Friday, June 29, 2007

Please Pass the Veggies

Following my diagnosis of NHL 13 years ago, Carol and I became quite interested in improving our health. We focused on what we seemed to be able to control, diet and exercise. Along the way, we became involved in Weight Watchers, which has helped us focus weekly on the matter of nutrition and we have read books and magazines, especially Nutrition Action Health Letter (which we would recommend).

Carol is simply a marvelous cook, and she transformed our diet: we moved away from red meats almost entirely, we eat plenty of vegetables, whole grain breads, brown rice, and so on. It would be difficult to be in a family where the cook is not on the same page. Carol is not only on the same page, she has developed simply delicious and healthy meals over the years.

Some people in the nutrition community, maybe a bit on the fringe, believe that being under-weight contributes to good health and longevity. This week I bumped into a the website of the "Calorie Restriction Society" where this thesis is presented and discussed. Among things that I note, after a brief review of the site, are these points:

1. Low glycemic index foods are much preferred. This is the thesis of Sugar Busters, a best seller for many years.

2. The sweet spot of being underweight is somewhere below 10% of our teenage weight. I weighed in around 145 when I was a teenager. When I got my cancer diagnosis, I was pushing 180. I weigh around 160 right now, although my Weight Watcher “goal weight” is 155, and I am trying to get back there. So that would make my sweetspot around 130, which I am sure would alarm everyone I know if I were to get to that point.

3. The reason one lives longer on this particular diet seems to be that the poisons and toxins in foods that one eats tend to be stored in fat, where there is fat around in which to store such things. So less fat means that those toxins and poisons will be sloughed off as you eat only what you will burn up in energy. And I guess the less food one eats over all, the less the foods will poison you. And, of course, the healthier food one eats, the less one is poisoned. I think this is it, but I am going to read more about this.


Sean Meade said...

that sounds cuckoo!

(of course, they may be right)

Scott said...

I've actually lost about 16 pounds over the past 12 months due to: my medications, better diet and exercise. I feel lean and mean, but I met with a nutrionist at my last doc visit. She wants me to add 300 calories per day to my diet in order to beef back up. Of course, she recommends "healthy" calories, including lots of fruits and veggies, along with nuts/trail mix and an occasional milk shake. Hmm, I'm getting hungry all of a sudden.

Paul Stokes said...

Nuts/trial mix, milk shakes? Just 16 pounds? Have you looked at a conventional weight chart to see where you fall? You can fall at the low end of the range and still not sound like a cuckoo.

As we say at the University of Chicago, "Question everything!"