Much of the information contained in this chapter relating to exchange values of foods is adapted and derived from: The Textbook ofNatural Medicine by Joseph Pizzorno ND and Michael Murray ND (Bastyr College Publications, Seattle, 1986), The Bioplan by Naola Van Orden Ph.D. and S. Paul Steed Ph.D. (Die I Press, New York 1983), and food-exchange lists devised by the American Diabetes Association in conjunction with the American Dietetic Association. My thanks are due to these sources, although none has been quoted directly.
Exchange diets such as the ones which are described below give you the chance to select foods according to your personal tastes and preferences while staying inside a framework which guarantees balance and optimal availability of essential nutrients.
|Each Dairy exchange unit*|
|Each Fat exchange unit|
|Each Fruit exchange unit|
|Each Grain/Starch exchange unit|
|Each High Protein exchange unit**|
|Each Vegetable exchange unit|
|Each Dairy exchange unit*|
|Each Fat exchange unit|
|Fruit contains minimal fat|
(except for nuts and avocado)
|Grain/Starch and Vegetables|
|High Protein exchange units|
* Dairy exchange units always contain protein and usually contain fat. The fat content will vary with the type of dairy product chosen and dear indications of these variations will be given in the exchange lists later in this chapter. For example: 8 oz of full fat milk carries 1 Dairy EU and 1 Eat EU, while 8 oz of skim milk carries 1 Dairy EU and no Eat EU.
**High Protein EUs are the only exchange category which contain both Fat and Protein (and in the case of pulses they contain Protein, Grain/Starch and sometimes Fat EUs).
The fat content will vary with the type of protein chosen and clear indications of both protein and fat content (in grams and EUs) will be given in the exchange lists later in this chapter. For example: loz of veal chop contains 7 grams of protein (1 Protein EU) and 3 grams of fat (around half of a Fat EU). loz of loin steak contains 7 grams of protein (1 Protein EU) and 6 grams of fat (1 Fat EU). Half a cup of lentils contains 1 High Protein EU and 1 Grain/Starch EU.
You should use these lists to calculate your daily protein and fat intakes, in terms of grams per kilo of your present body weight (these have to match the needs dictated by your present body weight – see the previous chapter for the method of calculating these important needs).
If you calculated from your body weight that you require between 48 and 60 grams of protein daily (this would be the right range for someone weighing 60 kilos/1321b/9.5 stone) then stay within that range of 48 to 60 grams of protein daily, if at all possible, not having less than 48 grams or more than 60 grams in any given day. This ‘range’ is an important feature since it allows you to be quite flexible in your choices, and avoids the need to have a slide rule and calculator handy each time you are making up the day’s dietary content. The flexibility of having a range into which to fit both fat and protein intake allows you a wide choice of foods.
1,800 calorie per day pattern
If you are under 50 and over 20, if your health status allows (see the caution at the start of the previous chapter) and if you wish to follow a calorie restriction diet, you can choose this or the 2,000 calorie per day pattern.
This exchange pattern, as it stands, provides almost 1,800 calories daily with a protein and fat intake suitable for a person of around
70 kilos (1541b/11 stone). Flexibility remains for some variation in choice of foods from the Dairy category, say including a full-fat yogurt instead of a low-fat one, which would raise the fat intake (in terms of numbers of grams).
Since a 70 kilo individual is allowed up to 42 grams daily (70 x 0.6) of fat and the intake in this example gives just 36 grams, an acceptable increase within the framework of the diet.
Note: Before doing any calculations which adjust EU amounts in order to comply with protein and fat requirements take note of the following cautions: Try never to have more than 2.5 EUs in the Dairy category or less than 1.5. Try also never to have more than 6 EUs in the fat category or less than 4.
What do you do if you weigh only 60 kilos?
A number of adjustments are needed to the framework given in this list in order to meet the protein and fat requirements of anyone who weighs 60 kilos (1321b/9.5 stone). Your protein intake should range between (60 x 0.8) 48 grams and (60 x 1.0) 60 grams. The diet above offers 69 grams so we have to change the EU selections in order to lose at least 9 grams.
Since a 60 kilo person should have a range between (60 x 0.4 24 grams and (60 x 0.6) 36 grams of fat daily, and since the example above provides 36 grams you would therefore be on the upper limit of fat intake, with little leeway for choice in dairy produce (it would all have to be low-fat or skimmed milk in origin).
Aslight modification of the pattern would therefore be a good idea to bring the fat intake down a little for a 60 kilo person. We could, for example, cut the High Protein intake from 3.5 to 2.5 EUs. This would trim 60 calories, 7 grams of protein and about 2 grams of fat off the totals. That would nicely get protein down to an acceptable level (almost) of 62 grams, as well as bringing fat intake to 34 grams daily, allowing a little flexibility in choice of dairy foods.
But having cut 60 calories off your total of (almost) 1,800, by moving from 3.5 to 2.5 EUs of High Protein, we have to try to get the calorie numbers up again. One way in which this could be easily achieved would be by increasing Fruit from 10 to 12 EUs, which raises the total by 80 calories (and adds no fat or protein).
What about someone who weighs more?
What are the requirements in terms of protein and fat for someone weighing 85 kilos (1871b/13.5 stone) in order to meet the needs described in the previous chapter? If your weight is 85 kilos you need between (85 x 0.8 = 68) 68 grams and (85 x 1.0 = 85) 85 grams of protein daily. You also need to ensure a fat intake of between 34 (85 x 0.4 = 34) and 51 (85 x 0.6 = 51) grams. As you can see all these requirements are met by the EU suggestions in the list above (for a 70 kilo person)
What about someone weighing around 90 kilos?
For a 90 kilo (1981b/14 stone) person we would need to make adjustments after calculating their protein and fat requirements:
90 x 0.8 = 72 grams
90 x 1.0 = 90 grams
72 to 90 grams per day is the range of protein requirements.
90 x 0.4 = 36 grams
90 x 0.6 = 54 grams
36 to 54 grams per day is the range of fat requirements for a 90 kilo person.
How can we adjust the EU suggestions above and still maintain a harmonious balance? For the 90 kilo person we could take the High Protein category from 3.5 to 4 EUs which would:
- Increase protein by 3.5 grams, which takes it to 72.5 grams (just enough to meet requirements).
- Increase fat intake by 1.5 grams to 37.5 grams, which keeps it well within the requirements (36 to 54 grams).
- Take calories up by 30 to a fraction over 1,800 (1,815) which is acceptably close to our target.
So we can see that very little adjustment is needed in terms of EU selections in order to meet the needs of anyone weighing anything from 60 and 90 kilos, a fairly wide catchment range which should suit most people. However, there will be exceptions above or below the levels we have considered (60 to 90 kilos) who may need to carefully play about (on paper) with the choices open to them in order to arrive at a formula which will meet the needs dictated by their particular weight requirements.
General guidance on varying numbers of EUs in different categories
- You cannot eat too much in the way of fruit and vegetables, unless in doing so you increase calorie intake beyond the limits set by the diet. Therefore, if you need to increase calorie intake you can alter the number of EUs in either of these categories (Fruit, Vegetables) with only marginal effects on protein (in the case of vegetables) and no effect at all on fat.
- The Grain/Starch category is also useful in order to alter calorie intake without having much impact on protein (2 grams of protein per EU), or any effect on fat.
- Do not take the Dairy intake above 2.5 or below 1.5 EUs and do not take fat intake below 4 or above 6 EUs without expert advice.
- The High Protein levels should never exceed 6 EUs but can easily be eliminated altogether in a vegetarian option which increases vegetable protein combinations (pulses/grains/ seeds).
- If you are careful about combinations of Grains/Starches and vegetarian High Proteins (beans etc.) so that you eat both cereals and pulses (bean family) or seeds (sunflower/ pumpkin etc.) at the same meal, you can safely reduce the meat intake from the High Protein category intake drastically, even eliminating it if you become fully vegetarian.
It is within these guidelines that you need to adjust your food intake and selections as weight reduces, or if your weight is above or below the levels used in the examples above, in order to meet the ideal intakes of protein and fat per kilo for your body weight.
What happens as you reduce in weight?
When you lose weight it is necessary to keep modifying the pattern of diet in order to meet the protein and fat requirements dictated by your new weight, always trying not to lose sight of the target of achieving balance, as given in the EU suggestions. The High Protein area is the one which can most easily be reduced with the ‘slack’ being taken up by adding EUs from the Fruit, Vegetable and Grain/Starch groups to make up for calories lost in reducing High Protein EUs.
Other nutrient content of the diet
The outlined diet based on exchange units will provide, in addition to adequate protein and fat, far more calcium (50 per cent more), iron, vitamin A (more than double), vitamin C (50 per cent more) and important B vitamins than the current recommended daily allowances issued by health authorities in the US and UK. The fiber content will automatically be high on this type of diet, which is essential for bowel health. The chances of malnutrition on such a diet are nil, if the guidelines are followed, as are the chances of toxicity from too much of any of these.
So why should you still supplement?
Many authorities believe that RDA figures err on the low side, and ample evidence exists that this is probably correct. It is also now known, following brilliant research at the University of Texas by Professor Roger Williams, that all of us have individual variations in our needs for some nutrients. This means that hardly anyone actually fits the prescribed requirements for all
nutrients, having some genetic idiosyncratic need for greater amounts of some of the 50 odd substances without which our bodies cannot function correctly. The additional support which a ‘health insurance’ supplement containing all the minerals and vitamins we do know about, will enhance the benefits of the life extension calorie restriction diet.
2,000 calorie per day pattern
If you are 50 or over (and if your health status allows, see the caution at the beginning of the previous chapter) and if you wish to follow a calorie restriction diet, you can choose this pattern. If you are under 50 years of age choose between this and the 1,800 calorie per day pattern, according to preference.
This pattern meets all the requirements of a person weighing 85 kilos (1871b/13.5 stone) or anyone weighing up to 110 kilos (2421b/17.25 stone).
Juggling with EUs and grams
You will, by now, be able to see that making the calculations to meet particular daily requirements in grams of protein and fat, as well as the number of calories, involves finding a balance. Adding or taking away EUs from the various categories of food will always have different effects on these totals, since each category of EUs carries different values in grams of fat and/or protein and calories.
It is not difficult to achieve balance, whatever body weight you have to accommodate the diet to, but it does take just a little patience, plus a pencil and paper. Let’s look at another example.
What do you do if you weigh only 60 kilos?
Again, a number of adjustments are needed to meet the protein and fat requirements if you weigh 60 kilos (1321b/9.5 stone) and wish to follow a balanced 2,000 calorie per day diet.
Your protein intake should range between (60 x 0.8) 48 grams and (60 x 1.0) 60 grams. The diet above provides 85 grams of protein so we have to change the EU selections in order to lose at least 25 of these. At the same time the fat intake needs attention, since a 60 kilo person should have a range between (60 x 0.4) 24 grams and (60 x 0.6) 36 grams daily. We therefore need to reduce fat intake by 9 grams or so. We could start by making a sharp but safe cut in the High Protein intake from 5 to 1.5 EUs. This would trim 180 calories and 25 grams of protein (and about 11 grams of fat) off the totals, which is a good start.
But we need to regain the calories lost in this cut in order to stay around 2,000 per day. We could help towards this by increasing Grains/Starches by 2 EUs which would add 140 calories as well as 4 grams of protein.
We have now done all we need to do with fats, but still must lose a few grams of protein, having cut 25 but added back 4 (a net loss of 21) so that we can achieve a total cut in protein of 25 grams.
The pattern now looks like this:
What can we adjust in order to get the protein level down to meet the upper limit of 60 grams per day for someone weighing 60 kilos? A half an EU taken off the Dairy category would give us a further reduction of 40 calories and 4 grams of protein. This is precisely what we need to meet our protein requirement, but leaves our calorie intake on the low side.
We could add one more EU to the Fruit category, bringing this to 13 EUs, which would return us to a reasonable balance, allowing 1,965 calories.
Note: This may seem an extraordinary amount of fruit. However, as you will see when you get to the EU lists below, some elements in the Fruit category carry very high EU values (fruit juices and melons for example). Half a cup of orange juice or a third of a cup of unsweetened apple or pineapple juice equals 1 EU. Just two or three cups of juice a day or a slice of melon would make a large dent in the Fruit EU allowance!
We have now reached the following adjusted EU content for a 60 kilo person on a 2,000 calorie per day diet:
Here we have a pattern which would suit someone weighing between 60 and 85 kilos (1321b/9.5 stone and 1871b/13.5 stone). Anyone trying to follow this diet whose weight is below 60 kilos would have to adjust High Protein downwards and increase other categories, such as Vegetables or Grain/Starch or Fruit, in order to achieve a balance.
Other nutrient content of the diet
The outlined 2,000 calorie diet based on exchange units will provide (as in the case of the 1,800 calorie diet) a more than adequate level of important nutrients. In addition to adequate protein and fat, it ensures an intake of far more calcium (50 per cent more), iron, vitamin A (more than double), vitamin C (50 per cent more) and a number of important B vitamins than the recommended daily allowances (RDA) issued by health authorities in the US and UK. The chances of malnutrition on such a diet are nil, if the guidelines are followed, as are the chances of toxicity from too much of any of these.
The next stage in our quest is to examine the content of the various exchange unit categories. Remember that you can exchange any item in one category with any other item in that category, in order to ‘use up’ all your available units, as prescribed by the 1,800 and 2,000 calorie diets, as modified by your particular weight and the way this alters your protein and fat intake requirements.
When you do so (make an exchange that is) check for those items which have additional Fat Protein EUs, and make allowances for this as you modify your diet, making sure that you do not exceed your fat or protein intake as described in detail above.
Remember: You should never exchange EUs from one category with those of another.
Exchange unit lists
Any exchange unit (EU) measure given below can be exchanged for any other EU on the same list, but not for items on any of the other lists. As you select these foods check that you are also ensuring adequate protein and fat intake based on your present weight (see the previous chapter for how to calculate these amounts).
Make sure you are getting the right number of EUs to meet your calorie needs. Eat all the food selected by you from each category of foods, or you will unbalance your programme.
Each Dairy exchange unit contains 8 grams of protein and provides 80 calories. Some Dairy EUs also contain Fat EUs, and these will be listed. Saturated fats such as butter and cream are listed in the Fat exchange unit category. Some cheeses are listed in the High Protein exchange unit category. Try to have never more than 2.5 EUs daily in the Dairy category or less than 1.5 unless you are allergic to milk.
|Product||Dairy EU||Fat EU|
|0.5 pint (8OZ) skimmed (non-fat) milk|
|0.5 pint whole milk (full-fat)||1|
|0.5 cup evaporated skimmed milk|
|0.5 cup evaporated whole milk (tinned)||2|
|1 cup skimmed milk yogurt (plain)|
|1 cup low fat yogurt (plain)||1|
|1 cup buttermilk (skimmed milk)|
|1 cup buttermilk (whole milk)||2|
|1 cup ice cream.||3|
|1 cup soyamilk||1|
* The sugar content of ice cream makes it most undesirable for this diet. It is entered here for information only. Other dairy undesirables are sweetened condensed milk and flavored yogurt, both of which usually contain sugar, and this has no part to play in the life extension diet.
Each Fat exchange unit contains 5 grams of fat and provides 45 calories. Try to have never more than 6 EUs or less than 4 EUs daily in the fat category.
|1 teaspoon cooking or salad oil.|
|1 teaspoon butter, animal fat or hard margarine|
|2 tablespoons cream|
|1 tablespoon double cream|
|2 tablespoons sour cream|
|1 tablespoon cream cheese|
|0.5 avocado (medium sized)|
|2 Brazil nuts|
|1 tablespoon chopped almonds or walnuts|
|1 tablespoon seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame linseed)|
|1 tablespoon desiccated unsweetened coconut|
|1 slice bacon|
|1 teaspoon mayonnaise|
|1 tablespoon French dressing|
|2 tablespoons low-calorie mayonnaise|
* Cooking or salad oils include corn olive, peanut, safflower, sunflower, soya,
sesame, liquid vegetable margarine.
Note: Oils and fats from avocado, corn, safflower, soyabean, sunflower or from nuts, are polyunsaturated (more desirable than saturated). Oil from olives/olive oil is mono unsaturated (also considered desirable).
Each Fruit exchange unit provides 40 calories and contains no fat and minimal protein. Each EU also provides 2 grams of dietary fiber, essential for good intestinal health.
|1 medium apple (3OZ)|
|1 large apple|
|0.5 cup raspberries or blackberries|
|0.75 cup strawberries|
|10 large cherries|
|10 seedless grapes|
|1 orange or tangerine|
|1 melon (honeydew)|
|1 melon (cantaloupe)|
|1 papaya (medium)|
|2 passion fruits|
|1 medium pear|
|1 large pear|
|1 cup of pineapple|
|l fig (dried or fresh)|
|4 dried apricots|
|2 tablespoons raisins|
|1 large slice watermelon|
|0.5 cup lemon juice|
|1 cup unsweetened apple juice|
|1 cup grapefruit juice|
|1 cup grape juice|
|1 cup orange juice|
|1 cup pineapple juice|
|1 cup prune juice|
|1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses|
Each exchange unit of Grain/Starch contains 2 grams of protein and provides 70 calories. Some of these foods also contain Fat EUs which are listed below, and up to 15 grams of fiber are found in each Grain/Starch EU. Some starchy vegetables appear on this exchange list instead of in the Vegetable category (and can therefore only be exchanged with foods on THIS list).
|1 slice shop-bought bread (most types)|
|1 slice homemade bread (most types)|
|1 slice cornbread||1|
|1 bread roll|
|1 cup dried breadcrumbs|
|1 Danish pastry||3|
|1 biscuit (two inches in diameter)||1|
|3 rye bread wafers|
|1 oatmeal biscuit*||0.5|
|1 Matzos wafer|
|1 cup bran flakes (non sugared)|
|0.75 cup other unsweetened cereal flakes|
|1 cup puffed cereal (unsweetened)|
|1 cup COOKED cereal (oats etc.)|
|1 cup COOKED rice or pasta|
|16oz raw rice (which makes 6 cups of cooked rice)|
|160z raw spaghetti makes 10.5 cups when cooked|
|160z raw macaroni makes 9 cups when cooked|
|160z raw noodles makes 9 cups when cooked|
|3 cupsful popcorn (no butter)|
|0.25 cup wheat or corn flour (dry)|
|1 small corn on cob|
|1 cup corn|
|1 cup lima beans|
|2/3 cup of parsnips|
|1 cup green peas (fresh, frozen or tinned)|
|1 small potato|
|1 cup mashed potato (no butter)|
|1 cup sweet potato|
|1 cup squash (marrow)|
|0.75 cup pumpkin|
|1 large can (10.50z) mushroom soup||1.5|
|1 large can (10.50z) tomato soup||0.5|
* Also contains undesirable sugar content.
Each High Protein exchange unit contains 7 grams of protein; most contain around 3 grams of fat (some contain none) and provides 55 calories. Where even higher fat content exists (e.g. goose) this will be made clear. Animal proteins as listed provide no fiber, whereas vegetable proteins provide around 8 grams of fiber per EU: important for bowel function. All meat listed is assumed to be cooked. Vegetable High Protein alternatives to meat/fish MUST always be combined at the same meal with grains or
seeds to provide first class protein. This category also lists some dairy products such as cheese and eggs.
|loz of any of the following trimmed of all visible fat:|
|Beef liver, sirloin steak, T-bone steak, Porterhouse steak, veal cutlets, veal steaks|
|loz pork loin or rump (ham), lamb chop or liver or roast|
|loz of chicken, turkey or game birds (all skin removed from all these)|
|1 large egg|
|2 egg whites|
|loz of fresh fish or 0.25 cup tinned fish or seafood|
|0.5 cup (low fat) cottage cheese|
|loz processed cheese|
|loz mozzarella, ricotta, Parmesan or neuchatel cheese|
|0.5 cup regular cottage cheese|
|loz of any of the following medium to high fat meats such as:|
|Loin steak, corned beef, stewing beef, fried beef liver, boiled ham, pig’s liver|
|loz of the following high fat meats such as:|
|Commercial hamburger, ground beef stewing veal, veal breast, spare ribs (pork), salami, lamb chops, deviled ham, cold cuts of meat|
|loz of any poultry with skin|
|loz of goose|
|loz cheddar, roquefort, blue Swiss or American processed cheese|
|1 cup cooked soyabeans||1.5|
|3.5oz tofu (beancurd)|
|2 tablespoons peanut butter|
|1 cup cooked dried beans (any)|
|1 cup cooked lentils|
|1 cup cooked dried peas (or split peas)|
|1 cup shelled walnuts||1|
|1 cup shelled peanuts||2|
|1 cup shelled almonds||1.5|
Each Vegetable exchange unit contains 2 grams of protein and provides 25 calories. Each EU also provides 2 grams of dietary fiber, essential for good intestinal health. Some vegetables which are particularly starchy (potatoes for example) are listed in the Grain/Starch category.
Important note: Some vegetables, because of their extremely low calorie content can be eaten in unlimited quantities, and these are: chicory, endive, lettuce, radishes, Chinese leaves, parsley, watercress.
All of the following constitute 1 EU as 1 cup of raw vegetable or 0.5 cup of cooked vegetable: artichoke, asparagus, aubergine, bean sprouts, beet root, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, courgettes, cucumber, dandelion greens, green pepper, kales, mushrooms, mustard greens, onion, spinach, string beans, tomatoes, turnips and turnip greens, water chestnuts.
The following all represent 1 Vegetable EU each:
1 x 20z carrot
3 celery sticks
4 medium-sized spring onions
1 green pepper
1 Vegetable EU is represented by each of the following additional vegetable products:
1 cup of bamboo shoots (tinned)
1 tablespoon dehydrated onion flakes
Half a sweet pickled cucumber
A quarter of a tin of condensed tomato soup (which also contains 0.5 Fat EU and 0.5 Bread EU)
Refer back to Chapter 4 in which the benefits of a raw food diet were explained in detail so that you are well aware of the potential value of vegetables in your diet. In Chapter 13 there is more on raw foods, most notably salads and fruits. Try not to lose sight of the advantage, on your restriction diet, of being able to add almost unlimited amounts of salad vegetables (chicory, lettuce, watercress, parsley etc.) to the diet owing to their almost total lack of calorie value.
The more fruit and salad eaten the less need there is for drinking fluids (your thirst will be less anyway). However, as a general guide it is suggested that not less than 3 pints of water or its equivalent be consumed daily. This works out at about six tumblers.
Remember, too, that it is most unwise to become obsessive about application of every fine detail of this dietary approach. Just as long as you are getting fairly close to your calorie, protein and fat requirements most of the time, there is no call for anxiety. Even if you go right off the rails periodically, owing to circumstances outside your control (travel and social obligations might make consistency difficult), or for reasons of your own choice (parties or family gatherings, for example), you should not feel concerned or guilty. The overall pattern which you adopt will be the one that has the effect, and this will be little disturbed by periodic breaking of rules, which you are setting for yourself and are therefore entitled to alter as you wish.
What if you have to eat out?
If you know that a social meal is approaching, and you are determined to stick to your EU pattern as far as possible, there are some strategies you can adopt which will help. If it is an evening meal try to use only fruit and vegetable EUs for breakfast and lunch. A salad at lunch time, using ‘free’ vegetables which carry no EU values (chicory, endive, lettuce, radishes, Chinese leaves, parsley, watercress can all be eaten in unlimited quantities) will leave a large amount of your daily allotment free for the evening.
When that meal comes use the knowledge you already have to select low calorie items (thin soup, tossed salad etc.) and if you select meat make sure to trim off all visible fat, or skin from poultry, or bread crumbs from fish. Avoid sauces and gravies and fried food if at all possible. When dessert time comes, stick with fruit if available, avoiding sugary concoctions. If a buffet style meal is available you are home and dry since you can totally control your selection and intake.
If all fails and the meal that faces you allows you no chance to use the strategies described above, then enjoy it and resolve to get back to the straight and narrow path the next day. A break from the diet does no harm whatever, if it is a rare occurrence. The overall pattern is what counts, so feel no pangs of guilt or regret.
The healthy dietary patterns which have been outlined in this chapter will provide optimum quantities of all the known beneficial nutrients, but only if whole, minimally processed foods are chosen. Those foods known to damage and unbalance health, such as refined carbohydrates (sugars, white flour, white rice, white pasta), more than just a little saturated fat, food additives and anything more than a touch of salt, should be avoided wherever this is possible.
Exchange diets such as the ones described above give you the chance to select foods according to your personal tastes and preferences while staying inside a framework which guarantees
balance and optimal availability of essential nutrients. This is the key to safe calorie restriction which is the only proven method of life extension (with a host of health benefits thrown in). The special restriction patterns in the next chapter can enhance this benefit.