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Diet Hints: Basic

We talk about weight control through our formula of meal plus fibre plus water plus packers. Fibre is best taken as a supplement.

Erasmus Erasmus :  The world is full of recommendations for good diet but many of these recommendations are disjointed and serve to publicise single studies or points of view, not to look at the overall health of people.

Goo the Numbat Goo : So what do we need to achieve for a healthy diet?

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : The basic recommendations for good health are:
Don't get fat.
Don't get sick.

Eating a lot of calories which is very easy with a fatty diet, leads you to getting fat.

Dr Xxxxx Dr. Xxxxx. Simple mistakes such as a high fat intake have extreme consequences. A Dr. friend reports that one of his patients began drinking a pint of flavoured milk every day. This is approximately 600 ml of full cream milk. The fat content of full cream milk is 3%. Putting this together this gives approximately 20 g of daily fat intake as a result of this activity.

The patient gained approximately 4 kg as a result of this habit over the next 6 months. (200 days X 20 g equals 4 kg). When the patient stopped drinking the milk, they lost approximately 4 kg over the next 6 months just as easily. So a small excessive fat intake can cause significant weight gain. And surprisingly, this can be easily reversed.

High Fat Diet Typical Fatty Foods
Dr Xxxxx Dr. Xxxxx : Burning a lot of calories, which is very easily done by undertaking a simple exercise such as walking every day, leads you to losing weight. 30 to 40 minutes actively walking everyday, again adds up to about 4 kg of weight loss over about 6 months.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : Putting this together: simply drinking a pint of flavoured milk every day and not exercising every day can put 8 kg excess weight on your body. And this is reversible weight. And this is sustainable weight loss. Do the right things and keep doing the right things and the weight goes off and stays off.

Dr Xxxxx Dr. Xxxxx : Younger people have much more active metabolism (high metabolic rate) and are better able to tolerate "bad habits". It is particularly in older people, over about 45 years of age, that  the consequences of dietary and exercise mistakes become obvious. The main drivers for high metabolism in younger people are the higher levels of androgenic hormones such as testosterone in men and DHEA/DHEAS in women, but a broad spectrum of hormone levels including thyroid and growth hormone/somatomedin levels (higher in younger pateints) correlate with the higher metabolic rate in younger people.

Erasmus Erasmus : This leads to the observation of a number of older people - saying that they have never exercised so much and eaten and so little -in their entire lives, and yet they are still gaining weight.

Dr Xxxxx Dr. Xxxxx : Developing androgen deficiency in particular affects men. Testosterone adds approximately 13% to the BMR rate. When the levels drop, coupled with an excess calorie content (notably fat intake especially), abdominal obesity results. This gives the typical beer gut of the older adult male.

Obesity The Progress of weight with time.
Almost everyone gains weight.


Erasmus Erasmus : So what is a good basic diet?

Dr Xxxxx Dr. Xxxxx : One of my doctor friends relates a very basic meal plan for all people. Firstly with every meal, you should have a meal. Secondly with every meal, you should have a glass of fibre. Thirdly with every meal you should have a glass of water. (This water must be drunk during and with the meal). And lastly with every meal you should have 2 apple - sized chunks of packers. (Packers are low calorie/high volume foods. Examples include apples, bananas and in fact many fruits, and raw veges like cabbage, lettuce, celery, cucumber and tomato.)

Erasmus Erasmus : The principle is very simple. If you only eat the meal" at every mealtime every meal - you can actually eat FOUR packages of food at a meal.

But having a glass of water limits your ability to have one of these packages of "meal". Having a glass of fibre limits your ability to have another of these packages of "meal". And having a couple of apple sized chunks of packers limits your ability to have another one of these packages of "meal".

Dr Xxxxx Dr. Xxxxx : Four meal Packages as a meal gives you a lot of calories. But if you can only have one meal Package with a meal, the rest of the meal contains a lot of volume but very few calories.

Having the meal is important, though.

Erasmus Erasmus : Yes.
If you only eat low- calorie high-volume meals, you will find that you feel full but bloated and hungry.
Having the meal is important to feed you.
But drinking the water with the meal makes sense because it fills your stomach and is important in assisting your digestion of the meal.
Having the fibre with the meal is important as fibre is a nutritional essential, often rarely present in much of our food.
Having the packers make sense in adding volume to the meal, without adding many calories.

Goo the Numbat Goo : In short with this type of arrangement, it becomes very difficult to eat too much. Your stomach is very full indeed with the fibre/water/packers. But you have definitely restricted your calorie intake. It also gives you some basis to plan your meals. Every meal has a number of basic elements:

Food + water+ fibre + packers.

Goo the Numbat Goo : And you can take this guideline with you every time you sit down to eat.
Where is my food?
Where is my water?
Where is my fibre?
And where are my packers?
Anyone can remember this and apply this to any meal they are having.

Meals for Daily Dietary Needs Meal Plan: such as purchased pre-packed foods.
Dr Xxxxx Dr. Xxxxx : Remember that cooking foods such as vegetables breaks down the cellular structure of the vegetable, making it more digestible and increasing its caloric yield. It is not the same to have cooked foods as it is to have more raw natural foods, even though the food itself may be the same.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : So tell us about fibre.

Erasmus Erasmus : My friend has some very basic guidelines about fibre. He suggest you just have the fibre as a separate item, and then you can eat whatever other food you wish - irrespective of its fibre content. You have had your fibre dose for the day. You do not need to eat "shredded newspaper" in the remainder of your meals.

Erasmus Erasmus : My friend suggests you use Psyllium husk as your basic fibre. This should be the slightly flaky version of the Psyllium, not the powdery or flour- like version of the Psyllium. Psyllium husk is freely available in the average supermarket - generally in health food section in Coles or Woolworths in Australia. Take 2 heaped teaspoons or approximately one heaped tablespoon of Psyllium husk and put this into a glass. Add water or juice and mix. Juice makes the mix taste like juice and water essentially creates a tasteless mix. Most people seem to prefer mixing a little bit of juice with the husk. If you go ahead immediately you can drink this mix. If you leave it for even a few minutes the husk absorbs the water and becomes jellylike - so you will have to eat the husk. Most people prefer to drink the husk mix. either is acceptable.

Erasmus Erasmus : For example, if you add apple juice to the Psyllium husk, it develops a consistency very similar to that of apple puree as sold in shops. It tastes apple-like (of course) since you added apple juice and has a fine and slightly gritty texture.

Goo the Numbat Goo : Once you get used to the mix, it's not at all hard to swallow.

Dr Xxxxx Dr. Xxxxx : Capsules of Psyllium husk can supply fibre as well but you need to take a good quantity of them - several times a day. (Let's put a baseline down of 6 capsules twice a day, but likely more will be necessary to fibre up the gastrointestinal tract.

Now to help your bowels to work, you need to take this fibre at least twice per day. By doing this, you make it easy to go to the toilet. Your bowel motions become much looser and much wetter - in effect egressing much more easily, often within seconds of going to the toilet. You do not need to push at all. This cuts down the development of lesions such as haemorrhoids around the anal area as well as cutting down diverticular disease over a number of years. The Psyllium husk fibre needs to be taken with food or with a meal. If taken by itself it simply leaves you feeling bloated and weird and causes wind problems. The idea is simply to fibre up the meal by having it with the meal.

Psyllium HuskPsyllium : the plant and the raw processed fibre

Erasmus Erasmus :  Adding fibre to your diet is a sensible long-term option to reduce your weight and to reduce some of the problems which will plague your age. And it makes it easier to poo as well.

Dr Xxxxx Dr. Xxxxx : The processed version of Psyllium husk is Metamucil in Australia. You pay for the sugar and the flavouring. The fibre is milled much finer, but it is still present in the same quantities - allowing for the presence of sugar and flavouring in your spoons of ingested fibre. It can be flavour and sugar free, making it easy to mix with drinks like tea or coffee.

Erasmus Erasmus : Psyllium husk is also cheap. The usual supermarket bag will last a single person for about a month for about $6 Australian. The larger supermarket bag will last a single person for about 2 months for about $12 Australian.

It's easy. It's healthy. It stops you developing big medical problems.
You need to use it long-term and over many years.

Goo the Numbat Goo :  There are a lot of health and life benefits in taking your fibre - separately with a meal, not necessarily built into the foods of the meal..

Dr Xxxxx Dr. Xxxxx : In terms of fat intake, my recommendation is:
Eat foods with less than 3% fat content i.e. 97% fat free
Eat foods to give a total of less than 30 g of fat per day per person.

There are lots of resources eg "Fat Counter" books you can use to calculate your fat intake.