' side and just meant hi protein.

 

Actually, protein content being the same, a diet with lower carbs would downregulate mTOR with respect to the other higher in carb because of the lower energy input, ensuing in higher AMP-kinase signal. Also, insulin would drop and the PIPK3-akt pathway (which upregulates mTOR) is dependent upon insulin as well besides IGF-1. 

 

My brief stint with moderate protein, low-carb, and ad libitum fat was a precipitous drop in insulin which caused weightloss and probably mTOR downregulation (insulin-IGF-1 dropped and AMPK rose).

 

I did not measure insulin but understood the drop by the sudden, total lack of libido, which was sure related to the sudden increase in SHBG (sex-hormones binding globulin) which binds free testosterone. It lasted until I resumed eating more carbs. SHBG rises when insulin drops and vice-versa. Higher insulin causes higher free testosterone hence greater libido all other things being equal and until a new hormonal balance is estabilished.

 

So, a low carb diet is not necessarily bad, provided it is low-protein as well and high in fibers. Which usually implies hi fats though, which implies that the system must have a very efficient lipids metabolism, unless saturated fats are kept low.

 

In lab rats the studies by Solon-Biet et al. have found an high fat diet unfavourable to longevity but I have my strong doubts that those studies are representative of human beings (the best nutritional geometry found longevity-wise was a very unrealistic 1:10 protein:carbs - only found in the Okinawans ).

Edited by mccoy

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Todd, that is true about it being more fat loss that matters. I have a scale that does BIA, and if it's actually accurate, that day I didn't lose weight despite exercising and eating low calories the day before, I also didn't lose body fat. Now, it was just purchased about a week ago, and I don't have any prior accurate comparison to make to know if it's right or not. We'll see what happens when other days where no weight loss occurs when low calories and exercise happened the day before now that I have a scale to track body fat. Thankfully, I'm not worried if I don't lose weight or body fat each day so long as I'm eating properly now.

Edited by Miraenda

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I've never seen anything anywhere that suggests that consuming more carbs suppresses mTOR or IGF-1. 

 

 

The essential amino acids leucine and methionine are potent activators of mTOR (and IGF1), as far as I know, this is not disputed at all. Most low carb diets are leucine and methionine rich, that is my point.

 

  • The administration of leucine into the rat brain has been shown to decrease food intake and body weight via activation of the mTOR pathway in the hypothalamus.[64]
  • Over-activation of mTOR signaling significantly contributes to the initiation and development of tumors and mTOR activity was found to be deregulated in many types of cancer including breast, prostate, lung, melanoma, bladder, brain, and renal carcinomas.[67] 
  • Increasing mTOR activity was shown to drive cell cycle progression and increase cell proliferation mainly thanks to its effect on protein synthesis. Moreover, active mTOR supports tumor growth also indirectly by inhibiting autophagy.[71] 

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Gordo, pls see my previous post which I wrote while you were writing yours.

 

You should have perhaps written: 'Hi-protein, low-carb' although that was implied.

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The nutrition I'm getting now is hitting 90-93% of targets daily in cronometer with most nutrients at 100% other than biotin, calcium, iodine, molybdenum, and potassium. I'm also not hitting the 100% mark for fiber and need to add more fiber into my diet (as Gordo recommended), which would be the case if I just start adding the split peas each day. I'm meeting these targets without adding a large amount of supplements (I only take cod liver oil, vitamin c 500 mg, chromium (recently added) and spirulina chlorella). I was taking another multi-vitamin that I dropped a few days ago because I don't need it.

 

 

Your nutrition strategy appears good, although pls note that, as I found in this forum, there is another level to nutrition which isn't dealt with in chronometer, and that's phytochemicals. Plant-derived organic compounds which deliver so many useful benefits such as antioxidating properties, anticarcinogenic, immunogenic, protective against so many conditions.

 

For example: phenolic compounds, phytosterols, phytates... the Italian EVOO you recently purchased has the identical macronutrients profile of the Bertolli oil in chronometer but it is so overwhelmingly rich in the specific phenolic compounds liek oleuropeine which deliver substantial protection from all cause mortality.

 

Dealing with nuts, although sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are a powerhouse of minerals and vitamins + aminoacids, some other nuts may have other phytochemiclas, especially phytosterols/stanols which are beneficial and are missing in sunflower seeds (although sunflower seeds are among the richest in total phytosterol concentration).

 

Also, fatty acid profile of different nuts & seeds are different. Sunfl+pumpkin seeds are very rich in omega-6 and lacking in others. 

 

Besides, we don't know how many yet unknown phytochemicals different nuts contain.

 

Bottom line, richness in the usual macro+micro nutrients is very good, but content in phytochemicals provides us with huge advantages. 

 

Nutwise, I make sure to rotate among nuts and even to eat occasionally the most expensive varieties which I wouldn't buy otherwise if not for the sake of phytosterols. for example, macadamia nuts are obscenely expensive but once a month I'll make sure to eat them. Pine nuts, ditto. 

 

This is an all-new interesting game to me. Of course none forbids you to indulge in the phytochemiclas you like best. For example, I love bitter cocoa and found a very legitimate excuse to indulge in its epicatechins. Other people here like to indulge in the anti-cancer properties of the coffee diterpens. You sure are going to find some pet phytochemical of yours.

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Thanks mccoy. I had read a couple of discussions on here where photochemicals were mentioned, but hadn't really gotten into that area so far. I do like nuts, so I'll try adding more of them into the diet, since I need more variety now that I've gotten a good mix of overall nutrients.

 

I also need to add more vegetables and berries. I decided to add some blackberries into the mix rather than just strawberries when I went shopping this weekend. I haven't had blackberries since I was a kid (we had a few bushes in our yard and we used to have so many that neighbors would come by to ask to pick them).

 

Thanks again for all of the helpful suggestions. It's much appreciated.

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You are welcome Miraenda, blackberries appear to be one of the best foods in absolute as far as antioxidating/protective power goes.

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I'm a fan of blackberries, yes they are a health powerhouse.  I have a bunch of blackberry bushes, but they aren't nearly as productive as the ones my Dad has, his produce buckets of berries, so many he can't handle them all, last year I blended a lot of them up and froze it for winter.

blackberries.jpg

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