Thursday, July 17, 2008

Deep fried Coke?!




Take frozen Coke-flavoured funnel cake batter, deep-fry it and throw it into a Coke cup.

Top off with Coca-Cola syrup, whipped cream (optional), cinnamon sugar
and a cherry!

Deep-fried Coke was introduced by inventor Abel Gonzales, Jr. at the 2006 Texas State Fair and has been appearing at various fairs, including the recent Calgary Stampede.

Supposedly, this delicacy has 830 calories per serving.

This is a new low.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fried_Coke , http://www.nationalpost.com/life/story.html?id=640808

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dog meat banned in Beijing

The Beijing government has ordered all contracted Olympic restaurants to remove dog meat from their menus for the duration of the Olympics and Paralympics in September.

They’ve also strongly suggested that all restaurants in Beijing follow suit.

Although dog meat is not traditional fare in Beijing, it does appear on many menus and is widely consumed by the large Korean community in China.

The reason for the ban is to avoid offending foreigners and “to respect dining customs of different countries”.

During the 1988 Seoul Olympics, canine dishes were banned as a result of criticism from Westerners.

I’m just wondering:
Would American restaurants accept to modify the ridiculously large portion sizes they offer to not offend the sensitivities of foreigners?

Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/2285780/Beijing-takes-dog-off-the-menu-during-Olympics.html
http://uk.reuters.com/article/businessCompany/idUKPEK9160620080713
http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7a/Dog_meat_hotpot.JPG/800px-Dog_meat_hotpot.JPG&imgrefurl=http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Dog_meat_hotpot.JPG&h=404&w=800&sz=99&hl=en&start=2&um=1&tbnid=g6raLnGXOjwTLM:&tbnh=72&tbnw=143&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddog%2Bmeat%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN

Friday, July 11, 2008

America's Fattest States



Source & great site: http://calorielab.com/news/2008/07/02/fattest-states-2008/

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

True or False? Exercising on an empty stomach will help you burn more fat


Generally False… for a few reasons:

Weight and body fat loss or gain is determined by caloric balance. If, over the course of the day, you eat more calories than you spend, you’ll gain weight and body fat. If you spend more calories than you eat, you’ll lose weight and body fat. Your weight is not determined simply by what you burn during exercise.

It’s commonly believed that if you exercise on an empty stomach, you’ll burn more fat since your carbohydrate stores are almost empty. As such, your body will use up your fat stores to fuel your workout.

Before we discuss that, here’s an overview:

Fuel for exercise

When we eat carbohydrates (grains, breads, pastas, rice, cereal, fruits, sweets) it gets stored in our liver- to control blood sugar- and in our muscles- to fuel our exercise. The stored form of carbs is called glycogen. If you run out of glycogen when you exercise, you will “hit the wall” and have to stop.

Glycogen is one of the only fuels we can burn during anaerobic exercise- exercise that doesn’t require oxygen, i.e. short bouts of high intensity activities like sprinting, hockey, weight lifting. When there’s oxygen present, i.e. when you do aerobic activities like walking, running, biking, fat can be used as a source of fuel. However, to burn fat, you need to have some glycogen.

It takes 24-48 hours for your muscle glycogen stores to fully replenish- even if you’re eating a high carb diet. An endurance athlete will use up all of their muscle glycogen stores in 1-3 hours of continuous moderate-high intensity workout (depending on fitness level) if they don’t take in any carbs during exercise.
A weight lifter will deplete as much as 26% of their overall muscle glycogen during high-intensity strength training- however, research has shown that muscle glycogen depletion is localized in the muscles that are worked. As a result, if you train your legs, you may have lost 26% of your overall muscle glycogen but the glycogen in your leg muscles can be totally depleted.

So, if you didn’t deplete your glycogen stores in the last 2 days and have been eating a high carb diet and drinking enough fluids, when you wake up in the morning, regardless of whether you eat or not, your muscle glycogen stores will be full. However, your liver glycogen stores will be pretty much empty meaning your blood sugar may be low. The reason we tell people to have a pre-exercise snack or meal is to replenish liver glycogen stores which will maintain blood glucose levels, helping you feel more alert and energetic. However, this snack is not really used as fuel. When you workout, you’re burning what you’ve eaten and stored over the last 24-48 hours.

A single carbohydrate-rich meal will quickly restore your liver glycogen stores: an energy bar, a glass of OJ and a toast, a bagel, a sports drink, a meal supplement like ‘Boost’, a small bowl of cereal.

Burning fat

As for burning more fat when you exercise on an empty stomach- some small studies have shown that this is possible… but there’s a tradeoff: you can run low on energy. A 2000 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that performance of moderate-to-high-intensity exercise lasting 35-40 min was significantly improved in those that consumed a moderately-high carbohydrate, low fat, low protein meal 3-hr before exercise compared to a similar meal consumed 6 hr prior to exercise. Various other studies have demonstrated the same thing. Exercisers are not able to exercise as hard or as long when exercising on an empty stomach.

If you’re not able to work out as long or as hard, you’re going to burn less total calories. So, regardless of the fact that you may be burning a little more fat calories, the total calories burned will be less and you will not lose more body fat. Moreover, because your blood sugar will fall as a result of your liver glycogen depletion, chances are you’ll be famished after your workout. Hunger is a side effect of low blood sugar. Experts point out that you’re more likely to overeat post-workout and therefore consume more calories, leading to weight and body fat gain!

Bottom line

The research has consistently shown that, for both endurance and power athletes, performance will suffer if you don’t consume enough carbohydrates during the day (you should be aiming for more than 50% of your total calories coming from carbs) since muscle glycogen is the limiting factor for any type of activity.
As for pre-exercise, it’s recommended you have a small snack or meal to top off your liver glycogen stores and ensure peak performance or peak calorie-burning.

Sources:

Girard Eberle, Suzanne. Endurance Sports Nutrition. IL: Human Kinetics. 2000.
Kleiner, SM; Greenwood-Robinson, M. Power Eating: Build Muscle, Boost Energy, Cut Fat, 2nd ed. IL: Human Kinetics. 2001.
http://www.jeffgalloway.com/nutrition/nancy/excercise_weight.html
Maffucci, DM; McMurray, RG. Towards optimizing the timing of the pre-exercise meal. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2000 Jun; 10(2): 103-13.
Smith, Heidi. Nutrition for the Long Run. Copyright “October 2003” by Heidi Smith.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Farmed versus Wild Salmon


Easy. Wild salmon's better.
But why?

First- a brief history:

Because wild salmon is only catchable from late May to late September (and even during the season, can be quite pricey), in the 1960s Norway invented a system of farming salmon in pens along the coastline. Today four countries produce about 98% of the world’s farmed salmon: Norway, Chile, the UK (mainly Scotland) and Canada. Most of the US’ farmed salmon comes from Canada and Chile.

Choosing wild salmon is better for the environment

  • Farmed salmon are grown in floating netcages and fed processed anchovies, sardines, herring- all fish humans eat, thus reducing the amount of fish available for human consumption. Wild salmon eat deep-ocean small fish that are generally not eaten by humans. It takes a lot of fish- 3-5 lbs- to provide enough fish meal and fish oil to add 1 lbs of weight to a farmed salmon. Moreover, the small fish fed to the farmed salmon are caught closer to shore and are therefore more contaminated with PCBs, pesticides and dioxins.
  • According to a 2003 study, a salmon farm of 200 000 fish releases as much fecal matter as 65 000 humans, killing marine animals and plants and causing harmful algae to grow.
  • Over 1 million Atlantic salmon have escaped from their netcages into British Columbia waters. Farmed salmon have more diseases and can carry sea lice that eat fish flesh. The concern is not only that they spread their diseases but that they breed with the wild salmon and weaken their genetic makeup- farmed salmon have smaller fins and larger bodies- thus affecting their ability to survive.



Choo
sing wild salmon is better for your health
  • A study that analyzed 700 wild and farmed salmon from 8 different countries found that farmed salmon contained 7 times higher levels of pesticides, PCBs and dioxins than wild salmon and eating it can increase your risk of getting cancer (see “putting it into perspective” below). As a result of this study, the US Environmental Protection Agency recommends you eat no more than 1 meal a month of farmed salmon from Washington state and Chile- the places with the least-contaminated farmed salmon. Farmed salmon from Canada, Maine and Norway were found to be twice as contaminated as the salmon from Washington and Chile, therefore the recommendation is to eat no more than 1 meal every 2 months of fish from those places. Lastly, farmed salmon from Scotland and the Faroe Islands were so contaminated that it's recommended you not eat it more than once a year!
  • Salmon farmers often use antibiotics to help control the spread of disease. In fact, farmed salmon receives more antibiotics by weight than any other livestock. Many of the antibiotics used are the same ones used to treat human infections and traces of these substances are passed on to consumers and can contribute to the dangerous increase of antibiotic-resistant disease worldwide.
  • Farmed salmon contains higher levels of unhealthy saturated fats and lower levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids because of the makeup of their feed—fish meal, fish oil and various by-products and filler.

Putting it into perspective

Your risk of cancer does increase if you eat pesticide-contaminated farmed salmon regularly. If you eat 6oz of farmed salmon from Washington or Chile once a month, your risk of getting cancer rises by 1 in 100 000.

Another way of looking at it

According to current stats, 33 000 of every 100 000 people will be diagnosed with cancer if they live to the age of 80.
If all 100 000 ate farmed salmon once a month, the number would rise to 33 001. If all 100 000 ate farmed salmon once a week, the number would rise to 33 004. If the farmed salmon was from Canada, the number would be 33 008.

Now, about 5000 of every 100 000 Americans will die of a heart attack, according to some estimates. If these 100 000 ate salmon- farmed or wild- once a week, the research estimates that there would be 1500 less deaths.

We know that cold-water fatty fish are great sources of the heart healthy DHA form of omega 3 that has a huge impact in lowering your risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. This is why it’s recommended you eat these fattier fish 2-3 times a week.

However, if you don’t want to eat fish- you can now purchase algae-oil supplements that provide the same type of beneficial DHA omega 3.
Fish oil supplements have been found to have very little, if any, contaminants.
You want to aim for 1 g of omega 3 from these sources but always talk to your doctor before taking any of these supplements!

Other tips and facts

Grilling your salmon and letting the juices drip away, cooking it until it reaches an internal temperature of 175 degrees Fahrenheit and removing the skin before eating it will reduce the amount of contaminants by at least half.

Farmed organic salmon means that the pens are less crowded and the fish are exposed to less pesticides.

All salmon from Alaska is wild. Chinook is the most contaminated, Chum is the least contaminated

Most salmon sushi is from farmed fish.

Most canned salmon is from Alaska therefore wild. It will have more sodium so buy salmon canned in water and rinse under water for at least a minute to reduce the sodium by about 40%.

Smoked salmon is usually farmed. Although the heating kills some of the contaminants, smoking creates others.

Farmed trout is high in omega 3 and less contaminated than salmon.

Sources:

Schardt D. Farmed salmon under fire. CSPI: Nutrition Action Healthletter. June 2004.
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/files/PSF_Salmon_Brochure.pdf