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0 Overweight & Obesity

Esiuol5 to Nutrition — Tags: ,  

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Overweight and Obesity doesn’t seem to be getting better any time soon!

With all the diets, diet pills, weight-reduction programs, exercise classes, etc. – we are not losing weight.

All these efforts just do not seem to be working. We’re heavier than ever!

In the U.S., an estimated 35% of adults and 17% of children are overweight or obese.  And globally about 37% of adults and for children 13%.  Many causes have been cited and debated – sugared foods and beverages, processed foods, sedentary lifestyles, altered flora, environmental toxins, genes, caloric imbalance, and declining rates of breastfeeding. In the U.S. this accounts for approximately $147 billion for obesity-related medical costs per year.  *

Some cite that programs to restrict or ban certain foods has shown some progress and assuming personal responsibility for weight management is basic and critical.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, from 1960 – 2006, the percentage of obese adults ages 20 years and older more than doubled from 13% to 35%.  Between 1980 and 2008 the average body mass index (BMI) increased globally be 0.4 per decade for men and 0.6 per decade for women. Currently 21.8% of the global population and 33.9% of the U.S. population is obese.**

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that as of 2015 there was a 19.4 percent increase in obesity in the U.S, since 1997 when they first started tracking obesity. They say that obesity rates, except for 2003, have increased every year for both men and women. They further state that people age 40-59 are the most likely to be obese.***

Causes mentioned range from promotion of sugary and high calorie foods, lack of personal responsibility, absence of sidewalks, etc.  Some have recommended consumption of nutrient-dense foods, restrict marketing to children, more money for education and more physical activity. On a small positive note, improvements in transportation, i.e., promotion of cycling and walking has had a slight impact. On the other hand menu labeling with health information and new supermarkets were found to be ineffective.*

The fact remains that efforts used and promoted to reverse obesity trends have not worked.  What do you suggest?

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*  Madsen, Dave, Nutrition Close Up, Egg Nutrition Center, Fall 2015.

** US Global Obesity Levels: The Fat Chart;  http://obesity.procon.org/view.resource.php?

***Romero, Melissa, This Unsettling Chart Shows How Much Fatter Americans Have Become In the Last 20 Years, www.Men’sHealth.com ,  June 6, 2016.

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choc-1Many of us love chocolate, but due to its high fat content, we must resist eating as much as we would like. There have been several efforts to reduce the fat content in the past. But removing even small amounts of fat have been unsuccessful because in the liquid state when fat is removed from the chocolate, the consistency of the chocolate changes and the mixture clogs the processing equipment.

However, scientists at Temple University have found a way to reduce the fat content of chocolate. They run an electric field through the chocolate in the same direction as the flow, rather than the conventional perpendicular method. This reduces the viscosity and allows the fat to be removed. (Temple University has a patent on the process.)*

It is estimated that soon we will be seeing the fat level in chocolate reduced by 10-20 percent.

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*Gerrard, Jeremy, Scientists find ‘shocking’ way to reduce fat in chocolate, Food Engineering, June 28, 2016.

fish6Confusion is occurring when buying fish. What about mercury content, which fish have omega-3 fatty acids and wild varieties or farm-raised?

The 13 best fish as listed recently in Us News & World Report,*follow:

  1. Wild Salmon – versus farmed salmon which may experience overcrowding, exposing fish to chemicals, bacteria and disease.
  2. Artic Char – or iwana on a sushi bar, It is farmed but in a chemical free environment.
  3. Mackerel – Atlantic mackerel is fine. Spanish and King mackerel have potential for mercury contamination.
  4. Sardines – fishing has been closed due to decline in sardine population.
  5. Sablefish/black cod – Go with Sablefish caught off California, Alaska or British Columbia where there is less likelihood of getting another species. It does have moderate mercury content and children under 12 should limit to 2 times a month.
  6. Anchovies – has low mercury levels and high omega-3’s.
  7. Oysters or kaki on the sushi bar.
  8. Rainbow trout – indoor farming with a series of filters to keep the fish clean control chemical pollution and render these fish safe.
  9. Albacore tuna – Use those caught in the North Atlantic Ocean or Pacific Ocean where fishing methods are used that do not snag other species. Children under 5 should limit to 2 times a month.
  10. Mussels – or murugai on the sushi bar. Farmed are OK as they are done in an   environmentally responsible manner.
  11. Pacific Halibut is available and fine.  Atlantic Halibut is almost depleted.  Children 5 and under only 2 times a month.
  12. Rockfish – all species are good.
  13. Catfish – Use only U.S. Catfish. They are low in mercury. Avoid Catfish from Vietnam, Thailand and China.

Another report suggests to buy wild varieties (versus farmed) whenever possible. Fish from the large commercial fisheries are fine.  Look for the blue and white symbol from the Marine Stewardship Council on wild Alaskan salmon, Oregon pink shrimp and North Pacific sablefish.  The symbol proves that the fishery is meeting all local, national and international laws  of keeping its fish population at a sustainable level and minimizing environmental impact.**

Also they suggest to buy domestic fish as the U.S. has the most closely regulated fisheries in the world, except for the northern European fisheries which are also certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.  Fish are labeled according to the origins of the fishing boat.  Thus if a fish is caught off the European coast by an American boat, the fish is labeled as domestic.

Organic does not always mean “organic”. The U.S. Department of Agriculture does not have a certification program for organic seafood. A few shrimp farms do have a USDA organic certification as they qualify as livestock farms. If fish are labeled as “organic” it may mean that the fish ate organic foods in the farm where they were raised or that the fish were not treated with antibiotics or hormones.

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The fish that contain the most omega-3 fatty acids are:**

  • Anchovies
  • Arctic char
  • Atlantic mackerel
  • Herring
  • Rainbow trout
  • Sablefish
  • Sardines
  • Wild salmon
  • Yellowfin tuna.

This article also suggests to avoid or limit eating some fish:**

Know which fish contain the most methylmercury and avoid or limit consumption of them.  Pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children should avoid:

Atlantic swordfish                 shark

King Mackerel                       Tilefish

Marlin                                    Tuna (bigeye or ahi)

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Fish to eat no more than

Fish to eat no more than three times per month because of mercury content include:

Bluefish

Chilean sea bass

Grouper

Mackerel (Spanish or Gulf)

Tuna (albacore or yellowfin)

Fish to eat no more than six times per month because of mercury content include:

Alaskan cod                         Bass (striped or black)                  Carp

Halibut                                  Jacksmelt                                      Lobster

Mahi mahi                            Monkfish                                       Perch (freshwater)

Sablefish                               Skate                                             Snapper

Fish-2Tuna (canned chunk lite or skipjack)

Weakfish (sea trout)            White Pacific Croaker

* Hobson, Katherne and Zunderhill, Allison, 13 Best Fish: High in Omega-3’s & Environment-friendly, US News & World Report, June 29, 2016.

** 7 Facts and Tips When Buying Fish, Nutrition Dimension, Fall 2015.

vit E

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We have been saying that most Americans get enough Vitamin E and that a deficiency is rare.  However in recent years as we have learned about the antioxidant properties of the vitamin, there has been renewed interest.  And recent research has presented even more interest.  Recent research at the Ohio State University is showing that Americans who have metabolic syndrome do not absorb dietary vitamin E as effectively as other Americans.

Metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of at last three of the five factors that increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes – excess belly fat, elevated blood pressure, low ‘good’ cholesterol and high levels of blood glucose and triglycerides.  An estimated 35 percent of Americans have metabolic syndrome.

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In the recent study persons with metabolic syndrome absorbed less vitamin E than the other participants and thus possibly receive less of the beneficial antioxidant properties of vitamin E.

The amount of vitamin E absorbed after it is consumed refers to its bioavailability or the amount of the vitamin that enters the bloodstream.  From previous research it has been known that humans absorb about 10 percent of a vitamin E supplement it eaten without fat.  The bioavailability of vitamin E is influenced by processes that regulate fat absorption and the delivery of fat to the bloodstream.

It was expected that persons with metabolic syndrome had lower bioavailability of vitamin E, but had never been studied.  This research shows that at least one-third of Americans have higher vitamin E requirements than persons without metabolic syndrome.

Researchers concluded that the study may imply that persons with metabolic syndrome either have an impairment of absorption of vitamin E at the intestine or an inability for vitamin E to get out of the liver or both.*

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*   The research was funded by the National Dairy Council and is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study was also supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

For additional reading about vitamin E, see www.foodcrumbs.com, Vitamin E, 10/30/2011.

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Thinking about Gardening?  Now is the time!

As soon as danger of frost is over, many of us get anxious to get plants and seed in the ground and watch them grow.  If you are an “old hand” at gardening, you know what I mean.  If you have never gardened – get started and enjoy the wonder of plants growing and vegetables and flowers emerging.  Oh yes, there will be problems.  Some plants will die and there can be animal and insect infestation.  I guess its -take the bad with the good.

Get started.  Think of what you would like to grow.  That will depend on the amount of space you have.  If you have a little spot in the back yard that you can spade or roto-till, you can probably plant several plants.  Plants must have sunshine, so choose a location that receives plenty of direct sun.    If you are in an apartment,  you may have space on the front or back step or on a balcony.

Small or cherry tomatoes do well in hanging baskets or get a couple planters or containers.   Get a bag of potting soil and a couple plants.  You may like to try something like a dwarf blueberry bush garden5in a container on the back patio.garden3

If no outside space, try inside in a window sill or patio door where the plant can get sunlight most of the day. A fluorescent light can be a good substitute for sunshine. Many people like to grow herbs on the kitchen windowsill or try a tomato plant inside.

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You will not need a lot of tools.  If a large garden, maybe a spade and rake and a trowel.  (If you have a large space you can rent a rototiller.)  You may need to keep critters out, so some fencing.  For a patio or inside gardening maybe just a trowel.

After the plants get started (have grown a couple weeks) depending on the soil you used, you may need to get a box of fertilizer at your garden center.  Don’t forget to water.  Water when you first plant and water every week or so.  Don’t drown the plants in water and let them dry out between waterings.  You’ll get the hang of it – water as needed.

You may want to try a couple of pepper plants or onions.  You possibly will not save any money on your grocery bill, but get started and enjoy a new venture.

Previous gardening articles on food crumbs that you may enjoy:

5/26/10 – Home Vegetable Gardening

5/31/10 –  Home Grown Tomatoes

3/31/11 –   Garden Soil

4/30/11 –  Garden Compost

6/30/15 –  Garden Soil Tests

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Ted's melon 7-6-08

Ted's Tom, radishes, broc-7-6-08

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