"Often, we are told how bad saturated fats are for our health. Whether it is by our doctors or news articles, we are sold just how bad coconut oil is because it is a source of artery-clogging saturated fat."
"Well, coconut oil has been criticized when it is actually one of the good fats. It has been used in hospital formulas to feed critically ill patients and is a major component of baby formulas because it provides the same nutrient value as human breast milk."
"It was discovered by the people that live in the Islands of the South Pacific that these natives were robust and healthy eating traditional native diets. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis are almost unheard of, but when they abandon their traditional diets for the Western foods, they find that their health deteriorates, and the more the Pacific natives move away from the diet of their ancestors, the closer they come to the diseases of the West like diabetes, gout, obesity, and atherosclerosis."
"We are extremely pleased to announce the launch of our iPhone & Android app, called myKitchen! We have been working closely with our development team for nearly 4 months to bring you this highly interactive paleo meal planning app that you can take anywhere with you. myKitchen can work alone, or as a companion app to your account on The Food Lovers Kitchen. The recipes you save as favorites on the website will automatically sync to the app on your phone (and vice versa!) That means that you can browse our website on your computer and then when you go to the store, you’ll have everything at your fingertips on your phone with the myKitchen app: our entire catalogue of recipes, your saved recipes, a customizable meal planner, and it will even generate shopping lists for you.myKitchen is the easiest way to take your favorite Paleo, Primal, and Gluten-free recipes with you wherever you go. You can save your favorite recipes, create daily meal plans and unique menus, and even generate shopping lists."
“Very shortly, we will be ready to share more information about the Tesla Gigafactory. This will allow us to achieve a major reduction in the cost of our battery packs and accelerate the pace of battery innovation. Working in partnership with our suppliers, we plan to integrate precursor material, cell, module and pack production into one facility. With this facility, we feel highly confident of being able to create a compelling and affordable electric car in approximately three years. This will also allow us to address the solar power industry’s need for a massive volume of stationary battery packs.”
In a study published in Cancer Research, researchers compared the development of tumors in mice on the Western diet or on a low carb diet. The Western diet promoted tumor growth.
"Since cancer cells depend on glucose more than normal cells, we compared the effects of low carbohydrate (CHO) diets to a Western diet on the growth rate of tumors in mice."
"Strikingly, in a genetically engineered mouse model of HER-2/neu-induced mammary cancer, tumor penetrance in mice on a Western diet was nearly 50% by the age of 1 year whereas no tumors were detected in mice on the low CHO diet."
New research has shown that images of extreme weather in the media create negative emotional meanings and might lead to disengagement with the issue of climate change. The images symbolised fear, helplessness and vulnerability and, in some cases, guilt and compassion. Appealing to fear of disaster can lead to denial and paralysis rather than positive behaviour change. (emphasis added)
"AN ADVANCE NOTICE: THIS IS not a book about living a more gracious life. Nor is it written to stir sentimentality or foster sophistication. On the contrary, it’s an endeavor best undertaken with the sleeves rolled up. Prepare to get your hands dirty. We’ll be digging down to the rudiments. It’s about unearthing something in ourselves that has been lost, buried, or obscured. It’s about reconnecting with the less acknowledged, let alone less appreciated, layers of ourselves. It’s about getting to the very essence of what makes us human and tapping into our genetic recipe for health, happiness, and fulfillment."
In a study published in the February 2014 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University, and the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed two health database with a total of with 42,880 cases (31,147 for the time trend analysis and 11 ,733 for the association study) to determine the association between the amount of added sugar intake and mortality from cardiovascular.
According to the study abstract, from 2005-2010 “most adults consumed 10% or more of calories from added sugar (71.4%) and approximately 10% consumed 25%.”
Researchers compared “participants who consumed 10.0% to 24.9% or 25.0% or more calories from added sugar with those who consumed less than 10.0% of calories from added sugar.”
As summarized by Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer for Live Science, “people who consumed between 17 and 21 percent of their daily calories from added sugar were nearly 40 percent more likely to die from cardiovascular disease over a 14-year period than those who consumed about 8 percent of their daily calories from added sugar.”
Where does sugar reside? In addition to soda, packaged foods are the main culprit. In a comment in the JAMA Internal Medicine issue, Dr. Laura A. Schmidt of University of California, San Francisco fingered packaged foods:
“…77 percent of them have sugar added to them. For example, it’s added to breads, it’s added to bagels, it’s added to ketchup, it’s added to salad dressing … Foods you think are quite savory tasting have sugar added to them. So it makes it very hard for the consumer to know when they’re getting too much sugar.”
The study's conclusions:
“Most US adults consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet. We observed a significant relationship between added sugar consumption and increased risk for CVD mortality.”
In summary, added sugar is associated with an increased risk of dying from heart disease. While association is not causation, the study does provide support for diets that shun processed foods such as the Paleo diet. More importantly, it may increase the medical community's attention to further studies on the effects of added sugar in out diet.
"As a student at Brown University, Gabi Lewis was the kind of health nut who made his own protein bars from scratch. His roommate, Greg Sewitz, got interested in entomophagy—eating insects, if you didn’t go to Brown—and on a lark, the pair tossed 2,000 dried crickets in a Vitamix with some dried fruit and raw cacao. They handed out their creations after parties and sold them at the campus farmers market. “We were doing it for our drunken friends,” Lewis says."
"People liked the bars, and when Lewis, 23, and Sewitz, 22, graduated last May, they started researching what it would take to ramp up production. They raised $55,000 on Kickstarter for their company, Exo, and worked with cricket farms, which traditionally cater to pet stores and bait shops, to raise insects for human consumption. They found a manufacturer to do the cooking and packing, and improbably, persuaded a former head of research at the Fat Duck, a U.K. restaurant with three stars from Michelin, to help improve their recipes. (The chef, Kyle Connaughton, now owns a stake in the company.) They plan to sell the bars for $2.99."
We evolved on Earth. Simple enough, yet we usually don’t consider how attuned we are to its rhythms, especially its rotation with its night and day cycles. When we are out of rhythm with natural cycles, we are “misaligned.” The metabolic effects of misalignment with the Earths rotation, our circadian rhythms, have been studied in shift workers. However, some of health detriments were attributed to loss of sleep, a frequent accompaniment to of an irregular work schedule.
Researchers from Chicago, IL, Brussels, Belgium and Uppsala, Sweden designed a study to determine if circadian misalignment without sleep loss increases inflammation and the risk of diabetes. Their goal and study population:
“To determine whether the misalignment of circadian rhythms that typically occurs in shift work involves intrinsic adverse metabolic effects independently of sleep loss, twenty-six healthy adults were studied using a parallel group design.”
Published in Diabetes on January 23, the study revealed:
“Circadian misalignment as occurs in shift work may increase diabetes risk and inflammation, independently of sleep loss.”
Take home point: Being out of rhythm with the Earths rotation may be an independent risk factor for the development of inflammation and diabetes.
“Where are they going,” I asked the bartender, a portly man with a round head and arms that, propped up by his belly, stuck out at his sides. When the glacier Pio Once had appeared on the horizon, he had put on his jacket, and then left his post. Now he stood on the second level of the ship, beside a lifeboat containing three men that was being lowered into the channel. He was going to ignore my comment, until he noticed me staring at him from where I stood at the third level’s railing. “To buy the newspaper,” he said, and we both laughed. Around us dark mountains rose into the clouds, while chunks of ice that had fallen from Pio Once speckled the channel’s frigid water. “Adíos,” one of the men solemnly called as the lifeboat disappeared from my sight.
I walked to the front of the ship, where the tourists were crowded, taking pictures of Pio Once, a looming wall of luminous blue ice, broken into jagged segments, like the crooked teeth of a frost giant. It was one of the few glaciers in the world that was still growing, adding about five hundred meters per year. Beginning at the base of a volcano, it was slowly making its way into the channel, which, if its growth continued, it would one day choke in its icy grip. A stern wind blew off the smooth slope of Pio Once, hurling the light rain that was falling against the passengers’ faces and cameras.
Once the cold in my hands and feet became greater than my desire to behold the glacier, I went inside and took a seat in the lounge. The bartender was back, serving beers and pisco sours to the passengers who had also had their fill of natural beauty. After half an hour, one of the men I had seen on the lifeboat appeared. I recognized him by the orange coverall he wore, and the hunk of ice he cradled in his arms. As I watched, he took it behind the bar, and then dropped it in the ice bin, where the bartender immediately set to work chopping it into manageable pieces.
I was amused. When I saw the lifeboat being lowered, I had no idea what the men aboard were doing, but I had assumed that it was important. Perhaps they were going to take measurements or collect samples. The captain had told us that when he was not sailing, he taught a class at Santiago University. I had even momentarily thought they were going to buy a newspaper, though my stark surroundings – the thick forests, broken only by white cascades – quickly persuaded me that the chances of a newsstand being out here were zero. Until I saw that man walk into the bar carrying a translucent piece of ice the size of a small child, it could never have occurred to me that three sailors would brave the freezing waters of this channel for nothing more than so that they could later make drinks with the ice of Pio Once.
John Michael Oró
For more on the Patagonia trip search "Patagonia" in the search box.
"The jury is in on the shortcomings of the Western diet and the benefits of pre-industrial food; reams have been written about the pressing need to change the way we eat. The moment is ripe. People are hungry to get started, yet no one is doing much about it. The space is still dominated by the same two players. On one side, there are the cynical profiteers of the food industry who have hijacked words like "healthy" and "natural" so they can stick them on the labels of their latest lab creations. On the other side, there are the rigid, alienating food fascists who insist that everything we eat should taste as unpleasant as possible. That doesn’t work for us. We have a different idea - unequivocally delicious food that also happens to be unprocessed and good for you. Is that even possible?"
After watching the Seattle Seahawks painfully dominate the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, I was struck by the explosive nature of the Seahawks. They applied constant pressure on Manning and seemed to burst out of nowhere to quickly surround nearly every Bronco that ran or caught the ball. Puzzled, I wondered about each team’s diet. A quick, non-scientific search led to the following (emphasis added):
In an article published in the Seattle Times on January 8, Tan Vinh discusses the Seattle Seahawks’ diet with team chef Mac McNabb. The diet appears to be mostly Paleo:
“eggs, … 60 dozen a week … whipped eggs for omelets”
“burrito …” “Gourmet, luxurious stuff”
“tortilla stuffed with organic veggies, organic sausage and free-range eggs”
“egg-white omelet, this time with chicken sausage, mushroom, onion and cheddar, topped with a dollop of salsa”
“smoked a 24-pound turkey, made gallons of smoothies, baked organic blueberry scones and endless trays of bacon and organic chorizo”
“team goes through 50 pounds of fish and 60 pounds of beef every week”
“all organic and premium meat — grass-fed beef, free-range chicken — and few if any genetically modified foods”
“salmon teriyaki, smoked briskets and what may be the most decadent gumbo in the city, brimming with medallion-size scallops, cod, salmon, mussels, clams — all fresh or wild caught — along with andouille sausage”
“pistachio-crusted Ono fish”
“chicken from Popeyes, which the team gets on Friday when lunch is catered”
“beverage aisle of a convenience store with rows of water, V-8 juices and yogurts”
“Snacks are jerkys and granola bars stacked in plastic bins labeled “buffalo,” “turkey” and “honey sunflower seeds.”
“No sodas or junk food, but there are fresh-baked cookies on Thursdays.”
“No deep-fried food made in the kitchen. Even French fries are baked.”
“For post-practice, when McNabb puts out a pasta station, many players will shun a carb-loaded meal for something lighter.”
“The days of seeing players like former defensive tackle Chad Eaton eat three, 22-ounce porterhouse steaks in one sitting are few and far between.”
“Take safety Kam Chancellor. At a recent breakfast, sporting a red Air Jordan hoodie and headphones, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound defender strolled in at 7:30, skipping the eggs and bacon for a bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar.”
“And quarterback Wilson had the most sensible (though maybe not the most appetizing) breakfast of the bunch. He grabbed a modest bowl of steel-cut oats, the portion size more fitting for a runway model. He then took a bowl of grapes and headed to the film room instead of mingling with teammates. He circled back later to request one fried duck egg.”
On the DenverBroncos.com site Stuart Zaas talks with linebacker Von Miller “about the importance of nutrition.” In the article team Nutritionist Brian Snyder provides an overview of the Broncos diet. With its carbohydrate focus, it is more representative of the standard modern diet:
“Typically, at the hotel I usually don’t vary the menu up too much because guys like consistency. We usually have a pretty good variety of pastas, proteins, cornbread, starches – it’s very carbohydrate focused with lean sources of protein and then at the stadium I have my normal snack table full of Gatorade bars. Guys like their routine. During the week I’ll change up the menu quite a bit but pregame I try to keep it consistent.”
A recent ABC News article lists 7 reasons to give up sugar, most not surprising to Paleo & Primal advocates. Author Leah Zerbeh quotes Robert Lustig, MD, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at University of California, San Francisco. Among the 7 reasons to avoid added sugar -
It tricks your brain
The Facts: Eating too much added sugar allows the fructose found in sugar and high-fructose corn syrup to send your hunger hormones into a tailspin. The hormonal messages that tell your brain you’re full aren’t properly triggered, tricking your system into thinking you haven’t eaten, Dr. Lustig explains.
Where Sugar Lurks: Surprisingly, in bread—and not just white bread, either. Multigrain and whole wheat generally contain about 2 grams of added sugar per slice.”
It accelerates aging
The Facts: “Sugar is a primary contributor to the aging process,” Dr. Lustic explains. He says fructose, the sweet molecule in sugar, is seven times more potent than the glucose portion of sugar, forming oxygen radicals, leading to higher rates of cell damage and death, and contributing to chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It speeds along the aging process in general.
Where Sugar Lurks: You wouldn’t guess it, but added sugar hides out in most tomato sauces. “The problem is that the Institute of Medicine, United States Department of Agriculture, and Food and Drug Administration refuse to list a Dietary Reference Intake—a maximum—for sugar consumption,” Dr. Lustig says. “That gives the food industry license to put any amount into any food they want. With no Daily Recommended Intake, you can’t know if you’re over the top.”
Learn more: 7 Surprising Reasons to Give Up Sugar (ABC)
Two drag races between all-electric 2013 Tesla Model S P85 and gasoline powered 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Z51. Who wins?
In his new book Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, Daniel Coleman has a chapter on "The value of the mind adrift." A few quotes:
"Every variety of attention has its uses. The very fact that about half of our thoughts are daydreams suggests there may well be some advantages to a mind that can entertain the fanciful. We might revise our own thinking about a 'wandering mind,' by considering that rather than wandering away from what counts, we may well be wandering toward something of value."
"Since the brain stores different kinds of information in wide-reaching circuitry, a freely roaming awareness ups the odds of serendipitous associations and novel combinations."
"The nonstop onslaught of email, texts, bills to pay - 'life's full catastrophe' - throws us into a brain state antithetical to the open focus where serendipitous discoveries thrive. In the tumult of our daily distractions and to-do lists, innovation dead-ends; in open time it flourishes. That's why the annals of discovery are rife with tales of brilliant insights during a walk or a bath, on a long ride or vacation. Open time lets the creative spirit flourish; tight schedules kill it."
Image: Statue of Albert Einstein, Vail, Colorado. Copyright CyberMed, LLC
A study published online in Neurology on October 23, 2013 sheds light on the possible mechanisms of dementia in persons with elevated blood glucose but without diabetes as discussed in the previous post. The hippocampus, located in the inner aspect of both temporal lobes, is the key brain structure for memory consolidation and storage.
The researchers “aimed to elucidate whether higher glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and glucose levels exert a negative impact on memory performance and hippocampal volume and microstructure in a cohort of healthy, older, nondiabetic individuals without dementia.”
Learning tests, blood levels of HbA1c, glucose, and insulin, and advanced (3-tesla) MRI scans were performed on 141 persons (72 women & 69 men) with an average age of 63. Those with lower glucose and HbA1c levels had better learning and memory and a healthier hippocampi:
“Lower HbA1c and glucose levels were significantly associated with better scores in delayed recall, learning ability, and memory consolidation. …Moreover, mediation analyses indicated that beneficial effects of lower HbA1c on memory are in part mediated by hippocampal volume and microstructure.”
The authors concluded:
“Our results indicate that even in the absence of manifest type 2 diabetes mellitus or impaired glucose tolerance, chronically higher blood glucose levels exert a negative influence on cognition, possibly mediated by structural changes in learning-relevant brain areas. Therefore, strategies aimed at lowering glucose levels even in the normal range may beneficially influence cognition in the older population, a hypothesis to be examined in future interventional trials.”
An study published in the New England Journal Medicine in August 2013 evaluated the risk of dementia in patients with increased glucose levels but without diabetes. Participants included 839 men and 1228 women without dementia at baseline and was "adjusted for age, sex, study cohort, educational level, level of exercise, blood pressure, and status with respect to coronary and cerebrovascular diseases, atrial fibrillation, smoking, and treatment for hypertension."
"During a median follow-up of 6.8 years, dementia developed in 524 participants (74 with diabetes and 450 without). Among participants without diabetes, higher average glucose levels within the preceding 5 years were related to an increased risk of dementia (P=0.01); with a glucose level of 115 mg per deciliter ..."
The authors concluded:
"Our results suggest that higher glucose levels may be a risk factor for dementia, even among persons without diabetes. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.)"
(bold highlighting added)