Hippy protein: the Game Changers effect.

The recently release film (documentary) the Game Changers has brought “meat free” protein sources back to the top of the nutritional agenda. It seems you no longer need to be a tree hugging hippy to see if you can get your protein from none meat sources.

For years there has been a grumble of bad PR about red meat and processed meat, although some dispute that meat has any down side.

That said, its  now worth while noting the growth of  this concern about the constant consumption of meat both from a health and environmental cost perspective . So it’s as well to experiment with plant protein and at the  very least, least mix it up a bit.

The fact that  James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan all got together to support a film that promotes ” more veggie” is in itself worth noting.

So here is an outline of some useful veggie sources of protein. (BTW a CUP is a specific measure)

Green Peas. One cup is about 8 grams of protein. I love peas.

Quinoa. 8 gm a cup! Includes all nine essential amino acids . Ive never tried it. I must!

Beans.  Two cups of kidney beans, for example, contain about 26 grams. But buying them and soaking them is a bit of bind, so buy them in can form!

Tempeh and Tofu. Ive never liked these. I always though soya was a genetically modified alien that stuck to your face, laid eggs in your tummy that exploded through your abdomen. I could be wrong. Allegedly contains about 15 and 20 grams  of protein per half cup. But, I must try again.

Edamame: Soya as god intended. Boiled edamame contains 8.4 grams of protein per half cup. Must try it. Having written that, Im already anxious.

Leafy greens cabbage and stuff. I love these, but Ive never really thought of them as a protein source. Allegedly two cups of raw spinach contain 2.1 grams of protein, and one cup of chopped broccoli contains 8.1 grams.

Hemp seeds. If you can resist planting them out under high pressure sodium lights to make drugs,10 grams of protein in 3 tablespoons.

Chia seeds. 4.7 grams in 2  tablespoons. But really ” TWO TABLESPOONS”. Thats a lot to hide

Sesame, sunflower and poppy seeds. Throw these in your earth saving muesli volume, sunflower seed 7.3 grams of protein per quarter cups. Sesame seeds and poppy seeds ( per 1/4 cup) at 5.4 grams each.

Seitan. Never tried it, seen it, or heard about it until now ( 2019 really is my year)!!. But basically, it’s a wheat gluten. So whilst middle class folk are swooning from gluten intolerance,  the hippies are chowing down on it. 75gms of protein in 100 gms.

Chick peas 7.3 grams of protein in just half a cup, and are also high in fiber and low in calories.

Practice the basics

You can analyse and use the olympics lifts in many many ways. One is  to view the full skill is a pressure test for your front and overhead squat. The pure ” beautiful” form of the lifts are seen as the squat clean and  squat snatch.

Put in other words, it tests if you own a superb front and back squat to the extend that you  can jump into it with a great big weight. Any squat wobble or misunderstanding of your squat form means that, under pressure, you won’t be get under the bar.

Take home message: don’t skimp on your front squat and overhead squat practice!

Short term skipping of meals produces an immediate increase in cholesterol levels.

Just a personal reflection.

I was reviewing my food diary/cholesterol log. On those days when I had a tiny  breakfast, and  in effect, fasted throughout the day ( with some cups of tea and a bit of fruit), on those days, I noticed the cholesterol went back up!

superficially the report

Intermountain Medical Center. “Fasting reduces cholesterol levels in prediabetic people over extended period of time, new research finds.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2014.

States that fasting reduces cholesterol over the longer term however  “During actual fasting days, cholesterol went up slightly in this study, as it did in our prior study of healthy people, but we did notice that over a six-week period cholesterol levels decreased by about 12 percent in addition to the weight loss,” said Dr. Horne

“Because we expect that the cholesterol was used for energy during the fasting episodes and likely came from fat cells, this leads us to believe fasting may be an effective diabetes intervention.”

The process of extracting LDL cholesterol from the fat cells for energy should help negate insulin resistance. In insulin resistance, the pancreas produces more and more insulin until it can no longer produce sufficient insulin for the body’s demands, then blood sugar rises.

“The fat cells themselves are a major contributor to insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes,” he said. “Because fasting may help to eliminate and break down fat cells, insulin resistance may be frustrated by fasting.”

Dr. Horne says that more in-depth study is needed, but the findings lay the groundwork for that future study.

“Although fasting may protect against diabetes,” said Dr. Horne. “It’s important to keep in mind that these results were not instantaneous in the studies that we performed. It takes time. How long and how often people should fast for health benefits are additional questions we’re just beginning to examine.”

This clearly leads into a re-evaluation of intermittent fasting

The European Society of Endocrinology asked  “Could intermittent fasting diets increase diabetes risk? Fasting every other day to lose weight impairs the action of sugar-regulating hormone, insulin, which may increase diabetes risk.” ScienceDaily. 20 May 2018.

Their conclusion  was “Fasting every other day to lose weight impairs the action of sugar-regulating hormone, insulin, which may increase diabetes risk, according to data presented in Barcelona at the European Society of Endocrinology annual meeting, ECE 2018. These findings suggest that fasting-based diets may be associated with long-term health risks and careful consideration should be made before starting such weight loss programmes”

Anecdotally this makes me think about lots of thin/skinny people I know, who have poor health!

A healthy gut microbiome, watching your waist size and getting enough sleep

Eating a diet that encourages a healthy gut microbiome, avoiding central obesity (fat in the stomach region) and getting enough sleep are among the many dietary and lifestyle factors that may help to protect against heart disease and stroke, according to findings of a new Task Force report from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), entitled Cardiovascular Disease: Diet, Nutrition and Emerging Risk Factors: 2nd Edition. The evidence for other emerging risk factors that may increase risk – such as being sedentary for long periods, and poor diet in pregnancy – were presented at a conference for academics and health professionals to launch the Task Force report in London today.

In the UK, the death rate from cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart disease and stroke has been falling but it is still one of the leading causes of death. There are a number of treatments available, which have contributed to reducing mortality, but ill health associated with CVD (morbidity) remains high and could even be rising in older age groups.

Professor Keith Frayn Emeritus, Professor of Human Metabolism, University of Oxford and Chair of the Task Force, said: “Conventional lifestyle-related risk factors for cardiovascular disease include smoking, raised cholesterol and blood pressure, lack of physical activity, obesity and diabetes. However, these ‘classical’ risk factors cannot fully explain differences in cardiovascular disease risk and emerging evidence suggests that other novel risk factors may play an important role.”

The Task Force report explores some of the emerging and novel risk factors and how they can affect our risk of heart disease and stroke.

Gut health

Scientific research shows that eating plenty of wholegrains and other fibre rich foods is important for a healthy gut, but the Task Force report highlights that the fermentation of fibre by our gut bacteria may also influence our risk of heart disease.

Sara Stanner, Science Director at the BNF and editor of the Task Force report said: “As a nation we’re consuming well below the recommended intake for fibre. Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, choosing high-fibre or wholegrain varieties of starchy carbohydrates, and eating plenty of pulses, like beans, peas and lentils, will contribute to fibre intakes and can help to keep your gut healthy and decrease your risk of heart disease.”

Central fat

It’s known that being overweight increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, but where you carry any excess fat is also important in determining the risk of heart disease and stroke. The new Task Force report explains that people who have excess fat around the stomach are at increased risk because the cells secrete a number of substances that can contribute to risk.

Stanner said: “Regardless of height or BMI, people should try to lose weight if their waist measures more than 94cm (37ins) for men and 80cm (31.5ins) for women.”

Minerals

There is a well-established link between sodium in salt and risk of high blood pressure but other minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium may play a role in preventing high blood pressure and have positive effects on other risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Stanner said: “Eating a varied diet will help to ensure you get all the essential minerals you need; potassium is found in foods like bananas, potatoes and fish, magnesium in lentils and wholegrains and calcium in dairy foods and some green leafy vegetables.”

Sleep

Evidence in the Task Force report suggests that it is not just a lack of sleep but also poor quality and interrupted sleep that may be linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.

Stanner said: “There is emerging evidence that inadequate sleep is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. For general health, adults should aim for between seven and nine hours sleep a night.”

Workplace stress

Many scientific studies have linked stress with ill-health but the link between job-related stress and increased risk of heart disease and stroke is becoming more widely recognised. The report suggests that exposure to stress activates specific regions of the brain, leading to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which can affect blood vessel walls and damage the functioning of the blood vessel lining.

Stanner said: “If you’re exposed to stress in the workplace it’s a good idea to find relaxation techniques that suit you, and actively work at managing your stress levels.”

Other risk factors

Other significant risk factors identified by the Task Force report include birthweight (both high and low birthweights are associated with increased risk of heart disease in later life), excessive consumption of alcohol and sedentary behaviour, even if interspersed with physical activity.
Here is  BNF’s “Helping to protect yourself from heart disease and stroke chart “Helping to protect yourself from heart disease and stroke

fibre

According to the British  Nutrition foundation the government in 2015 published new guidelines with a recommendation that the population’s fibre intake should increase to 30g a day for adults (aged 17 years and over).

 Age (years)
 Recommended intake of fibre
 2-5  15g per day
 5-11  20g per day
 11-16  25g per day
 17 and over  30g per day

here is a fun fibre video

According to the British Nutrition Foundation

Fibre helps to keep our digestive system healthy and helps to prevent constipation. For example, fibre bulks up stools, makes stools softer and easier to pass and makes waste move through the digestive tract more quickly.

The European Food Safety Authority suggests that including fibre rich foods in a healthy balanced diet can improve weight maintenance. Dietary fibre can reduce your risk of:

  • Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) and type 2 diabetes
 Foods such as oats and barley contain a type of fibre known as beta glucan, which may help to reduce cholesterol levels if you consume 3g or more of it daily, as part of a healthy diet.
  • Colorectal cancer (bowel cancer)
Did you know that the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) estimate that 45% of bowel cancer could be prevented through diet, physical activity and weight?

Fibre and bowel cancer
We know that dietary fibre may help to protect against bowel cancer. Although the reasons for this are not fully understood, this may be because fibre increases stool size, dilutes content and moves it faster through the gut so the amount of time waste products stay in contact with the bowel is reduced. Some types of fibre may also help gut bacteria produce helpful chemicals that can have beneficial effects on the bowel (see below).

Fibre and good bacteria
Research has increasingly shown how important the bacteria in our gut may be to our health, and it has been suggested that a fibre rich diet can help increase the good bacteria in the gut.  Some fibre types provide a food source for ‘friendly’ gut bacteria helping them to increase and produce substances which are thought to be protective such as short-chain fatty acids.

The dish hold

The absolute foundation of gymnastic training is the dish hold, or hollow hold or handstand plank. It’s a super useful skill and a great core and abdominal muscle builder. If you want a L sit, a handstand or a muscle up, you need this!

 

Body fat calculator

Knowing your fat percentage is one of the best fitness tests you can do.

The best way to assess your body fat percentage is to get me to whip out my fat calipers.

However, for those of you who don’t fancy that experience, I quite like the zone body fat calculator.

Get a tape measure with inches and fill-out this interesting online calculator

Click here