Type I diabetic reaches age 90!

A couple of weeks ago I was flipping through the pages of my local newspaper when I ran across an article by The Associated Press titled, “Oldest US diabetic ‘lifer’ reaches age 90.”Happy Birthday balloon

It caught my attention.

Back in 1926, a five-year-old boy by the name of Bob Krause was diagnosed with type I diabetes, (aka juvenile diabetes), shortly after the commercial production of insulin.  Before that time children died of the nasty disease, including his brother. 

As most of you may know, type I diabetes is different from type II diabetes. It’s a chronic illness in which the body no longer produces insulin, and life expectancy is shortened due to serious health complications that can develop as a result. However, Mr. Krause was determined to successfully beat it, and he’s now the oldest American known to live 85 years beyond the time of diagnosis. 

 

I spoke with Mr. Krause over the phone to congratulate him and to discover his success tips, and guess what his number one tip has been?  In fact, he calls it his “life’s motto”: he eats to live instead of living to eat!   [And he'd never heard of a book with that title!]  He always treats his body like a car and only eats enough food to fuel activities, and that’s it. For him, that equates to just two modest meals a day . . . not for pleasure; or emotional, social, or recreational reasons; and his fuel doesn’t consist of processed foods and lots of animal protein either. 

Mr. Krause was determined from early on that he wanted to live the best life possible. And he did.  He became a professor and established a career in teaching mechanical engineering at the University of Washington; plus, he and his wife raised a wonderful family together.

I was blown away by his positive attitude and wisdom of living with type I diabetes. He genuinely considers himself a blessed man to have had diabetes at such a young age as it caused him to do what he was supposed to do. 

Before hanging up the phone, he told me that if all people would live as if they had diabetes, everyone would be a lot healthier. He said it’s each person’s decision to live or die, and that if we each do what we’re supposed to do, we’ll live a long and healthy life.

Congratulations Bob Krause – you are an inspirational hero! 

By the way, he can’t understand why so many people have been making such a big fuss over him as he just did what he was supposed to do, to live! 

Image credit:  flickr by Genista 

Pistachio nuts may improve erectile function

Pistachio nuts have a unique nutritional profile – they are especially rich in plant sterols, carotenoids, tocopherols (vitamin E), and arginine.  Plant sterols are structurally similar to cholesterol, and provide a cholesterol-lowering benefit.1 All nuts have cholesterol-lowering and other cardioprotective effects, but pistachios (in a tie with Mediterranean pine nuts) have the highest plant sterol content of all nuts.  Studies investigating the effects of pistachios on cardiovascular disease risk factors not only reported reduced cholesterol levels, but also decreased inflammatory markers, increased blood antioxidant levels and reduced oxidative stress.2-4 In addition to antioxidants and plant sterols, pistachios are also rich in arginine, an amino acid that is involved in nitric oxide production, which regulates relaxation of arterial smooth muscle and therefore blood flow.  In a previous study, pistachio supplementation resulted in enhanced endothelial cell function, which means that nitric oxide availability was increased.4

Pistachios. Flickr: theogeo

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is primarily a disorder of penile blood flow, most often accompanied by chronic conditions that affect the vasculature, such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Atherosclerosis in peripheral arteries is known to contribute to the impaired blood flow in this condition.  Atherosclerosis is usually preceded by endothelial dysfunction, which decreases nitric oxide bioavailability, leading to impaired blood flow regulation.  Since pistachios have confirmed cholesterol-lowering effects and are rich in arginine (which helps to produce nitric oxide), scientists tested whether pistachios could enhance erectile function in men with ED.

Subjects in the study consumed 100 grams of pistachio nuts (about 3 ounces) each day for three weeks. Erectile function was evaluated by subjects’ reports and also by blood flow measurement with ultrasound.  After three weeks of pistachio supplementation, both the erectile function scores based on subjects’ reports and the velocity of penile blood flow were improved.  The men’s cholesterol levels also improved.5

The health of the heart and blood vessels is crucial to the health of the entire body.  Eating to restore cardiovascular health will improve blood flow and nutrient delivery to all tissues, improving overall health. Like several other chronic diseases, erectile dysfunction shares the same risk factors with cardiovascular disease.  Antioxidants, plant sterols, and arginine promote blood vessel health and are provided in abundance by a high nutrient diet made up of whole plant foods.

 

References:

1. Ellegard LH, Andersson SW, Normen AL, et al: Dietary plant sterols and cholesterol metabolism. Nutr Rev 2007;65:39-45.

2. Kay CD, Gebauer SK, West SG, et al: Pistachios increase serum antioxidants and lower serum oxidized-LDL in hypercholesterolemic adults. J Nutr 2010;140:1093-1098.

3. Kocyigit A, Koylu AA, Keles H: Effects of pistachio nuts consumption on plasma lipid profile and oxidative status in healthy volunteers. Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases : NMCD 2006;16:202-209.

4. Sari I, Baltaci Y, Bagci C, et al: Effect of pistachio diet on lipid parameters, endothelial function, inflammation, and oxidative status: a prospective study. Nutrition 2010;26:399-404.

5. Aldemir M, Okulu E, Neselioglu S, et al: Pistachio diet improves erectile function parameters and serum lipid profiles in patients with erectile dysfunction. Int J Impot Res 2011;23:32-38.


 

USDA replaces MyPyramid with MyPlate

First lady Michelle Obama unveiled the new USDA MyPlate on June 2, 2011.  The previous food guide, MyPyramid, was criticized for being too confusing.  The new, simply designed MyPlate graphic will replace MyPyramid, and is designed to reflect the new USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which were released in January 2011.

Here is the new graphic with its basic messages to consumers:
MyPlate
“Balancing Calories:
  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Avoid oversized portions.
Foods to Increase:
  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce:

  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ― and choose the foods with lower numbers.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.”

MyPlate is a slight improvement upon previous food pyramids:

1992 pyramid

The 1992 USDA Food Guide Pyramid

MyPyramid

The 2005 USDA MyPyramid

The USDA’s previous pyramids reflected the American diet exactly as it is – centered on animal products and processed foods rather than whole plant foods.  The 2010 dietary guidelines make some notable steps in a healthier direction:  the guidelines state that Americans consume too much sodium and too many calories from solid fats (saturated and trans fats), added sugars, and refined grains, and advised that Americans reduce their consumption of these items in favor of nutrient-dense foods.  The guidelines also called for Americans to increase their total vegetable and fruit intake, especially dark green, red, and orange vegetables. Vegetables make up the largest portion of MyPlate, slightly larger than the grains portion (unfortunately the recommendation to eat more green vegetables was not included in the MyPlate graphic or messages). They also advise drinking water in place of sugar-sweetened beverages.1  Certainly all of this is sound advice.
 
However, what MyPlate illustrates – filling half the plate with fruits and vegetables, and half with protein and grains – will not be sufficient to significantly improve the health of Americans. 
 
MyPlate is not the picture of a health-promoting diet
MyPlate still allows the vast majority of calories to be obtained from nutrient poor foods.  Half a plate full of meat and grains (only half of which are whole grains), plus a serving of dairy at each meal does not leave enough room in the diet for high nutrient foods like vegetables and beans.  Animal products and processed foods are still the major source of calories.
 
The “Protein” portion: Protein is a macronutrient, not a food group. Better instruction would be provided by guiding Americans toward specific foods or food groups.  This perpetuates the myth of the importance of protein. Plus most Americans see “protein” and think “meat” – not greens, nuts, seeds or beans, which are much more healthful sources of protein.  All “proteins” are certainly not created equal!  It is important to differentiate – to depict meat and other animal products as disease-promoting foods because they raise cancer risk, and greens, beans, nuts and seeds as health-promoting foods because they decrease cancer risk.  This plate further confuses people, because they do not realize that green vegetables are also high in protein.  For a diet to truly be consistent with the current science, nuts and seeds should be consumed every day because of their potent cardiovascular and longevity benefits.   The same goes for beans – high in fiber, phytochemicals, and resistant starch, beans are extremely protective against heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer, and help with weight maintenance.  Nuts, seeds and beans, critical foods for excellent health, are not even present on this plate.  An opportunity exists here for the government to advise beans, seeds and nuts be the preferred source of protein in the diet here, which would radically improve this program.
 
Vegetables vs. Grains: The quantity of vegetables and grains are almost equal in MyPlate – the vegetable portion is just slightly larger.  Although whole grains are healthful, their nutrient density is not nearly as great as vegetables or beans.  Grains do not deserve such a prominent place on the plate, especially since only half of grains are recommended to be whole.  This allows for a dangerous amount of refined carbohydrate, which is known to promote obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.  As far as carbohydrate sources, beans should be emphasized over grains.
 
Dairy is still prominently placed: Dairy foods are not health-promoting, and do not deserve a place at every meal.  The inclusion of dairy in MyPlate perpetuates the misinformation that cows’ milk is essential to human health, and is the best and healthiest source of calcium. Plus dairy is high in protein, so realistically it should be included in the protein group. With a serving of meat (“protein”) and a serving of dairy at each meal, MyPlate allows for excessive protein intake, which in turn allows for elevated IGF-1 levels and therefore increased cancer risk.  The strong link between dairy products and prostate cancer and ovarian cancer should preclude it from earning such a prominent place in this plan.2-6
 
Eat less: Americans do need to eat fewer calories, but the “Eat less” advice is not sufficient.  This is the reason diets fail, because eating a smaller quantity of unhealthy foods that does not meet our micronutrient needs produces overwhelming hunger and addictive cravings, eventually leading back to overeating.  More effective advice would be to eat greater quantities of high-nutrient, low-calorie foods, (such as vegetables and beans) satisfying the body’s desire for micronutrients and volume and leaving less room in the diet for unhealthy foods.
 
Packaged processed foods vs. intact grains: Also, there is no mention of limiting processed foods in the advice to consumers – salty, oily packaged foods full of excess calories could easily be placed in the “grains” category, in place of healthful intact grains. 
 
A truly health-promoting food pyramid
Dr. Fuhrman's Food Pyramid 
I have designed my Nutritarian Food Pyramid such that the foods that are the richest in micronutrients per calorie and have the most documented protective effects should be eaten in the largest quantities.  Green vegetables, at the base of the pyramid, , followed by other non-starchy vegetables, beans and legumes, fruits, nuts and seeds, starchy vegetables, and whole grains. Ninety percent of the daily diet should be made up of these nutrient –dense unrefined plant foods, whose calories are accompanied by health-promoting phytochemicals.  Foods that do not contribute significant health benefits, such as refined grains, animal products, sweets, and oils should be eaten in significantly less quantity.   This model of a healthy diet aims not just to moderately improve the American diet, but to change the American diet radically, creating a diet that will dramatically reduce the risk of chronic diseases and save millions of needless medical tragedies and deaths. 
 
 References:
1. 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Executive Summary. . http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/PolicyDoc/ExecSumm.pdf Accessed June 6, 2011.
2. Grant WB: An ecologic study of dietary links to prostate cancer. Altern Med Rev 1999;4:162-169.
3. Qin LQ, Xu JY, Wang PY, et al: Milk consumption is a risk factor for prostate cancer: meta-analysis of case-control studies. Nutr Cancer 2004;48:22-27.
4. Qin LQ, Xu JY, Wang PY, et al: Milk consumption is a risk factor for prostate cancer in Western countries: evidence from cohort studies. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2007;16:467-476.
5. Genkinger JM: Dairy Products and Ovarian Cancer: A Pooled Analysis of 12 Cohort Studies. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 2006;15:364-372.
6. Larsson SC, Orsini N, Wolk A: Milk, milk products and lactose intake and ovarian cancer risk: a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. Int J Cancer 2006;118:431-441.
 
 

 

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How's your PMA?

Right after college I was on staff at a large camp in northern Michigan.  Over a ten week period of time we had over 10,000 summer campers, and I learned the importance of positive mental attitude (PMA) that summer.  Periodically during the mealtimes and various activities, the staff and campers would stop whatever they were doing, and chant in unison, “How’s your PMA?”  It seems like a silly camp ritual, but looking back, continually keeping a check on one’s positive mental attitude was a great habit to develop.

Many have a natural tendency to become negative under stress; and stress is just a simple word for, “Life’s the pits right now, I’m overwhelmed, and things aren’t going the way I had planned.”   

When negativity wraps its ugly claws around our minds, we typically don’t want to make good choices, because negativity causes us to feel sorry for ourselves.  Poor me.  Self-pity mentality can be detrimental to our well-being and to those around us.

Emily BollerHow do I know?  I experienced it first hand last weekend.  On June 3rd I had what was ‘supposed’ to be a simple arthroscopic knee procedure to mend a meniscus tear.  No big deal.  A couple of days off of it, and then a couple of weeks of TLC, and I would be good to go again.  Well, the surgery ended up being more involved, and upon discharge I was instructed to not bear any weight on the injured leg for six weeks; and also be on a continuous passive machine (CPM) for eight hours, every single day, for those six weeks.

It’s summer-like weather now in Indiana.  We just endured a long, cold winter and spring, and the weather is finally nice.  I had a full summer of activities planned.  Being indoors, hooked up to a CPM machine was definitely not on that list.  Worse yet I can’t even prepare a simple meal or wash a load of dirty clothes without enormous effort . . . for me, that’s stress!

Two days post-op I was feeling sorry for myself, and guess what?  I really didn’t care two cents about my health.  Apathy had set in, and the negativity affected my rational thinking and well-being, big time.  Who knows, I might have even resorted to drowning my sorrows in a hot fudge sundae at Dairy Queen; but thankfully I couldn’t drive!

I have no choice but to continuously check my positive mental attitude right now.  I must focus on the positive blessings in my life and not the negative circumstances; otherwise I’m undone.

So when those moments of stress hit, and life gets overwhelming, or when it’s not going the way we had expected, that’s the time to evaluate our positive mental attitude.  That's the time to list everything that we are thankful for.  Our perspective will always affect our choices; and choices will always determine the difference between marginal health and incredible health!

 

How about you?  How’s your PMA today?

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Almost 20% of young adults have hypertension

Many people believe that it is normal for blood pressure to rise as we age, but this is not true.  Cultures whose diet does not contain excessive added fats, animal protein and salt, and is high in fresh, whole plant foods do not experience the age-related increase in blood pressure that we see in the Western world.1,2 These age-related elevations in blood pressure are not related to age itself – instead they are due to the cumulative destructive effects of a poor diet and insufficient exercise on the circulatory system over years and years. 

Hypertension (blood pressure at or greater than 140/90) is on the rise – between 1996 and 2006, hypertension prevalence in the U.S. increased by 20%.3 Now, new results from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health have produced an estimate that 19% of young adults (24 to 32 years old) have hypertension.

Plus, more than half of these individuals were unaware that they had high blood pressure. This 19% figure is markedly higher than previous estimates, and was based on in-home measured blood pressure in 2008 in a population of over 15,000 participants.4,5 This elevated blood pressure will only progress as they continue to harm their blood vessels with salt and processed food. 

If almost 1 in 5 already have blood pressure higher than 140/90 by age 32, just imagine how much trouble this generation is in. First of all, the risk of death from heart attack and stroke begins to increase when blood pressure climbs over 115/75.6  Plus, high blood pressure is an important risk factor for hemorrhagic stroke, kidney disease, stomach cancer, dementia, osteoporosis, hardening of the arteries, arrhythmia, blindness, and enlargement of the heart.7-11

Many people in this age group, who were born between 1976 and 1984, have grown up on diets made up primarily of processed foods and fast food, and this study has revealed that their bodies are starting to show signs of the damage.  If they do not change their habits, they will be prescribed medication that they will have to take for the rest of their lives to control their blood pressure.  But this will not remove the cause of the problem, and will put them at risk for harmful side effects. And their poor lifestyle habits will continue to cause worsening of their cardiovascular disease. Of course, this outcome is avoidable with lifestyle changes.  This generation of young adults can enjoy a long, healthy life without blood pressure-lowering medication by starting to follow these guidelines now:

How to reduce blood pressure naturally

  • Avoid salt.   A population-wide 1200 mg decrease in sodium consumption has been estimated to reduce coronary heart disease cases by 60,000, strokes by 32,000, and heart attacks by 54,000 each year.  Plus, remember that salt does damage unrelated to blood pressure too.

  • Avoid added sugars.

  • Minimize caffeine and alcohol.

  • Focus preferably on plant protein rather than animal protein.12,13

  • Get plenty of minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants by eating primarily whole plant foods. For example, flavonoids from berries have a blood pressure-lowering effect, and nuts can enhance endothelial cell function, which promotes proper blood pressure regulation. Also, a dietary pattern high in fruits and vegetables is consistently associated with healthy blood pressure levels in observational studies.14-16

  • Exercise regularly and vigorously.

  • Follow my micronutrient rich dietary program and regain a normal weight.

 

 

 

References:

1. Freis ED: Salt, volume and the prevention of hypertension. Circulation 1976;53:589-595.

2. Sever PS, Gordon D, Peart WS, et al: Blood-pressure and its correlates in urban and tribal Africa. Lancet 1980;2:60-64.

3. American Heart Association: High Blood Pressure Statistics. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4621. Accessed June 2, 2011.

4. Nguyen QC, Tabor JW, Entzel PP, et al: Discordance in National Estimates of Hypertension Among Young Adults. Epidemiology 2011.

5. Neale T: 1 in 5 Young Adults May Have Hypertention. MedPage Today. http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Hypertension/26700?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DailyHeadlines&utm_source=WC&userid=322421. Accessed June 2, 2011.

6. Lewington S, Clarke R, Qizilbash N, et al: Age-specific relevance of usual blood pressure to vascular mortality: a meta-analysis of individual data for one million adults in 61 prospective studies. Lancet 2002;360:1903-1913.

7. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics: 2010 Update At-A-Glance. http://www.americanheart.org/downloadable/heart/1265665152970DS-3241%20HeartStrokeUpdate_2010.pdf. Accessed January 11, 2011.

8. Sonnenberg A: Dietary salt and gastric ulcer. Gut 1986;27:1138-1142.

9. Tsugane S, Sasazuki S: Diet and the risk of gastric cancer: review of epidemiological evidence. Gastric Cancer 2007;10:75-83.

10. Go O, Rosendorff C: Hypertension and atrial fibrillation. Curr Cardiol Rep 2009;11:430-435.

11. DellaCroce JT, Vitale AT: Hypertension and the eye. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2008;19:493-498.

12. Elliott P, Stamler J, Dyer AR, et al: Association between protein intake and blood pressure: the INTERMAP Study. Arch Intern Med 2006;166:79-87.

13. Wang YF, Yancy WS, Jr., Yu D, et al: The relationship between dietary protein intake and blood pressure: results from the PREMIER study. J Hum Hypertens 2008;22:745-754.

14. Alonso A, de la Fuente C, Martin-Arnau AM, et al: Fruit and vegetable consumption is inversely associated with blood pressure in a Mediterranean population with a high vegetable-fat intake: the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) Study. Br J Nutr 2004;92:311-319.

15. Fu CH, Yang CC, Lin CL, et al: Effects of long-term vegetarian diets on cardiovascular autonomic functions in healthy postmenopausal women. Am J Cardiol 2006;97:380-383.

16. Utsugi MT, Ohkubo T, Kikuya M, et al: Fruit and vegetable consumption and the risk of hypertension determined by self measurement of blood pressure at home: the Ohasama study. Hypertens Res 2008;31:1435-1443.


 

Do you need a reboot?

garbageOver Memorial Day weekend I cleaned out the garage. I clean it about every three months, and no matter how much I try to keep it clean and organized, it always gets dirty and cluttered again within three months!  [a dirty glove from winter sledding, a broken skate, empty salt bags from the water softener, a flat bike tire, an old quilt that the cats slept on, some dirty gardening tools that nobody put back in the storage shed, a few empty water bottles, a cardboard box, a misplaced container of pool chemicals, the Christmas tree stand that didn't get put up into the attic, some old boots that don't fit anyone anymore; plus lots of dirt and leaves, dirt, and more dirt and leaves]

As I was cleaning I thought about how our bodies require continual cleaning and maintenance to keep them healthy and in good working order.  It takes ongoing effort, planning and preparedness. If we get careless and allow *stuff* (toxins, fat cells) to accumulate, it requires a major overhaul to get clean and function properly again.

The popular pop-culture word now is "reboot."

I like that word.

Every once in a while we may possibly need to reboot our garages . . . . and our bodies.

Otherwise our garages will look like the ones from the Hoarders show and our cars will no longer fit into them; and eventually our bodies will look like the ones from the beginning episodes of The Biggest Loser and our clothes will no longer fit.  (Not to mention the detrimental damage that'll be done to our arteries, blood vessels, pancreas, heart, etc.)  In fact, if the waistband becomes a bit snug, that’s a clear indication to reboot.  A tight waistband means unhealthy plaque is building up in the arteries and blood vessels.  Quick ~ nip disease in the bud!

If we've been careless with food choices, and have allowed toxins and fat to accumulate, it's time to reboot. It's time to go back to the six week eating plan in Eat to Live and follow it carefully, with little to no deviation.  It’s time to clean the clutter, (aka detox), and change the tastebuds.

How about you? 

Do you need a reboot?

Slow metabolism linked to longevity

Clock. Flickr: macinateWhen we use the word “metabolism,” we are usually referring to resting metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy (calories) that the body requires per day for its basic functions at rest.  Most people believe that it is desirable to raise their metabolism, because they will burn more calories and consequently lose weight.  Having a slightly lower resting metabolic rate is thought to predispose some individuals to weight gain, especially in the obesogenic food environment that we live in.1,2  However,  there are unfavorable consequences to running your body at faster than normal speed, and raising your metabolism is not the key to weight loss.

Toxic byproducts of metabolism and biological aging

The chemical reactions of normal everyday physiology produce byproducts.  In particular, cellular energy production produces reactive oxygen species as a byproduct, which can damage DNA, proteins, and lipids.  Although we have natural antioxidant defenses, oxidative damage can still occur, especially if we don’t take in adequate antioxidants from our diet.3  Oxidative damage accelerates aging.

Aging here refers to biological aging – the progressive decline in the efficiency of the body’s physiological functions over time. This leads to tissue and organ damage, and increased risk of chronic disease and death. 

Why do our bodies age?  It is a combination of factors.   One, the accumulation of oxidative damage over time damages the body’s tissues, leading to accelerated aging.4,5 And two, just the rate of living slowly wears out our cellular machinery, so if we function at a faster rate – i.e. a faster metabolism – the body will “wear out” more quickly.  In animals, energy expenditure is indeed inversely related to lifespan, supporting this.6   Though both these mechanisms of aging are related, as a faster metabolic rate means faster energy turnover and greater production of free radicals, leading to increased oxidative damage. 

Metabolic rate and lifespan

A study on thyroid function published last year further supported the idea that a slower metabolic rate could prolong lifespan.  Now, a new study has measured resting metabolic rate directly and come to the same conclusion.  Metabolic rate was measured by two different methods at the start of the study.  Subjects were followed for 11-15 years, and deaths from natural causes were recorded.  For each 100 calorie increase in 24-hour resting metabolic rate, the risk of natural mortality increased by 25-29%.  These results strongly support the hypothesis that a slow metabolic rate promotes longevity.7

Do we have any control over our resting metabolic rate? How can we slow it down?

Resting metabolic rate is largely genetically determined, but our calorie intake has an effect as well.8  Caloric restriction and negative energy balance have been shown to reduce resting metabolic rate, and in contrast overeating increases resting metabolic rate.9,10  Furthermore, caloric restriction has been consistently shown to prolong maximal lifespan by up to 60% in animals.11  My findings have demonstrated that an optimal micronutrient intake reduces the desire for calories and reduces body temperature and white blood cell counts. This means that if follow a high-nutrient eating style that reduces calorie intake while meeting micronutrient demands, we can reduce our resting metabolic rate and potentially increase our longevity potential dramatically.

Keep in mind that although exercise raises total calorie expenditure, it does not raise the body’s basal metabolism. Exercise is the only safe way to “raise metabolism” because it activates the peripheral tissues to utilize more calories and also increases muscle mass which in turn increases total calorie expenditure.12  Plus, exercise promotes longevity.13  

The goal here is to eat so healthy that it reduces your desire to overeat and reduces your metabolism slowly, so you can comfortably desire less food, though not get too thin.  My nutritarian recommendations actually makes you more satisfied with less food, and actually gives the ability to enjoy food more without overeating. 

So this new study supports what I have said previously: having a fast metabolism does not mean that you are healthier – in fact, it probably means that you are aging more quickly.  Instead of trying to increase your metabolism with the goal of losing weight, try to slow your metabolism with a low-calorie, high-nutrient diet for a longer, healthier life.

 

 

References:

1. Astrup A, Gotzsche PC, van de Werken K, et al: Meta-analysis of resting metabolic rate in formerly obese subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69:1117-1122.

2. Ravussin E, Lillioja S, Knowler WC, et al: Reduced rate of energy expenditure as a risk factor for body-weight gain. N Engl J Med 1988;318:467-472.

3. Joseph JA, Denisova N, Fisher D, et al: Age-related neurodegeneration and oxidative stress: putative nutritional intervention. Neurol Clin 1998;16:747-755.

4. Hulbert AJ, Pamplona R, Buffenstein R, et al: Life and death: metabolic rate, membrane composition, and life span of animals. Physiol Rev 2007;87:1175-1213.

5. Farooqui T, Farooqui AA: Aging: an important factor for the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Mech Ageing Dev 2009;130:203-215.

6. Speakman JR, Selman C, McLaren JS, et al: Living fast, dying when? The link between aging and energetics. J Nutr 2002;132:1583S-1597S.

7. Jumpertz R, Hanson RL, Sievers ML, et al: Higher Energy Expenditure in Humans Predicts Natural Mortality. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2011.

8. Bouchard C, Tremblay A, Nadeau A, et al: Genetic effect in resting and exercise metabolic rates. Metabolism 1989;38:364-370.

9. Martin CK, Heilbronn LK, de Jonge L, et al: Effect of calorie restriction on resting metabolic rate and spontaneous physical activity. Obesity 2007;15:2964-2973.

10. Roberts SB, Fuss P, Evans WJ, et al: Energy expenditure, aging and body composition. J Nutr 1993;123:474-480.

11. Fontana L: The scientific basis of caloric restriction leading to longer life. Curr Opin Gastroenterol 2009;25:144-150.

12. Broeder CE, Burrhus KA, Svanevik LS, et al: The effects of aerobic fitness on resting metabolic rate. Am J Clin Nutr 1992;55:795-801.

13. Manini TM, Everhart JE, Patel KV, et al: Daily activity energy expenditure and mortality among older adults. JAMA 2006;296:171-179.