An Acid That You Want to Know About

Palmitoleic Acid could become a household word in the near future. Why you ask? Please let me explain.

In a small study at Ohio State, 16 adults, all of whom had metabolic syndrome, were fed the exact same diets, which changed every 3 weeks for a total of 18 weeks. The diet started with 47 grams of carbs and 84 grams of saturated fat each day and ended with 346 grams of carbs and 32 grams of saturated fat.

The diets included a consistent 130 grams of protein and added up to 2500 calories per day.

346 carbs is significant as this is what a typical American eats per day.

Average weight loss during the study was 22 pounds…not too shabby!

Where does Palmitoleic acid (PA) come in? Interestingly, as the participants were transitioned from a high saturated fat to a high carbo diet, the PA increased.

Increased PA levels in the blood have been linked to obesity and put people at a higher risk for inflammation and if you have been hanging around with me long enough, you know that I think inflammation is one of the biggest things we should be aware of.

High PA levels are also linked to diabetes, heart disease and prostate cancer, amongst other things.

Jeff Volek, a professor at Ohio State, states, “People believe ‘you are what you eat,’ but in reality, you are what you save from what you eat. The point is you don’t necessarily save the saturated fat that you eat. And the primary regulator of what you save in terms of fat is the carbohydrate in your diet. Since more than half of Americans show some signs of carb intolerance, it makes more sense to focus on carb restriction than fat restriction.”

While this study is small, it certainly puts out some food for thought (see what I did there!!!) about the relationship between carbs and weight gain.

 

 

 

Fast Food Posting Calories

McDonalds

Admit it, you have eaten at a fast food restaurant in the last year or so. Were you proud of it? Probably not, however, when the kids are starving and you are driving right by, it happens.

In 2008 the state of New York passed a law that stating that chain restaurants must post calorie counts on their menus and in 2011 the US passed a law stating that any restaurant with more than 20 locations must post calorie counts on their menu.

The case that New York made for this law was two fold. The first was that people are fatter not skinnier. It is estimated that over 35% of adults are obese with related costs upwards of $147 billion. The second case was that the nutrition information  was not readily available and people were unaware.

Imagine peoples surprise when they saw the Big Mac was 550 calories and the 12oz milk shake was 530!!!

See there is the problem.  Everyone knows that the Big Mac is caloric dense…does everyone know that the milkshake is as bad?  Most I asked didn’t.

Like the Blueberry muffins from Starbucks…that will cost you 370 calories including 14 grams of fat with 6 of them being saturated. While we are at it, throw in 320mg of sodium a whopping 14% of the daily allowance, from one muffin!!!

Combine that muffin with a Grande Spice Pumpkin Latte and you now have a “meal” that has 750 calories 27 grams of fat with 14 grams of saturated fat. All from coffee and a muffin.

Last example…let’s say you are going to Wendys and you decide you will get a salad in order to eat “healthy”.  Have you ever looked into one of those salads?  How does an apple pecan grilled chicken salad sound…pretty healthy no?

Try this on for size…570 calories with 27 grams of fat including 8 grams of saturated fat.  Oh, by the way, don’t even think about not getting the grilled chicken…the fried chicken option adds 150 calories and 11.5 grams of fat!

Most medical professionals agree that somewhere around 2500 calories is good for men and 2000 calories is good for women.  When you are using up 750 of those calories on a cup of coffee and a muffin, you need to be super careful on how you go about eating the rest of your day.

Hopefully posting these calorie counts will help people make smarter decisions when it comes to these foods.

While it is very rare that I hear people say we need more government in their life, this is a perfect case where Government is doing a great job.

I Am a Bottled Water Fan!

Sugar
Sugar

I know that bottled water is totally not vogue right now and I may be angering some of you with my stance on it, however, I am a huge fan of bottled water.  Please let me explain before you scorch me with emails and comments.

Recently, RTI, a non profit research group,  health economist Eric Finkelstein offered a blunt message for lawmakers trying to revamp the health care system: “Unless you address obesity, you’re never going to address rising health care costs.”

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote in April in The New England Journal of Medicine, “Sugar sweetened beverages may be the single largest driver of the obesity epidemic.’’

Last year 26 percent of beverages consumed were soda.

The average 20 ounce soda has 17 teaspoons of sugar in it.  17 teaspoons!!! That is an insane amount.  Try this; place 17 teaspoons of sugar in a bowl and look at how much sugar is in there.  I did it and was horrified.

I don’t think anyone would argue with me that there is no way it is good for you to consume that much sugar in one drink.  Please keep in mind that the average person will drink a couple of these a day!!

Last year we as a country spent $147 billion on obesity.  For an obese person that adds up to over $1400 per person per year in additional medical costs.  The two biggest diseases linked to obesity are heart disease and diabetes.

Would anyone argue that all this sugar contributes to obesity?  Of course, the beverage companies that produce these drinks may not be on board with the sugar and obesity link.

“It’s counterproductive when you have folks out there trying to single out one particular product as a unique contributor to a problem so complex,’’ said Kevin Keane, senior vice president of the American Beverage Association, which represents the makers of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other leading drinks. “You could get rid of soft drinks tomorrow, and you would still have overweight and obese people.’’

It is counterproductive?  No one blames ONLY the soft drinks for contributing to obesity but for sure it is a part.  Soda draws people’s ire due to how easy it is to consume all this sugar.  When you eat food, the body does a decent job of telling you that you are full and it is time to stop eating.  Unfortunately when it comes to drinking the body is not as diligent about telling you when to stop, thus leading to consuming many more calories than you actually need.

How many calories are in bottled water???  None.

Now look, you must be socially aware that bottled water is bad for the environment if you throw them away.  You must recycle your bottles, not doing so is just flat out wrong.  There are also trucking issues related to delivering the water.  Even with all of these factors, the side effect of all the sugar people are consuming still makes the bottled water a better choice, in my opinion.

Now we can argue that paying more for water than gasoline is crazy and I would agree.  So why not tap water?  There are two reasons that I don’t like tap water.  The first is the taste.  Every town is different, some towns that water taste great and some taste nasty.  If the water taste gross I am less likely to drink it.

The second reason is the chemicals that are present in tap water.  I am not a huge fan of them.  I feel that bottled water companies like Poland Springs® do a good job of filtering their water to reduce the chemicals better than tap water does.

At the end of the day, I am making the case that bottled water, warts and all, is an excellent choice if you are reaching in the cooler at your favorite sub shob.

It for sure beats drinking all that sugar.  Wait you want to drink diet soda, don’t even get me started!