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  1. #1
    dboxing's Avatar
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    Optimum Diet

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    Like to get everyone’s thoughts on the best diet for optimum leanness (while retaining muscle) and longetivity /health. I see a couple of decision points. First, how much/many carbohydrates? Next, IF or not, and if so what intervals (and where do the foregoing carbohydrates fit in)?
    Although some of Primal and VLC overlap, I think it is worth noting that Taubes makes a good case that excess carbohydrates makes us fat; and the resulting high blood sugar causes disease, and not just limited to diabetes, but that they also feed/may cause cancer. Dr. Davis over at HeartScan Blog says basically the same thing about high blood sugar and heart disease. In other words, shouldn’t carbohydrate consumption be driven by the individual’s blood sugar response to foods? And, considering the difficulties of accessing this accurately, for the purpose of disease avoidance wouldn’t the prudent course to always be VLC?
    Regarding IF, it seems more health benefits are derived from complete absence of food for 24 plus hours, while a “better body” comes from using something like 16/8. And again, what role for carbs?
    In summary, generally speaking, it seems that a diet that uses carbohydrates for insulin response for adding muscle (even while trying to lose fat) may not be optimal for long-term health. It is hard to argue with the research presented by Taubes. It also seems that the research for calorie restriction/IF being beneficial is pretty solid. It follows that the optimum diet for health would be VLC in combination with something like an every other day fast. Many people on here advocate “primal” starches. Of course they make us feel better. Of course they make it easier to go primal. But how does that square with Taubes and Dr. Davis. Thoughts?

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    This is a very lame answer, but for me, an optimum diet is one I can sustain.

    Sustainability aside, I do think there is value in getting some nutrients from fruits, veggies, and in some cases, tubers. I think the optimum diet also depends on the individual. Someone who is very active would likely require a different diet for optimum health as someone who is more sedentary. Also each person's physiology, I'm sure plays a part in what's optimal for them.

    For me, I'm currently trying to lose weight and VLC is working well for that. I want to lose another 10lbs or so. After I've done that, then I'll be upping my carbs to about 100g to see if I maintain at that level.

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    Have you read the Primal Blueprint? Mark makes a pretty good case for what the optimum diet is.

    Gordo

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    I'd start with PB then tweak it to find what's optimum for you. What's optimum for me will probably differ for most everyone else, but the only way to find out is trial and error.

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    dboxing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordo View Post
    Have you read the Primal Blueprint? Mark makes a pretty good case for what the optimum diet is.

    Gordo
    Yes, I’ve read it. And obviously it is better than SAD. But again, Taubes and Dr. Davis have good arguments (and research) that excess carbohydrates are what makes us unhealthy. Many people on here will tell you that Primal does not mean low carb. Additionally, the ONLY proven method of extending life span in mammals is calorie restriction. Everything else are just ways not to decrease it.

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    dboxing's Avatar
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    Barryman,

    That is the point. How do you know what is optimal? How you feel? How you look? I know plenty of people using steroids, who are eating whatever they want, and look and feel fantastic. That doesn’t mean what they are doing is optimal for health in the long term.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fufonzo View Post
    This is a very lame answer, but for me, an optimum diet is one I can sustain.
    This is totally not-lame. Even Taubes recognizes that different people have different nutritional needs. In his recent post about Dr. Oz, he concedes that some people do have a natural tendency towards thinness and a higher metabolism and can probably be healthy on higher intakes of carbohydrate than those who have thrifty metabolisms and a tendency towards obesity. I happen to be one of those high-metabolism people (seriously, my waking temps are really high) and I find that I do best on a moderate-starch, high-fat diet. It's better when I avoid grains, which I do most of the time, but since I don't have any acute reactions, I haven't eliminated them completely. I try to keep my carbs from sweet potatoes, potatoes, and a small amount of fruit (I don't really like fruit).

    So yeah, I would argue that "The Optimum Diet" for all people does not exist. It's about avoiding clearly demonstrated poisons, like gluten, avoiding foods that give you an acute problem, like casein or lactose, and focusing on clearly beneficial foods like vegetables and meat, but without being fanatical about it. It's all about gauging what it's worth. Frappucinos are delicious, but not worth the crippling migraines they cause me. But it is worth it to make my own version with local cream and organic cane sugar (or honey if I don't have sugar) and maybe a splash of flavoring extract, once in a while, because I know it won't give me a migraine and it's involved enough that I'm never going to make it a regular thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dboxing View Post
    Additionally, the ONLY proven method of extending life span in mammals is calorie restriction.
    Do you have this somewhere? I'd like to read it.

    I think Taubes/Eades have good points, but not all carbs are the same. Compare table sugar to a sweet potato. Both are lumped into the "carbohydrate" group which they advocate limiting/cutting, but each have very different affects on the body. I've also read some things from Davis that just don't make sense, or were inaccurate - not convinced he's the best source.

    My take on it all: When looking at indigenous cultures, it seems the keys to a healthy diet are cutting sugar, PUFA oils/fats, and cutting grains or at least limiting them to an insignificant proportion of cals. After that macronutrient intake is up to the individual. Inuit's eat mostly fat, Kitavan's eat mostly carb, Masai eat mostly dairy, but they're all healthy and they all cut the above mentioned foods.

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    "many people will tell you that primal is not low carb?" that's a load of crap. nearly everyone on here sees primal as low carb. very low carb (vlc) is anything under 50g/day -- required for weight/fat loss (and other benefits for some people such as managing diabetes, etc) -- and the 'maintenance' diet for people who have become as lean as they would like is between 50 and 100 g. that's still low carb!

    in addition, some endurance athletes (or others) may require "more carbs" but most will be near 100/110 rather than nearer to 50. for me, i'm between 60 and 80 on any given day, because i don't need to loose any weight.

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    dboxing's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    It was a general statement. Maybe some drug (revestarol) or genetic tinkering, but setting those aside. Here's one example, but there are plenty more.

    Calorie Restriction – The Only Proven Way to Extend Lifespan?

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