Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Change in Nutrition Labels - a line for "added sugar"

"The Food and Drug Administration came out Friday with its new template for nutrition labels. One big change was the addition of a line for “added sugar,” to be placed below a line for total sugar. The change is designed to distinguish between sugars that are naturally occurring in a food — like the milk sugar in a plain yogurt — and the sugars that food manufacturers include later to boost flavors — like the “evaporated cane juice” in a Chobani Kids strawberry yogurt."
Source: "You’d Be Surprised at How Many Foods Contain Added Sugar"

While sugar is added to boost flavor, a lot of the time it also serves the purpose of a preservative - similarly to salt! Products made sans sugar are difficult to control and why I stick to making small batches with my jerky.

Large food companies are large for a reason, they make a lot of product that they can't risk losing due to a small mistake during production. And therefore prefer to use the necessary additives to keep batches consistent.

I'm definitely curious how consumers will respond to the new labels and if it will turn them on to sourcing more from smaller companies jumping hurdles to make a 'cleaner' product available.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Will eating red meat kill you?

Many vegetarians are convinced that meat is bad for us. Even people that do eat red meat are convinced it is bad for them but eat it anyway because they enjoy it. But just how true is the statement that red meat is bad for us? Why have we been so heavily brainwashed against red meat? 

Chris Kresser has a series of articles on this topic: 

Among many reasons he lists to not buy into this, the main two that always stick out to me:

1. Studies are often flawed, they are either done on mice who are vegetarian and cannot eat meat or other variables are involved, not just meat. For instance, when there was a study stating that processed meat is bad for us, it didn't consider other possible nutritional intake in people's diet, which could very much be comprised of a lot of junk food.  

 "Trouble is – as is so often the case – the study is deeply flawed. In fact, anyone with training in research methodology might find themselves wondering “where’s the beef?” after they read it. In the end it’s just another piece of worthless propaganda parading as medical research. It tells us a lot more about the biases and motives of the researchers, and the incompetence of the media reporting on it, than it does about the effect of red meat consumption on human health.Here are my “top 10” reasons to ignore this study and continue to eat your grass-fed, organic red meat:" 

 2. Media reports are flawed citing wrong conclusions, ignoring research findings or just copying selective parts from study to make headlines.  

I personally think that there's noting wrong with red or other meat from sustainably raised sources; I strongly believe that evolution supports this. I am not buying into the hype and prefer to be cautious about research findings reported in the media. What are your thoughts? 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Which diet is best?

In his recent book, "Always Hungry" Dr. Ludwig reports on a study he conducted with 21 young adults with high BMIs and brought their weight down by 10-15% for a start. 
"Energy expenditure (metabolism/calorie burning) plummeted on the low fat diet. On the low carb (high fat) diet, energy expenditure - metabolic rate - didn't drop at all. Despite the weight loss, a low carb diet had completely abolished the negative effects of weight loss. Meta-training diet was in the middle."

I believe that a low carb diet, especially one where people just eat real food, is most effective because it's most natural for our body. There are no drastic fluctuations in blood sugar, and with sufficient balance of protein, fat and nutrients from fruits and veggies people don't experience spikes typical to sugar burners (from carbs).

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Enough with the sweetness!

Sugar and all other sweeteners (check out Dr. Robert Lustig's book "Sugar has 56 Names") has become a staple ingredient in our food chain. We don't even know where it's hiding. The worse offenders are dairy products. Everyone thinks that milk is good for us (we've been brainwashed by the dairy industry for decades) but if you look at the ingredients on all flavored dairy products you will see massive amount of sweeteners (especially in the low/non fat products) and food coloring. 

People say it's okay to let your kids eat something sweet just this once, but they don't realize that "just this once" happens every day in our society, and can account for a week's worth of sugar if not more. These people don't realize that they are not doing kids a favor but rather hurting them. 

I hope that Dr. Lustig succeeds in his mission and manages to get his message through to the general public, because our children's future and wellbeing depends on it.

This is exactly why I made the conscious decision to produce my grass-fed beef jerky sans sugar. Your taste buds are able to taste flavorful quality protein instead of something tainted with sugar. It's nice to be able to enjoy a satiating snack guilt-free.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Weight loss and maintenance

It seems like everyone is preoccupied with weight loss nowadays.
The overwhelming abundance of food and what seems like food, paired with modern sedentary lifestyle puts us in a constant struggle. As opposed to the survival struggle to get food, we are now in a struggle to avoid or resist food.

When you are on a diet or just trying to observe a healthy lifestyle you are constantly bombarded by temptations. It is really hard to ALWAYS avoid these temptations.

It seems like every single person has been on a diet or just lost weight without an official diet, or program. But unfortunately our outlook on keeping this weight off are stacked against us. 

Are we doomed you ask? The answer is "No!"

Every reliable book, expert and successful maintainer will tell you that the secret for succeeding in maintenance is figuring out your own eating lifestyle. For some it might include a certain amount of carbs, for others it might be more protein/fat. There is no one particular formula that applies to everyone. Some people can experience adverse reactions triggered by certain foods, even innocent foods like an apple for example. So it really depends on how much the individual is willing to commit their effort to figuring out what works best for them. 

In a recent article titled, "I'm an obesity doctor. I've seen long-term weight loss work. Here's how" the main take away is that to maintain weight loss successfully you really need to embrace the lifestyle that enables you to lose weight:
"The key to your success is actually liking the life and diet you're living with while you're losing weight." 
While we have seen first hand how effective it is to lose and keep weight off long term by following the Paleo template (which emphasizes the consumption of real, unprocessed food), it is really up to you to find what works for you that is enjoyable and maintainable.

Read more: