Tag Archives: weight loss

Fatty food makes new cells, and keeps us healthy


Most natural fats are found in vegetable oils, dairy products and in animal fat. Vegetable oils such as olive oil are liquid at room temperature because the are composed largely of triacylglycerols and unsaturated fatty acids. Most fats are complex mixtures of simple and mixed triacylglycerols. Beef fat is a white, greasy solid at room temperature because it is composed of triacylglycerols containing only saturated fatty acids.

The chief storage form of metabolic fuel is fat in living organisms. However, this fat is in different forms in different organisms. The fats and oils used as forms of stored energy are derivatives of fatty acids. Fatty acids circulate in the blood bound to a protein carrier, serum albumen and in blood plasma as carboxylic acid derivatives. Specialized cells called adipocytes, or fat cells, store large amounts of triacylglycerols as fat droplets that nearly fill the cell. Triacylglycerols yield twice as much energy gram per gram as carbohydrates. Also, they are unhydrated unlike carbohydrates and hence , the organism that carries fat as fuel, does not have to carry the extra water of hydration. Humans have fat tissues composed of adipocytes. These are located under the skin, mammary glands, and in the abdominal cavity. Moderately obese people can draw for months on their fat stores to supply their energy needs. Carbohydrates can only provide one day’s energy, although they offer a quick source of energy. Some lipids while essential for cell structure (omega- 3 and omega -6 oils) cannot be produced by the body and require dietary sources. In a study conducted in rats showed that a critical period of rat brain development occurs during late trimester of pregnancy and early lactation months. During this time, large amounts of omega- 3 fatty acids are deposited in the brain lipids of the developing foetus and baby rat brain. So, during this time the mother’s diet must be provided with a suitable dietary source of omega – 3 fatty acid.

The fatty acids can be of a wide variety. Heart tissue is uniquely composed of certain lipids such as ether lipids and plasmalogens.  The functional significance and their difference is unknown. However, if you eat a fat-free diet, you are certain to ‘starve’ your heart tissue of much needed nutrients to remain healthy. Anorexic girls soon develop weak heart tissue precisely because they eat a fat free diet. Overzealous adults starve their own hearts and sometimes that of their growing children by feeding a fat-free diet. Fatty food should be in moderation included in a healthy diet.

At least one fatty lipid, platelet-activating factor is a potent molecular signal. It plays an important role in inflammation and the allergic response. It is released from leukocytes and stimulates the release of serotonin from platelets and exerts other effects on liver, heart, uterine, lung and smooth muscles. A fat-free diet could potentially make one more prone to allergies.

Humans have at least 60 different fatty acids called Spingolipids in their cellular membranes. They are especially important in neurons and some are clearly recognition sites on the cell surface and can begin a cascade reaction. Certain variations of spingolipids define human blood groups and therefore determine safe blood transfusions. This area needs to be researched further. However, they emphasize the importance of moderate fat in a food menu. Credit for this initial research goes to Johann Thudichum (1829-1901).

Many new cells die each day and are replaced by new cells, each having a new cell membrane, which is composed of membrane fatty acid lipids. A fat-free diet could reduce the healthy replacement of new cells. Sterols are structural lipids present in the membranes where they serve as a precursor to certain biological activities. For example, steroid hormones and cholesterol are major sterols, which have various functions including giving a structural role to cell membranes. Trust me, if your cell membrane lacks structure, your cell has no structure and results in a body with no form or structure! You need structure, hence you need sterols. A fat-free diet with no sterols or cholesterol can be deadly.

Thus, fatty acids considered above have shown that lipids form a structural role in cell formation (about 5%) and a fuel storage role (80%). These lipids play a passive role in the cells. Another group of lipids have an active role in the cells, as hormones, and intracellular messengers generated in response to an exterior cell signal. A third group consists of conjugated lipids that absorb light in the visible band. Some of these pigments have a significant role in vision. Specialized lipids are important because they are useful to carry vitamins A, D, E and K as fat soluble vitamins. So, these are biologically active fatty acid lipids. Imagine a fat-free diet would be deficient in such biological activity. Membrane spingolipids have a role as intracellular messengers and as regulators. This can be important in any number of activities such as mounting an inflammatory response or in wound healing.

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Healthy Ginger Zucchini Cupcakes (via Daily Crave)


Try this excellent and healthy recipe for your family. It has ginger, whose qualities I have raved about in a previous article, and zucchini, which I shall be researching in more detail later but is a nutritious vegetable.

Ginger Zucchini Cupcakes with an Orange-Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting If you're anything like me, right around this time of year you begin to get the Autumn itch.  The nights are slowly evolving into a cool calm, the scent of the outside air begins to change, and the anticipation for the fall festivities ahead has you wound up with total excitement! What better way to transition into the best time of year, than to unite the two worlds of summer and spice in this delicious cupcake.  My father in-law graciously gifte … Read More

via Daily Crave

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Broccoli and Osteoarthritis


The most common type of arthritis is Osteoarthritis (OA). The second most common type is Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis has drugs that may ease the pain and slow progression of the disease but it cannot be prevented. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, can be prevented but currently, there are no drugs to treat this condition. Both effect more women than men. Generally, it is common in more older women than older men, but this difference tapers of with increasing age.

Broccoli Florets

Dr. David Felson, MD MPH of Boston University has published 140 papers on this subject. His research on Osteoarthritis has been funded with National Institute of Health (NIH) peer – reviewed funding. He is optimistic that Osteoarthritis is preventable with long – term life – style changes. Unfortunately, there are no drugs to treat Osteoarthritis right now.  Pain killers are prescribed to deal with the pain but they have their own side reactions.

Dr Felson says that losing weight is one way to prevent OA. Even if you are of normal weight, losing a little more weight to become thin can actually benefit, and is especially good for the knees. Eating Vit K rich and Vit C rich food and raising exposure to Vit D can also be preventive. One such food suggested is Broccoli. Exercise such as joining the gym and doing yoga is very helpful in both losing weight and keeping the joints in motion. Physical therapists may be able to advice on very effective exercises to not only prevent development of OA but to alleviate the pain from OA without using pain killers.

For easy Broccoli recipes try easy and healthy Paula Dean’s site. Also, you may try this delicious steamed broccoli with a hint of garlic.

Research may reveal genetic biomarkers to identify which segment of the population is most likely to develop OA and then they could begin preventive processes earlier specifically for prevention of OA. In the meantime, exercise for fun and prevention, lose weight, eat Vit K rich foods like Broccoli and increase exposure to Vit D by taking every opportunity to step outside and stretch.

Since there is no current therapy, surgery is the only resource but effective. Stem cell research is showing promise in building cartilage.

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Banana – the way to eat and lose weight too


Banana

My best friend was distraught when her toddler refused to drink regular milk. “How am I supposed to keep my baby healthy?” She wailed. Then, her baby girl surprised her. She loved to eat bananas and she ate enough to stay healthy. Fortunately, bananas are nutrition rich, especially in potassium. It made me wonder, what else does a banana have that made it so healthy?

I discovered that doctors have recommended eating bananas to people with low potassium or with hypertension. Scientists (1991) have shown that potassium is the primary mineral of ripe banana, and that crude protein is 3.8% of dry banana flour. They have also evaluated two cooking varieties of banana and shown that the carbohydrate content is 2.8% soluble sugars, 70% starch and 12% non-starch polysaccharides. Scientists have also shown that fresh green banana is a good source of Vitamin C.

I know that Bananas (musa sp.) are very popular in tropical countries. Banana has recently been called the weight loss food. When opera singer, Kumiko Mori, lost 15 lbs on the ‘Morning banana diet‘ developed by Hitoshi and Sumiko Watanabe, the banana became very popular in Japan. The Japanese went bananas over bananas with supermarkets selling out of bananas. Guess, our tropical ancestors were right!

Compared to other fruits the banana provides more energy. During marathons in Europe, runners are handed pieces of banana by volunteers running alongside them. Moroccons have a deliciously cold, avocado – banana smoothie recipe that was made an international hit in 2011 by a blogger. Some always keep a supply of bananas in their fridge.  A delicious banana streusel recipe is another way of eating your bananas.

Is banana the food of choice of thin people or are people thin because they eat banana? Banana recipe suggestions have included eating it with your waffle, and loving sisters have suggested serving it along with a meal on the side to satisfy hungry brothers. The importance of eating breakfast, to maintain a healthy lifestyle has been emphasized by trainers and nutritionists. Some say that’s easy because the banana is their favorite breakfast food. Some have said eating bananas prevents them from snacking by making them feel full. The importance of regular sleep in a banana weight loss diet has been suggested.  Your view is welcome.  Click here for hundreds of photographs and cartoons of banana.

Banana is not always good for you. Apparently, when the kidneys are not functioning correctly, it is best to restrict bananas in the diet. Again, it is the high potassium in the bananas which is to be avoided to keep a failing kidney healthy. Ironically, it is equally important for the remaining family members to eat bananas to stay healthy!

The Banana Tree

In West Bengal, India all parts of the banana plant are used. The fruit is very popular. The stem is cooked and eaten and it’s extract is being researched by Indian scientists to show beneficial effects. The fruit is sliced and dried to be eaten as a healthy snack, which may refer to their potassium, protein, vitamin C, and soluble sugar contents. The dried banana slices are packaged and sold in several health food stores such as Whole Foods and Food Emporium, and very popular as a healthy snack. The leaves are used to serve food in India. The leaves have natural antiseptic properties and hence serve as a healthy, antiseptic, disposable serving platter which are very popular during weddings in India.

Although there are several edible banana varieties, only a few varieties have worldwide appeal, particularly due to ripening issues during storage and transportation.  Marriott has published, highly cited papers on the storage and ripening properties of banana that are important during transportation (1980). There are several new varieties of cooking banana and plantain varieties with improved pest and disease resistance and where the cooking banana had lower starch, and ascorbic acid than the plantains. There has been much work done on how to prevent or delay banana peel spotting.

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