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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Whole eggs better for muscle building and repair than egg whites





People who consume 18 grams of protein from whole eggs or from egg whites after engaging in resistance exercise differ dramatically in how their muscles build protein, a process called protein synthesis, during the post-workout period, researchers report in a new study. Specifically, the post-workout muscle-building response in those eating whole eggs is 40 percent greater than in those consuming an equivalent amount of protein from egg whites, the team found.

The discovery, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that the widespread practice of throwing away egg yolks to maximize one's dietary protein intake from eggs is counterproductive, said Nicholas Burd, a University of Illinois professor of kinesiology and community health who led the research.

The yolks also contain protein, along with key nutrients and other food components that are not present in egg whites, Burd said. And something in the yolks is boosting the body's ability to utilize that protein in the muscles.


"This study suggests that eating protein within its most natural food matrix tends to be more beneficial to our muscles as opposed to getting one's protein from isolated protein sources," he said.

In the study, 10 young men engaged in a single bout of resistance exercise and then ate either whole eggs or egg whites containing 18 grams of protein. Researchers administered infusions of stable-isotope-labeled leucine and phenylalanine (two important amino acids) to participants. This allowed the scientists to maintain and precisely measure amino acid levels in participants' blood and muscles.

The U. of I. Poultry Research Farm developed eggs for the study that also were isotopically labeled with leucine. This allowed for precise tracking of where the food-derived amino acids ended up after participants ingested them.

The team took repeated blood and muscle biopsy samples to assess how the egg-derived amino acids were appearing in the blood and in protein synthesis in muscles before and after the resistance exercise and eating.


"By using those labeled eggs, we saw that if you ate the whole egg or the egg whites, the same amount of dietary amino acids became available in your blood," Burd said. "In each case, about 60 to 70 percent of the amino acids were available in the blood to build new muscle protein. That would suggest that getting one's protein from whole eggs or just from the whites makes no difference, as the amount of dietary amino acids in the blood after eating generally gives us an indication of how potent a food source is for the muscle-building response."

But when the researchers directly measured protein synthesis in the muscle, they found a very different response.

"We saw that the ingestion of whole eggs immediately after resistance exercise resulted in greater muscle-protein synthesis than the ingestion of egg whites," Burd said.

Previous studies suggest this difference has nothing to do with the difference in energy content of whole eggs and egg whites -- whole eggs containing 18 grams of protein also contain about 17 grams of fat, whereas egg whites have no fat. Studies from Burd's lab and others show that simply adding fat to an isolated protein source in the diet after exercise does not boost protein synthesis.


"There's a lot of stress on protein nutrition in modern society, and research is showing that we need more protein in the diet than we once thought to maintain health," Burd said. "As world population grows, we need cost-effective and sustainable strategies for improving the use of protein in the diet. This work is showing that consuming egg protein in its natural matrix has a much greater benefit than getting isolated protein from the same source."

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Price changes for seven foods could save thousands of lives per year!

Changing the prices of seven foods, including fruits, vegetables and sugar-sweetened beverages, could reduce deaths due to stroke, diabetes and cardiovascular disease and address health disparities in the United States, finds a study led by researchers from Tufts University.

In the study, published today in BMC Medicine, the team of researchers used a comparative risk assessment model to estimate the potential effects of price subsidies on healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and seeds, and taxes on processed and unprocessed red meats and sugary drinks, on the number of annual deaths from cardiometabolic diseases in the United States.

The researchers found that if the prices of all seven dietary items were altered 10 percent each, an estimated 23,000 deaths per year could be prevented; this corresponds to 3.4 percent of all cardiometabolic disease deaths in the United States. A 30 percent price change almost tripled that approximation with an estimation of 63,000 deaths prevented per year, or 9.2 percent of all cardiometabolic disease deaths.


"This is the first time, to our knowledge, that national data sets have been pooled and analyzed to investigate the influence of food subsidies and taxes on disparities in cardiometabolic deaths in the United States," said lead and corresponding author José L. Peñalvo, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. "We found that modest price changes on healthy and unhealthy foods would help decrease overall cardiometabolic deaths and also reduce disparities between socio-economic strata in the U.S. -- the largest changes coming from reducing the prices of fruits and vegetables and increasing the price of sugary drinks."


When the researchers looked at factors such as educational attainment and socioeconomic status, they found that larger proportions of deaths would be prevented among Americans with less than high school or high school education, compared with college graduates. Additionally, under low and high gradients of price responsiveness, subsidies and taxes would reduce disparities in all cardiometabolic disease outcomes. Diabetes would be significantly reduced by any of the scenarios.


"Our findings on disparities are particularly relevant today, with growing inequities in diet and cardiometabolic disease. The current strategies, such as education campaigns or food labeling, have improved overall dietary habits, but much less so among people with lower socioeconomic status," said senior author Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the Friedman School. "These results suggest that financial incentives to purchase healthy food, and disincentives to purchase unhealthy foods, can prove successful in meaningfully reducing cardiometabolic disease disparities."

The largest proportional reduction in cardiometabolic disease outcome was observed for stroke, followed by diabetes. Diabetes deaths were most influenced by taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages, while stroke deaths were most influenced by subsidies for fruits and vegetables. The researchers acknowledge that the efficacy of taxation will depend on what products consumers chose as an alternative. Therefore, this is the most likely average effect of price changes.


The researchers defined the seven dietary elements based on evidence of their associations with cardiometabolic diseases, including stroke, diabetes and overall cardiovascular disease, and policy interest. From there, the researchers investigated the price responsiveness of each food item to price change and how each price intervention could prevent deaths and disparities from cardiometabolic diseases using different price responsiveness scenarios.

The team used nationally-representative data from 2012 on the consumption of selected food items by age, gender and socioeconomic status; estimates of etiological effects of these foods on cardiometabolic disease by age; observed national cardiometabolic disease deaths by age, gender and socioeconomic status; and estimated the impact of pricing changes on dietary habits by socioeconomic status.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Eating Nuts Can Reduce Weight Gain



A study recently published in the online version of the European Journal of Nutrition has found that people who include nuts in their diet are more likely to reduce weight gain and lower the risk of overweight and obesity.

The findings came to light after researchers at Loma Linda University School of Public Health and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) evaluated diet and lifestyle data from more than 373,000 individuals from 10 European countries between the ages of 25 and 70.

Senior investigator Joan Sabaté, MD, DrPH, director of the Center for Nutrition, Lifestyle and Disease Prevention at LLUSPH, said that many people have historically assumed that nuts -- an energy-dense, high-fat food -- are not a good choice for individuals who want to lose weight. The findings, however, contradict that assumption.

In their five-year study, Sabaté and junior investigator Heinz Freisling, PhD, a nutritional epidemiologist with the Nutritional Methodology and Biostatistics group at IARC headquarters in Lyons, France, found that participants gained a mean average of 2.1 kilograms during the five-year period of the study. However, participants who ate the most nuts not only had less weight gain than their nut-abstaining peers, but also enjoyed a 5 percent lower risk of becoming overweight or obese.

"To me, this confirms that nuts are not an obesogenic food," Sabaté said.

The pair of researchers has evaluated nuts in the past and found that they are positively associated with a variety of health benefits, including healthy aging and memory function in seniors. This study, however, represents the first time they have investigated the relationship between nuts and weight on a large scale. Peanuts, which are technically a ground nut, were included in the study along with almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts, which are classified as tree nuts.


The team analyzed information on the dietary practices and body mass indexes of 373,293 participants, working with data gathered by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Although Sabaté and Freisling extracted and analyzed the data and reported the findings, they were joined by 35 other research scientists from 12 European countries and Malaysia who reviewed the paper ahead of publication.

Sabaté recommends that people eat nuts more often, pointing out that they offer energy, good fats, protein, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

"Eat nuts during your meal," he suggested. "Put them at the center of your plate to replace animal products. They're very satiating."

Story Source:

Materials provided by Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ants protect and fertilize plants




In a new article, researchers from Aarhus University describe how the waste left by ants on plant leaves serves as a valuable fertiliser for the plants -- handed on a silver platter.

You have often seen ants wandering about on leaves -- even in tall trees. In fact, it is the plants themselves that attract them by secreting sugar-containing nectar, which the ants eat with great pleasure. And on their journey around trunks and leaves, the ants snap insects that could otherwise damage the plants.

This has been known for many years and Danish researchers now use this knowledge in the battle against harmful insects in organic apple orchards. They simply move wood ants from the forest and create new anthills in the orchards.

Now researchers have found yet another positive effect of the ants' visit to the trees. Their urine or faeces, excreted together, contain amino acids and urea -- substances that are commercially used to spray on leaves to fertilise the plants.

A small coffee plantation in the laboratory

In tropical areas, there are many different species of ants that live exclusively in the tree crowns. They do not come down to the ground and therefore cannot get nutrition there. This applies, for example, to weaver ants that live in the crowns of many different trees and bushes -- including coffee trees. Each tree can have up to 60,000 ants.


In the laboratory, the researchers built a mini-coffee plantation with several individual coffee trees. The central coffee tree held a colony of weaver ants. All the coffee trees were placed in water, so the ants could not move from tree to tree unless there was a bridge to take them across. Accordingly, the researchers built suspension bridges between some, but not all, of the trees.

On the central tree, the ants were fed with an amino acid -- glycine -- where the nitrogen atom consisted of the heavier nitrogen 15 (15N). The researchers were able to follow the labeled nitrogen in the neighbouring trees to which the ants walked over via the suspension bridges.

And the results were quite amazing.

Intravenous nutritional supplement

First, the researchers observed that the visited trees had a higher content of nitrogen than the trees to which the ants did not have access. The trees visited by the ants also had larger crowns than the trees without ants.

On the 'visit trees' some of the leaves were wrapped so that the ants could not leave their waste here. But also in these leaves, the researchers were able to trace the labeled nitrogen.

"For the first time, we have shown that nutrients from ant waste are taken up by the leaves and transported to other places in the tree," says senior scientist Joachim Offenberg, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, who was in charge of the studies.



"This has great ecological importance. The ants, which primarily feed on insects in the trees, digest the insects and hand the nutrients on a silver platter to the plants. You can almost say that the plants receive the nutrition intravenously exactly where they need it," explains Joachim Offenberg.

Great ecological importance

The ants appear frequently on new shoots and on fruits -- both areas of the plant that can benefit from an additional nutrient input.

The nutritional supplement to the leaves can be a great advantage for many different plants, and the researchers will now investigate how widespread the phenomenon is.


"We know that globally there are lots of plants inhabited by ants. The nutritional supplement for their leaves can have a major ecological significance and may also have been decisive for the evolution of ant-plant interactions," says Joachim Offenberg.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Almonds may help boost cholesterol clean-up crew



Eating almonds on a regular basis may help boost levels of HDL cholesterol while simultaneously improving the way it removes cholesterol from the body, according to researchers.


In a study, researchers compared the levels and function of high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol) in people who ate almonds every day, to the HDL levels and function of the same group of people when they ate a muffin instead. The researchers found that while participants were on the almond diet, their HDL levels and functionality improved.

Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State, said the study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, builds on previous research on the effects of almonds on cholesterol-lowering diets.

"There's a lot of research out there that shows a diet that includes almonds lowers low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, which is a major risk factor for heart disease," Kris-Etherton said. "But not as much was known about how almonds affect HDL cholesterol, which is considered good cholesterol and helps lower your risk of heart disease."

The researchers wanted to see if almonds could not just increase the levels but also improve the function of HDL cholesterol, which works by gathering cholesterol from tissues, like the arteries, and helping to transport it out of the body.

"HDL is very small when it gets released into circulation," Kris-Etherton said. "It's like a garbage bag that slowly gets bigger and more spherical as it gathers cholesterol from cells and tissues before depositing them in the liver to be broken down."

Depending on how much cholesterol it has collected, HDL cholesterol is categorized into five "subpopulations," which range from the very small pre?-1 to the larger, more mature ?-1. The researchers hoped that eating almonds would result in more ?-1 particles, which would signal improved HDL function.

In the controlled-feeding study, 48 men and women with elevated LDL cholesterol participated in two six-week diet periods. In both, their diets were identical except for the daily snack. On the almond diet, participants received 43 grams -- about a handful -- of almonds a day. During the control period, they received a banana muffin instead.


At the end of each diet period, the researchers measured the levels and function of each participant's HDL cholesterol. The researchers then compared the results to the participants' baseline measurements taken at the beginning of the study.

The researchers found that compared to the control diet, the almond diet increased ?-1 HDL -- when the particles are at their largest size and most mature stage -- by 19 percent. Additionally, the almond diet improved HDL function by 6.4 percent, in participants of normal weight.

"We were able to show that there were more larger particles in response to consuming the almonds compared to not consuming almonds," Kris-Etherton said. "That would translate to the smaller particles doing what they're supposed to be doing. They're going to tissues and pulling out cholesterol, getting bigger, and taking that cholesterol to the liver for removal from the body."

An increase in this particular HDL subpopulation is meaningful, Kris-Etherton explained, because the particles have been shown to decrease overall risk of cardiovascular disease.

Kris-Etherton said that while almonds will not eliminate the risk of heart disease, they may be a smart choice for a healthy snack. She added that in addition to their heart-healthy benefits, almonds also provide a dose of good fats, vitamin E and fiber.


"If people incorporate almonds into their diet, they should expect multiple benefits, including ones that can improve heart health," Kris-Etherton said. "They're not a cure-all, but when eaten in moderation -- and especially when eaten instead of a food of lower nutritional value -- they're a great addition to an already healthy diet."

Claire Berryman, postdoctoral fellow at U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, and Jennifer Fleming, instructor in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State, also worked on the study.


The Almond Board of California supported this study

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together





Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

Dr Shanon Casperson, lead author of the study from USDA-Agricultural Research Service Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, USA said: "We found that about a third of the additional calories provided by the sugar-sweetened drinks were not expended, fat metabolism was reduced, and it took less energy to metabolize the meals. This decreased metabolic efficiency may 'prime' the body to store more fat."



The researchers found that the inclusion of a sugar-sweetened drink decreased fat oxidation, which kick-starts the breakdown of fat molecules, after a meal by 8%. If a sugar-sweetened drink was consumed with a 15% protein meal, fat oxidation decreased by 7.2g on average. If a sugar-sweetened drink was consumed with a 30% protein meal, fat oxidation decreased by 12.6g on average. While having a sugar-sweetened drink increased the amount of energy used to metabolise the meal, the increased expenditure did not even out the consumption of additional calories from the drink.

Dr. Casperson said: "We were surprised by the impact that the sugar-sweetened drinks had on metabolism when they were paired with higher-protein meals. This combination also increased study subjects' desire to eat savory and salty foods for four hours after eating."

The researchers recruited 27 healthy-weight adults (13 male, 14 female), who were on average 23 years old. Participants made two 24-hour study visits, receiving two 15% protein meals (breakfast and lunch) after an overnight fast on one visit and two 30% protein meals after an overnight fast on the other visit. The increase in protein was counterbalanced by a decrease in carbohydrates. All meals were composed of the same foods and they provided 17g of fat and 500 kcals. Participants consumed a sugar-sweetened drink with one of the meals and a non-sugar sweetened drink with the other meal.

The researchers used a room calorimeter, a 25m3 furnished chamber that measures movement, oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature and pressure, to assess how dietary changes affected energy expenditure and the way nutrients were processed by the body. By having study participants stay in a room calorimeter, researchers can determine how many grams of carbohydrate, protein and fat they are using and how many calories they are burning every minute. Study participants stayed inside the room for the duration of each study visit.

Dr. Casperson said: "Our findings suggest that having a sugar-sweetened drink with a meal impacts both sides of the energy balance equation. On the intake side, the additional energy from the drink did not make people feel more sated. On the expenditure side, the additional calories were not expended and fat oxidation was reduced. The results provide further insight into the potential role of sugar-sweetened drinks -- the largest single source of sugar in the American diet -- in weight gain and obesity."




Dietary changes were measured only for a short time and caution must be used when extrapolating the study data to dietary changes over longer periods of time. As this study was in healthy-weight adults only, the authors also caution that overweight individuals may respond differently to dietary changes.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Pairing Wine And Weed: Is It A California Dream Or Nightmare?




Proponents of the emerging pot-for-pleasure industry want to grab a share of the nearly $2 billion tourism business in Sonoma County with events like dinners that incorporate marijuana.





Courtesy of Sonoma Cannabis Company/Kristen Jeanne
In the epicurean world, Northern California is famous for two intoxicants — wine and weed. With recreational marijuana about to be legal in the Golden State, some cannabis entrepreneurs are looking to the wine industry as a model.

On the elegant terrace of a winery overlooking the vineyard-covered hills of Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, a dozen invited guests are sipping pinot noir, nibbling hors d'oeuvres and taking hits off a water pipe.

They have come for a farm-to-table meal of kale salad, roasted vegetables and grilled flatiron steak paired with wine and certain types of marijuana.

"What we've found so far is that sativas go well with whites, indicas go well with reds," says Sam Edwards, president of the Sonoma Cannabis Company.

He's part of the emerging pot-for-pleasure industry that seeks to grab a share of the nearly $2 billion tourism business in Sonoma Valley with events like this.



"What we're beginning is melding cannabis with wine and food in a curated meal that offers the best of all worlds," says Edwards.


Cannabis entrepreneurs are pairing food and marijuana to create dining experiences much like the ones found at Northern California wineries.
Courtesy of Sonoma Cannabis Company/ Kristen Jeanne
Recreational marijuana is now legal in eight states and the District of Colombia.

But the prize is California, where American cannabis has the deepest historical, cultural and agronomic roots. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana 21 years ago; in November, voters gave the green light to cannabis for fun.

Northern California's legendary Emerald Triangle of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties produces some of the world's most sought-after pot.

As it happens, just south of the Triangle lie the state's famed wine-growing counties of Sonoma and Napa.

"I think that the wine industry is going to really want to be part of the cannabis industry, because I feel like there's probably a secure future in that," says Domi Heckei, a 32-year-old special education teacher who attended the wine-and-weed dinner.

While cannabis people are excited to co-market with wine, wine people are taking a wait-and-see approach. Few of the wine trade associations contacted for this story wanted to comment on the coming of cannabis. One longtime Sonoma winemaker acknowledged "a certain level of apprehension" among his peers.

Erin Gore markets cannabis-infused confections for women, under the name Garden Society. She married into a family of grape growers, and this is her take on why those in Sonoma County may be apprehensive:

"Going down (U.S. Highway) 101 are ... all the vineyards going to get ripped out and it's only going to be pot? How bad is it going to smell? A big thing is, everyone's going to get robbed. A lot of people are worried about marijuana-stoned driving."

In fact, Sonoma is already struggling to accommodate its 469 wineries. Though wine tourism is the lifeblood of the economy, residents complain about the endless special events at wineries, the congested roads and tipsy drivers. Adding cannabis to the mix just heightens those concerns.

"We have some challenges, some cumulative impacts from wineries and tasting rooms," says First District County Supervisor Susan Gorin. "And now here comes cannabis."

Oregon, where recreational pot has been legal for two years, has had some cross-pollination between wine and cannabis, but the big experiment is here on the north coast of California.

Sonoma County expects so many applications for cannabis land-use permits that it has hired 14 additional regulators. There are rules for groundwater management, mandatory use of renewable energy, setbacks from highways and schools, and requirements for elaborate security plans.

"Without a shadow of a doubt, cannabis is going to be the most difficult crop to grow in Sonoma County," says Fifth District County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins.

The vineyards own all the good land, and no one knows if they'll want to expand into cannabis cultivation, as a handful have done in Oregon.



Tom Rodrigues, who owns Maple Creek Winery in the hills of neighboring Mendocino County, is bullish on the regulated commercial cannabis market. Rodrigues sits on two advisory boards — one for cannabis, one for wine.


Tom Rodrigues, owner of Maple Creek Winery in Mendocino County, thinks wine and weed will make a good marriage. He says visitors to his tasting room are starting to ask where they can get some cannabis.
John Burnett/NPR
He says he grows pot for personal use, but has no plans to slap the Maple Creek label on the green, resinous buds.

"My first passion is the wine," he says. "If the laws were different I could grow (cannabis) because I have 164 acres here. But I would have to move my tasting room off the property, because the law is that you cannot be selling alcohol and growing cannabis on the same property."

In terms of the market, Rodrigues thinks fine wine drinkers are a natural clientele for Emerald Triangle cannabis.

"I speak to people every day here in the tasting room and people want to know about it. It's no longer hush-hush. 'I'm from Iowa, I've heard Mendocino County has great cannabis. Where can I get some?' " Rodrigues says.

They'll have to wait until Jan. 1. That's when retail recreational marijuana opens for business in California.


At a wine and weed dinner held at a Northern California winery, the offerings on an hors d'oeuvres table include cannabis lemonade.
John Burnett/NPR
A preview was available at the recent Cannabis Business Summit & Expo down the highway in Oakland. Vendors were there hawking the latest in cannabis farm security, insurance, fertilizers, grow lights, potting soils and consumables.

Humberto Torres is the COO of GFarma Labs, a company that infuses chocolates and lemonades, as well as sells marijuana bud.

In Sonoma County, the talk is all about the marriage of wine and cannabis, but at the trade show, Torres sees alcohol as the competition. "Instead of coming home and pouring myself a glass of chardonnay," he says, "I'd make a (cannabis) tea, 2 ½ milligrams, and take that and try to take the edge off."

The two industries will come together next month for the first time at the Wine & Weed Symposium in the city of Santa Rosa to explore cooperation and competition.


What will north coast tourists be looking for: a wine with notes of berry, leather, and a hint of quince or a joint that delivers a calming body buzz with a cerebral creative boost — or both?