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I checked out the recipes on the iDiet website recommended in the article, and I'm feeling sad and deprived just reading them. I'm willing to suffer for better health, but I'd hate to suffer through a life of egg whites and margarine and then discover in the end that the science was wrong.



Even if it means dying a year earlier I'm going to eat salted butter and drink red wine and enjoy it. Better to enjoy less than to have more you don't enjoy?


I think the dynamics are more complicated than that. Some diseases seriously mess with your quality of life, whether it be chemo for cancer or blood pressure medicine with nasty side effects for heart disease. Or my least favorite, a decade of Alzheimer's.

I heard the ideal death described as pretty solid health up to a very rapid decline, healthy food probably helps that.


Yep, totally agree. If you got acid reflux, you cant enjoy coffee or spicy foods at all.

If only if it was as simple as enjoy junk food and your life and die a few years younger.


Exactly. The first 70 years of a 75-year life is probably more enjoyable than a 70-year old life.


That is not how it works. Living an additional 5 years does not make a difference; however, you "could" be living a much more productive work life, have better sex, be more friendly, be more active with your children etc...

It's like when someone says I rather smoke and die at 75 vs 80. Sure, but then you spend more time at the doctor's, you get exhaust faster, you are not always fun to be around with because your clothes may smell like cigarette and more.


It probably doesn't mean that anyway.


I admit I've only skimmed the article, but does it say anything about those specific foods being healthy (with science to back that up), or is it just a single person's recommendation on how to choose low-calorie foods?

I'm currently on a calorie-counting streak coming up on a year, and I have managed to do it without switching to foods I don't enjoy. The guiding principle is to look at nutrition labels for calorie information, then choose foods that are low-calorie, enjoyable, and that make me feel full. (That means, generally, more high-protein items like meat and more high-fiber items like vegetables.)

I've made some effort to switch to healthier foods, but mostly I just started with the foods I like and filtered that set down to eliminate the worst ones. I still eat frozen pizzas and ice cream, but I do carefully measure the portions on those.

Anyway, if calorie restriction is the thing that actually gives you health benefits, then I feel like I'm doing that without dooming myself to a life of foods that I don't enjoy.


I highly suggest looking into a low carb high fat diet (paleo or keto), perhaps coupled with Intermittent Fasting (or even extended fasts every once in a while) if you want to reap the benefits described in this article without subjecting yourself to a life of miserable calorie counting. After a small period of adaptation, you won't have cravings, you'll have more energy and be more focused, and you won't have to count calories (although you will probably want to track your carb intake at first just to make sure you're on the right track). Eat like our disease free paleolithic ancestors did. Jason Fung is doing incredible work about this at IDM: https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/

As someone has pointed out above, it seems like the calorie restriction is not really the reason for improved health. The real reason seems to be that reducing calories happens to also reduce all the stuff that makes us sick in the first place, like pro-inflammatory vegetable oils, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. If you look at the actual studies mentioned in the article, you'll see that the NIA study didn't find any difference between the two groups of monkeys, while the UW study did. The primary difference between the two is that the NIA fed the monkeys varied protein sources, while the UW study fed them significantly higher levels of sucrose. We already know that sugar is bad for you, so it makes sense that reducing its intake would improve health. The CR is a red herring.

I also checked some of the iDiet recipes, and I'm pretty sure they will do you more harm than good. Margarine, like pretty much any vegetable oil other than olive/avocado/coconut, is really bad for you. Egg yolks are not bad for you at all and I wouldn't worry about cholesterol in food (this is a whole topic in and of itself that I won't really go into here). One of the recipes on there is oatmeal with maple syrup; that is just sugar and grains, which honestly just feels like a slightly healthier frosted flakes.


You write "Margarine, like pretty much any vegetable oil other than olive/avocado/coconut, is really bad for you."

Do you have sources for that? Which vegetables oils are healthy and which are unhealthy and why?

The only relevant knowledge I have is that saturated and trans fats are bad and that unsaturated are good. One source for that is for example https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you... .

If this is what you are refering to then margarine is indeed bad because it often contains high amounts of trans fat but for example coconut oil isnt good either for its high saturated fat content. Plenty of other vegetable oils should be fine judging by their fat contents rather than "really bad".


I'm surprised that no one mentioned it here already but the whole article smells of submarine marketing[0]. A short back story about calorie reduction then some science and then they casually mention Susan Roberts which uses a tool called iDiet. When you visit the website you will see that Dr. Susan Roberts is the one who created this iDiet tool so... yeah

[0] http://www.paulgraham.com/submarine.html


>I'd hate to suffer through a life of egg whites and margarine

I know this wasn't your point but: I don't think people recommend eating margarine instead of real butter anymore.

I won't claim to know if avoiding egg yolks is healthy or not, but many seem to think that dietary cholesterol isn't as bad as once thought.


It's right there in the recipes on the iDiet website, recommended in the article by "Susan Roberts, a dietary scientist at Tufts University". I was surprised too-- I didn't think anyone still believed margarine was healthier than butter, but here it is:

https://www.theidiet.com/food/idiet-recipes/vanilla-spice-co...

And here's their cake made with egg whites, which I imagine is great for crying yourself to sleep while trying to ignore your hunger: https://www.theidiet.com/food/idiet-recipes/idiet-chocolate-...


The margarine and egg-whites-only feels like the nutritional advice of the 80s...I wouldn't follow any of the advice on that website...




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