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What came First – ‘The Chicken OR The Egg’

The YO-LucK Factor

Just when the world thought that Mr.Humpty was only a good Ol Dumpty falling off walls. He is here to Crack those rumours and prove that he is definitely worth more๐Ÿ’ช

Right on top of our ‘Chole’star’ Championship League’ winners list; bagging the winning trophy at the Chicken State Championship and winning it big at the National Protein Championship ๐Ÿ˜

High Cholesterol liver contestants put in their best efforts, however when they were matched with their cholesterol levels for 50gms (equivalent to Mr.Humptys weight) they just weren’t the match.

Indeed Mr.Humpty is high on his YO-LulK these days

Now for the Geeky side of things๐Ÿค“

Question1: Is Cholesterol all BAD for your body?

Answer: No, infact Cholesterol is an important component of your bile which is needed to metabolize fats in your body. Additionally it also is an important component of a number of cell membranes in your body

Question2: In that case what about diets that cut off Cholesterol intake.

The beauty is that Cholesterol inspite of being so important to your body is not categorised as a ‘Nutrient’ , simply because your body can produce it. You can go without cholesterol intake and your body will make up for it. When you do consume cholesterol however, your body just has to produce less of it.

Question 3: If Cholestrol is so important and the body has its mechanisms to metabolize it, why and when does it start to build up negative effects?

Obviously intake higher than what is required by your body will lead to the accumulation of one its metabolic byproduct- The LDL (will have a toon blog on this hero too soon).

The LDL deposits in the heart vessels causing heart related disorders.

Question 4: So this means high Cholestrol levels only affects people who are overweight OR do not eat healthy?

No, Cholestrol levels could also be high in individuals who are not overweight and even in those who consume a balanced diet. This is due to a defect in their LDL receptor which causes the LDL imbalance in the body. So always get your Cholesterol levels checked irrespective of how healthy you think you lifestyle or weight is!

Question 5: Should we just avoid high Cholesterol foods?

Apparently not because there are other important nutrients that are part of these foods eg: Eggs are a superfood that provide important nutrients to the body. And the Cholestrol in 1 egg (212mg) will not necessarily raise the Cholestrol levels in your body. Infact your body will just produce lesser cholestrol to make up for the remainder required ( On an avg your body requires 300mg in a day).

So apart from portion planning and resorting to egg whites instead of whole eggs (because the yolk contains all of the cholesterol) etc. Its important to track your cholesterol levels to check for any underlying conditions that could be raising your LDL levels.

Remember High Cholesterol and Heart attacks do not only affect the Obese!

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STAR(‘chi’) WARS

Chi (X) is a Chinese word that means life force, energy

First Order ‘Starch haters’ verses Resistance ‘Starch’

In a Galaxy far far away where the First Order of negative publicity and fad low carb diets were on a quest to wipe away every living starch componenet in the universe.

The resistant Star’chi’ joined hands to rebel against the First Order and prove that they had a source of power that could bring about abounding goodness to mankind. This force within the resistance, also termed as the ‘chi’ energy would eventually bring the much needed balance to our World๐Ÿ™

๐Ÿ˜‚Now a bit of geeky science to follow:-

Resistant starches can move through your digestive tract untouched. But once it reaches your large intestines– The magic begins! ๐Ÿ’ซ.

These starches feed the bacteria lining your colon creating short chain fatty acids and releasing the ‘chi’ factor

B-U-T-Y-R-A-T-E

The force of Butyrate can

1. Prevent Cancer: its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce free radical formation in the body which prevents cancer

2. Build Immune : it strengthens the immune system and regulates the formation of ‘Regulatory T Cells’, which in turn help our body to differentiate between itself and foreign cells and reducing the chances of autoimmune diseases.

3. Heals the Gut: the anti-inflammatory property again is the key here in maintaining a healthy system to prevent a leaky gut

Sources of Resistant Starches

1. Green/Unripe Bananas (As bananas begin to ripen the quotient of these good resistance starch begin to convert to regular starch)

2. Oats: Same principle applies- the raw form has a higher resistance starch percent than when you cook the starch

3. Cooked and cooled Rice/Potatoes/Pasta๐Ÿ˜ฑ!!: You heard it right! Regular starches can be converted to healthier resistance starches by cooling certain food sources after cooking. Eg: Potato salad, Pasta Salad, Sushi, Rice pudding (with an eye out for the sugar) can be the BEST feast you can offer the guests living in your colon, in turn for their magical Butyrate๐Ÿคฉ

So don’t be afraid of the Starches, Embrace the good ones and Moderate the not so good.

May the Force Be with you! (Chi..)

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Sugar Intl.

Sisterhood of the travelling Sugar

I came across a statistics this week about the sugar consumption (incl. natural, HFCS, artificial sweeteners) worldwide, which boggled my mind with several questions.

(Now as bargraphs can be a rather boring image to refer,here is my toon version for reference and further discussion ๐Ÿ™Žโ€โ™€๏ธ)

Asian Kitchens

Consumption of sugar in China and India are at the lower- mid level of the graph however, ironically they are on the top 5 list of sugar producing countries worldwide ๐Ÿ™†โ€โ™€๏ธ

So how did 2 countries that produce the most sugar not consume the most?

A bit of digging through the info available on the worldwideweb platforms (as I dont do libraries very well ๐Ÿ˜ฌ) brought to light that countries that had to depend more on ‘importing sugar’ eventually landed up being at the top of the consumption list ONLY because they found alternatives that were ‘n’ number times sweeter than regular sugar. The most common alternative (and increasingly being held responsible for growing obesity rates) is the High Fructose Corn Syrup (refer to blog ‘fructing story’)

The Western Kitchen

These HFCS are way cheaper than importing regular sugar and add a higher level of sweetness for the same gram. Therefore our beloved sweetened beverages; soft drinks and processed foods cling onto these HFCS bugs, building that perfect relationship between (a) Developed countries; (b) Increased access to processed food/beverage and (c)Increased sugar consumption.

Which explains the high consumption graphs in USA and Ireland.

Self Suficient Sweetness

With countries like India and China, most of what they produce is consumed within the country, and therefore have a lesser need to depend on unhealthy sugar alternatives

New in the HFCS Game

China is now stepping into the HFCS game to utilize their cheaper corn sources and make the ‘greens’ through exports. Also slowly but surely the HFCS will replace the regular sugar in the nation’s food industry (to reduce the pressure on their cultivational resources) ๐Ÿ™†โ€โ™€๏ธ

So we might just see an increase in consumption here too in the near future.

As of 2009, China had the lowest consumption of sugar. A lot of which I’m guessing could be credited to their healthy steamed cuisines and ‘eating more at home’ culture.

Developing Country Crises

Ghana has little or no sugar production within the country and depends on imports too, however the poverty and economic situation of the country prevents it from being amongst the top consumers.

How to win the battle

‘Sweet’ Taxes (in it’s essence only ๐Ÿ˜‚)- Most places have already started to imply taxes on soft drinks and processed foods which seems to be the best way to curb the increasing manufacturers dependency on choosing unhealthy sweet alternatives in their products AND reduce the consumers likelihood of purchasing these sweet bombs

Conclusion

Utilize your consumer powers and create a demand for a healthier food industry. Don’t let the industrial gimmicks play you.

Peace Out!

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Right choices with Rice

The Right Rice

“Which RICE would you prefer”๐Ÿ˜‹ As I was studying and researching on today’s portion of ‘Rice’ Carbs with all its controversies and debates, my toonified brain side penned this illustration ๐Ÿ˜‚

Miss.Rice, a model and supporter of the Football team ‘Cleveland Browns’ and advocate for women NFL coaches REPRESENTING
The ‘Brown RICE’- all hailed for its Nutritive value (Fibre, Vitamins and Minerals Element)

VERSES

Miss Rice’s tenure at the Big House collecting massive Air miles and frights REPRESENTING
The ‘White RICE’ which has mankind divided into Haters and Supporters๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜‚

Just a word of caution though!
The ‘Fibre’ element of Brown rice is the ‘Insoluble’ child of Dietary Fibres which is GREAT to get those bowels Jiggy’in with it ๐Ÿ’ƒ and thus aids with weight loss in a certain laxative kinda way ๐Ÿ’ฉ
BUT the difference in the calorie content between the two would be almost insignificant.
After all at the core of it they both are the same Starch (SUGAR)๐Ÿ˜Œ

PS: Also it would be worth mentioning that the name ‘Condoleezza’ means ‘To Sweeten’ ๐Ÿ˜‚
Need I say more why this inspired me to toon this way๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

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POOH’S HONEY TROUBLE

Winnie on his Sweet Quest

What if! Honey binging made Winnie the Pooh Diabetic and he needed a “Perfect fit” alternative sweetness in his life ๐Ÿ˜‹

Sugar substitutes have flooded our market with claims that sometimes are just too good to be true


So let’s break it down a bit
1. What’s Natural ‘Natural’?
If you were looking for a ‘natural’ sugar alternative, then it would be-ย  honey, molasses, fruit concentrates etc. These would reduce the sugar ‘high’s’ in your blood but also, too much of it can lead to other health complications.
Remember these are NOT devoid of calories and contain fructose! (refer to ‘fructing story’ post for more info on fructose and liver)

2. Naturally derived Sweetners Vs Synthetic Sweetners:
Natural derivatives are sweet alternatives to sugar, derived from plants.
Now here’s the catch- some in this category can be either extracted from a plant source OR more often cooked up in the lab with the same chemical composition.
Then we have the more common brands Saccharine, Aspartame etc which are completely synthetic.

3. Nutritive vs Non Nutritive:
Most of the ‘naturally derived’ sweetners from plant sources are NOT completely devoid of calories.
Yes they have a lower glycemic index and lower calorie count than regular sugar but they still do have some calories.

So here again the quantity in your diet needs consideration

Fun fact: most of these have a laxative effect  too
Synthetic sweeteners however have very low to zero calorie count, BUT a lot of negative publicity out there with regards to their long term health affects ( most of which do not have a solid proof i.e strong research data in a peer reviewed journals)

In this regards Stevia is a popular choice as its derived naturally and is non- nutritive.
However one has to acquire a taste for it

So natural or lab cooked?; Nutritive or Non? OR Just moderate the total sugar consumed in day?– The Choice is yours.

Caution: Always read the label to know what your sugar alternative contains to know best.


#geekculture #geekviewonfood #learningthroughart #winniethepooh #sugarsweetknowledge #sweetners #toonified

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The Fructin’ Story

(No slang intended ๐Ÿ™ˆ)

The Marvel of Fructose

This is the story of when the symbiote creatures “Industry players” took on the form of Regular Sucrose (Table Sugar) and made it into an economically beneficial; sweeter and cheaper form of sugar i.e the “High Fructose Corn Syrup” or HFCS!!

HFCS have ever since taken over the food market and is commonly used in sodas, pastries and every form of food termed as the ‘Junk’- You get the picture ๐Ÿ˜‰

So what’s different about fructose?

Unlike Glucose that can move from liver to the tissues where its broken down to release energy, fructose cannot be carried by Insulin!!
This means that, all the fructose has to be broken down only in the liver!
And the breakdown process releases Triglycerides (not healthy fat when excess!!).

People’s reaction towards HFCS and regular sugar reminds me of this Marvel scenario ๐Ÿ˜‚ (pls refer: my toon attack image๐Ÿคฃ).

So Here’s the deal-

  1. Natural fruits (whole) are considered ‘Good sugar’ because
    (a) Their Fructose component is higher which means lesser sugar spike in the blood HOWEVER an excess of it would still put a lot of pressure on the liver and
    (b) It comes with added nutrient benefits – vitamins, minerals, fiber etc This makes it an overall great package!

Versus

  1. Soda with HFCS I.e. high fructose levels that your liver has to deal with and NO added nutrients= Empty Sugar

So if we are talking sugar level comparison then having fruits of a quantity similar to a bottle of soda would put the same amount of pressure on the Liver factory; but the former brings with it the good nutrients whilst the latter comes empty handed.

And yet again we conclude- ‘Moderation is the key.’๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

#whenmarvelmeetsfood #foodsafety #foodnutrition #geekviewonfood #geekculture #learningthroughart #spiderman #venom

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Oh Honey!

The Sweet Twins

Here is my Toon Illustration of Honey versus Sugar

For those of us who thought Honey is a substitute for Sugar-
Well! they actually are products of the same Parents- #Glucose + #Fructose๐Ÿ˜ฌ
So what makes these twins different? And Is Honey really a healthier option than Sugar ๐Ÿค”??

Answer: Depends on what perspective your looking at it from

**Right Perspective: “Honey as a natural remedy for cold, allergies and digestive issues”
Apart from the core glucose and fructose, it has additional SUPER POWERS called ‘Antioxidants’, ‘Minerals’, ‘Vitamins’, ‘Amnio acids’ and ‘Enzymes’ making it digestive friendly, immunobooster and microbial buster๐Ÿ‘๐ŸคŸ๐Ÿ‘

**Misleading Perspective: “Honey as a substitute to consume lesser calories and loose weight” ๐Ÿ‘Ž
Unfortunately Honey being more dense has a higher calorie count than Sugar – 64 calories vs 49 calories (per tablespoon)๐Ÿ˜ฑ
So substituting the former for the latter in equal quantities to achieve weight loss goals might just be Bummer! ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ซ

HOWEVER, Honey has a lower glycemic index than Sugar (due to the lower percentage of its fructose component) i.e. it wont lead to a sudden spike in blood glucose levels like sugar would.
Or better said in plain swag language: “You would be on sustained Energy level 5 โ˜บ๏ธrather than a 10 ๐Ÿ˜ƒ dropping off to a straight 0 ๐Ÿ˜ด”

So tuck into that delicious spoon of Honey and enjoy it for it’s right benefits! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿฏ
#geekculture #geekviewonfood #nutritionresearch #foodscience #honeyorsugar

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The Good and The Bad


How can one differentiate between BAD (but self pleasing and therefore ‘not so bad’) Food Science and the GOOD (but ‘not so good’) Food Science?

We come across several surprising articles on food research but only the ones that seem to contradict the basics of what we kinda had that hunch about being ‘not so good for your body’ seem eye catching and sadly enough the believers seem to outweigh the skeptics๐Ÿ˜•

Example of UC’s research that “People who consumed more chocolate were thinner”๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Believers (or those who wanted to believe in it desperately) thought “Oh yea!, nothing can stop me from binging now and Oh I have to tell this fact to the 100 friends and strangers around me” ๐Ÿ˜‚

Skeptics (the minority of our population๐Ÿ˜)- “Okay how was the research done? What chocolate? What was the composition? Let’s not forget the basics of sugar and fats here! And I ain’t telling this stuff to anybody till I’m convinced this is Good scientific research facts”

Honest confession- You will find me more often on the Believeing side ๐Ÿ™ˆ

But here begins my journey (completely intentional๐Ÿ˜‚) with Prof.Sander Kersten from Wageningen Univeristy to understand different research methods and how to tell the good food science and bad food science apart

Continue reading “The Good and The Bad”