All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

Thermic effect of food (TEF) is the amount of energy expenditure above the resting metabolic rate due to the cost of processing food for use and storage. The effect varies substantially for different food components. The mechanism is unknown.

A commonly used estimate of the thermic effect of food is about 10% of one's caloric intake. 

The primary determinants of daily thermic effect are: 

  1. the total caloric content of the meals,
  2. the macronutrient composition of the meals ingested.

Macronutrients:

The thermic effect of food is the energy required for digestion, absorption, and disposal of ingested nutrients, and depends on the composition of the food consumed:

  • Protein: 20-35 % of the energy consumed,
  • Carbohydrates and fats5-15 %.

Meal frequency has little to no thermic effect. 

Insulin

Thermic effect also depends on the insulin sensitivity of the individual, with more insulin-sensitive individuals having a significant effect while individuals with increasing resistance have negligible to zero effects. Both insulin resistance and obesity are independently associated with impaired thermic effect of food at rest, but "the responsiveness of thermogenesis to exercise before a meal is related to the obese state and not independently to insulin resistance per se."

Exercise

The thermic effect of food is marginally increased by 7-8 calories per hour with exercise:

  • aerobic training of sufficient duration and intensity
  • and by anaerobic weight training.

"Negative"  Caloric Balance

Celery, grapefruit, lemon, lime, apple, lettuce, broccoli, and cabbage are often claimed to have negative caloric balance, requiring more energy to digest than recovered from the food. There is no scientific evidence to show that any of these foods have a negative caloric impact.

Albert Schweitzer

A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help. 

Recommended Dietary Allowance RDA

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) - the average daily dietary nutrient intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all - ~97% - healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group. 

The process for setting the RDA depends on being able to set an Estimated Average Requirement (EAR). If an EAR cannot be set, no RDA will be set. The EAR is the daily intake value of a nutrient that is estimated to meet the nutrient requirement of half the healthy individuals in a life stage and gender group.

The RDA is set at the EAR plus twice the standard deviation (SD) if known (RDA = EAR + 2 SD). If data about variability in requirements are insufficient to calculate a standard deviation, a coefficient of variation for the EAR of 10% is ordinarily assumed (RDA = 1.2 x EAR).

The RDA for a nutrient is a value to be used as a goal for dietary intake by healthy individuals. The RDA is not intended to be used to assess the diets of either individuals or groups or to plan diets for groups.

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