Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

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Eating Less for Longevity?

A new study says that eating less can contribute to a longer life and even more importantly, a longer healthy life. Previous research with many species has supported this hypothesis.  Additional support can come from the “Blue Zones”, a study of five cultures around the world with the greatest number of healthy centenarians in their populations. An example is the Okinawan practice called “hara hachi bu” that promotes eating only until you’re 80 percent full.



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Why We Get Fat? The Current Debate


The most talked about topic concerning our obesity epidemic involves two major theoretical theories: the conventional theory of calories in -calories- out and the carbohydrate-insulin model.  It is important for the population to have a basic understanding of these theories in order to deal with the obesity conundrum so prevalent in our current food environment. Determining which is predominant could help us to counteract the epidemic with the most effective dietary treatments. The following article provides us with a simplified understanding of both sides of the debate.


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FYI: It’s National Cheeseburger Day

Even though we all love them,  just in case you are interested in calorie information, check it out HERE.

For cheeseburger facts click the link below. Enjoy!!

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CSPI 2017 Xtreme Eating Awards


The numbers are in –  Center for Science in the Public Interest just came out with its stunning array of  calories in foods at some of the nation’s restaurant chains.  Don’t forget to check out the saturated fat and sodium, too.  It just gets more astonishing every year or more appropriately “worse.”  When will we ever see calorie counts on the menus?


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Home Cooking?


If you believe the marketing of the newer fast casual restaurants like Panera Bread or Chipolte, you are eating healthier food than if you go to the traditional  fast food places, aka McDonald’s, etc. A new study begs to differ at least with the calorie count.

Restaurant sales are on the downward trend.  An alternative may be to try the new trend of ordering dinner via the Internet from companies like Blue Apron or Home Chef that deliver to you the fresh ingredients and you do the preparation. This approach offers convenience and saves you a lot of time. You control the calories and are spared the often dreaded trip to the supermarket where you spend so much on “stuff” you really may not need.  You also are not tempted by the snack aisles or the endless display of junk foods and ultra-processed foods.

I personally have never tried these companies but will and blog about the experience soon.


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Eat Less, Live Longer?

Grape Tomatoes

Since the beginning of time, humans have sought ways to live longer or stay young. Everyone is familiar with the story of Ponce De Leon who failed to find the “fountain of youth.” However, a lesser known Italian man named Luigi Cornaro born in the 15th century, may have come closer. He lived a life of abundance including food until a doctor advised him to cut back on his intake at the age of 36. He wrote books that promoted the idea “of eating as little as possible” entitled “The Art of Living Long.” Some accounts say he lived to be either 89 or 102 (depending on the source) in times when life expectancy was only 30. Had he discovered the fountain of youth or was this just a big coincidence?

For several decades, interest in calorie restriction and longevity has been studied in many species and it was concluded that restricting caloric intake (20 -40% less than recommended) but meets the needs of all nutrients, has extended the lifespan as much as 50% in organisms such as insects, worms, and rodents. It also reduces the incidence of many chronic diseases such as heart disease and some cancers, improves immune function, and maintains function into later life.

These studies extended to the primates by the 1980’s that led to the result than when rhesus monkeys were calorie restricted by 30% fewer calories in nutritionally adequate diets, their lifespans were indeed increased. In addition, the animals had lower body fat, less muscle loss and a lower incidence of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Human studies have been problematic for the simple reason that adherence of study participants to such diets for any length of time is difficult.

Epidemiological evidence supports the idea from studies of the long-lived population of Okinawa. They have traditionally practiced calorie restriction by eating until they are only 80 percent full. In the United States, mortality rates from heart disease are eight times higher and various cancers (lymphoma, colon, breast, and prostate) are four times higher than it is in Okinawa.

Would most healthy humans practice a calorie restricted diet? It is not easy. Caloric restriction would mean that a person who typically eats about 2000 calories per day could only eat 1200 to 1600 calories a day. Some researchers say this would be difficult and suggest that the best way to achieve this lifestyle would have to involve some form of intermittent fasting; however, that remains to be tested.

A new interesting study has tested this theory with healthy humans.  For the details CLICK HERE