Fish oil=Nature’s fat burner

If your thinking the title is too good to be true, think again. A number of studies prove fish oil is responsible for fat loss for a variety of reasons.

In 2006, The Age released an article on fish oil and weight loss, however, it’s time to revitalize this study with backed evidence.

In short, when fish oil(omega 3) enters the body, the essential fat acts as traffic lights in your body by directing carbohydrates towards energy storage rather than fat storage. This means the fat storing consequences from simple carbohydrates are alleviated when you consume the adequate amount of fish oil.

This also screams out accelerating results in fat burning for bodybuilders during exercise since any carbohydrates digested are adequately used for exercise.

In a nutshell, consume 6-9grams of fish oil combined with 30 mins of exercise a day to improve insulin sensitivity and you will inevitably lose fat or maintain your weight depending on how much and what food you consume.

Despite the fact it has a number of important health benefits, the idea that fish oil is some kind of magic bullet for weight loss may be a myth. I’d like to say you can just pop a few fish oil capsules and expect the fat to melt away. But this is unrealistic without making changes to your diet and exercise program first. However there are studies suggesting fish oil is a magical fat burning bullet.

Now for the evidence on how fish oil actually works.

Proof of fat loss with exercise

A number of studies from T-NATION and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1)establish the link between fish oil and fat loss.

Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that daily doses of oil containing omega-3 fatty acids, combined with moderate exercise like walking for 45 minutes, can result in significant weight loss.

But taking the oil without exercise, or exercising without taking the oil, does not result in any weight loss, according to researchers from the University of South Australia.

The researchers examined the effects of effects of fish oil and exercise, alone and together, on fat mass, lean mass, and cardiovascular health in 75 overweight adults (age range 25-65).

They were divided into four groups — a group taking fish oil and exercise, another taking just fish oil, a third group taking sunflower oil without exercise and a fourth being asked to combine sunflower oil and exercise.

The group using fish oil took 6 grams of fish oil per day. The supplement provided 260 milligrams of DHA and 60 milligrams of EPA in each 1-gram capsule.

Body composition was assessed at the start and end of the study with the use of dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), a method to measure body fat.

The clear winners in the study were those in the group who were given fish oil and who walked or ran for 45 minutes three times a week.

Exercising subjects who used fish oil lost around 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) of fat. The group that took the sunflower oil (which does not contain omega-3 fatty acids) but who exercised lost a very small amount of weight. The two groups that did no exercise (including those on fish oil) also lost no weight.

In light of this study, according to T-NATION, there is unpublished and unreleased information in regards to heart rate.

The fish oil group experienced a significant reduction in resting heart rate compared to the others not receiving fish oil.

Because their exercise goals were heart rate oriented (75% max heart rate), the fish oil group had to work harder to achieve their exercise goal. This is potentially one of the reasons that the fish oil group lost more weight.

Cardiovascular research indicates that increased consumption of EPA/DHA(fish oil) can change the electro-chemistry of your heart. This is why fish oil can help prevent sudden death from heart attacks. This is also probably the reason why fish oil can modulate resting heart rate.

Proof of fat loss with no exercise!!!!

Now for those of you who absolutely hate exercise with a passion…there is still hope.

According to The International Journal of Obesity(2),324 overweight and obese men and women were put on a reduced calorie diet. These people then received either nothing, fatty fish, lean fish, or fish oil capsules.

Participants were consuming 50% of their calories from carbohydrates and only 20% of their calories from protein. They also weren’t exercising. Think of this as a setup for diet failure!

Despite the odds, the men lost an average of 14 pounds, and the men that ate fish or took fish oil lost an extra 2 pounds. There was an added weight loss advantage even in the group of men that ate cod (non-fatty fish).

The International Journal of Obesity(3)established one of the first studies involving fish oil and fat loss back in 1997.

The participants were put on a diet containing 50% calories from carbohydrates. Instead of supplementing with fish oil the whole time, 12 weeks into the study some of the participants were asked to replace 6 grams of fat in their diet with 6 grams of fish oil for the remaining three weeks.

The people who replaced fats in their diet with fish oil lost 2 pounds over three weeks while the non-fish oil group lost 0.7 pounds. That may not seem like a lot at first but you need to consider that these people didn’t do anything different except for replacing fat in their diet with fish oil, they didn’t exercise and they were on a high carbohydrate diet.

It seems that according to these studies, fish oil has been previously shown to increase fat utilization during exercise and increase fat loss independent of exercise.

How fish oil works

There are many ways to scientifically explain how fish oil and fat loss works, such as, suppressing appetites, burning fat by turning on lipolytic genes and reducing stored fat by turning off lipogenic genes. However the most prominent explanation is the decrease in cortisol levels in the body and increase in muscle building benefits.

When it comes to fat loss, metabolism is a priority and the higher your metabolism is, the lower your cortisol is.

Cortisol is the opposite hormone to testosterone. Cortisol levels increase when you lack sleep, decrease water consumption and have high stress levels. As a result, fat accumulation is evident.

A recent study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (4) showed healthy adults taking fish oil for six weeks significantly increased lean mass and body fat

Interestingly, subjects had a decrease in cortisol levels after taking fish oil. Researchers suggested that because cortisol has a protein degrading effect and is thought to result in increases in fat mass, the lower cortisol levels were responsible for the participants’ weight loss and muscle development.  More good news since higher cortisol levels are associated with higher mortality rates, meaning that fish oil supplementation has significant implications for both body composition and overall health and well being.

In a nutshell, by combining this study with fish oil’s positive effects of cell and insulin sensitivity, there is no fail to fish oil supplementation and adequate fish consumption.

Final advice

Although there are conflicting studies suggesting whether fish oil + exercise result in fat loss or not, the take home message is…..CONSUME FISH OIL DAILY!!!!! for long term health benefits from EPA/DHA and fat loss goals. Consuming fish oil should be an essential requirement as the western diet consistently fails in omega 3 intake.

There’s plenty of research demonstrating the effect of fish oil on fat loss in rats and mice, however, research showing a direct effect on body fat in humans is limited in both size and quality.

The best way to utilize fish oil is with exercise. The idea that fish oil is a tablet bullet that shoots away fat seems too good to be true. But these studies suggest otherwise.

Sources:

1.Hill AM, Buckley JD, Murphy KJ, Howe PRC. Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors. 2007, pp 1267-1274.

2. Thorsdottir I, Tomasson H, Gunnarsdottir I, Gisladottir E, Kiely M, Parra MD, et al. Randomized trial of weight-loss-diets for young adults varying in fish and fish oil content. Int J Obes 2007.

3. Couet C, Delarue J, Ritz P, Antoine J, Lamisse F. Effect of dietary fish oil on body fat mass and basal fat oxidation in healthy adults. International journal of obesity 1997; 21: 637-643.

4. Noreen, E., Sass, M., Crowe, M., Pabon, V., Branauer, J., Averill, L. Effects of Supplemental Fish Oil on Resting Metabolic Rate, Body Composition, and Salivary Cortisol in Healthy Adults. 2010. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 7(31).

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World egg day=Health day

Today is World Egg Day! World Egg Day is celebrated every year on the second Friday in October. On World Egg Day, events are held across the world celebrating the egg such as the omlette cook off competition.

However egg day also gives us opportunity to acknowledge the wide range of health benefits eggs offer.

The nutrition in eggs gives them their illustrious label as the bodybuilding staple food. Packed with vitamins A, D, E, B2, B6, B9, iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and choline, you would wonder why there were any health gurus demoting the nutritional benefits of eggs.

Natural News outlines these benefits in close relation to pregnant women and the difference between free range and cage eggs.

Choline

The Choline Connection shows us how choline is one of the hidden nutrients in eggs many of us are unaware of. Choline was discovered by Andreas Strecker in 1862, but it was not until 1998 that it was recognized as an essential nutrient

Choline has a strong link with brains and babies. One egg supplies 20% of the daily recommended intake of choline, and it is used as a building block for phospholipids used in all cell membranes and is particularly integral in brain and nerve health. For pregnant women, choline from eggs is essential for proper fetal brain development and decreased neural tube defects, and it is a necessary constituent in breast milk. In addition, choline proves important in: memory function, reducing breast cancer risk, and maintaining normal homocysteine levels. It also lowers: plasma C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor, and interleukin 6. In fact, in one study, lack of dietary choline resulted in fatty liver, muscle damage and some organ dysfunction.

Free range vs cage

 

Many claim egg yolks are bad because they are high in saturated fat. However this is not the reason to avoid egg yolk. Caged eggs contain a higher risk of salmonella. In natural choices, caged eggs had 5x higher risk of salmonella compared to free range eggs.

According to Mother Earth News, Free hens lay eggs have 3 times more vitamin E, 7 times more beta-carotene, 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, and 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids

Lowers bad cholesterol

In a study by Mutungi G, Ratliff, three eggs per day over a 12-week period for 28 overweight/obese male subjects on a carbohydrate restricted diet actually lowered the bad LDL cholesterol and raised the good HDL. When comparing the obese adults to other subjects, all subjects irrespective of their assigned group had reduced body weight and waist circumference.

The weight loss benefits of a protein breakfast are vast. So eggs for breakfast may be the best choice for those who can’t stomach a protein shake or a serving of meat for their first dose of protein in the morning.

Eye Health

Lutein is a carotenoid that colours the bright sunshine to the yolk. When we think of lutein levels, think of eye health. USDA explains the lutein levels from eggs beat both cooked spinach and lutein supplements by three times in blood serum, and 12 weeks of eating eggs increased subjects’ zeaxanthin serum levels and macular pigment.

In a nutshell, eggs are a convenient and affordable source of protein and essential nutrients for long term health. The bodybuilding and strength performance effects were not mentioned in this article. This shows the range of nutritional benefits anybody can get from eggs, whether it is for training, weight loss or prioritizing breakfast in the morning. It’s world egg day, so lets go out and cook up an omlette storm!

 

Sources:

Mutungi G, Ratliff J, Puglisi M, et al. Dietary cholesterol from eggs increases plasma HDL cholesterol in overweight men consuming a carbohydrate-restricted diet. J Nutr 2008;138:272-6.

Water kills you?

Hyponatremia, a dangerous condition that occurs when the body’s sodium levels are diluted by excessive water consumption. This can lead to death.

ninemsn.com.au and the Herald Sun released articles on the death of a Tasmanian hiker because he drank too much water.

Australian Medical Association President Brian Morton said Mr Dent’s cells would have swelled as his body processed the large amount of water he had consumed.

“Well your body tries to get rid of it (the water) and it does that by getting rid of sodium and out with the sodium goes the water and out through the kidney into the bladder the sodium goes and takes it out of the cells so the cells just swell. So the person who died their brain swells and because it’s in a tight bony box it can’t swell so it gets squashed,” Dr Morton told 3AW

When your body is low in sodium, the excess water (usually retained by sodium) enters your cells causing them to swell.  Most cells can tolerate the swelling, however, our brain cells cannot. The main reason for this is because our skull bones confine the cells in the brain. If the cells swell too much, the brain literally squashes against the skull and can kill you.

For more in depth analysis on Hyponatremia, check medicinenet.com

Does this mean avoid drinking plenty of water? Definitely not, Hyponatremia can occur when drinking 1 litre of water per hour. This exceeds the recommended intake, even for athletes.

Hikers and marathon runners who train for hours also need to supplement with electrolyte energy drinks to replenish sodium in the body. According to the International Marathon Medical Directors Association (IMMDA) advocates ‘drinking to thirst’ for endurance runners, and no more.

In its guidelines for fluid replacement , the association recommends 0.03 litres per kilogram but suggests a sports drink for extended activity.

For example, a male who weighs 86kg(189pounds) needs around 2.5 litres of water per day.

Final advice: Hydration is very important, benefits include an increase in strength, an increase in metabolism and improved digestion.

Salynn Boyles’s article on water and metabolism provides further insight into water and its calorie burning ability.

As important as it is to not drink too much water, it is also essential to get sufficient hydration throughout the day.   

Walnuts and Sperm

Unlike most nuts, walnuts are much richer in polyunsaturated fats. These essential fats are predominantly made up of omega 3 fatty acids.

It is for this reason BBC released the article based on a study that links walnut consumption with an improved quality of sperm in men.

Eating around two handfuls of walnuts a day improves sperm health in young men, a study in the journal Biology of Reproduction suggests.

 

This study involved 117 men between the ages of 21 and 35, who were divided into two groups. One group added 2.6 ounces (75 grams) of whole-shelled walnuts to their daily diet.

The other group continued their usual diet but avoided eating tree nuts. Both groups ate a typical Western-style diet.

Lead author, Prof Wendie Robbins from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health said: “We found a significant improvement in sperm parameters in the group that consumed the walnuts.

Walnut consumption may be important for many couples since one in six couples are infertile, with 40% of these due to a male factor.

However the study suggests the small significant improvement of sperm quality may result from the fatty acids in Walnuts.

If Omega 3 does play a major role in sperm quality improvement, then it is also important to supplement with fish oil and eat plenty of fish to suffice your daily omega 3 intake if you are repulsed by the idea of walnuts.

To add to the variety of benefits of walnut consumption and its link to life changing results, Natural News points out that Walnuts prevent prostate cancer and osteoporosis.

Researchers from both the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Western Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif., fed mice with prostate tumors the human equivalent of three ounces of walnuts a day. At the conclusion of the study, the mice’s tumors shrunk by 50 percent, and tumor growth slowed by 30 percent compared to control mice.

 

The benefits of a balanced omega intake are linked with protection from ageing, cancers, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, skin problems and diseases with the nervous system. Walnut consumption also lowers levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and simultaneously raises HDL (good) cholesterol. This results in the prevention of heart disease.

Final advice: Just because a study suggests walnuts improve sperm quality or prevents cancer, it doesn’t mean walnuts will improve male fertility or stop cancer after consuming the recommended intake. There are a variety of other factors which may help improve the effectiveness of walnut benefits, such as, fruit and vegetable intake, exercise and protein intake.

A study tells one side of the story, one piece of the puzzle. The rest of the puzzle determines whether or not you will reap the full benefits from walnut consumption.

 

 

Wheat=Sugar-The sad truth

If a health guru told you that two slices of bread was equivalent to a tablespoon of white sugar, then you would probably think he’s crazy.

After reading this article, the first statement should make a little more sense. 

The effects wheat has on the human body include inflammation, exaggerated blood sugar surges, neurological disorders, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, curious rashes, and the paralyzing delusions of schizophrenia. The list goes on.

Many stress the importance of ‘whole’ grain wheat, that we should all be having ‘whole’ grains.  According to ABC, the USDA recommends eating a minimum of three servings of whole wheat each day. Good Morning America’s foods contributor Sara Moulton said. Whole grain also helps keep the digestive system regular, warding off gastrointestinal tract troubles.

The health benefits of whole grain wheat have always been evident; the problem is, we are nolonger living in the 19th century, when wheat was a relatively ideal staple food.

In a nutshell, wheat’s role in the 20th century is the new ‘supercarb.’ This rapid digesting carb raises your blood sugar just as high, if not, higher than the equivalent contents of a candy bar or sugar sweetened soda.

As Natural News puts it, the amount of 20th century agricultural genetic modification has outpaced the human digestive system’s ability to adapt.

The big question is why and how has the wheat plant suddenly turned against us after decades of bread consumption? The answer in short is the agricultural innovations put on wheat to make it more adaptable to environmental conditions.

In Book  Excerpt: Wheat Belly, by Life extension, William Davis claims that wheat has changed dramatically in the past fifty years under the influence of agricultural scientists. Wheat strains have been hybridized, crossbred, and introgressed to make the wheat plant resistant to environmental conditions, such as drought, or pathogens, such as fungi. But most of all, genetic changes have been induced to increase yield per acre. Such enormous strides in yield have required drastic changes in genetic code. Such fundamental genetic changes have come at a price.

Of the so called whole grain complex carbohydrate of wheat, 75% is the chain of branching glucose units-amylopectin, while 25%  is the linear chain of glucose units-amylose

Amylose is slowly digested while Amylopectin is efficiently digested by the stomach enzyme to glucose. It is for this reason, wheat is known as a rapid digesting ‘supercarb’. Wheat’s fast absorption into the bloodstream replicates the nature of a simple carbohydrate.

Therefore the idea that wheat is a high fibre, whole grain, complex carbohydrate is nolonger the case today.

According to William Davis, the sad truth is that the proliferation of wheat products in the American diet parallels the expansion of our waists. Advice to cut fat and cholesterol intake and replace the calories with whole grains that was issued by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute through its National Cholesterol Education Program in 1985 coincides precisely with the start of a sharp upward climb in body weight for men and women. Ironically, 1985 also marks the year when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began tracking body weight statistics, documenting the explosion in obesity and diabetes that began that very year.      

Wheat and Insulin

When we think about the process of fat loss and fat gain, insulin is a major player for both processes.

Insulin is the hormone released by our pancreas when carbohydrates are absorbed into our bloodstream. When the pancreas detects a bloodsugar rise, it secretes insulin to help the body process the blood glucose.

When insulin is sensitive, the carbohydrates are converted into energy with ease. But when insulin is resistant, carbohydrates are placed into fat storage.

How can we create an insulin sensitive environment? Exercise, a high protein diet and avoid simple carbohydrates such as wheat and sugar. Opt for slow digesting, low GI and high fibre carbohydrates.

These include: Buckwheat noodles, vegetables, brown rice, berries and sweet potato.

How can we create an insulin resistant, fat accumulation environment? Well that’s easy! Wheat and sugar! Opt for continuous wheat consumption and you will experience insulin spikes, followed by a steep blood sugar decline, resulting in crashes, moodswings and cravings for more simple carbohydrates.

Davis backs this information by explaining this has important implications for body weight, since glucose is unavoidably accompanied by insulin, the hormone that allows entry of glucose into the cells of the body, converting the glucose to fat. The higher the blood glucose after consumption of food, the greater the insulin level, the more fat is deposited. This is why, say, eating a three-egg omelet that triggers no increase in glucose does not add to body fat, while two slices of whole wheat bread increases blood glucose to high levels, triggering insulin and growth of fat, particularly abdominal or deep visceral fat.

Final advice: If bread is integrated into your lifestyle, moderation is key. Jarod Fogel(Subway guy) lost 245 pounds by eating sandwiches everyday. For Jared Fogel, insulin sensitivity and portion control was key. He attended marathons and exercised to keep insulin sensitivity. So wheat should not be eliminated from your diet if you have always been dependent on it, just don’t assume you are consuming high fibre complex carbohydrates for weight loss.

Checkout my friends article with her analysis on Body Image, diabetes and insulin in Bodyimageissues.

Source:

Wheat: The Unhealthy Whole Grain. Book Excerpt: Wheat Belly

By William Davis, MD

Life Extension Magazine October 2011

Fussy and Healthy

Imagine living off a diet consisting of nothing but tomato and cheese pizza for the next 8 years. Then what if you found out you could still be able to survive off this restricted diet for the rest of you life?

A bizarre report by the Daily Mail claims that William Staub lived solely on tomatoes, white bread and tea. William Staub passed away from natural causes at 96 years old.

William Staub lived a life contrary to all sensible ideas of nutrition. The big question is, can everyone live like this?????

In the article, Mr Miller explains, the human body is a fascinating organism. It has been built for survival, and people’s nutritional requirements can differ from person to person.

‘The official recommended daily intakes of nutrients — called Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) are only a guide. There are individuals who can survive on very little, as well as those who need a lot more every day. So some people can be apparently healthy on very restricted diets. However, they may be missing out on vital vitamins and minerals.’

On top of this, our systems can hoard scarce nutrients, which may also help people to survive on bizarre food regimes.

Mr Miller adds: ‘The body can store minerals, iron and B vitamins in the liver, so people on restricted diets can rely on their own stores for a while. People with SED may also have tastes that reflect their body’s vital nutritional needs.

So for example, when we look at a tomato and cheese pizza, there are limited antioxidants in the tomatoes and paste, saturated fat content and CLA(conjugated linoleic acid) from the cheese (depending on whether it is whole fat cheese). Finally we have limited fibre from the pizza base. Surely this isn’t enough to suffice the average human nutritional intake.

According to this article, dreams can happen…….. 

Recent Olympic discovery, ‘Chocolate Milk’ the best post-workout recovery drink. Too good to be true?

The Olympics provided us with insights into many regimes and dietary habits athletes used to prepare for their events. One dietary habit that sparked debate was American gymnast, Aly Raisman’s  post workout chocolate milk. According to Natural News, the Olympic gold medalist promotes high fructose corn syrup chocolate milk as the ideal post workout source. It is scientifically proven to have the best combination of carbohydrates and protein for protein synthesis.

Now the big question is, Is it too good to be true? The short answer is yes! Many chocolate milk beverages contain HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), artificial flavours and synthetic vitamins.

Does this mean any study suggesting chocolate milk is a post workout recovery is wrong? No. It depends on whether the milk is organic, full cream, has no HFCS, artificial flavours and preservatives. This pretty much eliminates most chocolate milk beverages sold in your local supermarket, unless your local supermarket is an organic, free-range health store.

To understand the importance of why regular, non-organic, and low fat chocolate milk is not the ideal post workout, we need to break down the major factors which make chocolate milk unhealthy.

Corn syrup

If you are looking for fat loss and muscle recovery, then high fructose corn syrup is not the answer. Excessive fructose intake alters our metabolism because our body becomes insulin resistant, meaning the ‘fat storage’ process begins. To make news worse, our insulin does not deal with corn syrup the same way it does with simple carbohydrates and sugars. Therefore, our liver is left with the job of processing high fructose corn syrup. Our liver is also limited to the amount of fructose intake our body processes, so if there is a high fructose intake, our liver immediately dispatches the rest of the fructose as fat storage. In fact, fructose is the sugar detected in fruit; therefore, we should save our fructose intake for nutritional benefits from fruit.

A study in the Journal of Nutrition by Parks looked at how the body processes sugars by giving lean and healthy participants a breakfast drink that was either 100 percent glucose, half glucose and half fructose, or 25 percent glucose and 75 percent fructose.

In the four hours following consumption of the drinks that contained fructose, the production of fat in the body increased significantly, more than the outcome of the glucose drink. Not only was all of the fructose that the participants consumed at breakfast turned into triglycerides to be stored as fat in just four hours, but the body processed the food that the participants ate at lunch differently as well.

After eating a normal lunch, triglycerides stayed elevated by as much as 30 percent, indicating that the body was in a “fat storing” mode. In a nutshell, all of the carbs that were consumed at lunch were taken by the liver, broken down, and then turned into fat.

This study is particularly important due to the stress the liver is put under after ingestion of corn syrup. Furthermore, the participants were lean and healthy, but their metabolism was significantly altered by just one large fructose dose in the morning.

People who eat processed foods in general, that contain high fructose corn syrup, will have persistently altered metabolism that is in fat storing mode.

In relation to western society’s high carb, low protein diet trend, high fructose corn syrup is the last thing you need as an addition to the lunch menu.

A list of high fructose corn syrup products include, non diet sodas, tinned fruit and certain candies

The second major flaw in Chocolate Milk is the reduced fat content. Reduced fat milk may seem like a great addition to your weight loss plan, however, studies claim that processed, non-organic milk inhibits the vitamins going into your body. Natural News claims that non-organic, processed chocolate milk more than likely comes from cows that have been treated with growth hormones like rBST, a GM drug that is banned in at least 160 countries.

Another study from healthy.net shows that low fat milk increases the risk of serious health problems-from infertility to prostate cancer.

The best alternative is to opt for full cream organic milk. You will get an abundance of nutrients from grass fed cow, full cream milk, such as the CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which may help aid fat loss.  Furthermore, you will not suffer the same long-term health risks as low fat milk. For more information on CLA, visit CharlesPoliquin

We now understand the main reason Aly’s high fructose corn syrup chocolate is not the ideal long-term post workout. For many 18-year-old gold medalist gymnasts, this may seem okay considering the active lifestyle of a gymnast and the food requirements. Basically, the more active you are, the more tolerant your body can be with fructose intake. However, the long-term health effects definitely override the convenience of muscle recovery.

Drinking high fructose corn syrup, low fat chocolate milk for post workout recovery is the most counterproductive approach for fat loss and muscle gain. The main reason is because of the corn syrup. If the content of the chocolate milk was a combination of pure protein and pure simple carbohydrates, the post-recovery drink would be top of the recommendation list. However, milk in general blocks absorption of antioxidants and nutrients. This is counterproductive for post-workout recovery because the muscles need antioxidants to prevent post workout inflammation. For more information on milk and antioxidants, see RealAge

Here is a perfect example of a follower of the olympic high fructose chocolate milk post workout approach. Promotion and marketing tactics can be dangerous and misleading.

ingestion of High fructose corn syrup chocolate milk after a heavy workout.

After investigating the pros and cons of  organic chocolate milk, it’s now up to you to decide on including chocolate milk in your regime

When shopping for chocolate milk in general, the major words to look out for in the nutrition information are HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, REDUCED FAT, LOW FAT, and ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS! And look for organic full cream milk for best long-term health benefits.

If you want an ideal imitation of chocolate milk, the best post workout drink in general can be chocolate flavored whey protein with water. For full milk flavor, add organic full cream milk, however, if you want the most out of your nutritional benefits, swap milk for a high antioxidant carbohydrate like blueberries. In regard to fructose intake, low fructose fruits such as berries are the ideal post workout carbohydrates, full of antioxidants to help repair the muscles after vigorous training.

Source:

Parks, E., Skokan, L., et al. Dietary Sugars Stimulate Fatty Acid Synthesis in Adults. Journal of Nutrition. 2008. 138(6), 1039-1046.

‘Coconut oil,’ a medical dream or a cholesterol nightmare? The real truth behind coconut fat.

For decades coconut oil has been criticised for its saturated fat content, claiming it raises cholesterol and leads to heart disease. As a result, restaurants and food manufacturers removed coconut oil and replaced it with other vegetable extracted oils.

According to Fife in the International Coconut Forum, by the early the 1990s, coconut oil virtually disappeared from the diets of Australians, North Americans, Europeans and even Asians who had been using it for generations.

So why did coconut oil suddenly become a dietary nightmare? The short answer is….because coconut oil had been categorised as an ‘artery clogging saturated fat’ by misleading interest groups.

Fife explains further by claiming the attack on coconut oil was a cleverly designed publicity campaign sponsored by the vegetable oil industry in an effort to take over the tropical oils market. In the 1970s and early 1980s saturated fats in general were being criticised because of their tendency to raise cholesterol. The vegetable oil industry saw an opportunity to capitalise on this and capture the tropical oils market. They spent millions of dollars in an assertive publicity campaign that extended across the world, flooding the media with reports about the dangers of saturated fats.

Now that we have put some of the brainwashing behind us, it’s time to find the real truth behind coconut oil.

Coconut oil is a unique fat compared to other saturated fats we consume today. When it comes to fat, we need to understand the three types of saturated and unsaturated fats we consume.

The three categories are, short chain fatty acids, medium chain fatty acids and long chain fatty acids. The length of the carbon chain is significantly important since our bodies metabolise each fat differently depending on the size.

The saturated and unsaturated fats from animals and plants contain Long chain fatty acids(LCFA), therefore, the majority of the fats we eat, unless we eat alot of coconut, is LFCA.

Coconut is predominantly made of medium chain fatty acids(MCFA), which had been neglected due to the prejudice against saturated fats.

Fife states, since the 1950s, research has shown that MCFA derived from coconut oil contains unique medical nutrients. For this reason, they are added to IV solutions and baby formula and are recommended for use with a variety of health concerns.

The next issue is cholesterol. Many scrutinize coconut as the dangerous fat, responsible for raising cholesterol levels.

The only reason coconut is percieved as a negative impact on cholestoral is because of its high saturated fat content.

To understand this, we need to look into the to the two types of cholesterol that make up our cholesterol ratio. LDL(bad) cholesterol and HDL(good) cholesterol.

Another study research by the International Coconut Forum, explains that when people add coconut oil to their diets their total blood cholesterol levels either fluctuate up or down, in either case, HDL(good) cholesterol goes up. The study further explains that total cholesterol is not a very accurate measure of heart disease risk because it includes both LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol and you don’t know how much of the good or the bad makes up the total. This is why nearly half of those people who die of heart attacks have normal or below normal total cholesterol levels.

Our cholesterol ratio is the main determinant in whether or not we are at risk of heart disease.

Researchers consider a cholesterol ratio of 5.0 mg/ dL to be normal or average. A ratio above 5.0 mg/dL indicates a high risk of heart disease, while below 5.0mg/dL is low risk and 3.2 mg/dL or lower is optimal or very low risk.

So we ticked off cholesterol, saturated fats and their link to heart disease.

However, It’s not all happy healthy days from here on. I cannot say manufactured coconut oil is absolutely 100% good for you in everyway, otherwise I would be brainwashing you.

The problem we face today is the manufacturing of coconut oil. The difference between purchasing virgin coconut oil and refined coconut oil is crucial in determining whether you will reap the benefits of coconut oil or not.

Natural News released an article in regard to the manufacturing of coconut oil. Refined coconut oil is usually the cheapest oil on the shelves. This oil is processed from toxic chemicals used to help preserve the product for a longer period of time. Therefore, it is important you opt for virgin coconut oil to avoid the negative impacts other processed coconut oils can have on your health.

The manufacturing of coconut oil is one example of many health foods that have been purified of their health benefits from processing.

Manufactoring aside, there are plenty more health benefits from coconut oil, such as, positive impacts on blood sugar, cancer and diabetes. The list goes on.

If this does not convince you how beneficial 100% natural coconut oil is to ones health, then Charles Poliquin’s(world leader in health education) explanation may help influence you.

Source:

Coconut revival : new possibilities for the ‘tree of life’ : proceedings of the International Coconut Forum held in Cairns, Australia, 22-24 November 2005

International Coconut Forum (2005 : Cairns, Qld.) M. A Foale; Y. M. S Samosir; S. W Adkins; Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. 2006

Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 2006

Pooh Bars for school!

It has always been important for children in society to be aware of the benefits of healthy food. The five plus a day vegetable awareness campaign is a great example of promoting health awareness into young minds. The problem is alot of children are focused primarily on taste, especially at a time when their taste buds are more sensitive. This is great news for the fast food outlets, where MSG flavor enhanced foods are the most attractive food source on the lunch menu. In turn, low sodium foods like fruits, vegetables and oats become bland and repulsive, making healthy alternatives the last option to turn to.

After viewing the global statistics of child obesity in Australia and America, it is essential to constantly provide children with food awareness to ensure a healthy future.

According to the Daily News, kids’ cholesterol has significantly decreased due to transaturated fats being removed from processed foods. This does not mean we should all celebrate. We still face the issue of obesity because children follow the same lifestyle habits. There is no excuse that children should rely on fast food outlets as their food source, especially when innovations to processed foods have been made.

To help combat this problem, I created an easy homemade snack bar recipe that parents and kids can make to take to school. This can be a substitute for cookies, chips and chocolate bars.

This is a personal recipe by myself for liferoutine.

POOH BARS!!! a great tasting, healthy, take to school snack. These poo shaped oaty bars provide soluble fibre, antioxidants and  essential fats which will make any parent wonder how their kids became so health driven!!

They are very easy to make. If I can make them, so can you.

recipe in order:

-2 cups of rolled oats(preferably wholegrain, gluten free Oats)

-half a cup of honey(improvise)

-half a cup of 100% nuts peanut butter(improvise)

-half a cup of cocoa(once again, improvise)

-half a cup of low fat milk

Mix the ingredients together and roll into poo shaped bars on a tray or plate. Refrigerate overnight for best results.

I am definitely not a chef, but you don’t have to be to create something healthy.

For entertainment, here is the footage on ‘What Now’ kids show…

Meat and nuts breakfast-The ‘real’ breakfast of champions

For optimal desired lean body composition, a great dietary tip is the meat and nuts breakfast. This unfamiliar breakfast combination provides improved mental clarity, increased energy, better appetite control and reduced cravings throughout the rest of the day.

Maintaining stable blood sugar levels throughout the day is crucial for fat loss and mental focus.

Three scientific studies are used to add to our understanding of the benefits of this breakfast combination.

The first study was published online in June 2011 by the journal Diabetes Care. The lead author Dr. David Jenkins, conducted a 2011 study on type 2 diabetics. Subjects were divided into 3 groups. One group received 75 grams of nuts to be included in their daily diets, another group received the protein-fortified whole wheat muffin, and the third group received a half serving of nuts and a half serving of muffin. After three months, the results showed that the full nut group had significant improvements in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol compared to the other two groups. Furthermore, the important blood sugar control marker HbA1c showed significant improvement in the full nut group.  In a nutshell, “eat the smart fats to beat the fat.” Nuts not only support the blood sugar balancing effect, but improve cholesterol.

Since nuts are known to be high in calories, one must be mindful of the caloric intake of nuts if one is focused on weight loss. Therefore the adequate morning intake of nuts can range from 15-25grams depending on bodyweight.

Another tip to add to the benefits of nuts, variety is necessary if one is to achieve the best results from these fats. Opt for almonds, walnuts, pecans and macadamias rather then the least beneficial pro-inflammatory peanuts.

The second study focuses on the benefits of eating a high protein breakfast.

Ever hear your health teacher tell you that breakfast was the most important meal of the day? If he or she mentioned it was a high protein breakfast, than your chances of success in the gym and in your career would be significantly enhanced because it will set you up for superior brain function all day long.

The International Journal of Obesity shows us how important a high protein breakfast really is. In this study, young students who routinely skipped breakfast were split into three groups. One group was allowed to skip breakfast like normal, one group ate a normal protein breakfast of buttermilk pancakes (18 g of protein, 95 g of carbs, 7 g of fat), and one group ate a high-protein breakfast of whey pancakes (49 g protein, 62 g carbs, 7 g of fat). Calories were equal for the breakfasts.

The students who ate the high-protein breakfast reported they felt more full and satisfied for a longer period than the other two groups, and they registered less hunger at all measured time points throughout the day. They also freely chose to eat 130 calories less at lunch than both of the other groups. The hormonal profile of the high-protein group indicated better appetite control and regulation of metabolism than both other groups.

Interestingly, in the group that ate the normal protein breakfast, calorie intake at lunch was the same as in the breakfast skippers. The group that at the buttermilk pancake breakfast were equally as hungry as the breakfast skippers by lunch time, indicating the ineffectiveness of this meal profile if you want to lose weight and manage cravings or feelings of hunger.

This begs the question, why eat a solid piece of meat first thing in the morning when you can have a liquid protein shake for convenience? It is not uncommon to be repulsed by a meat breakfast, however, the third study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in July 2011 shows the importance of protein rich beverage vs protein rich solid meal. Given the fact that both food sources contained 38 percent of their energy from protein, two groups of teens were studied and were given either the drink or the whole-food breakfast; four hours later both groups were given an all-you-can eat lunch buffet. While both groups expressed similar levels of satiety after breakfast, the teens who received the protein drink ended up consuming 33 percent more calories at lunch than the teens who had eaten a solid-food breakfast. In a nutshell, this shows the appetite controlling effects of whole-food meals, and also proves why the Meat and Nuts Breakfast is your best choice for optimal results rather then the whey protein shake breakfast.

Realistically, if you have no time to prepare a meat and nut breakfast first thing in the morning, then a whey protein shake will not kill you. It’s better to have your high protein breakfast than no breakfast at all.

In relation to solid meat choices, It is crucial to opt for lean meat, such as chicken breast, turkey breast, salmon and 5 star beef mince rather then processed meats, bacon and sausages. The last thing we want to deal with is a breakfast contributing towards colon cancer.

As weird as this breakfast innovation seems, it wont hurt to try it out.

Sources

Leidy, J., Rcki, E. The Addition of a Protein-Rich Breakfast and its Effects on Acute Control and Food Intake in “Breakfast-Skipping” Adolescents. International Journal of Obesity. 2010. 34, 1125-1133.

Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Banach MS, Srichaikul K, Vidgen E, Mitchell S, Parker T, Nishi S, Bashyam B, de Souza R, Ireland C, Josse RG. Nuts as a replacement for carbohydrates in the diabetic diet. Diabetes Care. 2011 Aug;34(8):1706-11. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Leidy HJ, Bales-Voelker LI, Harris CT. A protein-rich beverage consumed as a breakfast meal leads to weaker appetitive and dietary responses v. a protein-rich solid breakfast meal in adolescents. Br J Nutr. 2011 Jul;106(1):37-41. Epub 2011 Feb 15.