The Food Trinity

Today has seemed to fly by fast and I’m not sure where it went.  It’s a blur between errands, laundry, food prep, and cleaning out one of the kitchen cabinets of gluten containing items, sugar, and expired OTC medications.  Right now, I just want to crawl into bed for the night and it’s only 5:30pm.  Ah life.  At least one more bag of junk was taken out to the dumpster today.

Somewhere between all that work, I read this blog earlier.  It either just rubbed me the wrong way or I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to read it.  Or, I’m just tired of people looking at one piece of the puzzle and not the whole picture.  I felt like he what he was conveying to his readers was to go ahead and eat up those saturated fats.  I found the abstract from the study:

Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease

Patty W Siri-Tarino, Qi Sun, Frank B Hu and Ronald M Krauss

A focus of dietary recommendations for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and treatment has been a reduction in saturated fat intake, primarily as a means of lowering LDL-cholesterolconcentrations. However, the evidence that supports a reduction in saturated fat intake must be evaluated in the context of replacement by other macronutrients. Clinical trials that replacedsaturated fat with polyunsaturated fat have generally shown a reduction in CVD events, although several studies showed no effects. An independent association of saturated fat intake with CVD risk has not been consistently shown in prospective epidemiologic studies, although some have provided evidence of an increased risk in young individuals and in women. Replacement of saturated fat by polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat lowers both LDL and HDL cholesterol. However, replacement with a higher carbohydrate intake, particularly refined carbohydrate, canexacerbate the atherogenic dyslipidemia associated with insulin resistance and obesity that includes increased triglycerides, small LDL particles, and reduced HDL cholesterol. In summary,although substitution of dietary polyunsaturated fat for saturated fat has been shown to lower CVD risk, there are few epidemiologic or clinical trial data to support a benefit of replacing saturatedfat with carbohydrate. Furthermore, particularly given the differential effects of dietary saturated fats and carbohydrates on concentrations of larger and smaller LDL particles, respectively, dietary efforts to improve the increasing burden of CVD risk associated with atherogenic dyslipidemia should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intakes and a reduction in excess adiposity.

Yes, fat doesn’t cause fat, sugar causes fat.  I’ve said that before.  Too much saturated fats isn’t good for you either.  Our bodies need the good fats that come from olives, olive oil, nuts, avocados, flax seeds, fish, etc.  If we are getting more saturated fats than healthy Omega-3 fats, we’re throwing our metabolism out of balance.  Note that the abstract states that increase in carbs, especially refined carbs increases risk.  Then it goes on to talk about replacing saturated fats for carbs.  I nearly exploded.  You don’t replace fats with carbs.  You replace the unhealthy fats with the healthy fats.

The writer of the blog, Jonny Bowden, says, “It’s pretty clear that low-carb diets are an effective strategy for losing weight and staying healthy, but we’ve been scared off them largely by the (unwarranted) fear of fat.”  I nearly exploded seeing this, too.  Pieces of the puzzle and not the whole picture, people.  If you want to worry about carbs, get rid of the refined carbs.  Otherwise, we need the carbs that we get from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

It’s the balance between proteins-healthy fats-whole food carbs that help us sustain level blood sugars.  If you upset the balance, you get more hungry and the blood sugar gets a little skewed.  Ever had just an apple to snack on and were hungry later?  No protein or fat to sustain your blood sugar level longer.  I’ve found that I stay fuller longer and I’m not prone to getting hungry when someone mentions food…and food comes up a lot in my conversations.  Big breakfasts composed of the trio will keep you pretty full all morning and away from the snack attacks.  I know that this is difficult for a lot of people because they get used to having a cup of coffee, or a bowl of cereal, or nothing at all.  I have friends who are trying to get out of this habit.  While they may not be eating much in the morning, they are at least breaking their fast in a healthy manner.

Big picture.  Protein-healthy fat-whole food carbs.

It’s A Gluten-free Life

I spent most of yesterday feeling like I hit a brick wall.  Taking a hot bath didn’t help me at all either.  I was really cold and trying to warm up, instead I get overwhelmingly sleepy and then felt like all the energy I had, was sucked out of me.  By the time we went out to dinner with the in-laws for hubby’s birthday, I was feeling better.  We went out for sushi, so I knew I’d have a lot to choose from.

When I actually looked at their rolls, there wasn’t a lot I could have between the ones with bbq eel, eel sauce, and tempura flakes.  The first two have shoyu, or soy sauce for you Mainlanders.  The second usually has regular flour, which is bleached wheat flour.  The sushi came and one of the rolls had tempura flakes on top and another that was plated separately, was sitting in a sauce made from shoyu.  The description of both didn’t include those.  I ate them anyway.  I figured another day of feeling bad wouldn’t be too bad since I knew I didn’t have to work.  I also figured that the amount of gluten I would get would be miniscule compared to the piece of toast on Friday.

I thoroughly enjoyed the sushi and I actually had dessert, sakura mochi.  Mochi is gluten-free.  So I knew it was okay to have.  And given that I was going to be altering my diet even more for good, I needed a little something.

Once I finished playing online last night, I set out to clean out the main shelf of the pantry.  Pulled out ALL the items that contained gluten and put them in a trash bag.  Today I worked on the fridge and the kitchen cabinet with the oils and non-refrigerated sauces.  I still have the kitchen cabinet with the baking items and a basket of snacks in the pantry.

I’m a bit torn about this change.  I thought I’d be okay once I re-introduced gluten and wouldn’t have to make any more changes to  my diet.  I’ve  found myself wanting stuff I can’t have all day long.  Emotional eating trap?   You bet.  So I’ve been doing what I can to combat it with whole foods.  I even spent my afternoon going through the recipe blog on the Tropical Traditions website.  They all pretty much have coconut oil or coconut in the recipes.  So be warned.  But everything looks great and there were some really good-looking gluten-free recipes on there.  Made me want to try them all!  I can’t wait until I do.

Change is good for me.  I know it is.  I just wasn’t wanting to make more changes so soon!  Ah, such is life.