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Unscientific American
Tomato05 posted:
I know that for most of you your convictions are firmly based on science. Yet, I often take a wholly unscientific approach - seeing how a certain dietary regime makes me feel.

I have osteoporosis, so I am very much attuned to my body - I've learned to listen to every warning signal (e.g. I exercise a lot, so I have to pay attention to any warning of a stress fracture). I have also become quite good at really intensely noticing the effects of food on my body and wellbeing.

And after much experimenting, I have to say that eating low carb, moderate protein, moderate fat, seems to work best for me - in terms of vitality, good immunity (lack of colds and flu), lack of headaches, good sleeping, skin and hair condition,etc.

High carbs (especially grains, bread, starchy veg) make me feel sluggish and prone to headaches, and my stomach feels burdened.

My "statistics" are generally good - low blood pressure, normal cholesterol, etc., so I can't really track differences in that along with differences in diet.

I think my ideal nutrient ratio of carbs:protein:fats is 35:35:30
jc3737 responded:
If your diet works for you I would not change a thing.As far as basing anything on firm scientific footing,thats hard to do since the data is mixed.

Heretic would agree 100% with low carb.

What type of carbs make you feel sluggish?What about whole grains like oatmeal or brown rice?What about potatoes?

Or is only the processed grains like white bread or sugary carbs?
Tomato05 replied to jc3737's response:
The processed grains make me feel lethargic - things you mention like white bread, pasta, white rice, stuff baked with flour. Simple sugar like candy actually makes me very energetic...for a short while, until the crash, when one feels really low on energy.

However (and I don't know if this is my mind playing tricks on me), even whole grains I only eat in small amounts, as they also make me feel "heavy". I look at them and see only stodge; it feels like eating cotton wool.

That's the problem with this approach - not sure how big the influence of the mind and perception is. Still, I tend to trust my body, and take in most of my carbs in the form of veg, fruit, dairy,small amount of legumes (and unfortunately, candy, which I crave). I eat a small amount of whole grains for their nutrition value (fibre, vit E etc.).
Heretk responded:
This is close to Zone diet (dr. B.Sears). 40-30-30. He claims to have had good results with it for athletes, and I have no reason to doubt him. The reason this diet has not become very popular is that it is relatively high in protein compared to other diets, and thus requires a very careful selection of protein. Coupled with the fact that most meats contain more than half calories as fat, you would probably have to restrict your diet to lean meat or fish only, otherwise you would be likely to exceed your fat.

I couldn't eat much more than 1g/kg/day of protein, that is about 3/4lb of a steak. This is about 250kcal out of protein. That would limit my total calories to about 3*250=750kcal/day which would be to little for me.

It is more natural for me just to top it up with animal fat - but that makes it a high fat diet of course.
Tomato05 replied to Heretk's response:
Admittedly, it is sometimes hard to get in so much protein. I can't eat more than a couple of ounces of meat a day either, but between the meat, some yogurt and cottage cheese, a few eggs/egg-whites, tuna or beans, and a whey protein drink (post exercise) I often manage to get in about 90g of protein a day.

Without the protein powder it could be very difficult though.
DoloresTeresa replied to Heretk's response:
I have a reason to doubt Sears. I wrote here before that I asked Dr. Sears about the absence of a result for insulin at the 12 week point in his short study reported in his first book. He claims the trick on his diet is to control insulin. He said that it is expensive to test for insulin and if I wanted to do it I could finance a study myself. I said I thought that if your main claim to fame is that your diet controlled insulin better than other diets that you would spend the money you had on testing for insulin.

The reason his diet isn't popular any longer is that it is just another flash in the pan fad and who wants to sit down with a calculator every time you eat. Also originally the recommendation for some women was 800 calories a day., He said this was scientifically calculated. People complained that it was too little and so without any "scientific" calculations he upped the minimum to 1100 calories.

Dr. McDougall wrote that what Sears claimed to be eating himself was impossible at his height and weight. It is on the McDougall site somewhere.

Heretk replied to DoloresTeresa's response:

Scientists are very touchy about money. I can understand his response - those things are insanely expensive, multiplied by a number of participants. Also, it is not easy to get external funding if your objective is to use diet to replace drugs...
His book is interesting.
DoloresTeresa replied to Heretk's response:
Hogwash. If you can't afford to do tests that prove your theory then don't write a book about it with no information on the very thing your book claims to prove. I am very touchy about misinformation or outright lies.

Tomato05 replied to DoloresTeresa's response:
What I like about Dr. Sears is his emphasis on food/diet being like a medicine - it reminds me not to be so frivolous about what I put into my mouth and not to underestimate the effect of food on hormones.

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