How Much Protein Do You Really Need?


It’s important food for your cells, but is it possible to overdo it?
Protein-You-Really-Need_Feature

With so many protein bars, shakes, and supplements on the market, it’s kind of been hammered into our heads that protein is the wonder nutrient.

It is an important building block for our cells, essential to repair old ones and build new ones. Which is why we think about it most commonly as a post-workout muscle-builder. Recent compelling studies have shown that a higher-protein diet may potentially help with weight management—particularly by helping us feel more satiated, and helping burn fat mass and maintain lean muscle. It also may have benefits for your heart. But the research is small and far from conclusive.

So how much protein should you eat? And can you ever eat too much? We talked to nutritionists and scoured studies to find out how much protein is healthy to pack into each day.

First of all, there’s no easy one-size-fits-all recommendation on how much protein you should get.

The current USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend protein make up somewhere between 10 and 35 percent of your daily calories (but some nutrition experts think 35 sounds really high). A lot of people automatically think of 2,000 calories a day as the standard, but that might not be right for you—you may be eating more or less depending on your weight, fitness level, weight loss goals, and if you’re pregnant.

“Your [ideal amount of protein] will vary based on caloric needs and whatever else you have going on,” Kristen F. Gradney, R.D., director of nutrition and metabolic services at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells SELF. “For example, if you work out and lift weights three or four days a week, you’re going to need a little more than somebody who doesn’t. It varies.”

You can also use the calculation from the Institute of Medicine, which says the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein for adults should be 0.8 g/kg body weight. To calculate it, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2, then multiply by 0.8. “So for a 130-pound woman, that would be 47 grams of protein,” explains Jessica Fishman Levinson, R.D., founder of nutrition counseling company Nutritioulicious. For an even more personalized look at your protein needs, use this handy USDA nutrient calculator, which also takes into account your height and activity level.

Let’s be honest: all of the different calculations make it a bit confusing. But in the end, you’ll get a very similar result no matter which way you think about it. Just remember that your recommended grams means grams of protein in your food, not the serving size. So for example, a 4-ounce piece of sirloin steak has 24 grams of protein.

Complicated math aside, chances are you’re getting the right amount of protein without even thinking about it.

According to the 2015 USDA dietary guidelines committee, most people are getting just about (or just under) the recommended amount of “protein foods,” meaning meat, poultry, and eggs. Here’s the rub: “protein foods” doesn’t include dairy, soy, or grains, so if you’re eating those things (which you probably are), it’s likely you’re right in the middle of the recommendations without really trying.

Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition following a protein summit of over 60 nutrition experts found that the average American currently gets 16 percent of their daily calories from protein, but that we could eat more than that. The suggestion to increase protein intake isn’t widely accepted though, and more research needs to be done to determine if the benefits are enough to make sweeping recommendations.

There is a chance of overdoing it, and over time that can lead to some adverse health effects.

“You can always have too much of anything,” Levinson says. “But [overloading on protein] is more common in athletes and body builders, especially those who use protein powders multiple times a day in addition to the other protein they’re getting from their diet,” Levinson explains.

Most nutrients have a certain level that the average person can eat in a day before experiencing negative effects, called the “tolerable upper intake level.” Right now, there isn’t one that’s known for protein because we don’t have enough research to show what it would be.

Eating too much protein over time (months or years, depending on genetics) can lead to kidney problems, though. “Protein is a very big molecule that your body has to break down,” Gradney explains, so overloading puts unnecessary pressure on the kidneys. If your protein sources are animal-based, eating too much can also mean eating too many saturated fats, which can affect your heart and weight negatively.

Other downfalls of eating too much protein: “If intake of protein is more than needed, it won’t be burned and instead will be stored in the body and can lead to weight gain,” Levinson says. Also, eating too much protein might make you eat less of other important nutrients, making your diet unbalanced. If you’re replacing carbs, which your body burns for fuel, your body may start to burn protein instead, which can lead to bad breath, she adds. It can also, weirdly, make your sweat smell like ammonia—it’s one of the by-products when the amino acids in protein are broken down.

In the end, the types of protein you eat (and when) matters the most.

In general, according to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, we’re eating enough protein. However, Levinson says, we’re not necessarily getting it from the best sources. Many people (especially boys and men) are getting too much of it from meat, poultry and eggs, and not enough from seafood and legumes, which count as both a protein and a vegetable.

Eating a variety of proteins will also ensure you’re not missing out on the other nutrients your body needs, or going overboard on calories. And it’s pretty much impossible to overeat protein on a plant-based diet, so it’s more likely you’ll naturally stay within your ideal intake range versus if you’re only getting protein from red meat and poultry.

Spacing out your protein intake throughout the day may help enhance protein’s effects on your muscles. “Research is showing that protein should be spread out throughout the day rather than the majority being consumed at one meal, which is usually what people do when they eat most of their protein at dinner,” Levinson says. She suggests getting no more than 30 grams in one meal.

6 foods that can damage your metabolism the moment you eat them


While “a moment on the lips,” is well-known for meaning “forever on the hips,” did you know it can mean forever damaging your metabolism too?

It was previously thought that weight gain and weight loss were governed solely by the laws of thermodynamics (aka calories in vs. calories out.) Emerging research seems to point otherwise; not all calories are created equal. The same 100 calories that you take in guzzling a can of soda is a lot different inside the body than the 100 calories in your broccoli. Here are six foods that cost more than just their calorie load in ways of weight gain.

Soda

One of the main reasons soda gets a bad rap is because it’s sweetened with a little something known as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS, a sweetener found in many of America’s highly processed foods and soft drinks, is as damaging as it is cheap. It has been argued that Fructose consumed in the same quantities as other sugar has more damaging effects on the metabolism (making it an even more sinister commodity).  A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition further explained the link between HFCS and obesity. HFCS may lead to obesity because of its negative effects on the metabolism. In fact, consuming high fructose corn syrup can cause something called “metabolic syndrome,” which is basically a group of risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Therefore, drinking a glass of soda can directly hurt your metabolism.

Margarine

Fortunately most sources of trans fat are off the market, but they can still be found in stick margarine and baked goods. The trans fats in the margarine can wreak havoc on your metabolism because they can lead to insulin resistance (which is when the body can’t use insulin effectively). Insulin is a hormone used in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, and insulin resistance results in slower metabolism and weight gain, especially around the abdomen, as it causes our bodies to store fat more easily

  • White Bread

White bread and other simple carbohydrates are easily broken down by the body because the fiber (which slows digestion) has been removed during processing. The body does not have to burn any extra calories to try to break down these easy-to-digest-foods, leaving your metabolism operating at a slower level. Foods that are high in fiber like whole wheat bread ramp up your metabolism due to the extra work required to try and break down the indigestible fiber.

Farmed Beef (vs. Grass-Fed)

Conventionally farmed beef can hurt our metabolisms. Conventionally farmed beef has more antibiotics than grass-fed beef. For years, we were unaware what deleterious effects the antibiotics would have on our health. One study published in Front Public Health explained the harm antibiotics have on the good bacteria in the gut of consumers. This change in bacteria in the gut is correlated with an increase in weight gain, as it changes and negatively affects the way we process food. Simply stated, consuming antibiotics from meat can make us gain weight. Our recommendation is to choose grass-fed meat as much as possible.

Conventional (non-organic) apples

Organic fruits are more expensive for more reasons than one. One study published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology showed the toxic effects of pesticides from fruits and vegetables actually caused metabolic changes (by increasing the rate at which fat cells were made) in mice, causing them to gain weight. This means the mice were eating “healthy” fruits and vegetables in the same quantities as the organic control group and were STILL gaining weight. This illustrates the metabolic changes in the mice directly from the pesticides. To limit exposure to pesticides, when it comes to the “Dirty Dozen,” (the fruits and vegetables which are most likely to soak up pesticides and bad bacteria) buy organic. To further limit pesticide exposure be sure to wash all fruits and vegetables well after purchase.

Canola/Vegetable oil

Although previously touted as a health food, canola oil is actually quite the opposite. That’s because it’s a major source of omega-6 fatty acids, which may lead to a slower metabolism.  Whereby the American diet used to be balanced in both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, a push towards higher processing has left our country filled with vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats (high sources of Omega-6), which are pro-inflammatory, and the consumption of these are correlated with obesity. A review published in the journal Nutrients explained that “A high omega-6 fatty acid intake and a high omega-6/omega-3 ratio are associated with weight gain in both animal and human studies, whereas a high omega-3 fatty acid intake decreases the risk for weight gain.” The review further explains that omega-6 fatty acids promote insulin resistance (where our body turns too much of our carbohydrates into fat) and leptin resistance (leptin is the hormone which tells us when we are full; if we are resistant, we never feel full). To limit omega-6s in your diet, switch canola oil out for olive oil.

Vitamin D Proven More Effective Than Vaccines At Preventing The Flu.


The risk of children suffering from flu can be reduced by 50% if they take vitamin D, doctors in Japan have found. The finding has implications for flu epidemics since vitamin D, which is naturally produced by the human body when exposed to direct sunlight, has no significant side effects, costs little and can be several times more effective than anti-viral drugs or vaccines according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Only one in ten children, aged six to 15 years, taking the sunshine vitamin in a clinical trial came down with flu compared with one in five given a dummy tablet. Mitsuyoshi Urashima, the Japanese doctor who led the trial, told The Times that vitamin D was more effective than vaccines in preventing flu.
Vitamin D was found to be even more effective when the comparison left out children who were already given extra vitamin D by their parents, outside the trial. Taking the sunshine vitamin was then shown to reduce the risk of flu to a third of what it would otherwise be.

Dr. Damien Downing, a doctor and medical consultant has publicly stated that governments “do like” epidemics as a chance to impose their will. The London based doctor has been advising patients to increase their vitamin D intake rather than get the vaccine.

You might be shocked to know that there are many physicians in both Canada and the United States who prescribe as much as 50,000 IU of vitamin D daily as a treatment for a long list of chronic diseases.

Dr. John Cannell, MD, suggests high-dose vitamin D (50,000 IU) be consumed for three days at the first sign of a cold or the flu. If you have an infection, the truth is you need more vitamin D. That’s a given. In other words, vitamin D acts as a natural antibiotic. It works against every type of microbe (viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites).

Vitamin D deficiency is common during the winter months, especially in countries far north of the equator. Vitamin D acts as an immune system modulator, preventing excessive production of inflammatory cytokines and increasing macrophage (a type of white cell) activity. Vitamin D also stimulates the production of potent anti-microbial peptides in other white blood cells and in epithelial cells lining the respiratory tract, protecting the lungs from infection.

50 Percent Reduction In Flu Infections Using Vitamin D

Altogether 354 children took part in the trial. Vitamin D was found to protect against influenza A but not against the less common influenza B.

The trial, which was double blind, randomised, and fully controlled scientifically, was conducted by doctors and scientists from Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan.

The children were given a daily dose of 1200 IUs (international units) of vitamin D over a period of three months. In the first month children in the group taking the vitamin became ill just as often as those taking the dummy tablet. But by the second month, when the vitamin level in the children’s blood was higher, the advantage of the vitamin was clear.

The Japanese scientists, writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, say that the anti-viral drugs zanamivir and oseltamivir reduce risk of flu infection by 8 percent in children who have been exposed to infection, compared with a 50 percent or greater reduction with vitamin D.

Anti-virals are typically more effective than vaccines for the influenza virus which suggests that both forms of medical intervention would consistently fail in similar studies when pitted against vitamin D.

Anti-virals are also too expensive, and possibly too toxic, to be given to the population as a whole whereas vitamin D has additional benefits. The sunshine vitamin not only prevents bone fractures but is also believed to reduce risks of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other illness, including various bacterial as well as viral infections.

The Japanese finding supports a theory that low blood levels of the sunshine vitamin occurring in winter explain why flu epidemics generally peak between December and March.

Vitamin D activates the innate immune system, enabling the body to produce several proteins such as defensin and cathelicidin which trigger cell activity and disable viruses.

Dr John Oxford, professor of virology at Queen Mary School of Medicine, London, said: “This is a timely study. It will be noticed by scientists. It fits in with the seasonal pattern of flu. There is an increasing background of solid science that makes the vitamin D story credible. ”

Dose and Vitamin D Levels Are Critical

Researchers have recently pinpointed the mechanism behind vitamin D3’s ability to enhance the immune system and why it is so critical to our health.

– Vitamin D is not a vitamin, but a steroid hormone precursor, which has profound effects on innate immunity.

– The amount of vitamin D in most food and nearly all multivitamins is literally inconsequential.

– The correct daily dose of vitamin D for adults is approximately 5,000 IU/day, not the 200 to 600 IU recommended by the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Medicine and the FDA.

– The only blood test to determine vitamin D adequacy is a 25-hydroxy-vitamin D, not the 1,25-di-hydroxy-vitamin D test many physicians now order.

– Healthy vitamin D blood levels are between 70 and 90 ng/ml, levels obtained by fewer than 5% of Americans.

– The mechanism of action of vitamin D in infection, dramatically increasing the body’s production of broad-spectrum natural antibiotics (anti-microbial peptides or AMP), suggests pharmaceutical doses of vitamin D (1,000 IU per pound of body weight per day for several days) will effectively treat not only influenza and the common cold, but help treat a host of other seasonal infections, including meningitis, septicemia, and pneumonia, in both children and adults.

 

 

 

Following Lifestyle Recommendations Reduces Risk of Cancer Death.


People who follow the diet and lifestyle recommendations laid out by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) have a 34 percent reduced risk of dying from several diseases and specifically, a 20 percent reduced risk of dying from cancer compared to people who don’t follow the recommendations, according to the results of a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In 2007, the WCRF and the AICR issued recommendations on diet, physical activity, and weight management for cancer prevention on the basis of the most comprehensive collection of available evidence. The 10 recommendations are as follows:

  • Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight.
  • Be physically active as part of everyday life.
  • Limit consumption of energy-dense foods. Avoid sugary drinks.
  • Eat mostly foods of plant origin.
  • Limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meat.
  • Limit alcoholic drinks.
  • Limit consumption of salt. Avoid moldy grains or legumes.
  • Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone (by avoiding supplements).
  • Mothers to breastfeed; children to be breastfed.
  • Follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.

In order to determine whether these recommendations were associated with a reduced risk of death, researchers conducted a study to investigate 378,864 people in nine European countries enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. Over a period of 12 years, researchers examined the subjects’ diet and lifestyle to see how closely they complied with six or seven (for women) of the ten recommendations: body fat, physical activity, consumption of foods and drinks that promote weight gain, consumption of plant foods, meat, alcoholic drinks and breastfeeding. Participants were given a score from 0 to 6 (or 7 for women); higher scores indicated greater compliance with the recommendations.

They then compared the group of participants with the strongest adherence to the guidelines to those with the weakest adherence to calculate the level of risk reduction that would come from compliance with the recommendations. When compared to the group with the lowest level of compliance, those who most closely followed the WCRF/AICR recommendations had a 34 percent reduced risk of death overall—and specifically, a 50 percent reduced risk of dying from respiratory disease, 44 percent reduced risk of dying from circulatory disease, and a 20 percent reduced risk of dying from cancer.

Being lean and eating foods mostly of plant origin appeared to have the greatest impact on reducing the risk of death from disease. Limiting alcohol consumption and eating mostly plant foods had the greatest impact on reducing the risk of cancer death. Women who breastfed for at least six months had a reduced risk of death from cancer and circulatory disease.

The researchers concluded that following the WCRF/AICR lifestyle recommendations could reduce the risk of cancer death and death from other diseases.

Reference:

Vergnaud AC, Romaquera D, Peeters PH, et al. Adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research guidelines and risk of death in Europe: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Nutrition and Cancer cohort study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Published early online April 3, 2013. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.11

 

Source: cancerconnect.com

 

Diet Soda, Aspartame Shown to Destroy Kidney Function.


In an 11-year study by scientists at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, there was a strong positive correlation found between degeneration of kidney function and consumption of aspartame-containing diet soda.

Diet Soda, Aspartame Shown to Destroy Kidney Function - Aspartame - Aspartate - Phenylalanine - Methanol
Published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the study followed 3,318 women for a number of years as they consumed diet soda containing artificial sweeteners like Aspartame.

cientists took into account each participant’s age, blood pressure, smoking habits (when applicable), and pre-existing conditions like heart disease or diabetes, and administered food frequency questionnaires in 1984, 1986, 1990, 1994, and 1998. Two or more diet drinks daily, it was found, led to a doubled risk in fast-paced kidney decline.

A separate study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that, contrary to safety claims made by the manufacturers of aspartame, health-related concerns including non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia still abound. While study authors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School admitted that there were other variables to consider, such as the sex of the consumer in that particular case, they remained troubled by the risks associated with diet soda.

It’s worth noting that diet soda is also high in sodium—and in greater amounts than found in sodas sweetened with sugar or corn starch (which were not examined in either study).

Corruption: a Brief History of Aspartame

Is diet soda really that bad for you? This is neither the first nor will it be the last time diet soda and artificially sweetened goods will come under fire from the scientific community. The Food and Drug Administration quickly approved aspartame, called “NutraSweet,” in 1974 in use for limited foods, but only after examining studies provided by G. D. Searle Co.. Yes, the inventor of aspartame.

It was only after a research psychiatrist concluded that aspartic acid—a key ingredient in aspartame—made holes in mice brains that the FDA rounded up a task force to investigate Searle’s claims. The investigation unveiled a series of falsified claims, corrupted study results, and information that simply wasn’t there. Although the FDA moved for further investigation of Searle by grand jury, US Attorney Thomas Sullivan and Assistant US Attorney William Conlon didn’t lift a finger to help. Conlon, however, found a job at the law firm representing Searle.

Since then, the genetically modified creation, aspartame, has been implicated in a number of studies aspotentially causing tumors, seizures, brain holes, and reproductive problems. But the mainstream media won’t report on the aspartame-cancer link.

Other Sweeteners, the Good and the Bad

Other artificial sweeteners, like sucralose (supposedly “made from sugar”), have been implicated in other health problems like changing the gut flora environment and preventing proper nutrient absorption, according to the January 2008 issue of the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.

Thus far, Stevia has drawn little fire comparative to artificial sweeteners, although excessive use might be cautioned as with anything. Stevia is, however, safer to use than artificial or GMO sugar, especially for diabetics.

Source: Nature

Brain Imaging Study Confirms Addictive Nature of Processed Carbs.


Story at-a-glance

  • Using brain imaging, researchers confirm that highly processed carbohydrates stimulate brain regions involved in reward and cravings, promoting excess hunger
  • Previous research has demonstrated that refined sugar is more addictive than cocaine, giving you pleasure by triggering an innate process in your brain via dopamine and opioid signals
  • Food manufacturers have gotten savvy to the addictive nature of certain foods and tastes, including saltiness and sweetness, and have turned addictive taste into a science in and of itself
  • Refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels, and most other processed foods quickly break down to sugar, increasing your insulin levels, which eventually leads to insulin resistance.
  • pretzel
  • A staggering two-thirds of Americans are now overweight, and one in four are either diabetic or pre-diabetic.
  • Carb-rich processed foods are a primary driver of these statistics, and while many blame Americans’ overindulgence of processed junk foods on lack of self-control, scientists are now starting to reveal the truly addictive nature of such foods.
  • Most recently, researchers at the Boston Children’s Hospital concluded that highly processed carbohydrates stimulate brain regions involved in reward and cravings, promoting excess hunger.1 As reported by Science Daily:2
  • “These findings suggest that limiting these ‘high-glycemic index’ foods could help obese individuals avoid overeating.”
  • While I don’t agree with the concept of high glycemic foods, it is important that they are at least thinking in the right direction. Also, the timing is ironic, considering the fact that the American Medical Association (AMA) recently declared obesity adisease, treatable with a variety of conventional methods, from drugs to novel anti-obesity vaccines…
  • The featured research is on the mark, and shows just how foolhardy the AMA’s financially-driven decision really is. Drugs and vaccines are clearly not going to doanything to address the underlying problem of addictive junk food.
  • The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition3 examined the effects of high-glycemic foods on brain activity, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). One dozen overweight or obese men between the ages of 18 and 35 each consumed one high-glycemic and one low-glycemic meal. The fMRI was done four hours after each test meal. According to the researchers:
  • “Compared with an isocaloric low-GI meal, a high-glycemic index meal decreased plasma glucose, increased hunger, and selectively stimulated brain regions associated with reward and craving in the late postprandial period, which is a time with special significance to eating behavior at the next meal.”
  • The study demonstrates what many people experience: After eating a high-glycemic meal, i.e. rapidly digesting carbohydrates, their blood sugar initially spiked, followed by a sharp crash a few hours later. The fMRI confirmed that this crash in blood glucose intensely activated a brain region involved in addictive behaviors, known as the nucleus accumbens.
  • Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism, weighed in on the featured research in an article by NPR:4
  • “As Dr. Robert Lustig… points out, this research can’t tell us if there’s a cause and effect relationship between eating certain foods and triggering brain responses, or if those responses lead to overeating and obesity.
  • ‘[The study] doesn’t tell you if this is the reason they got obese,’ says Lustig, ‘or if this is what happens once you’re already obese.’ Nonetheless… he thinks this study offers another bit of evidence that ‘this phenomenon is real.’”
  • Previously, Dr. Lustig has explained the addictive nature of sugar as follows:
  • “The brain’s pleasure center, called the nucleus accumbens, is essential for our survival as a species… Turn off pleasure, and you turn off the will to live… But long-term stimulation of the pleasure center drives the process of addiction… When you consume any substance of abuse, including sugar, the nucleus accumbens receives a dopamine signal, from which you experience pleasure. And so you consume more.
  • The problem is that with prolonged exposure, the signal attenuates, gets weaker. So you have to consume more to get the same effect — tolerance. And if you pull back on the substance, you go into withdrawal. Tolerance and withdrawal constitute addiction. And make no mistake, sugar is addictive.”
  • Previous research has demonstrated that refined sugar is more addictive than cocaine, giving you pleasure by triggering an innate process in your brain via dopamine and opioid signals. Your brain essentially becomes addicted to stimulating the release of its own opioids.
  • Researchers have speculated that the sweet receptors located on your tongue, which evolved in ancestral times when the diet was very low in sugar, have not adapted to the seemingly unlimited access to a cheap and omnipresent sugar supply in the modern diet.

    Therefore, the abnormally high stimulation of these receptors by our sugar-rich diets generates excessive reward signals in your brain, which have the potential to override normal self-control mechanisms, thus leading to addiction.

  • But it doesn’t end there. Food manufacturers have gotten savvy to the addictive nature of certain foods and tastes, including saltiness and sweetness, and have turned addictive taste into a science in and of itself.
  • In a recent New York Times article,5 Michael Moss, author of Salt Sugar Fat, dished the dirt on the processed food industry, revealing that there’s a conscious effort on behalf of food manufacturers to get you hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive to make.

    I recommend reading his article in its entirety, as it offers a series of case studies that shed light on the extraordinary science and marketing tactics that make junk food so hard to resist.

  • Sugar, salt and fat are the top three substances making processed foods so addictive. In a Time Magazine interview6discussing his book, Moss says:
  • “One of the things that really surprised me was how concerted and targeted the effort is by food companies to hit the magical formulation. Take sugar for example. The optimum amount of sugar in a product became known as the ‘bliss point.’ Food inventors and scientists spend a huge amount of time formulating the perfect amount of sugar that will send us over the moon, and send products flying off the shelves. It is the process they’ve engineered that struck me as really stunning.”
  • It’s important to realize that added sugar (typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup) is not confined to junky snack foods. For example, most of Prego’s spaghetti sauces have one common feature, and that is sugar—it’s the second largest ingredient, right after tomatoes. A half-cup of Prego Traditional contains the equivalent of more than two teaspoons of sugar.
  • Another guiding principle for the processed food industry is known as “sensory-specific satiety.” Moss describes this as “the tendency for big, distinct flavors to overwhelm your brain, which responds by depressing your desire to have more.” The greatest successes, whether beverages or foods, owe their “craveability” to complex formulas that pique your taste buds just enough, without overwhelming them, thereby overriding your brain’s inclination to say “enough.”
  • Novel biotech flavor companies like Senomyx also play an important role.
  • Senomyx specializes in helping companies find new flavors that allow them to use less salt and sugar in their foods. But does that really make the food healthier? This is a questionable assertion at best, seeing how these “flavor enhancers” are created using secret, patented processes. They also do not need to be listed on the food label, which leaves you completely in the dark. As of now, they simply fall under the generic category of artificial and/or natural flavors, and they don’t even need to be tested for safety, as they’re used in minute amounts.

·         Brain Imaging Shows Food Addiction Is Real

·         The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

·         Novel Flavor-Enhancers May Also Contribute to Food Addiction

How to Combat Food Addiction and Regain Your Health

To protect your health, I advise spending 90 percent of your food budget on whole foods, and only 10 percent on processed foods. It’s important to realize that refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels, and most other processed foods quickly break down to sugar, increase your insulin levels, and cause insulin resistance, which is the number one underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease and condition known to man, including weight gain.

By taking the advice offered in the featured study and cutting out these high-glycemic foods you can retrain your body to burn fat instead of sugar. However, it’s important to replace these foods with healthy fats, not protein—a fact not addressed in this research. I believe most people may need between 50-70 percent of their daily calories in the form of healthful fats, which include:

Olives and olive oil Coconuts and coconut oil Butter made from raw, organic grass-fed milk
Organic raw nuts, especially macadamia nuts, which are low in protein and omega-6 fat Organic pastured eggs and pastured meats Avocados

 

I’ve detailed a step-by-step guide to this type of healthy eating program in my comprehensive nutrition plan, and I urge you to consult this guide if you are trying to lose weight. A growing body of evidence also suggests that intermittent fasting is particularly effective if you’re struggling with excess weight as it provokes the natural secretion of human growth hormone (HGH), a fat-burning hormone. It also increases resting energy expenditure while decreasing insulin levels, which allows stored fat to be burned for fuel. Together, these and other factors will turn you into an effective fat-burning machine.

Best of all, once you transition to fat burning mode your cravings for sugar and carbs will virtually disappear, as if by magic… While you’re making the adjustment, you could try an energy psychology technique called Turbo Tapping, which has helped many sugar addicts kick their sweet habit. Other tricks to help you overcome your sugar cravings include:

  • Exercise: Anyone who exercises intensely on a regular basis will know that significant amounts of cardiovascular exercise is one of the best “cures” for food cravings. It always amazes me how my appetite, especially for sweets, dramatically decreases after a good workout. I believe the mechanism is related to the dramatic reduction in insulin levels that occurs after exercise.
  • Organic black coffee: Coffee is a potent opioid receptor antagonist, and contains compounds such as cafestrol — found plentifully in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee — which can bind to your opioid receptors, occupy them and essentially block your addiction to other opioid-releasing foods.7 This may profoundly reduce the addictive power of other substances, such as sugar.

Source: mercola.com

 

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