The C.A.P.E. Meal Plan
Which diet will give you the best weight-loss results? Will these results be sustainable over the long term and will any harm be done in the process?
This topic has caused intense debate and no medical condition has generated as many proposed solutions
How can the C.A.P.E meal-plan help you lose weight?
With the C.A.P.E
What are the modern trends in dietetic science?
Although not all opinion leaders with an interest in obesity-related diseases are in agreement with every novel concept, there are an increasing number of researchers who suggest that some of the conventional opinions that several mainstream dietetic regulatory and advisory boards have been suggesting should be reviewed.
This has also been our personal experience at the Medical Nutritional Institute, gained from working with a large number of overweight and obese patients in pharmacy clinics, corporate health, diabetic prevention and weight-loss programmes. In addition, with several other scientific research projects, many new discoveries relating to other factors that also play an important role in body-fat accumulation and overall health have been made.
These include new information on how certain plant molecules called polyphenols positively influence our health and help regulate body-fat accumulation. Another new concept relates to the active role that trillions of micro-organisms living within our intestines play and how they help determine how our body either stores or burns fat.
What are the basic principles behind the C.A.P.E meal-plan?
As a healthcare organisation, we developed the C.A.P.E meal-plan over a decade ago and have been using it in a clinical setting since then. The acronym C.A.P.E stands for Carbohydrate Adjusted, Protein Enriched. The principals we adopted in the original meal-plan have been reaffirmed by recent research. This updated version offers you a simplified programme which incorporates the following principles:
- A general shift towards food quality rather than quantity which includes consuming fewer processed vegetable oils and foods, and where possible, eating foods in their natural form.
- Adjusted macronutrient composition can shift your metabolic rate from your default setting, which is predominantly fat storing, to a more active fat burning metabolic orientation. This is specifically so in the case of higher protein, lower carbohydrate diets.
- Certain eating styles and supplements help you optimise your blood sugar and blood insulin levels and therefore help you to control your appetite far better.
- As we have advocated, diets should be more
focussedon alleviating insulin resistance, a medical condition that leads to the development of metabolic syndrome, a condition that poses a significantly increased cardio-vascularrisk in itself, than lowering your dietary intake of fat. This change of opinion is based on new findings collected through several recent studies that indicate that saturated fat does not threaten our health to the extent that was generally accepted in the past.
- The regular intake of plant based foods. These are high in healthy substances such as fibre and molecules called polyphenols. These not only offer you a wide variety of health
benefits,but also actively help you lose weight. This was documented in a large study involving over 124,000 men and women over 24 years. We believe that you should be able to eat as many vegetables which have negligible amounts of carbohydrate as you like. Fruits on the other hand, while still high in these molecules, are also loaded with sugar, and so should not be eaten excessively.
- Optimising the delicate balance of the microbiome, the large colony of bacteria that
livesin our intestines. Whilst investigation is ongoing, it is now clear that the microorganisms living inside obese and naturally slim individuals differ significantly, and research suggests that a shift in the composition of the microbiome will likely have a weight-loss benefit. This can be done by eating plant foods high in fibre and polyphenols, as well as reducing your total carbohydrate intake and improving the quality of your choices.
How does the C.A.P.E meal-plan work?
The C.A.P.E meal-plan stimulates your body to burn
Total fat intake is still restricted, whilst the increased intake of omega 3 fat in the form of oily fish, olive oil, flaxseed or nuts is encouraged. The advantage of this approach is that protein is metabolically processed immediately and not generally stored under normal conditions. Protein also increases your metabolic rate through a process called thermogenesis. In addition, several studies have shown that higher protein consumption helps to control hunger.
Over four decades ago researchers started to propose that a high-protein diet would enhance weight-loss results. Not surprisingly, since this idea was so radically different from traditional thinking, the concept was initially rejected by the orthodox dietetic fraternity. Some early criticism was based on opinions regarding the potential detrimental effects of higher protein intake on blood cholesterol levels, kidney function, blood pressure and osteoporosis. In recent years, however, numerous
The C.A.P.E meal-plan also puts emphasis on the regular intake of a variety of certain plant food sources, due to the numerous benefits that plant derived chemicals have been shown to have on the human body. It is well known that plants are an essential source of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
However, the actual reason you should eat certain plants is not to derive vitamins and minerals alone, since many of these are also available in protein sources, but to ingest several other unique plant based molecules, collectively called polyphenols as well as to increase the fibre content of the diet. These polyphenols can only be obtained from plants, and research suggests that they can improve our immune system, prevent overeating by regulating our appetite, suppress excess fat storage, regulate metabolism, alleviate chronic diseases, and allow us to feel healthier and more energetic each day.
What is thermogenesis and why does it matter?
‘Thermogenesis’, or the ‘thermic effect’ of food, is the amount of energy required for the digestion, absorption and disposal of nutrients and their waste products after a meal. In other words, it is the energy that is burnt in the body’s metabolic furnace to process and nutritionally assimilate food. Since obesity is known to be a disorder of energy imbalance, any strategy that will increase energy expenditure over the long term immediately becomes attractive.
Thermogenesis is influenced by the composition of different food groups. In general, the typical thermic effect of protein is 20 – 30 % of energy consumed, whilst for
On average, it was estimated that the usual difference between a high and low protein diet was 126 KJ a day. Although this may not seem that much, the cumulative effect, if sustained over a year, becomes a 45 990 KJ deficit, significant for anyone struggling to control their weight.
The importance of hunger control (satiety)
Battling hunger all day will prove a real uphill struggle for anyone trying to shed some weight. It is therefore important to prevent hunger by regulating levels of satiety, the sensation of being sufficiently “filled with food”. Several studies have compared the effect of a protein-enriched diet on hunger levels2,5. In almost all studies it was found that protein significantly reduces hunger by increasing satiety levels in comparison to at least one other macronutrient (carbohydrate or fat). Increased protein also helped to reduce food consumption at subsequent meals.
Total weight-loss – the crux of the matter!
The most effective way to lose weight is still through total calorific restriction6, in other words, you need to eat less, especially if you generally tend to overeat. However, your food choice and the ratios of the macronutrients carbohydrate, protein and fat are for various biochemical and hormonal reasons
Several studies have now convincingly established that a higher protein intake leads to greater weight-loss over both the short and long term5. The type of weight
Kidney function – should you worry about it?
There have been some concerns that a protein-enriched diet will have a negative effect on kidney function. This was based on the medical principle that protein intake needs to be reduced in individuals with poor kidney function. However, several studies have found no evidence that an increased protein intake has a negative effect on normal kidney function5.
What about total fat content?
Several new studies have indicated that unsaturated,
Food that contains slightly more fat, especially saturated fat, also tastes better, since many crucial natural flavours are fatty molecules and therefore only fat soluble. Without them, food can taste rather bland. Many plant based molecules are also fat soluble, and so their uptake into the body is improved if eaten with some kind of fat. We do not,
The bottom line is that an eating plan will only work if the foods we eat are as delicious and as satisfying as those we ate which led to obesity. Bland diets are hardly sustainable over the long term.
Blood cholesterol, cardiovascular and osteoporosis risk
An area of controversy has been the effect of a higher protein intake on blood cholesterol levels, and thereby cardiovascular risk. While more research is still needed in this area, it appears from the analysis of many new studies that a higher protein intake does not elevate blood cholesterol levels. Other studies have demonstrated that the exchange of protein for carbohydrate
Another concern has been the development of osteoporosis. A review of 61 studies conducted over the past 30 years found that protein intake does not have a negative effect on bone health12. The Framingham Osteoporosis Study actually found that protein had a positive impact on bone health. Other papers have corroborated this effect5.
The opinion that an increased saturated fat intake leads to elevated blood cholesterol and heart disease is a topic of some debate, but it appears that the risk is less, although not absent9. It is our personal opinion that it often does, based on our own research on individuals consuming a
Increased fat intake may increase blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which the majority of advisory
It is suggested that where fat is supplemented, except in
The bottom line is that our bodies have a highly efficient system to store fat and consuming excess fat
What are polyphenols and how do they benefit our health?
Polyphenols are a diverse group of naturally produced chemicals made by plants. The major categories of polyphenols
With the recent decline in eating whole, raw, and unprocessed foods, especially plants, we are often missing out on providing our bodies with chemicals which they have relied on for most of human history, and in
How do polyphenols affect weight-loss?
Two recent, large scale studies, conducted on over 124,000 individuals for up to 24 years, provide strong evidence that the consumption of certain low-carbohydrate containing plants is associated with better weight management because of the presence of a range of polyphenols. The first suggests that weight gain is prevented by a greater amount of non-starchy fruit and vegetables, especially berries, apples, pears, soy, cauliflower, and green leafy vegetables13.
However, flavonoids are also abundantly present in green leaves, of which green tea will be a good example, and white fruits or vegetables like apples and onions. An important note is that there are often more and unique polyphenols in the coloured portion or skins of fruits and vegetables, and therefore peeling should be avoided.
Polyphenols regulate fat storage in the body and improve health in a number of ways. Many are antioxidants, which prevent dangerous by-products of metabolism from damaging cells and
In addition, plant bioactive compounds may increase thermogenesis and energy expenditure16. These compounds also directly moderate fat storage through reducing the number of fat cells and increasing fat breakdown15. Polyphenols can also influence fat and protein absorption and digestibility18, reducing nutrient uptake and slowing digestion.
The fact that various polyphenols have different effects, and often are more effective in combination, means that the best strategy is to consume
Why is fibre important?
Besides filling you up without adding calories, fibre offers many other health benefits, including combatting cardiovascular disease and cancer19, metabolic syndrome20 and improving digestion21. The strongest medical evidence for the health benefits of fibre
Fibre may also aid in controlling appetite and satiety25. This is primarily through creating the illusion that you are eating more than you actually are, as fibre has very little nutritional value in humans. Fibre
Fibre also increases the time food takes to be digested, and slow glucose uptake from the gut, further preventing large spikes in glucose and insulin resistance. Higher fibre
You should have at least 20 to 35 grams of fibre a day, which you can get from fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and supplements. As with polyphenols, there is often more fibre in the skins of fruits and vegetables.
What role do the micro-organisms in our intestine play in our health?
A recent finding is that our metabolic well-being,
Collectively, all these different
Our diets, genetics and our exposure to other humans, especially family members, are the major factors determining what our microbiome consists of. This is important as the specific ratios and types of different
How does the microbiome influence our body fat percentage?
New research suggests that the microbiome may be one of the biggest determinants of variability among humans in the specific effects of nutrients on disease and weight gain31. Some of the most compelling evidence is the fact that the microbiomes of lean and overweight individuals differ significantly32. Additionally, it has been found that people with a “lean” microbiome are less efficient at processing and absorbing
Research has indicated that the microbiome is involved in the development of a number of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease34-36, cancer37, rheumatoid arthritis38, as well as
The most effective way to improve our microbiome health is through diet41, on which
It is also thought that oils rich in omega-3 are able to contribute to a healthier gut microbiome, partially explaining their anti-inflammatory and
How important is fluid?
An adequate intake of water is essential for proper bowel function, fat oxidation and weight-loss. In addition to its well-known health benefits, water has been shown to have a number of beneficial effects on weight loss47-49. These include increasing resting metabolism (especially if the water is cold)50,51 and satiety, and decreasing calorific intake through both appetite reduction if consumed before meals and reduced consumption of sugary beverages.52-55
Generally, it is accepted that you should drink at least 2 litres of water a
In addition, also avoid all sports drinks, energy drinks, flavoured waters and all vitamin waters. These products all contain large quantities of sugar, fructose and other carbohydrates, often under various deliberately misleading technical guises. Tea, coffee and cocoa with milk is fine at meal times but eliminate milk and sugar between meals. Tea and coffee are also rich sources of polyphenols. Herbal & Rooibos teas can be consumed as a water substitute during colder days provided they have NO milk or sugar added to them.
Note that this is not true for flavoured Ceylon & Green teas since they contain caffeine which can cause dehydration through stimulation of the kidneys and urine production.
Can I have any sugar?
No. It is important that all forms of refined sugars such as table sugar, fructose, syrup and honey must be excluded from
What about sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners?
Whilst artificial sweeteners (e.g. aspartame, phenylalanine, sucralose, stevia and xylitol) were generally considered to be good sugar substitutes in the past, new research has indicated that they all have a negative impact on the microbiome and
Condiments are a good idea
Bland food is terribly boring, so please don’t deprive yourself for no scientifically justifiable reason. Put some effort and planning into your meals. Spices, herbs, pepper, garlic, pickles, gherkins and chilli are excellent ways of ensuring that you have a pleasurable culinary experience. This advice does not extend to condiments such as tomato sauce and chutney, which are often high in sugar and salt.
Most spices are also plant based, and therefore contain valuable phytochemicals which further add value to any meal. Spices known to be especially beneficial include turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and chillies. Sticking with current advice on cardiovascular health, however, excessive amounts of salt should be avoided.
Can I have alcohol?
Yes, but do keep in mind that alcohol is so rich in energy value that you can run a car on it! You
How can AntaGolin assist me?
AntaGolin, designed to combat insulin resistance, will help to optimise your metabolism and blood insulin levels, thereby helping to control your body fat. The product is plant-derived and rich in several health-beneficial molecules including polyphenols such as tannins and flavones, which actively helps alleviate insulin resistance. AntaGolin is also beneficial to pre-diabetic and
Specifically, AntaGolin contains barberry root extract (rich in berberine), banaba leaf extract, and inositol. Berberine has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels and promote fat loss, while banaba leaf extract is known to lower blood glucose levels and inhibit the uptake of carbohydrates and the formation of fat cells. Inositol improves insulin sensitivity.
What can I do to decrease my chance of cardiovascular disease?
The C.A.P.E meal-plan is designed to incorporate all proven trends in terms of improving cardiovascular health, and so following this diet alone should improve your longevity. Supplements aimed at improving blood cholesterol may also be helpful. RyChol is designed to stabilise blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels by targeting multiple biological pathways.
A blend of
What else can I do to ensure success?
Weight-loss does not happen overnight. It requires perseverance and motivation, which is dependent on many factors, including mood and stress levels. These are not static processes and it is difficult to maintain optimism, self-control and emotional tranquillity. We all deal with difficult people and situations on a daily basis and become drained by our numerous responsibilities. Mood plays a dominant role in our lives.
Being in a good mood makes us feel better and become more optimistic and enthusiastic about life with all its responsibilities. It also strengthens our level of commitment and determination. Numerous negative emotions, like stress and frustration, have the opposite effect, tending to derail us and make us abandon our goals. This is when appetite control becomes a real uphill struggle.
For this reason, we recommend the use of NeuroVance, designed to reduce your response to stress and enhance brain function during times of stress, greater workloads, concentration difficulties and mood-related symptoms. NeuroVance contains two plant based chemicals, roseroot extract and inositol, as well as magnesium and zinc.
Roseroot extract has been associated with improved concentration and
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