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Star Food

Month: May 2019

Talking About Food Can Make

Talking? What harm can talking do? The answer is plenty! Can you discuss or read about fattening foods without thinking about them?

Ok, CAKE! What image popped into your mind? For me it was a round 8 inch diameter angel food cake with white icing, sliced strawberries on top and lots of strawberries, not just a few sprinkles, they cover the entire top of the cake, inch thick. Then I see a slice being cut, lifted and gently place on a silver coloured plate with a thin black ring on the plates outer edge. Whipped cream is being added to top it off and a little drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Now be honest. Did you have to swallow your saliva? Is your mouth watering even a little? That’s just the response you can see and feel. Your body is responding on a level you are not conscious of. Insulin is being released; and yes, you can be getting the tiniest amount fatter. The response is nothing compared to eating the actual cake, but the insulin release does something more. It makes you hungrier! If the cake was place in front of you right now, it would be harder to resist. It gets worse. The more insulin, the hungrier, AND the better food tastes. Now the worst part. Because of how quickly cake is digested if we eat it, we will be hungry again very shortly. The foods that make us fat are also addictive. The more you eat the more you want them, the more you want them the more you eat. It is a downward spiral.

What can we do?- STOP EATING CAKE!- Simple right? Maybe not. Remember how I described the cake a few lines up. I could have gone into much more detail. Right now, this minute I have a terrible craving for cake. I do not have cake in the house. I live in a rural area, the closest bake shop is a 1 hour round trip. That is the ONLY reason I am not eating it. Thinking about a favorite food, just thinking about it causes the insulin release that causes the craving that makes not eating it Ohh so hard.

We need to stop eating these high calorie, high sugar, high carbohydrate foods, not just because of the calories actually in them. But because of the insulin response. Because cake makes you hungry. Because if you eat it, it is not just that slice of cake that is adding to your girth, it is what the cake makes you eat next because of the hunger it caused though the insulin response.

Do we need to starve ourselves? No! and even if we tried, long term it doesn’t work. Hunger always wins.

Yes, you can get fat just talking about food. A tiny, tiny amount directly from the insulin response, and indirectly because talking about it makes it harder to resist the high sugar foods the next time it is available. And thinking or talking about a food will make you crave it.

So what is the solution.

Here are 3 tips:

1. Trying to not think about anything is impossible. The best you can do is replace the thought. If possible, distract yourself with something totally different, not food related at all. If you are talking to someone, and food comes up, if possible, respond to them then quickly change the subject, away from food. If it is your own thoughts, try to think of a healthy alternative, your first thought maybe cake and strawberries, but turn to just strawberries or strawberries in yogurt both of which are good for you food, or fields of strawberries, or strawberries in blossom. Let your thoughts wander, just lead them away from cake.

2. If this is difficult you may be hungry or thirsty. Our body has a way of making us feel hungry when water is what it needs; so have a glass of water or tea. If you are still thinking of food you may actually be hungry so, have a healthy snack. This works in 2 ways. You are eating so it takes away much of the hunger obviously; but less obvious is sometimes you feel hunger even when your stomach is full because your body needs particular nutrients. If you make a habit of eating snacks and meals that nutrient dense you will eventually have less cravings.

3.If after the water and snack you still want that high sugar delectable, have some. Our bodies are very complex. If you completely deprive yourself of foods you really desire, your subconscious tells your body that there is a food shortage, so the body starts conserving energy and this makes losing weight much harder. Have one serving of a high quality version of whatever your desire is. One reasonably sized serving, too much and you are over eating, we want to train ourselves not to do that, too little and it is not satisfying, you will want more–DO NOT eat a 2nd best, poor quality item. It is not satisfying and so will not quell the craving. Eat slowly, enjoy every bite. Don’t rush it because you feel guilty about eating it, because that too will make it unsatisfying and because it is unsatisfying will not stop the craving. If you are going to indulge, do it well.

Use all three tactic and you will find that the next craving will not be as soon, or as strong. Bit by bit you will lose the cravings all together. And more importantly, by no longer daydreaming about problem foods, you will also limit the insulin response that results when you see these foods. Like anything else your response to seeing a food, or hearing about it is a conditioned response. You can change your conditioning.

Stop daydreaming about food and start daydreaming about your new, thinner body.

Two Scientific Theories About Food Addiction

Several different theories about food addiction are being considered by the scientific community. Most of us have heard of the “thrifty gene” theory. This theory suggests that people who have this gene will eat more calories today as an instinctive response to the possibility of famine tomorrow.

Another theory suggests that overeating fats and simple sugars is a “rational addiction,” because the cost of withdrawal is higher than the cost of maintaining the habit of overeating. The costs could include the physical symptoms of withdrawal from addictive foods, the costs of weight loss treatment, and the possible higher cost of buying more nutritious meals.

The decisions made by government agencies and individual counselors depend on which of these theories they accept.

If the rational addiction theory is held to be true, laws might be passed to reduce the cost of highly nutritious vegetables and proteins, which are low in calories, and increase the cost of low-quality foods such as sugar and high-fat snacks, perhaps with new taxes. The financial costs of weight loss programs and medications could be lowered with subsidies. Health agencies might create educational and counseling programs to help obese clients make better, less irrational choices when they shop.

On the other hand, if there really is a “thrifty gene” that causes food addiction, scientists would look for ways to “turn off the gene” through new medications or gene therapy. Counseling would consist of helping people recognize their natural tendencies, and help them create an environment in which more rational eating choices would be easier to make. Perhaps governments would regulate the creation and sale of high-fat, sugary foods as if they were an environmental hazard.

To determine which of these theories can be used to explain the very high incidence of obesity and type-2 diabetes among the Pima Indians in the American Southwest, two professors from Arizona State University looked at the shopping activity at several Arizona supermarkets. The study compared the shopping choices at stores near the Pima community, which has an astounding diabetes rate of almost 50%, with those made by the general population at supermarkets in other locations.

The professors determined that the low prices of foods high in simple sugars has led to the over-consumption of these harmful foods in all populations, but that non-native people as a group consume these cheaper foods in lower quantities than do the members of the Pima tribe as a whole. The study did not look at the shopping behavior of individuals.

This may mean that both the “thrifty gene” theory and the economic “rational addiction” theory are correct, and not mutually exclusive. It is true that foods made from white flour and sugar tend to be less expensive (per calorie) than higher quality foods containing protein and whole grains. The easy availability of poor-quality foods, along with high-fat fast food, has had a striking consequence for all Western nations.

Some people do choose to avoid these fattening foods and eat healthy veggies and low-fat meats instead, which lends weight to the thrifty gene theory. However, income does play a part. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, “women of lower socioeconomic status are approximately 50% more likely to be obese than those of higher socioeconomic status.” This statistic includes all racial and ethnic groups.

The incidence of type-2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease is going up for all Western populations and the long-term effects of this illness are devastating both to the individual and society. In the general population, approximately one-third of American adults are overweight, and a third of these are obese. The occurrence of obesity in the general population has almost doubled since 1960, and is quickly catching up to the high rates of obesity and diabetes among the well-studied Pimas.

Because it is estimated that obesity is related to a 10 to 50% increased risk of death from all causes, and the cost of chronic diseases associated with obesity are creating a drain on the national treasury, it is particularly important to find a workable theory about food addiction. Perhaps if we gain a better understanding of why people overeat, in spite of obvious consequences, scientists will be able to find a cure for the international problem of obesity.

What Everybody Ought to Know About Food

Eat fresh or minimally processed foods as much as possible, since they usually have few additives. Avoid junk foods (such as cookies, candy, and soda), which are not only chock-full of artificial colors and other additives, but are also of little nutritional value – high in calories, sugar, fats and/or sodium.

This is especially good advice for children, who are the main consumers of junk foods and are at increased risk if there are any health problems with additives.

Why do some foods not list any ingredients at all? Ketchup, cheddar cheese, peanut butter, and margarine are among some three-hundred-odd staples that don’t have to list ingredients or nutrients because they are made according to a “standard of identity” – a recipe specifying concentrations of various ingredients – regulated by the FDA. For example, if the jar says “mayonnaise”, it must contain vegetable oil, vinegar and/or lemon juice, and egg yolk; these ingredients don’t have to be spelled out. Certain optional ingredients, however, such as salt, sweetener, and preservatives, must be listed. Some manufacturers voluntarily list the ingredients on standardized foods; others provide ingredients lists at the consumer’s request.

Most foods are not standardized, so they must list their ingredients. Even so, an ingredients list can be deceptive when it comes to sugar and sodium, and less than clear about flavoring and colorings.

Food labels tell little about the two problem nutrients that may be most important to you – fat and cholesterol.

A nutrition label must list how many grams of fat there are in a serving, but seldom anything beyond that, and very few foods indicate what percentage of their calories come from fat. A breakdown of the fats into unsaturated and saturated fatty acids is optional. Cholesterol content is also optional, unless a claim is made about it.

Read food labels. But remember additives aren’t always listed: more than three hundred standardized foods don’t have to list their ingredients. Ice cream, for example, can contain some twenty-five specified additives without having to list any of them.

Limit your intake of foods listing “artificial colors.”Substitute products colored by real fruit juice. Still, an occasional maraschino cherry won’t harm you.

Eat a variety of foods.This will limit your exposure to any one additive, should it turn out to have long-term risks.

Who is Protecting You?

Did you know?

Stabilizers, thickeners, and texturizers such as gums, carrageenan, gelatin, flour, pectin, cellulose, and starch are additives added to improve consistency and provide desired texture.

Many are natural carbohydrates that absorb water in foods. These additives affect “mouth feel” of foods – i.e., prevent ice crystals from forming in ice cream.

Food additives are extensively studied and regulated, primarily by the FDA. Legislation in 1958 and 1960 required manufacturers to prove the safety of any new additive; before that, the burden was on the government to prove the health danger of a substance.

Margin of safety. If manufacturer-sponsored tests prove an additive is safe, the FDA sets guidelines for its use. Generally, food manufacturers can use only one-hundredth of the least amount of an additive shown to be toxic in lab animals.

The Delaney clause. This is the most restrictive provision of the 1958 law, stating that a substance shown to cause cancer in animals or man may not be added to food in any amount.

Food manufacturers argue against this rule on the grounds that in some cases the cancer risk is minuscule, or that nay risk is outweighed by the benefits the additive may provide – as with nitrites and saccharin, weak carcinogens that are still on the market.

Testing for Safety

Even under the best circumstances, absolute safety of an additive can never by proven. Any substance may be harmful when consumed in excess. Animal studies, which are our primary mode of testing, have limitations. They may not be effective in assessing the degree of cancer risk from long-term use because of the animals’ short life spans. Moreover, it is hard to make precise comparisons between animals and humans. Other questions concern possible interactions of the hundreds of additives we consume.

With countless diets, programs and products promising to help you shed pounds, it should be easy. But as any veteran dieter knows, it’s hard to lose weight. It’s even harder keeping it off.

Simply eating too much and not being active enough is the cause of people being overweight. Too many people concentrate on losing pounds to improve appearance, when the primary focus of weight control should be to achieve and maintain good health.

To get the proper daily nutritional value:

-Eat a variety of foods

-Eat a high-fiber diet (choose more grains, fruits and vegetables instead of protein, fats and sugar)

-Maintain a low-fat, low cholesterol diet (eat no more than 30% of calories from fat, including only 10% from saturated fat)

-Use moderate amounts of salt and sodium and choose sugar substitutes

-Limit alcoholic intake

Often the first step to a good diet lies in changing food and eating behavior:

-Don’t skip meals

-Eat a series of small meals throughout the day and avoid a big meal late in the evening

-Eat and chew slowly

-Use a smaller-sized plate to achieve a “full plate”

-Don’t go back for seconds

-Bake or broil food instead of frying

-Order from light menus and purchase low-calorie or low-fat foods (remember that low-fat does not necessarily mean low-calorie)

-Learn about food values and make healthy combinations in meals

-Reward yourself with non-food pleasures

-Ounce for ounce, fat provides more than twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrate (nine calories vs. four). This energy difference may explain how fat promotes weight gain. Yet even when calories are the same, a person eating a high-fat diet tends to store more excess calories as body fat than someone eating a lower-fat diet.