February 10, 2013

How many calories in a pint of blood?

I see Instapundit is encouraging people to give blood. He mentions that "the blood folks are always calling me saying they’re desperately short of blood, I wonder if the standards are too strict." The blood folks. Not everyone is purely altruistic! How many calories in a pint of blood? "Can I donate blood to lose weight?"
"Perhaps blood donation could be promoted as one way to lose a bit of unwanted weight. Taking into account the composition and energy in each component . . . I estimated that one unit of blood reflects about 600 cal of food intake. Hence, a single donation can off-set either 2 hamburgers, 3 donuts, or 5 granola bars. Awareness of these statistics might increase the appeal of blood donation, particularly among healthy adults who are concerned about obesity."

70 comments:

tmitsss said...

I used to joke that doughy guys made better blood donors than skinny guys

edutcher said...

As Errol Flynn said to Basil Rathbone, "I say, old lad, you're down a quart".

caplight45 said...

Used to donate but foreign travel to Africa and rural Latin America apparently makes my blood suspect. The blood bank finally stopped calling me.

caplight45 said...

Used to donate but foreign travel to Africa and rural Latin America apparently makes my blood suspect. The blood bank finally stopped calling me.

whoresoftheinternet said...

How many calories in the empty space in left-winger's skulls and hearts?

Who cares?

Erika said...

I used to love to donate because I'm O- and I always got treated like royalty. (Plus, helping people and stuff.) But having lived overseas means my blood isn't good enough for them anymore.

Mary Beth said...

How many calories in the juice and snacks they make you consume after you give blood?

betamax3000 said...

The caloric problem is not the blood but how many toppings you add to it.

jr565 said...

i recently gave a lot of blood in the form of blood tests at the doc. Didn't notice any corresponding weight loss.

jr565 said...

What about the weight loss that comes from taking a nice dump?

MadisonMan said...

Not many.

Never saw a fat vampire.

Big Mike said...

How about donating blood because it saves people's lives? Or have we as a society gotten so self-centered that we don't do something good unless there's something in it for us?

betamax3000 said...

The new Slimfast Diet:

• a glass of blood for breakfast

• a glass of blood for lunch

• and then a sensible dinner. Perhaps liver, say.

john said...

Big Mike said...
How about donating blood because it saves people's lives?


I think most people do. All those extras are a distraction, but help pass the time in the sign-in room/waiting room/history room/bloodletting room/snack room.

I was wondering how blood loss would lower my blood pressure. I asked them to check it during the letting and it came up 185/140. Yikes.

whoresoftheinternet said...

People used to have blood drained because they believe it had health benefits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloodletting

Bender said...

Blood donation to lose weight - and a whole 600 calories!!

Skipping a meal or two would seem to be a lot easier.

Make no mistake, donating blood is admirable all its own. Coming up with goofy justifications such as losing weight isn't necessary.

kimsch said...

Caplight and Erika,

They won't take my blood either because I lived in Germany during the period 1980-1990 and I might have "The Mad Cow" as Denny Crane would say...

Big Mike said...

@john, I've only known one person with blood pressure like that and he was a basket case. May I suggest you see a doctor right away? Hopefully the nurse's reading was wrong.

Andy R. said...

I'm doing a flu vaccine study and they're taking bone marrow (as well as blood). I'm pretty sure bone marrow is more of a caloric impact than donating blood, but it didn't come up in the informed consent.

Inga said...

John, you're a stroke waiting to happen. I hope you've since started an antihypertensive.

Leland said...

Considering the blood folks are far from altruistic, why should the donor be?

I've donated several gallons of O+, and still plan to give more. But that blood is then sold and I only get a t-shirt, juice, and a bag of cookies.

For the Big Mikes out there, I do give blood in the hope it will help save a life. I also know how doing so benefits me if I need blood. But note the article mentions blood shortages. Is it really so horrible to entice people, who have no altruism, to give blood by offering something more tangible? I think that's Glenn's point, as he made such comments previously for even less frequently donated organs. Without incentives, blood and organs go un-donated and lives are lost. The entirety of society is not self-centered, but a good chunk of it is.

deborah said...

I wonder what the hospital charges the patient for the donated blood.

F said...

20 years in Africa, all but 5 of them in countries where cerebral malaria and HIV are rampant. They don't even want to stick a needle in me. "Thanks, but no thanks."

Lem said...

Althouse is not blogging the Grammys?

Tasha said...

Depending on what I have for breakfast on a given morning, I'm either too light to give blood or exactly at the lower weight limit. You'd think they would bend the rules for an O- donor who's stayed in the country for the last couple years. (My parents are also O- and used to donate, but they haven't mentioned it recently. I think I'll go send a nagging email.)

shake-and-bake said...

I used to really enjoy giving blood. Made me feel good. The lymphoma diagnosis ended that.

Pogo said...

The post-donation cookies obliterate any calorie drop, as noted.

But it is like the maternity ward in being one of the few areas of a hospital where people routinely smile.

AJ Lynch said...

I used to donate regularly but then they added a screen that excluded me because I had mononeucleosis caused jaundice about 35 years ago.

Lem said...

Hey whats that crawling up her dress?

Lem said...

It was a Fitzgerald motif.

Its following us everywhere.

Sinnamon Buns said...

You want to lose weight, not calories. A pint of blood weighs about 1 pound — lose a pint, lose a pound.

Sinnamon Buns said...

You want to lose weight, not calories. A pint of blood weighs about 1 pound — lose a pint, lose a pound.

Lem said...

Just in reintroducing himself.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

I don't think there is anybody that can sing out there.

Lem said...

Oh... I take that back.

Lem said...

She ain't singing?

Lem said...

They just bleeped something.

Lem said...

CNBC is re-airing last years Westminster Dog Show.

john said...

The subsequent BP reading was normal. They have a lot of young trainees there.

I appreciate your concern.

bagoh20 said...

I can’t recommend donation strongly enough. You have no idea what a powerful thing it can be. Nobody can possibly know what wonderful outcomes may result.

I was saved twice by donations: first, my cancer was discovered directly as a result of me donating blood after 9/11. This discovery was just in time to save me. Then again by the liver that has been working perfectly 24/7 for 6 years now.

The woman who donated her liver had no idea who or how it would help. I was in my 40's and in some of the best shape of my life when cancer tried to kill me, so it would have been a real bummer and a waste to have died at that time.

Since my cure, I have just absolutely loved every day of my life, but even more importantly I have dedicated myself to helping other people, and through a lot of luck, I have had a bit of success with that. Since my recovery, I have given hundreds of people gainful employment, and trained them in new and useful skills they will have forever. Many have gone on to other careers, or started their own businesses. These people have raised children, bought homes, gone on vacations, and their work and enjoyment has symbiotically created economic activity that has supported many others to do the same.

My new liver and I have rescued and found homes for hundreds of dogs that would certainly have been simply killed for no fault of their own. Instead they run and play and love and give their families, from the lonely elderly, to young kids, some of the greatest joy.

I'm in great health today, enjoying life more than ever, and I think about how wonderful that woman's simple gift was everyday. Best of all, I'm just getting started at this helping stuff, which I intend to do until I pass whatever body parts I can on to the next poor unlucky bastard that wakes up one day to find out all his plans have been cancelled, and that all his loved ones will be losing him. That's a terrible feeling.

So, be a miracle. You got something better to do with that corpse?

You don't want end up one of those stinking, moaning, stumbling zombies that needs killing all over again. You may not know this, but zombies cannot donate their organs, so it will be too late then.

Inga said...

Bagoh, may your liver doners family be blessed for rest of their lives. Quite a gift to give life and to recieve it.

bagoh20 said...

I sure do hope the same, Inga.

If you want to, a recipient can write the family of the donor a letter. The organ foundation deliver's it to the family. They can contact you if they want to. I did write a letter that brings me to tears when I read it and remember how desperate I was, but I never got a reply. Maybe there was no family, or they didn't want to for whatever reason, but I wish they could see what a wonderful gift she gave me, and how well it has worked out for me and many other people. One lone woman, with such a simple gesture. It's just an amazing opportunity.

I know of many people who were in the same situation as me, but they suffered and waited desperately praying and begging, but eventually running out of time simply because no organ was available. The organ that would have saved them was buried or cremated.

bagoh20 said...

To register to donate sign up here.

http://donatelife.net/


It's impossible to do anything greater in your life with less effort or cost, and maybe even at any effort or price.

Alex said...

The reason I don't believe in organ donation is no great man in modern history has ever been an organ donor recipient.

Carnifex said...

Judging from the last few "Twilight" movies vampires are anorexic anyway. With Bella Lugosi, they were just anemic. I don;t swing that way, but if I had to, I'd go run off with he werewolves. Big strong strapping lads. :-)


(did I just channel Titus?)

bagoh20 said...

" no great man in modern history has ever been an organ donor recipient."

The great ones are donors.

Amexpat said...

When not give blood donors priority in receiving blood in a case of a blood shortage?

And those who are willing to donate organs after death should be first in line to get an organ transplant while alive.

Dante said...

OK, this is nasty and snarky, so don't read this if you are a sensitive woman.

---------------


how many pints in the average menstruation? Yet, women complain about their weight, PMS, bitchiness, emotionalism, etc., because they are losing weight?

And then, Menopause. What set of excuses do they get to do for that?


And all we men get to do is die younger. No wonder.

Dante said...

bagoh20: That sounds a lot like Steve Jobs, in a smaller way.

Wait until government gets control and decides how it wants to divvy up medicine.

rhhardin said...

The Pope is resigning.

Imus says we can only hope there isn't a scandal of some sort.

Habbaspilaw said...

Used to donate of the system.

rhhardin said...

Three models for the pope once out of office, relating to the new pope.

Bush would be a good person to imitate.

But Imus worries it will be either Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton.

MarkD said...

I still donate regularly, but it sure is different from the first time. I swear the Marine Corps ran a whole platoon through Charleston Naval Hospital faster than today's read the booklet, answer the questions, donate procedure.

CEO-MMP said...

My ex is showing one of her Boston Terriers at Westminster. They're in the ring now. I hope she does well.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

How many calories in a pint of blood?

And how much more if you take it with cream and sugar?

Shanna said...

But note the article mentions blood shortages.

They always say that, every time they call me about donations! I can't decide if they are just always short or it's scare tactics. Either way, I missed the blood drive the other day so I need to get over there.

When I first saw the title of this post, though, I thought it was going to be about those tribes who drink blood.

Haiku Guy said...

Some people accumulate Cholesterol. I give mine away, one pint at a time.

Donating a pint every eight weeks, I give away all my Cholesterol every year and a half, with no ill effects. While all my buddies are on Statins to lower their Cholesterol, my doctor tells me to lose a little weight and sends me home.

Kelly said...

I have A negative and use to give all the time. We were stationed in Germany in the early 90's, the commissary got a lot of beef from Britian during the mad cow scare, so I'm banned from donating now.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

People used to have blood drained because they believe it had health benefits.

My husband has ceased taking a certain medication because it has caused his blood to become too thick. If the thick blood condition doesn't abate in a few months after ceasing the medication and eliminating wheat and starches more than we are already doing......the doctor's suggestion is that he donate blood or be 'bled'.

Everything old is new again. At least they won't be 'cupping and bleeding' him.

Loren said...

2 hamburgers = 600 calories? those are awfully small burgers and buns.

I have given regularly in my adult life. Nearing 10 gallons. It is good for your soul and others lives.

Mitch H. said...

Never saw a fat vampire.

The Steven Root character in True Blood? If they hadn't cut the Bubba character from the books, that'd be another one; shame, really - I think the TV series would have been markedly improved by a brain-damaged cat-eating undead Elvis Presley schlumping around the story. He was a large part of what made the early books relatively down-home and Southern gothic rather than just plain Gothic.

A pint of blood weighs about 1 pound — lose a pint, lose a pound.

Yeah, not so much. Blood's largely water-weight, and you'll replace that water just from drinking a bit more over the next couple days. In fact, that's why they tell you to drink more than you usually would - to ward off dehydration.

I've missed two donation appointments in a row, and I'm coming off a run of antibiotics and a tetanus vaccination, I'm definitely not holding up my end of the bargain this winter.

Emmster said...

The standards are too strict. I've been waiting for them to figure out a test for mad cow for over 10 years. Just doing that would allow for many more donors. Additionally, continuous hounding of people who can donate only serves to turn them away. At least that's what happened with my husband who got tired of getting non-stop calls from them. A few more trips to Europe and he'll be ineligible anyway...

Emmster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

Well, here's something in the borderlands between anecdote and data.

I've been dieting for 29 weeks as of this morning. (This is important because it means I've retained a record of my weight every Monday morning since 7/23/12.) During that time I've donated* 6 times. I always donate on Wednesdays for scheduling reasons, then record my weight the next Monday. The Wednesday->Monday period gives me plenty of time to rehydrate, so that's not an issue.

My records indicate that during the donation weeks I lost an average of 1.75 lbs/week. Over all weeks in the period, I lost an average of 1.88 pounds per week. The average for non-donating weeks is 1.93 lbs/week. The difference between donating and non-donating weeks may be the pack of Oreos I eat after a donation, but more likely it's just noise. Certainly it's got the wrong sign to indicate a substantial weight loss benefit of donation (on net, post-Oreos), though.

*These are double-unit platelet apheresis donations, which are obviously very different from whole blood donations, but it's what I got. The donation type also explains how one can cram six donations into 29 weeks (or seven into 30 weeks; I go again on Wednesday.)

kimsch said...

Emmster, whenever they called my dad would say, "The vampires are calling again..."

AlanKH said...

Blood - the original lo-carb diet.

kentuckyliz said...

I can't donate. I have a low but stable, untreatable cancer cell count in my blood.

I am a registered organ donor though. There is a condition stated, only non-blood-circulating organs (such as corneas). I have also donated my body to science. There is a med school two blocks from my workplace. Just wheel the gurney up there and put me in the deposit box.

Harold said...

Gave another pint yesterday, in fact. Well over 10 gallons. Used to give just because it's the right thing to do. Then, found out it's good for my health to keep get rid of excess iron.

The local blood donation center used to have pictures on the wall of its' 10 gallon and up donors. It took them down, and now has posters up showing "typical" blood donors in all races and sexes. Funny thing is, the 10 gallon and up pictures were all identifiably white, and the 15 and up all male.

Strange thing how the typical blood donor posters on the wall now illustrate only one white male... makes me think they really don't want my blood.

Claudette Lynge said...

Dante, according to the Kotex booklet I read 40 years ago, it's about two tablespoons. The rest is other fluids.