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Sugar is the real culprit

8 Aug

Fat has been given the bad rap over the years but one Cardiologists thinks differently. Check out the article to find out

Sixth Human taste – fat –

17 Jan

By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent

7:40AM GMT 15 Jan 2012

For generations, scientists thought the human tongue could detect only four basic tastes: sweet, sour, salt and bitter.

Then a fifth was discovered, “umami” or savoury. Now, researchers have identified a previously-unrecognised “sixth taste” – fat.

A team in the United States has located a chemical receptor in the taste buds on the tongue that recognises fat molecules, and found that its sensitivity varies between individuals.

The finding may help to explain why some people consume more fatty foods, as they are less aware of the taste as they eat.

The researchers hope their discovery can be exploited to combat obesity by increasing people’s sensitivity to fat in their food.

Apart from the basic tastes, other aspects of food flavour actually come from the smell and are detected in the nose.

The research team, from the school of medicine at Washington University, St Louis, showed that people with more of a receptor called CD36 were better at detecting the presence of fat in food.

They found that variations in a gene that produces CD36 makes people more or less sensitive to the presence of fat.

“The ultimate goal is to understand how our perception of fat in food might influence what foods we eat and the qualities of fat that we consume,” said Professor Nada Abumrad, who led the research.

“We’ve found one potential reason for individual variability in how people sense fat. What we will need to determine in the future is whether our ability to detect fat in foods influences our fat intake, which clearly would have an impact on obesity.”

The study, which is published in the Journal of Lipid Research, found that those with half as much CD36 were eight times less sensitive to the presence of fat.

Up to 20 per cent of people are believed to have a variant of the CD36 gene that is associated with producing lower levels of the receptor, which could mean they are less sensitive to the presence of fat in food. This may make them more prone to obesity.

Dr Yanina Pepino, who also conducted the research, added: “If we follow the results in animals, a high-fat diet would lead to less production of CD36, and that, in turn, could make a person less sensitive to fat.

“From our results in this study, we would hypothesise that people with obesity may make less of the CD36 protein.

“So it would seem logical that the amounts of the protein we make can be modified, both by a person’s genetics and by the diet they eat.”

Confused about fats?

11 Nov

In the last decade we have been bombarded by so much information about fats and our growing obesity that is enough to turn one either off fats or eat it regardless out of the disgust of conflicting viewpoints.

According to Harvard School of  Public Health there are good fats and bad fats and the consumer should be aware of these to make informed choices of what you will included and the amount you need.

It is now common knowledge that saturated and trans fat are bad for our health.  What are these? These include: butter, cheese, coconut milk, coconut oil, fats in red meat, chocolate and icecream;

transfat are those fats that are reconstituted to form margarines,  vegetable shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Fats and cholesterol

Cholesterol is a wax like substance which the liver makes and links it to carrier proteins called lipoprotiens.  The lipoproteins  helps cholesterol to dissolve in blood and not be transported to all parts of the body including the heart.

Low density lipopoproteins the dangerous one  – carry protein from the blood to all parts of the body where as high density lioproteins helps to carry  cholesterol from the blood back to the liver to be processed and eliminated from the body.

The equation therefore is the higher LDL in the body and the lower your HDL the greater your risk for heart or heart related disease.

Here are some tips:

choose liquid vegetable oils and soft margarine with less transfat than butter or lard;

reduce consumption of commercially baked goods;

avoid deep fried foods especially in restaurants

read the labels,  check the ingredients and the amount of fats in the products you buy

For adults 20 years and over the following guidelines for daily optimum level recommended are:

Total cholesterol less than 200 milligrams for deciliter

HDL cholesterol levels greater than 40 mg

LDL cholesterol less than 100 mg

The bottom line is reduce saturated fats from red meat, cheese, butters etc. replace those fats with olive oil and other oils with higher HDL

Don’t be fooled by food labels – get the facts on fats

9 Oct

*       Fat free Product has less than 1/2 gram of fat per serving. *       Low-saturated fat Product has 1 gram of saturated fat or less per serving. *       Lowfat Product has 3 grams of fat or less per serving. *       Reduced fat Product has at least 25 percent less fat than the regular version. If the regular food is high in fat — such as premium ice cream — then the reduced-fat type may still be high in fat.

*       Light in fat Product has 50 percent less fat than the regular version. As in reduced-fat foods, the healthfulness of the “light” product depends on the total fat content; but the light version is a better choice (as long as you don’t eat more than twice as much).

souce: National Lung Institute

Time to go nuts

20 Sep

It’s the nutty season of the year and nutritionists, diet experts say we must nibble on nuts. It is better than a chocolate bar or a candy.  It is healthy with the right kind of fat to help our bodies function more efficiently.  Don’t go overboard – moderation is the key.

Nuts are low in cholesterol and saturated fat and high in good monounsaturated fat, protein, and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, including folic acid and niacin. While nuts used to be condemned for their high fat content, they’re actually a beneficial addition to your diet — because they contain the right fats. Numerous studies suggest they may offer protection against heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.

Nuts can be eaten raw (fresh from the shell) or roasted and can be used in cooking. Raw, unshelled nuts keep very well — six months to a year when stored in a cool, dry place. Shelled nuts can turn rancid more quickly and often require refrigeration or freezing, but some will keep for three to four months at room temperature in a cool, dry place.

Finally, while nuts are good for you, too many can undermine weight loss, so they should be enjoyed in healthy moderation (for instance, 15 walnuts, almonds, or pecans, or 30 pistachios at a time).


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