Jaggery is just as bad as sugar for our kids

Reference link – http://foodnetindia.in/blog/2019/02/21/chappati-with-jaggery-and-ghee-is-not-a-nutritious-meal/

There is this widespread nutritional superstition in India which says refined sugar is bad but unrefined sugar (jaggery) is good for you.

This is wrong.

While unrefined sugar may have some small additional mineral value, excess will harm you and your children in the same way that refined sugar will.

Our children are getting way too much sugar in their diets from too many sources. Feeding them more is not a good idea. It does not help that people like Rujuta Diwekar are spreading this kind of superstitious myth.

Geneticist scared of GMOs

Reference article – https://medium.com/s/futurehuman/reversed-aging-pig-organs-and-the-future-of-humankind-50f1cdb1e014

George Church is “scared of GMOs”. Really?

George Church is working on reversing ageing, augmenting intelligence and more.

This article makes for fascinating reading.

As one of the world’s foremost geneticists, The reason he gives for being “scared of GMOs” or the way he defines the term is quite different from what you would expect.

Eric Topol on AI and Doctors

Reference article – https://onezero.medium.com/how-artificial-intelligence-can-make-doctors-more-human-9424f5a8122e

Some very insightful thoughts from Cardiologist Dr Eric Topol –

The explosion of data in medicine and the need for A.I. – The body sensors are throwing up a huge amount data but it’s too overwhelming to make sense of it. With artificial intelligence, we can take all this data and do so much with it.

The necessity for human doctors – “this is a silly notion that we’re not going to need doctors, that people are just going to get treated by algorithms. That’s absurd. Machines don’t have judgment; they don’t have context.” They can’t be trusted without human oversight.

On the stupidity of nutrition guidelines – “We’ve had these food pyramids and national guidelines on what you should eat, never based on any real science but on the simplistic notion that the same diet is right for all people. That was really stupid. “. “ it was not really science—it was kind of a stab in the dark.”

Sugar kills more people than gunpowder every year

“Sugar kills more people than gunpowder every year”

How true. 

Sugar (Sucrose and Fructose) are the biggest killers of our times. And sugar kills painfully and slowly through metabolic disease. 

The problem is it’s addictive nature. Sugar may be more addictive than cocaine.

In my opinion, there is no way to solve this unless we have a safe substitute for our tastebuds.

The artificial sweeteners are not working because they have safety issues. Some “safe” alternatives like stevia have taste and flavour issues.

There is some interesting work happening to solve these problems. 

One approach I read about is to isolate the sweetening compound from stevia and figuring out some other way of manufacturing it. This isolated compound does not have the taste issues present in stevia, which are due to some of the other compounds in it.

Another possible solution is inert sugar alcohols. Erythritol for example. Cost effective production of erythritol is a challenge which some companies are working to overcome. The other sugar alcohols are not so inert and cause gastric distress.

There is an interesting direction being explored by this Israeli company, using another sweetener that is available in a tropical plant. Read about it at this link – https://medium.com/s/2069/in-the-future-your-food-will-be-sweetened-with-protein-e7659485731e?

I am sure other approaches will emerge too. The world needs something to reduce sugar consumption. Sugar is the tobacco of our age.

Build muscle. It doesn’t take much time.

What is the single biggest quality of life enhancement or productivity boosting practice that you have adopted in the last 5 years , which has allowed you to get much more done than ever before?

I learned a lot of new practices and habits in the last 5 years. Managed to change some behaviours as well.

But when I gave it some thought, it became clear to me that underlying all this and the work that I got done, the dominant reason was excellent health.

And the single biggest practice that has made me fitter, stronger at 52 than I was even in my twenties? Weightlifting.

In the last 2-3 years, I could put on well above 10 kilos of muscle, reduce body fat to very healthy levels and increase my strength 200 to 300 percent for almost all the major muscle groups . And also now I have a waistline that’s slimmer than ever before and I am energetic through the day.

I am not talking about pumping iron many times a week. I simply don’t have the time for that. I can’t also risk eating a lot of starch and protein calories and bulking up, which is the mainstream dietary advice for building muscle. I am too scared that all that eating to bulk up will give me metabolic disease.

I used an amazing technique that takes less than 25 minutes in the gym, once a week. It gave me week on week muscle and strength gains for 3 years and the gains are still continuing. And I gain muscle on a moderate protein, high fat, VLC cyclic ketogenic diet. A diet that is supposed to inhibit muscle gains because there is not enough protein and starch for anabolism.

You can get the same results and possibly much more (because you are unlikely to have my self imposed dietary limitations) and spend only 20 minutes once a week to do so – Body by Science by John R Little.

I recommend it.

Buy it here – https://www.amazon.in/dp/0071597174/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_QgqHBbT3VCF1G

Keto? Cyclic keto? Intermittent fasting? Off label metformin?

The big health interventions I have been experimenting with for the last 5 years have been cyclic ketogenic diets initially for a couple of years and then I added intermittent fasting and OMAD (One Meal A Day) to the mix. Plus a nice dose of HIRT (High Intensity Resistance Training).

It’s been a wonderful journey. The results have been amazing. I have put on a lot of muscle. I am stronger and fitter than I have ever been. I do not get tired even after 14 hour work days (which is almost every day). Better mood, near perfect blood work, flat abs, lots and lots of energy.

I also dreamed up hundreds of tasty, “Indian” keto friendly food recipes. And my keto food is really really yum!

I have combined these practices with extensive supplementation (this is essential with keto. Without extensive supplementation, people on keto risk serious, long term, chronic, irreversible, nasty health conditions – osteoporosis anyone?).

I created my own supplementation regime and my own supplements by mixing a lot of different (over 40) raw/organic ingredients.

I have not tried off label metformin and this has been on my list for a while. But this article by Dr Jason Fung seems to suggest that it may not be necessary. I will wait a couple more years and dig more into the research before hitting this one!





Is your (South Asian) baby at risk of heart disease later in life?

Here is a very interesting thing I read in this article I refer to in this post – “The body’s metabolism adapts to low nutrition in early life, and later, a high carbohydrate diet gives rise to higher fat deposition especially in the abdomen”

I am inclined to agree.

I do not believe that the South Asian male is genetically predisposed to abdominal fat accumulation or that he is genetically predisposed to heart disease or that he is predisposed to it’s key risk factors.

The poor nutritional status of mothers in South Asia, the poor nutritional status of children under the age of five, the carbohydrate heavy and protein poor adult diets, the widespread micronutrient deficiencies. Each of these and more are the major contributors to high rates of abdominal obesity, visceral fat, heart disease and diabetes in India.

Let’s not blame poor genetics. Let’s also not start hunting for a “new normal” and use the existing poor health indicators to establish a lower “South Asian” baseline.

Our children will grow to be just as healthy, fit, strong, tall and athletic as their Caucasian counterparts. If their mothers were healthy and so they had good birth weight, if they had adequate and diverse nutrition in early childhood and ate a nutrient rich and balanced diet as teenagers and adults.

Here is the link to the article. Some of which I agree with and much that I do not – https://www.theweek.in/health/cover/2018/08/11/diet-and-the-indian-heart.html