For years I suffered the fate of hayfever whenever winter abated and the sun reared its head. For me, summer was filled with dread as I awaited the sniffly eyes, the runny nose and the sore throat.
Yesterday I was on BBC Radio Derby with Aleena Naylor chatting about reports that egg's have more Vitamin D than they did in the 1980's. The link to the show is below and its available for 7 days. I thought I'd just show you this little picture to display the difference between 3 types of cage free (free range eggs).
iPlayer Link 2 hours 11 minutes
My main thoughts are that back in the 80's supermarkets just sold generic eggs, nobody knew or cared about the animals welfare. So, its more that we are undoing the damage that we did when we began mass producing food.
Their is a difference between a chickens that are true foragers like they should be and ones that mix grain with foraging. The picture on my blog today of the difference in the colour of the yolk is enough evidence for me that we need to get back to nature. I find that naturally raised chcikens produce darker orange yolks with a rich flavor when compared to grain fed. Take a cage reared egg, crack it and your likely to end up in a mess. Try the same with a naturally raised egg and it holds it shape much better.
Eggs a 100 yrs ago would be far healthier than eggs today's with far superior omega 6/3 ratios. Nowadays its estimated that we are around 15-20/1 due to mass grain consumption of which the chicken also indulges making their eggs so high in omega 6 when compared to omega 3. The higher Vit D is due to better diet and more sunlight from at least getting sometime to roam.
Its a fine line between mass production of eggs and everybody going back to raising their own chickens. Whilst more people are starting to do that, for most convenience will win so its a step in the right direction that we are considering the animals welfare a little more.
Its also worth considering that generically 1 large egg has 40 international units (IU ) of Vitamin D so you'd need quite a few eggs a day to get the RDA (think its 200IU and America has just gone up from 400IU to 600IU. (this is based upon the assumption that it is all dietary)
Depending upon where you are in the world, skin colour time of day, season etc you could probably get that much easier by being in some daylight for 20-30 mins. We are a nation of bingers. We binge drink, binge eat and even binge sunbath. I have a website linked in this post,
Website to Estimate Sun Exposure Required for adequate Vitamin D levels
that allows you to work out how much daylight you need based upon all the details above. Really handy for working out how much time you should spend outside in the winter months.
Their is also the argument that while most people (especially those in the northern hemisphere) don't receive enough sunlight and so would POSSIBLY benefit from some Vit D, their will be those that don't need it and could suffer from the consequences of taking in extra (not many though). The point is that people shouldn't really rush out and start supplementing with anything without being tested (its possible to overdose on vitamins).
The important message here is get yourself and your family tested for Vitamin D the test is called 25(OH)D, doctors have in the past basically ignored it due to the NHS guidelines set out for them. Its not the test I use but if your not coming to see me and your concerned then your GP can test you. They may not want to but they can...persistence is key.
Sun exposure also helps synthesize vitamin D from cholesterol .
Website to Estimate Sun Exposure Required for adequate Vitamin D levels
Years ago the majority of the population spent most of the days outdoors. Today we spend much less time outdoors and receive far less sunshine. A tan is now a sign of luxury, that we are able to go on foreign holidays and relax like the wife of a footballer. 200 years ago it would of been the sign of peasantry from the workers out in the fields yet nowadays every wannabe WAG is pray tanning themselves to get the look. Quite ironic!!
Keep reading for more posts on Vitamin D, Cholesterol, Restless Leg Syndrome, Insomnia and the connection between them all....
I know this is my third post of the day but I'm injured and immobile so its keeping me occupied. I've had 4 messages today asking for my opinion on the "Cooked tomatoes may have the same benefits as statins” stories hitting the news. The Daily Mail loves this sort of story and The Daily Express is also happilyreporting that “pizza can be healthy because cooked tomatoes may be the key to a healthier lifestyle".
I think people were expecting me to praise a natural cholesterol reducer.
The reason I'm not bothered about tomatoes natural stain effect? Theirs nothing dangerous about high cholesterol levels.
• A high diet, saturated or otherwise, does not affect blood cholesterol levels.
• High cholesterol levels don't cause heart disease.
As far as protecting your heart goes, decreasing saturated fat consumption makes no difference and is more likely to do harm than good.
Around a 100 years ago a researcher found that feeding rabbits, whom are vegetarians a high cholesterol carnivore (non vegetarian) diet blocked their arteries with plaque. In the Fifties Ancel Keys showed his Seven Countries which suggested that the higher the saturated fat intake in a country, the higher the cholesterol levels and the higher the rate of heart disease.
Keys picked the data that backed up his argument so to this day it goes down as one of the worst bits of research in terms of quality. From a marketing point of view it was a pharmaceutical companies dream.
During World War Two, Sausages, eggs, cheese, bacon and milk were restricted. Fruit and fish, however, were freely available due to rationing. This should be the perfect diet to reduce heart disease, sadly however deaths from heart disease more than doubled.
The lesson to be learned? We don't need statins and we certainly don't need to eat tomatoes daily in order to protect ourselves from nasty cholesterol. A final point, if cholesterol was so bad for us, would the body manufacturer it on its own? Would breast milk be so high in cholesterol, and would an egg (remember a little baby chick grows from an egg) contain so much so called dangerous cholesterol.Eat natural and don't get conned by pharmaceutical companies or people trying to convince you about the latest superfood.
I left Virgin Active (VA) in 2005, they hated my radical methods and I got told of for daring to recommend water, natural foods, and that too much exercise is a huge (and often unhelpful) stress on the body. The thing with the corperate fitness world, its all about pushing harder, "no pain, no gain". They can't promote balance as that doesn't generate profit. In the same way that pharmaceutical companies want you sick (your no use healthy or dead, they need you in a permanently medicated state), gyms want you to never quite get there. but blame yourself for not pushing harder rather than the bad information they've programmed you with.
I've been there and tried it myself (remember my 395 days of exercise that got me nowhere but chronically fatigued). Exercise and food have the potential to cause huge stress upon the body. When they body is stressed is it any wonder we fail to become fitter, leaner, healthier. How many aerobics instructors have you seen that look like you want to???
Poliquin coined the phrase "chunky aerobics instructor syndrome" (CAIS) in which the increased cortisol from the stress of poor diet (they typically eat processed carbs and use coffee to give them a boost to carry on teaching) and extreme, excessive cardiovascular exercise causes the breakdown of tissue (catabolic), which causes inflammation and suppresses various systems within the body.
"Practicing what you preach" is what every health professional should live by, but if people in the health care industry cannot show their patients and clients the proper/ideal way to live via healthy lifestyles (I see PT's chugging sports drinks and protein shakes, nurses smoking and obese dieticians) they certainly need to take a reality check. They influence everyone around them negatively and then wonder why people fail to follow their guidance.
I'm hyper passionate about health and struggle to sit by while people ignore the very foundations of health in favor of medicating patients. From my early studies I knew that our national health service shows more interest in maintaining a state of constant ill health rather than fixing it. From people on statins through to diabetics who receive no real advice about how food is effecting their health. I decided to do something about it, I considered medical school so I could gain the highest qualification and respect whilst continuing to educate people about the real causes of disease. Pretty quickly I realized the pharmaceutical industry has health all sew up to make profit the number one goal and knew that my radical views that went against the grain would not sit well with academic leaders.
I then chose the path of rehabilitation, maybe then I could gain a respected qualification (no idea why as I've yet to meet anyone with a good word to say about their physio) and educate my patients about the real causes of their pains/ill-health. As we all know the NHS is out of this world when it comes to emergency and traumatic accidents, but when it comes to health, such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, diabetes etc not a word gets mentioned about the food you shovel into your mouth. On the rehabilitation side, not once in my year of study did anyone perform any proper orthopedic assessment to assess the true cause of structural pain. As it became clear, the text books suggested for further study were all about "managing" conditions rather than treating them or educating the patient how to alter the root cause. Health is rarely on the agenda when it comes to the medical model. They focus on disease with the sole intention of maximizing profit for the pharmaceutical bigwigs.
So I constantly fail to comply with being brainwashed into becoming a corporate puppet that keeps selling the story that your health cannot be dictated by the choices you make. As most of you know I don't suffer fools gladly and will tell the truth about any subject. I've built my reputation on "honest nutrition" as I give you all the facts about the political favor used to build government health recommendations. If you want to know what's really causing your pain/ill-health get in touch.
I've been a tad silent recently (maybe a blessing for some of you ), however i heard a great conversation about Low Fat vs. High Fat (I prefer to call this one regular food)."If i eat Full Fat food i feel full, so, i buy Low Fat Low Calorie and i don't feel full"Now that strikes me as a little odd, buying lower fat, lower calorie foods so you can eat more of them. Seems to me like an issue of quantity vs. quality so i thought we'd better look behind the research into Low Fat foods.
50 years of mainstream nutritional research and hundreds of millions of research dollars have not proved that if you eat a low-fat diet you will live longer.
Certainly your cholesterol levels will be lower. But the link between diet and longevity remains undemonstrated.
The individual steps of what happens in your body when you have cheese or a steak aren't exactly clear. Your cholesterol levels will elevate. This possibly increases the likelihood that the cholesterol will congeal and attach itself to your arteries and hence clog them-a malady called atherosclerosis. In turn, this may increase the risk of heart disease and heart attacks, which could diminish your expectancy of life.
This is now the utterly accepted medical and nutritional orthodoxy. It has gripped the society, in practice and symbolically, in a form of brain-and-mouth disease.
Countless people are embarked on more or less strict diets in which consumption of a tablespoon of olive oil or pat of butter or hunk of lambchop is the sign not only of a kind of moral depravity but also a reckless disregard for personal survival.
Fat has become the devil's weapon.
And people who pursue a monogamous relationship with low-fat carbs and steamed vegetables will regard a date with a steak as equivalent to an act of flamboyant multi-partner adultery.
However, while the individual steps of the effect of fat have been demonstrated, the whole chain of events and their impact has not been. Among people not already at risk for heart disease (like enthusiastic smokers with high blood pressure), according to Taubes and the research of which he is the accountant, the evidence is weak that sharply reduced consumption of saturated fats will increase longevity more than a few weeks, perhaps as much as three months.
As long ago as 1969, the National Heart Institute stated plainly, "It is not known whether dietary manipulation has any effect whatsoever on coronary heart disease."
In fact, the authors of the report in which this was the conclusive sentence were concerned that, because fat is so important to cell membranes and the brain (which is 70 percent fat), too little fat could be a more serious medical deficit than too much.
There is some evidence that very low cholesterol levels are associated with increased risk for auto accidents and aggressive interaction. Japanese physicians have found that low levels were associated with hemorrhagic stroke, and may counsel their patients to raise their levels.
Since the beginning of the 70s Americans have dropped their consumption of fat to about 34 percent of their calories, down from more than 40 percent beforehand. The incidence of heart disease does not seem to have declined, according to a 10-year study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1998.
Nonetheless, the treatment of heart disease has improved enormously-with more than 5.4 million heart-related procedures compared with 1.2 million in 1979.
This may provide the questionable impression that it is dietary change that is responsible for improved coronary experience.
Furthermore, the replacement of fat-containing foods by carbohydrates may have contributed to an epidemic of obesity and then diabetes among Americans and Brits. The term "fat-free" on a product appears to provide permission to consume large portions of it, producing an intake well beyond what seems to be necessary to balance energy consumed and energy used.
Taubes describes how the principal political supporter of the low-fat push in the public arena was Sen. George McGovern, who had himself gone through the severely low-fat Pritikin diet program. McGovern then held two days of committee testimony in 1976 on the subject, and followed up by commissioning a former labor reporter for the Providence Journal, who had no scientific background, to produce the first "Dietary Goals for the United States."
In 1977 two government agencies took up the fat/death drama, but only one, Agriculture, had public impact when it reiterated the McGovern findings, though ample contrary evidence was available and ignored. The National Academy of Sciences report on the same subject was far less media-worthy, because all it said was that Americans should eat carefully, modestly and less. But it did not emphasize killer fat as the main mealtime Mephistopheles.
The issue became even more complex when the differences became clearer between HDL-good cholesterol-and the bad, LDL.
Some foods increase both at the same time, and some, such as fats like olive oil, stimulate the good flavor of cholesterol.
Little of this is reflected in current government recommendations about what is good to eat. Taubes provides what is in effect an almost hilarious deconstruction of the nutritional effect of a porterhouse steak. After broiling, the meat is about half fat, half protein. Some 51 percent of the fat turns out to be monounsaturated, and 90 percent of that is the kind of benign fat, as in olive oil.
Some 45 percent of the fat is indeed saturated-bad-but one-third of that is stearic acid-neither good or bad. The remaining 4 percent is polyunsaturated-good. In sum, as much as 70 percent of porterhouse fat will improve cholesterol levels compared with an alternative dose of bread, rice, pasta or potatoes.
I've argued here before that human beings did not evolve to eat the carbohydrate foods to which peasants had to turn when they could no longer hunt and gather-mainly rice and the grains. A Rutgers graduate student, Matt Sponheimer, published a convincing report in Science several years ago on his analysis of our ancestral teeth, which revealed clear evidence of meat-eating.
But it is important to be prudent about the material I've described here-there will undoubtedly be a major controversy about it, as there should be. I remain very wary of uncritical consumption of high-fat meats such as prime beef, which may indeed in large quantities be difficult for the evolved human system to process (wild game has about 3 percent animal fat, and prime beef closer to 36 percent). And it seems to me that the Atkins-type diets that replace carbohydrates with foods such as bacon double cheeseburgers may be seriously ill-advised.
Nevertheless, humans evolved as omnivores, and we seem well-equipped to eat well-balanced and moderate diets of the foods that were in our environment as we evolved-animals, fish, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries and honey when we could get it.
Ample fruits, vegetables and nuts may deliver protective impacts. And it would be irresponsible to avoid stressing exercise as a factor in healthy nutrition-we were born to hunt for our dinner.
It appears that people who are committed to low-fat diets almost invariably turn to high-carbohydrate regimes, many components of which provide physiological stimuli to increased hunger. Perhaps a dab of fat will do you, to provide a satisfying experience with food and transform it from battle rations into a calmly sensible aspect of the pursuit of pleasure.
Ref: New York Press Volume 14 Issue 18
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Independent health researcher with a BA Hons. and an MSc in Psychology. Currently battling to complete a PhD...wish me luck.
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