Diet secrets from countries with low obesity rates NEW
Do you ever wonder why North Americans struggle with their weight while people in other countries, such as France, Italy and Greece, seem to stay slimmer and healthier?
Dietitian Leslie Beck visited with Balance Television host Dr. Marla Shapiro to share diet secrets from countries with some of the lowest rates of obesity and chronic disease in the world.
The French diet
"We're envious of French women; they're slimmer and not only that, it's called the French paradox. Here we have the French who are eating Brie and butter and cream and pastries and they have one of the highest intakes of saturated fat that we know, and yet their rates of heart disease are lower and they're slim."
So what's going on?
According to Beck, there are lots of little components that could make up the answer.
"We always talk about the red wine," Beck said. "Red wine is high in antioxidants that can keep the heart healthy, but the fact of the matter is the French drink wine in moderation and they drink it with meals. So that's probably partly to do with it."
They also use olive oil, Beck noted, which is high in monounsaturated fat. It probably doesn't offset the saturated fat in the butter and the Brie but they do include that fat in their diet.
Other researchers have said it must be the onions and the garlic, foods that are rich in health-promoting sulphur compounds that may help ward off cancer.
But in the end, Beck thinks that it is how the French eat that makes the difference.
"They eat small portions, they eat three meals a day, they don't snack, they don't skip meals, they don't rush off to dessert before they finish their vegetables and lean protein," she explained. "And they enjoy their foods and they eat smaller amounts...and they eat slowly."
The Mediterranean diet
Another healthy diet is the Mediterranean diet, which is based on the dietary traditions of Crete, the rest of Greece and southern Italy back in the 1960s, Beck said.
Those populations have had some of the lowest rates of chronic disease in the world and a high adult life expectancy rate.
"You can't be afraid of carbohydrates here...higher-carbohydrate diets are protective," Beck said. "The base of the diet is grain foods: pasta, whole grain breads, rice, fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes and beans. They use monounsaturated fat (olive oil). Even though the diet provides about 25 to 35 per cent of fat calories, it's very low in saturated fat. Their protein foods: fish, chicken and eggs weekly; red meat once a month.
It's a very healthy diet high in fibre and antioxidants that can help prevent disease, so don't be a carbohydrate basher.
The Asian diet
Rice and rice products are a staple of this diet, and if you look at people living in rural areas of Asian countries, the diet consists of minimally processed grains, not instant white rice.
The diet is also high in vegetables, Beck said. If you look at some of the vegetables they eat, they are full of compounds called cruciferous chemicals that studies have shown can actually help reduce the risk of cancer by affecting the enzymes in our liver that detoxify cancer-causing substances.
"Soy is the main legume in their diet, soy is the protein, they use plant-based beverages every day; (they drink) green tea, saki, even beer," she noted. "It's really a low-fat diet that's almost vegetarian. Animal protein foods are used very minimally."
We were preparing to Mon Amore Paris fashion parade at Bohemian Rhapsody Club early this year when our advertiser shocked me with a request to get two additional models size 14 and 16. I asked the brand owners if they are 100% sure. They said: "oh yes, we work in retail for many years, we know the size of an average woman". Yes... Thank you!
There is the video:
They look gorgeous but this is not my point today... Everyone is beautiful if they feel it this way as the beauty does not come from within no it comes from the your looks unless you know who you are... But this is not my point again. Still we all like to be nicely shaped even we are a bit plump. Let's talk about breakfasts as the most important meals of the day and how you can work on your weight simply by choosing the right ones.
Hefty Breakfast Leads to Long-Term Weight Loss webiste
The old admonition to start the day off with a good breakfast has new legs, thanks to a study out of Virginia Commonwealth University. The study found that eating a large breakfast rich in carbohydrates, protein, and fat leads to the loss of far more weight and body fat than eating a restricted-calorie, low-carb breakfast.
The research focused on 94 obese, inactive women. Those in the low-carb breakfast group ate 290 calories for breakfast, including seven grams of carbs and and 12 grams of protein. The big-breakfast group consumed 610 calories for breakfast, including a whopping 58 grams of carbs, 22 grams of fat, and 47 grams of protein. After eight months, the big-breakfast mommas lost five times as much weight as the strict dieters. Even more significant--the strict dieters had regained an average of 18 of the pounds they initially lost and were on their way back up the scale, while the big-breakfast subjects continued to lose weight.
Amazingly, the big-breakfast group lost that weight eating breakfasts that by traditional diet standards seem almost risqué. The morning menu typically contained three ounces of meat, two slices of cheese, two whole-grain servings, a serving of milk, one fat serving and one ounce of chocolate or candy. According to MedicineNet.com, a sample breakfast might be "a cup of milk, turkey, a slice of cheese, two slices of bread, mayonnaise, 1 ounce of chocolate candy, and a protein shake."
It's hard to even imagine jamming all that food into the mouth before high noon. But according to research director Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, that's precisely the point -- or at least, some of the point. She says that first thing in the morning, the brain chemical serotonin is at its peak. When serotonin levels are high, we don't feel hunger, but when serotonin levels dip--as they do as the day wears on--the brain craves energy food such as cookies and candy in order to drive the levels back up. If the cravings nag enough so that you eat the sweets, your serotonin levels spike, your brain feels happy, and that triggers an addictive cycle where you associate sweets with the serotonin high and so you constantly crave them. To break the cycle, Jakubowicz suggests eating sweets when you don't have a mad desire for them, such as first thing in the morning. That way the sweets won't supply a serotonin boost and you break the addictive association.
Now that's an interesting concept, and it seemed to work for the big-breakfast club, who balanced out the morning overload by having a small lunch and tiny dinner. They also reported reduced hunger throughout the day, unlike the low-carb dieters. Jakubowicz explains, "[A low carbohydrate diet] exacerbates the craving for carbohydrates and slows metabolism. As a result, after a short period of weight loss, there is a quick return to obesity." Other factors include the fact that eating early gives the metabolism an early boost so the body burns calories better throughout the day.
So does this mean that you should stuff your face with pasta or donuts at 7 am? No, no, no! In fact, the diet consumed by the morning big-eaters, while effective for weight loss, leaves something to be desired. Certainly, it's better balanced than the pastries-with-coffee option, which offers essentially no nutrients, no protein, and plenty of health-destroying bad fats and sugar. But notice that the diet that led to weight loss contained no fruit or vegetables in the morning (although afternoon and evening meals had these elements), and did contain lots of dairy. There are better ways to get a well-balanced morning slam without loading up on mucous-producing, allergy-inducing, immune-destroying,hormone-laden milk, cheese, nitrate-spiked breakfast meats, and buttered toast. Weight loss is important, but so is taking in foods that support the Baseline of Health Program.
First, in the carbs department, not all carbohydrates are created equal. The value of any food, and therefore how your body handles it, depends on the nutrient density -- or calorie to nutrient ratio--of that particular food. For instance, a plain Krispy Kreme cruller has 19 grams of fat, and only one gram of fiber and two of protein -- with almost no vitamins or minerals to offer. On a per-calorie basis, fruit is a far better choice, with an apple, for instance, containing 14 grams of fiber, 107 grams of Potassium, 54 grams of Vitamin A and almost five grams of Vitamin C. And even whole wheat bread, consumed by the high-carb group, has a far higher nutrient density than breakfast pastries. And so, fulfilling the carb requirement with foods richer in nutrients would be a wiser choice -- and the same thing goes for proteins.
The big-breakfast group might have benefited more in terms of overall health had they substituted some of the dairy with hypoallergenic, enzyme-, antioxidant-, and amino-rich proteins from sources such as brown rice, spirulina, and yellow-pea protein -- and had they substituted fruits and vegetables for some of the carbs. While the research team got right the idea of front-loading the day with the highest-caloric intake, they might do well to consider alternative, healthier sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fats for the morning meal.
If you eat too many calories a day, you will gain weight. What that exact number is will vary by from person to person based on such factors as their muscle mass, gender, and the amount of energy they expend. However, new research now suggests that there may be another aspect of consumption that comes into play: the timing of your meals.
The study, conducted by scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, found that people who tend to eat their largest meal earlier in the day lose more weight than those who eat a large meal hours later. Wilson, Jacque. "Meal times may affect weight loss success." CNN. 29 January 2013. Accessed 7 February 2013. http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/29/meal-times-may-affect-weight-loss-success The subjects were 420 adults enrolled in a 20-week weight loss program in Spain. They were divided into two meal time groups. One of the groups ate an early lunch every day, at some point before 3 p.m. The other group consumed their lunches later, starting after 3 p.m.
Lunch was the meal that the researchers focused on because it is traditionally the largest meal of the day in Spain. In fact, for these volunteers it accounted for approximately 40 percent of their caloric intake. This may explain why, in this particular research, meal time changes to breakfast or dinner had no effect on weight loss. But the participants who ate lunch earlier in the day had a 25 percent greater weight loss on average than their counterparts who had late-day lunches. At the end of the experiment, the early lunch eaters had lost an average of 22 pounds, compared to 17 pounds for the later diners.
In an attempt to pinpoint the hour that lunch was eaten as the deciding factor, the scientists controlled for a number of other influences including what the subject's food choices, appetite hormones, and how much sleep they were getting. Both groups were fairly equal in all of these areas, leading the researchers to note that the major difference was lunch timing.
Our internal clocks, or circadian rhythms, are on a 24-hour cycle that is well known to be responsible for our sleep-wake patterns. But the circadian system also functions within many cells of various organs in the body--including the fat cells. And each individual organ's circadian rhythm is subject to reprogramming when changes take place. So not only can you reset your sleep patterns by taking an overnight shift at work or traveling to another time zone, but you can apparently affect the circadian rhythm of your fat cells by eating at the wrong time, making you more susceptible to weight gain.
When blood tests were done on all of the study participants, those who ate later lunches were found to have much higher homeostasis model assessment HOMA levels than the early lunch eaters. This is a measure of insulin sensitivity based on beta cell function, and it is used to indicate diabetes This confirms the findings of research from the University of Pennsylvania that has shown that normal mice became obese when their feeding schedules were drastically altered, even though their caloric intake was the same
It is these bodily rhythms that may play a major role in making us more efficient at digesting larger, higher carbohydrate meals earlier in the day. A healthy body can process the glucose better in the morning or early afternoon, putting it to use for energy needs rather than having it stored as fat in the late afternoon or evening.
In other countries that may spread calories more evenly throughout the day or concentrate more calories at dinner, the effects might be somewhat different. Still, common sense dictates not eating a huge, heavy meal too close to bed. It certainly couldn't hurt to eat more lightly as the day goes on. And if you do decide to try eating more of your calories in the earlier part of the day, that's not license to overload on junk food choices. Every meal should be healthy and chosen to provide nutrients and vitamins that will keep you feeling energetic and fit throughout the day.