Thursday, April 01, 2010

A high fat bacon and eggs meal is healthiest start to the day (but only first thing)

Another rodent study of dubious generalizability to humans. Let's see a double-blind study of it among humans. Should not be hard. I would actually be rather annoyed if I found that my customary breakfast is "healthy" -- but the annoyance would be shortlived as the next piece of research would say it is "unhealthy"

Bacon, sausages, eggs, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, black pudding... if that's what you had for breakfast, scientists say you've chosen the healthiest way to start your day.

No, seriously. Hot on the heels of yesterday's chocolate-is-good-for-you findings, researchers say a full English breakfast is better for the heart, waistline and blood pressure than carbohydrate-rich cereals, breads and pastries.

It is thought that a fried breakfast sets up the metabolism for the rest of the day, making it easier to burn off other meals and snacks.

Cereal, however, appears mainly to prime the body to break down only carbohydrates, the International Journal of Obesity reports. The U.S. researchers advocate a big, fatty breakfast for optimum health, followed by a smaller lunch and a light evening meal. Indeed, the old saying - 'eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper' - may be the key to a healthy body and mind.

Their study looked at the effects of eating different types of food - and of eating them at different times in the day. Mice fed a high fat meal after waking remained healthy, but those given a carb-rich breakfast, followed by a fatty dinner, did not fare as well. They put on weight and had trouble processing sugar, raising their risk of diabetes.

Blood tests also flagged up other problems that raised their risk of heart disease and strokes.

Dr Martin Young, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said: 'The first meal you have appears to programme your metabolism for the rest of the day. 'This study suggests that if you ate a carbohydrate-rich breakfast it would promote carbohydrate utilisation throughout the rest of the day, whereas if you have a fat-rich breakfast, you (can) transfer your energy utilisation between carbohydrate and fat.'

Co-researcher Professor Molly Bray added: 'Studies have looked at the type and quantity of food intake, but nobody has undertaken the question of whether the timing of what you eat and when you eat it influences body weight.' With most people eating a wide variety of foods throughout the day, the findings have a clear implication for the human diet.

Professor Bray added: 'Our study seems to show that if you really want to be able to efficiently respond to mixed meals across a day, a meal in higher fat content in the morning is a good thing.'

The research is not the first to confirm the importance of a big breakfast. A South American study found that women who ate half of their daily calories first thing lost more weight in the long-term than those who ate a small breakfast.

In contrast to the U.S. study, it said eating carbs for breakfast was beneficial, with a sweet treat, such as chocolate, cutting sugar cravings later in the day.


CDC grants: Government looks to dictate our diets

Just when you thought that the federal government couldn’t possibly usurp more of our individual freedoms, their prerogative shifts to working to micromanage and control the nutrition of its constituents. This governmental campaign seeks to levy “life-style tax hikes” on food items that the government considers to be unhealthy.

In essence, this regulatory program would allocate funds to states and local communities that outline comprehensive strategies that would limit consumption of food items such as “trans-fats, sodium, snack foods and soda.” This grant program, also known as “Communities Putting Prevention to Work,” would be administered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The funds would be coming from the “stimulus package” otherwise known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. But isn’t this stimulus money supposed to be stimulating job creation and streamlining our economy, as opposed to contributing towards the manipulation of consumer choice?

FoxNews reports on some of the hidden motives of this schema: "While descriptions for some of the latest projects funded under the program sound almost laughable -- what exactly do you think they mean when they talk about “increasing point-of-decision health prompts at stairwells and elevators in public venues”? -- it becomes abundantly clear that this is a concerted effort to advance government control over our consumption decisions when reviewing the CDC’s guideline document for grantees."

Furthermore, FoxNews proceeds to discuss the implications of this program: "Strategies listed range from outright product bans, over zoning, to media and advertising restrictions for “unhealthy” foods and drinks and tobacco products. And when Delaware receives more than $1 million to “educate leaders and decision-makers about the benefits of increasing the price on other tobacco products,” Oregon receives $3 million to “support a policy proposal to increase tobacco price,” your “stimulus” dollars are likely going towards hiring lobbyists to promote tax increases (which by the way would seem to violate one of CDC’s own lobbying restrictions)."

Why does the federal government sincerely believe that they should have the authority to tell the American people what not to eat? This type of government initiative only further reinforces a trend that promotes and allows for an ever-expanding government. Much like the federal government’s newly enacted health care overhaul, as well as their current attempts to pass financial regulatory reform, this CDC grant program also represents an effort on behalf of the federal government that aims to increase revenues and expand its authoritative reach by means of intervening in private lives. More taxes, more government, and a restriction of consumer choice is not the caliber government that the American people want when they vote at the polls. Therefore, it is imperative that this increasing level of government jurisdiction be stopped.


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