30BaD FADs: Frequently Added Discussions
Why are your calorie recommendations so high?
How come we do not calorie restrict here?
According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, active females need 2400 and active males 3000 calories a day. Active people and athletes may need to add more. This is for basic energy requirements as well as to ward off deficiencies such as not consuming enough calcium. (1)
Our guidelines here @30BaD follow a similar guideline of 2500 calories for females and 3000 calories for males.
On a low fat nutrient dense plant based diet high in fruits and leafy lettuce greens, the body will self-regulate. Many of our members cannot eat more than 5k calories a day without getting digestive upsets. It seems that nature has put automatic control on the situation and has made it difficult to overeat on fruit and or gain weight on fruit. People who have been deficient may gain, and obese people might lose.
Reasons for healthy weight gain include volume of fruit and water consumed, hydration, intestinal bulk and fiber, increased bone density and muscle and tissue mass, increased in healthy body fat. Read more here: Healthy Weight Gain
Given the right diet and enough calories and nutrients, most long term vegans are slim, lean, and have lower BMIs than their SAD counterparts. (2)
Calorie Restriction and Deficiencies
People who are on chronic diets, restrict calories, and or have eating disorders may have vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
A classic example is not consuming enough calcium. Calcium deficiency and or malabsorption can lead to a condition called osteopenia and or low bone density. Low bone density increases risks for having osteoporosis, fractures of bones, and oral problems such as tooth decay and or loss of teeth. (3) (4)
Osteoporosis is a bone disease where the bone thins and weakens until the point it becomes fragile and breaks easily. Children as young as two can have osteopenia and or the start of osteoporosis, and some teenagers have been diagnosed with stage one osteoporosis. (5)
The good news is that several studies have linked higher intakes of fruits and vegetables with better bone health. Raw foods that have not had their vitamin and mineral intake destroyed by cooking may be more beneficial as well. (6) (7)
Daily calcium requirements on average are about 1000 mg. (8)
Eating 14 oranges a day provides about 1000 mg of calcium, 1200 calories, and 1370 mg of vitamin C! (9)
Calorie Restriction and Malnutrition
Malnutrition is the condition that occurs when the body does not get enough nutrients from inadequate or unbalanced diets, problems with digestion or absorption, and certain medical conditions . Malnutrition can occur by not eating enough food which could be caused by lack of availability of food, voluntary fasting, restrictive diets, and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Starvation is a form of malnutrition. Malnutrition may develop by lack of a single vitamin in the diet. (10)
In some cases, malnutrition is very mild and causes no symptoms. General symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, and weight loss. Professional medical care should be obtained in cases of fainting, lack of growth in children, and rapid hair loss.
Malnutrition Affects on the Body (12)
Malnutrition and Oral Health
Changes in the mouth are often times the first physical signs of an eating disorder, malnutrition, and deficiencies.
Eating disorders such as bulima and anorexia nervosa could result in tooth decay and dental cavities. Up to 89% of bulimic patients show signs of tooth erosion usually associated with regurgitation. Some studies have found similar prevalence rates in patients with highly restrictive diets. (12) (13)
Besides cavities, teeth can become shortened and pulp exposed due to erosive effects of acid. Teeth can become translucent as acid destroys the inner portion, leaving a layer of thin enamel.
Other dental signs and symptoms of malnutrition and or eating disorders include:
- Loss of tissue and erosive lesions on the surface of teeth due to the effects of acid. These lesions can appear as early as 6 months from the start of the problem.
- Changes in the color, shape, and length of teeth. Teeth can become brittle, translucent, and weak.
- Increased sensitivity to temperature. In extreme cases the pulp can be exposed and cause infection, discoloration, or even pulp death.
- Enlargement of the salivary glands, dry mouth, and reddened, dry, cracked lips.
- Tooth decay, which can actually be aggravated by extensive tooth brushing or rinsing following vomiting.
- Unprovoked, spontaneous pain within a particular tooth. (14)
In oral health, deficiencies such as calcium deficiency and some mineral deficiencies can promote low bone density, osteopenia (soft bone), and osteoporosis. When this happens, all bones of the body can be affected including the jaw bone. Research suggests a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw. The bone in the jaw supports and anchors the teeth. When the jawbone becomes less dense, tooth loss can occur. The portion of the jawbone that supports our teeth is known as the alveolar process. Several studies have found a link between the loss of alveolar bone and an increase in loose teeth (tooth mobility) and tooth loss. (4)
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, ranges from simple gum inflammation, called gingivitis, to serious damage to the tissue and bone supporting the teeth. In the worst cases, loss of teeth can occur. In gingivitis, the gums become red and swollen. They can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. (15)
Poor nutrition affects the entire immune system, thereby increasing susceptibility to many disorders. People with lowered immune systems have been shown to be at higher risk for periodontal disease. Additionally, research shows a link between oral health and systemic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So eating a variety of foods as part of a well-balanced diet may not only improve your dental health, but increasing fiber and vitamin intake may also reduce the risk of other diseases. (16)
Malnutrition and Nail Health
Your nails' health can be a clue to your overall health. Healthy nails are usually smooth and consistent in color. Specific types of nail discoloration and changes in growth rate can signal various lung, heart, kidney and liver diseases, as well as diabetes and anemia. White spots and vertical ridges are harmless. (17)
Nail abnormalities are problems with the color, shape, texture, or thickness of the fingernails or toenails. Common abnormalities may include injuries, fungus or bacterial infections, low oxygen levels which may be a result of heart disease and cause clubbing, kidney disease, thyroid disease, skin cancers, and some severe illnesses.
Conditions that can affect the appearance of the nails include malnutrition and vitamin deficiency. When having nail abnormalities, check with your doctor to find out what the problem is exactly, and if there are any other underlying causes such as heart disease and or malnutrition. (18)
Calories and Body Type
Some individuals may ask about special blood types and or if there are special requirements for people of different heights. The short answer is we all need roughly the same amount of calories and nutrients. Even short people with dwarfism have the same physiology and anatomy as any other human being, with similar caloric and nutritional needs. People with dwarfism usually have the same length of digestive tract as their taller counterparts, therefore may need the same soluble fiber filling bulk and water. (19) (20)
Looking at nature, all the animals of the same species eat roughly the same types of food and the same amounts of food. There is no special diet for the lion who could not eat gazelle because of his special blood type. The same should apply for humans. We should all be eating the similar kinds of food and a similar amount of food, calories, and nutrients. As mentioned previously, that translates into about 2500 calories for females and 3000 calories for males.
When we look at how an unborn baby can develop and grow in the womb, it is obvious that our bodies have an innate wisdom as to self regulation and development given the right tools. It is our job to ensure we give our bodies proper nutrition in the form of low fat raw fruits and lettuce greens, and to provide calories and carbohydrates for energy, and nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for building of dense bones, muscles, and tissues. If we give our bodies optimum nutrition, our bodies will perform optimally as well as self regulate a weight that is healthy for us.
Of Further Reading Interest
This blog is for informational purposes only.
The medical and/or nutritional information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional
medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health
provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional
medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this Web site.
Updated August 9, 2012 By PK