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From: Bethany (
Subject:         Re: Jeff: Your Opinion: Is a calorie a calorie?
Date: August 22, 2007 at 6:03 pm PST

In Reply to: Re: Jeff: Your Opinion: Is a calorie a calorie? posted by Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN on August 22, 2007 at 4:44 am:


An except of your well-written, thought-provoking reply to a well-asked question is:

>>DO the experiement. Use one of the nutrition software I recommended.

Then, create a 1800 calorie diet that is nutrient dense, meeting all the known requirements for vitamins, minerals, fiber etc, and doesnt have too much of the bad, so it doesnt exceed the amounts
of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugars, etc. Also, make sure you have plenty to eat so you dont go hungry. (so, we cant invent the perfect food "pill" or supplement as we will be
hungry all day if that is all we ate)>

Isnt this what nutrition is supposed to do for us? :)

Then, see the fat content of the diet. Then, try to raise the fat content of the diet, without changing the nutrient density and the calorie density of the diet, significantly.

Its nearly impossible to do. The only exception is if one was to create the situtation where one can ingest large amount of calories due to lots of excessive activity and then we may want to question the l/t health benefits of that. And most Americans, who are older, and have injuries, cant do that.

I have done the above experiment many many many times (did i say many?) and it is almost impossible to do with a percentage of fat over 20%, unless the total calories go way up (which i am not recommending). In fact, its a standing challange i have. Try to accomplish the goal with a percent fat of 30% or more at 1800 calories. I have yet to have someone do it and hit all the nutrient levels or not exceed the levels of the things that are limited. <<

1. I am eating around 1100 calories/day (sendentary, 5' 1.5", 97 lbs) - is that too few? The CRON-o-Meter caculates 1660.
2. According to the CRON-o-Meter here are my stats for a particular day:
- Calories: 1092/1660 (66%)
- Protein: 35g/50g (71%)
- Carbs: 177g/224g (79%)
- Lipids: 39g/74g(53%)
- Vitamins: 80%
- Minerals: 81%
Protein - 10%; Carbs - 58%; Fats - 32%
Is this less than ideal? Should the vitamins, minerals,...say 100%? I know this board is not to tailor one's individual diet. I am trying to grasp the "ideal dietary lifestyle" that is a proper ratio of nutrient-density versus the necessary (not too much or too little) calories and wondering if I am grasping your fundamental principles of proper nutrient-density balanced with caloric restriction.
3. What is your opinion of the viewpoint that a diet comprised of two-three meals a day is more life-extending and health beneficial than snacking/grazing throughout the day since the digestive tract is allowed a period of rest? (I have read of a study done where the calories consumed in a month, say 90,000, proved to be more life-extending when those calories were eaten in two or three meals per day versus those same amount of calories eaten throughout the day over the course of a month.)

Thanks for all your contributions to this discussion board -- it is really causing me to analyze my food choices - and decide which vegetables, fruits,... are most nutritious (versus just nutritious).



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