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Thread: A case for eliminating "macro" and "micro" nutrients page

  1. #1
    wiltondeportes's Avatar
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    A case for eliminating "macro" and "micro" nutrients

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    First of all, calories are clearly a myth for the human body. They were measured by putting fat, carb, and protein molecules in a container, burning them, and measuring the amount of heat given off. Here are the problems with such a concept taken in context to the human body:

    • problems
      • does the body use all the calories from every piece of fat, protein, or carb?
        • no, if protein is used for energy, you use a lot of energy just to burn it

      • does the body burn all of the meal equally?
        • no, it burns what it can initially, then it will begin to store it as fat
        • the first carbs in the meal are not necessarily burned like the last are

      • does the body burn fat and carb separately in a vacuum?
        • no, fat consumption changes how carb is burnt

      • fiber burns quite a bit in a calorimeter
        • why do we consider fiber to have no calories?
          • if we go by the rule of what a calorie is, we would classify it as having a lot


    Now, many people think of "macro" and "micro" nutrient categories as if they were separate. "Ok, get my energy from the macros and get my...uhm...'whatevers' from the micros." It just occured to me that "micro" nutrient intake actually affects how the body uses "macro" nutrients. In fact, this very point may be one key reason that so many people are successful with a primal diet. If their "micro" nutrient intake improves, they can more easily burn off excess bodyfat as the body attempts to reach homeostasis at a healthy weight.

    Here is one source for evidence. It's the SF Gate, not a research article, but this stuff seems to be common knowledge enough that I'm not worried about it for now.
    What Vitamins Help Burn Fat & Increase Metabolism? | Healthy Eating | SF Gate

    B-Complex Vitamins
    One of the primary functions of B-complex vitamins is to help metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins and help your body unlock and utilize the stored energy in food. Vitamin B-1, or thiamine, forms part of the structure of the enzyme thiamine pyrophosphate, which helps break down carbohydrates and fats. Vitamin B-2, or riboflavin, forms part of the molecule NADH, which helps transport energy within cells. Vitamin B-5, or pantothenic acid, contributes to the structure of several enzymes that metabolize fats, including coenzyme A, which plays an important role in the synthesis and breakdown of fatty acids.
    Nutrients for L-carnitine Production
    Niacin, vitamin B-6 and iron increase metabolism by assisting with the production of L-carnitine, an amino acid that promotes fat burning, notes Vanderbilt University. Your body synthesizes L-carnitine from the essential amino acids lysine and methionine in the liver. Almost all of the carnitine in your body is stored in muscle tissue. From there it helps transport fatty acids into the cells' mitochondria, where energy is produced. L-carnitine also promotes the release of triglycerides into the bloodstream and then into the muscles to be burned for energy.
    Coenzyme Q10
    Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10 or ubiquinone, is directly involved in the production of energy in the mitochondria of every cell in your body. By making more oxygen available to muscle cells, CoQ10 can help increase the strength and efficiency of muscles. This is particularly effective in heart muscle and enables people with heart conditions to exercise longer and burn more fat. In a laboratory animal study published in the August 2012 issue of the "Journal of Applied Physiology," CoQ10 supplementation improved function of mitochondria impaired by the statin drug Atorvastatin. CoQ10-supplemented animals also showed increased exercise endurance.
    Iron
    Iron, as part of the hemoglobin molecule, carries oxygen to your muscles that enables them to burn fat. Low iron levels lead to low energy levels and a lower metabolic rate. Iron deficiency also reduces your aerobic capacity, physical endurance and athletic performance. Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States, according to the University of Minnesota Department of Epidemiology and Community Health. The recommended daily allowance of iron for adult males 19 years and older is 8 milligrams. Women 19 to 51 years should get 18 milligrams per day and those over 51 years need 8 milligrams per day. Good sources of dietary iron include shellfish, lean meats, beans and spinach. Tofu is also a good source of iron, with 6.65 milligrams in a 1/2-cup serving.
    Give it up!!!!
    Give up your calories.
    Give up your macros and micros.
    Give up your perfectly designed diet.

    Just admit that nutrition does not boil down to anything as simple as what you read in the "Primal Blueprint" let alone any other of a zillion "diet" books out there. There are organic and non-organic compounds that your body needs. You can simplify your "diet" from there, but don't lay claim to any science behind it like calories, macros, or micros.
    Last edited by wiltondeportes; 09-07-2013 at 09:17 PM.

  2. #2
    wiltondeportes's Avatar
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    Here's an incomplete sneak peek at what half of my list looks like right now. The numbers have not been checked with multiple sources, and the list of non-organic elements/compounds is not complete.

    I still have to do the organic compounds, although I may decide to mix them in with the non-organic because simply a carbon atom should not necessarily separate the two groups.

    • non-organic elements and compounds
      • oxygen
        • 11,000 liters of air at complete rest
        • Inhaled air has 20% oxygen
        • Exhaled air has 15% oxygen
          • 5% of inhaled air is converted to carbon dioxide
            • About 550 liters of pure oxygen gas
              • About 2 liter of liquid oxygen
              • A person breaths 5 liters of air in and out, 1 liter of which is oxygen. He uses about a quarter of this oxygen, that is 0.25 liter. At room temperature and pressure this is 0.25/22.4 mole and therefore 16*0.25/22.4 = 0.18 gram.
              • At rest one breaths in and out about ten times per minute (2 grams) or 2*1440 = 2800 gram/day.
              • On the other hand, liquid oxygen has a density of 1.4 kg/liter.
              • Conclusion: about 2 liter of liquid oxygen/day is needed.

      • dihydrogen monoxide (water)
        • 1-3 kilograms
        • 1-3 liters

      • potassium
        • 3.5 grams

      • chloride
        • 3.4 grams

      • fluoride
        • 3 grams

      • sodium
        • 2.4 grams

      • phosphorus
        • 1 gram

      • calcium
        • 1 gram

      • magnesium
        • 400 milligrams

      • choline
        • 100 milligrams?

      • iron
        • 18 milligrams

      • zinc
        • 15 milligrams

      • copper
        • 2 milligrams

      • manganese
        • 2 milligrams

      • iodine
        • 150 micrograms

      • chromium
        • 120 micrograms

      • molybdenum
        • 75 micrograms

      • selenium
        • 70 micrograms
    Last edited by wiltondeportes; 09-07-2013 at 09:12 PM.

  3. #3
    wiltondeportes's Avatar
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    PS, moderator, you should move this to 'nutrition'

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    Knifegill's Avatar
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    If you can't digest fiber (aka cellulose, etc.), then it has no useful calories.

    The science of digestion is in its infancy, and it is certain that some people digest some foods differently than others, due to a variety of factors. If I eat a buttered potato, I might completely use the fat calories that aren't bound up in the fiber but be unable to digest the starch because I have a shitty gut with scant bacteria for digesting starches. But you eat the same thing, you might make great use of that starch and store the fat to a degree! These notions alone make the idea of "calories" even more useless than some assert.

    Yes, the body needs those micronutrients to metabolize body fat, and also to quell cravings and feel satisfied! I couldn't calm the cookie monster until I started eating ungodly amounts of liver. Trying to parse out that info would take many studies, and they aren't being done, AFAIK.

    You made me think! Thanks!


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knifegill View Post
    If you can't digest fiber (aka cellulose, etc.), then it has no useful calories.

    The science of digestion is in its infancy, and it is certain that some people digest some foods differently than others, due to a variety of factors. If I eat a buttered potato, I might completely use the fat calories that aren't bound up in the fiber but be unable to digest the starch because I have a shitty gut with scant bacteria for digesting starches. But you eat the same thing, you might make great use of that starch and store the fat to a degree! These notions alone make the idea of "calories" even more useless than some assert.

    Yes, the body needs those micronutrients to metabolize body fat, and also to quell cravings and feel satisfied! I couldn't calm the cookie monster until I started eating ungodly amounts of liver. Trying to parse out that info would take many studies, and they aren't being done, AFAIK.

    You made me think! Thanks!
    You bring up a good point about the gut bacteria. No two bodies are built exactly the same because, in a sense, we aren't just feeding our bodies. We're feeding 100 trillion (or 1x10^12) little guys, of which everyone has in different distributions, even if only slightly.

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    The problem with CICO is that we only know with (near) absolute certainty how many are in the CI part, but even then, I am confident that not all potatoes have the same calories and nutrients due to where and how they were grown and their treatment post-harvesting. CICO is not a perfect method, but it is the best that humans currently have for the majority of people until science figures out how to customize it for the individual. Until then, we use it as a general guideline but need to do our own n=1 to figure out the formula the slow, frustrating, manual way until science has a more efficient way to calculate and predict it.

    I do believe that micronutrients are more important than macros, but how they are packaged matters. Liver and dry lentils contain several of the same nutrients, but their bioavailability is radically different. So it is possible to figure out and predict your weight's behavior with your own experimentation with foods, it's just not perfect. And until something is, I think it's the best form of measurement we can use. Just because certain macros can manipulate CICO does not mean they are irrelevant. It just means you have to understand why this occurs and account for that manipulation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by j3nn View Post
    CICO is not a perfect method, but it is the best that humans currently have for the majority of people .
    CICO is not the best we have. CICO is a one-line description of a multistep process.
    5'0" female, 44 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained to 109 on sugar cheat. Reset with 85P / 90C / 90F. Currently weaning off fat to 85P / 90C / 60F.

    MY PRIMAL: I (try to) follow by-the-book primal as advocated by Mark Sisson, except for whey powder and a bit of cream. I advocate a two-month strict adjustment for newbies. But everybody is different and other need to tweak Primal to their own needs.

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    CICO is a guide fersure. Just like a blueprint or pyramid or dumbass cartoon plates are guides. It's a jumping off point.

    Macro-watching is a guide. Stuffing one's face full of bread, pasta, potatoes and rice, while eating "deck of card" sized portions of animal probably means your diet is carb rich. Being able to live comfortably for a couple of weeks with no or hardly any plants probably means you eat carb low. Using artificial flavorings and cooking spray while eating boneless, skinless chicken breasts probably means you eat lower fat. Dousing everything you eat in coconut oil and butter probably means you eat higher fat.

    They're all tools for when we find ourselves at odds with food: we feel like crap, we're over/underweight, etc.

    Eat lots of animals, plants, and bugs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxide View Post
    CICO is not the best we have. CICO is a one-line description of a multistep process.
    Enlighten me. What is the superior method? Never suggested that it's as simple as all calories in = all calories out. It's an individual formula with many variables, but everyone has their own CICO formula and it doesn't change the fact that it is still CICO.
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  10. #10
    oxide's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Just the usual semantic bitchery; pay no attention.
    5'0" female, 44 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained to 109 on sugar cheat. Reset with 85P / 90C / 90F. Currently weaning off fat to 85P / 90C / 60F.

    MY PRIMAL: I (try to) follow by-the-book primal as advocated by Mark Sisson, except for whey powder and a bit of cream. I advocate a two-month strict adjustment for newbies. But everybody is different and other need to tweak Primal to their own needs.

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