Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Unabsorbed Calories

Most weight control experts teach that reducing caloric intake and increasing caloric expenditure through exercise are absolutely necessary to achieve and sustain weight loss. Many dieters have been successful with this approach but does it work for everybody? Not really. Why? Well, some people are not genotrophically equipped to thrive on a low-fat/low-calorie diet no matter how much exercise they get. (The genotrophic concept, by the way, simply refers to the fact that each of us is biochemically and physiologically unique and that this uniqueness is determined by genes.)

A number of books have been published over the years suggesting that adding calories (especially fat calories) to the diet can produce weight loss. The first I'm aware of is Calories Don't Count by Herman Taller, MD. It caused quite a stir as reported by Ruth Adams in her 1972 book Did You Ever See A Fat Squirrel? In Chapter 7 subtitled Calories Do Count or one foot is a lot different than ten feet she reports, "The case of Calories Don't Count reached the halls of Congress in the fiery address of one knowledgeable congressman who called the FDA's attack on the book "Trial by press release." A lot of unfair and inaccurate things were said about Dr. Taller and his book in the decade following its publication. The government seized his books and safflower oil capsules displayed nearby from health food stores calling the capsules "drugs" and the book "labeling" of these drugs. While Dr. Taller's book contained a few inaccuracies and despite it's apparent contradiction, his approach, which recommended a daily intake of 3935 calories (more or less) as calculated by Ruth Adams, did work for a lot of people. But on to the next book.

Published two decades later, Why Calories Don't Count by biochemist Paul Stitt, MS did not attract any attention, probably because Robert Atkins was taking so much heat at the time. Poorly edited and clumsily written, the book actually contains a reference to research documenting unabsorbed calories.

Another book entitled How to Lower Your Fat Thermostat by Remington, Fisher, and Parent describes force feeding experiments where subjects were unable to gain more than small amounts of weight despite huge amounts of extra eating. Most subjects quickly returned to their pre-study weight after a return to normal caloric intake. There's also some interesting discussion describing how food denial (caloric restriction) can increase the surface area of the gut which increases efficiency of calorie absorption. They noted, "Rats eating only one meal a day have a markedly increased rate of food digestion and absorption. Many obese people also seem to digest food more quickly, perhaps because of dietary efforts and periods of food denial."

Fast forwarding to the present, Prevention magazine recently released a 52-page booklet advertising The Doctors Book of Food Remedies. I'm ordering a copy to see if the book contains any references to research that documents what the advertiser asserts; namely that some fats, calories, and cholesterol do not get absorbed but are excreted when certain fiber-containing foods are eaten with every meal. Here's a few pages of that advertisement:

Fat-Blocker foods!
Foods that fill you up...block absorption of calories & fat...and make it easy to shed 10, 20, 30 pounds, or more.

Page 9 - Imagine being able to shed all the pounds and inches you want, NOT by starving yourself, but by actually eating MORE of certain types of food?
Oh, how satisfying that would be! But it couldn't possibly be true, could it? Doctors are responding with a resounding YES! Here's the story...

Medical researchers have identified dozens of delicious foods bursting with this amazing combination of benefits - they're not only scrumptious, but they also block the absorption of fat and calories in the other foods you eat!

What's more, the same foods leave you feeling full - totally satisfied - for much longer periods of time, so you automatically eat less during the day. In other words, these delicious foods give you an enormous DOUBLE advantage in your efforts to lose weight. First, you automatically eat less because you feel full and satisfied longer. And then, (Page 10) when you do eat, you absorb far fewer fat and calories! (Their mistake, not mine.)

That's why these "fat-blocker foods" are a dieter's dream-come-true. And in The Doctors Book of Food Remedies, you're going to learn all about them, and how to use them to lose more weight than you've ever thought possible.

The Greatest Weight-Loss Secret of All-Time ?
The secret behind Mother Nature's incredible fat-blocker foods can be summed up in a single word - fiber.
But not just any fiber. In recent years, researchers have discovered that foods rich in a certain type of fiber have an almost magical power to trap fat and calories as they pass through your system...block their absorption...and carry these unwanted fats and calories right out of your system before they have a chance to pack their weight on your thighs, hips, rear, or belly.
But only one type of fiber does this, and on pages 201-203 of The Doctors Book of Food Remedies, you're going to discover the many foods that are richest in it. Thank goodness, there are dozens of these fat-blocker foods to choose from, so you'll easily find a host of favorites to enjoy for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, as you watch pound after pound melt away so easily.

Blocks Out the Fat in Your Steak...So You Don't Absorb It!
Just how easily does it work? Let's look at an example...

A big reason we gain weight - and find losing it so hard - is because of the fat in our diets. Fat makes you fat! When you eat a steak, for example, molecules of fat and cholesterol pass through your intestinal wall and into your bloodstream...and eventually get deposited as fat someplace in your body where you least want it.

Page 12 - But before that can happen, the special fiber in these fat-blocker foods prevents you from absorbing these fats and calories in the first place. When you eat these foods, their special fiber dissolves in your digestive tract, forming a sticky gel that acts like a protective coating, preventing fat and cholesterol from getting through your intestinal wall.

Remember the example of the steak? If you accompanied it with a heaping serving of one of these fat-blocker foods, its special fiber would turn into gel, trapping molecules of fat and cholesterol and preventing them from getting into your body. And because this fiber itself isn't absorbed, it passes out of your body, taking the fat and cholesterol with it!

You'll get complete details of this wonderful form of fiber on page 201 of The Doctors Book of Food Remedies. Then on page 202, you'll see all the foods richest in this near-miraculous ability. This information is worth its weight in gold because it makes losing weight so much easier than you've ever experienced!

Now you can lose by eating, not starving! There are no pills to take, no unhealthy fad diets to follow, and, best of all, no starvation! Losing weight was never so easy!

What's more, these fiber-rich fat-blocker foods bring you many other benefits, as well. They keep you as regular as a Swiss watch. They lower your cholesterol, and cut your risk of heart disease in half. They can also reduce your risk of cancer by 31% because they sweep food particles out of your colon faster and keep your insides cleaner. This is why some doctors call fiber "Mother Nature's broom."

In another section starting on page 32 and titled Cut Your Risk of Heart Attack by 80 % or more, there's further mention of unabsorbed fat and cholesterol. For example, on page 33 under the heading Traps Cholesterol in Your Body Like Velcro and Flushes It Away Harmlessly one reads, "Take Pears for example. They contain an all-natural compound called lignin, which is Mother Nature's most ingenious antidote to high cholesterol. Lignin acts just like nutritional Velcro, attaching itself to the cholesterol in your body, trapping it in your intestine, and ushering it right out of your system so you don't absorb it!"

Finally, on page 35 under the heading Your Internal Cholesterol-Busting "Police Force" one reads, "You'll get an entire list - plus lots of recipes - of the best cholesterol-busting foods you can eat. All share this incredible benefit: they're filled with a substance that forms a gummy gel in your digestive tract that mops up fat and cholesterol, dragging it straight out of your body before it gets deposited on your artery walls."

Well, don't you just love advertising copy? Considering the darth of information on the subject, one wonders where the author(s?) of Food Remedies got the idea that fiber can "sweep" fat, calories, and cholesterol out of the body. There are no references to research.

Dave Brown


Anonymous said...

They're probably talking about resistant starch, like cold foods and under-cooked foods. There is no truth to their claims that "fat makes you fat" or to claims by others that "carbs make you fat." Rather having a bad metabolism makes you fat. A person with a good metabolism could eat high-everything and lose weight, or stay lean - which is what Matt Stone and many of his blog readers are doing. Are you a reader of his blog? Here are some recent posts you should consider.

Plower vs. Force Revisited

The Hamburglar's Metabolism

Anonymous said...

Hi Bruce,

I correspond with Matt but I don't follow his blog closely.

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

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