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The Calorie Paradox: Did Four Rice Chex Make America Fat? (Part II of "There Is No Such Thing As A Calorie")
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May 15, 2013
5:32 am
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 1989
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February 22, 2010
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Caution: contains SCIENCE!

It's possible to "prove" just about anything via a blizzard of citations and a few carefully-placed appeals to authority. It's also easy to become seduced by a plausible and elegant biochemical pathway. Presto: science!

However, when formulating a hypothesis, it's most important to constrain it by observed reality.

(This is Part II of a series. Click here for Part I.)

Empirical Evidence: "Calorie Math" Doesn't Work

"ERS data suggest that average daily calorie intake increased by 24.5 percent, or about 530 calories, between 1970 and 2000." (Source: "Profiling Food Consumption In America", USDA Economic Research Service.) In absolute terms, the average American was consuming…

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May 15, 2013
7:33 am
UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 46
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June 14, 2011
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I hear Rice Chex were reformulated using Lembas back in 1979.  Wink

 

Seriously though, as usual, some nice ground covered in this post.  'Carbohydrate consumption and time of day' is particularly interesting.  I wonder if habituation plays a part?  I'd imagine the body adapts to particular eating patterns (and possibly even food types, flavours, textures etc….)

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May 15, 2013
7:33 am
PaleoFast
Guest

THis is fascinating! As a Paleofaster who for 9 months ate their only paleo/lowcarb meal in the evening I was worried about piling up weight. I did not but I did not lose any weight either.
There is another dimension to this timing of food and nutrition: a recent PLoS one paper about chimps in the wild preferring to eat certain leaves say later in the day. THis seems to be connected to the particular plant cycle of storing sugars in the leaves: Later in the day after several hours worth of photosynthesis the level of sugar in the leaves are high. It could be that to the chimps the leaves are simply more palatable and in fact they are more nutritious.
If it is true as many of us conjecture that we are likely to have eaten our main food later in the day it is possible that 1) plant food at least where most carbs come from may have been at their most nutritious and 2) our bodies are better able to use the nutrition and calories from these natural carbs later in the day…Thank you for a stimulating post…mind blowing stuff about powdered refined carbs. Best avoided at all costs :-)

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May 15, 2013
8:10 am
UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 46
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June 14, 2011
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@Paleofast – Is this article referring to the paper you mention regarding the significance of when you eat?

 

“There is an association between the time of day primates eat certain resources and the nutritional quality of those resources, suggesting consumption may track nutrient content,” says Bryce Carlson, an assistant professor of anthropology at Purdue University who studies primate ecology and nutrition in human evolution.

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May 15, 2013
8:15 am
Kurt
Guest

I agree 100% that calorie math does not work. I do have one criticism though. "A calorie is not a calorie when you eat it at a different time of day." I don't believe the study you referenced demonstrates that. The control group ate carbs throughout the day. It could be that limiting carbs to any one meal has the same effects. There may not be anything magical about night time. It would have been illuminating to have a third group that only at carbs at breakfast. Considering that a significant effect of eating carbs is a spike in your blood sugar, limiting the number of these spikes seems like it would be good regardless of what time of day the spikes were occurring.

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May 15, 2013
8:50 am
Miki Ben-Dor
Guest

Unbelievable quality J. Wonder if we can tie this up somehow with our evolutionary past.

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May 15, 2013
8:55 am
Miki Ben-Dor
Guest

Oops. Didn't see Paleo Fast and Kurt's comments.

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May 15, 2013
12:04 pm
Fmgd
Guest

About the time of the day experiment, it reminds me of an older article from here in which it's mentioned that the composition of your breakfast affects your metabolism for the rest of the day.

The cops in the study ate the same amount of carbs,yet they ate more of them at dinner, so it's likely their first meal was more skewed in favor of fat and proteins than the control, which might have an effect on how they process the other meals and the bulk of their carbs, perhaps even lowering the spike they'd cause. It also helps to explain why they were less hungry as well as some of their extra weight loss if they were burning more of their own fat.

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May 15, 2013
12:20 pm
Alexander
Guest

I would add , with only personal experience.

A calorie is not a calorie depending on your state of mind: Anxious, stressed , Anger, guilty,sad, depressed, rushed, fear,doubt,paranoia . VS Contentment, relaxed , happy, compassion , mindful, sense of accomplishment, confidence.

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May 15, 2013
3:18 pm
John
Guest

Great post (though it will be a while before I forgive you for the sofa photograph.)

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May 15, 2013
5:00 pm
Trixie
Guest

So would a whey protein powder be in the same category as other powder food forms?

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May 15, 2013
7:20 pm
Ash Simmonds
Guest

I'm slowly collating anecdotal evidence of mass over-feeding of meat/fat and it's effects, or lack thereof. Available here.

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May 16, 2013
4:39 am
Jamie G.
Guest

Wondering the same thing about whey protein. And does time consuming it make a difference, like during/after a workout.

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May 16, 2013
6:07 am
eddie watts
Guest

i have one thing to say (other than this is awesome)
Density of information!

will now read all of the studies linked throughout the day.

the powdered mouse chow is very interesting stuff too

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May 16, 2013
7:19 am
eddie watts
Guest

whey protein "For example, Whey protein is obviously a powdered food, yet it is anything but obesogenic. And infact is more associated with weight loss and leanness. "

from the kindke link

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May 16, 2013
7:42 am
Paul N
Guest

Great stuff!

the results of the "powdered" diet are fascinating. When the powder is Vitamin D depleting whole wheat flour, and people spend their time indoors, the results go beyond just obesity.

I would expect similar results from "liquid" food – i.e. sugary drinks. Milk though, doesn't seem to have this effect, though I haven't seen (and haven't looked) for any mice type studies on that.

These results will not be news to factory farmers, who know that feeding ground up cornmeal and the like causes faster weight gain in chickens, pigs and cows than whole grain, which itself is more fattening than grass.

Finally, add in the fact the "flour", especially whole grain flour, contains polyunsaturated oils that oxidise rapidly after grinding, and even more so with dry, high temperature cooking, and we start to promote not just obesity, but also inflammation.

Even the old master, Weston Price, observed that for whole grains to have their nutritional benefit, they had to be either eaten as whole grains, or ground and consumed immediately. This never happens today.

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May 17, 2013
1:25 am
thomas
Guest

ugly picture a bit agressive for breakfeast :-)

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May 17, 2013
6:28 am
PaleoFast
Guest

I think the effects of powdering apply to where the nutrients would normally be held in a matrix and/or in microscopic granule form as it is the case for starches in seeds and tubers.Powdering and refining in this case destroys the matrix and removes many nutrients. It does improve digestibility but with negative consequences in terms of the fattening power of powdered foods, although I don't think we know yet exactly how this works. In the case of Whey powdering is achieved by dehydration i.e. selective removal of the water content which is a very different process from processing cereals for example moreover whey is high in protein rather than carbs and this could be an important differences also and help explain its slimming effects.

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May 18, 2013
12:50 am
eddie watts
Guest

know that i've seen this from home i agree with the many comments about the sofa: that is not necessary!

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May 19, 2013
10:53 am
neal matheson
Guest
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