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How should we distribute our intake of vegetables from an optimal nutrition standpoint?

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I have attached what I eat in this message. 

I am eating at least 7 pounds of vegetables a day and right now I am eating around ~200-300g of each vegetable, but I am wondering if I might be better off eating less of the starchy vegetables - peas, carrots, green beans, - and more dark leafy greens? 

As you can see I am eating 600g of dark leafy greens every day which should be a good amount by normal standards, but I fear it is not enough from an optimal nutrition standpoint. 

Some more notes about my diet:

  • The evoo is 600+ ppm polyphenols which I buy 24 bottles of and store for 12 months in my fridge at 2 degree Celcius
  • I supplement with b12, iodine and vitamin D3
  • Berries are my only fruit source because of taste and they are more nutritious than other fruit
  • I avoid animal products and grains in favor of more nutritious food groups: vegetables, fruits, seeds and legumes
  • I limit my fat sources to evoo, flaxseeds and occasional avocado to maximize my MUFA/PUFA ratio and limit my O6 intake to ~10g 
  • I drink coffee made from 30-40g beans and 5-10g of Sencha green tea every day
  • I avoid cocoa like the plague since it left me anxious, irritable and burned out for weeks

This is a post about vegetables but any diet related discussion is welcomed. 

 

 

nutritionCrfatsug.png

vitaminsminerals.png

Edited by crfatsug

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CRfatsug,

congratulations for your daily regimen, you sure like your vegetables! Impressing amount indeed.

I've no suggestions, except maybe the obvious deficiency of n-6 (some sunflower seeds might do) and you could choose in the cronometer settings to show the RAE (retinol activity equivalent) instead of the betacarotene which is not what really matters (although with all those green leved veggies+carrots RAE will never be a problem). Also, you might buy the gold option for cronometer, even if for one month only, and check the ratios between nutrients as Todd implies.

Fiber quantity is the highest I ever saw.

If you have no Gi distress with the diet, you havehigh enough energy levels, that most probably  is a longevity and immunity boosting diet.

Probably not suited to attain muscular hypertrophy, but very suited to CR.

 

 

 

Edited by mccoy

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Todd: Many thanks for your reminder to be aware of the Copper/Zinc ratio. I am not a big fan of supplements due to not knowing what the risk/benefit ratio is, but I might follow your suggestion and add a zinc supplement or change my food distribution after I have done some more research about this topic. 

 

mccoy: I will be adding avocado and probably some type of nut for the n-6, thank you for your suggestion. As you correctly noted this diet is made for the purpose of CR and since I am still young (23y) I don't have to worry about my muscles disappearing, at least that is what I have read. For you people in your middle age and older age there seems to be a benefit in increasing your protein intake and exercise regularly to avoid frailty and muscle loss. 

--------

I know my diet is far from optimal - I would like to eat a more raw vegetables of all kinds to feed the gut bacteria. As a college student however I don't have the money to buy this amount of food as raw fresh vegetables, so I need to eat mostly frozen vegetables for a few more years until I get a job.

After looking a bit more on this forum I am a bit surprised by the lack of hardcore CR people. Most users here seem to follow an obesity avoidance diet and stick to a normal bmi of 20-22. Based on this information I am going to set a goal of reaching a bmi of 18-19 as a happy medium and then experiment with going higher/lower depending on how I feel. 

Edited by crfatsug

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6 hours ago, crfatsug said:

I am a bit surprised by the lack of hardcore CR people

Given the results from "hardcore CR people" you shouldn't be surprised.   I think many gave up hardcore CR after developing osteoporosis, having bone fractures, and other health problems. CR pioneer Roy Walford died at age 79.  There is not much, if any, evidence that hard core CR has long term benefits over a healthy diet (mostly plant based whole food) with exercise, and great sleep and stress management.  Hard core CR is likely detrimental in my opinion - it can negatively impact sleep, which is not good for long term health, it can make one slow to heal, it may make one more susceptible to infectious disease and/or after becoming infected make healing more difficult, it will strip your body of all reserves so that when you get sick (and eventually everyone does) your body has no reserve to draw upon for survival.  Hardcore CR has made recovery from surgery much more difficult for some people too.  Several hard core CR people have had serious problems with bone fractures.   Honestly, I think its a terrible idea, but I'm grateful to all who are willing to take the risk and become a statistic for the sake of science.

Edited by Gordo
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Crfats, Gordo's words of caution are legitimate but I think they won't be enough to discourage your attempts.

But then, a few observations:

  1. You might try and loose weight by steps, from BMI unit to lower BMI unit. And I would settle for a longish time at BMI 20. If nothing negative happens, then you may descend lower
  2. You may get in touch with Matt who has successfully practiced CR since a young age
  3. Since you have budget problems and since in your age you sure have good glucose tolerance, why not include some whole grain cereals? No flours, no pasta, just the whole cooked grains, so that the glycemic index keeps pretty low. This way you'll be giving some relief to the GI system (vegetables are bulky) and save money at the same time.
  4. I would not eat too many raw vegetables, but this is my subjective opinion. They are harder to digest and some chemicals may be aggressive (spinach, onions, swiss chards...). According to some authoritative figures like Dr Greger frozen vegetables do have their advantages. Both cooked and raw is probably best
  5. Very important to have regular blood analyses done, even if they cost money. Especially so with your very restricted diet. It is necessary to ascertain that your diet will not make you sick. Also hardcore CR may cause impaired glucose tolerance, as described in earlier posts by Dean Pomerleau, and osteoporosis and other serious probs as well.
  6. Last, why practice hardcore CR and not a more moderate CR? Extremes are usually not favourable to longevity and healthspan. There are always exceptions of course, but you don't know in advance, it's still early to have evidence in human beings.

 

Edited by mccoy

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Nonsense Gordo.

Luigi's testing of "hardcore CR's" found that their bone

3 hours ago, Gordo said:

hardcore CR after developing osteoporosis, having bone fractures,

 quality was excellent.  There WAS one person -- who I know well -- Warren Taylor -- who messed himself up (severe osteo, etc) by making many mistakes in his diet (e.g., he thought that 6g of meat contained 6g of protein).Gordo is no spokesperson for hardcore CR -- he's a very opinionated vegan.

Roy Walford died from Lou Gherig's disease -- it's an ailment neither helped nor hurt by CR.

I'm 79 1/2, very healthy and I practice fairly severe CR; Michael Rae is the guru of the CR Society -- he currently is the research director of the CR Society -- and he is on a strict CR diet.  There are quite a few others -- quite healthy -- healthier than you'd expect from our respective ages.

As Luigi Fontana (chairman of the Dept. of Nutrition, and MD), who tested many of us (myself, Michael Rae, and about 2 dozen others), severe CR, with adequate nutrition, and moderate (or somewhat reduced) protein, appears to extend healthspan and possibly also lifespan.

Gordo is not on CR.  You should ignore his post.

Ironically, Gordo did publish this very nice video recently presented by Luigi Fontana:

 

 

Edited by Saul
correct spelling errors

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2 hours ago, mccoy said:

Crfats, McCoy's words of caution are legitimate.

But then, a few observations:

  1. You might try and loose weight by steps, from BMI unit to lower BMI unit. And I would settle for a longish time at BMI 20. If nothing negative happens, then you may descend lower
  2. You may get in touch with Matt who has successfully practiced CR since a young age
  3. Since you have budget problems and since in your age you sure have good glucose tolerance, why not include some whole grain cereals? No flours, no pasta, just the whole cooked grains, so that the glycemic index keeps pretty low. This way you'll be giving some relief to the GI system (vegetables are bulky) and save money at the same time.
  4. I would not eat too many raw vegetables, but this is my subjective opinion. They are harder to digest and some chemicals may be aggressive (spinach, onions, swiss chards...). According to some authoritative figures like Dr Greger frozen vegetables do have their advantages. Both cooked and raw is probably best
  5. Very important to have regular blood analyses done, even if they cost money. Especially so with your very restricted diet. It is necessary to ascertain that your diet will not make you sick. Also hardcore CR may cause impaired glucose tolerance, as described in earlier posts by Dean Pomerleau, and osteoporosis and other serious probs as well.
  6. Last, why practice hardcore CR and not a more moderate CR? Extremes are usually not favourable to longevity and healthspan. There are always exceptions of course, but you don't know in advance, it's still early to have evidence in human beings.

 

Most of McCoy's comments make sense -- especially 1 and 2.  

3. is as best dubious.  Many of us avoid all grains -- whole grain or not.  Grains are calorie dense and nutrition poor.

4. is bad.  Eat all the raw vegetables that you want.  Alos, Dr. Greger who he quotes is a highly prejudiced vegan -- there's nothing wrong with a vegan diet, it's very good.  But Greger "proves" this with false information. 

 5.  Part of 5 is very true -- blood analysis is important.  "Some people on hardcore CR didn't pass glucose tolerance tests"; I;ve had two such tests, and passed with flying colors.  And the stuff about severe oeteoporosis is nonsense.

6.  McCoy is a good fellow, interested in body building and mild CR.  6. is good advice if that's your objective.

Look at Luigi's video.

😉

  --  Saul

Edited by Saul
minor corrections

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15 hours ago, mccoy said:

Crfats, Gordo's words of caution are legitimate but I think they won't be enough to discourage your attempts.

But then, a few observations:

  1. You might try and loose weight by steps, from BMI unit to lower BMI unit. And I would settle for a longish time at BMI 20. If nothing negative happens, then you may descend lower
  2. You may get in touch with Matt who has successfully practiced CR since a young age
  3. Since you have budget problems and since in your age you sure have good glucose tolerance, why not include some whole grain cereals? No flours, no pasta, just the whole cooked grains, so that the glycemic index keeps pretty low. This way you'll be giving some relief to the GI system (vegetables are bulky) and save money at the same time.
  4. I would not eat too many raw vegetables, but this is my subjective opinion. They are harder to digest and some chemicals may be aggressive (spinach, onions, swiss chards...). According to some authoritative figures like Dr Greger frozen vegetables do have their advantages. Both cooked and raw is probably best
  5. Very important to have regular blood analyses done, even if they cost money. Especially so with your very restricted diet. It is necessary to ascertain that your diet will not make you sick. Also hardcore CR may cause impaired glucose tolerance, as described in earlier posts by Dean Pomerleau, and osteoporosis and other serious probs as well.
  6. Last, why practice hardcore CR and not a more moderate CR? Extremes are usually not favourable to longevity and healthspan. There are always exceptions of course, but you don't know in advance, it's still early to have evidence in human beings.

 

1: I think I will follow your suggestion and have BMI 20 as a short term goal and then adjust my calories/weight depending on body cues and blood tests.

2: Yes I am aware of Matt and his practice from reading his blog and his posts on this forum, thank you for reminding me.  

3: If we look from a perspective of dietary diversity then this advice is good, I think. However, in my personal case I have not had good experience with whole grains after including and excluding them in my diet for many years. I should have added in my original post that I have an autoimmune disease -- and most whole grains seems to trigger my immune system causing a relapse. As I said, this is not something you could have known and I think your advice is awesome for 99% of the population and those that are healthy practicing "moderate" CR. For more extreme CR I think, due to hunger, you have to base your diet on vegetables and some legumes because in my experience whole grains is not as satiating per calorie  -- but including a small amount (maybe 50-300 kcal) to feed the gut bacteria is probably a good idea. 

4: I agree with you on this. If I ever have the chance to buy mainly raw vegetables I will steam or cook them a bit first as a precaution. 

5: Yes very important. We have full body tests in Sweden costing around ~100$ and it is very convenient so I will try to do this often.

6: I probably should not have said "hardcore" CR since I don't even know what % restriction that entails. I consider what Michael Rae is doing (though admittedly my opinion is based on his low weight/bmi) "hardcore"  CR -- and I am interested in following his footsteps. 

Edited by crfatsug

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Saul, I find your words quite hillarious.  Lets set the record straight here for a minute.  

1) I'm not a vegan, I just eat a mostly plant based whole food diet (which is associated with the longest lived cohorts documented in the scientific literature).  I ate some turkey for Thanksgiving, and salmon at a corporate lunch, haha.  I also have nothing against honey (vegan's don't do honey).  And my vitamin D supplement comes from lamb's wool (not vegan).

2) Lets review some stats from Luigi's CR Group (Washington University):

image.png.f4db7e604aceb20180000e1aa7a4eb0f.png

My BMI today is 21.3, so I'm actually within the published range of this group!  My cholesterol biomarkers are better than this group.  My fasting glucose is better than the average from this group.  My blood pressure is better than the average from this group.  My heart rate variability is better than the average from this group.  

When you say I don't practice "CR" I have to laugh again, because there is no real definition of CR and when questioned, no one here ever wants to define it.  I eat fewer calories than my peers of a similar height and gender, and I'm restricting compared to ad lib.  By my definition I do practice CR.  Just not the extreme variety some do.

At any rate, I'm actually a big fan of Luigi Fontana's work.  I don't know why you say its "ironic" that I posted a link to his recent excellent lecture.

3) Two of the most prolific CR promoters and hard core practitioners have osteoporosis.  One of them had his spine collapse like an accordion losing 9 inches in height.  The other stopped recommending extreme (sub-20) BMI's saying this was unnecessary. CR alone is not really an answer, and certainly not "the more the better". 

4) Even the so called poster children for CR, the "long lived Okinawans" only had a modest (less than a year for men) average lifespan increase over their mainland counterparts.  Such gains can easily be achieved or indeed bested, by other means that do not involve the extremes or risks associated with hard core CR as demonstrated by the CA Adventist cohort (that have superior longevity).

Edited by Gordo
for clarification and additional points

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Aren't the blood pressure values too low (even though they say the lower the better if without symptoms)?

Also, glucose < 74 mg/dL might seem very little.

There is no optimum for these values?

I'm a little skeptic about 'the lower the better' since there must obviously be a lower bound which does not allow the system to work properly.

Edited by mccoy

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2 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

Saul, 

This seems a bit disingenuous given your own (past?) issues with osteoporosis and extensive treatment for it, e.g:

https://www.crsociety.org/topic/11657-cr-and-osteoporosis/?do=findComment&amp;comment=19874

--Dean 

Hi Dean!

Nice seeing you contributing again!

True, I have had osteoporosis for a long time; I still do, but much better Dexa numbers than before (due to taking the effective drug Forteo -- daily injectable).   But,

(1)  It's never been in any way disabling; I've continued to be a vigorous exerciser, as I have been since about age 20 (I was a chubby couch potato, with very good grades,  in college).

(2)  My osteoporosis started way before I was on CR, so it has nothing to do with CRON.  I believe there were two factors that brought it on:  heredity:  My mother had severe osteoporosis (by no means was she ever on CR!) -- in fact, it was a hip fracture when my older brother tried to get her riding a bicycle that finally did her in (by making her bedridden).  The other factor:  In the past, the FDA warned against taking Vitamin D beyond a (woefully inadequate) amount; I believed this, and carefully kept my Vit D level within those idiotic upper limits.  I suspect that inadequate Vitamin D may have been the major contributor to my osteo.

(3)  I've never had a serious fracture, other than two stubbed toe fractures.

(4)  Luigi tested some of us in his study (not me -- maybe you and/or Michael Rae?) for bone QUALITY.  Although he found that CRONNIES have slimmer bones than average (they're skinnier) and therefore sometimes show badly when getting a Dexa, the bone QUALITY of CRONNIES is good.

So, to the best of my knowledge, there is no association between crippling osteoporosis and being a CRONNIE.

I think that Gordo was responding to your post about the sad case of Warren Taylor.  Warren cannot be regarded as a reasonable representative of CRONNIES.  (I would guess that Vitamin D inadequacy, plus inadequate protein, plus falling while running vigorously, are what crippled him.  CRON includes "ON" -- "Optimal Nutrition" -- not inadequate protein, inadequate Vitamin D).

BTW, Warren is a friend of mine; I should give him a call.

  --  Saul

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Hi Saul,

15 minutes ago, Saul said:

(2)  My osteoporosis started way before I was on CR, so it has nothing to do with CRON.

While your osteoporosis may indeed pre-date your practice of CR, you've previously shared that your bone density "plummeted" when you switched from one osteoporosis treatment to another after being on your version of serious CR for over a decade. You've also acknowledged that "... it's certainly true that CR is a negative for osteo."

17 minutes ago, Saul said:

(3)  I've never had a serious fracture, other than two stubbed toe fractures.

I would hope not. You've been on daily injections of Forteo to maintain your bones for something like 15 year.

20 minutes ago, Saul said:

I think that Gordo was responding to your post about the sad case of Warren Taylor.

Maybe in part. But I strongly suspect Gordo is also referring to your fellow serious CRer Al Pater, who has a long history of osteoporosis, dramatic height loss and serious fractures. 

We've had this debate about CR's impact on bone health many times before. The upshot seems to be:

1) There is strong evidence CR reduces bone mass and bone density.

2) CR with "optimal nutrition" (whatever that means) may help preserve bone quality, perhaps mitigating CR's impact on fracture risk.

3) Impact-oriented exercise and/or resistance training likely helps CR folks maintain bone health.

--Dean

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If a person is on CR with over 1000mg of calcium and adequate vitamin D3 and K; There is still increased concern of bone quality and fracture?

Resistance training also helps improve bone density fwiw

Edited by Clinton

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I also take 1000mg of Ca, 5000 IU Vit D.  I think it's wise to do that.  Dean is correct, that it's probably true that CR tends to cause bone loss.  It's debatable if that is "osteoporosis" -- what's the definition?  If you're skinny, with skinny bones, but the bones are rock hard, are you osteoporotic?  Dexa might say "Yes".  But is that a problem?  If osteoporosis is supposed to be a problem, then the answer should be "No".

My taking of Forteo -- which I take religiously daily -- might be "out of an abundance of caution".  But, I want Dexa to say that my bones are fine -- even if a bone biopsy (which I haven't had -- but which I know some members of Luigi's group did have -- including one of the arrangers of the CR Society meetings) say that my bones are fine.

Before I was on Forteo, when Dexa said that I had severe osteo (Dexa says "significantly better" now, after many years on Forteo), I once was running (I don't remember why) in the dark and hit my skull on a hard metal post.  No damage; I didn't fracture my skull.  My suspicion is, that my osteo has never been as bad as dexa thinks (thought).  But I'm not foolish enough to sure of that -- I keep taking Forteo.

About Al Pater:  Dean, you are certainly correct; Luigi dropped him from his study.  Al was deemed anorexic.  CRON in CR with ON -- CR with inadequate N is anorexia.

(But do note:  Al it appears has improved his diet -- although he probably did irreparable damage to himself while anorexic.)

There IS a message there for newbies to the CR Society:  Calorie Restriction with Adequate Nutrition is great -- but the AN is important.  A good tool to track your nutritional status -- and your daily calorie intake -- is CronOMeter.  You can download it to your computer and/or cellphone from cronometer.com -- it's a great app, and it's free.

  --  Saul

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I don't know Saul, you've been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you've broken bones in your feet multiple times, and you've been shooting yourself up daily for years and years with an injectable pharmaceutical to prevent bone loss.  Seems like this is what the hard core CR practitioners have to look forward to based on many accounts.    That doesn't sound fun.   I think there are better ways to achieve longevity than extreme CR, so does Fontana by the way, you may not have been paying attention to that part of the lecture.  He specifically states that they used to think more was better and now we know that isn't true.

 

 

 

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Quote

Gordo:  ....you've broken bones in your feet multiple times

 

Is that a wonderfully hyperbolic reference to Saul's  "two stubbed toe fractures",  the only fractures he's  had in his life?   

(Perhaps you  missed your calling as a trial lawyer.)

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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Hi Gordo!

No comment on the hyperbole -- listen to Dr. Fontana's video again; he doesn't say:

10 hours ago, Gordo said:

I think there are better ways to achieve longevity than extreme CR, so does Fontana

The other procedure that Dr. Fontana highlights is alternate day fasting; roughly equivalent to CR.  

Dr. Fontana DOES note that CR dilution (meaning eating continually, but keeping calories low by diluting the food with massive indigestible fiber), did not extend rat lifespan; Luigi's interpretation is that one should confine one's eating to well defined meals -- such as breakfast, lunch and dinner -- not eating continually all day; or eat only one meal a day (that's what Dean does); or else do alternate day fasting.  Michael Rae also brought this to my attention at the last CR Society meeting.

 --  Saul

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Saul, Fontana says "We know that if people are OVERDOING calorie restriction, apart from being extremely lean, they have cold sensitivity, they have reduced libido, reduced bone mass even if bone quality measured by MRI seems normal, reduced fertility and menstral irregularities."

Just want to set the record straight here because I think it's important for harm reduction purposes.  That was also the reason I commented in this thread.  So now anyone reading this knows what to look for, according to Fontana anyway, to know you've gone too far with CR. 

Here are some more highlights of the lecture:

43:40 Side effects of chronic severe CR - how to know if you are overdoing CR

44:30 It is NOT TRUE that the more CR the better. Talks about study showing how 40% CR did not result in increased longevity for 2/3rds of the subtypes of mice tested. 20% CR is optimal for many strains of mice.  Biomarkers are key for determining what the optimal CR level is.   You must have sufficient energy to promote longevity.

46:15 Used to think it was just about the calories, but now we know that is NOT trueComposition of diet is important, meal timing is important - CR with eating all day does not result in longevity in mice (50:00)

51:10 Discusses ongoing human intermittent fasting clinical trial

53:40 Importance of low protein / methionine restriction for longevity independent of CR (blocks tumor development)

59:25 You should eat around 10% protein ("a calorie is not a calorie", "stay away from low carb or ketogenic diets")

1:04:20 Talks about the gut microbiome.  Diet reliably and rapidly changes the gut microbiome, protein intake and fiber are key, the more diversity of vegetables you eat the better your gut microbiome, which results in reduced inflamation (related to short chain fatty acids). Eat legumes, whole grains, and lots of vegetables.

1:10:50 Your gut microbiome impacts your physiologic response to CR

1:13:00 Describes other pieces of the health/longevity puzzle he will talk about in a future lecture: exercise, breathing and rate of respiration, sleep, meditation, phytochemicals, cognitive training

1:18:00 Future of medicine is prevention.  Reducing mental stress, reducing sedentary lifestyle, reducing excessive calorie intake, and eliminating poor diets are key.

Edited by Gordo

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Sure.

And Luigi says that in a later video, he'll discuss the value of mindfulness and meditation.  If you have access, by all means please post it.

  --  Saul

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