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From: Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN (
Subject:         Re: Jeff: Your Opinion: Is a calorie a calorie?
Date: August 22, 2007 at 6:44 pm PST

In Reply to: Re: Jeff: Your Opinion: Is a calorie a calorie? posted by Bethany on August 22, 2007 at 6:03 pm:

thanks for taking the challenge. As you see, its quite interesting
and makes you rething your food choices if you really want to
optimize your intake..

>>1. I am eating around 1100 calories/day (sendentary, 5' 1.5", 97
lbs) - is that too few? The CRON-o-Meter caculates 1660.

Well, the first thing i see is "sedentary" which i wouldnt
recommend. Nor would i go 100% by what the CRONoMEter
estimates, as it is based on formulas.

Your BMI is 18 which is low but not neccessarily unhealthy. I cant
determine that from a message board, or how many calories you or
anyone can or should eat.

I can tell you that I like to keep my BMI between 18.5-22 (usually
its right around 19-20) as there is lots of good evidence
supporting that. Even in the "healthy" range of 18.5-25, your
risks are lowest at 18.5-22. But then again, its just one number
and there is more to health than your BMI.

>>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 think that one should aim to hit 100% or more as an average over
time. So, never go by one days intake but yes, if you average your
intake over a week or more, than your nutrient intake should
average over 100% for all the known nutrients. I would also want
to see the breakdown of the fats and also the sodium, fiber,
cholesterol, and amino acids (also all over time). Not that i want
anyone to live by the CRONoMeter, but its a great way to see where
you are low, and what choices can help you improve your diet.

And, Yes, I know of all the arguments about the adequacy of the
nutrient estimates (RDA, DRI, AIs, etc), but they are still the best we

>> I know this board is not to tailor one's individual diet. I am
trying to grasp the "ideal dietary lifestyle"

If you ever figure it out, let me know. I have spent my life working
on it.. :)

>>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.

We have learned alot in the field, but we still have a long way to go.
Clearly, not being overweight and overconsuming calories is
important as is optimiing the nutrient density of our intake. Even
overweight fit and muscular people have lower life exptectancies.

>>>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.)

Doesnt matter. You want to eat 2 or 3 meals, thats fine with me.
You want to eat 5 or 6 meals, thats fine with me. Whatever works
for you. I am more concerned about the make up of the total diet
and not how you exactly do it.

Personally, I usually eat 2 "defined" meals (lunch and dinner) and
maybe 1 or 2 snacks during the day. But, I dont ever starve myself
and I dont ever stuff myself and if I am hungry, I eat. And, I have
eaten 3 meals (or more) and do eat 1 meal on occasion (or none).

>>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).

Thank You.

In Health

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