Saturday, January 10, 2009
The Perfect Body Isn’t Always Perfect
Having an imperfect body may come with some substantial benefits for some women, according to an article in the December issue of Current Anthropology.
The hormones that make women physically stronger, more competitive and better able to deal with stress also tend to redistribute fat from the hips to the waist, according to Elizabeth Cashdan, an anthropologist at the University of Utah. So in societies and situations where women are under pressure to procure resources, they may be less likely to have the classic hourglass figure.
Cashdan's hypothesis aims to explain a peculiar observation. Women around the world tend to have larger waist-to-hip ratios — more cylindrical rather than hourglass-shaped bodies — than is considered optimal.
Medical studies have shown that a curvy waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7 or lower is associated with higher fertility and lower rates of chronic disease. Studies have also shown that men prefer a ratio of 0.7 or lower when looking for a mate. The preference makes perfect sense, according to evolutionary psychologists, because the low ratio is a reliable signal of a healthy, fertile woman.
But in data that Cashdan compiled from 33 non-Western populations and 4 European populations, the average waist-to-hip ratio for women is above 0.8. If 0.7 is the magic number both in terms of health and male mate choice, why are most women significantly higher?
That's where the hormones come in.
Androgens, a class of hormones that includes testosterone, increase waist-to-hip ratios in women by increasing visceral fat, which is carried around the waist. But on the upside, increased androgen levels are also associated with increased strength, stamina, and competitiveness. Cortisol, a hormone that helps the body deal with stressful situations, also increases fat carried around the waist.
"The hormonal profile associated with high WHR (waist-to-hip ratio) … may favor success in resource competition, particularly under stressful circumstances," writes Cashdan. "The androgenic effects — stamina, initiative, risk-proneness, assertiveness, dominance — should be particularly useful where a woman must depend on her own resources to support herself and her family."
For those familiar with the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet, you know that fat doesn't have to be deposited on your waist, this is not a bi product of being a strong woman, but of our over consumption of carbohydrates, which raise insulin levels, causing an increased cortisol response, which deposits visceral fat. So, if you eat according to CAD (Carbohydrate Addict's Diet) then you can have your strength and a slimmer waist too.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
One of the advantages of the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet (CAD) program is NEVER having to count calories again. Now we learn that it may even be bad for our health. We all know that we have a tendency to eat more in the winter and if we are not CAD followers this leads to weight gain or if we "are good" and restrict our calories according to the more popular diets, then we may make our bodies more susceptible to disease according to an article in today's Newsmax online magazine. Chanetc
Dieting May Increase Flu Susceptibility
Dieting may impede your body’s ability to fight off the flu. Researchers at Michigan State found that the old wives’ tale of “feed a cold and starve a fever” is just that—an old wives’ tale. A study found that dieting robs the body of its ability to produce vital killer cells need to fight infections, including flu.
In the study, mice were divided into two groups. One was fed a regular diet and the other group’s caloric intake was reduced by 40 percent. Both groups of mice were exposed to the flu virus. Even though mice on the lower calorie diet received adequate vitamins and minerals, they were more likely to die, and those who survived took longer to recover than the mice whose caloric intake was normal.
“If you are exposed to a new strain of influenza, to which your body has not made adequate antibodies to protect you from infection, your body must rely on cells that will kill the virus,” said nutritional immunology professor Elizabeth Gardner. “The natural killer cells are important in controlling the early stages of virus infection because they act quickly once they encounter virus-infected cells. Our studies show that calorically restricted mice have increased susceptibility to influenza, and their bodies are not prepared to produce the amount of natural killer cells needed to combat the stress of fighting an infection.
“Our research shows that having a body ready to fight a virus will lead to a faster recovery and less-severe effects than if it is calorically restricted,” Gardner said. “Adults can calorically restrict their diet eight months out of the year, but during the four months of flu season they need to pump it up to be ready. You need the reserves so your body is ready for any additional stress, including fighting a virus.”
Newsmax, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 09, 2009
Many negative comments have been made about the use of ketogenic diets (KDs) and experts today believe that the best way to lose weight is by cutting back on calories, chiefly in the form of fat. The international consensus is that carbohydrates are the basis of the food pyramid for a healthy diet. However, this review will clarify that low-carbohydrate diets are, from a practical and physiological point of view, a much more effective way of losing weight. It is also argued that such diets provide metabolic advantages, for example: they help to preserve muscle mass, reduce appetite, diminish metabolic efficiency, induce metabolic activation of thermogenesis and favor increased fat loss and even a greater reduction in calories. These diets are also healthier because they promote a non-atherogenic lipid profile, lower blood pressure and decrease resistance to insulin with an improvement in blood levels of glucose and insulin. Low-carbohydrate diets should therefore be used to prevent and treat type II diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Such diets also have neurological and antineoplastic benefits and diet-induced ketosis is not associated with metabolic acidosis, nor do such diets alter kidney, liver or heart functions.
Departamento de Medicina
Facultad de Medicina
Universidad de Córdoba , Spain
Joaquín Pérez-Guisado: Arguments In Favor Of Ketogenic Diets: The Internet Journal of Nutrition and Wellness. 2007; Volume 4, Number 2.
Friday, January 09, 2009
Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine January 11, 2009
Small Rises in Blood Sugar Cause Memory Loss
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center used magnetic resonance imaging to show that even small rises in blood sugar levels can reduce blood flow to the dentate gyrus, the part of the brain that controls memory (Annals of Neurology.
December 2008). This may give us the explanation for memory loss that occurs with aging and why exercise helps to prevent memory loss.
The brain gets more than 98 percent of its energy from a steady supply of sugar circulating in the bloodstream. When blood flow is reduced, the brain is deprived of it source of energy and oxygen, causing injury to brain cells.
When you eat, sugar goes from your intestines into your bloodstream. The rise in blood sugar calls out insulin that drives sugar from your bloodstream into cells, keeping blood sugar
levels steady. However, with aging, the body starts to lose it
fine ability to control blood sugar, and blood sugar levels can rise too high. However, you are protected when you exercise because contacting muscles draw sugar so rapidly from the bloodstream that your blood sugar level doesn't rise very high and your pancreas doesn't need to release very much insulin. This rapid withdrawal of sugar from the bloodstream by exercising muscles is dramatic during exercise and can last up to eighteen hours after you finish exercising.
Hundreds of other studies show that 1) exercise slows loss of memory with aging, 2) diabetes markedly increases risk for dementia, 3) diabetes damages the dentate gyrus, 4) exercise helps to prevent the rise in blood sugar after eating and the associated age-related loss of mental function, 5) regular exercisers suffer far less from age-related memory decline, 6) obesity markedly increases risk of age-related loss of mental function, and 7) exercise helps to prevent and treat obesity.
This new study should encourage you to exercise to save your mind. DrMirkin.com
Thursday, January 08, 2009
“Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a concentrated for of sodium that is usually extracted from grains or beets.
“MSG is added to foods to intensify flavors and is used in commercially processed foods such as canned sops, sauces, luncheon meats, bottled and dry salad dressing and dips, canned and frozen meats, fowl, and fish. It is the main ingredients in flavor enhancers and is added to hot dogs, bouillon cubes, chicken stock, jarred gefilte fish, and many other foods.
“MSG has long been used in Chinese cooking, and although some people think that they are able to avoid it effects by requesting “no MSG” in their meals, they are unaware that it is virtually impossible to avoid MSG in Chinese food because it is present in the bean curd and soy sauce so prevalent in this type of cooking.
“MSG goes under many names; MSG can be listed in any of the following ways: monosodium glutamate, MSG, hydrolyzed food starch, hydrolyzed plant protein, flavor enhancers, [broth], or natural flavors. A food that claims to contain natural flavors, then, can contain MSG without listing it as such.
“After consuming MSG, some people experience one or more symptoms of an “MSSG reaction,” including intense headaches, disorientation, or leg swelling. Others may be unaware of any reaction whatsoever although the lack of symptoms does not mean that MSG is not taking its toll.
“Although some carbohydrate addicts may be aware of weigh gain, increased hunger or cravings, and/or water retention after consuming MSG, other carbohydrate addicts never make the connection between their intense enjoyment of Chinese Food or their weight gain following the consumption of many processed or fast foods and the MSG that is so often present. In our research, carbohydrate addicts have documented all of the following reactions to MSG intake: substantial weight gain (2 to 4 pounds in one day), water retention, irritability, tiredness, lack of motivation, strong cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods in general or an intense and repeated desire for the same food that originally contained the MSG (Chinese food for instance).
“Very few people are aware that MSG is actually given by scientist to laboratory animals for research purposes, to make the laboratory animals fat. MSG appears to affect the hunger and weight-control centers of the brain, and while many scientist are still trying to clarify the mechanism behind the action we have little doubt that for the carbohydrate addict MSG—under any name and in any form—is a trigger for carbo cravings and weight gain.”
Pages 60—62, The Carbohydrate Addict’s LifeSpan Program, by Dr. Richard Heller and Dr. Rachael Heller.
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