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Monday, August 15, 2016

Can You Do Low Carb & Low Cal at the Same Time?

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Low-carb diets are based on inducing a state of ketosis in the body. When deprived of incoming carbohydrates, the body uses up its glycogen reserves -- glucose stored in the muscles and liver -- and must resort to burning fat for energy. As a result, low-carb diets do not require dieters to restrict calories -- the idea is to change the composition of their diets to favor proteins and fats over carbs and eat to the point of reasonable satiety. Although dieters might in fact consume fewer calories than usual because of the increased satiety they get from protein, according to Atkins in his book "Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution," restricting calories too much could backfire by creating a "starvation" situation for which the body compensates by decreasing its metabolic rate and holding on to fat.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Grandmother's amazing weightlifting talents will inspire you to hit the gym


Grandmother's amazing weightlifting talents will inspire you to hit the gym

Two years ago, 78-year-old Shirley Webb's exercise of choice was mowing the lawn.
"That's about the only exercise I ever got," she told ESPN.com.
That all changed when she walked into the Club Fitness gym in Wood River, Illinois, two years ago. Back then, she couldn't climb the stairs without getting winded. These days? She's a state and national record holder for the deadlift. A recent video posted to Facebook showed the strong woman lifting 225 pounds three times — and her maximum is 245 pounds.

"I have no intention of stopping right now," Webb told ESPN. "When I go to the gym and work out, when I leave, I feel so much better than I did when I went in, and I just feel so good. I feel tremendous."

Last year she won two competitions — including one in November 2015 where she dead-lifted 237 pounds to set an Illinois state record for her age group.
"I've seen such a remarkable difference in myself,'' Webb told Today.com. She's also inspiring others with her badassery.

"I'm glad that people are getting inspired by me doing this," she continued. "I had one lady come in the gym and say, 'I saw your video and I decided to come down and join this club.' That makes me feel good."

Monday, August 1, 2016

Red meat consumption linked with increased risk of developing kidney failure



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A new study indicates that red meat intake may increase the risk of kidney failure in the general population, and substituting red meat with alternative sources of protein from time to time may significantly reduce this risk. The findings appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).
Increasing numbers of individuals are developing chronic kidney disease (CKD), and many progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD), which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant. Current guidelines recommend restricting dietary protein intake to help manage CKD and slow progression to ESRD; however, there is limited evidence that overall dietary protein restriction or limiting specific food sources of protein intake may slow kidney function decline in the general population.
To examine the relationship between dietary intake of major sources of protein and kidney function, a team led by Woon-Puay Koh, MBBS (Hons), PhD (Duke-NUS Medical School and Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health in National University of Singapore) analyzed data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a prospective study of 63,257 Chinese adults in Singapore. This is a population where 97% of red meat intake consisted of pork. Other food sources of protein included poultry, fish/shellfish, eggs, dairy products, soy, and legumes.
After an average follow-up of 15.5 years, the researchers found that red meat intake was strongly associated with an increased risk of ESRD in a dose-dependent manner. People consuming the highest amounts (top 25%) of red meat had a 40% increased risk of developing ESRD compared with people consuming the lowest amounts (lowest 25%) No association was found with intakes of poultry, fish, eggs, or dairy products, while soy and legumes appeared to be slightly protective. Substituting one serving of red meat with other sources of protein reduced the risk of ESRD by up to 62%.
"We embarked on our study to see what advice should be given to CKD patients or to the general population worried about their kidney health regarding types or sources of protein intake," said Dr. Koh. "Our findings suggest that these individuals can still maintain protein intake but consider switching to plant-based sources; however, if they still choose to eat meat, fish/shellfish and poultry are better alternatives to red meat."

Energy expenditure and body composition changes after an isocaloric ketogenic diet in overweight and obese men

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The carbohydrate–insulin model of obesity posits that habitual consumption of a high-carbohydrate diet sequesters fat within adipose tissue because of hyperinsulinemia and results in adaptive suppression of energy expenditure. Therefore, isocaloric exchange of dietary carbohydrate for fat is predicted to result in increased EE, increased fat oxidation, and loss of body fat. In contrast, a more conventional view that “a calorie is a calorie” predicts that isocaloric variations in dietary carbohydrate and fat will have no physiologically important effects on body fat.
Objective: We investigated whether an isocaloric low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (KD) is associated with changes in EE, respiratory quotient (RQ), and body composition.
Design: Seventeen overweight or obese men were admitted to metabolic wards, where they consumed a high-carbohydrate baseline diet (BD) for 4 wk followed by 4 wk of an isocaloric KD with clamped protein. Subjects spent 2 consecutive days each week residing in metabolic chambers to measure changes in EE (EEchamber), sleeping EE (SEE), and RQ. Body composition changes were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Average EE during the final 2 wk of the BD and KD periods was measured by doubly labeled water (EEDLW).
Results: Subjects lost weight and body fat throughout the study corresponding to an overall negative energy balance of ∼300 kcal/d. Compared with BD, the KD coincided with increased EEchamber (57 ± 13 kcal/d, P = 0.0004) and SEE (89 ± 14 kcal/d, P < 0.0001) and decreased RQ (−0.111 ± 0.003, P < 0.0001). EEDLWincreased by 151 ± 63 kcal/d (P = 0.03). Body fat loss slowed during the KD and coincided with increased protein utilization and loss of fat-free mass.
Conclusion: The isocaloric KD was not accompanied by increased body fat loss but was associated with relatively small increases in EE that were near the limits of detection with the use of state-of-the-art technology. This trial was registered atclinicaltrials.gov as NCT01967563.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Good Ways to Get Quality Protein

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Protein is in many of the foods that we eat every day, but for something so common, it’s often a misunderstood part of our diets. Think of protein and you might think of steak sizzling on a grill, an energy bar touting to banish fatigue, or a protein shake promising muscle growth. Yes, these foods are all packed with protein, but when it comes to making the best protein choices to keep your body and mind healthy, quality is just as important as quantity

Most animal sources of protein, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy, deliver all the amino acids your body needs, while plant-based protein sources such as grains, beans, vegetables, and nuts often lack one or more of the essential amino acids. However, that doesn’t mean you have to eat animal products to get the right amino acids. By eating a variety of plant-based sources of protein each day you can ensure your body gets all the essential amino acids it needs.

When choosing protein-rich foods, it’s important to look at more than just the protein content. Red meat and whole milk dairy products, for example, while rich in protein, tend to also contain saturated fat, the health consequences of which are debated in the nutrition world. For some nutrition experts, it’s the quality of the red meat and dairy that is most important:

  • In countries like the U.S., for example, industrially-raised animals are typically denied access to the outdoors, fed antibiotics and growth hormones, and given GMO feed grown with pesticides.
  • Eating organic, grass-fed red meat and dairy from animals raised in a more natural environment avoids these additives and therefore may not carry the same health risks.
Distinguishing between industrially raised meat and organic, grass-fed meat is only part of separating low- and high-quality sources of protein.
  • While some processed or lunch meats, for example, can be a good source of protein, many are loaded with salt, which can cause high blood pressure and lead to other health problems.
  • Processed meats have also been linked with an increased risk of cancer, likely due to the substances used in the processing of the meat.
  • The key to ensuring you eat sufficient high-quality protein is to include different types in your diet, rather than relying on just red or processed meat.

Other sources of high-quality protein

  • Fish. Most seafood is high in protein and low in saturated fat. Fish such as salmon, trout, sardines, anchovies, sablefish (black cod), and herring are also high in omega-3 fatty acids. Experts recommend eating seafood at least twice a week.
  • Poultry. Removing the skin from chicken and turkey can substantially reduce the saturated fat if that concerns you. In the U.S., non-organic poultry may also contain antibiotics and been raised on GMO feed grown with pesticides, so opt for organic and free-range if possible.
  • Dairy products. Products such as cheese, milk, and yoghurt offer lots of healthy protein. Beware of added sugar in low-fat yoghurts and flavored milk, though, and skip processed cheese that often contains non-dairy ingredients.  
  • Beans. Beans and peas are packed full of both protein and fiber. Add them to salads, soups and stews to boost your protein intake.
  • Nuts and seeds. As well as being rich sources of protein, nuts and seeds are also high in fiber and “good” fats. Add to salads or keep handy for snacks.
  • Tofu and soy products. Non-GMO tofu and soy are excellent red meat alternatives, high in protein and low in fat. Try a “meatless Monday,” a plant-based protein sources are often less expensive than meat so it can be as good for your wallet as it is for your health.
To include more high-quality protein in your diet, try replacing processed carbs with high-quality protein. It can reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke, and you’ll also feel full longer, which can help you maintain a healthy weight. 
  • Reduce the amount of processed carbohydrates you consume—from foods such as pastries, cakes, pizza, cookies and chips—and replace them with organic, grass-fed meat, fish, beans, nuts, seeds, peas, chicken, dairy, and non-GMO soy and tofu products.
  • Snack on nuts and seeds instead of chips, replace a baked dessert with Greek yogurt, or swap out slices of pizza for a grilled chicken breast and a side of beans.

Other ways to get more quality protein

  • Choose unsalted nuts and seeds, to reduce your daily sodium intake.
  • When shopping for canned beans, choose the low sodium versions.
  • Adding more protein to your diet can increase urine output, so drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Increasing protein can also cause calcium loss so make sure to get plenty of calcium (1,000 to 1,200 mg per day).
Eating a diet rich in high-quality protein may help you maintain a healthy weight by curbing appetite, making you feel full longer, and fueling you with extra energy for exercising. As you age, it’s important to increase high-quality protein intake to maintain health, energy levels, and possibly even reduce muscle loss.
While many health organizations maintain that eating saturated fat from any source can compromise your health, the latest studies suggest eating whole-milk dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt) is actually linked to less body fat and lower levels of obesity. This may be because saturated fat is so dense in calories a little can go a long way in making you feel full. See The Fat Debate for more on how saturated fats may help you to maintain a healthy weight.

Protein powders, shakes, and bars

For most of us, consuming the right balance of whole foods each day will provide us with all the nutrients we need, negating the need for protein supplements. However, you may benefit from supplementing your diet if you’re:   
  • A teenager who is growing and exercising a lot
  • An adult switching to a vegan diet—eliminating meat, chicken, fish, and even dairy and eggs from your diet
  • An older adult with a small appetite who finds it difficult to eat your protein requirements in whole foods
  • Starting or increasing a regular workout program, trying to add muscle, or recovering from a sports injury. If you feel weak while exercising or lifting weights you may benefit from adding a protein supplement.

Using protein supplements

  • Protein supplements come in various forms, either as powders you mix with milk or water, in pre-mixed, ready-to-drink shakes, or in bars. The most common types of protein used are whey, casein, and soy. Whey and casein are milk-based proteins, while soy is the better choice for vegans or anyone with a dairy allergy.
    • Safety concerns. Protein supplements may not be safe for older people with renal disease or people who have recently undergone surgery on the digestive organs. Some ingredients may even interact with prescription medication, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before using.
    • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and make sure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet.
    • Look out for extra ingredients. Many protein bars are packed with carbs and added sugar.
Authors: Lawrence Robinson, Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Robert Segal, M.A. Last updated: June 2016.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Exercise, protein metabolism, and muscle growth


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Exercise has a profound effect on muscle growth, which can occur only if muscle protein synthesis exceeds muscle protein breakdown; there must be a positive muscle protein balance. Resistance exercise improves muscle protein balance, but, in the absence of food intake, the balance remains negative (i.e., catabolic). The response of muscle protein metabolism to a resistance exercise bout lasts for 24-48 hours; thus, the interaction between protein metabolism and any meals consumed in this period will determine the impact of the diet on muscle hypertrophy. Amino acid availability is an important regulator of muscle protein metabolism.

 The interaction of postexercise metabolic processes and increased amino acid availability maximizes the stimulation of muscle protein synthesis and results in even greater muscle anabolism than when dietary amino acids are not present. Hormones, especially insulin and testosterone, have important roles as regulators of muscle protein synthesis and muscle hypertrophy.

 Following exercise, insulin has only a permissive role on muscle protein synthesis, but it appears to inhibit the increase in muscle protein breakdown. Ingestion of only small amounts of amino acids, combined with carbohydrates, can transiently increase muscle protein anabolism, but it has yet to be determined if these transient responses translate into an appreciable increase in muscle mass over a prolonged training period.