Sunday, July 1, 2012

Odds and Ends

HFCS Added sugar, whether beet, cane or in the form of high fructose corn syrup is something that a healthy diet plan strives to limit or exclude altogether. I am beginning to think that HFCS - the process of making it from corn - is similar in outcome to partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVO).  Well - not exactly - but here is what I am thinking.  PHVO turns healthy oils into unhealthy ones in an attempt to use them in place of saturated fats (and because they may be cheaper - like soybean oil which is not solid without the PH process).  HFCS is used because the corn to make it is cheaper than sugar and the product is sweeter than sugar - so it goes a long way.  In a way, both HFCS and PHVO make things worse.  Anyway, I just noticed that my favorite snack crackers have HFCS in them!  I was checking the label to see if the contained whole grains when I saw these words "glucose fructose syrup."  Yes, they said it that way - to confuse me I suppose.  HFCS is 45% glucose and 55% fructose. It is glucose fructose syrup (but higher in fructose).

Diet Pill I am not happy that the FDA 'finally' approved an obesity drug. The new chemical has an effect on weight loss, but the magnitude of that effect is small for the risks.  As I understand it, along with 'diet and exercise' people who take the drug (according to controlled laboratory directions) lost between 3 and 10% of their weight. For instance, going from 220 to 214 pounds.  

Orange V Red My post Friday noted the Air Quality which was very poor in my town.  It was a code red with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 156.  The next few days the AQI was in the high 90s or low 100s aka code orange.  Friday I felt sick most of the day and evening, but not Saturday or Sunday.  I did my outside activity each of the three mornings.  Still - Friday was intense.  My skin felt like it was being scorched when I went outside in the afternoon to get my mail and my lungs felt compressed.  It did not feel anything like that on Sat and Sun.  I was amazed at the difference and gained a new respect for the variations in levels and the systems that track them.

SoFAS and Cigarettes Based on the readings I have been doing lately, I've gained a better understanding of an interesting transition. As countries and groups within them experience a shift from poverty, diets also change.  They go from ones that are higher in grains and fiber - because they are cheaper, to ones that include meats, dairy and added fats and sugars.  It seems that rather quickly, the more affluent and educated members of the country taper the added fat and sugar to limit their intake of these energy dense foods.  As the transition completes, it is the unemployed, less educated members that continue to eat the highly processed and caloric foods.  It has happened in the USA, UK, Australia, and now countries in Asia - China for instance.  It is also related to urbanization.  Anyways, the very same thing has happened with cigarette smoking which is all the rage in some less developed countries.  In the US, the group with the lowest rates of smoking are college educated adults.  This led me to think that what was once  a sign of privilege and "coolness" is now a sign of poverty.

Swimming It is a great physical activity for exercise.  It raises the heart rate and thus burns calories and energy which makes the swimmer feel good.  It also tones the body.  It is not a weight bearing activity so it should be part of an exercise plan that also includes strength training and activities such as walking.

Oh and here is this week's exercise chart... because it is so fun to makeAlso - I uploaded the document to Scribd so that you can download it and modify it for your own exercise tracking.  Click HERE to go to Scribd.

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