Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Department of Redundancy Department

This will be anything but a completely original post, but I was laughing my butt off about what I saw on Dr. Mike Eades site tonight, so I had to quickly put up something about it.

There are these two great you tube videos that you have to see. They are both parodies of the High Fructose Corn Syrup commercials that have been clogging the airways like that stuff will indirectly cause clogging of your arteries. (No scientific foundation for that statement)

Anyway, my favorite is the second one, but check them both out. My wife and I thought they were hysterical.

What do you think?


PS. Don't fear the fat, but you should be scared as hell of HFCS!! It's the frankenest frankenfood ever.....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The whys and whos of fats

I've talked about fats a few times before (here and here). Of course you know I love to end my posts with "Don't fear the fat!".

My wife says I'm obsessed with fat, but I think she's wrong. I'm just not fat-phobic like so many people. I see fat for what it is, an essential nutrie and a dense energy source that has no effect on insulin unlike carbohydrates and to a less degree protein.

In the effort to help educate people and get them to be less fat-phobic, I try to glean good information about fat and spread it around like butter. ;)

The latest information I got is really interesting to me, and perhaps you already know this, but it's news to me. I listened to some podcasts on Jimmy Moore's Livin La Vida Low Carb. You can download them here and here.

To summarize, this is an interview with Barry Groves whom I know little about. I do know that he has a site called Second Opinions with some interesting information about the benefits of low-carb living.

While it wasn't the focus of the interview he did with Jimmy Moore, the thing I was most interested in that he talked about was fat. He spoke at some length about the different types of fat, but didn't spend a ton of time talking about the health effects of those fats, but the various sources and the whys of where different fats come from.

Essentially, he explained, the different types of fats come from different sources for environmental reasons. Fat typically is meant to be in a in a semi-solid flexible state at your body temperature. If you're warm-blooded, then you regulate your body temperature and probably keep it somewhere near 100 F. If you're cold-blooded or a plant, your heat is derived from your environment.

As Groves stated, plants that grow in tropical warm climates will tend to have higher amounts of saturated fats because saturated fats will be more solid than unsaturated fats at the higher temperatures of the tropics. This helps those plants keep their structure in warmer temperatures. Coconut and palm kernel are perfect examples of this.

If you're a cold water plant or a cold-blooded animal that lives in a cold climate, then you need to be made of more unsaturated fats. If you were cold all the time and made up of primarily saturated fats, then you would be rigid and couldn't move at all. Logically, cold water fish must have more unsaturated fats and they do!

Now imagine you're a warm-blooded animal. Oh wait, you are. You're body is constantly running at tropical temperatures. That means your body fat should be primarily saturated and it is.

Furthermore, we know that unsaturated fats go rancid and oxidize more easily at higher temperatures and that the more saturated a fat is the more stable it is. If you have an old bottle of vegetable oil, you might know the smell of rancid oil. If you've cooked with vegetable oil, then you've probably noticed that it burns easily when compared with animal fats like lard, chicken, or beef fat. The tendency to go rancid, burn, and oxidize is the reason someone invented trans fats. By specially treating vegetable oils, you can make them last longer, but you can't make them better for you.

Remember that oxidized fat can contribute to the formation of free radicals in your body. While these free radicals might sound like rebels fighting against big-government, they're not. These may be where cancer get started. They're the reason you need anti-oxidants or need to avoid things that cause oxidative damage.

So, if rancid, burned, or oxidized fat is bad (and it is), then you want to eat fats that will not rapidly oxidize or go rancid in the tropical climate of your body. Consequently, you want to get your fat from saturated and mono-unsaturated sources.

Some food, uh, fat for thought.


PS. Don't fear the fat! Especially when it's the right fat for your tropical temperature.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm cold turkey until I get some hot turkey!

Recently, Jimmy Moore of Livin La Vida Low Carb decided he would go sweet free until Thanksgiving.

He's been having a hard time losing some weight he's put on in the past year and he thinks that eating low-carb sweets, artificial sweeteners, and even fruit may be a part of his problem.

Well, I'm writing to tell you that I'm on board too and I hope you'll join Jimmy and I.

Why on earth would a low-carb nut like me rail against artificial sweeteners? They're great for avoiding the poison more commonly known as sugar, but does that mean that they're any better for you?

The main premise behind eating low-carb is that your body was designed to eat whole, unrefined, natural foods. This means that foods that require processing and refining to be edible are best avoided. I read a book called the Paleo Diet, in which the author, Loren Cordain, said that a good rule of thumb was to only eat foods which could be eaten raw. When I say this to people, they think I'm crazy because they believe you can't eat eggs or meat raw. Of course you can! I'm not saying you should, but obviously our ancestors did and people still do.

By that premise, obviously, our bodies were not meant to consume great amounts of sugar as it was generally unavailable to our ancestors except in the form of some occasional honey or seasonal fruit. Our ancestors may have also gnawed on sugar cane, but they did not consume refined sugar.

If I haven't lost you yet, then allow me to close this argument by saying that our body was not designed to consume artificial sweeteners. I won't say that they're going to give you cancer or that you'll get sick and die from eating them. I have found that they can cause problems with my reactive hypoglycemia and I think they have some of the same addictive properties of refined carbohydrates like sugar and white flour. I also think that they may tend to encourage low-carbers to loosen their resolve because you may fall back into craving more sweets.

So, if you've improved your health and well-being by consuming foods that your body was made to thrive on, consider kicking the parts of your diet that don't fit that bill. To make a long story short, I'm giving up sweets until at least Thanksgiving. I'll probably indulge that day, but will I go back to sweeteners after that. Only time will tell.

While we're on the subject of what your body was designed to thrive on and the foods for which it was not designed, can you think of any others you should consider getting rid of......?

How do you feel about artificial sweeteners? How much do you normally consume? Do you think that sugar and other refined carbs are addictive? Do you find that artificial sweeteners have the same effect?


PS. Don't fear the fat! Especially if it's from all natural animal sources. No processing required.