Calorie Counting – Are All Calories Created Equal?

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Why can I eat the same calories but at different times, and get different results?

The primary service provided at BioBalance Health is the assessment and administration of Hormone Balance for those who have lost some of their natural hormones. In addition to determining and providing the lost hormones of your youth, we are concerned about your overall health and the quality of your life as you age. We want you healthy and independent, able to move and walk and stand and strong enough all the days of your life to do the things you seek to do with ease and comfort.

Having a healthy diet is one of the more important ingredients of good health. As we age we need to pay more attention to our diet and our food consumption behaviors. In this week’s healthcast we are utilizing information from the August edition of Endocrine News, an article by Eric Seaborg titled “Calorie Counting”.

“Two similar individuals can eat and exercise the same amounts but end up with dramatically different results in weight. We have to find your key, and you can put the same calories into the same body at different times and get different results:  metabolisms slow with age and respond to calorie restriction by deriving sustenance from fewer calories.” This is why I don’t limit fruits in a low carb diet:  in contrast to glucose, fructose is not significantly regulated by insulin…. The effects of some foods on metabolism are comparable to those of hormones says Randy Seeley, PhD professor of surgery at the University of Michigan School of Medicine.

Fatty acids also affect the appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin, which requires a fatty acid  attached to a side chain In order to signal. Different fatty acids can increase or decrease its signaling ability and the source of these fatty acids is food, not endogenous production. This action raises the possibility that certain foods could help switch appetite on or off.  These are relatively new concepts in the ways of thinking about diets. Some of the foods we eat have similar working effects to the hormones in our bodies to turn cell function and energy absorption on or off.

Therefore we can say that some foods can act as hormones in turning on and off signaling pathways that can determine how food is metabolized and perhaps aid in weight gain or loss.

The branched chain amino acid leucine is another food with signaling properties. But leucine also causes insulin resistance so its use by someone with type 2 diabetes or similar problems could have undesirable metabolic results. If you are subject to type 2 diabetes, we need to monitor your leucine consumption. It could cause adverse effects by acting as a switching agent for your metabolism.”

Another surprising thing we are learning is that the differences in weight loss among diets are very small.

Calorie for calorie restriction of dietary fat led to greater body fat loss than restriction of dietary carbohydrate in adults with obesity. This occurred despite the fact that only the carb restricted diet led to decreased insulin secretion and a substantial sustained increase in net fat oxidation compared to the baseline energy balanced diet…….. but it is easy to find studies that show the opposite results.

The study found that resting and total energy expenditures were the highest with the low carb diet, intermediate with the low glycemic index diet, and lowest with the low fat diet. Participants burned 325 fewer calories a day on the low fat diet compared with the low carb diet.

“Weight loss differences between individual diets were small. This supports the practice of recommending any diet that a patient will adhere to in order to lose weight.”

Whichever diet patients can stay with the longest does the most good overall.

Finally, the article discusses the use of plastics and chemicals in our food production and consumption. These are called EDC’s or Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. The author is concerned that we need to look societally for better solutions that pouring these chemicals into our food chains and our production and storage processes.

“EDC’s Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals are a new and growing concern.  EDC’s are hundreds of chemicals or mixture of chemicals that mimic block and interfere with the body’s natural hormones. EDCs can alter the ways cells develop and grow, and exposure can increase the risk of developing two of the most significant health epidemics==diabetes and obesity.  Both human and animal studies have also connected EDC exposure with infertility early puberty hormone related cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer, thyroid disorders, and neurological issues. “

Chemistry has to turn to “green chemistry” and governments must invest in this direction. In a mid or perhaps long term only using green chemistry will we be able to develop paying the lowest toll.

We want to continue to focus on healthy eating to supplement our efforts to establish healthy aging.

This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com.