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Friday, October 24, 2008

Analysis of a Day's Meals, Day 2

This is a quick follow-up to my previous post.

I performed another analysis today, mainly to see if any of the micronutrients below RDAs in the previous day's check had changed. Although I do this for my own benefit, I hope it helps those who are interested in doing a similar analysis of their own diet. It also helps refute the doomsayers who ignorantly claim that eating in a way that is primarily aimed at blood glucose management must mean I am missing out on good nutrition.

This time breakfast was a two-egg omelette with mushrooms, cheddar cheese, asparagus and onion; lunch was a cold chicken drumstick with a salad of lettuce, cherry tomatos, beetroot, apsaragus, yellow capsicum (peppers) and cheese; dinner was half of a large pork chop cooked on the BBQ with a small boiled potato in it's jacket, mashed pumpkin (winter squash), steamed broccoli, steamed green peas and a home-made tomato, garlic and onion sauce. The snacks and drinks through the course of the day were similar to last time, with the addition of a little more blue cheese and a cup of home-made yoghurt.

Here are the numbers for the macronutrients:
Item.....quantity unit......Average for two days
Calories.......2124 cal............2094
Protein............81 gm...........81 gm
Total Fat........132 gm.........121 gm
Sat. Fat...........53 gm..........45 gm
Mono. Fat........52 gm.........49 gm
Poly. Fat..........15 gm............15 gm
Carbohydrate..118 gm.......137 gm
Fiber................32 gm.........30 gm
Cholesterol...516 mgm...531 mgm

After combining the two menus and averaging the results, the only micronutrient still below RDA's was calcium. I haven't added in my bedtime Psyllium, Fibre, Muesli and Nuts; that will add about 200 calories, a lot of fibre and some more calcium in the form of some milk. However, I have decided to also add more Yoghurt to my future menus.

Cheers, Alan

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Analysis of a Day's Meals

Every so often I take the time to examine and analyse a day’s meals. Not just by post-prandial blood glucose testing, because I do that much more frequently, but to see the actual macro and micro-nutrient content in case I need to change anything.

I don’t usually count carbs. In the past, when I have performed this exercise, I found that I can vary anywhere from 50gms to over 200gms in a day but I am usually around the 100-150 range.

So, just for fun, this was yesterday. Breakfast was a two-egg omelette that included some saut├ęd mushrooms and spring onion. Lunch was an open sandwich on a single slice of multigrain, spread with English mustard and topped with lettuce, a slice of ham, tomato and a little cheddar. Dinner was 1 ½ grilled chicken thighs (skin on) with cauliflower au gratin (with cheddar and parmesan), steamed broccoli, a small boiled potato soaked with a teaspoon of butter. Supper was a small serve of my Psyllium, Fibre, Muesli and Nuts mix.

Snacks were spread across the day and included a mandarin, four crackers (6gms carb each) and two slices of multigrain bread. On the various crackers and half-slices of bread I spread choices of squashed avocado, peanut butter, brie or vegemite in small portions. But not all at once :-)

Over the period of the day I had three mugs of good coffee, with cream, and three glasses of Shiraz.

When I analysed all those using an old program called DWIDB (mine is an old free version) I found that half of my calories and more than half of my carbs are actually in those snacks. That makes it easy to adjust if I am having too much or too little.

Here are the numbers for the macronutrients:

Item.....quantity unit
Calories.......2064 cal
Protein............81 gm
Total Fat........110 gm
Sat. Fat...........37 gm
Mono. Fat........46 gm
Poly. Fat..........15 gm
Carbohydrate..156 gm
Fiber................32 gm
Cholesterol.....546 gm

The calories are fine as far as I am concerned; I am a 6' male with a BMI of 28. Theoretically I should be under 25 according to the experts, but I am quite happy at that level. I've written previously why I am unconcerned at exceeding the ingested cholesterol RDA. Working out the proportions of calories from the three macronutrients that the dieticians love they come to this:

Protein 17%
Carbohydrate 32%
Fat 51% (including Sat Fat 17%)

I had not noticed before, but those numbers are not too far from Gannon and Nuttall's LOBAG 20/30 series; a little lower in protein, a little higher in carbs.

Just as interesting to me are the micronutrients. This shows why I don't add many supplements to my day, because I get more than I need from my menu for most things. The list doesn't include my psyllium mix so some of the numbers below RDA are actually a little higher. Similarly, I sprinkle a little salt on some things so that would increase the sodium figure.

Next week I will repeat the exercise with a different day's menu with red meats and fish instead of chicken, and a different selection of vegetables to see if the result changes for those items I've noted for review. If I find I need to increase something, I first attempt to do that with a food rather than a supplement. For example, I would expect to find my B12 is OK because on several other days I eat red meat. However, if that calcium figure is still low on review I would consider adding more cheese or yoghurt before I add a supplement.

Vit. A 5011.07__IU 100% RDA
Vit. B6 2.09__mg 130% RDA
Vit. B12 1.71__mcg 86% RDA
Vit. C 184.54__mg 308% RDA
Vit. E 9.89__mg 124% RDA
Thiamine 1.31__mg 119% RDA
Folacin 383.37__mcg 213% RDA
Riboflavin 1.88__mg 144% RDA
Niacin 22.86__mg 152% RDA
Panto. Acid 6.89__mg 138% SA
Calcium 482.58__mg 40% RDA
Copper 1.41__mg 71% SA
Iron 13.19__mg 88% RDA
Magnesium 329.75__mg 118% RDA
Manganese 4.84__mg 161% SA
Phosphorus 1038.40__mg 87% RDA
Potassium 3499.55__mg 175% RDA
Selenium 77.82__mcg 141% RDA
Sodium 1497.73__mg 62% SA
Zinc 8.58__mg 71% RDA
Tyrosine 5.11__gm 533% RDA
Lysine 11.32__gm 1572% RDA
Phenylalanine 6.28__gm 654% RDA
Leucine 11.54__gm 1202% RDA
Valine 7.52__gm 895% RDA
Methionine 3.68__gm 1228% RDA
Cystine 1.96__gm 654% RDA
Tryptophan 1.75__gm 971% RDA
Threonine 6.24__gm 1300% RDA
Isoleucine 6.92__gm 961% RDA

Most people don't have the time to do this sort of analysis, but for a retired person like myself it is an interesting exercise.

Cheers, Alan
Everything in Moderation - Except laughter

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Eggs, Carbs and Cholesterol

On the various forums I visit one of the most common things I see when people describe their low-carb breakfasts is "egg-beaters" or other yolk-less forms of eggs. When I query them on the reasons, their fear is almost always that the cholesterol in eggs would raise their cholesterol levels.





Well, it appears that they may be partially correct if you eat a low-fat diet, but if you eat eggs as part of a reduced carb diet the cholesterol that is raised is the GOOD cholesterol, HDL. This article is from J. Nutr. 138:272-276, February 2008:

Dietary Cholesterol from Eggs Increases Plasma HDL Cholesterol in Overweight Men Consuming a Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet

Here is the abstract, I've edited by adding para breaks for clarity and to get past blogger's html gremlins; the comments in black are my own.


"Carbohydrate-restricted diets (CRD) significantly decrease body weight and independently improve plasma triglycerides (TG) and HDL cholesterol (HDL-C). [An interesting statement in itself.]

Increasing intake of dietary cholesterol from eggs in the context of a low-fat diet maintains the LDL cholesterol (LDL-C)/HDL-C for both hyper- and hypo-responders to dietary cholesterol. In this study, 28 overweight/obese male subjects (BMI = 25–37 kg/m2) aged 40–70 y were recruited to evaluate the contribution of dietary cholesterol from eggs in a CRD. Subjects were counseled to consume a CRD (10–15% energy from carbohydrate) and they were randomly allocated to the EGG group [intake of 3 eggs per day (640 mg/d additional dietary cholesterol)] or SUB group [equivalent amount of egg substitute (0 dietary cholesterol) per day]. Energy intake decreased in both groups from 10,243 ± 4040 to 7968 ± 2401 kJ compared with baseline. All subjects irrespective of their assigned group had reduced body weight and waist circumference [The reduced-carb diet worked for ALL of them, regardless of egg intake].

Similarly, the plasma TG concentration was reduced from 1.34 ± 0.66 to 0.83 ± 0.30 mmol/L after 12 wk in all subjects. [That is a very significant decrease, the mg/dl equivalent is: "plasma TG concentration was reduced from 119±58 to 73±26 mg/dl after 12 wk in all subjects"] .

The plasma LDL-C concentration, as well as the LDL-C:HDL-C ratio, did not change during the intervention. In contrast, plasma HDL-C concentration increased in the EGG group from 1.23 ± 0.39 to 1.47 ± 0.38 mmol/L, whereas HDL-C did not change in the SUB group. Plasma glucose concentrations in fasting subjects did not change. Eighteen subjects were classified as having the metabolic syndrome (MetS) at the beginning of the study, whereas 3 subjects had that classification at the end. [Just a reminder - ALL were on the CRD] .

These results suggest that including eggs in a CRD results in increased HDL-C while decreasing the risk factors associated with MetS."

It also says quite a lot about the benefits of a Carbohydrate-restricted diet for Metabolic Syndrome; presumably another paper is on the way or recently published.

Have an omelette for breakfast
tomorrow folks - and also notice the improvement in your peak post-breakfast BG's.

Cheers, Alan
Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter