Time to get with the program Spain!

lowfatmadness

I was on the metro today and I saw this ad for Asturiana milk. They have now manage to make their milk contain even less fat, and I can´t help but wonder when this country is going to catch up with modern day society and learn that natural fats are actually healthy (necessary even) for your body. Isn´t this low-fat mentality just so 1995? Don´t people know by now that it´s overconsumption of carbohydrates that is the reason for obesity, type 2 diabetes etc, and not fat. All it takes is just some basic knowledge in physiology to figure that out. And I know that the world is run by money and that the sugar industry and the pharmaceutical industry are actually some of the largest industries in the world, and if people would stop wanting/needing their products it would be a financial disaster, but sometimes the stupidity and greed of this world becomes exhausting. I just want to run off to a desert island or a mountain top somewhere and not be exposed to this shit for a while.

How the whole “saturated fat myth” got started:

Hungry for change

This is a really interesting video on why we need to stop dieting and instead focus on being healthy and happy. There´s such an obsession in society today on beauty and being skinny and perfect and we forget the most important reason that we´re here, to work on our minds, to evolve and become happy, loving, intelligent beings. Will write a longer post on this subject later but first go watch this video! It´s only available for free for 19 more hours, so click on the image below to watch it!

A step in the right direction

So the NNR (Nordic Nutrition Recommendations) of 2012 contains a very positive change in the area of the recommended amount of carbs and fat in your diet. After going through the modern research they came to the conclusion (that low carbers have been claiming for years) that there is no scientific support saying that less fat has any positive effect on your health and weight loss, neither does a high amount of carbs. Therefor the result is that they completely removed the recommended amounts of these nutrients, so there is no maximum limit for fat and no minimum amount of carbohydrates anymore.


Image from The Nordic Nutrition Conference in Reykjavik, through dietdoctor.com

Drugs Cigarettes Alcohol…and Sugar?

The final episode of The Skinny on Obesity. Dr Robert Lustig talks about regulations on sugar in society. It´s a good idea in theory, but I think we are far from it becoming a reality. Unfortunately there is so much money in the sugar industry and a many countries´ economy depends on selling agricultural products, which is why the governments out there are still claiming fat is the enemy and we should consume high carb low fat foods to stay healthy, even though the escalating pandemic of obesity and cardiovascular disease has been claiming the opposite for the past 30 years.

I think the best weapon in these crazy times is education. I still have hopes for humanity, I still believe most of us are intelligent people, I´ve said it before, we need to stop letting other people think for us, and instead take charge of our own lives and our own health. If everybody starts making healthier food decisions and stop buying sugary starchy crap, the food industry will eventually be forced to change their selection of products. In Sweden the low carb high fat lifestyle is growing and the results are already showing in the supermarkets, real butter is flying of the shelves whereas margarine sales are going down.


Swedish supermarket offering margarine on sale (5 SEK = about 50 cents) in a desperate attempt to get rid of it before the expiration date. Image from kostdoktorn.se

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don´t have any.

Big Fat Lies

Let´s start the week off with a little lesson on fat including the much misunderstood saturated fats. Fat is an essential nutrient for our bodies, meaning the cells in your body need it to function properly. There´s alot of talk about your brain needing carbohydrates but the fact is your brain needs fat and only a little bit of glucose which can be converted in your liver from fat and protein. (I know at least my brain works a lot better without alot of carboyhydrates messing up my blood sugar levels, making me tired and unfocused.) Fat is also needed for the uptake of vitamins A, D, E and K, which are important for you eye sight, your skeleton, your skin and mucous membranes among other things.
And last but not least fat does not make you fat, anymore than sugar makes you sweet or greens make you green.


Update: I don´t know if anyone else is having problems watching this first video. If you do, just click on the “watch on youtube” icon in the bottom right corner, and it should be working fine.

There´s one type of fat that should be avoided though, the industrial transfats:

Some interesting info on the making of margarine, that is recommended as a “healthier substitute” for natural butter:

Hydrogenation: This is the process that turns polyunsaturates, normally liquid at room temperature, into fats that are solid at room temperature — margarine and shortening. To produce them, manufacturers begin with the cheapest oils — soy, corn, cottonseed or canola, already rancid from the extraction process — and mix them with tiny metal particles — usually nickel oxide. The oil with its nickel catalyst is then subjected to hydrogen gas in a high-pressure, high-temperature reactor. Next, soap-like emulsifiers and starch are squeezed into the mixture to give it a better consistency; the oil is yet again subjected to high temperatures when it is steam-cleaned. This removes its unpleasant odor. Margarine’s natural color, an unappetizing grey, is removed by bleach. Dyes and strong flavors must then be added to make it resemble butter. Finally, the mixture is compressed and packaged in blocks or tubs and sold as a health food.

Partially hydrogenated margarines and shortenings are even worse for you than the highly refined vegetable oils from which they are made because of chemical changes that occur during the hydrogenation process. Under high temperatures, the nickel catalyst causes the hydrogen atoms to change position on the fatty acid chain. Before hydrogenation, pairs of hydrogen atoms occur together on the chain, causing the chain to bend slightly and creating a concentration of electrons at the site of the double bond. This is called the cis formation, the configuration most commonly found in nature. With hydrogenation, one hydrogen atom of the pair is moved to the other side so that the molecule straightens. This is called the transformation, rarely found in nature. Most of these man-made trans fats are toxins to the body, but unfortunately your digestive system does not recognize them as such. Instead of being eliminated, trans fats are incorporated into cell membranes as if they were cis fats — your cells actually become partially hydrogenated! Once in place, trans fatty acids with their misplaced hydrogen atoms wreak havoc in cell metabolism because chemical reactions can only take place when electrons in the cell membranes are in certain arrangements or patterns, which the hydrogenation process has disturbed.
(http://www.health-report.co.uk/saturated_fats_health_benefits.htm)

Oh, and how to make butter? Churn cream until it becomes butter, add some salt for flavor.

I know which one I prefer… And if you´re interested in making your own butter I stumbled upon this great super simple tutorial. All you need is a blender or food processor of some sort. Happy churning!

21 reasons why sugar ruins your health

Sugar can suppress your immune system.

Sugar can damage the pancreas. (Which is the gland active in glucose and insulin responses.)

Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, inability to concentrate and crankiness in children.

Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.

Sugar can cause metabolic syndrome.

Sugar reduces high-density lipoproteins (HDL).

Sugar raises the level of neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance – some hormones become underactive and others become overactive.

Sugar can make the skin wrinkle by changing the structure of collagen.

Sugar can cause tooth decay.

Sugar can lead to obesity

Sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Sugar can cause heart disease.

Sugar can cause dyspepsia (indigestion).

Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.

Sugar can aggravate premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese people.

Sugar plays a role in the cause and the continuation of acne.

Sugar can cause fatigue, moodiness, nervousness, and depression.

Sugar can ruin the sex life of both men and women by turning off the gene that controls the sex hormones.

For a 122 more reasons (and a bibliography, if you don´t just take my word for it. ;)): click here.

Omega 3 and why it should be in your diet

I´m sure most people out there are already familiar with the benefits of Omega 3 by now, but let´s do a little repeat, for fun! 🙂

Omega 3 fatty acids are what we call essential fatty acids, which means your body needs them in order to function properly, however your body can´t make them, so you need to get them through your food. The best source would be fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and tuna. If fish isn´t your thing, the next best option would be a high quality supplement (found in your nearest health food store, make sure it´s made from natural oil though and not the creepy synthetic alternatives which unfortunately are out there).

These are some of the important roles omega 3 plays in our lives:

Brain Function:
Omega 3 is necessary for your brain to function optimally. Don´t forget this is especially important for the growing brains of kids. In fact there are studies pointing to the importance of adding the fatty acid to the diet to improve the cognitive functions in children with ADD. (More on that here!) It´s also recommended for pregnant women to (if not willing to eat fish) take an omega 3 supplement for the development of the brain of their unborn baby. You remember when you were little and your mom would always tell you “fish makes you smart” (or was that just me), well, as much as I hate to admit it, she was actually right!

High cholesterol, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease:
This is probably the areas where Omega 3 is mostly famous for its benefits. I´m not going to get into the details cause then I´d be writing a book, so just to keep it short; clinical studies have shown eating EPA and DHA (acids found in fish oil) helps reduce the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. If you´re interested in more information I would suggest Google. 🙂

Diabetes:
A low carb high fat diet has shown itself being very beneficial for people with diabetes (type 1 and 2). An intake of omega 3 could help lowering the levels of triglycerides and raise your HDL (good cholesterol). For more on diabetes and the importance of fat in general (not just omega 3), click here!

Skin conditions:
A lot of people suffering from acne, dry skin, and exzemas can be helped from an intake of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. The essential oils will help keeping your skin cells soft, smooth and happy, and if you catch them early they might even prevent a wrinkle or two from popping up too soon! It´s important to combine the two oils though, as omega 6 by itself has a inflammatory effect, they need to be combined for optimal results.


Click on image to buy high quality omega 3!

The Skinny on Obesity pt 5




Now, I´ve never squeezed a baby out of my vagina so there´s probably a lot of people out there thinking I have no say in this, however I have a hard time understanding women who get pregnant and go; “I´m going to get fat anyway so I´m just gonna eat whatever I want.” Correct me if I´m wrong but shouldn´t this be the time when you really pay attention to what you put in your body? Shouldn´t these 9 months of your life be all about healthy natural food with lots of necessary nutrients for you and your baby, and not at all about eating sugary transfatty cookies, potato chips and other junk? I just find it interesting that women are advised not to eat fish, containing essential fatty acids for both mother and baby (more on this in an upcoming post), because fish might contain mercury (can be avoided by choosing fresh fish), but they are encouraged to stuff their bodies with ice cream, cookies, chips, and soda, because “they´re going to get fat anyway, and might as well enjoy it as much as possible…”

I´m very picky about what I put into my body (I´m borderline OCD with reading the ingredients of my food purchases making sure there´s no artificial crap in it), and if I ever were to get pregnant one day I can only imagine that taking on a ten-fold increase in obsessiveness. Now I´m just potentially destroying my own body, but to do the same to a brand new baby body with no chance of defending itself…(!!!) The thing is, I´m sure all mothers-to-be out there want what´s best for their babies, nobody actually wants to ruin their babies´ health. The problem is the lack of information on what sugar and transfats do to your body, well there´s plenty of information out there, but it rarely reaches its targets unfortunately. People tend to think that if it´s in their grocery store labelled as food it´s completely safe to put in their mouths. Here´s a useful tip; the food industry doesn´t care about your health, it cares about selling products in order to make more money. Don´t rely on them to make healthy choices for you, instead take control of your own life, educate yourself and start making good choices based on knowledge instead of capitalism!

(For more information, links to research studies referenced in the videos, and a quiz on food addiction, go to website www.uctv.tv/skinny-on-obesity.)