How to break carb cravings, once and for all

(CNN)If you’re like many people I know, the thought of giving up pasta and bread in an effort to shed a few pounds (or more) might seem like an unfair punishment — perhaps even a tease, especially when those foods seem to be on everyone else’s plates.

The truth is, despite the popularity of low-carb diets, which often send the message that we should drastically cut back on this food group, carbohydrates are some of the most important things we consume. They are key to regulating blood sugar and providing energy throughout our bodies. Without them, our bodies will rely on protein, breaking it down for energy instead of using it in its preferred role of growing and maintaining tissues.
What’s more, eating the “right” kinds of carbs can keep us healthier.
    “The people who live the longest, healthiest lives — who have the lowest rates of diabetes, heart disease and cancer — their diets are all rich in healthy carbs, including beans, legumes, whole grains and fruit,” said Tamara Duker Freuman, a New York City-based registered dietitian.
    And so there’s nothing wrong with a pasta meal (though whole grain is preferred) or even a sandwich on whole-wheat bread for lunch every day. Simply, the problem is not that we consume carbs; it’s that we often consume the wrong kinds of carbs — and very large portions of them.

    Processed carbs are problem carbs

    Highly processed carbs — white bread, sugary cereal, white rice, regular pasta and bagels, for example — produce rapid rises and drops in blood sugar, which can lead to weight gain. They also can lead to something called metabolic syndrome, which is associated with an increased risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
    Metabolic syndrome is “the combination of high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol, insulin resistance and obesity,” explained Dr. David Ludwig, professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “And processed carbs are the main dietary drivers.” Studies show that “processed carbs top the list for weight gain and diabetes risk,” he said.
    The tricky part is that the more processed, refined carbs we eat, the more we crave. And so it seems almost impossible to get off the carb-craving hamster wheel.
    According to Ludwig, who wrote the book “Always Hungry? Conquer Cravings, Retrain Your Fat Cells, and Lose Weight Permanently,” cravings have to do with our consumption of these highly processed, “fast-acting” carbs, which he says are not fundamentally different from sugar, in the biological sense. White bread or any other processed carbohydrate will melt into glucose very quickly — and so like sugar, it raises blood sugar at a faster rate than slower-digesting carbs that are less processed and higher in fiber. The problem is, that rapid spike in blood sugar is eventually followed by a crash.

    Insulin: Miracle-Gro for fat cells

    According to Ludwig, what drives most carb cravings is not the taste of the foods per se but rather a biological urge to eat something to restore your blood sugar. And it has to do with the hormone insulin. “Processed carbs cause more insulin secretion, calorie for calorie, than any food,” he said.
    When you eat processed carbs, blood sugar rises rapidly, and insulin quickly follows, directing incoming calories into liver, muscle and fat cells. But of these, only fat cells have virtually limitless ability to store calories, and too many get trapped there, according to Ludwig. A short while later, the calories in the bloodstream are low, and the body runs out of available fuel, making you hungry too soon after the meal.
    In essence, when fat cells get too much energy, there’s not enough to fuel the brain, which is constantly monitoring the calories in your blood. “When (the brain) sees calories are dropping, it triggers hunger and cravings,” Ludwig said.
    And it all relates back to that initial insulin response. “Insulin is the Miracle-Gro for fat cells,” he said. “When fat cells grow, we get hungry.” And so the cycle repeats, eventually causing weight gain.

    How to break carb cravings

    Nutrition experts say that breaking carb cravings is not about getting rid of carbs entirely but rather cutting back on highly processed fast-acting carbs and eating more high-quality ones that are high in fiber and low in added sugars, such as beans, whole grains, fruit and vegetables. If you don’t know how to get started, this plan can help:
    1. Cut out all starchy carbs for one week. This includes all pasta, bread, rice, bagels and potatoes, as well as pizza, crackers, pretzels, chips, cookies and cake.
    By cutting starchy carbs and replacing them with foods that have a more modest impact on blood sugar, you can achieve more steady blood sugar control and better manage your cravings, according to Freuman.
    A day might include egg whites and cheese with berries for breakfast, yogurt for a snack, a grilled chicken salad with beans for lunch, an apple for a snack and a piece of fish and veggies for dinner.
    2. Slash the sugary carbs too, including candy and sugar-sweetened beverages. These sugary carbs rapidly flood the bloodstream, providing lots of sugar without any added nutrition.
    3. Add some fat. “Many high-fat foods are luscious and do not cause an insulin release, so they keep your blood sugar much more stable,” Ludwig said. Examples include nuts, nut butters, avocado, olive oil, dark chocolate and full-fat dairy. “When you are eating them, you don’t miss the processed carbs at all!”
    4. After the first week, you can gradually add back high-quality starchy carbs, starting with breakfast.
    “Research in a variety of populations has shown that eating carbs at breakfast seems to dampen the blood sugar effect of eating carbs at lunch,” Freuman said. What this means is that on a day that you skip breakfast, you may be more likely to have a blood sugar spike after eating a carb-rich lunch, compared with a day when you eat breakfast but have the same lunch. In other words, “don’t skip breakfast, and don’t skip carbs at breakfast,” Freuman said.
    High-quality carbs — including minimally processed grains, along with non-starchy vegetables, whole fruits and beans — are the ones to choose. They are delicious and slower-digesting, thanks to the way they are naturally packaged, Ludwig said. “If you eat wheat berries, your body has to digest the intact grain kernel, and that’s a slow process. But if you mill it and turn it into flour, now that whole package has been broken. Too much of these ‘naked carbs’ (stripped of their bran and germ, which contain nutrients) will cause metabolic problems for most people.” 
    Breakfast examples with high-quality carbs include steel-cut oats with nuts, seeds and cinnamon; rye crisp bread with scrambled eggs and berries; or Greek yogurt topped with fruit. Freuman recommends beans at breakfast too, “as in a Mexican breakfast with eggs, beans, avocado and salsa.”
    5. After the second week, you can add back high-quality starchy carbs (i.e. minimally processed grains) to lunch. Good lunch examples include a chickpea or quinoa salad, bean or lentil soups, mushroom barley soup or a sandwich with whole-grain bread. Whole-wheat pasta or chickpea pasta is a good choice too, according to Freuman, though it should take up only about a quarter of the plate, to allow room for veggies and protein.

    For the longer term

    6. Continue to skip starchy carbs at dinner. “At dinner, when we eat carbs, we are much more likely to have a blood sugar spike and to store that food energy as fat versus having it available for useable energy,” Freuman said.
    “The metabolic response to a carbier meal at night is less favorable than when we eat carbs earlier in the day, so if there is ever one meal that you want eat low-carb, it’s dinner … and if you want to include them, choose wisely and keep the portions low,” she added.

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    7. Continue to limit refined carbs, such as white bread and white rice. It might be difficult to forgo white basmati rice, pizza or sushi entirely, but limit these foods to a few times per week.
    8. Continue to avoid foods high in added sugars. If you have a sweet tooth, limit treats to 100 to 150 calories per day, depending on your goals.
    And note that anyone with a medical issue should always consult their doctor before starting a new diet plan.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/17/health/carbohydrates-cravings-food-drayer/index.html

    The psychology of gold and why it has that allure

    (CNN)When you think of the color gold, images of grandeur and extravagance are likely to come to mind.

    For millennia, the metal has adorned crowns and hilts of swords. It has been used to enhance paintings and ornaments to increase their value.
    That led to the metal being associated with a shining, otherworldly character attributed to the gods in the religions of many different cultures. “Some of these were bodily associations,” the authors write.
    The Aztecs described gold as the “excrement of the gods,” while the Incas thought of it as the “sweat of the sun.” In ancient Egypt, gold was considered the “flesh of the gods.” Across cultures, it was a sacred material.
    The book goes on to illustrate the importance of gold in health and medicine. Chinese alchemists believed that drinking potable gold in the form of elixirs, eating from gold plates and using gold utensils helped attain longevity.
    “Before the 20th century, gold was used to treat conditions as varied as syphilis, heart disease, smallpox and melancholia,” the book notes.
    Today, gold compounds are still thought to have some anti-inflammatory effects.

    Attracting the eye

    The incorruptible nature of gold has an otherworldly allure to it and the reflective quality of the metal gives the impression that it glows from the inside, said Oakley.
    When viewed by candlelight, gilded medieval manuscripts, statues and icons in the Eastern Orthodox Church exuded a transcendental quality, glowing as if they were illuminated from the inside.
    Human vision can discriminate millions of colors, but it can discriminate trillions of chromatures — colored textures, said Donald Hoffman, professor of cognitive science at University of California, Irvine.
    “It is the chromature that targets the human emotions more specifically than uniform color patches,” he said.
    Hoffman believes the reason chromatures can target human emotions more specifically than uniform color patches is that they contain far more information than color patches.
    He demonstrated the concept with two pictures — a section of brown grizzly bear fur and the same brown color in plain background. When looking at the chromature, our mind can immediately grasp that we are looking at a bear, he explained.
    “Evolution would have more success training the emotional system to be wary of the bear fur chromature than to be wary of the uniform color patch of the same average color.”
    Similarly, when we look at a gold ring versus a standard patch of uniform color, we see interesting highlights on the ring because the metal is highly reflective.
    “Companies are using genetic algorithms to evolve chromatures and target specific emotions they want people to experience with respect to their product or brand. It turns out to be quite powerful,” he adds. For example, “A company might, for instance, want to convey the idea that their product is soft and warm. Then we would start with closeup images of patches of soft things, such as the fur of a rabbit and the down of a goose, and warm things, such as glowing embers of charcoal or a warm sunset,” Hoffman explained.
    The same could be applied to evoke emotions linked to gold — how does it make you feel?

    A sign of success

    In ancient Rome and medieval Europe, sumptuary laws prohibited people from wearing too much gold — or not wearing it at all unless they were from a noble family.
    Gold leaf has been used liberally in artwork which hinted at the status of the patron who commissioned it.
    All societies value gold and investing in gold has survived for centuries through marketing — even glorified.
    “(Gold) carries with it the messaging that you should own it. It is a learned, conditioned response,” said Eiseman — but not so much that it becomes tacky, she adds.
    In popular culture, musicians flaunt their gold bling. The underlying message being that they are good at what they do and have amassed a lot of wealth. “In a lot of cultures, the word for money derives from the word for gold. In China, the ideogram for money is the ideogram for gold,” Oakley said.

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    Gold continues to be featured heavily in religion and religious rituals alike. It decorates the papal regalia, spires, domes and minarets of temples, churches, monasteries and mosques worldwide.
    Golden trophies like Olympic medals, the Nobel Prize, Oscars and Emmys are presented to people who display a unique talent. “The idea is the prize made of a rare material is given to people with display talent as rare as the material,” said Sally Augustin, an environmental and design psychologist.
    Psychologically, this results in gold being a color of motivation.
    Are you motivated?

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/13/health/colorscope-gold-allure/index.html

    Dairy Causes “ACIDS” in Urine a 1995 Study Shows (Oregano Oil Helps People W/Chronic Kidney Disease)

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    Dairy such as hard cheeses contains high levels of acids in urine. Oregano oil can help people with chronic kidney disease according to the Chinese.

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    Hydrogen Peroxide & Ozone Therapy has Caused Bodily Harm (Nature Heal Us Promotes False info)

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    Raw Foods & Herbs Truly Heal the body (Scientific Study from 2001 on Effectiveness of Oregano Oil)

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    When You Tell The Average Joe That You Are Vegan… | VegAnimation

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    What I Ate Today Sushi and Motorcycles

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    ‘Western society is chronically sleep deprived’: the importance of the body’s clock

    The 2017 Nobel prize for medicine was awarded for the discovery of how our circadian rhythms are controlled. But what light does it shed on the cycle of life?

    The cycle of day and night on our planet is age-old and inescapable, so the idea of an internal body clock might not sound that radical. In science, though, asking the questions why? and how? about the most day-to-day occurrences can require the greatest leaps of ingenuity and produce the most interesting answers.

    This was the case for three American biologists, Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young, who earlier this week were awarded the Nobel in medicine or physiology, for their discovery of the master genes controlling the bodys circadian rhythms.

    The first hints of an internal clock came as early as the 18th century when the French scientist Jean-Jacques dOrtous de Mairan noticed that plants kept at a steady temperature in a dark cupboard unexpectedly maintained their daily rhythm of opening and closing their leaves. However, De Mairan himself concluded this was because they could sense the sun without ever seeing it.

    It was only when Hall, Rosbash and Young used fruit flies to isolate a gene that controls the rhythm of a living organisms daily life that scientists got the first real glimpse at our time-keeping machinery that explains how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronised with the Earths revolutions, the Nobel prize committee said.

    Using fruit flies, the team identified a period gene, which encodes a protein within the cell during the night which then degrades during the day, in an endless feedback cycle.

    Prof Robash, 73, a faculty member at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachussetts, said that when his paper was published in the 1980s he had no grandiose thoughts about the importance of the discovery. During the intervening years, the picture has changed.

    Its [now] pretty clear that it has its fingers in all kinds of basic processes by influencing an enormous fraction of the genome, he said.

    Scientists discovered the same gene exists in mammals and that it is expressed in a tiny brain area called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN. On one side, it is linked to the retina in the eye, and on the other side it connects to the brains pineal gland, which pumps out the sleep hormone melatonin.

    Modern lifestyles may no longer be constrained by sunrise and sunset, but light remains one of the most powerful influences on our behaviour and wellbeing. This realisation has fuelled a sleep hygiene movement, whose proponents point out that bright lights before bedtime and spending the whole day in a dimly lit office can dampen the natural circadian cycle, leaving people in a continual mental twilight dozy in the morning, and too alert to fall asleep promptly at night.

    Rosbash welcomes this new awareness. Its been overlooked for a long time as a real public health problem, he said. All of western society is a little bit sleep deprived and, when I say a little bit, I mean chronically.

    There is growing evidence that this decoupling from the natural circadian cycle can have long-term health consequences much more far-reaching than tiredness.

    At first, it was assumed that the brains master clock was the bodys only internal timekeeper. In the past decade, though, scientists have shown that clock genes are active in almost every cell type in the body. The activity of blood, liver, kidney and lung cells in a petri dish all rise and fall on a roughly 24-hour cycle. Scientists have also found that the activity of around half our genes appear to be under circadian control, following undulating on-off cycles.

    In effect, tiny clocks are ticking inside almost every cell type in our body, anticipating our daily needs. This network of clocks not only maintains order with respect to the outside world, but it keeps things together internally.

    Virtually everything in our body, from the secretion of hormones, to the preparation of digestive enzymes in the gut, to changes in blood pressure, are influenced in major ways by knowing what time of day these things will be needed, said Clifford Saper, a professor of neuroscience at Harvard Medical School. The most common misconception is that people think that they do not have to follow the rules of biology, and can just eat, drink, sleep, play, or work whenever they want.

    This discovery explains why jet lag feels so grim: the master clock adapts quickly to changing light levels, but the the rest of your body is far slower to catch up and does so at different speeds.

    Jet lag is so awful because youre not simply shifted, but the whole circadian network is not aligned to each other, said Prof Russell Foster, chair of circadian neuroscience at the University of Oxford. If you were completely aligned but just five hours shifted you wouldnt feel so crappy.

    It is also helps explain the extensive range of health risks experienced by shift workers, who are more likely to suffer from heart disease, dementia, diabetes and some cancers. Theyre having to override their entire biology, said Foster.

    Obesity is also more common among those with irregular sleep patterns. Sapers team has found that animals that dont get enough sleep, but keep their circadian pattern, do not gain weight. But when they are placed on a 20-hour light-dark cycle, they eat more impulsively and develop glucose intolerance.

    I would suggest that for humans, staying up late, watching video screens with high levels of blue light and eating high fat foods, is potentially a major cause of obesity and diabetes, said Saper.

    Evidence is also emerging that our risk of acute illness rises and falls with a predictable regularity. People are 49% more likely to suffer a stroke between 6am and 12 noon than at any other time of the day and a similar pattern is true for heart attacks. This is linked to a circadian rise in blood pressure in the early morning, which happens even if youre lying in bed not doing anything.

    As a result, it makes sense to take certain blood pressure medications first thing, before getting out of bed. By contrast, cholesterol is made more rapidly by the liver at night. So, statins, which lower cholesterol, work best if taken before going to bed.

    Foster said that a failure to consider the circadian influence in past animal experiments may even have led to promising drug candidates being shelved. Toxicity can change from 20% to 80% depending on the time of the day you test a drug, he said.

    As the impact of scientific advance slowly trickles down, the medical profession and society at large are waking up to the power of the biological clock.

    A paper last year showing that jet lag impairs baseball performance, prompted some professional sports teams to take on circadian biologists as consultants on schedules for training and travel. The US Navy has altered its shift system to align it with the 24-hour clock, rather than the 18-hour day used in the old British system. Schools are experimenting with later school days, better aligned with the teenage body clock, which runs several hours later than that of adults.

    As circadian rhythms have journeyed from obscure corner of science to part of the zeitgeist, companies are launching an increasing number of products on the back of a new anxiety around sleep and natural cycles. This is the western world; if somebody can make a buck theyre going to try to do it, said Rosbash.

    The 73-year-old, who describes his own relationship with sleep as borderline problematic, prefers low- tech remedies, however.

    I havent quite figured out how to do better, he said. I try not to take sleep medication. I dont drink alcohol too late in the evening, I read a good book. The common sense things, I think they help.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/oct/06/western-society-is-chronically-sleep-deprived-the-importance-of-the-bodys-clock