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Nutrient Intake, Nutrient Storage and Nutrient Oxidation

This is going to be a bit of technical/unapplied article, I’m going to try to keep it short and to the point and mainly it serves as a background for some topics I want to talk about in the near future (especially alcohol) so just be forewarned as you start on this.  When people talk about diet, it’s common to divide the various nutrients that humans consume into two gross categories which are:

  1. Macronutrients: nutrients consumed in large amounts (‘macro’ = large)
  2. Micronutrients: nutrients consumed in small mounts (‘micro’ = small)

So macronutrient refers to protein, carbohydrates, fats and alcohol, those nutrients that, when they are consumed are generally consumed in gram or larger amounts.  The micronutrients refers to vitamins and minerals which are usually consumed in very small amounts (e.g. the DRI for Vitamin C is 60mg where 1mg is 1/1000th of a gram).  I’m not going to talk about micronutrients in this article and will only focus on the macronutrients, specifically protein, carbohydrate, fat and alcohol.… Keep Reading

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A Guide to Dietary Carbohydrates

Having previously done a fairly detailed guide to dietary fats along with a complete guide to dietary protein I wanted to do a similar primer on dietary carbohydrates.   I won’t be discussing the various controversies that surround carbohydrates and fats since they are discussed elsewhere on the site.  Rather, I just want to focus on some basic definitions and concepts since there tends to be a lot of general confusion over the topic of carbohydrates.

What is a Carbohydrate?

The term carbohydrate is sort of an overall classification referring to a number of different organic compounds, which I’m going to detail below.   You may often see the abbreviation CHO (for Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen) to refer to carbohydrate.  Although fiber is a carbohydrate, I’m not going to discuss fiber in detail in this article.  Rather I’d refer you to Fiber – It’s Natures Broom for a detailed look.

As I have discussed in many articles on the site, the primary role of carbohydrate in the body is energetic, that is it is broken down in cells to provide energy through a variety of pathways.  … Keep Reading

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A Guide to Basic Nutrition

In many articles on the site, I go into a rather great deal of detail on various aspects of human nutrition and the various nutrients that comprise it.  But it’s easy when doing this to miss the basics, which are arguably far more important.  For that reason I wanted to put together this guide to basic nutrition.  And I intend to keep it basic.   Where appropriate, I’ll point readers to other articles on the site (or my books) which discuss a given topic in more detail than I want to cover here.

Essential vs. Non-Essential Nutrients

The body has a requirement for somewhere around 60 nutrients on a daily basis for normal functioning or basic health. Please note that as nutritional science has progressed, it’s clear that many more nutrients contribute to optimal health even if they aren’t required for survival.  Put differently, you can live without consuming them but you might be healthier or perform better as an athlete if you did eat them.… Keep Reading

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Dietary Fiber – It’s Natures Broom

Years ago I remember lamenting (and writing somewhere) that I was fairly sick of reading research papers on how eating more dietary fiber was good for people, how it was time for nutritional science to move into relatively more interesting things than a topic that had literally been beaten to death.

Thankfully, soon thereafter leptin was discovered and nutritional researchers could start looking at things more interesting than why eating high-fiber vegetables were good for you (a nutritional tidbit that I file under the “Grandma was right” category).

Even so, there is still some confusion out in the world of nutrition regarding fiber.  And boring or not, it’s a topic worth clearing up.  So today I want to take a fairly comprehensive look at dietary fiber, what it is, what it does in the body, how it impacts on things like body composition (and health to a lesser degree) and finish by looking at some (admittedly vague recommendations).… Keep Reading

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What Is The Ketogenic Ratio?

In my first book The Ketogenic Diet, I talked about something called the ketogenic ratio (KR) which is an equation/concept used in the planning of ketogenic diets for epilepsy patients.

The equation basically gives you the potential ketone producing potential of a given meal depending on the relative ketogenic or anti-ketogenic effect of the different macronutrients.

The question then becomes whether it matters or not for someone using a ketogenic diet for fat loss.  A follow-up question is whether or not Ketostix, used to measure urinary ketone levels have any value for the general dieter.  Let’s look at both topics.

The Ketogenic Ratio

So the KR of a given combination of nutrients can be estimated with the following equation:

 

The Ketogenic Ratio

 

Protein turns out to be partially ketogenic (46%) and partially anti-ketogenic (58%), reflecting the fact that some amino acids can be made into ketones, while other can be converted to glucose.… Keep Reading