Couple of words about the quirky world of nutrition
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Author:  Dub [ Tue May 22, 2012 10:00 am ]
Post subject:  Couple of words about the quirky world of nutrition

Okay, bare with me people. For those who are not willing to read everything, this topic is about my nutrition and the practical nutritional science and recommendations. The main point here is the following: The more I know and read about nutrition, the less clear and strict rules and paths there are to follow. The more I understand, the more I know I don't understand. The world of nutrition is constantly changing, there are millions of researches and researchers telling you their information, and you just have to know who and what to listen?

Let's take this back a little. I had my nutrition course of my school. Filled with lots of independent information searching and lectures from nutritionists and exercise physiologist. And yet, almost everything I knew was contradicting to what they were saying. In the field of nutrition, there are loads of rules and dogmas to follow even tho they make no physiological or logical sense. Take meal frequencies for one. We were constantly touted about eating every 2-3 hours. Why? There really was nothing to tell us. I asked, and all I got was counter-questions and the burden of proof. When I explained, I just got downplayed because no-one wanted to believe the science behind the nutrition. There are dozens of things in nutrition where people just repeat the same lines and rules but no-one really knows why. Then again, after doing hours and hours of research, reading so many different theories, articles, books and stuff, I really wasn't sure what was real either. Let's check some of these things out.

The more I read about carbs the more I find about the dangers of eating these little carbos. It's a fuel for exercising, and nothing more. Even insulin is bad if there is no exercise around it. The body needs carbs, the brain is said to use about 140g of glucose per day. So yeah, going zero carb might not be the answer, after all you get carbs from the fruits and veggies you should be eating. But, if you don't exercise, carbs can be very very bad for you. All the modern world diseases are almost mainly caused by an overload of carbohydrates: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, all the heartdiseases in general, cancer and everything else that comes with obesity. I like to refer the carbs as fuel, because that's what they are, right? You need carbs on your muscles to provide you energy and help you repair all the damage that exercising does to your body. So carbs are a necessity for athletes in my books. There just is something about the timing and types of carbs that are in the shades. Many theories support the fact that you should consume carbs before an exercise, but then some-one like John Kiefer comes in and says you get fat if you eat more than 30g of carbs during the morning and day. Packed with research and physiological facts. I don't like to eat lots of carbs right before a workout, but a few hours before it's alright. And I still believe it goes to good use in terms of exercising. You need fuel, and fat storages won't burn quite that easily on faster paced and more intensive workouts. Got to get that ATP and KP from somewhere. I know the body storages lots of glucose for just the occasion, but after a lower carb day or two, those storages might not be that full. Many athletes can have deficiencys of glucose in the muscles and liver if there is never a proper loading. This is the part of science where I drop off and try to understand what view suits me better. I do longer exercises, like aerobic and anaerobic exercising, where I definately need carbs. There's no way I'm going with fat and protein on these two.

Then there is the fiber. I personally do not eat a lot of fiber (ca. 18g/day), I should increase the amount of it to about 20-30g a day. I eat too much of those silly refined procecced grains. Now these are bad for everyone, I know that. The only use for simple and fast carbs is after an exercise, but there isn't really any other use for them. They make you fat and sick and lazy. Now this whole wheat and high fiber stuff (slow carbos like some fruits and grains) are alright. They don't raise insulin quite that much nor too fast, and will keep your stomach happy. Then again I read some studies and opinions on how GI doesn't really matter and fiber is useless or that all grains and carbs are eventually bad. Those I haven't taken under my wing.
My nutritional plan on carbs is to have them lower on rest days, eat mainly low GI carbs and lots of fiber, then on the workout days have some carbs before the workout and plenty of afterwards. I'm not too picky on whole wheat on after the exercise, but I should still avoid the worst sugars. How's that sound for you?

Okay, I did some nutritional analysis, and my total consuming of fats carbs and proteins from total energy consumed was about 40/30/30. So I got the most energy from fats, the second from protein and carbs. proteins were around 160-200g a day, and so were the carbs. On higher exercise days the carbs were about 200-400g. But the fats are still way high. Then again, the more I read about fats, the less dangerous they seem. Some sources still say that athletes should stay away from saturated fats, but I've read too many counter-opinions not to care too much about this. Saturated fats will not make you fatter if your living healthy and eating the right amount of carbs. Please correct me on this one if you got something to say. Not too many people take the carbs as seriously as they take the saturated fats. They are falsely blamed for many serious conditions, and somehow no-one sees the real obvious causes behind that. So I tend not to care too much about my saturated fat intake, it's tolerable. Maybe I still want to lower it a bit, or raise my carb and protein intake. The Omega 3 and Omega 6 ratio is the one relevant to my interest at the moment. And it's being taken care of.

I have had couple of arguments about fasting with my class and some randomer people. Even with a nutritionist. And even she said there was actually no harm on 12h fasting or so. There it is. Even a nutritionist knows smaller meal frequency doesn't really do anything bad if you can control what you eat. But still, the same nutritionists kept us a lecture about nutrition, and yet they repeated the same "eat every 2-3 hours" -junk at us. That's a given, if you can't stand hunger and resort to huge overeatings on meals you will get fat, that's the main good reason for smaller and more often meals. Otherwise there is nothing bad in some fasting. Your cells and body get some cleansing and grehlin might stimulate some growth hormone into your body. Yet, some sources still warn about the duration of the fast eating away your muscle. The time-space is somewhere around 12-14 hour mark where the protein starts to convvert into energy, then the fat afterwards. So for a fast longer than 12 hours you will eventually consume some muscle. Then there's intermittent fasting and the great results from leangains and 24 hour fasts. That's just madness. Is there more than one truth here? I tend to "fast" for 12-14 hours by not eating breakfast and taking first meals 1-4 hours after waking up.

On the sidenotes you've got a small picture of my nutritional rules and guidelines. Low carbs on rest days, higher on exercise days. Lots of fiber, lots of protein. Plenty of fat. Some fasting of 12-14 hours. It has gotten some results. In the recent weeks I've gotten my bodyfat to go down a bit. Slowly but steadily. Proof? I'm starting to see some six-pack lines instead of the usual four-pack I have. I've gotten more visible muscle mass also. So there's the plan I'll be following right now. I will experiment on creatine for a couple of months starting next month also. I want to see how it works for me, so I will have some opinion besides research about it.

So yeah, this was a sort of rant, sort of asking for opinions and knowledge. There are plenty of very intellectual creatures here on exrx, and I'd like to hear something from your mind. What nutritional guidelines do you have?

Author:  stuward [ Tue May 22, 2012 10:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Couple of words about the quirky world of nutrition

It is frustrating that there are so many experts with contradictory views.

WRT saturated fats, the early studies were done by the infamous Ancel Keys. When studying the evils of animal fats, he actually used margarine in his studies. By the time he decided that it wasn't really the same thing, the vegetable oil machine was in motion and was too hard to stop. By 1977, Mary Enig was speaking out against trans fats but no one wanted to listen.


These are interesting:
http://www.thescreamonline.com/essays/e ... egoil.html

Author:  jeffrerr [ Wed May 23, 2012 8:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Couple of words about the quirky world of nutrition

I did general calorie restriction eating for 8 months which helped me Getty from 123kg to 97kg but I found it too hard to stick to now I'm lifting again! I'm floating at 101kg to 103kg at the moment but I'm eating more and lifting, my body fat seems to still be down except around the "gut" area, but I'm definitely noticing more muscle mass! My diet is add haphazard as you can get, I still eat pizza, McDonalds, KFC etc. in moderation (compared to the old 123kg me!) I've Newberry found the patience to get super detailed about macro nutrients, mostly because of all the weird contradictions out there! I'm currently reading the 5th edition of "Eat Stop Eat"and considering IF, looking into local availability of grass feed beef to get the O6 and O3 ratio a bit better, I've stopped buying anything that says low or decreased fat!

As for your run down, it seems to be fairly well rounded and a lot of BS seems to have been sifted out! I hope to hear more about it as you go along with it!

Author:  stuward [ Wed May 23, 2012 10:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Couple of words about the quirky world of nutrition

The next step is to remove ALL junk food, processed foods and fast food from your diet, and as much as you can, eliminate sugar, refined grains and artificial fats and oils from your diet. Making those change alone, make it easy to regulate your weight. It will also fix a lot of health issues you probably don't even know you have.

Everything else is fiddling in the margins. You don't need to count calories or macro-nutrients.

You're actually lucky in Australia since grass fed meat is quite common. That's mainly because grain is expensive, but take the good where you find it.

Author:  Dub [ Wed May 23, 2012 11:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Couple of words about the quirky world of nutrition

Stu, since you've even called yourself a grain nazi, what's your take on fiber and "real and proper" whole wheat products? Aka very complex and unrefined and unprocessed grains? I think they have their place in athletes or even a normal persons diet, but then there are people, mostly paleo or primal diet people (and John Kiefer on fiber) who proclaim that all fiber and grains are garbage and the disease of the nation, plus a very inflammatory food.
EDIT. Anyone else can also give their opinion on grains if they want. I'm interested to hear different point of views.

Author:  stuward [ Wed May 23, 2012 11:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Couple of words about the quirky world of nutrition

I post and follow on paleo sites so I'm familiar with the paleo approach to grains, which is generally avoidance. In general I try to, but I do indulge in pasta and oatmeal from time to time and I pay the price in a stuffed up head and a slight paunch. Grains, wheat in particular, have proteins (not just gluten) that cause reactions in some people. They also affect opiate sensors actually causing addictions.

If you eat ancient types of grains, sprouted and ground just prior to using, you can probably eliminate most, if not all of the anti-nutrients in them and maximize the mineral and vitamin availability of the grains. Hardly anyone goes to that length anymore so it's easier to just eliminate them from your diet altogether. Traditional methods of preparing grains always included sprouting and or fermenting and that's no longer done in modern cooking. Refined grains and quick rising yeast has made what used to be a valid food into something that makes us sick.

Anyway, this is "fiddling in the margins" stuff and is for exploring after the junk food is cut out.

Author:  Travis [ Wed May 23, 2012 5:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Couple of words about the quirky world of nutrition

Grains are less nutrient dense than the other high fiber foods-- fruits and vegetables. So no reason to eat grains for the fiber.

Author:  Dub [ Thu May 24, 2012 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Couple of words about the quirky world of nutrition

Thanks for the responses. Just one thing still boggles me.
How does paleo deal with high carb diets? There still are sports and days where you won't be living off from fat and protein. Protein in particular isn't meant to be fuel, it's a construction block and building material. It's still is a well known fact that carbs are the best and fastest way to produce ATP and energy in general (2x faster than fat, the amount produced is higher). Elite level athletes might need over 500-700g of carbs per day, nevermind the loading phase. For optimal performance, the body needs lots of muscle glycogen and a little glucose from blood. The muscle glycogen is mostly carbs, coming from your liver and bloodstream after digestion. Even fat oxidation needs a little carbohydrate if you don't want to get stinking ketosed.

Now, the problem is that I can't really say any really carbohydrate-high fruit or veggie at this moment. Banana? With 20g/100g. You have to eat over 20 bananas to get where you want. Almost every other fruit or veggie is way lower, somewhere around 10g/100g. Potatoes and sweet potatoes are something, but I can't really admit that eating loads of starch is the solution. Most fruits and veggies are still over half water. I admit that fiber you maybe could get from there, but is there an explanation for high-carb phases for athletes? Or is the whole ATP-production system suddenly dismissed and slayed in front of my very eyes?

Personally I believe I'll never give up grains. Unless there are serious conserns regarding my health. I love bread and pasta, even rice. Pure veggie/protein approach is not my cup of tea. People have gotten good results and remotely healthy life with grains, so I take no extra-cautions. I doubt I could keep this kind of paleo diet forever. No, it would just be a diet, what I want is more permanent.

Author:  Travis [ Thu May 24, 2012 4:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Couple of words about the quirky world of nutrition

Carbs = sugars and starches regardless of the source i.e. potatoes, bananas or grains.
So any carb loading IS eating loads of starch

My understanding is humans have a limited capacity for glucose storage--
"350 g as muscle glycogen, 90 g in the liver and a small amount of circulating glucose in the blood" [http://www.healthline.com/hlbook/nut-carbohydrate-metabolism]
Anything additional is changed into fat.

I find, having given up grains, its not really the grains products I enjoyed but rather what I ate with them.
I truly loved spaghetti but now I eat marinara sauce with a little more meat and no noodles.
Same for rice-- Curry nor stir fry need rice to taste good.

Since humans have an unlimited capacity to store fat and not carbs, protein or alcohol; I believe fat is our bodies preferred fuel source.
Grains are really just calorie supplements; If you can't get enough calories, supplement with the less nutritious grain products.

Author:  Oscar_Actuary [ Thu May 24, 2012 6:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Couple of words about the quirky world of nutrition

Is eating fries fried in Peanut oil, still bad, mainly because the oil may be getting too hot?

Cause Five Guys and Fries is sooo good


Author:  Dub [ Fri May 25, 2012 4:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Couple of words about the quirky world of nutrition

Travis wrote:
My understanding is humans have a limited capacity for glucose storage--
"350 g as muscle glycogen, 90 g in the liver and a small amount of circulating glucose in the blood" [http://www.healthline.com/hlbook/nut-carbohydrate-metabolism]
Anything additional is changed into fat.

It's not that simple. I think you missed my point. Either way I still am not satisfied. You see, even if your quote would be accurate, it would still mean you might need to consume more than 400g of carbs a day. Which is mad if you're trying it with bananas and vegetables. Like I said, almost all fruits and veggies are 80% or more water, which leaves them to mere 5-20g of carbs/100g. When in oats or similar grain has over 50g of carbs per 100g.
Still, my point was that there are exceptions. First off, people are different. There is no exact amount of glycogen body can store. No, it's more logical than that. Muscles store glycogen. The more muscle you have, the more glycogen you can store. Peoples resting glucogen in muscle can also vary alot. non-athletes have something like 120mmol/kg. Elite athletes can have muscle glucogen levels up to 200mmol/kg. The science behind all this isn't just as simple as that. There is no exact limit of carbs that is the same for every person. Even if you are eating over your storaging amount, it doesn't mean you will build fat instantly. No, Exercising changes everything. Carbs can be taken before exercising (loading phase or performance enhancing in general), during exercises (almost necessary with long and hardcore sports), or afterwards. Some sources even say athletes can take over 1000g of carbs per day and not get over 10% bodyfat any time of the year. The more training hours you have combined with the intensity of the exercise, the more carbs you should eat. I'm talking about extremes here, but for an example, doing high-intensity exercises like cycling or running for 4-5 hours a day can burn over 900g's worth of carbohydrates. Now I admit that there's no storage in muscle that can store that kind of amount of carbs. But suprise, you don't have to storage that kind of amount.

You can infact increase your glycogen storages by a loading phase before an exercise, but it's all about what happens afterwards. You have to have a little depletion to not build that fat from the carbs. The depletion will stimulate an enzyme called glycogen synthase. Glycogen synthase is the thing responsible for excessive carbo storaging. Also after your exercises, glycogen synthesis is very rapid after exercising, and the fastest phase can last for over 2 hours. Then there's some slower rate synthesis for over 24 hours. So body needs way more glycogen than you got in your storages. And that's one of the reasons you eat carbs to recover. And that amount is in most cases a bit larger. Some sources even recommend 225g of carbs within the couple of hours after exercising, then more later. And I wasn't even mentioning the methods to weight and muscle gains. Carbs are one important source of nutrition if you want bigger muscles. It kinda relates to all that science above.

This is a bit of unaverage person or an elite level example, but I still would like to hear if paleo has solution for this kind of exercising. Maltodextrin and pure glucose/fructose?

Since humans have an unlimited capacity to store fat and not carbs, protein or alcohol; I believe fat is our bodies preferred fuel source.
Grains are really just calorie supplements; If you can't get enough calories, supplement with the less nutritious grain products.

It's not that simple. It would be easy if fat burning would just happen every time we need energy, but no. It doesn't work that way. Fat oxidation only occurs with low intensity, or after an intensive workout. When you are going higher on intensity level, especially if you're doing it for a longer period of time, using only fat storages will kill your performance level. You need ATP, the primary fuel for exercising. You get it from carbs, fats and when necessary, protein. But there are differences. First off, body can form ATP from carbs almost twice as fast than from fats. Secondly, when in anaerobic or intensive exercise, you can make five times then energy from carbs than you get from fats. So performance wise, it's not all about fats. It takes high conditioning and practise to burn fat efficiently during an exercise. If you are in a long exercise, you will notice when the body starts using fats instead of carbs. It's like a minor wall hitting your muscles.

I think carbs are the fuel for exercising, fats for other living and rest. For an elite athlete I would never recommend losing carbs before an event or after it. It just makes no sense. It's not just "additional calories". Calories don't matter at all. It's all about the need of protein, carbs and fats. But excess carbs and not enough exercise to match it will get you fat and sick, that's a given. And for that I totally understand the no-grain diets and paleo. Once again, I'm just wondering if there is something I don't know or think at this moment. Something that would solve my puzzle.

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