Carb early but not often

*if you’re going to carb, that is

 

 

The Sofer study was uniquely insightful in that they compared 3 carb-rich meals per day with the same amount of carbs but restricted to 1 meal.  Both groups ate 3 times per day.  Tl;dr: one carb meal is modestly better than three even when total carbs are controlled.  Since the carb-meal happened to be dinner, #fakenews reported that “carbs at night” are superior… but we saw right through that – the real conclusion was carb frequency not carb timing.

 

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What or When to Eat

Artificial light at night, crappy sleep, and skipping breakfast are major contributors to poor circadian rhythms.  Some bro’s insist WHAT you eat is infinitely more important than WHEN you eat.  I beg to differ, at least in part – nix the refined & processed foods and it doesn’t really matter if you prefer low fat or low carb (P<0.05).  Evidence: Hunger-free diet(s).

 

Exhibit A.  On the other hand, feed two people identical diets but induce circadian disruption in one and whammo – big difference in outcome.

 

 

Significantly less fat loss and more muscle loss in the circadian disrupted group.

Interindividual variability? Yes.  Statistical significance? YES.

 

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Eating in the absence of hunger

Good idea? Bad idea? … a bit of a rant

Some gurus swear by the “only eat when hungry” mantra.  I’m neutral on the issue.  In my opinion, it can work for people who are good planners because if you wait until you’re hungry and haven’t planned or prepared a meal yet, then it might be a while until you finally get to eat.  Maybe you’re an hour from home: unlucky => by the time you start cooking, you’re famished and end up overeating.  So you try to repent by skipping breakfast the following morning but fall into the same trap.  Of course, however, it’s not gonna be like this for everyone.

 

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A timeline of ketoadaptation

This is how ketoadaptation works (when it works), chronologically, on physical performance (I think):

 

 

Dark grey line: the gradual increase in performance for someone training on a regular diet.

Red line: performance declines on keto initially, but is back to baseline (light blue line) by week 3.

Light grey line: as long as ketoadaptation doesn’t impair performance, similar gradual increase in performance for someone training on a regular diet.  Parallel to the dark grey line.  May even catch up to the dark grey line.  I don’t know, but probably not as per FASTER – long-term LC athletes were not superior to their LF counterparts.

 

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Another great camping experiment

In the original Incredible camping experiment, a week-long camping trip was shown to cause people to fall sleep & wake earlier, feel better, and advanced their melatonin secretion.  In the new Camping Experiment, they showed that 70% of this is accomplished within the first 2 days!

 

Some of the #FakeNews headlines attributed the improved sleep quality to sleeping in a tent.  “Cute.”  More likely, this was driven by absence of artificial light.

Proposal: How about fasting from artificial light one day per week?  Or maybe just one night per week?

 

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Metabolism at night

From circadian entrainment to blood glucose management to appetite control to sleep quality:

 

 

We’re really not made to skip breakfast and eat late at night.  Nearly every line of evidence points to this.  And now:

Is the timing of caloric intake associated with variation in diet-induced thermogenesis and in the metabolic pattern? A randomized cross-over study (Bo et al., 2015)

 

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Protein, ketosis, and lean mass

Most people make a big deal about protein.  I do, too.  Low carb diets aren’t muscle-sparing.  Again.

 

 

Comparison of a Low-Fat Diet to a Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Weight Loss, Body Composition, and Risk Factors for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in Free-Living, Overweight Men and Women (Meckling et al., 2004)

Part 1.  Hunger Free Diet(s)

Focus on what they’re eliminating:

LC diet: “limit intake of breads, pastas, rice, and desserts, eliminating intake of deep-fried foods, dried fruit, candy, sweetened soft drinks, and sugar, and increased consumption of vegetables, lean meats, eggs, and nuts”

LF diet: “eliminate high-fat dairy products and substitute with no-fat or LF alternatives, to increase intake of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, and pastas and to eliminate fried foods, cream sauces, and high-fat/sugar cakes, pastries, chocolate, and candy. They were also asked to reduce use of oil products in cooking. As with LC subjects, LF subjects were encouraged to consume lean meats as alternatives to high-fat meat products.”

 

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Ketones, NLRP3, and IL-1 beta

Interleukin-1 beta: produced by activated M1 macrophages, classical fever-inducing cytokine, mediates cellular inflammation, and induces COX-2 (target of NSAIDs).  Also involved in autoimmunity.  You don’t want none of it but you certainly don’t want a lot of it.

 

The ketone metabolite beta-hydroxybutyrate blocks NLRP3 inflammasone-mediated inflammatory disease (Youm et al., 2015)

 

This is a very specific effect: 1) many structurally similar compounds don’t block NLRP3; and 2) beta-hydroxybutyrate doesn’t block activation of other inflammasomes.

 




 

“In vivo, BHB or a ketogenic diet attenuates caspase-1 activation and IL-1b secretion in mouse models of NLRP3-mediated diseases such as Muckle-Wells syndrome, familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome and urate crystal-induced peritonitis. Our findings suggest that the anti-inflammatory effects of caloric restriction or ketogenic diets may be linked to BHB-mediated inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome.”

 

 

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Fish oil supplements

A fattier cut of salmon (think: skin-on, high skin-to-flesh ratio, etc.) has about ~2 g EPA & DHA (fish oil, FO) per 100 g, or ~10 g per pound.  Average price (around here, this time of year) is ~$10 / lb.  So, about $1 / gram FO, in 50 g salmon.  See also, the Fish Blog.

 

As reasoned in The poor, misunderstood calorie, FO from seafood is roughly 4x more effective than FO from supps.  There was no head-to-head study comparing seafood to supps, but a study on seafood with half the dose of FO was twice as efficacious as a study on supps.  Half the dose + twice as efficacious  = 4x.  The greater bioavailability and assimilation of FO from seafood can only explain a small part of this… I suspect other nutrients in seafood explain another part, and displacement of other calories by the protein in seafood further explains another part.  But this post is about FO per se.

 

 




 

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Turmeric and DHA

Turmeric is about 5% curcumins by weight, or it takes about 20 grams of turmeric to get 1 gram of curcumins.

 

 

But you can’t go eating it by the spoonful because: 1) that’s nasty; 2) it’s messy and stains everything yellow; and 3) it’s not bioavailable, like, at all.

 

2g curcumin vs. 2g curcumin + 20mg piperine:

 

 

Fortunately, bioavailability is drastically increased by black pepper &/or dietary fat.  For this reason, most curcumin supps contain either piperine or some sort of lipids.  I’m not a big fan of piperine because it seems to non-selectively increase the absorption of tons of things – and there are some things we don’t absorb for a reason: they’re toxic… so I’d rather just use a little pepper and take it with some seafood.

 

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