Old Age and Digestion

If you are into your 60s and 70s, it would be a good idea to take a digestive enzyme pill with your primary meal, as these enzymes decrease with old age, so that without a supplement, you are getting much less value from the food that you eat because it doesn’t get thoroughly digested for lack of digestive enzymes.

Yet another problem with old age and digestion is that the hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach to breakdown food decreases with old age, so that food — and proteins in particular, which are more complex compounds — don’t get broken down as efficiently by digestion in the stomach for lack of this acid, which is another reason why the old should increase the amount of protein in their diet somewhat to compensate for this inefficient digestion. A sprinkle of lemon juice on your salad would help here with digestion in the stomach.

old age and digestion

How To Binge Eat

Do you find that you eat way too much on the weekends or, now and then, just go overboard with too much food? You are not alone.

But there is an effective way to deal with this kind of occasional binge eating, which I’m afraid most of us humans are guilty of. That way is to have planned calorie deficit days each week (planned as in specific days of the week). Right now, I have 3 calorie deficit days each week, so when I overeat on the weekends, it doesn’t matter.

One calorie deficit day is just a few hundred calories below what I typically eat (2100 calories). The second is double that but not that severe really. But the third calorie deficit is a serious drop — half of what I normally eat.

With 3 planned calorie deficit days each week, I don’t have to be that concerned with the occasional binge. Actually, without the occasional binge, I would lose too much weight.

So I can enjoy my binge and eat cake, too — sort of speak (I don’t eat processed foods like cake).

Heirloom

Calorie Deficit Days

I have been doing OMAD for 3 years, but I also do 3 calorie deficit days a week. One moderate deficit, one medium, and one large. My usual day calorie-wise is 2100 calories. The way I do the one large calorie deficit day is that I wait until very late in my eating window to have that one meal, and that one meal is unusually high in protein and fat and therefore very satiating. That one meal can be 1000 calories, but because it is late in the day and very satiating, that’s it for food for that day, which translates into a 1100 calorie deficit. I was wondering if anyone else does calorie deficit days, and, if so, how they go about it — what their strategy is?

Anti-Inflammation Cocktail

Fiber and Your Health

The cause for poor health produced by the American diet is pretty clear. Most Americans do not eat enough fiber to satisfy even the minimum requirement, even though the American standard is set very low at 38 grams per day for men and 25 grams for women (aboriginal communities can eat up to 100 grams of fiber — personally, I think the standard for men should be 75 to 100 grams per day).

What happens when you don’t get an adequate amount of fiber from a diverse group of plant foods is that you undermine the good bacteria in the gut. These bacteria produce the metabolites or short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that help to maintain the lining or barrier of the intestines as well as the blood/brain barrier of the brain.

If those SCFA are not produced in adequate amounts, this leads to the leaky gut syndrome in the intestines and permeability in the brain’s blood/brain barrier. Once this happens, you get toxins, pathogens, etc. escaping into the blood vessels from the intestines and into the brain through the blood/brain barrier, leading to widespread inflammation and ultimately, if chronic, various autoimmune diseases.

It all starts with inadequate fiber in the diet. That’s the underlying cause. There is no mystery to it. (Note: Using fiber powder is by no means an equivalent substitute for getting your fiber from actual plant foods.)

Anti-Inflammation Cocktail

Salt

Reading Fuhrman’s Eat For Life. Has a very interesting section on salt. Views salt from the evolutionary perspective of what humans in the bulk of their existence have taken in, that is, just the salt in the food and nothing more. That’s the amount our bodies through all those perhaps millions of years the human body is accustomed to need.

But then he compares that to the modern diet where everyone adds salt to virtually everything, so our current salt intake is spectacularly above where it should be. So we eat way too much salt compared to what we should be consuming, but worse, that amount of salt changes one’s taste buds to having to expect virtually everything one eats to be salty. So the current modern salted diet has radically changed the modern taste buds.

Only by drastically reducing salt can someone eventually get back to taste buds as they were meant to be, where one can pick out the more subtle flavors of various foods.

So the current heavily salted diet leads to high blood pressure and poor health, but also undermines one’s sense of taste. Goes on to say that his Nutritarian diet will lead to this reawakening of one’s true taste buds, and so you will get much more enjoyment out of actually tasting a variety of unsalted foods.

Easy Health Tricks

5-Day Mimicking Diet

I’m on day 3 of the 5-day mimicking diet. 800 calories per day, except the first day I went without food entirely.

Focus on the mimicking diet is minimizing protein so to maximize the amount of autophagy. Less than 20 grams of protein per day, except that first day was 0. From Longo’s book The Longevity Diet.

Really want the body to have to scavenge for protein wherever it can find it — all those wayward (and cancerous?) cells.

Longo says a healthy person should do this 3 times per year. Someone with diabetes much more often.

I knew I could do this because I did one similar 800 calorie day before and it wasn’t difficult. I thought I could boost the benefit by not eating that first day, which I knew I could do because I’ve done 48-hour fasts before.

Those more strenuous fasts one has to work one’s way up to them imo. Not sure I want to do a 5-day water fast because I do notice with a 48-hour fast that my energy level goes down significantly. One must feel very depleted after 5 days with no nutrition — really don’t want to experience that level of fatigue.

Insulin Spikes

Insulin Spikes

It has only been just recently that I’ve come to realize the importance of keeping blood glucose levels steady compared to having large insulin spikes and the inevitable crashes, as when blood glucose levels drop severely, that’s when one feels very fatigued. Having steadier glucose levels that don’t vary that much means you avoid that fatigued state. That’s the benefit. No doubt, this has a very big impact on one’s mood. I would venture to guess that depression and low glucose levels go hand in hand.

Cutting Carbs, Cutting Protein

Cutting Carbs, Cutting Protein

When I started this, I was 10 lbs. from my ideal weight at 140, having lost 40 lbs. over 3 years with 20:4 intermittent fasting. Now I’m only 3 lbs. away. A 2-day per week Keto approach broke through that plateau at 150 — and at the time it was starting to climb. When I get to 140, I may cut back to only having 1 Keto day per week — that should be able to keep my weight vert steady.

Mind you, I don’t really think the Keto diet per se is a very healthy one with all that fat and such low fiber, and it doesn’t come close to the nutrition one gets from a GBOMBS diet (that’s very obvious when you compare the two in cronometer — a typical Keto day to a typical GBOMBS day), but I do appreciate what it can do with such a low level of carbohydrates relative to ketosis.

Similarly, I’ve been thinking one might get a benefit from drastically reducing protein if one is about to do a longer fast for the sake of autophagy. Similar logic. I’m very interested in all the health benefits for someone my age of autophagy, particularly potentially with fighting cancer. I’ve been planning to do a 5-day mimicking fast starting as per the guidelines in Longo’s book The Longevity Diet — for the sake of autophagy. The 2 days before that begins, I will be cutting protein down to an absolute minimum.

Bread Frustration

Just Criminal!

I was walking the other day and picked up an empty plastic soda bottle someone had tossed negligently on the ground. I habitually look at the ingredient list of every food and so looked at the amount of sugar in this 12 oz. bottle. 73 grams — criminal! Just criminal!

Where is our government to prevent this kind of thing? Nowhere, that’s where — despite the epidemic of diabetes.

Autophagy

Nutrition, A Soft Science

Nutrition is a soft science because it is in fact very difficult to prove anything when it comes to food. The reason is that everyone’s diet consists of a wide range of different foods, so that it is virtually impossible to show that for any specific food, here are the consequences, as all the other foods in one’s diet will have played a role too.

This is the reason why there is so much controversy in nutrition on virtually every point or aspect of different diets. It almost seems as if for any given issue, there will inevitably be “authorities” arguing for both sides of the coin. For instance, there is a huge debate in nutrition over how unhealthy, as in heart disease, saturated fat is — those who argue that it should be avoided at all costs and those who argue just as vehemently that it is harmless.

And also there is the camp that points out that correlation doesn’t prove causality, i.e., that two things happened to be very correlated could just be random chance and not causal at all. This is the argument that attempts to debunk many of conclusions drawn in the famous China Study that had such an impact on the course of nutrition as science (I don’t buy the argument here; I think the conclusions in the China Study are indeed causal). But in the absence of the type of concrete and irrefutable proofs that you can arrive at in other sciences, the argument that correlation isn’t proof has some weight.

And if this confusion of conflicting opinions isn’t bad enough to begin with, you must consider this: that not all the so-called “experts” on nutrition out there are speaking from a purely disinterested point of view where truth is the objective, but in fact are putting out ideas that support an agenda of a particular food industry. So you have pundits from the meat lobby throwing verbal grenades against the use of soy as a protein alternative because, according to these shills, it promotes estrogen in men! In fact, a huge percentage of the nutrition literature is pure propaganda from writers paid for and in the pockets of particular food industries. They are not telling you THE truth, but THEIR truth.

So what is the layperson to do with such a welter of contradictory and even perverse points of view in the “science” of nutrition? First, don’t give up. Second, keep listening to various experts and soon enough, you will find ones that are more convincing in their arguments. Third, when you have enough experts that you have come to trust, if they have common views about specific foods and specific diets, then that majority opinion among these experts that you have come to trust is what you ultimately have to go with. Not proof certainly, in the scientific sense, but definitely an educated guess.

My Experiment