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JUNK FOOD: HOW BAD CAN IT BE?

JUNK FOOD: HOW BAD CAN IT BE?

How bad? Beyond your wildest dreams. Let’s deconstruct a Hostess Twinkie. Thirty-nine ingredients go into the making of a Twinkie. Why 39 when the average cake you bake at home requires just six ingredients? Two words: shelf life. Twinkies can’t contain anything that might spoil, like milk, cream, or butter. Once you remove such real ingredients, something has to take their place, and cellulose gum, lecithin, and sodium stearoyl lactylate are just a few. Let’s start with Trona. Trona is the basic ingredient in baking soda. It is clawed out of rock faces by giant machines thousands of feet under the surface of the earth. Sound yummy yet? How about corn dextrin, a common thickener? It is also the glue on postage stamps and envelopes. Ferrous sulfate, the iron supplement in enriched flour and vitamin pills, is used as a disinfectant and weed killer. Calcium sulfate, a dough conditioner, is food grade plaster of Paris. Shortening (in the form of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and or beef fat – the worst possible fats) is the main ingredient. Polysorbate is a gooey substance that replaces cream and eggs at a fraction of the cost. It is derived from palm oil and petroleum. Cellulose gum gives the crème filling a smooth, slippery feel. Artificial vanillin is synthesized in petroleum plants. Lecithin is an emulsifier made from soy but also used in paint.
Diacetyl mimics the taste of butter. Cornstarch, a thickener, is also used to make cardboard and packing peanuts. Sorbic acid, a preservative, comes from petroleum. There’s more but we don’t want to kill your appetite or spoil the taste of that expensive chocolate chip cookie you just ordered from Ms. Fields. The rule here is if you can’t pronounce the ingredients in a product, you shouldn’t eat or drink it.

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TRANS FATS: THE REAL DANGER IN YOUR DIET

TRANS FATS: THE REAL DANGER IN YOUR DIET

Trans fats are the corner stone of fast food cooking. A recent study revealed that even small amounts of trans fats led to alarming patterns of weight gain, atherosclerosis, and insulin resistance. Trans fats are the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in the fryer at most fast-food chains; they are used in many commercial cookies, pies, and crackers. These fats are commercially popular because they are shelf-stable and resistant to high heat. In recent years, though, they’ve become public health enemy number one, as evidence mounted that they contribute to heart disease, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. In early 2006 new Food and Drug Administration rules went into effect requiring food labels to show trans fat content.
Studies set out to document the effects of a high trans-fat diet. But the results showed an impact far beyond hardened arteries. Two groups of male monkeys were fed different regimens over six years. Although the total calories and total dietary fat were the same for each group, the type of fat was not. One group receive trans fats, the other received traditional monosaturated fats. Over six years, monkeys on the trans fat diet added an average of 7.2% of their body mass, while the other group averaged just 1.8% increase. Worse, the new weight from trans fats showed up mostly around the abdomen, a pattern strongly associated with cardiovascular disease in humans. Ominously, the obesity-inducing monkey diet was not so different from the mainstream American diet. The trans fatty acids were roughly 8% of total energy. The conclusion: trans fats are clearly toxic to humans and have no place in human diets.
Trans Fats Go Right To Your Stomach. I was recently asked what one food item I would banish from the earth. My reply was partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats. On New Year’s Day, an FDA ruling goes into effect making it mandatory for food manufacturers to list the amount of trans fat on the nutrition label. This doesn’t eliminate them from foods. But manufacturers have been reformulating food items to reduce or remove these artery-clogging fats from their products or label them accordingly.
There’s solid evidence that trans fats increase cardiovascular risk, more so than saturated fat. They may also promote chronic inflammation, accelerate the aging process, and play a role in cancer.
Here’s my concern: Under the new rules, a product can claim it has no trans fat even though the ingredient list includes partially hydrogenated oil or vegetable shortening. The FDA allows products with less than half a gram of trans fat per serving to be considered trans fat free, meaning the amount of trans fat does not have to be listed separately on the nutrition label. They think this will confuse consumers and make them believe a food might be healthier than it is.
I consider anything made with trans fats to be a low-quality food. I make a serious effort to keep them out of my diet by carefully reading food labels, and I encourage you to do the same. I avoid margarine, vegetable shortening, and all products made with them or with partially hydrogenated oils of any kind. Although small amounts of trans fats occur naturally in meat and dairy products, they are insignificant compared to what’s found in baked goods, margarine, and packaged and fast foods. Unfortunately, foods served in restaurants are not affected by the FDA ruling.

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OBESITY: GENETIC OR HABITUAL

In a ground-breaking experiment, Randy Jirtle began with pairs of fat yellow mice known as agouti mice. So called because they carry a particular gene – the agouti gene -making the rodents ravenous and prone to cancer and diabetes. Most of their offspring are identical to their parents. However, by feeding the mother mice a diet rich in methyl donors, small chemical clusters that can attach to a gene and turn it off – starting just before conception – the babies were born lean, with no predisposition toward cancer or diabetes. These methyl molecules are common in the environment and are found in may foods including onion, garlic, beets, and in food supplements often given to pregnant women.
After being consumed by the mothers, the methyl donors worked their way into the developing embryos’ chromosomes and onto the critical agouti gene. The mothers passed along the agouti gene to the children, but thanks to the methyl-rich pregnancy diet, they added to the gene a chemical switch that dimmed the gene’s deleterious effects. A subtle nutritional change in the pregnant mother rat had a dramatic impact on the gene expression of the baby!
The science lies in the fact that while genes pass down traits, genes themselves need instructions for what to do, and where and when to do it. These instructions are found not in the letters of the DNA itself, but in an array of chemical markers know collectedly as the epigenome. The epigenic switches and markers help switch on or off the expression of particular genes.
Fact: the epigenome is just as critical as the DNA to the healthy development of organisms, human included. Epigenic signals can be passed on from one generation to the next, sometimes for several generations, without changing a single genes sequence. What is eye-opening is a growing body of evidence suggesting that the epigenic changes wrought by one’s diet, behavior, and surrounding can echo far into the future. Put simply, what you eat today can affect the health and behavior of your great -grandchildren.
The commonly held belief is that through our DNA we are destined to have a particular body shape, personate and disease. Some scholars even contend that the genetic code predetermines intelligence and is the root cause of many social ills, including poverty, crime, and violence. Gene as fate had become conventional wisdom. But through the study of epigenic, that notion at last may be proved outdated. Epigenics introduces the concept of free will into our idea of genetics. People used to think that once your epigenic code was laid down in early development that was it for life. To be clear:cancer is not genetic, it is epigenic. Common signaling pathways known to lead to cancerous tumors also activate DNA-methylation machinery – if you eat the right foods and control your environment – knocking out one of the enzymes in that pathway prevents the tumors from developing.
People can maintain the integrity of the epigenome through diet. Lifelong methylation diets may be the key to staying healthy. Two key dietary compounds have already been found: EGCG in green tea, and genistein in soy.

FOOD POLLUTION

Chemicals are used extensively in food production. Fruit trees, for instance, are regularly sprayed with insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides. Golf course superintendents who work with such chemicals have greatly increased incidence of cancer, and neurological illnesses. Poison grain is dropped from planes onto apple orchards to kill rodents. The trees are sprayed with chemicals designed to keep the apples from falling off their stems. After being picked, the fruit is coated with wax to improve appearance, and then stored for several months in warehouses filled with toxic gases to prolong storage before coming to market. When you eat conventionally grown apples, many of these toxins remain on, and even in, the fruit.
No matter how vigilant you are, you can’t avoid accumulating pesticides in your tissues. Pesticide residues are present in all categories of foods, and it is not unusual for a single food item to contain residues of five or more toxic chemicals.
To reduce these toxins, eat organic whenever possible, and soak fruits and vegetables for a few minutes in water with a mixed produce cleaner, which helps remove some of the toxins from the outside of the produce.

ARE YOU A WEIGHT LOSS RECIDIVIST?

ARE YOU A WEIGHT LOSS RECIDIVIST?

One of the most important issues in weight loss is recidivism. Most people who lose weight end up gaining it back. Research on the ghrelin hormone, which is secreted in the stomach, may explain part of the problem. Ghrelin stimulates the appetite at the same time that is slows down the metabolism. Both of these effects contribute to increased fat storage. Levels of this hormone spike before each meal and drop after you’re full. People given injections of ghrelin become extremely hungry, and studies show they eat much more when unlimited food is available.
A recent study showed that ghrelin increases substantially after a period of rapid weight loss. Scientists on the study think this was an evolutionary adaptation to encourage the body to regain the fat lost as protection from possible future famine. Slow, gradual weight loss does not appear to cause the same spike in ghrelin level, however. This is another important reason to approach your ideal weight gradually. Setting your daily caloric level to match your target weight’s maintenance level is the best way to lose weight once and to keep it off.
Say, for example, your baseline caloric intake is 2400 calories (that is, the number of calories you can consume without loosing or gaining weight) before you go on a diet. If you then fail on two diet attempts over a period of a year or more, your baseline will drop to 1200 calories. In other words, the number of calories at which you will gain weight is now half of what it was before your failed diet attempts. This is because your brain (the hypothalamus) thinks that there is a scarcity of food and it slows down the body’s metabolism to conserve calories and fat stores. The only way to lose weight under these circumstances is to raise the basal metabolic rate and to burn more fat. Yes, exercise is important, but not the only way.

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IMPLEMENTING YOUR WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM

IMPLEMENTING YOUR WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM

Patience Is The Key. If you lose weight too fast, you’ll be in a program you won’t be able to stay true to. The idea is to make continual progress, not miraculous progress.
Step 1 – Determine your body frame size.
a) Measure your wrist circumference. You can use a tape measure or a piece of string.
b) Use the following table to determine your innate frame size. Unless you are very obese, your wrists don’t change size with weight, so their circumference is a good indicator of natural build.
Step 2 – determine you optimal weight range. This table is available at any doctor’s office or can be downloaded from the internet.
Step 3 – determine and adopt your target calorie level. This is where you begin to consume the calories you would need if you were already at your optimal weight. This is your target calorie level. There are two methods to do this.
Method 1 – Look up your maintenance calorie level in the following table. Interpolate if your optimal weight is in between the given figures. This table provides an estimated maintenance calorie level based on your optimal weight or current weight and activity
Small frame medium frame large frame
Adult males under 6 1/4” 6 ¼”- 7” over 7”
Adult females under 5 ¼” 5 1/4 “- 6”. Over 6”

Weight sedentary moderately active very active
90 1170 1350 1620
100 1300 1500 1800
110 1430 1650 1980
120 1560 1800 2160
130 1690 1950 2340
140 1820 2100 2520
150 1950 2250 2700
160 2080 2400 2880
170 2210 2550 3060
180 2340 2700 3240
Weight sedentary moderately active very active

190 2470 2850 3420
200 2600 3000 3600
210 2730 3150 3780
220 2860 3300 3960
230 2990 3450 4140
240 3120 3600 4320

Sedentary: you sit most of the day, walking only occasionally, and do not have a regular exercise routine.
Moderately active: your normal routine involves frequent walking or physical motion. Alternatively, your normal routine is sedentary but you have a regular exercise program equivalent to walking or running 20 or more miles per week.
Very active: your normal routine involves continuous vigorous physical activity (construction work, carrying mail, and gardening). Very active is equivalent to a moderately active life style plus walking or running approximately 50 miles per week.
Method 2 – Look up the maintenance calories level in Table One for your current weight and exercise level, then subtract 500 calories per day to lose one pound per week (500 X 7 = 3500 calories. One pound = 3600 calories), or 1,000 calories to lose 2 pounds per week. We prefer method 1, where you begin to consume the number of calories needed to maintain your target (optimal) weight.

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HOW TO EAT

The Following principles and recommendations should be the basis of a healthy diet: 1 ) Eat a variety of foods. Eating the same foods day after day may cause allergies to develop. Also, eating the same foods will cause “taste fatigue” and encourage overeating. Eating a variety of foods will promote a balance of nutrition. Each food provides specific amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, but no single food provides all of what you need. Rotate your food.
2) Reduce or eliminate wheat. Wheat, a relatively recent agricultural innovation, is eaten in enormous qualities in Western countries. This has led to wheat sensitivity. Particularly to gluten, a major protein component of wheat. Many people have resolved long-standing digestive problems by going off wheat. Gluten is a strong endorphin trigger. Meaning, once you begin eating foods containing gluten, you will keep eating them.
3) Eat your vegetables. Fresh. Organic vegetables contain loads of valuable nutrients and fiber, and are low on the glycemic index. Be careful not to over-cook. Overcooking destroys vitamins, phytochemicals, and other nutrients. Light steaming is the ideal way to cook.
4) Eat colorful food. By eating a variety of naturally colored vegetables, you obtain a broad spectrum of vital nutrients.
5) Drink freshly squeezed vegetable juice. This is just about the healthiest thing you can drink: putting fresh, organic, low-starch vegetables through a juicer. These drinks are high in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
6) Drink tea. Tea is low in acidity and caffeine (1/3-1/4 that of coffee). A study showed that drinking tea reduced the rates of heart attack by 44%. This applies to black and green tea, not herbal tea.
7) Go easy on alcohol. The body processes it like a carb: loads of high-glycemic calories. The rest of the dangers are well known.
8) Eat breakfast and eat frequently. Don’t skip breakfast. People who do consume 44% more calories during the day than those who eat breakfast. Five small meals are far superior than three big ones. Keeps blood sugar balanced, consume less overall calories.
9) Avoid unhealthy snacks. Typical snack foods are high in fats and sugar which trigger the appetite center, leading to cravings and continuous eating.
10) Plan ahead. Take healthy snacks with you during the day. Take your own sweeter with you (naturlose, stevia).
11 ) Take supplements. You can’t get all the vitamins and minerals you need by eating processed food made from soil depleted of its nutrients. Mega-doses are required.
12) Everything in moderation. Don’t get discouraged if you slip on your diet. Stand up, brush yourself off, and continue.
13) Be aware: sugar is everywhere. Look out for hidden forma of sugar: fructose, sucrose, glucose, maltose, matodextrin, honey, molasses, maple syrup, sucanat, amasake, and high fructose corn syrup.

YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU EAT, YOU ARE WHAT YOU DIGEST

The many nutrients in your food can only help you if they are digested properly. The human digestive process breaks down foodstuffs into their constituent molecular parts for delivery to their ultimate destination: the cells. While the digestive process is efficient, decades of suboptimal digestion underlie many discomforts and the progression of long-term disease. One study revealed that 70% of American adults suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms resulting from maldigestion, malabsorption, or unhealthy bacteria in the digestive tract…. in addition to digestive illnesses.
While there are taste buds and olfactory sensors in the mouth and nose, after food leaves the mouth, the process is on autopilot. Adopting a healthy diet is the most important thing you can do to maintain and restore the delicate balance of your digestive processes. There are seven steps in the digestive process:
1 ) Digestion begins in the mouth, where chewing breaks down food into manageably small particles. Swallowing food before it’s been adequate broken down leads to inadequate digestion and absorption.
2) Food travels through the esophagus, where contractions send it to the stomach.
3) The gastric mucosal cells lining the stomach secrete gastric juice – mostly acidic -that dissolves food into nearly liquid form (chime). Gastric juices also contain digestive enzymes that begin to break down proteins into amino acids.
4) After about three hours in the stomach, the chime enters the small intestines. The small intestines has three regions: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum.
Pancreatic enzymes break down proteins and fats. About 1/3 of all Americans lack adequate lactase, the enzyme needed to digest mil sugar. This causes lactose intolerance.
5) Most absorption takes place in the jejunum. Intestinal villas further the absorption process.
6) Remaining nutrients are digested by less-developed villa in the ileum.
7) Digestion is essentially complete by the time the chime passes from the small to the large intestine. The large intestine, also known as the colon or bowel, receives about a pint of chime a day from the ileum. The chime is moved by contractions similar to those in the small intestines. The main digestive process that occurs in the colon is the result of intestinal bacteria. The bacteria change the chime into a form that is suitable for elimination as feces.
The many nutrients in your food can only help you if they are digested properly. From eating to absorption, your food follows a long, intricate, and hazardous path. The human digestive process, which takes place throughout the alimentary canal—stretching from the mouth to the anus—acts like an elaborate inventory control system. It breaks down foodstuffs into their constituent molecular parts for delivery to their ultimate destination: your trillions of cells, where they are reassembled into the little machines and energy sources that animate your life.

THE SIX NEWEST FAT-BURNING INGREDIENTS

Since ephedra was taken off the market, people have been looking for a worthy fat-burning replacement. Well, here are the newest, cutting edge supplements.
1 ) Aspidosperma quebracho-bianco (AQB). This is a South American evergreen tree species. The bark contains several alkaloids that act as central-nervous system stimulators that can help you get lean. Dosage: 50-250 mgs. of AQB extract standardized for .3% alkaloids taken twice daily.
2) Sesamin. This is a lignan from sesame oil. The active ingredient turns on genes that increase fat oxidation and decrease fat storage. Dosage: 500-1000 mg. of sesamin 2-3 times a day with food.
3) Hops Extract. New research reports that isomerized hops extract can decrease body fat by inhibiting the absorption of fat by the intestines. Secondly, it activates genes involved in fat oxidation to ramp up fat burning. Thirdly, it decreases the activity of genes that control storage of body fat. Dosage: 200-400 mg. of hops extract 1-3 times a day.
4) Oleoylethanol-Amide (OEA). When you eat a meal, the production of OEA increases and woks to ramp up fat-burning and decrease fat storage. Users say it decreases hunger. When you take extra OEA, you essentially trick your body into thinking you’ve already eaten. OEA is a non-stimulating appetite suppressant and fat burner. Dosage: 25-50 mg of OEA twice a day with food.
5) Tetradecylthioacetci acid (TTA). TTA is a specialized fatty acid that regulates the burning and storage of dietary fats. TTA helps decrease LDL and total cholesterol levels and boosts insulin sensitivity. Dosage: 1000 mg. of TTA twice daily.
6) Inula Racemosa. This is an herb that grows in the Himalayas. Their roots contain lactones that give it medicinal properties. The most important of these is alantolactone, which enhances insulin sensitivity; meaning you secrete less insulin after eating and less of the meal is stored as dietary fat. Dosage: as per label on Hydroxycut Hardcore.

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.