The Lambda Coronavirus Variant Has Arrived In Australia Here’s What We Know So Far

We’ve seen the Alpha, Kappa and Delta variants cross our borders, but it turns out another strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 has reached our shores.

The variant, named Lambda by the World Health Organization (WHO) last month, was detected in an overseas traveller who was in hotel quarantine in New South Wales in April, according to national genomics database AusTrakka.

Some reports suggest the new variant could be fast spreading and difficult to tackle with vaccines. So what sets this variant apart from others and should we be concerned?

Here’s what we know so far.

Where did it originate?

Previously known as C.37, Lambda was first detected in Peru in December 2020. Since then, it’s spread to 29 countries, seven of which are in South America.

In April and May this year, Lambda accounted for over 80 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Peru, with a high proportion of cases also in Chile, Argentina, and Ecuador.

On 14 June, Lambda was listed as a ‘variant of interest’ by the World Health Organization due to its vast spread in South America.

Variants of interest are listed as such because they have the potential to be more infectious and severe, but haven’t yet had the devastating impact of those listed as variants of concern.

On 23 June, Public Health England classified it as a ‘variant under investigation’, after six cases were detected in the UK to date, which were all linked to overseas travel.

What makes it different from other variants?

There are now 11 official SARS-CoV-2 variants listed by the WHO.

All SARS-CoV-2 variants are distinguished from one another by mutations in their spike proteins — the components of the virus that allow it to invade human cells.

For instance, the Delta variant first detected in India has two key spike protein mutations — T478K and L452R  — that allow it to infect cells more easily and evade the body’s immune response.

According to research published last week but yet to be peer reviewed,  Lambda has seven unique spike protein mutations.

A Chilean team of scientists analysed blood samples from health workers in Santiago who had received two doses of the CoronaVac vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech in China.

They found  the Lambda variant has a mutation called L452Q, which is similar to the L452R mutation seen in the Delta and Epsilon variants.

As the L452R mutation is thought to make Delta and Epsilon more infectious and resilient against vaccination, the team concluded that Lambda’s L452Q mutation might also help it spread far and wide.

While it’s possible that Lambda is indeed more infectious than other variants, it’s too early to know for sure, said Kirsty Short, a virologist at the University of Queensland.

“It’s very preliminary,” said Dr Short, who was not involved in the study.

“It’s a good starting point, but I certainly wouldn’t infer anything from that into the clinic.”

Are vaccines still effective against the Lambda variant?

The study also found signs that Lambda’s unique spike mutations could help it slip past the body’s immune response.

The results of the study suggested that the CoronaVac vaccine produces fewer neutralising antibodies — proteins that defend cells against infections — in response to the Lambda variant.

But according to Paul Griffin, who specialises in infectious diseases and vaccines at the University of Queensland, it’s important to remember that these antibodies are just one aspect of immunity.

“We know that [neutralizing antibodies] only tell a part of the story,” said Dr Griffin, who was not involved in the study.

“If that further immunity remains intact, then even with a reduction in neutralizing antibodies, sometimes that protection can still be enough.”

It’s also worth remembering that different vaccines work in different ways to respond to the virus and its variants.

“You can’t really extrapolate from one vaccine,” Dr Short said.

CoronaVac uses inactive versions of SARS-CoV-2 to kick the immune system into gear.

On the other hand, Pfizer contains a single strand of the genetic code that builds the virus’s spike proteins, while AstraZeneca contains a double-strand.

Dr Griffin said that more traditional inactivated vaccines like CoronaVac have proven to be less effective overall than others.

“As a broad category, the inactivated ones have been a little bit underwhelming, particularly compared to others that have such high rates of efficacy,” said Dr Griffin, who was not involved in the study.

While not much is known about how effective the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are against Lambda, their response to the Delta variant can offer clues.

A recent study from the UK found that two doses of either Pfizer or AstraZeneca are over 90 per cent effective at preventing hospitalisation due to the Delta variant.

Should Australia be worried?

While there has only been one case of Lambda recorded in hotel quarantine in Australia so far, it’s worth keeping an eye on the emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants around the world, Dr Short said.

“There’s a reason why it’s a variant that we’re watching and looking into more, but it’s certainly not at a point of panic or anything like that.”

Dr Griffin added that Lambda would need to out-compete Delta to become a major concern. “That’s certainly not what we’re seeing,” he said.  But as more people get infected, the more chance the virus has to evolve into new variants, Dr Short said.

The best way to tackle this is to focus on getting more people vaccinated, not just in Australia, but globally. “What this should emphasise to everyone is that we need global effort in the vaccination campaign,” Dr Short said.

 By: ABC Health & Wellbeing Gemma Conroy

Source: The Lambda coronavirus variant has arrived in Australia. Here’s what we know so far – ABC News

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4 Japanese Dieting Tricks I Used To Lose 20 Pounds

For someone who played sports throughout the majority of her life, I admit I was never good at portion control or exercising for weight loss. My teammates were extremely lean while I looked — as my brother would say — chonky.

I didn’t have the best relationship with my body so I wanted to slim down and feel better about it, but I couldn’t find anything in the U.S that I felt like I could realistically accomplish. To be honest, the fitness culture in this country scares me. I knew I didn’t want to drink Kombucha every day or attend expensive SoulCycle classes for the rest of my life.

When I lived in Japan for a couple of years, I was shocked by the not-so-intense fitness culture. None of my peers went to the gym, drank protein smoothies, or ate granola bars for meals. Throughout my time learning about their culture, I realized that the health culture in Japan gravitates towards prevention rather than cure, which is different from the US philosophy.

Rather than overworking the body to compensate for the overconsumption of high-calorie food, Japanese people eat balanced meals and walk miles for commute every day. Not many people go to the gym or buy expensive products to sustain their because their daily routine is already healthy.

I’m going to introduce 4 Japanese dieting tricks I’ve picked up while living with my family in Japan for a few years. These were all so easy to implement in my day-to-day routine, and they’ve helped me lose 20 pounds in a year without doing anything rigorous that my peers in the U.S were doing. I also believe these tricks will be helpful for those who can’t exercise due to physical injuries or those who find themselves constantly thinking: “I never have time in my day to do something more.”

1. Relax in a half-body bath every other day

A half-body bath may sound silly, but it’s essentially taking a bath while immersing only half of our bodies. The key is to take a relatively longer and warmer bath, which helps speed up our metabolism. The recommended bath time is typically 20~30 minutes — anything longer than that can burden your body and have counter effects.

A long bath of 20~30 minutes is a similar concept to a spa, which is also a large part of Eastern culture. A longer bath usually makes me start sweating after 5~10 minutes into the process, and similar to a spa, it can start to feel uncomfortable. To make this easier, I take my phone or a book to read to the bathtub so the 30 minutes don’t feel too distressing. Taking a half-body bath has become my favorite part of the day when I get to relax and spend time alone.

Americans tend to prefer showering over bathing, but the opposite is true in Japan. I used to shower every day, but I switched to bathing a few times a week and showering the other days. The trick is to take a bath in 100~106 degrees Fahrenheit water as opposed to the 92-degree bath that is recommended in the U.S.

I immerse half of my body until the water level sits right below my chest. A full-body bath in hot water feels constricting on my lungs and heart, but a half-body bath is comfortable enough to take for half an hour, if not less.

If the temperature goes down during the duration of the bath, I like to add some more hot water to bring the temperature back up to the stated range. Japanese bathtubs typically come with a thermometer that allows me to easily set the water temperature. In the U.S where this isn’t the case, I fill up the bath then add hot or cold water to adjust the temperature.

You may ask, why is this a common dieting technique in Japan? Well, taking a half-body bath makes it easier to stay in the bath longer while the hot temperature of the water heats up the body and accelerates the calorie-burning process. The total calories burned per bath are not high enough to be effective for weight loss on their own, but doing it consistently (like every other day of the week) will speed up the metabolism, improve the skin, and get rid of bloatedness. I’ve found it a great way to detox my body and experienced gradual weight loss after a couple of weeks of consistently trying out this method.

When I first started taking half-body baths, all the sweating made me feel uncomfortable and dehydrated. Drinking lots of water before doing this is important to stay hydrated and avoid passing out in the bathtub!

2. Replace rice or spaghetti with konjac

I learned this trick from my Japanese mom who highly encouraged me to eat konjac, also called yam cake. She herself lost over 15 pounds from integrating konjac in two of her meals per day, which she started doing as she could not exercise due to her asthma. This diet has boosted her confidence as she started to feel self-conscious of her stomach that came with age. To this day, my 52-year-old mom is often mistaken to be in her early 40’s, and she attributes it entirely to her konjac diet.

Konjac tastes pretty much like nothing or just a little bit salty, so it’s easy to cook konjac with pretty much anything as a substitute for rice or wheat noodles and it’ll take on the flavor of whatever you cook with.

When I cook rice, I mix the rice grains with konjac and cook it together in a rice cooker. This has helped me easily integrate konjac into my daily diet. Another option would be to buy konjac rice, which is konjac noodles in the form of rice. Konjac rice is made of , bringing down my daily carb consumption.

Konjac is also a great alternative to wheat noodles, which are high in carbohydrates and eventually get converted to sugar in the body. My personal favorite is containing very low carbs and are rich in glucomannan fiber. Glucomannan is recognized as an solution for patients with diabetes or high cholesterol.

Konjac is widely used in the Eastern world for weight loss and cholesterol management. The reason is that it is rich in water-soluble fiber that helps . Konjac also tends to expand in the stomach, slow down the speed at which the digestive system empties, and keep me fuller for longer. This is similar to the feeling of eating vegetables as they also tend to help us gain the satisfaction of feeling full while also not increasing sugar and calorie intake. Konjac is inexpensive too ($1.69 for 255 grams), which means I can skip out on all the expensive Sweetgreen meals.

3. Chew your food more, almost excessively

This trick is most effective for people who tend to binge eat or struggle with portion control. Chewing a lot helps the feeling of “full” last longer.

Chewing food promotes digestion in a timely manner. If we swallow our food without chewing it properly, there are two side effects: 1) The stomach has a difficult time digesting food, and 2) The saliva cannot break down the food. Saliva has amylase and lipase that help break down food and, on top of that, has an antibacterial effect. Chewing food almost excessively lets our saliva do its job, which can be extremely powerful.

In addition, chewing alone releases histamine to the brain that tricks it into thinking that we’re full. It’s a simple mind trick, but I found myself eating smaller portions when I remind myself to keep chewing. The trick is to chew at least 30 times for each bite of food, alternating between chewing on the right and left sides of your mouth. We tend to have a “favorite” side to chew on, but chewing with only one side is tougher on your jaw and is said to cause an imbalanced body.

In Japan, it’s a common understanding that there are two types of bodies: 1) a healthy body that can lose weight, and 2) an imbalanced body that is more resistant to weight loss. The first step to weight loss is building a body that can easily lose weight. To do this, Japanese people speed up their metabolism by taking half-body baths and chewing at least 30 times.

4. Eat vegetables first

This is ingrained in Japanese culture, in which your favorite aunties will insist that you eat your vegetables before consuming other foods. Japanese meals traditionally come in a healthy balance of grains, protein, and vegetables, and Japanese people always start tackling their vegetables before indulging in the protein and grains.

This trick is partially psychological, as eating vegetables first makes us feel fuller before eating other foods. Again, this helped me a lot with portion control. Vegetables also have a lot of fiber, which is known to help with digestion.

That’s not why Japanese people eat vegetables first, though. They actually eat vegetables first because they say there is a strong correlation between insulin and weight loss. My Japanese mom explained it to me like this:

When the body absorbs sugar from the food that we eat, the sugar level spikes up. Then the sugar that we consume gets converted into energy, helping us get tasks done and go about our day-to-day. Then our pancreas releases insulin into our bodies.

Insulin plays a role in bringing down sugar levels and turning the sugar that hasn’t been converted to energy, into fat. In other words, if the sugar level spikes too quickly and too much insulin is released, it becomes easier for our bodies to build up fat. That’s why when we eat rice, bread, or snacks when we’re on an empty stomach, our sugar levels rise up too quickly and an abundance of insulin is pushed out into our bodies.

This trick works because eating vegetables on an empty stomach, before eating other foods, prevents the sugar level from spiking up and insulin from being mass released. Japanese people say that eating vegetables first helps create a body that is more resistant to weight gain.

Some find it easier to lose weight while others find it more difficult. This was an interesting argument to me because I never thought about how people have different body types. While there are multiple explanations for this, Japanese people say that our habits dictate whether we have a body that is “easy to lose weight” versus the opposite.

Doing yoga, having a good posture, and walking often— these Eastern health habits all play a part in building a body that can lose weight.

What really surprised me the most was that these habits were common sense to people living in Japan. None of my friends or colleagues went to the gym — in fact, none of them carved out a time in their day to become skinny. They all ate healthily, walked a few miles per day, and remembered these simple tricks to maintain their health and wellness.

I didn’t see drastic results in the short term because I wasn’t forcing my body to go through drastic changes. But I trusted the process, focused on consistency, and I feel like I have a much better relationship with my body now.

I think of food and exercise as a way to treat and show love to my body. Eating protein-rich food and drinking lots of water make my body happy. If I start out with a mile and gradually work my way up to 5 miles, my body feels great after the run. I don’t want to make my body go through drastic changes and stress it out too much because it’s the one and only vessel for our soul. So let’s start small and make long-lasting effects through these 4 tricks:

  1. Take a half-body bath a few times a week to speed up metabolism.
  2. Replace carbs with konjac to lower sugar intake.
  3. Chew every bite at least 30 times to make sure the saliva is doing its work.
  4. Eat vegetables first to become resistant to weight gain.

By: /

Source: 4 Japanese Dieting Tricks I Used to Lose 20 Pounds | by Project HBE | May, 2021 | Ascent Publication

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Critics:

Japanese cuisine encompasses the regional and traditional foods of Japan, which have developed through centuries of political, economic, and social changes. The traditional cuisine of Japan (Japanese: washoku) is based on rice with miso soup and other dishes; there is an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Side dishes often consist of fish, pickled vegetables, and vegetables cooked in broth.

Seafood is common, often grilled, but also served raw as sashimi or in sushi. Seafood and vegetables are also deep-fried in a light batter, as tempura. Apart from rice, a staple includes noodles, such as soba and udon. Japan also has many simmered dishes such as fish products in broth called oden, or beef in sukiyaki and nikujaga.

Historically influenced by Chinese cuisine, Japanese cuisine has also opened up to influence from Western cuisines in the modern era. Dishes inspired by foreign food—in particular Chinese food—like ramen and gyōza, as well as foods like spaghetti, curry, and hamburgers, have been adapted to Japanese tastes and ingredients.

Traditionally, the Japanese shunned meat because of Buddhism, but with the modernization of Japan in the 1880s, meat-based dishes such as tonkatsu and yakiniku have become common. Japanese cuisine, particularly sushi and ramen, has become popular throughout the world.

In 2011, Japan overtook France to become the country with the most 3-starred Michelin restaurants; as of 2018, the capital Tokyo has maintained the title of the city with the most 3-starred restaurants in the world. In 2013, Japanese cuisine was added to the Unesco intangible heritage list.

See also

The Hidden Dangers of Protein Powders

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Adding protein powder to a glass of milk or a smoothie may seem like a simple way to boost your health. After, all, protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle, bone strength, and numerous body functions. And many older adults don’t consume enough protein because of a reduced appetite.

But be careful: a scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder can harbor health risks. “I don’t recommend using protein powders except in a few instances, and only with supervision,” says registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

What is protein powder?

Protein powders are powdered forms of protein that come from plants (soybeans, peas, rice, potatoes, or hemp), eggs, or milk (casein or whey protein). The powders may include other ingredients such as added sugars, artificial flavoring, thickeners, vitamins, and minerals. The amount of protein per scoop can vary from 10 to 30 grams. Supplements used for building muscle contain relatively more protein, and supplements used for weight loss contain relatively less.

What are the risks?

There are numerous risks to consider when using a protein powder. Among them:

  • A protein powder is a dietary supplement. The FDA leaves it up to manufacturers to evaluate the safety and labeling of products. So, there’s no way to know if a protein powder contains what manufacturers claim.
  • We don’t know the long-term effects. “There are limited data on the possible side effects of high protein intake from supplements,” McManus says.
  • It may cause digestive distress. “People with dairy allergies or trouble digesting lactose [milk sugar] can experience gastrointestinal discomfort if they use a milk-based protein powder,” McManus points out.
  • It may be high in added sugars and calories. Some protein powders have little added sugar, and others have a lot (as much as 23 grams per scoop). Some protein powders wind up turning a glass of milk into a drink with more than 1,200 calories. The risk: weight gain and an unhealthy spike in blood sugar. The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 24 grams of added sugar per day for women and 36 grams for men.

A new risk revealed

Earlier this year, a nonprofit group called the Clean Label Project released a report about toxins in protein powders. Researchers screened 134 products for 130 types of toxins and found that many protein powders contained heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury), bisphenol-A (BPA, which is used to make plastic), pesticides, or other contaminants with links to cancer and other health conditions. Some toxins were present in significant quantities. For example, one protein powder contained 25 times the allowed limit of BPA.

How could protein powder contain so many contaminants? The Clean Label Project points to manufacturing processes or the existence of toxins in soil (absorbed by plants that are made into protein powders).

Not all of the protein powders that were tested contained elevated levels of toxins. You can see the results at the Clean Label Project’s website (www.cleanlabelproject.org).

Daily protein goals

Aim for the Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein intake: 46 grams per day for women and 56 grams for men. For example:

  • an egg for breakfast (6 grams)
  • 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt at lunch (18 grams)
  • a handful of nuts for a snack (4–7 grams)
  • a cup of milk (8 grams) and 2 ounces of cooked chicken for dinner (14 grams).

What you should do

McManus says that in certain cases, chemical-free protein powders may be helpful—but only with medical supervision. Such cases could include

  • difficulty eating or an impaired appetite (as a result of cancer treatment or frailty from older age)
  • a surgical incision or a pressure wound that is not healing well (your body needs protein to repair cells and make new ones)
  • a serious condition requiring additional calories and protein in order for you to get better (such as burns).

Otherwise, get protein from whole foods: nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy products (yogurt, milk, cheese), legumes (beans, lentils), fish, poultry, eggs, and lean meat. “You’ll find,” McManus says, “that there are many ways to get protein without turning to a powder.”

Source: The hidden dangers of protein powders – Harvard Health

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Critics:

Bodybuilding supplements are dietary supplements commonly used by those involved in bodybuilding, weightlifting, mixed martial arts, and athletics for the purpose of facilitating an increase in lean body mass. The intent is to increase muscle, increase body weight, improve athletic performance, and for some sports, to simultaneously decrease percent body fat so as to create better muscle definition.

Among the most widely used are high protein drinks, pre-workout blends, branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), glutamine, arginine, essential fatty acids, creatine, HMB, whey protein, ZMA and weight loss products. Supplements are sold either as single ingredient preparations or in the form of “stacks” – proprietary blends of various supplements marketed as offering synergistic advantages.

While many bodybuilding supplements are also consumed by the general public the frequency of use will differ when used specifically by bodybuilders. One meta-analysis concluded that – for athletes participating in resistance exercise training and consuming protein supplements for an average of 13 weeks – total protein intake up to 1.6 g/kg of body weight per day would result in an increase in strength and fat-free mass, but that higher intakes would not further contribute.

In addition to being potentially harmful, some have argued that there is little evidence to indicate any benefit to using bodybuilding protein or amino acid supplements. A 2005 overview concluded that “[i]n view of the lack of compelling evidence to the contrary, no additional dietary protein is suggested for healthy adults undertaking resistance or endurance exercise”.

In dispute of this, a 2017 meta-analysis concluded that for athletes participating in resistance exercise training and consuming protein supplements for an average of 13 weeks, total protein intake up to 1.6 g per kg body weight per day would result in an increase in strength and fat-free mass, i.e. muscle, but that higher intakes would not further contribute. The muscle mass increase was statistically significant but modest – averaging 0.3 for all trials and 1.0 to 2.0 kg, for protein intake ≥ 1.6 g/kg/day.

See also

How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple Steps, Based on Science

It’s hard to lose weight. A doctor shares 6 essential tips to make it easier. A Harvard doctor shares her best strategy for measuring progress — and it has nothing to do with the scale. Choosing unhealthy foods can also lead to weight gain. And it’s not as simple as just eating too many calories.

An unhealthy diet triggers changes in the way your brain, gut, and hormones work together. “An unhealthy diet will lead to more inflammation. That includes inflammation in the brain, and adverse effects on hormones that influence brain function,” Manson said.

Ever notice how you can burn right through an entire bag of potato chips or a sleeve of cookies? Highly processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugar don’t make you feel full. “In fact, they lead to a sort of rebound hunger where you’re eating many more calories than you would need if you had a high-quality diet,” Manson said.

Processed foodsoften have the nutrients and fiber stripped out of them. They are more likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream quickly, which leads to an insulin surge. That’s what makes you feel hungry and can lead to overeating and weight gain.

If your doctor recommends it, there are ways to lose weight safely. A steady weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is recommended for the most effective long-term weight management. That said, many eating plans leave you feeling hungry or unsatisfied. These are major reasons why you might find it hard to stick to a healthier eating plan.

However, not all diets have this effect. Low carb diets and whole food, lower calorie diets are effective for weight loss and may be easier to stick to than other diets. Here are some ways to lose weight that employ healthy eating, potentially lower carbs, and that aim to:

  • reduce your appetite
  • cause fast weight loss
  • improve your metabolic health at the same time

How to Lose Weight Fast in 3 Simple Steps

1. Cut back on refined carbs

One way to lose weight quickly is to cut back on sugars and starches, or carbohydrates. This could be with a low carb eating plan or by reducing refined carbs and replacing them with whole grains.

When you do that, your hunger levels go down, and you generally end up eating fewer calories (1Trusted Source).

With a low carb eating plan, you’ll utilize burning stored fat for energy instead of carbs.

If you choose to eat more complex carbs like whole grains along with a calorie deficit, you’ll benefit from higher fiber and digest them more slowly. This makes them more filling to keep you satisfied.

A 2020 study confirmed that a very low carbohydrate diet was beneficial for losing weight in older populations (2).

Research also suggests that a low carb diet can reduce appetite, which may lead to eating fewer calories without thinking about it or feeling hungry (3Trusted Source).

Note that the long-term effects of a low carb diet are still being researched. It can also be difficult to adhere to a low carb diet, which may lead to yo-yo dieting and less success in maintaining a healthy weight.

There are potential downsides to a low carb diet that may lead you to a different method. Reduced calorie diets can also lead to weight loss and be easier to maintain for longer periods of time.

If you opt for a diet focusing instead on whole grains over refined carbs, a 2019 study correlated high whole grain with lower body mass index (BMI) (4Trusted Source).

To determine the best way for you to lose weight, consult your doctor for recommendations.

2. Eat protein, fat, and vegetables

Each one of your meals should include:

  • a protein source
  • fat source
  • vegetables
  • a small portion of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains

To see how you can assemble your meals, check out:

Protein

Eating a recommended amount of protein is essential to help preserve your health and muscle mass while losing weight (5Trusted Source).

Evidence suggests that eating adequate protein may improve cardiometabolic risk factors, appetite, and body weight, (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).

Here’s how to determine how much you need to eat without eating too much. Many factors determine your specific needs, but generally, an average person needs (9Trusted Source):

  • 56–91 grams per day for the average male
  • 46–75 grams per day for the average female

Diets with adequate protein can also help:

  • reduce cravings and obsessive thoughts about food by 60%
  • reduce the desire to snack late at night by half
  • make you feel full

In one study, people on a higher protein diet ate 441 fewer calories per day (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).

Healthy protein sources include:

  • meat: beef, chicken, pork, and lamb
  • fish and seafood: salmon, trout, and shrimp
  • eggs: whole eggs with the yolk
  • plant-based proteins: beans, legumes, quinoa, tempeh, and tofu

Low carb and leafy green vegetables

Don’t be afraid to load your plate with leafy green vegetables. They’re packed with nutrients, and you can eat very large amounts without greatly increasing calories and carbs.

Vegetables to include for low carb or low calorie eating plans:

  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • lettuce
  • cucumber

Healthy fats

Don’t be afraid of eating fats.

Your body still requires healthy fats no matter what eating plan you choose. Olive oil and avocado oil are great choices for including in your eating plan.

Other fats such as butter and coconut oil should be used only in moderation due to their higher saturated fat content (12Trusted Source).

3. Move your body

Exercise, while not required to lose weight, can help you lose weight more quickly. Lifting weights has particularly good benefits.

By lifting weights, you’ll burn lots of calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).

Try going to the gym three to four times a week to lift weights. If you’re new to the gym, ask a trainer for some advice. Make sure your doctor is also aware of any new exercise plans.

If lifting weights is not an option for you, doing some cardio workouts such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, or swimming is very beneficial for weight loss and general health.

Both cardio and weightlifting can help with weight loss.

What about calories and portion control?

If you opt for a low carb eating plan, it’s not necessary to count calories as long as you keep your carb intake very low and stick to protein, fat, and low carb vegetables.

If you find yourself not losing weight, you may want to keep track of your calories to see if that’s a contributing factor.

If you’re sticking to a calorie deficit to lose weight, you can use a free online calculator like this one.

Enter your sex, weight, height, and activity levels. The calculator will tell you how many calories to eat per day to maintain your weight, lose weight, or lose weight fast.

You can also download free, easy-to-use calorie counters from websites and app stores. Here’s a list of 5 calorie counters to try.

Note that eating too few calories can be dangerous and less effective for losing weight. Aim to reduce your calories by a sustainable and healthy amount based on your doctor’s recommendation.

Breakfast ideas

Lunch ideas

  • smoked salmon with avocado and a side of asparagus
  • lettuce wrap with grilled chicken, black beans, red pepper, and salsa
  • kale and spinach salad with grilled tofu, chickpeas, and guacamole
  • BLT wrap with celery sticks and peanut butter

Dinner ideas

  • enchilada salad with chicken, peppers, mango, avocado, and spices
  • ground turkey bake with mushrooms, onions, peppers, and cheese
  • antipasto salad with white beans, asparagus, cucumbers, olive oil, and Parmesan
  • roasted cauliflower with tempeh, Brussels sprouts, and pine nuts
  • salmon baked with ginger, sesame oil, and roasted zucchini

Snack ideas

Source: How to lose weight: A doctor shares 6 essential tips to make it easier

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References

Ruiz, F. J. (2010). “A review of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) empirical evidence: Correlational, experimental psychopathology, component and outcome studies”. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy. 10 (1): 125–62.

How To Cure Type 2 Diabetes Without Medication

It’s 10 years since Professor Roy Taylor revolutionized treatment for type 2 diabetes with a groundbreaking study that showed the disease could be reversed through rapid weight loss. Until his research was published, type 2 diabetes was thought to be an incurable, lifelong condition. Now, for many people, we know it is not.

But his achievements – and the thousands of people he has cured – are not something he dwells upon. “I’m in a very lucky position of being able to do this research,” he says, “which really extends what I’ve been doing as a doctor throughout my life.” He laughs at the suggestion that he must occasionally marvel at his own success: “No, no,” he chuckles. “Lots of occupations make a useful contribution to society. I wouldn’t set myself apart.”

Modest words for a man whose “useful contribution to society” has given hope to the 3.9m people diagnosed with the condition in the UK and who has shown doctors a new way to fight a disease which causes 185 amputations and 700 premature deaths every week.

Now, he wants to go one step further and share everything he has learned directly with the public, in a new book, Your Simple Guide to Reversing Type 2 Diabetes. It’s a 153-page paperback that takes you through the latest research on how the disease develops and explains why rapid weight loss can be so effective at reversing the condition in the early stages – which usually means during the first six years of a diagnosis.

“If people really do want to make it happen, then in the first few years of diagnosis, it’s almost universal that their health can be returned to normal,” says Taylor, who is professor of medicine and metabolism at Newcastle University. In one study, he found that nine out of 10 people with “early” type 2 diabetes were cured after losing more than 2½st (15kg).

The book also explains who is at greatest risk and why some people who have a “normal” Body Mass Index (BMI) develop the disease, when many people who are more overweight – or even obese – do not.

Taylor’s “Newcastle” weight loss program is a clinically proven method of reversing early type 2 diabetes and his approach is currently being rolled out to people with the condition by the NHS. It involves cutting your calorie intake to 700-800 calories a day. In the book, he explains how the people in his program managed to do this – typically by consuming only slimming meal shakes and non-starchy vegetables, plus one cup of tea or coffee each day with skimmed milk – lost a life-changing amount of weight in just eight weeks. And how you can do the same, safely, at home.

In other words, it is a book that has all the hallmarks of becoming a massive bestseller. But Taylor himself will not make a penny from it. He is donating 100% of his proceeds from the book to the charity Diabetes UK, which is “only logical”, he tells me, because they funded his original 2011 study. “That was so far sighted of them,” he says. “They supported research that I know the experts thought was outlandish.” He says just one person at the research committee meeting spoke up for his proposal and convinced the others by saying: “It might sound crazy, but if he’s right, it would be really important.”

Taylor decided to write the book because, even though most diabetes experts in the UK have now accepted that his rapid weight loss program works, many doctors in Europe and the USA remain unconvinced. “It’s not easy to get new ideas accepted in medicine. So it will be a while before this gets into the textbooks and generations of doctors are taught about it.”

In the meantime, he feels it is his job – his “duty” even – to make people aware of the discoveries he and others have made in recent years. “I feel a responsibility for passing on this knowledge.”

One of Taylor’s most important new discoveries is that everyone has their own fat threshold: an individual level of tolerance for levels of fat in the body. “It’s a personal thing. It’s nothing to do with the sort of information that’s often provided about obesity, which is about average BMI and what the population is doing. The bottom line is, a person will develop type 2 diabetes when they’ve become too heavy for their own body. It doesn’t matter if their BMI is within the ‘normal’ range. They’ve crossed their personal threshold and become unhealthy.”

He is currently in the middle of research to find out whether there’s any way of discovering, via a blood test, when people are heading into this dangerous territory and their fat cells are putting out what he describes as “distress signals”.

What we do know already is that our bodies start to have trouble controlling blood sugar when fat can no longer be stored safely under the skin and it spills over into the liver and then the pancreas. If these organs get clogged with fat, they stop functioning properly and that is when you develop type 2 diabetes.

It is particularly important to note that if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, you are more susceptible genetically. People in these circumstances need to be “very careful” about weight, especially in adult life, Taylor says. “If you’ve increased weight quite a lot above what you were at the age of 21, you’re in the danger zone – and you should get out of it. If you’ve got a family tendency for diabetes, then you really want to avoid weight gain in adult life.”

As Taylor explains in his book, if you have increased your BMI by three units or more since you were in your early 20s, you are at risk. It doesn’t matter how slim you look to other people. “People imagine that if everybody says they’re slim, they won’t get type 2 diabetes, but in fact that’s not true. Our present research involves people who are not obese, and indeed, have a normal BMI.”

This explains why only half of people are clinically obese when they are first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and why studies have shown that almost three-quarters of extremely obese people, with a BMI of over 45, do not suffer from type 2 diabetes. “Some people can put on glorious amounts of fat and store it all under the skin without any metabolic problems at all.”

Taylor also says that it’s important to bear in mind that type 2 diabetes can, at first, be symptomless, so people at risk may wish to get an annual test done via their GP. A simple finger-prick blood test, which gives an immediate blood sugar level result, can be done in many chemists. Signals to look out for include increasing tiredness and, especially, increasing thirst, and a tendency to have more skin infections, “like boils for instance, or candida,” Taylor says.

Rapidly decreasing body weight by 2½st (16kg) will take most people below their personal fat threshold, dramatically lowering their risk. For this reason, “the book goes through the steps that people need to follow to lose a substantial amount of weight and then keep it off”.

Taylor hopes that by writing a paperback in simple, accessible language, he will reach people who are heading towards or have already received a diagnosis and want to learn more about his research. “I’ve realized there is an enormous thirst out there for exact knowledge about how people can deal with this disease themselves, using the new information that we have.” He also wants to explain to as many people as possible what causes type 2 diabetes so individuals feel empowered to make healthy decisions about their body and the food they eat.

“This book is for anyone who wants to understand what happens to food after they swallow it and how that’s handled by their body. And also, critically, how that affects their health.” For example, he has found most people don’t realise that if you eat more carbohydrates or protein than your body needs, the excess is converted into fat and then stored.

This is a million miles from “fat shaming”, he says, and it is up to each person to decide for themselves whether they are too heavy for their own health and happiness. “What I can point out as a doctor are the circumstances that come about when people have crossed their personal fat threshold,” he says. “There’s no judgment on a person who happens to be heavy, compared with someone who happens not to be. It’s about helping individuals who would otherwise run into trouble.”

Donna Ferguson

 

By:

 

Source: How to cure type 2 diabetes – without medication | Diabetes | The Guardian

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References:

Izzedine H, Launay-Vacher V, Deybach C, Bourry E, Barrou B, Deray G (November 2005). “Drug-induced diabetes mellitus”. Expert Opinion on Drug Safety. 4 (6): 1097–109. doi:10.1517/14740338.4.6.1097. PMID 16255667. S2CID 21532595.

World’s Largest Insect Protein Farm Signals Future Of Food Supply

The frontier of the agriculture industry is about to take a big step closer to going mainstream. 

Chicago-based food processing company Archer Daniels Midland ADM +0.4% (ADM) and InnovaFeed, a French firm that makes insect protein for animal feed, plan to begin building what will be the world’s largest insect protein facility in 2021 in the city of Decatur in central Illinois. 

The partnership between ADM, a $28 billion giant, and the startup InnovaFeed amounts to a vote of confidence in a nascent industry that could one day play a key role in the global agriculture sector. 

“I’m in awe. If they can pull this off, it will be magnificent,” said Jeffrey Tomberlin, a professor and entomologist at Texas A&M University who has done pioneering research on insect protein. “This facility will be several times bigger than anything else in the world,” Tomberlin said. 

ADM and InnovaFeed plan to grow and harvest billions of an extraordinary insect called black soldier fly, whose larvae consume prodigious quantities of organic material and convert it into nutrient-rich protein that can then be sold as animal feed. ADM and InnovaFeed aim to produce up to 60,000 metric tons of animal feed protein per year, plus 20,000 metric tons of oils for poultry and swine rations and 400,000 tons of fertilizer.

Black soldier fly larvae will eat just about anything — including non-compostable food waste bound for landfills — and produce hundreds of times more protein per acre than traditional animal feed sources. The new plant will give ADM and InnovaFeed a foothold in the burgeoning market for sustainably sourced food at a time when consumers’ environmental awareness is growing.

The plant would be a major step toward mainstreaming the insect protein industry, which aims to feed farm animals and aquaculture not corn, soybeans or fishmeal — common types of animal feed — but instead black soldier fly larvae and other grubs. If widely scaled-up, this would mean vastly reducing the carbon footprint and land requirements of farm animals, especially those raised for slaughter. For every kilogram of meat they produce, cows and sheep require around eight kilograms of grains, pigs require about four kilograms and chickens need 1.6 kilograms, according to one estimate. Growing that much grain requires intensive use of land and water.

The process for efficiently cultivating black soldier flies wasn’t well understood until the early 2000s — a big reason why the insect protein industry today remains small, consisting almost entirely of startups, including many in Europe, according to Tomberlin, the Texas A&M professor. InnovaFeed, itself only a few years old, runs the current world’s largest facility, in Nesle, France. The new Decatur facility will produce around four times as much animal feed per year. 

Early backers see great potential as demand for sustainably sourced food continues to grow. More than half of U.S. consumers say they want sustainable food, according to a 2019 survey by the International Food Information Council, a nonprofit. Three out of five people in the U.K. are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly food options, according to a survey of 1,000 people by professional services firm GHD released in November. 

The success of plant-based meat companies this year, such as Impossible Foods, has raised hopes of shrinking the agriculture sector’s carbon footprint: the food industry is responsible for one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. 

The black soldier flies at the new facility, which will be run by InnovaFeed, will gorge themselves on various corn products that ADM already produces at its Decatur facilities. Normally, these corn products would undergo several rounds of additional processing before finally being transported to an end customer, explained Sapna Sanders, InnovaFeed’s Project Director for North America, in an interview. 

“We’re able to avoid all those energy-intensive steps,” Sanders said. 

The arrangement suits both. ADM gets to avoid the expense and hassle of further processing its corn products. InnovaFeed gets to produce and sell its animal feed, oils and fertilizer to a range of customers. One of its contracts is with the food and drink behemoth Cargill, the second-largest private company in America. 

In the future, black soldier fly larvae inside commercial facilities might be doing even more environmental heavy lifting — by eating up the mountains of food scraps and other human food leftovers otherwise headed for landfills. 

Roughly one-third of all the food produced in the world for human consumption each year, 1.3 billion tons, is lost or wasted, according to the U.N. Much of that ends up in landfills, where it can’t naturally biodegrade and ends up belching methane, a greenhouse gas dozens of times stronger than CO2. 

Part of the reason so much food winds up in landfills is that there aren’t any convenient alternatives, especially for waste that isn’t compostable. But black soldier flies would be happy to eat up all this landfill-bound waste: researchers have found they gladly eat even foods that can’t be composted. (They appear to be uninterested in hair and bones, however.) 

Bringing down the costs

The biggest obstacle to scaling the insect protein industry up further is cost. Insect protein is still more expensive as an animal feed product than, for example, fishmeal, or the parts of fish caught by commercial fishing companies that are not consumed by humans (such as offal or bones). Tomberlin has estimated that it will take five or so more years for insect protein to be cost-competitive with traditional animal feed sources, although the industry is still too young to know how far and quickly costs will fall.

The U.S. may not be the first to get there. Compared to Europe, the U.S. government has shown relatively little interest in helping the nascent industry get a leg up, Tomberlin said. Yet even more than Europe, China appears most interested in getting the insect protein industry to commercial scale, he said. It already has some of the largest and most efficient black soldier fly facilities in the world and is intensively innovating, according to Tomberlin. 

Nevertheless, that one of America’s largest food companies sees commercial value in insect protein is perhaps a sign that a widespread role for it at the heart of the agriculture sector is perhaps not too far away.

Correction: An earlier photo that accompanied this story pictured another type of larvae, not black soldier fly larvae, as captioned. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn

Scott Carpenter

Scott Carpenter

I cover the energy industry, with a focus on fossil fuels. Formerly I covered oil markets in Africa, the Mediterranean and the Mideast Gulf for commodities publication Argus Media in London. I graduated from the London School of Economics with a masters degree in 2017. Contact me at scott.carpenter.freelance@gmail.com.

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CGTN Europe

The world’s largest insect farm is to be built in northern France as a company seeks to meet the growing demand for food. French firm Ynsect has raised $224 million from investors to build a farm in the French city of Amiens due to open in early 2022. Amid a growing demand for protein, the farm will produce 100,000 tonnes of insect products such as flour and oil per year as well as creating 500 new jobs. Read more 👉 https://newseu.cgtn.com/news/2020-10-… 🔴 Subscribe to CGTN Europe Youtube channel for all the latest on Business, Technology, Environment and Current Affairs 🔴 Follow CGTN Europe on social media 👇🏼 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cgtneuropeof… Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cgtneurope/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/CGTNEurope

Nestlé Health Science Acquires Vital Proteins

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Nestlé Health Science (NHSc), a global leader in the field of nutritional science, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Vital Proteins, America’s top-selling collagen brand. This is the first major acquisition of a collagen-based wellness company to date. Vital Proteins was founded in 2013 by Kurt Seidensticker based on the belief that whole-food-based collagen nutrition is fundamental to maintaining overall health and longevity. Since launching, Vital Proteins has become the leading collagen brand in America, growing their annual sales above $100 million within the span of four years. The company’s brand’s portfolio includes over 150 collagen-based supplements, vitamins and food and beverage products.

Vital Proteins will continue to operate as a standalone business, “remaining committed to its founding mission of helping people live healthier lives through high quality, sustainably-sourced collagen nutrition,” according to a company statement. Seidensticker said that becoming a part of the NHSc portfolio will equip Vital Proteins with a variety of resources to scale the company’s reach and innovation. “I spent a lot of time having conversations with people I respected in the CPG space, in addition to leadership from companies that could eventually be a future partner. Through those conversations it became clear that NHSc was really aligned with our brand values, our mission and purpose to empower healthier lives,” he said.

“I’ve always envisioned Nestlé as the ideal partner and have enjoyed getting to know their team, their vision and their values. I also spent time talking to the founders of another like-minded wellness company whom I respect, to see who they thought was a good fit for their organization, and they felt Nestlé was the ideal partner as well. With Nestlé’s support, we will be able to leverage new resources, scale and capabilities, moving towards a future with an expanded global offering of high-quality nutrition products. The possibilities with Nestlé have reignited my imagination of all that Vital can be.”

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Vital Proteins complements NHSc’s other vitamin, mineral, supplement and wellness brands, including Atrium Innovations, Garden of Life, Pure Encapsulations and Persona. “This is an exciting opportunity for Nestlé Health Science to enter a growing area of nutrition with a successful brand,” said Greg Behar, CEO of NHSc. “The collagen nutrition market is growing, and Vital Proteins has shown its strength by becoming a full lifestyle brand which will perfectly complement our other vitamin, mineral and supplement brands.”

Board member and investor Brett Thomas, cofounder and managing partner of CAVU Venture Partners, credits much of the company’s success to Seidensticker’s leadership. “Kurt was a visionary founder who set out not only to create a category but to define a lifestyle—and we were believers,” said Thomas. “It was this passion, paired with his exceptional leadership skills and clear ability to execute that ultimately drove the brand’s success.” Seidensticker will remain in his role as Vital Proteins CEO, based out of the company’s headquarters in Chicago, IL.

“It speaks volumes about Vital Proteins as a wellness platform and moreover Kurt as a leader that such a great strategic partnership was formed amidst all the uncertainty in the world,” added Thomas. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Vital Proteins has seen a more than 50% increase in demand for their products. “Consumers are now even more focused on their health and well-being in the midst of this pandemic. The appetite for authentic wellness brands that are rooted in science should remain high, particularly ones which know how to effectively communicate with Millennials and Gen-Z,” explained Romitha Mally, Vice Chairman at UBS who helped orchestrate this deal, as well as Dollar Shave Club and Sundial Brands/SheaMoisture’s sales to Unilever, Bai’s sale to Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Primal Kitchen’s acquisition by Kraft Heinz.

To support the growth of the business, Nestlé plans to explore geographic and product expansion while maintaining the elements of the Vital Proteins brand that make it popular among consumers. Vital Proteins’ 150 unique products (representing a total of 250 variants of those products) are sold across 35,000 retail doors in North America and Europe, including Whole Foods, Costco, Target, Walgreens and Kroger.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out some of my other work here.

Writer of all things and host of ‘I Suck At Life‘ podcast.

Source: http://www.forbes.com

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Newly Discovered Proteins May Protect Against Aging’s Illnesses — The Zetetic Forum

Tested in both mice and human cells and produced in the energy-producing mitochondria of cells, the proteins may lead to greater understanding of aging-related diseases from diabetes to Alzheimer’s to cancer. Sourced through Scoop.it from: http://www.newswise.com A newly discovered family of proteins manufactured in the mitochondria have a variety of beneficial functions, but their production […]

via Newly Discovered Proteins May Protect Against Aging’s Illnesses — The Zetetic Forum

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