Colin McEnroe Show: Thanksgiving, Without The Food

Exploring calorie restriction, caveman diets and religious fasting.

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Colin McEnroe Show: Thanksgiving, Without The Food
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Colin McEnroe Show: Thanksgiving, Without The Food

In 2006, readers of the New York Times were treated to photographs of Canto and Owen

Canto had been following a version of the supposedly life extending calorie-restricting diet. He looked youthful and alert and healthy. Owen had been eating a reasonably healthy, traditional diet. He looked fat and run-down.

Canto and Owen were the same age. They were also monkeys.

Bbut extreme calorie-restriction has now been shown to confer health and life-extension to yeast cells, spiders, vinegar worms and mice too. For some people, calorie restriction is just a sure fire way to lose weight and feel better -- although there are some risks if you lose weight too fast. But for others, the idea is permanently linked to transhumanism -- the theory that technological advances sitting out there in the near future could make us all into 6 million dollar men and women who live many extra decades.

Now, if we can just live long enough to see those advances. So have a little barley. Very little.

Leave your comments below, e-mail or Tweet us @wnprcolin.



a response to the Dietetics student

Hi Jamie,
Yesterday's scientific knowledge was only good until the next
discovery and the ideas you are expressing are outdated. I'm not
suggesting that you sue the university, although that might get them and your professors giving more thought to their instruction. Nonetheless, your university appears to be providing
indoctrination rather than education. For instance, impugning ketone
bodies as a lesser fuel for most brain function is contrary to current
research. The ketogenic diet is an effective tool for dealing with drug
resistant epilepsy. Ketone bodies have been shown to be neuroprotective
and some have anti-oxidant properties. The ketogenic diet has been
shown to halt and/or reverse some cases of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's,
and other forms of dementia. Because muscle cells produce less CO2 when
using fat instead of glucose for energy, this might have enormous
implications for people with a variety of chronic and acute lung
diseases. Please pursue your career in Dietetics with an open mind. I
will be happy to provide citations to the studies I have mentioned
above, and you can see for yourself that I have not exaggerated. These,
and much new information relevant to your other claims, are part of
what your professors should be teaching you. As you are pursuing a
career in a helping profession, please try to open yourself to current
information so you can provide genuine up-to-date help to the patients you will be working with, and try to avoid the pitfalls of dogma that are all too common in every profession.
Best Wishes,
Ron Hoggan, Ed. D.

E-mail from Jamie

From a student of Dietetics at the University of CT Storrs,

The Paleo Diet has some great point, the closer we can get to real food is the key to health and longevity, also increasing Fruit and vegetable intake which is common with this type of diet is associated with healthy body weight, decreased risk pf specific cancers and better nutritional status. Unfortunately, when diet's like this come along we look at them as a quick fix for weight loss, begin to label foods as good and bad, healthy and not. The time old advice for dietary intake is moderation, we can't emulate the diets of other people because we do not live the same lifestyles and our dietary needs are different. Our brain's primary source of energy is carbohydrate and when we live on a diet too low in carbs out brain is forced to function on ketone bodies which are conducive to life in the long term. If you have a gluten intolerance, allergy or diagnosis of celiac sprue your needs for carbs are obviously going to need to be met in different places but omission of food groups will never be the answer to healthy eating. We have seen FAD diets come and go in the field and the ones that have historical and scientific backing pick up the most speed and the most followers but the truth is the native hunters and gathers in the america's lived much shorter lives then we do currently and in the world now, people living this sort of lifestyle have an abundance of different exposures than we do and at this time there is only a CORRELATION that can be drawn between this diet and their decreased risks for disease, it could also be any number of differences in the environment and of course genetics!

Happy Eating!