Freshness

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logixoul
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Freshness

Postby logixoul » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:41 am UTC

Sooo... this is gonna be a long post. tl;dr what should I eat and how should I exercise so I can feel alert all the time?

First of all hi! I havent posted in Fit Club before. I'm Stefan.

I'm a 20yo computer geek spending at least 4 hours a day sitting on a PC and 3 hours a day sitting in lectures. I do a slowish jog almost everyday for an hour in the morning. I find that it makes my mind much clearer for the entire day.
Like most of us, I wanna feel fit, energetic, fresh and alert all the time. I'm far from it though.
I've already found that giving up caffeine and cigs made a dramatic difference for the better. Now I'm much more relaxed, happier and more energetic, I don't get those energy blackouts...
So, what lifestyle tweaks do you recommend for me to maximize my freshness?

Some misc observations...
  • I dread having breakfast because it takes me from the max energy morning state to being exhausted
  • I dread eating any food that has either meat or cheese in it, because it immediately exhausts me (though it tastes great). A nap fixes it up *if* i'm able to fall asleep, which I'm usually not.
  • Things I eat regularly: lots of bread, margarine, mayonnaise, ljutenica, spaghetti, beans, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, salami, cheese, yellow cheese, chicken soup, lentil soup, meatball soup, oranges, apples, canned corn, honey, [edit] and lots of yoghurt and milk.
  • I don't really eat eggs, fish, or cereals.
  • I find that a quick 10min vigorous jog (verging on sprint) around the block works miracles any time of the day, it gives me a solid 1-2 hours of full alertness and well-being (I think it's the endorphins or adrenaline?). But it's annoying having to do that. And when I overdo it (3-5 times for a day) my joints start to hurt for the next few days (and I end up staying up late not being able to fall asleep).
  • For some periods years back, I've been routinely sleeping 2hrs a night after playing multiplayer from 15:00 to 5:00. Might have messed me up.
  • Should I be having sex to keep the hormones balanced or something?
  • Should I be doing some kind of stretch-outs? How often, how intensive and what body parts? This one feels good. Maybe I should be doing yoga? I'm really stiff since I was a kid, for example I can't dream of doing this.
  • I _could_ start going to the gym and making a cardio workout or whatever, if it'd help. But I think the jogging covers that base.
  • Should I be doing the morning jog hungry, or after a light snack, or after having full breakfast?
  • Very often I have a normal portion of food, say at lunch, but I just don't feel satisfied and full until I have one or two portions more. And after those I'm exhausted.
  • Thankfully I'm pretty skinny, despite stuffing myself a lot. 76kg, 190cm.
  • What kind of heart rate should I be going for? I know I feel great when my heart's pumping after a workout, but as a baseline I should probably try to do the kind of sports that lower the heart rate longterm?
  • Any thoughts on meditation?
  • I _am_ under some stress because of school and being lonely, but I think that's under control.

One thing I'm really interested in is the food types. Being a programmer I see them as building blocks to use as I like. Like a case of multicolored stimpacks for every occasion. I just don't know how they work, yet.
  • Should I be having multivitamine tablets everyday? How much fruit should I be eating and how much vegetables?
  • What would happen if I were to minimize carb intake? Protein intake? Fat intake? How about animal fat, what if I go for plant fat only?
  • Are "sugary" things inherently always bad? I eat those quite a lot. Like, sugary carbonated drinks, chocolate waffles, sugar I put in my tea (I drink ~2l of tea most days, meaning 6 big spoonfuls of sugar).
  • Are "natural" sugary things good? Like honey and various fruit.
  • How does the antioxidant thing work?

How about the sleep schedule? I tend to get 7 hours of sleep starting from 22:00-24:00. How important is it to keep the fall asleep/wake up hours constant? I was thinking of trying ubermanns but I think I've got to get the basics down first.

I'm basically hoping for a silver bullet that'll make me consistently feel at my best. I'm sure that, not being a health geek, I'm missing something basic. I know how I feel when I'm watching people (non-geeks) struggle to upload an mp3 to their player, and I'm kinda in the same position when it comes to health.
Last edited by logixoul on Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:33 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Nath
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Re: Freshness

Postby Nath » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:09 am UTC

Hoo, lots of questions. Here are answers to a subset.

Breakfast shouldn't make you tired. What are you eating?
Things I eat regularly: lots of bread, margarine, mayonnaise, ljutenica, spaghetti, beans, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, salami, cheese, yellow cheese, chicken soup, lentil soup, meatball soup, oranges, apples, canned corn, honey.

I've bolded some things you don't want to overdo. Most bread, spaghetti and potatoes are refined carbs, which are immediate energy sources. You're better off getting your carbs from fruits, vegetables, and less refined grains, like oatmeal. These release more slowly, keeping your energy levels more stable. Also, few of these foods are good protein sources. Oh, and frozen veggies > canned veggies.

Margarine is... why the hell would you eat margarine? Butter is better for you, and there are other fats better still.

Obviously, you don't want to overdo mayo, salami etc. either, but I haven't highlighted them because they're more obvious. And I like how you list 'cheese' and 'yellow cheese' separately.

Yes, sugary things are bad, except maybe right after an intense workout. Less refined sugars (like fruit) are OK in sensible quantities.

Being skinny is not something to be thankful for. Being underweight is as bad as being overweight. I don't know what your body composition is like, but if you need to gain more muscle, there are several threads here about how best to do that.

A low protein diet will cause loss of muscle; you want to make sure you get enough protein, and divide the rest of your calories between carbs and fats depending on how your body responds to these. Different people respond best to different carb/fat ratios. A completely fat-free diet will kill you. A completely carb-free diet will not, since you can synthesize the ones you need. In general, don't try anything extreme unless you have good reason to do so.

You don't need multivitamins if you're eating a reasonable diet.

The antioxidant thing works by keeping the delicate molecular machinery in your body safe from the threat of being oxidized, and malfunctioning. (The name kind of gives this away.)

nunya1
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Re: Freshness

Postby nunya1 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:03 pm UTC

I can relate to where you are coming from. In looking up how food and diet and exercise are supposed to tie together, I've learned a few things that I think will apply to you.

Keeping your blood sugar at a consistent level is key to keeping alert throughout the day. The key to keeping your blood sugar consistent is regularly scheduled meals, and monitoring the types of sugar/carbs you eat. Something to Keep in mind in determining what carbs you eat and when is that different types of carbs are consumed at different rates by your body. Its called the glycemic index. The idea is this. Your body serves out insulin based on the level of sugar in your blood. If this level is constantly spiking, you're going to constantly be tired. Easy ways to spike your blood sugar are eating foods with refined sugar. Like soda, honey, many types of breads (even if it claims to be whole wheat bread, watch out!). My rule of thumb is no more than one can of soda per day. Now adays a whole can of soda has 40 grams of sugar. That is a metric shit ton and should be avoided! if by yogurt you mean yoplai et al, they have just as much refined sugar load. Try eating plain yogurt with some chopped fruit mixed in. Once you cut refined sugar out, you'll be amazed at how sweet fruit (and even raw carrots!) can taste. I've also found yogurt that has agave syrup, which is supposed to be a low glycemic index (read, turns into sugar more slowly).

Another key about diet and metabolism is pretty simple to remember. Back in the caveman days, the body would have to get used to "hibernating" in the winter. If the body detected that it wasn't intaking a certain amount of calories in a day, the body would slow down metabolizing. How this affects you is in how you say that you don't eat breakfast. Evey morning when you don't eat, your body kicks into hibernation mode, and then when you finally do eat, your body is a little thrown. I like to think of it as a pipe. A pipe can only handle so much content through it at a time. A goal is often to keep the flow consistent, so if the pipe represents your body's ability to process food, you can't be spiking it with big meals. If you eat more often (and don't eat till your full, eat till you're not hungry), you wont be as tired all the time. Since you say that you have trouble eating breakfast, aim for eating a small fiber one bar and some water or fruit within 1 hour of waking up. I usually do this on my morning commute. I think you get the idea. Eat more, smaller meals.

As for exercise and diet. I can oly refer you to an exellent post about understanding the benefits and tradeoffs of running vs other things.
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/alwyn8.htm

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Meteorswarm
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Re: Freshness

Postby Meteorswarm » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:01 am UTC

Nath wrote:I've bolded some things you don't want to overdo. Most bread, spaghetti and potatoes are refined carbs, which are immediate energy sources. You're better off getting your carbs from fruits, vegetables, and less refined grains, like oatmeal. These release more slowly, keeping your energy levels more stable. Also, few of these foods are good protein sources. Oh, and frozen veggies > canned veggies.

Margarine is... why the hell would you eat margarine? Butter is better for you, and there are other fats better still.


A drop-in replacement for the bread and pasta would be to buy whole-grain bread and pasta. It's not magically healthy, but its much better than plain white bread and pasta. More fresh vegetables would also be good.

And yeah, don't eat margarine. There's not much point unless you absolutely cannot afford butter.

Also, that post you linked has a rather creative view of how the human body works...
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logixoul
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Re: Freshness

Postby logixoul » Sun May 02, 2010 11:48 am UTC

Hi!

Nath wrote:Breakfast shouldn't make you tired. What are you eating?

What has been making me tired at breakfast is when I try to eat something high-energy to pump me up for the jogging. And that usually has been a sandwich with greasy salami and cheese. Either that or some leftover soup such as meatball soup.

Nath wrote:
Things I eat regularly: lots of bread, margarine, mayonnaise, ljutenica, spaghetti, beans, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, salami, cheese, yellow cheese, chicken soup, lentil soup, meatball soup, oranges, apples, canned corn, honey.

I've bolded some things you don't want to overdo. Most bread, spaghetti and potatoes are refined carbs, which are immediate energy sources. You're better off getting your carbs from fruits, vegetables, and less refined grains, like oatmeal. These release more slowly, keeping your energy levels more stable.

This was very helpful. For the last 4 days I've been eating no bread, margarine, pasta, sugar or honey. Just fruit, veggies (mostly raw), yoghurt, milk, walnuts, eggs, fish, some meatballs. I felt really stable even on the second day. Suddenly I'm not getting the nasty energy lows anymore. Is this diet lacking anything important? It seems to have the fibre, the proteins, the fats, the carbs and the vitamins.

However I've been less energetic in sports for the last few days and that's bugging me. So next step is to reintroduce some white meat, black bread, butter and maybe some nuts, until I get to the point when they start to make me tired or mess with my energy levels.

Nath wrote:Less refined sugars (like fruit) are OK in sensible quantities.

Ok, fruit's good. Any other sweet things I can eat? For example, is sugar in all honey refined? Pine honey? How about dried fruit? Artificial sweeteners for my tea? Dark chocolate?
Based on nunya1's suggestion I'll also see if I can find agave foods around here, or anything else sweet with a low glycemic index. I mean what is life without sweets :)

nunya1 wrote:Its called the glycemic index. The idea is this. Your body serves out insulin based on the level of sugar in your blood. If this level is constantly spiking, you're going to constantly be tired.

Can you elaborate on why this happens? I don't get why the sugar level needs to go below normal normal after spiking. Why can't they just spike, then go back to normal?

nunya1 wrote: if by yogurt you mean yoplai et al, they have just as much refined sugar load.

Nah, just good old traditional balkan yoghurt which I believe has no sugar at all. It tastes nicely sour and not sweet at all.

nunya1 wrote:Try eating plain yogurt with some chopped fruit mixed in.

Yeah, I do that. Fruit do taste great.

nunya1 wrote:Once you cut refined sugar out, you'll be amazed at how sweet fruit (and even raw carrots!) can taste

Now, I'm probably doing something wrong, because raw carrots seem pretty tasteless to me. They are fine in a grated carrot-apple-cabbage salad though. :)

nunya1 wrote:Eat more, smaller meals.

I've tried that but it leaves be with a nagging feeling of still being hungry.
But now I've started having huge salad breakfasts of grated fruit and veggies and it's working out great because I feel full yet not tired at all.

Thanks guys.

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Re: Freshness

Postby Nath » Sun May 02, 2010 12:07 pm UTC

logixoul wrote:This was very helpful. For the last 4 days I've been eating no bread, margarine, pasta, sugar or honey. Just fruit, veggies (mostly raw), yoghurt, milk, walnuts, eggs, fish, some meatballs. I felt really stable even on the second day. Suddenly I'm not getting the nasty energy lows anymore. Is this diet lacking anything important? It seems to have the fibre, the proteins, the fats, the carbs and the vitamins.

However I've been less energetic in sports for the last few days and that's bugging me. So next step is to reintroduce some white meat, black bread, butter and maybe some nuts, until I get to the point when they start to make me tired or mess with my energy levels.

Looks OK to me, assuming you're eating reasonable proportions of those things. As for reintroducing those other foods: meat and nuts are good, and bread should be fine in limited quantities, particularly if made from whole grains.

A good way to fuel up for athletic activity is to have a carb snack before you train. Some fruit, or a bit of oatmeal, or a low sugar energy bar. (You don't want to eat a lot right before you workout, obviously, so leave a comfortable time interval.) Also make sure your total calorie intake is on target; it's easy to undereat if you're drastically changing your diet.

logixoul wrote:Ok, fruit's good. Any other sweet things I can eat? For example, is sugar in all honey refined? Pine honey? How about dried fruit? Artificial sweeteners for my tea? Dark chocolate?
Based on nunya1's suggestion I'll also see if I can find agave foods around here, or anything else sweet with a low glycemic index. I mean what is life without sweets :)

Honeys are probably best limited. A bit of dried fruit shouldn't hurt, if it has no added sugar. Opinions are divided about artificial sweeteners, but I'm not aware of any research conclusively showing them to be harmful. Dark chocolate has beneficial anti-oxidants, but is also generally sugary. Check the nutrition information and enjoy in limited quantities. Another way to get chocolatey goodness is to keep some unsweetened chocolate powder around. You can add some to oatmeal etc., or make some strong, lightly sweetened hot chocolate.

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Meteorswarm
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Re: Freshness

Postby Meteorswarm » Mon May 03, 2010 3:18 am UTC

logixoul wrote:What has been making me tired at breakfast is when I try to eat something high-energy to pump me up for the jogging. And that usually has been a sandwich with greasy salami and cheese. Either that or some leftover soup such as meatball soup.

My guess is that this is because, while fatty and high-protein foods are dense in calories, they're not dense in carbohydrates. Because your muscles generally only burn carbohydrates (unless you're over "the wall" of a marathon where you've exhausted your body's supply), this means that these foods aren't going to help short-term athletic performance. It takes time before your liver can convert them into more convenient forms of energy by gluconeogenesis.
logixoul wrote:This was very helpful. For the last 4 days I've been eating no bread, margarine, pasta, sugar or honey. Just fruit, veggies (mostly raw), yoghurt, milk, walnuts, eggs, fish, some meatballs. I felt really stable even on the second day. Suddenly I'm not getting the nasty energy lows anymore. Is this diet lacking anything important? It seems to have the fibre, the proteins, the fats, the carbs and the vitamins.

However I've been less energetic in sports for the last few days and that's bugging me. So next step is to reintroduce some white meat, black bread, butter and maybe some nuts, until I get to the point when they start to make me tired or mess with my energy levels.

What's probably happening here is that you inadvertently dropped yourself into a very low-carbohydrate diet, which isn't necessarily a good thing. However, it did solve your problem of insulin spikes, judging by your energy levels. I would recommend, as Nath has said, to reintroduce carbohydrates in reasonable quantities, but try to stick to complex carbohydrates - whole grains, mostly. These take longer to digest, so they release their contents slowly into your bloodstream and don't cause your endocrine system to go nuts.
logixoul wrote:Ok, fruit's good. Any other sweet things I can eat? For example, is sugar in all honey refined? Pine honey? How about dried fruit? Artificial sweeteners for my tea? Dark chocolate?
Based on nunya1's suggestion I'll also see if I can find agave foods around here, or anything else sweet with a low glycemic index. I mean what is life without sweets :)
Can you elaborate on why this happens? I don't get why the sugar level needs to go below normal normal after spiking. Why can't they just spike, then go back to normal?

Honey is concentrated sugar water, regardless of its source (As a WTF, pine honey is made by bees that collect the sugary secretions of aphids living off pine trees), with trace amounts of other things. Dried fruit itself is similar to fresh, except that it lacks some of the nutrients, but it is also often preserved with sugar, so read the nutrition facts. Personally, I'm leery of artificial sweetners; but seriously, don't sweat the small things. An ounce of sugar a day won't do you much harm.

As to low blood sugar after eating sugar-heavy meals, it's not totally understood, but the way I understand it is that, if you eat food that releases a lot of starch very quickly, you get a correspondingly large insulin spike, but because the food released all its sugar very briefly, the sugar input drops off before the insulin can be removed, so you overshoot the blood sugar level target, and it takes time to get it back.

Even if the dip doesn't happen, spiking insulin isn't good. It leads to type II diabetes, and is something to avoid on any diet.
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Victoria Maddison
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Re: Freshness

Postby Victoria Maddison » Mon May 03, 2010 5:48 am UTC

Meteorswarm wrote:... your muscles generally only burn carbohydrates (unless you're over "the wall" of a marathon where you've exhausted your body's supply) ...

Muscles utilize the glycolytic and oxidative metabolic pathways simultaneously.

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Re: Freshness

Postby Meteorswarm » Tue May 04, 2010 4:45 am UTC

Victoria Maddison wrote:
Meteorswarm wrote:... your muscles generally only burn carbohydrates (unless you're over "the wall" of a marathon where you've exhausted your body's supply) ...

Muscles utilize the glycolytic and oxidative metabolic pathways simultaneously.


Unless I'm mistaken, muscles can't directly use fats and proteins for energy. The glycolytic and oxidative pathways both refer to the breakdown of glucose; glycolytic stopping at lactic acid (nee pyruvate), while the oxidative (krebs) cycle continues the oxidation and ends with CO2, water and a whole lot of electrons.

Wikipedia does mention that "Muscle cells also contain globules of fat, which are used for energy during aerobic exercise," but it's uncited. If true, it's still much easier metabolically to burn glycogen, and muscles will preferentially consume that.
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Victoria Maddison
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Re: Freshness

Postby Victoria Maddison » Tue May 04, 2010 8:30 am UTC

The oxidative pathway includes fat metabolism. Mitochondria in the muscle tissue process fatty acids via beta-oxidation into acetyl coenzyme A, allowing their entry into the Krebs cycle. The intensity and therefore energy requirements of an activity will determine which energy source is used more. As you read this your muscles are burning mostly fat.

One of the ways in which the body adapts to endurance running is by increasing mitochondrial and capillary density within the muscle tissue allowing for greater utilization of fat as an energy source.

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Re: Freshness

Postby Meteorswarm » Tue May 04, 2010 6:35 pm UTC

Victoria Maddison wrote:The oxidative pathway includes fat metabolism. Mitochondria in the muscle tissue process fatty acids via beta-oxidation into acetyl coenzyme A, allowing their entry into the Krebs cycle. The intensity and therefore energy requirements of an activity will determine which energy source is used more. As you read this your muscles are burning mostly fat.

One of the ways in which the body adapts to endurance running is by increasing mitochondrial and capillary density within the muscle tissue allowing for greater utilization of fat as an energy source.


Hmm, I didn't think that happened in mitochondria, interesting. Regardless, burning fats is less efficient for rapid release of energy, and could explain the effects he was seeing after eating a fatty breakfast. Furthermore, low blood sugar has well-known effects, and not eating enough carbohydrates for breakfast is likely to cause low blood sugar.
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Victoria Maddison
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Re: Freshness

Postby Victoria Maddison » Wed May 05, 2010 1:40 am UTC

A high protein breakfast would elicit a glucagon response raising blood glucose. And since the OP is unlikely to be all that glycogen depleted given his love of sweet things like fruit, I'm not entirely convinced that low blood sugar was his problem. Anecdotally I haven't noticed any tiredness from bacon and eggs, which is a common zero-carbohydrate breakfast.

However we've gone off on a tangent, the point I was contesting was that muscles burn only carbohydrate unless the body is glycogen depleted to the extent of a marathon runner hitting the wall. We both agree that very low carbohydrate diets are counter productive to performance, and that after the phosphagen pathway, the glycolytic pathway fueled by glucose is most efficient at providing maximal energy.

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Re: Freshness

Postby logixoul » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:29 pm UTC

Guys, just wanted to say this thread changed my life and not many things have done that. I'm even slowly getting out of my depression partly thanks to not being sugar-wrecked and bloated all the time. It's amazing what asking the right people the right questions can do. you guys rock, especially you Nath :)

I was looking at some stuff in the shop today and was confused. I'll appreciate some tips.

- There was some "brown sugar" (slightly darker than this). Where is it on the glycemic scale? Or how do I figure that out? I'm guessing it's in the middle between fruit and white sugar. It said "400Kcal/100g" on the package btw. The problem is that they also have a much lighter "brown sugar", and when I read "brown sugar has a moderate GI" on the internet, I don't know if it's about the light or the dark type.

- Also some "Fruit fructose" which looked exactly like white sugar but with smaller crystals (similar to this). It said 400Kcal/100g as well. Is it similar to eating a fruit, or is it as bad as white sugar? Wikipedia says it's a "simple monosaccharide" which to me means "metabolized immediately" (bad) but further down it says it has a very low glycemic index so I'm confused.

- Are foods with a lot of calories per gram bad for my sugar levels, or is that unrelated? In fact, are high-calorie foods bad for anything except weight?

- A bunch of foods (chocolate candy, sweeteners, cornflakes etc) were labeled as "for people with diabetes". That sounds kinda scary to me, I mean, is it gonna be ok to use them as a big part of my diet (without having diabetes)? These foods seem nice because they have very little carbs (and I get more than enough good carbs from fruit etc).

Btw, I've been drinking my cocoa with an artificial sweetener these days, and I'm really happy with that, except it doesn't taste quite as good as real sugar. It's not bad that I drink a lot of cocoa, right?

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Re: Freshness

Postby Nath » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:57 pm UTC

Glad to hear you're seeing results.

Brown sugar is basically white sugar + molasses. I'm not aware of any major health difference between them. The amount of molasses determines how dark it is.

I think fructose has a different absorption mechanism from glucose, which is why it's not as bad even though it's a monosaccharide. That's my impression, anyway. Interestingly, it seems to be worse when taken with glucose (e.g. in sucrose or HFCS).

The calories per gram of a food is not very informative. Most carbs and proteins have about 4 kcal/g, and fats have around 9. Excluding water weight, the kcal/g basically tells you how much fat is in a food.

The diabetes foods are probably just regular foods with artificial sweeteners. Probably no adverse effects, unless you believe the anti-sweetener crowd.

I'm not aware of any problems with cocoa, particularly if not accompanied by sugar. Delicious antioxidant goodness.

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Re: Freshness

Postby fizzgig » Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:51 am UTC

Nath wrote:Margarine is... why the hell would you eat margarine? Butter is better for you, and there are other fats better still.



What's so bad about margarine? Is it just to do with trans fats?
I use a spread made from olive oil, which I've always known as margarine, but when I order my groceries online, this stuff is listed under "spreads" rather than margarine. It also claims to have "virtually" no trans fats. Is there some third category of spread which is neither butter, nor margarine of which I am unaware?

I prefer not to use butter because it's too hard to spread!

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Re: Freshness

Postby Nath » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:32 am UTC

Yep, margarine is usually made by partially hydrogenating vegetable oils, thus creating trans fats. A product with up to 0.5g of trans fats per (strategically sized) serving will be labeled as having '0g of trans fats', sometimes in big friendly yellow letters.

Butter has no trans fat and tastes better. It is harder to spread; on the rare occasions I use it as one, I take it out of the fridge a bit before I intend to use it. A few seconds at low power in the microwave will do the trick too. Or you can drizzle a bit of olive oil on your bread instead.

If you do go with a margarine-like spread, you can probably find one that wasn't made using the traditional margarine method. Check the ingredients for 'hydrogenated vegetable oil' or something similar.

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Re: Freshness

Postby fizzgig » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:11 am UTC

Thanks for that Nath. The ingredients list only vegetable oil, rather than hydrogenated vegetable oil, but I found an article on choice.com.au comparing the amounts of saturated, unsaturated and trans fats in a variety of butters and margarines, and it turns out there are definitely better spreads out there than the one we're using.

I also learned that labelling laws in Australia require that a product contain at least 80% fat to be labeled as margarine, and most margarine-type substances these days don't meet that minumum, so technically there is a third category of table spread besides butter and margarine!

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Re: Freshness

Postby fooliam » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:54 am UTC

On the topic of anti-oxidants:

They're really great to prevent cellular degeneration. HOWEVER, one of the main chemical signals for mitochondrial biogenesis (one of the key components to increased fitness) are reactive oxygen species (AKA Free radicals). So...while anti-oxidants might keep you wrinkle free, they also reduce your adaptation to exercise. Sucks, don't it?
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