Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Trend Watch

I picked up the latest Eating Well publication yesterday and found a mention of calorie restriction! CR is totally the latest diet trend :)

The context was not entirely accurate- they mention two ways that you can diet to live longer- 1) Calorie restriction and 2) Maximizing nutrition (ON). I do not disagree entirely with #2... just a little. Let's just say you maximize nutrition (eating all your daily requirements of vitamins/minerals) while maintaining a typical calorie amount. I am sure that would decrease incidence of diseases (diabetes, coronary artery disease, etc.) which would, in-turn, increase life expectancy. But as many CRONies have shown us (1 and 2) you can get 100% RDAs in 1000-1200 calories, leaving at least 800-1000 left for other foods. How would the human body respond to daily averages of eating 1000 "healthy" calories and 1000 "junky" calories? I would also like to know a typical "healthy-balanced" American diet fares on RDAs. This "future study" I would like to see results from is growing- now I not only want to compare CR vs. CRON diets, but also CRON vs. ON, and ON vs. American-Healthy.
Fun with science!


RB said...

Don't you feel trendy?
I've never thought about the junky calories that way, but I think you're probably right. However, even the crappiest calories (save for non-diet soda and gummy bears) have SOME nutritional value, don't they? (This, coming from the girl who eats cookie dough for breakfast.) I mean, even cookie dough has some iron in it. It's not much, but I think it's kind of unrealistic to think of 2000 calories of..ensure or whatever.

I'm sitting outside at MCU and it's gorgeous here and I am pondering whether to try to suck up to MCP (Majorly Crappy Professor) or fight him to the death to teach him the error of his ways. I sent a suck-up email. We'll see how that goes and take it from there!

Enjoy the weekend away!

April said...

Hi there!

Thanks for the link! :)

The animal evidence is pretty clear that it's calories, calories, calories... meaning, only restricting calories can actually slow the aging process. But the diet that most Americans think is healthy is often deficient in essential nutrients, and certainly packed with empty calories. So I'd worry that without at least consulting nutritional software every once in awhile, someone who was trying to cut calories a lot would end up with health problems related to missing essential nutrients over a long period of time. Likely still better off than the average unhealthy eater, but why take chances, when it only takes a few minutes to occasionally check out your diet. You're right though that calories are the most important thing.

When I first started CR, I wasn't tracking my nutrition on software, just guessing. I lost weight fast and felt much better, but once I plugged my diet into software, ouch! I found out I was missing a lot, especially calcium and B vitamins. When I improved my nutrition, it actually made it easier for me to stick to my calorie goals... I guess my body was satisfied with less food once it was getting the kind of food it needs.

Most women don't get enough calcium, and the fact that CR people have lighter bones (though we don't know that they're weaker bones, just lighter) makes me even more concerned about getting enough calcium, so I pretty carefully track my calcium intake. Tracking calcium throughout the day in my head rapidly got just as easy as counting calories.

I only recently discovered your blog, and I'm really enjoying it. It's so cool that you're in the study! Keep us posted!


Liz said...

RB- Welch's gummy fruits have 100% Vitamin C and 25% A and E, so maybe soda will have to stand alone! I hope MCP sees the error of his ways...

April- Thanks for the comment! You make some good points and I have been wanting to ask about the ON side of CRON. It makes sense that it would be easier to stick to CR when you have ON. I do use CRON-o-Meter occassionally- and it has been helpful to see where I am deficient. But as per study regulations I take 500mg of Calcium and 1 multi-vitamin/day so with that (assuming less than 100% absorption of pill form vitamins and minerals) most days I do reach 100% RDAs.
Since I am trying to be super healthy and restricted this week, "honesty week," I will analyze my food with CoM and post that information along with the daily foods. Let the research begin!
Liz :)
PS. April- Your cauliflower soup has been a hit with my friends!