PROTEIN AND WEIGHT GAIN / LOSS

Fat is a relatively recent evolutionary innovation. Protein, on the other hand, is the very foundation of life. Everything we do – breathe, digest, move, think – is performed by structures built up from proteins. All protein is made from amino acids. Eight amino acids are considered “essential” because the body cannot synthesize them and must get them from food. It is not necessary to eat each essential amino acid at ever meal, although it is desirable to obtain them each day. Some of the specific benefits of amino acids are as follows:
1 ) Phenylalanine – a natural antidepressant
2) Tryptophan – a natural sedative.
3) Lysine – Combats viruses
4) Threonine – a calming agent
5) Methionine – involved in key metabolic pathways
6) Isoleucine. Leucine, and valine – enhance protein synthesis in the liver and assist in overall liver function.
7) Arginine – 6-9 grams will reduce atherosclerosis and improve blood vessel health.
8) Cysteine – supports the body’s antioxidant system
9) Tyrosine – an essential antidepressant founds in thyroid hormones
10) Histidine – has been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, allergic diseases, ulcers & anemia.
Recommendations on the protein diet:
1 ) Restrict carbs to no more than 35% of calories
2) Limit healthy fats to 20% of calories
3) Get at least 35% of calories from protein
4) Limit bad fats to 10% of calories
Get at least some of your protein from non-animal sources: vegetable protein, soy protein, egg substitute and white meat chicken, turkey and fish.

CHOLESTEROL AND YOUR WAISTLINE

Cholesterol is not a fat, but its metabolism is closely related to fat in the diet. It is made in the body from fats and sugars. Cholesterol is a hard, waxy substance that is essential for human health and life. It is the precursor to the male and female sex hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. It is a well known risk factor for atherosclerosis, the process of plaque formation in the arteries that can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Cholesterol is found in your food, but the primary source of cholesterol in the body is manufactured by your cells, especially in the liver. Excess cholesterol can only be removed from the body in the stool, where it is combined with bile acid. This process is facilitated by dietary fiber.
Excess calories contribute to the body manufacturing more cholesterol than is healthy. These come especially from high-glycemic-load carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, especially saturated fat, trans-fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Stress also contributes to excessive cholesterol levels because the body needs to make cholesterol to produce the stress hormone Cortisol.
In terms of dietary influences on cholesterol levels, the most important thing you can do is eat less saturated fat, trans-fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. While it is true that the body manufactures much of the cholesterol regardless of diet, the body can only regulate cholesterol levels if dietary sources are low and the metabolic pathways are working correctly. Neither of these assumptions are true for many people today. The average person has about 150,000 milligrams of cholesterol, most of which is incorporated into cell membranes, with only about 7,000 milligrams circulating in the blood. The daily usage of this circulating cholesterol is about 1,000 milligrams. So, consuming several hundred milligrams per day of cholesterol can increase blood cholesterol levels, particularly if cholesterol-related pathways are impaired. We recommend dietary cholesterol consumption be kept under 1,400 milligrams per week.
The average American diet contains about 800 milligrams of cholesterol each day. Cholesterol is found only in animal products including shrimp and lobster, meats including beef, pork, and poultry, and butter. Keep saturated fat to less than 3% of total calories. For individuals consuming 2,400 calories a day, which comes to no more than 8 grams of saturated fat.

USING INSULIN IN YOUR BATTLE WITH THE WAISTLINE

Insulin is a hormone that when elevated, depending on the time of day and circumstances, can help increase muscle mass or lead to increased body fat. The key to maximizing insulin’s benefits is knowing the best time to increase its levels. After you work out, increasing insulin levels by consuming sugars will help drive protein, creatine, and other nutrients into your muscles, but increasing insulin levels at other times of the day will likely encourage the storage of body fat.
Another option for promoting the benefits of insulin release without the downside of increases fat storage is to utilize insulin mimickers, a category of supplements that help deliver nutrients to your muscles. Here are some of the very best:
1) Cinnulin. Cinnulin is a great supplement for driving creatine to your muscles and is often included with creatine. Cinnulin is a water-soluble cinnamon extract; it’s active component is hydroxychalcone. You should consume less sugar in the meals or snacks at which you take creatine products that include cinnulin; this reduces your likelihood of becoming insulin-resistant; a condition that can ultimately result in more body fat storage. Dose: 3-5 grams of creatine pre and post workout.
2) 4 – Hydroxyisoleucine. This amino acid has been found to increase the amount of insulin released by the pancreas. Research shows that taking 4 – Hydroxyisoleucine with dextrose following a workout helps to better replenish muscle-glycogen stores. This supplement is extracted from the herb fenugreek, so you may find it labeled as such on
3) supplement packaging. Dose: after workouts, take 60-100 grams of simple carbs with 300-600 mg. of 4 – Hydroxyisoleucine.
4) Alpha-lipoic acid. ALA can help improve creatine and glucose uptake by muscles when you consume it with simple carbs. ALA Is also included in some fat loss products because it reduces the amount of insulin your body releases when you consume carbs. Dose: 500 mg. of ALA with 3-5 grams of creatine and 50-100 mg. of carbs before and after workouts.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of muting insulin responses, especially if you have the type of body that is prone to storing excess calories as body fat. Insulin mimicking supplements will not only provide you with muscle building benefits of insulin, but also allow you to consume fewer calories from carbs, further reducing your storage of fat.

CARBOHYDRATES AND OUR DIET

The immediate source of energy for our cells that circulates in the blood is the simple sugar glucose. This fuel can be quickly produced from dietary carbohydrates and proteins or by the breakdown of glycogen stores. The principal energy storage in the body is in the form of fat, which is a long-term reserve made available to cells at a much slower rate.
Carbohydrates are vital to the primary energy cycle in the biological world. In a process called photosynthesis, plants combine carbon from the carbon dioxide in the air, water from the air and ground, and energy form the sun to produce stored carbohydrate energy as well as the waste product oxygen.
Carbohydrates have a powerful effect on the body. The proportion of your diet that is carbohydrate and, more important, the type of carbohydrate you consume, have vital effects on your health. Of the three sources of calories – carbohydrates, fats, and protein – carbohydrates are the only one not necessary for survival. Without certain essential fats and the right protein building blocks, you could not live. You don’t need carbohydrates to build the structure of your cells; you could get all the energy you need from fat and protein. The key to a well-balanced diet includes some carbohydrates, it does not revolve around carbohydrates.

FIVE CRIMINAL FOODS

Additives that were supposed to make foods healthier, lower in calories and fat, or last longer, are really criminals with masks on, robbing up of our health. Here are the worst offenders:
1 ) High-fructose corn svrup. Found in almost every processed food but most notoriously in soda, sweetened cereal, yogurt, cookies, and ketchup. Secret hideouts: foods that aren’t sweet, such as breads, crackers, chips, spreads, and dressings. According to researchers, 20% of our carbohydrates and 10% of out total calories come from corn syrup alone. HFCS can increase fat gain because it’s more readily converted to fat in the body and doesn’t trigger the normal cues that tell us to stop eating. What makes it especially bad is that it’s added sugar by another name, which means it’s disguised. The ingredient list of many products included sugar multiple times, but each time by a different name: sugar, com syrup, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, black strap molasses, honey, cane sugar, maltodextrin, etc. They are all Justas bad as table sugar. Instead of fruit juice, eat whole fruits. Instead of white bread, choose natural whole grains. And opt for olive oil and vinegar instead of bottled salad dressing.
2) Trans-fats. Found in cookies, crackers, cake mix, frosting, and commercially fried food such as doughnuts, French fries, and onion rings. Hidden in low-fat foods such as dried soup, stick margarine, nondairy creamers, and fried fish and shrimp. Trans fat is often referred to by nutrition experts a “Franenkfat” because it’s something out of a chemistry experiment gone badly. Trans fat has desirable commercial properties – long shelf life, high melting point – but very harmful health effects. It increases inflammation, damages blood vessels and raises cholesterol. Trans fats may interfere with muscle growth and increase muscle breakdown. Trans fats cause you to store fat and increase inflammation. A new study linked trans fats not only to heart disease but also to certain cancers. Look for “partially hydrogenated oil’ on ingredient list.
3) Artificial sweeteners (acesulfame-K and aspartame. Found in almost anything that’s sweet and says, “sugar free,” like diet sodas, gum, and candy. These additives lull us into thinking that artificial sweeteners are okay. Recent studies suggest that unbundling sweet taste from calories can interfere with bodily systems used to gauge caloric intake: in other words, animals that drink artificially sweetened beverages get fat. Intense artificial sweeteners propagate a sweet tooth that damages the overall dietary pattern a number of ways. Avoid soda altogether. Drink seltzer, water, mineral water, and seltzer with fruit essence and teas.
4) Artificial colorings (Blue 1, Red 3, Yellow 6). They’re in about every colored candy you can imagine. Also in sodas, cherry juice, fruit cocktail, and some baked goods. Some evidence shows that Blue 1 may be a mild carcinogen, Red 3 may be linked to thyroid tumors, and Yellow 6 can cause allergic reactions. In a recent study, children had “significantly greater increases in hyperactive behavior” when given an active drink containing these food additives.
5) Parabéns. Found in toothpaste, soap, hair care products, deodorants, and lotions. Also in marinated fish products, salad dressings, and processed vegetables. This group of chemicals (used as preservatives) has a similar effect to estrogen in the body, which can lead to higher fat and lower muscle mass. In a study where researchers examined tumor tissue from 20 women with breast cancer, traces of parabéns were found in 18 of the samples. Look for ingredients that end in “parabéns”: methylparaben, proplyparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, etc.

THE LATEST SCIENCE ON APPETITE SUPPRESSANTS

It used to be that you had to go It alone, with sheer willpower, in order to lose weight and keep it off. Well, now science is on your side. And with a partner like that, you’ve got a winning team. Here are the three latest, most successful supplements to hit the market in years.
1 ) Hoodia. This extract from Hoodia Gordon», a South African cactus, has been used for centuries by the San Bushman to blunt hunger while on long hunting excursions. Today you can avoid chewing on the raw plant and pop it in pill form. Studies have shown that this supplement can curb hunger so well that it reduces food intake by up to 60%. Hoodia tricks the brain into thinking your stomach s full. Take 300-400 mg. of Hoodia 1-2 times per day on an empty stomach.
2) Simmondsin. This jojoba extract works by stimulating the production of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone produced by the stomach that increases satiety. In lab rats, it’s so effective that some actually starved themselves to death. One study using human subjects discovered that jojoba seed meal reduced bodyweight by about 20 pounds in one month. 100-500 mg. 30-60 minutes before meals.
3) Glucomaanan. This water-soluble fiber from the root of the konjac plant works on the simple fact that if your stomach is already full, you’ll eat less food. When glucomaanan is combined with water, it expands to about 50% its normal size – causing you to feel full and eat less. Another benefit is that it slows digestion. This makes you feel fuller longer and steadies your blood glucose levels, lessening the chances for fat storage. Take 1-2 grams an hour before meals.

INFLAMMATION: THE IMPLICATION WITH WEIGHT GAIN

INFLAMMATION: THE IMPLICATION WITH WEIGHT GAIN

The connection between inflammation and diet is clear. Low-grade inflammation disrupts weight-control mechanism. When people gain weight, the extra fatty tissues produces leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite and speeds metabolism. In theory, this should cause people to lose the extra weight. Instead, inflammation in fat tissue and blood vessels stimulates the production of anti-inflammatory chemicals. Theses chemicals disable leptin’s ability to suppress appetite and speed metabolism. This is called leptin resistance.
To combat leptin resistance, I have developed a fat-resistance diet based on cutting edge research done at major universities and teaching hospitals. Eating the proper foods can eliminate chronic inflammation and reprogram the body’s weight-loss mechanism. Only real foods provide key anti-inflammatory nutrients. Artificial sweeteners and fat substitutes do not have such nutrients.
1 ) Eat fish 3 times a week. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Fish rich in omega-3s are: anchovies, conch, herring,
mackerel, sablefish, salmon, sardines, sturgeon, and tuna. Also, flaxseed, walnuts, beans.
2) Balance essential fatty acids. The optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is 1:1. The ratio in the average American diet is 20:1. An excess of omega-6 fats in tissue leads cells to produce excessive levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals called prostanoids. Foods high in omega-6s: red meat, chicken, milk, eggs, and most vegetable oils.
3) Cut back on saturated fat – found primarily in beef, pork, lamb, dairy products, and poultry skin – to no more than 10% of total calories … Unless free ranging, grass feed, organic meat. These meats conform to the 10% fat rule. Do not eat any trans fat – any foods made with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
4) Get 25 grams of fiber a day. A diet high in fiber helps control appetite and reduce inflammation. People who consume the most fiber have lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which indicates the presence of inflammatory chemicals in the body.
5) Eat colorful fruits and vegetables. Aim for 9 servings a day. Deeper colors and intense flavors indicate foods high in flavonoids and carotenoids, chemical compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects. Anthocyanins, among the most potent anti-inflammatory agents are found in blueberries, cherries, or pomegranates.
6) Choose alliums and crucifers. Crucifers include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. Alliums include onions, and garlic.

GAINING WEIGHT: MEDICATION MAY BE THE PROBLEM

GAINING WEIGHT: MEDICATION MAY BE THE PROBLEM

Don’t look just to your diet. Look in your medicine cabinet. It’s not unusual for patients to gain at least five pounds after they start on certain medications. Here are just a few:
1 ) Many serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) cause an average weight gain of 7%. Some SSRIs such as Paxil are more likely to cause weight gain than others.
These drugs increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is involved in appetite and satiety. People who take them may feel hungrier in general and not feel full after eating. Other, chemically similar, drugs such as Zoloft, Welbutrin, or Effexor are less likely to cause weight gain.
2) Antipsychotics. 60% of patients taking the new anti-psychotics gain significant amounts of weight in the firs year. Those taking Zyprexa may gain more than 30 pounds. Those taking Clozaril average an 11-pound weight gain.
3) Hormones. The hormones used in birth control pills and to relieve menopausal discomfort (HRT) appear to cause weight gain in about 25% of patients. The contraceptive injection, Depo-Provera, causes weight gain in up to 70% of users. Non-hormonal methods and Ortho Tri-cyclen, mimic the body’s cycle, which may minimize weight gain.
4) Evista. Helps prevent osteoporosis but a small percentage of women who take it gain weight. Try Fosamax instead.
5) Neurontin. For seizures appears to cause alterations in carbohydrate metabolism and effect parts of the brain that control appetite. 10% of patients who take it gain weight. The drug Dilantin doesn’t cause weight gain.
6) Steroids. Increase appetite and cause weight gain.
7) Tamoxifen. Used to prevent cancer reoccurrence in women who have undergone surgery or other treatments for breast cancer. Some studies show that women who take tamoxifen may gain up to 25 pounds over three years.

ANTIBIOTICS AND YOUR WAISTLINE

Antibiotics kill germs and bad bacteria, but they also kill good bacteria. And here’s what happens when we expose ourselves to antibiotics from many different sources in our society: from penicillin to flu shots to the antibiotics given to farm animals. Bacteria and other intestinal microbes adjust the level of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which regulate appetite and metabolism. Certain microbes seem to be associated with a desire for chocolate according to research by the Nestle Research Center. A recent study suggests that emotional stress triggers an explosion in the population of B. theta, the starch-digesting bacteria associated with weight gain.
From birth, microbes colonize us. After birth, while our immune system is still undeveloped these microbes learn to tolerate or destroy foreign substances. The immune cells in the respiratory and digestive systems sample all the microbes we inhale or swallow. When they see the same ones over and over (fats and sugars), they then secrete an anti-inflammatorily substance that signals the microbe-killing T-cells to stand down.
In order for the immune system to know which bacteria are good or bad, they sample all the microbes we inhale or swallow. The essentials steps in the development of a healthy immune system begin at birth. But there is a fine line between recognizing substitutes as foreign and deadly, or harmless. But to develop a properly functioning immune system, it must be exposed to a wide range of harmless microbes early in life. This was the normal condition of most human infants until just a few generations ago.
Now, from the day we are born we are exposed to antibiotics in the food we eat or in the form of preventative injections, and kept in a sterile, perfectly clear environment. Cover the dirt floor, banish farm animals to a distant feed lot, treat the ear infection with penicillin and the inflammation-calming lnterleukin-10 reaction may fail to develop properly. And inflammation is now considered the greatest risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Modem sanitation, to an extent, is a good thing, but keeping the children at a safe distance from all microbes and it tips the immune system in the direction of over reaction, whether to outside stimuli or even to the body’s own cells. If the immune system is not familiar with external micros, it launches an extreme (what would be a minimal assault if faced earlier in life by an as yet undeveloped immune system) assault resulting in allergies and asthma. But if the immune system turns on the body itself, then you see irritable bowel syndrome, lupus, or MS among many other autoimmune diseases that were virtually unknown to our ancestors., but are increasingly common in the developed world.
The answer is to minimize immunization and expose young children to a wide range of harmless germs like those found in a playground or a park. And treat all saturated fats and sugars are foreign substances, because, very quickly, right after birth, the body learns to disregard them.
One microb in particular, Mycobacterium vaccae, is found I the soil in East Africa. That has a powerful effect on the immune system. It was tested by the university of Bristol as a cancer therapy. The results showed, indeed, that it had anti-cancer properties. But what was just as impressive was that cancer patients felt better regardless of whether or not their cancer was actually improving. When scientists injected mice with Mycobacterium vaccae, they found it activated the serotonin receptors working like an anti-depressant.

WHAT MEDIEVAL MONKS CAN TEACH US ABOUT DIET

The say that those who do not learn the lessons of the past are bound to repeat its mistakes. So, here’s a lesson from ten centuries ago.
Researchers examined 100 skeletons from the 11th to the 16th centuries from three abbeys in the vicinity of London. They compared them to the remains of 200 secular Londoners of similar ages. What they found was that the monks had higher rates of thickening bone and certain patterns of ossification that are hallmarks of severe obesity.
They also showed higher rates of arthritis and other joint-related problems. Using written records of menus and food shopping lists to calculate the average monk’s diet, it is estimated that they consumed a staggering 6,000 calories a day.
So, why were so many of these individuals obese when there was almost no signs of obesity in the general population at that time? Historians who studied the lifestyle of medieval monks found that they heavily relied on food as their source of pleasure. The abbeys were highly political places with few amusements allowed. As a result, food was one of the few pleasures permitted in the abbeys. They did not exercise, interact with nature, partake in new activities, work in enriched environments, or share love and compassion. In reality, they didn’t do any of the things that are essential for endorphin release and our well-being.
There are lessons to be learned from reviewing the past and relating that to present day circumstances. People today who are separated from others and from nature by technology, who do not work in enriched environments or partake in new activities, are just as dependent upon food as the monks were ten centuries ago. We would do well to compare and consider the effects of relying on food as our sole source of satisfaction.
Solution:
We need to become less dependent on food for our sense of self-gratification. We can do this by regularly engaging in new activities: Take a class in pottery, painting, economics, a foreign language. Return to nature. Nature is never depressed. One can go into a natural setting as an observer – remain detached and leave quickly, or become a part of nature through interaction – touching. Social Integration. The more ways you are integrated into society, the more endorphins get released, making you less for dependent. Contact: Call or write to several people each day. Pick up the phone, call a friend and tell them how much you care about them, how much you appreciate them. Volunteer work: Join a group – neighborhood organizations; give comfort to those in a home for the aged. Religious connection: People who have religious connections that are fulfilling also have a health advantage. Sharing: Long-term committed relationships, whether platonic or sexual, reduce by 50% the risk of premature death and disability. Making Friends: Have someone – other than your mate – who is genuinely interested in you… who will empathize with you … and listen to you and your troubles anytime. Support Group: This is the most important one of all in this category. Get together with others at work, in your neighborhood, at church, in class; others who may be struggling with their weight as you are. Diversify: It’s important not to focus on only one or two areas of intent. All of us need variety in our lives, so that if one interest area becomes stressful or goes sour, there will be others that are doing well and can take up the slack.