All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

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Nutrients

Nutrients are component in foods that an organism uses for maintenance and growth.

  • Thermic Effect of Food and Negative Calories

    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,
    • Carbohydratesand 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.

  • To Chef AJ about Calories in Non-Starchy Vegetables

    Negative-Calorie Fruits? No!

    In a presentation published on youtube, Chef AJ, who is certified in "Plant-Based Nutrition" from Cornell University,  describes the concept of calorie density, promoting weight loss. She claims that you can eat as many of non-sweet fruit and other low in starch vegetables you want, because: 

    "...their mostly waner, and fiber and nutrients, you know, you actually spend more calories, chewing non-starchy vegetables and digesting them than in the calories."

    My response: 

    Why every lecture like this must contain some nonsense? One hour chewing burns only ~10 food calories!

    There is no scientific evidence to show that any vegetables or fruits have a zero or negative caloric impact

    Celery has a thermic effect - "the amount of energy expenditure above the resting metabolic rate due to the cost of processing food for use and storage" - of ~ 8%, much less than the 100% or more required for a food to have "negative calories". A large piece of celery provides almost 10 calories, but the body expends less than one calorie processing it.

    Proteins require the most energy to digest but their a thermic effect is 20%–30% only. A commonly used estimate of the thermic effect of food is about 10% of one's caloric intake. 

    Chef AJ replied through her profile Wight Loss Wednesday:

    After I provided a link to this article with explanation to a viewer who replied to me with ""chewing and digesting".. digestion does not come for free," Chef AJ responded to my comment as well. First she said: 

    I was talking about BMR.

    Then she shared this link:

    http://lethow.com/health/negative-calorie-foods/

    In this article they just repeat the false information: 

    Consuming Negative calorie foods will burn more calories in chewing and digestion process  as compared to the calories they provide for the body. Eating these foods will create a calorie-deficit in the body, ultimately helps in weight loss.

    Towards the end they admit that:

    Our body uses around 10-15% of calories of the food we eat, in order to digest them. Our body also needs energy to break down the food  compound and absorb carbohydrates, proteins, minerals fats, and other nutrients. Our body generates energy from the food we intake.

    But they also imply that much more energy is burned by absorption of food. After mechanical and chemical digestion, which require most energy to break the pieces and molecules of food down, they assume or try to make you believe that absorption through the small intestine into the blood would take more than 90% of the calories of these foods for the total to be negative! There is no known scientific foundation for such assumptions. It even goes against common sense to think that the mere absorption of broken down nutrients would require ~10 times more energy than actual breaking down, or to imagine that we could survive with such inefficient bodies. Even if this were true, nutrients from other foods would require similar amounts of energy to be absorbed. 

    Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the minimal rate of energy expenditure, usually per day or hour. The measurement requires a strict set of criteria to be met, which include being in a physically and psychologically undisturbed state, in a thermally neutral environment, and in the post-absorptive state (after the food is digested). I do not know what exactly Chef AJ was pointing towards here. 

    They also list most non-starchy vegetables and fruits as calorie-negative! How irresponsible. The site, which calls itself "the ultimate guide," does not list any links to their sources, of course. They don't even have about pare or sign their articles. This site looks like an advertisement project, with the content created entirely by paid-per-word copywriters.

    As a fruitarian whose energy comes primarily from those fruits, I would be dead not only by now, but after any couple of month period in the last 20+ years. 

    These are the fruits and vegetables they list:

    Fruits Vegetables Spices 

    Apples

    Apricots

    Blackberries

    Cantaloupes

    Cranberries

    Grapefruit

    Guava

    Lemons

    Oranges

    Papayas

    Peaches

    Pineapples

    Plums

    Prunes

    Raspberries

    Strawberries

    Tangerines

    Tomatoes

    Watermelon

    Asparagus

    Aubergine

    Beets

    Broccoli

    Cabbage

    Carrots

    Cauliflower

    Celery

    Chicory

    Cress

    Cucumbers

    Dandelion

    Endive

    Fennel

    Green beans

    Lettuce

    Onions

    Radishes

    Spinach

    Turnip

    Zucchini  

    Anise

    Cayenne

    Chili peppers

    Cinnamon

    Cloves

    Coriander/Cilantro

    Cumin

    Dill

    Fennel seeds

    Flax seeds

    Garden cress

    Garlic

    Ginger

    Parsley

    Mustard seeds

    Watercress

    Please, don't believe just anyone on the internet, always check the information you rely upon. 

  • One-Day Fruit Diet

    Consulting nutritionist and clinical dietitian in India, Pooja Makhija, on fruitarian diet:

  • Glycotoxins, Advanced Glycation, dAEG and Cooking

    Modern diets are largely heat-processed and as a result contain high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), also known as glycotoxins. Dietary advanced glycation end products (dAGEs) are known to contribute to increased oxidant stress and inflammation, which are linked to the recent epidemics of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

    Dry heat promotes new dAGE formation by 10-100 times above the uncooked state across food categories. Animal-derived foods that are high in fat and protein are generally rich in glycotoxins and prone to formation of new glycotoxins during cooking. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains (but also milk) contain relatively few glycotoxins, even after cooking.

    The formation of new glycotoxins during cooking was: 

    • prevented by the AGE inhibitory compound aminoguanidine
    • and significantly reducedby
      • cooking with moist heat,
      • using shorter cooking times,
      • cooking at lower temperatures,
      • and by use of acidic ingredients (such as lemon juice or vinegar).

    Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), are a diverse group of highly oxidant compounds with pathogenic significance in diabetes and in several other chronic diseases. Glycotoxins are created through a Maillard or browning reaction - it is a part of normal metabolism, but if excessively high levels of glycotoxins are reached in tissues and the circulation they can become pathogenic, which is related to their ability to promote oxidative stress and inflammation by binding with cell surface receptors or cross-linking with body proteins, altering their structure and function.

    Glycotoxins also exist in foods: they are naturally present in uncooked animal-derived foods, and cooking results in the formation of new AGEs: grilling, broiling, roasting, searing,and frying propagate and accelerate new AGE formation. Recent studies clearly show that dAGEs are absorbed and contribute significantly to the body’s AGE pool.

    Avoidance of dAGEs, glycotoxins in food, helps delay chronic diseases and aging in animals and possibly in human beings.

    Glycotoxins in the diet represent pathogenic compounds that have been linked to the induction and progression of many chronic diseases. High temperature and low moisture consistently and strongly drive their formation in foods. Comparatively brief heating time, low temperatures, high moisture, and/or pre-exposure to an acidified environment are effective strategies to limit new formation in food.

    A significantly reduced intake of dAGEs can be achieved by reducing intake of solid fats, fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and highly processed foods, and by increasing the consumption of legumes, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. 

    Low-AGE–generating cooking methods are 

    • poaching,
    • steaming,
    • stewing, 
    • boiling.

    For example, the high AGE content of broiled chicken (5,828 kU/100 g) can be significantly reduced to 1,124 kU/100 g when the same piece of meat is either boiled or stewed. 

    Future studies should continue to investigate the health effects of AGEs and refine recommendations for safe dietary intakes. However, current data support the need for a paradigm shift that acknowledges that how we prepare and process food may be equally important as nutrient composition.

  • On "Unusable Protein" to Don

    Don Bennet, DAS, in his video "Protein Explained" on his channel health101DOTorg, trying to explain / claim "how protein can cause autoimmune disease," mentioned that there is "unusable protein" and connected it to cooking. 

    I asked: 

    Don, could you please link to the studies that would support your statements about unusability of cooked proteins?

  • Plant Protein Balance

    Mixtures of plant proteins can serve as a complete and well-balanced source of amino acids for meeting human physiological requirements. 

    Plant protein foods contribute ~ 65% of the per capita supply of protein on a worldwide basis, and ~ 32% in the North American region.

  • Amino Acids in Fruits and Seeds

    This is amazing how many times I was asked: where do you get your protein? Many people seem to think that there is no protein in fruit. Let's look into it. 

    1. How much protein one needs? ↓
    2. How much protein is in fruit and seeds? ↓
    3. Is that the right protein? ↓
  • Protein Quality of Cereal-Based Diets

    Protein quantity plant-based diets is shown not to be an issue. Inadequate amino acid supply is not an issue with most cereal-based diets.

    When used to score plant-based diets in India, no marked deficiencies are identified. All regions score > 1 for adults, whilst for children scores range from > 1, (Tamil Nadhu) from 6 months of age to 0.78 (West Bengal), rising to 0.9 in the 2-5 year old, consistent with reports that high-lysine maize supports similar weight and height growth to that of casein. 

    Digestibility is identified as a problem for some cereals (millet (Panicum miliaceum) and sorghum (Sorghum sp.)) and generally is poorly understood.

    A new maintenance requirement pattern is developed, with higher values than those of Food and Agriculture Organization / World Health Organization / United Nations University (1985) but lower values than the Massachusetts Institute of Technology pattern (Young et al. 1989).

    Calculations of age-related amino acid requirements are based on most recent estimates of human growth and maintenance protein requirements, a tissue amino acid pattern and the new maintenance amino acid pattern. These values appear valid when used to score plant proteins, since they indicate values similar to or less than the biological value measured directly in young children.

  • Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score

    The protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) has been adopted by FAO/WHO as the preferred method for the measurement of the protein value in human nutrition. 

    PDCAAS = Amino Acid Score x Digestibility

    The method is based on comparison of the concentration of the first limiting essential amino acid in the test protein with the concentration of that amino acid in a reference (scoring) pattern. This scoring pattern is derived from the essential amino acid requirements of the preschool-age child.

    Although the principle of the PDCAAS method has been widely accepted, critical questions have been raised in the scientific community:

    1. the validity of the preschool-age child amino acid requirement values (more than 4 times greater than the EAA requirement for an adult),
    2. the validity of correction for fecal instead of ileal digestibility,
    3. the truncation of PDCAAS values to 100%.

    The reference scoring pattern was based on studies performed more than 25 years ago on a limited number of 2-year-old children recovering from malnutrition.

    According to the current official recommendations, a 2-year old child needs ~ 3x higher essential-to-non-essential amino acid ratio, and needs essential amino acids in different proportions than adult. Methionine/cysteine is the limiting essential amino acids for adults, and for children it is lysine or tryptophan.

    The use of fecal digestibility overestimates the nutritional value of a protein because amino acid nitrogen entering the colon is lost for protein synthesis in the body and is, at least in part, excreted in urine as ammonia.

  • High-Fat Meals May Be Protrombotic

    The high-fat meals (42% of energy from fat) caused, in contrast to the low-fat meals (6% of energy from fat), considerable increases in plasma triglycerides. The five different fat qualities - rapeseed oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, palm oil, or butter - caused similar postprandial increases in plasma triglycerides. These findings indicate that high-fat meals may be prothrombotic, irrespective of their fatty acid composition

Franz Kafka

Now I can look at you in peace; I don't eat you any more.

Vitamin A

Retinoids retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid - 3 active forms of vitamin A - "preformed" vitamin A.

Beta carotene can easily be converted to vitamin A by the human body. 

Large amounts of supplemental vitamin A (but not beta carotene) can be harmful to bones.

Vitamin A keeps tissues and skin healthy, plays an important role in bone growth. Diets rich in the carotenoids alpha carotene and lycopene seem to lower lung cancer risk. Carotenoids act as antioxidants. Foods rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against cataracts. Essential for vision lycopene may lower prostate cancer risk.

Recommended daily amount: 700 mcg - 900 mcg or 3 mg - 6 mg beta-carotene (~ 1 cup of raw cantaloupe or sweet red peppers, or 2 mangoes, or 1/5 of one baked sweet potato). 

Because the body converts all dietary sources of vitamin A into retinol, 1 mcg of physiologically available retinol is equivalent to the following amounts from dietary sources: 1 mcg of retinol, 12 mcg of beta-carotene, and 24 mcg of alpha-carotene or beta-cryptoxanthin. From dietary supplements, the body converts 2 mcg of beta-carotene to 1 mcg of retinol.

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