Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 10th, 2019

Sugar in fruit vs. Refined sugar

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From How Not to Die, by Michael Greger MD:

What About All the Sugar in Fruit?

There are a few popular diets out there that urge people to stop eating fruits because their natural sugars (fructose) are thought to contribute to weight gain. The truth is, only fructose from added sugars appears to be associated with declining liver function,9 high blood pressure, and weight gain.10 How could the fructose in sugar be bad but the same fructose in fruit be harmless? Think about the difference between a sugar cube and a sugar beet. (Beets are the primary source of sugar in the United States.11) In nature, fructose comes prepackaged with the fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that appear to nullify adverse fructose effects.12

Studies show that if you drink a glass of water with three tablespoons of sugar (similar to what would be in a can of soda), you’ll have a big spike in your blood sugar levels within the first hour. That causes your body to release so much insulin to mop up the excess sugar that you actually overshoot and become hypoglycemic by the second hour, meaning that your blood sugar drops even lower than it would if you were fasting. Your body detects this low blood sugar, thinks you might be in some sort of famine situation, and responds by dumping fat into your bloodstream as an energy source to keep you alive.13 This excess fat in the blood can then go on to cause further problems. (See chapter 6.)

But what if you eat a cup of blended berries in addition to the sugar? The berries, of course, have sugars of their own—an additional tablespoon’s worth—so the blood sugar spike should be even worse, right? Actually, no. Study participants who ate berries with their cup of sugar water showed no additional blood sugar spike and no hypoglycemic dip afterward; their blood sugar levels merely went up and down, and there was no surge of fat into the blood.14

Consuming sugar in fruit form is not only harmless but actually helpful. Eating berries can blunt the insulin spike from high-glycemic foods like white bread, for example.15 This may be because the fiber in fruit has a gelling effect in your stomach and small intestine that slows the release of sugars16 or because of certain phytonutrients in fruit that appear to block the absorption of sugar through the gut wall and into your bloodstream.17 So eating fructose the way nature intended carries benefits rather than risks.

Low-dose fructose may actually benefit blood sugar control. Eating a piece of fruit with each meal could be expected to lower, rather than raise, the blood sugar response.18 What about people with type 2 diabetes? Diabetics randomized into a group restricted to no more than two daily pieces of fruit had no better blood sugar control than those randomized into a group told to eat a minimum of two pieces of fruit per day. The researchers concluded that “the intake of fruit should not be restricted in patients with type 2 diabetes.”19

Surely there must be some level of fructose consumption that’s harmful even when served in Mother Nature’s green-light form, right? Apparently not.

Seventeen people were asked to eat twenty servings of fruit per day for months. Despite the extraordinarily high fructose content of this fruit-based diet—the sugar equivalent of about eight cans of soda a day—the investigators reported beneficial outcomes with no overall adverse effects for body weight, blood pressure,20 insulin, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.21 More recently, the research group who invented the glycemic index found that feeding subjects a fruit-, vegetable-, and nut-based diet that included about twenty servings of fruit per day for a couple of weeks had no adverse effects on weight, blood pressure, or triglycerides—all while lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by an astounding thirty-eight points.22

Cholesterol lowering was not the only record broken: Participants were asked to eat forty-three servings of vegetables a day in addition to the fruit, the result of which was that the researchers recorded the largest-ever bowel movements documented in a dietary intervention.23

The numbers in the text identify footnotes that specify the studies on whose findings the statements are based.

See also High-Fructose Corn Syrup.

And watch this video:

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2019 at 2:57 pm

We need to take a closer look at Acosta: Acosta, Who Cut Deal With Epstein, Tried to Slash Anti-Trafficking Program by 80 Percent

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I think Mr. Acosta should be closely checked out. Something’s not right with this picture. Jackie Kucinich and Emily Shugerman report in the Daily Beast:

On Jan. 2, 2018, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta released a statement commemorating the beginning of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, recommitting his department’s mission to “ending practices that harm individuals, families, and communities.”

“We must act to end exploitation and abusive labor practices at home and abroad,” the statement said.

Absent from that statement was the fact he had already tried to cut a program by nearly 80 percent inside the Department of Labor dedicated to combating human trafficking, along with child and forced labor, internationally. And two months later, he would return to Congress to advocate for a second budget to cut the program just as deeply.

His proposal came under fire from a congresswoman who noted a chapter from Acosta’s past: As U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida, Acosta granted a sweetheart deal that allowed convicted sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein to plead to one count of prostitution and serve out 13 months of an 18-month sentence prison sentence (in which he was allowed to leave jail to go to the office most days) despite allegations he molested and trafficked countless underage girls.

Epstein was arrested in New York this week under a new set of charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy, bringing Acosta’s actions a decade ago and his record as labor secretary under new scrutiny.

The cut to the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB)’s budget in the 2020 budget —reducing the funding level to $18.5 million, attracted the attention of Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), who asked Acosta about the department’s responsibilities as they related to human trafficking during a hearing about his department’s funding request  in April 2019.

“The problem is a large one,” Acosta told Clark. “The Department of Labor recently issued a report and it actually detailed 1,700 recommendations that could be looked at around the world to address this.”

“That is excellent,” Clark responded, with a smile. “And I know that there are hundreds of thousands of adults and children who are victims of sex and labor trafficking in the U.S. Glad you are looking at it, glad you’ve detailed a comprehensive strategy.”

Her smile disappeared.

“But you’ve also proposed a budget cut, almost 80 percent, 79 percent to ILAB where this work is done, bringing its budget from $68 million to just $18.5 million,” she said. “I’m sure you’ve come prepared to justify this cut to us, but it doesn’t go unnoticed that this isn’t the first time that you’ve ignored human trafficking.”

“How can we expect you, the Labor Secretary, to fight for American workers if you couldn’t even fight for these girls?” she asked, as Acosta initially stared at her blankly.

The International Labor Affairs Bureau’s office of child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking has several functions, including producing an annual authoritative, congressionally-mandated report on child labor and human trafficking globally as well as maintaining a list of products and source countries that the office has reason to believe use child and forced labor. It also helps fund programs in countries through civil society organizations and other non-governmental groups to address the root of child labor and trafficking, according to a source with knowledge of the bureau’s operation.

The Department of Labor did not respond to a request for comment as to why this program was chosen for cuts, but a 2017 press release announcing the department’s 2018 budget request states the government will save “$68 million by refocusing the Bureau of International Labor Affairs on ensuring that U.S. trade agreements are fair for American workers.” . . .

Continue reading. There’s much more and there’s something rotten in the Department of Labor.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2019 at 2:32 pm

Best foods for colon cancer prevention

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I will note that on my current diet, I have averaged 55g/day of dietary fiber over the past several weeks—not from supplements, just from my regular diet.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2019 at 12:26 pm

Blue Zone food guidelines

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From Wikipedia:

Blue Zones are regions of the world where Dan Buettner claims people live much longer than average. The term first appeared in his November 2005 National Geographic magazine cover story, “The Secrets of a Long Life”.

There’s also a site Blue Zones that seems to be some sort of business, selling books and meal plans ($100/year or $14/month), offering meal planners, doing consulting work with cities and organizations, and lots of projects.

They also set out some food guidelines, which suggest that your diet be 95%-100% plant based. So, as you see, I’m following a Blue Zone diet. Interesting, they do suggest abstaining from eggs.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2019 at 10:37 am

Posted in Food, Plant-based diet

Trump Angry Iran Is Breaking Deal Trump Already Broke

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In New York Jonathan Chait points out a fundamental Trump problem: he doesn’t know what a “deal” is.

“Iran has long been secretly ‘enriching,’ in total violation of the terrible 150 Billion Dollar deal made by John Kerry and the Obama Administration,” charges President Trump today. “Remember, that deal was to expire in a short number of years. Sanctions will soon be increased, substantially!”

This is a strange complaint. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly ascertained that Iran was complying with the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal. Now, of course, since Trump negated the deal, Iran is no longer complying. This seems to hint at the deeper problem underlying Trump’s relations with Iran: He does not seem to grasp the meaning of the term “deal.”

While I, unlike the president, have never passed myself off as a specialized expert on deals, I do have some working knowledge of the concept. I have an ongoing deal with a company called Netflix. The terms require me to give the company $12.99 every month in return for a suite of streaming content. I could decide the Netflix deal is terrible and cancel it. But if I made that choice, I would not then turn around and rail at Netflix for failing to provide me with any video to watch. If I wrote angry letters to Netflix complaining that since I stopped paying for the service, I have tried to watch several shows and they’re all unavailable, very few of my friends would agree with me that Netflix had violated our deal.

Yet this basic confusion seems to lie at the core of the administration’s policy. A recent statement from the White House press secretary claimed, “There is little doubt that even before the deal’s existence, Iran was violating its terms.” See, there’s the problem again. Of course Iran was violating the terms of the deal before there was a deal. That’s why the Obama administration made the deal in the first place. There would be no reason to make the deal if Iran was already abiding by it. Likewise, before I subscribed to Netflix, I couldn’t access any of its content. That’s why I agreed to start giving Netflix money every month. If Netflix started letting me watch its shows for free, I would be an idiot to pay for it.

There is an important difference between Trump’s dealings with Iran and my dealings with Netflix. Trump could try to threaten violence to force Iran to comply with the deal, whereas if I warned Netflix I would bomb them unless it gives me free shows, I would go to prison. But Trump does not want to attack Iran. He wants to make a deal with Iran; the deal he wants is basically the deal Obama made, yet he’s convinced any deal Obama made is terrible. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2019 at 8:44 am

The Fendrihan Mk II, a very fine razor, with Barrister & Mann Reserve Spice

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Having learned my lesson, I use a good synthetic brush on Barrister & Mann’s Reserve shaving soaps, and this morning it is the RazoRock Bruce, a pleasing little brush of a very nice size. And the Spice lather was again quite interesting: thick, creamy, and sort of viscuous. And it smelled wonderful.

IMO the Fendrihan Mk II is a really excellent stainless steel razor at a reasonable cost. This one was a bronze-coated limited edition, and it did an extremely good job, both in comfort and efficiency.

A splash of Reserve Spice aftershave, and the day is well begun (though not yet half done).

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2019 at 8:06 am

Posted in Shaving

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