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Journee R.

@journeerr331

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The Rise of Nutritionism
  • Nutritionism is not the same as nutrition. It is not a scientific subject but an ideology.
  • Ideologies are ways of organizing large areas of life and experience under a set of shared but unexamined assumptions.
  • For nutritionism, the widely shared but unexamined assumption is that the key to understanding food is the nutrient; foods are essentially the sum of their nutrient parts.
  • This means that to live in this ideology of eating unseen nutrients (unlike food, we don't see nutrients) you need lots of expert help.
  • Nutritionism is good for the food business but no so much for us.

@journeerr331

https://books.google.com/books/content?id=utugT5lFRQoC&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&source=gbs_api

In Defence of Food

by Michael Pollan

Nutritionism divides nutrients in food into healthy and unhealthy ones: good nutrients and bad. This ideology has a hard times making a qualitative distinctions between foods.

Fish, beef and chicken become in this case just delivery systems for varying quantities of fats, proteins and other nutrients are on their scope. In the same way, any qualitative distinctions between processed foods and whole foods disappear when your focus is on quantifying the nutrients they contain.

  • From whole foods to refined: a change toward increasingly refined foods (mostly carbohydrates)
  • From complexity to simplicity: the industrialization of the food chain has involved a process of chemical and biological simplification
  • From quality to quantity: not only we’re eating a whole lot more but we’re getting substantially less nutrition per calorie than we used to.
  • From leaves to seeds: leaves provide a host of critical nutrients a body can’t get from a diet of refined seeds.
  • From food culture to food science: the industrialization of food is deliberately undermining traditional food cultures everywhere.

To escape the Western diet and the ideology of nutritionism, we have only to stop eating and thinking that way.

  • Instead of stressing over nutrients, just avoid any food that has been processed to such an extent that it is more the product of industry than of nature.
  • The surest way to escape the Western diet is simply to depart the realms it rules: the supermarket, the convenience store, and the fast-food outlet.
  • Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food
  • Don’t eat anything that is incapable of rotting
  • Avoid food products containing ingredients that are unfamiliar, hard to pronounce unpronounceable, more than five in number, and that include high-fructose corn syrup
  • Avoid food products that make health claims; a health claim on a food product is a good indication that it’s not really food
  • Shop the edges of the supermarket and stay out of the middle. In most supermarkets, processed food products dominate the center aisles while fresh food line the walls
  • Get out of the supermarket whenever possible and go to a farmers’ market.
Eat Mostly Plants
  • Eat mostly plants, especially leaves
  • Eat as many different kinds of plants as possible as they all have different antioxidants
  • Plant foods—with the exception of seeds—are less energy-dense so you’ll likely consume fewer calories
  • We don’t need to eat meat—with the exception of vitamin B12, every nutrient found in meat can be obtained somewhere else
  • If you eat meat, buy it in bulk and freeze it. Freezing does not significantly diminish the nutritional value of produce
  • The greater the diversity of foods you eat, the more likely you are to cover all your nutritional bases
  • Eat well-growth food from healthy soils: look for food that is both organic and local
  • Eat wild foods when you can
  • Eat according to the rules of your traditional food culture
  • Pay more, eat less. Better food costs more.
  • Eat until you are 80% full. It takes 20 minutes before the brain gets the word that the belly is full. Eat slower and consult your sense of satiety
  • Eat meals. Snack less
  • Do all your eating at a table and try not to eat alone
  • Serve smaller portions on smaller plates
  • Use glasses that are more vertical than horizontal. We tend to pour more into squat glasses
  • Leave healthy foods in view, unhealthy ones out of view
  • Leave serving bowls in the kitchen rather than on the table to discourage seconds
  • Eat slowly. “Slow” in the sense of deliberate and knowledgeable eating
  • Cook and, if you can, plant a garden. The food you grow yourself is fresher than any you can buy.
Excessive Sugar Intake

The excessive consumption of sugar is linked to an increased risk of poor health outcomes such as:

  • heart diseases;
  • type 2 diabetes;
  • weight gain;
  • higher blood pressure;
  • inflammation and many more.

It's not recommended to consume sugar that is more than ten percent of your daily calories from added sugar.

What Really Happens When You Stop Eating Sugar—and Why It’s Not a Great Plan

health.com

Sugar Comes in Many Different Forms

Your body is never without sugar. Even on the days, you don't "eat" sugar, your body still produces sugar, only in a different complex form.

Everything you eat - from fats to protein - will break down into sugar once we eat them. Sugar can come in the form of glucose, fructose, sucrose, or lactose.

A Better Approach To Quitting Sugar

The best approach to quitting sugar is to eat it when you want it. The more you allow yourself to consume the foods that you feel are addictive, the more they tend to lose their excitement.

The main reason as to why we "crave" and look for sugar or feel why we're addicted to sugar is often during the times when we restrict ourselves from having it. The bottom line is to have it when you want it and to eat meals that contain all three macronutrients to dull constant sugar cravings.

Sugar Detox Rules Are Vague

Those who advocate for "quitting sugar" make arbitrary rules by listing down which foods are okay to eat and the ones that they are going to avoid.

However, this then becomes a slippery slope because there's no standard to what a sugar detox entails. As time goes on, the lack of an agreed-upon definition of a sugar detox will only further misinterpretation.

Ordinary and altered states of consciousness

Altered states of consciousness can only be defined if there is an understanding of an ordinary state of consciousness.

While scientists can't agree on a clear definition, altered states of consciousness are nevertheless essential to understanding the human mind.

Altered states of consciousness: the elusiveness of the mind - Ness Labs

nesslabs.com

  • Excessive dancing, meditation, and mind-altering plants were used in ancient civilizations to modulate the activity of the mind.
  • In 1892, the term "altered states of consciousness" was used to refer to hypnosis.
  • William James introduced the scientific investigation of mystical experiences and drug-induced states into the field of psychology.
  • Pharmacological. These altered states include short-term changes caused by psychoactive substances, such as LSD MDMA, cannabis, cocaine, opioids, and alcohol.
  • Psychological. Hypnosis, meditation, and music can lead to altered mental states.
  • Physical and physiological. An altered state of consciousness is achieved through sleep, where dreams dissociate one from reality.
  • Pathological. A traumatic experience causing brain damage can lead to an altered state of consciousness. Other sources include epileptic or psychotic episodes.
  • Spontaneous. Daydreaming and mind wandering can cause altered states.

Any kind of exercise, be it aerobic, walking or Yoga, changes the brain's composition, structure and the way it operates. The changes that happen to the brain:

  • Brain waves increase
  • Increased sensitivity to surroundings
  • The building of neurotransmitters and increased neuro-connections
  • De-ageing.

This Is Your Brain on Exercise

outsideonline.com

Brain Waves increasing

The brain's electric impulses change, and the Beta waves increase during and after exercise, putting it in a better, more alert state.

More Sensitive To The World

Exercise makes our senses sharper and clearer, and we are more perceptive and have better sensitivity to our surroundings.

Neuron Magic

After exercise, the brain actually builds neurotransmitters, which are essential to its functioning, and optimal operation.

It also forms more neuron connections, helping us think and work better.

The Brain is Young again

The structural changes in the brain after exercise make it more agile, young and energetic. This is because, after regular exercise, it starts to promote the body's growth cells, providing us with essential nutrients.

The Snail’s Pace In The Afternoon

Feeling inactive, sleepy and lethargic after lunchtime is a common thing. The activity levels of our body basically depend on our lifestyle and also on our body clock or circadian rhythm which is controlled by the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus in our brain by releasing the hormone melatonin which makes us feel sleepy in afternoon.

Why do I always get an energy crash in the afternoon?

sciencefocus.com

  • A person feels sluggish depending on the circadian rhythm cycle which is basically a 12-hour cycle or 24 hours also depending upon one’s body aspects.
  • Other factors contributing to an inactive body and fatigue can be the type of food we consume at lunch or any other meal. A person needs to be hydrated and should have a balanced meal including a proper ratio of essential nutrients.
  • Getting eight hours of sleep throughout a day also plays an important role.
  • Having a nap of 30 -40 minutes post-lunch helps regain our energy at office.
  • Some companies even provide sleep pods for their staff.
  • Research shows that sunlight has a great effect on our energy levels. If sleeping is not feasible, one can opt for absorbing some sunlight to feel rejuvenated.
Cooking oils

Cooking oils tend to get their name from the nuts, seeds, fruits, plants, or cereals they're extracted from.

They're characterised by their high-fat content, including saturated fat, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Consuming too much saturated fat - more than 20g for women and 30g for men per day - makes the body produce cholesterol that increases the risk of heart disease.

Which cooking oil is the healthiest?

bbc.com

Fat molecules are made of chains of fatty acids that are held together with single bonds (saturated) or double bonds (unsaturated.)

There are three types of fatty acids: Short, medium, and long chain.

  • Short and medium chain fatty acids are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and used for energy.
  • Long chain fatty acids are transported to the liver, which raises blood cholesterol levels.

Studies show that coconut oil increases harmful cholesterol (LDL -low-density lipoprotein) and beneficial cholesterol (HDL - high-density lipoprotein). They also contain a high amount of lauric acid, which raises HDL levels in the blood more than LDL levels.

But lauric acid is not that healthy. It is categorized as a C12 fatty acid and is at the limit of a medium-chain fatty acid. Roughly 70% of C12s act as long-chain fatty acids, which are stored in the liver as fat, and over time, can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Experts advise opting for an oil lower in saturated fat and higher in other types of fats that are healthy in moderation.

Polyunsaturated fat (including Omega 3 and 6) and monounsaturated fat reduce cholesterol levels. They also provide essential fatty acids and vitamins.

Olive oil is known for being the healthiest of plant oils. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which contain vitamins and minerals, and polyphenols.

Olive oil can decrease the risk of heart disease by 15 %. It also has beneficial effects on gut microbiota. Extra virgin olive oil can be beneficial in preventing cancer and type 2 diabetes. It is especially beneficial when it's not cooked.

Breathing: The First Act Of Life

Breathing is the first basic act of life and we take about 670 million breaths in a lifetime.

Breathing is so natural to us that very few scientists have studied it in detail. Breathing is thought of as just a binary activity crucial to our lives, but the way we breathe matters a lot.

How one hour of slow breathing changed my life

theguardian.com

A perfect ‘slow’ breath that creates profound effects in our body and mind is this: 5.5 seconds inhaling, followed by 5.5 seconds of exhaling. This can be practiced for a few minutes, or even an hour.

The heart, lungs and other organs benefit greatly, and the imbalances are restored to an extent.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a mathematical formula and divides a person's weight by the square of their height. The answer falls into one of eight categories and indicates the person's bodyweight, from very severely underweight to very severely obese. A high BMI can indicate a high body fat and be used to screen for possible health problems.

But BMI is not a perfect measurement and may actually overestimate or underestimate a person's body fat.

Is BMI an Accurate Way to Measure Body Fat?

scientificamerican.com

  • BMI doesn't distinguish between body fat and muscle mass. Muscle weighs about 18 percent more than the same amount of fat. So, according to BMI, the muscled person is more overweight than a sedentary person.
  • BMI is also not reliable to use on elderly adults, who continue to lose muscle and bone mass with age. An overweight older adult may appear to be within a normal BMI range.
  • The BMI calculation is based on Caucasian body types and may not be appropriate for people of other ethnicities.

A person whose BMI indicates they are overweight or obese is generally considered unhealthy. But 2016 research suggested that this was incorrect for 75 million Americans.

  • Researchers found that 54 million Americans that were classed as overweight or obese were perfectly healthy when they considered the cardiometabolic measures (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc.)
  • 21 Million people were classed normal in terms of BMI, but other cardiometabolic tests indicated they were unhealthy.
Hydration is key

Hydrating your skin is as important as hydrating your body. Your body needs hydration to look and feel good.

Hydrator vs. Moisturizer: Does It Matter for Your Skin?

healthline.com

Hydrator and moisturizer are marketing terms. Moisturizers are oil-based ingredients and work by creating a seal on the surface of the skin to prevent water evaporating. Hydrators are ingredients called humectants that absorb water from the atmosphere or your skin and hold it in place on your skin.

Moisturizer is a universal term for moisturizer types: emollients (fats and oils), squalene (oil), humectants (hydrator, such as glycerine or hyaluronic acid), occlusive.

There are a ton of different products on the market, but most skin lotions and products contain both occlusive and emollient ingredients and humectant ingredients. It means they moisturize and hydrate at the same time.

The form a product takes does not affect the performance - only the experience of applying the ingredients.

If your skin is naturally dry year-round and tends to flake or peel, your skin battles to retain moisture. You'll need to moisturize to create a protective seal on the surface to lock in moisture. A thick, emollient moisturizer will help.

If your skin is really dry, occlusive agents are the best, something with petroleum jelly, shea butter, canola oil or soybean oil can work.

If your skin is dehydrated, you'll need to actively add water back into the skin. A hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid will add hydration back into your skin.

To hydrate from the inside out, drink plenty of water, and eat water-rich foods such as watermelon, strawberries, and cucumber.

Oily skin can still be dehydrated, which could exacerbate your oil issues. As moisture leaves the skin, it becomes dehydrated, causing the skin to produce more oil.

The only way to break this cycle is to give your skin the proper hydration and moisture. Use water-based, noncomedogenic hydrators and moisturizers.

When it comes to keeping your skin hydrated, both a hydrator and moisturizer is good, depending on your skin type. Most common creams do both.

Face masks are a great way to hydrate and moisturize your skin with a single product.

Why We Yawn

Yawning is not due to lack of oxygen in the brain as previously thought, but due to a temperature regulation activity, according to a 2014 study. This helps explain why we yawn less in the winters.

We yawn when we are tired or bored, as the brain slows down, causing the temperature to drop. We also yawn when the body wants to wake itself up, stretching out the lungs and tissues and pumping blood towards our face and brain.

Why Do We Yawn and Is It Contagious?

healthline.com

Yawning is contagious, and we catch the yawn even while reading(Yawn!) or watching a video of people yawning. A study conducted has shown a link between catching someone’s yawn and empathy, with the more empathetic people yawning more frequently after seeing someone else yawn.

Deep breathing exercises can help us regulate our yawning. It also helps to exercise regularly, avoiding or limiting caffeine and alcohol, and having a sleeping schedule. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and cool, along with fruits and veggies.

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