Author Topic: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?  (Read 11860 times)

Vilx-

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 145
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Latvia
Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« on: April 21, 2013, 12:53:14 AM »
The recent article in the blog raised more questions than answers. Being the scientific type I wonder if there is some piece of respectable literature (preferably online) that explains this and other dietary phenomena? Something that explains all the carbs/fats/fiber/etc stuff, ties it in with physical activity & health, and gives a full picture. Something from which you can truly understand how&why MMM's diet (and other diets) works, what are it's potential side-effects, and help in deciding what diet is most appropriate for me.

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4313
  • Location: CT
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2013, 05:04:53 AM »
Just a heads up, while I don't personally think MMM is wrong, you will find a metric crap ton of articles in support or against any particular diet. Each one will be well researched with several studies supporting it.

That being said the link to Marks Daily Apple in the article brings you to a blog which I used to read and he usually will link to studies in support of his views. You can also start doing some basic searches on low carb or paleo diets.

Kriegsspiel

  • Guest
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2013, 08:54:12 AM »
www.bodyrecomposition.com is Lyle McDonald's site, his articles and books explain a lot of physiological mechanics WRT nutrition and exercise.

Alan Aragon is another smart dude.

www.pubmed.com is a search engine for studies, you can go wild here.  Colleges, businesses, and libraries can have databases where you can read the full studies. 

Try to learn how to evaluate the studies by seeing how Lyle, Alan, and other smart people do it.


*BTW, Lyle wrote the book on ketogenic dieting (called, appropriately, The Ketogenic Diet), it referenced hundreds, if not thousands, of studies, so that may be a good starting point for you.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2013, 09:24:23 AM »
again the caveat: My beliefs here have long been along the lines of MMM.  And I agree with "there's a crapton that supports all sides."

Gary Taubes might be where I'd start.  He's written a lot (on the web, some very technical books, some not-as-technical books).  Even he will say the absolute scientific proof of high-fat/low-carb is not there and it is because there is an absolute lack of science in the nutritional area.  I personally think he provides a good framework of how science works (and doesn't work) whether or not you agree with his hypothesis.

Vilx-

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 145
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Latvia
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2013, 11:13:52 AM »
... and it is because there is an absolute lack of science in the nutritional area.
So, you mean to say, that for all the miraculous advances in science and medicine, humanity still hasn't figured out it's own food? O_o Ok, well... that's tough. :P

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2013, 12:06:24 PM »
... and it is because there is an absolute lack of science in the nutritional area.
So, you mean to say, that for all the miraculous advances in science and medicine, humanity still hasn't figured out it's own food? O_o Ok, well... that's tough. :P

Not "can't" but  "hasn't really tried hard."  There are some "well known established facts" in nutrition that are unquestioned and have no real scientific basis.

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4313
  • Location: CT
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2013, 12:35:49 PM »
... and it is because there is an absolute lack of science in the nutritional area.
So, you mean to say, that for all the miraculous advances in science and medicine, humanity still hasn't figured out it's own food? O_o Ok, well... that's tough. :P

Not "can't" but  "hasn't really tried hard."  There are some "well known established facts" in nutrition that are unquestioned and have no real scientific basis.

Also that science is hard... and probably harder for omnivores like humans. To truly do studies as to what diets do for a whole persons lifetime you need to study them meticulously for a lifetime. No body is actually interested in funding that independently. More often than not you get smaller scale studies which come to small scale conclusions which then get translated to poor policies or fad diets.

Eat vegetables, eat meats/proteins, have some (few) carbs, avoid overly processed foods and needless calories such as candy, soda, and junk food. See yourself become healthier and happier.

Chemistay

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
  • Location: US
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2013, 01:06:55 PM »
Again, with the caveat that I tend to agree with the basic ideas MMM talked about:

perfecthealthdiet.com (stands for "PHD" because the couple who writes the blog are both scientists)

and

Chriskresser.com/

I also read mark's daily apple but I couldn't get into it until I started reading the above blogs because they actually speak like scientists and I wasn't ready to buy into it until I was convinced it wasn't just a fad being exploited like any other diet.

Vilx-

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 145
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Latvia
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2013, 04:07:23 PM »
OK, I'll check those blogs out. Thanks! :)

Btw - if it's not too much to ask, could anybody maybe share their (healthy) diets? I'm most interested in meals other than the "main" homecooked meal of the day (lunch or dinner depending on the local customs). What about breakfast and snacks inbetween? (Yes, I know I shouldn't snack, but with only 3 meals per day I get very hungry waiting for the next one - no matter how much I ate)

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2013, 05:35:54 PM »
OK, I'll check those blogs out. Thanks! :)

Btw - if it's not too much to ask, could anybody maybe share their (healthy) diets? I'm most interested in meals other than the "main" homecooked meal of the day (lunch or dinner depending on the local customs). What about breakfast and snacks inbetween? (Yes, I know I shouldn't snack, but with only 3 meals per day I get very hungry waiting for the next one - no matter how much I ate)

If you eat meals that contain plenty of fat and less carbs, you're less likely to need snacks.

Kriegsspiel

  • Guest
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2013, 06:03:00 PM »
I don't eat breakfast, so that eliminates having to think about what to have.


limeandpepper

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4459
  • Location: Australasia
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2013, 08:14:08 PM »
What works for one person may not work for everyone, and different foods affect individuals differently. In regards to MMM's blog post, I quite enjoy minimally processed oil/fat, however if I'm eating very fatty foods I do tend to prefer them to be organic, as studies have shown that pesticides tend to accumulate in fat deposits. I also noticed the recipes he provided seemed to be somewhat lacking in leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, etc. He may just have forgotten to mention them, but this is an example of why you have to do your own research and work out what's best for you.

Personally I like simple food that hasn't been over-processed. Last night's dinner, for example, was pan-fried lamb chops with basil butter sauce, and silverbeet/chard cooked in the leftover deglazed juices. Today's breakfast so far a green smoothie made with banana, berries and spinach, and I might have muesli with yoghurt later on.


Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2013, 07:20:10 AM »

other video resources:  Fathead (via netflix) or Science for Smart People.  (Production quality on the latter is a little lacking as he had technical difficulties when filming it.)

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1795
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2013, 08:37:45 AM »
I spent a good week or so a couple years ago reading online articles, filtering it for unscientific gibberish, consolidating all the information, and turning it into a blog post (mainly intended for friends and family who were always complaining of ailments, trying to self-medicate or eat just the right super-food, or seeing "holistic" doctors and chiropractors as a means to health)

http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/2013/04/be-healthy-my-friend.html

Its about half diet and half exercise content.
It isn't scientific in the sense of it being a published experiment or written in an academic journal, but I used actual science as references.  But it has graphics, and (in part 2) even a cartoon! so its (hopefully) a bit easier to read than some stuffy report. 

Its follow up: http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/2013/04/be-healthy-part-2-sub-section-fat.html gets into why the MMM, and paleo, and Atkins, etc actually work (summary: they all help you feel less hungry in a calorie deficit, especially compared to diets high in sugar and starch)

An absolutely enormous amount of health information is based on conjecture, or axioms, or assuming that a correlation implies causation (i.e. xyz culture is healthy, xyz eat a certain way, therefore that diet must be healthy)

I know a whole lot of people who live by the
"If you can buy organic, make sure you do...
if you have to open a box to get at the food 99% of the time you should not buy it...
if you need to mircrowave it dont buy it...
if it does not expire within a week of purchasing it the majority of the time you should not buy it...
if it has more then three ingredients dont buy it...
if you cant pronounce the ingrediets dont buy it..."
rules (not picking on Dmy, I just happened to see the ideas I hear SO often, neatly summarized here)
and among those people there is no deficit of overweight people, people who can't do a single pull-up, people who get sick several times a year, who go to doctors regularly, or all of the above.  That does not qualify as "healthy" to me.  That's what inspired the essay.

tuyop

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2013, 08:51:18 AM »
I don't eat breakfast, so that eliminates having to think about what to have.



Same. Try intermittent fasting. Eat vegetables and delicious animals that crawl the land and swim the seas. Have sex. Love life.

Heather

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2013, 09:29:08 AM »
Sign up for the "Nutition Action Health letter". 
http://www.cspinet.org/nah/
Also available in Canadian flavour: http://www.cspinet.org/nah/canada/

This is an awesome science-based nutrition information source.  It is clearly written, and always cites studies for and even against (!) each piece of nutrition news or advice.    It is the only place where you can read something along the lines of "Last year we recommended <this> because of <these> studies, but <these> new studies have come out that go against that theory, so now we recommend <this>".
It is not pro-Atkins, Paleo or any other popular book-inspired diet.  It does not ignore them either.  They occasionally do articles comparing diet trends.     
They are entirely funded by donations and newsletter sales, so they have no vested interests in selling you anything. 
You will love this if you are a natural skeptic like me.








Vilx-

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 145
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Latvia
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2013, 02:17:48 PM »
Great articles, Bakari! It's so nice to see that someone has already done the homework in your place! :) I have just one more question (for now) - will proper exercise & eating make me less tired and allow me to sleep less? And just how much is a "healthy" amount of sleep for an adult of 28?

To elaborate - currently I get up at around 7:30 (AM) and go to bed at around 22:00-23:00 (10-11PM). During this time I only manage to do my daily job, eat dinner and prepare food for the next day. Occasionally also some small house chores, though those are usally left for the weekends. I don't have the strength to do much else - especially not any hobbies/side projects that I'd like to work on.

Will this improve with a better lifestyle? Currently I'm not eating very unhealthily (I eat junk food or processed only occasionally), but definitely more carbs and calories than I need. Also - 0 exercise and a sedentary lifestyle.

Thank you! :)

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1795
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2013, 07:23:31 PM »
- will proper exercise & eating make me less tired and allow me to sleep less?

Less tired physically, yes.
Less tired in terms of sleepy, probably not.

Quote
And just how much is a "healthy" amount of sleep for an adult of 28?

Varies by the individual.  The average is 8-9, but anywhere from 6 to 10 is in the range of "normal" (I looked this up, because my ex used to sleep 10 hours a night, and I was concerned, but turned out it was unusual, but no cause for alarm)
So, 23:00 to 7:30 is totally within normal.

The problem isn't you, the problem is our insane system that still expects people to work 40 hours per week, the same as we did at the turn of the last century, even though per worker productivity has gone up somewhere around 100 fold since then.  In a sane society 5-10 hours would be the standard workweek, and people would expect overtime beyond that.
Which is the beauty of the Mustache / ERE early retirement idea - once you are financially independent, you get to spend more of your waking hours on stuff you choose to do.

limeandpepper

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4459
  • Location: Australasia
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2013, 11:22:30 PM »
To elaborate - currently I get up at around 7:30 (AM) and go to bed at around 22:00-23:00 (10-11PM). During this time I only manage to do my daily job, eat dinner and prepare food for the next day. Occasionally also some small house chores, though those are usally left for the weekends. I don't have the strength to do much else - especially not any hobbies/side projects that I'd like to work on.

Will this improve with a better lifestyle? Currently I'm not eating very unhealthily (I eat junk food or processed only occasionally), but definitely more carbs and calories than I need. Also - 0 exercise and a sedentary lifestyle.

Thank you! :)

What time do you get home from work?

I have to say that I tend to not want to do anything much when I get home from work, too. I like to just unwind. I do still manage to spend some time on hobbies and exercise though, sometimes after a day of work, sometimes on the weekends, though not as much as I would like.

Vilx-

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 145
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Latvia
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2013, 12:50:25 AM »
Normally I get home from work at about 18:30-19:00 (6:30PM-7:00PM). That leaves about 2-3 hours until the my daughter needs to be put to bed (which takes about an hour itself). In this time, as I said, I manage to make & eat dinner; and prepare food for the next day (if necessary - we try to cook for several days). A short bit of exercise can be squeezed in there as well, but not much else. Also, my hobbies/side projects involve computers (what can I say - I'm a passionate computer programmer), so they're nearly impossible to do while my daughter is awake - she wants to play, and I don't want to send her away, because, seriously, I only get so little time every day to spend with her anyway.

What I was hoping for was more energy to stay up late after my daughter has gone to bed. :P I guess that's not happening.

40 hour work week - ahh, that's a whole topic in and of itself. I'd like to discuss it, but that would need another forum thread.

limeandpepper

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4459
  • Location: Australasia
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2013, 01:27:54 AM »
I get about 7 hours of sleep on a typical working day and I can get by a full day without feeling sleepy. I don't have kids, though, so that perhaps helps. ;)  And I sleep in on the weekends - probably get about 10 hours!

As a computer programmer, would it be possible for you to do one day of work from home? Not having to commute would free up some time.

For more energy: I've introduced green smoothies to my daily routine and, placebo effect or not, I find that they seem to perk me up. I also find that exercise gives me more energy. Even if it's intense and exhausting, at the same time it also feels really great - I'm all loosened up and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Or, sometimes I just go for a leisurely walk, and the fresh air is pretty nice and gives me mental clarity.

Vilx-

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 145
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Latvia
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2013, 06:26:24 AM »
Working from home is theoretically possible, but most of the time - infeasible. Mostly because, as I said, it's nearly impossible while my daughter is at home. I need to concentrate and she needs to play (with me). I've tried it on dozens of occasions - it just doesn't work, for either of us. Also, while electronic communication is great these days, being with your colleagues in person is even better. Work happens faster for all of us if we can just ask each other what we need, instead of using email or something. Not to mention meetings, sleepy atmosphere at home, etc.

I could theoretically also do solo freelance work, but, as I understand, the freelance market for programmers is pretty rough these days and it's a stressful thing without a steady income. I know at least two people who tried it and dropped out after a while, coming back to work regular office jobs. Plus, then I'd have to rent someplace quiet for the above reasons. As a person who has family and loans to take care of - I'd rather not go this way.

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1795
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2013, 08:24:27 AM »
And I sleep in on the weekends - probably get about 10 hours!

That's a sign that you aren't really getting enough sleep during the week.  Almost everyone, forced to not get enough sleep night after night will get used to it, and it starts to feel normal, but one's reaction time, awareness, mood, etc all are testably depressed from consistent sleep deprivation.
Unfortunately its not avoidable for so very many people...

I could theoretically also do solo freelance work, but, as I understand, the freelance market for programmers is pretty rough these days and it's a stressful thing without a steady income. I know at least two people who tried it and dropped out after a while, coming back to work regular office jobs. Plus, then I'd have to rent someplace quiet for the above reasons. As a person who has family and loans to take care of - I'd rather not go this way.

As time goes on, and you live the MMM way, you will be able to make money less predictably with out being stressed.  At the same time, your daughter will grow older, and not need you to play with her every moment your at home.  In the long run I think working for yourself is the way to go.  For example, this was my day yesterday: wake up (no alarm), morning routine until girlfriend wakes up, then a good hour of stuff I won't detail because this is a family forum ;), pancake breakfast, installed my new stem on my folding bike, go to the gym for an hour, helped level some bee hives (with LIVE BEES in them!!!!!!!!!!! It was fun and terrifying), hang out at a cafe with free wifi (where my girlfriend was doing a freelance tutoring session), come home, check email, post in this thread about how much sleep is normal, then go to work, home about an hour and a half later, dinner, shower, bed.  I'm many years away from financially independent, but I have enough savings that I don't have to worry when work is slow.  And best of all, when I am working, half the money I'm earning doesn't go to an employer.  I can charge my clients less, and at the same time make more, than I would if I did the same work for someone else.  It's win/win

Hmm, how to tie this back to nutrition? Um....... Neither of us working full time, we have time to take care of our garden?  Oh, oh, right - when she stopped working for other people, she started following her personal passion, which happens to be creating a edible perennial plant nursery, growing things which grow well in our climate, but are somewhat hard to find.  While they get to be big enough to propagate from, she is also doing freelance landscaping and giving Spanish tutoring lessons http://fffwest.blogspot.com/ so, for her, working for herself is literally about nutrition.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2013, 08:35:18 AM »
And I sleep in on the weekends - probably get about 10 hours!

That's a sign that you aren't really getting enough sleep during the week.  Almost everyone, forced to not get enough sleep night after night will get used to it, and it starts to feel normal, but one's reaction time, awareness, mood, etc all are testably depressed from consistent sleep deprivation.
Unfortunately its not avoidable for so very many people...


This could also be a sign you're not sleeping well.  I'm a snorer.  Now, the sleep doctors will make a huge freaking deal about apnea.  I'm not a doc, but I think they inflate this some.  They make it sound like you're going to fall over dead TOMORROW!  For me: it DOES make a quality difference to correct it, but I really don't think it's as huge as they make it.

CNM

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 465
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2013, 09:20:14 AM »
For healthy diets, I have personally felt my best when I keep my daily carbohydrate count to about 100 grams and my protein count to about 100 grams.  (I am a 5'6" woman who weighs 140 lbs.)  I do exercise strenuously 3-4 times a week with kettlebells/boxing, so that may have something to do with the somewhat high protein count. 

Now for the caveat, at my gym many people go through various diet changes and exercise changes.  They are all different based on the ultimate goal (generalized "feeling better", fat loss, muscle gain, increasing sleep, whatever).  Many people do a paleo diet, many do the Whole30 diet, many follow a "eat more plants" diet, some even prefer vegetarian eating.

All this to say, when it comes to nutrition, there doesn't seem to be any hard and fast rules.  People are different. 


Edited to add:  Before I decided on my 100 gram diet as described above, I had tried out various iterations like carb cycling and paleo.  I hated carb cycling (too restrictive) and I thought paleo was OK.  I prefer some flexibility, though.  I mean, I know junk food is not good for you, but I like an indulgence here and there. 
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 09:24:50 AM by CNM »

tuyop

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2013, 10:56:15 AM »
I mean, I know junk food is not good for you, but I like an indulgence here and there.

The key is to learn to love foods that are not junk. If you can develop a taste for, for instance - what I'm eating right now as a snack - broccoli and hummus, so that you find it utterly delicious, then you can indulge while eating like an adult.

Other alternatives: I've found that my partner and I are absolutely in love with sweet potatoes. A nice sweet potato hashbrown is pretty much an ideal desert for us.

Plain, pan-popped popcorn is just wonderful, and contains just straight-up corn.

Artichoke, steamed and dipped in something rich.

Get your priorities straight, you can't control what food is terrible for you, but you can control what food you adore.

CNM

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 465
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2013, 11:16:14 AM »
@ tuyop: Yes, I know that in an ideal world I would never eat junk.  But it's not an ideal world and, truth be told, it's nice to have some pie every so often.  I like the way chocolate covered almonds taste.  I enjoy baking and then eating fancy Christmas cookies. It's about eating well 80-90% of the time so I can appreciate and enjoy the times when I don't.  My priorities are perfectly in line.

Edited to add: But, speaking of priorities, nutritional advice also varies widely depending on what the OP wants to achieve.  Fat loss is different than muscle gain.  So is maintenance.  Even though I hated carb cycling, it sure sucked the fat right off my body- and quick!  For a long term diet, though, I would not like it and it may even be detrimental.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 11:18:23 AM by CNM »

tuyop

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2013, 12:17:01 PM »
/\/\/\ Well sure, but I feel pretty strongly that no category of food should have the capacity to make you happy or miserable, like I've said in other threads. So if you're saying that you need junk once in awhile to not be miserable, I think you could really work on your outlook and personal stoicism, not your diet.

Lyle McDonald also says you could probably eat some more protein if you're very athletic. Personally, I'm seeing pretty great results on just 1g/lb a day (so about 180g of protein per day), I just can't afford to go up to 1.5g.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 12:19:27 PM by tuyop »

Vilx-

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 145
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Latvia
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2013, 12:28:45 PM »
I feel pretty strongly that no category of food should have the capacity to make you happy or miserable
Why not? Why is food any different from other things in your life? I mean, there are plenty of other things around you that can make you happy or miserable, why not food? Or maybe you are saying that only internal factors should matter in determining your happiness/misery and not external ones? I'm not sure that I like the idea. That implies that family/friends are unimportant too.

CNM

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 465
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2013, 12:46:01 PM »
/\/\/\ Well sure, but I feel pretty strongly that no category of food should have the capacity to make you happy or miserable, like I've said in other threads. So if you're saying that you need junk once in awhile to not be miserable, I think you could really work on your outlook and personal stoicism, not your diet.

Lyle McDonald also says you could probably eat some more protein if you're very athletic. Personally, I'm seeing pretty great results on just 1g/lb a day (so about 180g of protein per day), I just can't afford to go up to 1.5g.

It's not that not eating something makes me miserable, but that eating it makes me happy.  Happiness would diminish if I ate Christmas cookies or drank a margarita every day or even every month.

Anyway, I suppose I have a different perspective than you do about eating and food. I don't like to  make a certain food completely off limits.  It does not work with my personality or my lifestyle and so far, I see no adverse effects to my health because of it.
 

tuyop

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2013, 02:29:00 PM »
I feel pretty strongly that no category of food should have the capacity to make you happy or miserable
Why not? Why is food any different from other things in your life? I mean, there are plenty of other things around you that can make you happy or miserable, why not food? Or maybe you are saying that only internal factors should matter in determining your happiness/misery and not external ones? I'm not sure that I like the idea. That implies that family/friends are unimportant too.

Depends on your perspective on happiness. The stoics say that happiness is intrinsic. It's not that I would be happy even if my father died, but more that my happiness depends on my view of my relationship with my father, alive or dead. Alive, I can be happy that he's in my life (or miserable that he lives so far away), dead I can be happy that he taught me so much (or miserable that he's gone forever).

Food is the same way. Freedom from food-induced suffering or unhappiness is entirely about perspective about food. Me, I try to love absolutely everything that I eat and so food, regardless of category, brings me great happiness. This isn't because the food is really all that great, I've been ecstatic with literal months of rice and beans, but because I refuse to give the lack of brownies or browniness power over my tranquility and happiness.

Now, if you were a hedonist or something, then I guess you would disagree.

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1795
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2013, 04:53:25 PM »
I'm not sure that hedonism and stoicism are really as different as they are made out to be -
but that's a whole different conversation...

Regarding junk food - an important point that gets missed a lot is that it isn't actually toxic.
The problem with it is that it is very low in nutrients and very high in calories.
Because it is low in nutrients, you have to eat a lot of it to get your required intake of vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats.
Your body knows which nutrients it needs more of, (even though the conscious mind doesn't), but it only knows the food sources you feed it.  So, instead of making you crave some other nutrient rich food, if all it knows is junk, it just makes you crave more of it.  Which means you end up with an excess of calories, sugar, and saturated fats, which leads to health problems.  Alternatively, you could eat nothing but junk food while being careful to limit your calories, and then you won't get fat, but you will likely end up with certain vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

However, if your nutritional needs are generally met, then the occasional treat isn't going to do any harm at all.
Enjoy sunshine and sex and ice-cream, they are part of what makes life wonderful.


Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #34 on: April 25, 2013, 05:15:12 PM »
Regarding junk food - an important point that gets missed a lot is that it isn't actually toxic.
The problem with it is that it is very low in nutrients and very high in calories.

There is some actual scientific debate there.  A number of researchers (Dr. Robert Lustig comes to mind) say sugar actually is toxic.  (Certainly it is at some level... the debate is *what* level.  I mean even water is toxic at some levels.) 

I think Lustig's research is pretty solid, though I'm not a fan of his politics.  (He'd actually have the government regulate how much sugar you eat.)

Here is one example (LONG!) but he's produced quite a number of educational videos. 

Shorter rant on Huffpost.

Kriegsspiel

  • Guest
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2013, 06:26:40 PM »
Regarding junk food - an important point that gets missed a lot is that it isn't actually toxic.
The problem with it is that it is very low in nutrients and very high in calories.

There is some actual scientific debate there.  A number of researchers (Dr. Robert Lustig comes to mind) say sugar actually is toxic.  (Certainly it is at some level... the debate is *what* level.  I mean even water is toxic at some levels.) 

I think Lustig's research is pretty solid, though I'm not a fan of his politics.  (He'd actually have the government regulate how much sugar you eat.)

Here is one example (LONG!) but he's produced quite a number of educational videos. 

Shorter rant on Huffpost.

Luckily, Alan Aragon shows up to lend a voice of reason.

tuyop

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2013, 06:38:57 PM »
Regarding junk food - an important point that gets missed a lot is that it isn't actually toxic.
The problem with it is that it is very low in nutrients and very high in calories.

There is some actual scientific debate there.  A number of researchers (Dr. Robert Lustig comes to mind) say sugar actually is toxic.  (Certainly it is at some level... the debate is *what* level.  I mean even water is toxic at some levels.) 

I think Lustig's research is pretty solid, though I'm not a fan of his politics.  (He'd actually have the government regulate how much sugar you eat.)

Here is one example (LONG!) but he's produced quite a number of educational videos. 

Shorter rant on Huffpost.

Luckily, Alan Aragon shows up to lend a voice of reason.

I see your Alan Aragon and raise you a... Martin Berkhan!

Kriegsspiel

  • Guest
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2013, 07:25:14 PM »
I don't think he references sugar/fructose in that post.

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1795
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2013, 10:32:18 PM »
Regarding junk food - an important point that gets missed a lot is that it isn't actually toxic.
The problem with it is that it is very low in nutrients and very high in calories.
the debate is *what* level.  I mean even water is toxic at some levels.) 


I don't see how that conflicts with what I wrote earlier.
I already acknowledged that excess calories, sugar, and saturated fat lead to health problems (obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, respectively).  Key word was excess.

Dr. Lustig is, like many other's, focused on fructose.  People point out the higher fructose content of high fructose corn syrup compared to cane or beet sugar.  You know what has an even higher ratio of fructose to sucrose?  Honey, agave, and actual fruit.  Exactly those "all natural" sweeteners that many people want to replace HFCS with.  If sugar is "toxic", we ought to be campaigning against fruit.
Here's a concise summary of the debate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Lustig#Controversy_over_fructose

Doctor's get an undue  amount of credibility from lay people on all things nutrition related, but doctors are not scientists.  They are more like mechanics for the body.  There are people who have been to med school who believe in every crazy thing you can thing of, from healing crystals to faith healing.  A book or lecture or website by a doctor, which isn't based on well designed clinical trials and isn't peer reviewed, is just their personal opinion.

Like you say, water is "toxic" in high enough amounts, but I was talking more like the arsenic or cyanide or nightshade meaning of the word.
Ice cream and cake and chips may have next to no nutritional value, and they will lead to serious health problems if they make up a large percentage of your diet, but they aren't that type of toxic, so as long as you have a healthy fat percentage and good blood test results, there is no good reason not to occasionally enjoy them.

The problem with HFCS isn't that its toxic, nor that its addictive.  The problem with it is that it is so dang CHEAP (thanks to farm subsidies), and it tastes good, and so processed food manufactures now put it in EVERYTHING that they make - even savory dishes - and they put a whole lot of it in sweets.   So if you eat "normal" American food - stuff from boxes and restaurants - you end up eating too much of it.  Nobody is disputing that there is such a thing as too much

Hamster

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2013, 12:53:11 AM »
Regarding junk food - an important point that gets missed a lot is that it isn't actually toxic.
The first law of toxicology: the dose makes the poison.

This holds true for sugar, cyanide, oxygen, alcohol, morphine, sodium chloride, water... Pick your poison

Hamster

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2013, 01:39:40 AM »
Tl;dr: Eat mostly veggies/fruits along with healthy proteins and oils/fats and whole grains. The purveyors of most other diet plans are trying to sell you something.

My vote for a simple, research-based start on basic nutrition is Harvard's Nutrition Source. It's based on the preponderance of available research. They aren't selling you a product, and it provides a nice contrast to the USDA's very questionable nutritional recommendations which serve agribusiness, not health interests. The basic message is simple: half of your food should be fruits and veg, choose healthy proteins, healthy oils/fats, and whole grains, and drink plenty of water. Exercise, and don't eat too much. There is more beyond that, but it's the kind of advice Michael Pollan could get behind.

I would argue that most of the benefit of any restrictive diet, be it low fat, low carb, grain-free (e.g. paleo), etc all come down to the fact that they reduce total net calories, either through direct reduction in intake by eliminating a category of food, or in the case of very low carb, also through dumping calories in urine in the form of ketones.

What is interesting is that in larger or longer term studies comparing these various diets, there is much more variability within the cohorts assigned to each diet, than between the cohorts. for example, average weight loss in 2 years on low carb vs low fat in one seminal study was about 8 pounds vs 7 pounds, respectively, but within the low carb group, some lost over 30 pounds, while some gained weight. It probably has less to do with the particulars of the diet than the individual trying (and usually eventually failing) to follow the diet.

When people make a lifestyle change, the motivation is probably more important than the particular diet prescribed. I can show you people losing weight and improving their cholesterol profiles on an Atkins diet, and I can show the same on Esselstyn's vegan, extreme low fat diet. I'd argue that Esselstyn has much better data on outcomes in preventing recurrences of heart attacks.

None of the most long-lived communities in the world follow any of these restrictive diets (see the November 2005 national geographic article on longevity for a nice popular-press example, looking at Sardinians, Okinawans, and seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, among the longest-living populations in the world). Speaking of aging, there are numerous studies showing that lots of fruits and veggies (as well as mental and physical exercise and having an active social life) support healthy aging, and that diets high in saturated fat increase the risk of most diseases associated with aging.

limeandpepper

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4459
  • Location: Australasia
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2013, 01:55:56 AM »
However, if your nutritional needs are generally met, then the occasional treat isn't going to do any harm at all.
Enjoy sunshine and sex and ice-cream, they are part of what makes life wonderful.

This is pretty much what I go by. I eat healthily in general and I embrace the occasional less healthy treat without feeling guilty about it.

Hamster

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2013, 01:58:35 AM »

 People point out the higher fructose content of high fructose corn syrup compared to cane or beet sugar.  You know what has an even higher ratio of fructose to sucrose?  Honey, agave, and actual fruit.  Exactly those "all natural" sweeteners that many people want to replace HFCS with.  If sugar is "toxic", we ought to be campaigning against fruit.
High fructose corn syrup actually has about the same ratio of glucose to fructose (around 50%) as table sugar. Nutritionally they are essentially equivalent. It isn't called high fructose because it has more fructose relative to table sugar, but rather relative to "regular" (non high-fructose) corn syrup. If there is a primary reason HFCS is worse than cane sugar, it is because it is cheap and ubiquitous so you get more of it.

tuyop

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2013, 03:50:20 AM »
I don't think he references sugar/fructose in that post.

He doesn't, but I still want to play!

jba302

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
Re: Where can I find a comprehensive guide to nutrition?
« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2013, 10:34:48 AM »
www.bodyrecomposition.com is Lyle McDonald's site, his articles and books explain a lot of physiological mechanics WRT nutrition and exercise.

Alan Aragon is another smart dude.

www.pubmed.com is a search engine for studies, you can go wild here.  Colleges, businesses, and libraries can have databases where you can read the full studies. 

Try to learn how to evaluate the studies by seeing how Lyle, Alan, and other smart people do it.


*BTW, Lyle wrote the book on ketogenic dieting (called, appropriately, The Ketogenic Diet), it referenced hundreds, if not thousands, of studies, so that may be a good starting point for you.

Between Lyle and Alan, there are no other sources of information so seek for diet. Neither of them push a magic bullet (looking at you lustig).