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Hi,

Can anyone tell me what an optimal macro ratio would be fat to carbs to protein for a CRON diet or does it vary by the individual?... I'm thinking about doing 33% for all.

Thanks,

Fred

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Fred,

You shouldn't need to eat more than ~100g of protein, or 20% of calories from protein per day, and eating too much protein seems likely to undermine the effects of CR by increasing IGF-1. See this post and the links it contains:

As for the other two macronutrients (fat and carbs), there is a lot of debate about the relative merits of eating predominantly one or the other. At lot depends on the quality of each. If you are eating healthy unprocessed carbs (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes) and healthy plant fats (nuts, seeds, avocados, debatably EVOO) and you are hitting RDAs for all the important micronutrients, then you'll likely be doing very well regardless of the ratio you choose. Quite a few long-term CR folks lean towards low to moderate fat, (10 to 25% of calories) like me, Saul and MikeC. Others, most famously Michael Rae, think higher fat (>30%) is a better way to go, especially if it is from very high quality sources, like super-premium olive oil (see this entire thread on the merits and demerits of olive oil).

This meta-analysis [1] found that 50-55% carbs (and ~25-30%% fat) to be the sweet spot for mortality in the general population. Here is the U-shaped curve of carb intake vs. mortality from [1]:

Screenshot_20210719-124724_Chrome.jpg

But [1] also found that going lower than 50-55% carbs by substituting plant fats for (probably crappy) carbs was also beneficial. So it may simply come down to eating high quality, unprocessed carbs and plant fats in the ratio you find most sustainable, while meeting your micronutrients needs and keeping your protein <=20% and mostly from plants.

--Dean

-------

[1] 1. Lancet Public Health. 2018 Sep;3(9):e419-e428. doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30135-X. Epub 2018 Aug 17.

 

Dietary carbohydrate intake and mortality: a prospective cohort study and meta-analysis.

 

Seidelmann SB(1), Claggett B(1), Cheng S(1), Henglin M(1), Shah A(1), Steffen 

LM(2), Folsom AR(2), Rimm EB(3), Willett WC(3), Solomon SD(4).

 

BACKGROUND: Low carbohydrate diets, which restrict carbohydrate in favour of 

increased protein or fat intake, or both, are a popular weight-loss strategy. 

However, the long-term effect of carbohydrate restriction on mortality is 

controversial and could depend on whether dietary carbohydrate is replaced by 

plant-based or animal-based fat and protein. We aimed to investigate the 

association between carbohydrate intake and mortality.

METHODS: We studied 15 428 adults aged 45-64 years, in four US communities, who 

completed a dietary questionnaire at enrolment in the Atherosclerosis Risk in 

Communities (ARIC) study (between 1987 and 1989), and who did not report extreme 

caloric intake (<600 kcal or >4200 kcal per day for men and <500 kcal or >3600 

kcal per day for women). The primary outcome was all-cause mortality. We 

investigated the association between the percentage of energy from carbohydrate 

intake and all-cause mortality, accounting for possible non-linear relationships 

in this cohort. We further examined this association, combining ARIC data with 

data for carbohydrate intake reported from seven multinational prospective 

studies in a meta-analysis. Finally, we assessed whether the substitution of 

animal or plant sources of fat and protein for carbohydrate affected mortality.

FINDINGS: During a median follow-up of 25 years there were 6283 deaths in the 

ARIC cohort, and there were 40 181 deaths across all cohort studies. In the ARIC 

cohort, after multivariable adjustment, there was a U-shaped association between 

the percentage of energy consumed from carbohydrate (mean 48·9%, SD 9·4) and 

mortality: a percentage of 50-55% energy from carbohydrate was associated with 

the lowest risk of mortality. In the meta-analysis of all cohorts (432 179 

participants), both low carbohydrate consumption (<40%) and high carbohydrate 

consumption (>70%) conferred greater mortality risk than did moderate intake, 

which was consistent with a U-shaped association (pooled hazard ratio 1·20, 95% 

CI 1·09-1·32 for low carbohydrate consumption; 1·23, 1·11-1·36 for high 

carbohydrate consumption). However, results varied by the source of 

macronutrients: mortality increased when carbohydrates were exchanged for 

animal-derived fat or protein (1·18, 1·08-1·29) and mortality decreased when the 

substitutions were plant-based (0·82, 0·78-0·87).

INTERPRETATION: Both high and low percentages of carbohydrate diets were 

associated with increased mortality, with minimal risk observed at 50-55% 

carbohydrate intake. Low carbohydrate dietary patterns favouring animal-derived 

protein and fat sources, from sources such as lamb, beef, pork, and chicken, 

were associated with higher mortality, whereas those that favoured plant-derived 

protein and fat intake, from sources such as vegetables, nuts, peanut butter, 

and whole-grain breads, were associated with lower mortality, suggesting that 

the source of food notably modifies the association between carbohydrate intake 

and mortality.

 

DOI: 10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30135-X

PMCID: PMC6339822

PMID: 30122560 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

 

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16 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

Fred,

You shouldn't need to eat more than ~100g of protein, or 20% of calories from protein per day, and eating too much protein seems likely to undermine the effects of CR by increasing IGF-1. See this post and the links it contains:

As for the other two macronutrients (fat and carbs), there is a lot of debate about the relative merits of eating predominantly one or the other. At lot depends on the quality of each. If you are eating healthy unprocessed carbs (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes) and healthy plant fats (nuts, seeds, avocados, debatably EVOO) and you are hitting RDAs for all the important micronutrients, then you'll likely be doing very well regardless of the ratio you choose. Quite a few long-term CR folks lean towards low to moderate fat, (10 to 25% of calories) like me, Saul and MikeC. Others, most famously Michael Rae, think higher fat (>30%) is a better way to go, especially if it is from very high quality sources, like super-premium olive oil (see this entire thread on the merits and demerits of olive oil).

This meta-analysis [1] found that 50-55% carbs (and ~25-30%% fat) to be the sweet spot for mortality in the general population. Here is the U-shaped curve of carb intake vs. mortality from [1]:

Screenshot_20210719-124724_Chrome.jpg

But [1] also found that going lower than 50-55% carbs by substituting plant fats for (probably crappy) carbs was also beneficial. So it may simply come down to eating high quality, unprocessed carbs and plant fats in the ratio you find most sustainable, while meeting your micronutrients needs and keeping your protein <=20% and mostly from plants.

--Dean

-------

[1] 1. Lancet Public Health. 2018 Sep;3(9):e419-e428. doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30135-X. Epub 2018 Aug 17.

 

Dietary carbohydrate intake and mortality: a prospective cohort study and meta-analysis.

 

Seidelmann SB(1), Claggett B(1), Cheng S(1), Henglin M(1), Shah A(1), Steffen 

LM(2), Folsom AR(2), Rimm EB(3), Willett WC(3), Solomon SD(4).

 

BACKGROUND: Low carbohydrate diets, which restrict carbohydrate in favour of 

increased protein or fat intake, or both, are a popular weight-loss strategy. 

However, the long-term effect of carbohydrate restriction on mortality is 

controversial and could depend on whether dietary carbohydrate is replaced by 

plant-based or animal-based fat and protein. We aimed to investigate the 

association between carbohydrate intake and mortality.

METHODS: We studied 15 428 adults aged 45-64 years, in four US communities, who 

completed a dietary questionnaire at enrolment in the Atherosclerosis Risk in 

Communities (ARIC) study (between 1987 and 1989), and who did not report extreme 

caloric intake (<600 kcal or >4200 kcal per day for men and <500 kcal or >3600 

kcal per day for women). The primary outcome was all-cause mortality. We 

investigated the association between the percentage of energy from carbohydrate 

intake and all-cause mortality, accounting for possible non-linear relationships 

in this cohort. We further examined this association, combining ARIC data with 

data for carbohydrate intake reported from seven multinational prospective 

studies in a meta-analysis. Finally, we assessed whether the substitution of 

animal or plant sources of fat and protein for carbohydrate affected mortality.

FINDINGS: During a median follow-up of 25 years there were 6283 deaths in the 

ARIC cohort, and there were 40 181 deaths across all cohort studies. In the ARIC 

cohort, after multivariable adjustment, there was a U-shaped association between 

the percentage of energy consumed from carbohydrate (mean 48·9%, SD 9·4) and 

mortality: a percentage of 50-55% energy from carbohydrate was associated with 

the lowest risk of mortality. In the meta-analysis of all cohorts (432 179 

participants), both low carbohydrate consumption (<40%) and high carbohydrate 

consumption (>70%) conferred greater mortality risk than did moderate intake, 

which was consistent with a U-shaped association (pooled hazard ratio 1·20, 95% 

CI 1·09-1·32 for low carbohydrate consumption; 1·23, 1·11-1·36 for high 

carbohydrate consumption). However, results varied by the source of 

macronutrients: mortality increased when carbohydrates were exchanged for 

animal-derived fat or protein (1·18, 1·08-1·29) and mortality decreased when the 

substitutions were plant-based (0·82, 0·78-0·87).

INTERPRETATION: Both high and low percentages of carbohydrate diets were 

associated with increased mortality, with minimal risk observed at 50-55% 

carbohydrate intake. Low carbohydrate dietary patterns favouring animal-derived 

protein and fat sources, from sources such as lamb, beef, pork, and chicken, 

were associated with higher mortality, whereas those that favoured plant-derived 

protein and fat intake, from sources such as vegetables, nuts, peanut butter, 

and whole-grain breads, were associated with lower mortality, suggesting that 

the source of food notably modifies the association between carbohydrate intake 

and mortality.

 

DOI: 10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30135-X

PMCID: PMC6339822

PMID: 30122560 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

 

Awesome. Thanks for the help. I don't want to obsess over measuring things, and I'm still new to this, so my goal right now should probably be to fulfill all micronutrients and keep protein under 20% with the remainder of fat and carbs ratio not really mattering that much but being high quality? I think my diet it good but I'm not sure. I am starting today and my goal is to boil a head of cabbage every day and eat it with low calorie salad dressing, eggs, red kidney beans, hummus, guacamole, olive oil, mixed nuts, flax oil and a mixture of vegetables... Does this sound like a good diet? Is there anything I am missing? Last time I did CR, this is what I ate (from what I can remember) and I did relatively well. I was not hungry at all due to the heaviness of the cabbage. Every week going to the grocery store was an adventure and I'm hoping it's just as much fun this time around.

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8 minutes ago, FrederickSebastian said:

I am starting today and my goal is to boil a head of cabbage every day and eat it with low calorie salad dressing, eggs, red kidney beans, hummus, guacamole, olive oil, mixed nuts, flax oil and a mixture of vegetables... Does this sound like a good diet?

It has a lot going for it, but from my perspective it is lacking variety, is a little heavy on fats and lacks fruits. You really need to run it through Cronometer to make sure you are hitting your micronutrient targets. 

--Dean 

 

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1 minute ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

It has a lot going for it, but from my perspective it lacking variety, is a little heavy on fats and lacking fruits. You really need to run it through Cronometer to make sure you are hitting your micronutrient targets. 

--Dean 

 

Dean--

I am trying to come up with a diet today and plan out for the week on cronometer but don't want to be unrealistic about the fact that I might not like (taste-wise) what I put in cronometer regardless of what targets I hit. I should probably just gradually learn from my mistakes and find out what works for me, I'm guessing? I can do a low-calorie diet while hitting most of my micronutrients with the foods I mentioned (I think) from my previous experiences with the CRON diet. I will try to lower the fat but I cannot eat the cabbage without hummus and guacamole (for taste reasons). I have a limited budget and want to start this as soon as possible so I'm using online grocery ordering and cronometer to try and figure out what works. I get $200 a week for groceries so I think I start with the basics I mentioned earlier and spend $100 for the beginning of the week, see what works and then buy whatever else I need to buy a few days down the road if I encounter any problems... Do you think that should work?

As far as fruit goes, I don't really like to eat raw fruit at all and very rarely eat it that way. It's always been a challenge for me. I do, however, like fruit juices (especially in the summer) and am wondering if a few glasses of real fruit juice during the day would work? I heard that pre-squeezed juice is not good because it does not contain the enzymes needed for a healthy diet. Is this really true and does it really matter that much? I could always squeeze a citrus fruit into a glass of water throughout the day and drink that, but I prefer pre-packaged fruit juices... Thoughts?

 

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Fred,

Run whatever diet you choose through Cronometer and work to fill micronutrient holes with foods that you find palatable. And don't drink fruit juice. 

--Dean 

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10 minutes ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

Fred,

Run whatever diet you choose through Cronometer and work to fill micronutrient holes with foods that you find palatable. And don't drink fruit juice. 

--Dean 

cool cool... thanks... What's wrong with fruit juice, btw? Can you elaborate?

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K cool... Makes sense. Thanks. Watched the video. I'll try to throw a few raspberries in my salad or have a some strawberries for breakfast everyday but that's about all I can do lol... I don't care for non-juiced fruit very much.

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