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

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

Nutrition’s Golden Age

This could be nutrition’s golden age, as it has become very apparent in the sciences that there’s an intricate connection between the nutrition in one’s diet and one’s health. Indeed, how could this not be so, as food is basically chemicals. When you eat, digestive enzymes break down the food into vitamins and minerals, which are then available for all the metabolic functions of the body, right down to the level of all the processes of the individual cell. Thus the very commonsense notion that nutrition and health are indisputably linked, and the obvious implication that the richer your nutrition the healthier you are likely to be.

And this golden age is given a boost as foods of all kinds in the developed world are readily available. Even out of season foods are available year round. So there is little in the way of devising a truly nutritionally dense diet that’s superior to any diets of past ages. You just have to have knowledge of nutrition — what’s good for you and what’s not.

But to what extent have the sciences taken this linkage between food and health more seriously with detailed studies about specific foods? For instance, it is a commonplace assumption in the nutrition literature that there are specific foods that are very beneficial to the health of the brain. I can think of three such foods off the top of my head: Omega 3 fats, Lion’s Mane mushrooms, and blueberries. If it were true that these three examples were indeed beneficial to brain health, wouldn’t it be instructive — and potentially rewarding — to determine exactly what chemicals in these foods produce which beneficial effects in the brain?

I think the next advancement in the science of nutrition will be at this level, where it is determined what chemicals in various foods produce what specific benefits in the body.

Diet

Nutritionally Intense (as in over the top) Chocolate Smoothie

To create the predominant taste:

Cacao powder (not its cousin cocoa, which you should avoid) – generous amount (the only ingredient in chocolate that has nutritional value). (Recommendation: Don’t eat chocolates or believe the hype that dark chocolates are healthy (they are full of unhealthy fats and refined sugar — yuck), but do consume cacao regularly (very intense antioxidants — put the powder into smoothies and the nibs into salads).

Ka’Chava Chocolate powder – generous amount (its ingredient list has amazing nutritional value, much of which comes from plant-based foods unique to South America that you just don’t see in US supermarkets).

Frozen blueberries (optional, as you may or may not like the chocolate/blueberry blended taste — I do).

KAL stevia to sweeten (zero calories, but plant-based sweetener).

Actual plant ingredients:

Entire baby bok choy.

Generous amount of mixed leafy greens (kale, spinach, etc.).

Optional: cruciferous vegetables either broccoli or cauliflower or both.

Additional ingredients, whose favors are all masked by the chocolate/blue/stevia blend above.

Powders:

Chlorella.

Flaxseed.

Red Beet crystals.

Maca.

Moringa.

Chaga.

Wheatgrass (a very small amount, as this has a very foul taste).

Vega One powder for plant-based nutrition.

Super Greens.

Seeds:

Hemp (high in protein).

Chia.

Mixed sprouted seeds (“good fats”).

Other ingredients:

Nutritional yeast.

Bee pollen.

Zinc pill (supports the immune system).

Kelp for some iodine.

Liquids:

Almond milk.

Chilled water.

Baby Potatoes

Baby Potatoes

Recipe for roasting baby potatoes in the oven:

Wash the potatoes with tap water.

Dry them on a cutting board.

In a large bowl, pour in liquid aminos (for some salt), balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and dollops of mustard.

Add almond flour to the mixture.

Cut the baby potatoes in half and place them in the bowl.

Tumble them around so that they are all saturated.

Sprinkle on garlic powder.

Sprinkle heavy doses of Dash Garlic and Herbs.

Place baby potatoes flat side down on parchment paper using a pizza pan.

While the baby potatoes are still wet, sprinkle on generous amounts of sesame seeds.

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Place potatoes in the oven and cook for 45 minutes – or until the skins are crispy (from the almond flour).

Eat the baby potatoes the way they are or with smears of Gotham Greens Vegan Pesto.

Note: there is significant nutrition in the skin of a potato, particularly iron, so that eating mashed potatoes where the skin is tossed out significantly reduces the potato’s nutritional value, as in approximately cutting it in half.

Potatoes are a rich source of fiber, iron, vitamin C, and B-6.  Given their fiber content (which fiber passes through you but also feeds and promotes healthy gut bacteria) and low-fat content (so a volume of baby potatoes has comparatively few calories but makes you feel satiated), they are an excellent complex carbohydrate for losing weight.

Best Food for Weight Loss?

Nutrition Chaos

If you read widely in terms of nutrition, you see every claim made by a particular group will have counter claims made by opposing groups — each group having a set bias in terms of advocating a specific diet. So it is much like a war of competing claims. Therefore, there is little doubt that as a science, nutrition is perhaps the most controversial area of study, given this background of competing vested interests.

But there is little to doubt on one point that has been proven over and over again with statistically sound evidence from large-scale experiments — that the vegan, plant-based diet is the healthiest relative to longevity and overall health, and this by a large margin when compared to any other sort of diet.

So if you want to live a long life and in good health, the choice to do so — to the extent you can influence it — is absolutely clear.

Sadly, relatively few people make that choice because they don’t want to give up the foods they have come to enjoy — despite the consequences. The vast majority of people make a compromise with the devil sacrificing their health for pleasure.

Diversify Your Diet