Foods that cause bloat

Foods That Cause Bloating

Unless you are suffering from some terrible stomach disease (in which case, you need the attention of a physician), your stomach bloating is probably just a result of some of your poor food habits. Often, replacing the bad foods (that cause bloating) with healthier substitutes can offer you permanent relief from bloating and flatulence. In this article, I will tell you about the foods that can make your stomach bloated and constipated! Don’t be surprised if some of these foods form the core of your daily diet!

Processed Foods: Processed foods such as carbonated drinks (energy drinks, soft drinks, diet soda, diet coke, etc), potato chips, coffee, tea, alcohol (especially beer and wine), etc., can be the cause of stomach bloating. They are at best – avoided!

Meat: Meat is pretty hard to digest; no wonder that meat eaters are some of the biggest sufferers of abdominal bloating! Then again, how you consume meat is also a determining factor in whether you would be able to digest or not. Raw meat is perhaps the easiest one to digest, but hey, a human being usually cannot eat raw meat, so let us not kid ourselves! The second best option is to boil meat, which is probably the closest form of ‘digestible’ cooked meat you could have. If you eat heavily fried meat then it is going to cause rumblings and gas in your stomach. Meat in smoked form is generally considered to be the one that is hardest to digest, and therefore, should be avoided at all costs!

Of course, it is not just meat that is to blame for stomach troubles; in fact, just about any kind of fatty foods can trigger abdominal bloating, gas and constipation!

Milk: Milk is one of the causes behind an unhealthy stomach, and so is any dairy product (such as cheese)! The fact remains that a lot of adults are in general lactose-intolerant, a condition where one cannot digest lactose (of milk). It is therefore, little surprise indeed that people who drink milk heavily are the ones who suffer from bloating pretty frequently. Undigested milk often results in stomach bloating and gas! Personally, I stay away from milk no matter what, but if you cannot live without milk at all, then stuff such as Lactaid (which is available over-the-counter) can help you digest lactose!

Natural Foods: Of course, even if you never drink milk, it does not mean that you won’t suffer from abdominal bloating at all! There are a lot of solid foods that have been scientifically proven to be the cause of bloating; examples of such foods are beans, bran, lentils, bagels, broccoli, legumes, cabbage, onions, Brussels sprouts, pulses, cauliflower, etc. It would be good if you don’t eat these foods at all, unless of course you enjoy farting and belching in public!

And you thought that any kind of natural food is good for your stomach? If so, you better think again!

Especially for beans, there is a way to keep them from forming gas in your stomach. Soak the beans in water and leave them like that for one whole night. Then, discard the water and cook them for at least thirty minutes. Once done, discard the water you used in boiling these beans and then cook them again for another thirty minutes – using NEW water!

Then there are certain foods which are known to cause slight bloating; while a moderate intake of such foods should not cause a problem, their overconsumption may certainly result in irritable bowel syndrome! Such foods are apricots, bananas, raw apples, citrus fruits (rich in Vitamin C), lettuce, potatoes, wheat bread, celery, carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, pretzels, soybeans, raisins, etc.

Chocolate: If you love chocolate, I have got bad news for you. Since it cannot be easily digested by your stomach (one of the reasons being the presence of high concentration of sugar in it), it makes a mess of your digestive system. I know how you feel about reading this, but believe me, I love dark chocolates, but even I usually stay away from them; occasionally, whenever I break that rule and grab a bite of chocolate, I start suffering from irritable bowel syndrome! Bottom line, eating chocolate means inviting stomach trouble!

Other Culprits: These culprits are not foods but still, are indirectly related to foods, which is why I thought to elaborate on it on a separate paragraph. If you eat foods too fast, and don’t chew them well, you are forcing your stomach to work harder to digest that ‘unchewed’ food, which in turn would result in stomach gas.

Bloating is also sometimes caused by parasites; believe it or not, parasites inhabit the surfaces of most of the fruits and vegetables we consume daily; you can discard these parasites by washing the foods well before cooking them! If you are not washing your food well, those parasites would certainly entire your digestive tract and wreak havoc inside by giving you a bloated stomach!

Then of course, there is constipation to consider. Foods that trigger constipation are often also the ones that can trigger stomach bloating; for this reason, such foods should be avoided, or at best, their intake moderated. If you suffer from chronic constipation, you should visit a physician urgently, as chances are that this is the root cause behind your current digestion problems!

What the American Diet says about its Culture

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

If we are what we eat, as the old adage proclaims, then what does the American diet say about its culture? Before delving into this, let’s state for the record that the U.S. is a large nation with many diverse regions and subcultures. What people eat in rural Georgia, for example, can be quite different from an affluent city such as San Francisco. However, there is a larger American culture which transcends these differences and its cuisine is unmistakably unique compared with the rest of the world.

Consider the burger, or its original moniker – the hamburger. The idea of a ground beef patty sandwiched in a bun is so ubiquitous that virtually all types of food establishments serve them. The manager of my local Chinese restaurant revealed once that he sold nearly as many burgers as he did specialty items. You can get…

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Getting enough protein in your diet?

Ok this is a big fat mother of all protein posts if I have every seen one before. Any questions about how much protein is in a particular food should be easily answered here. We have 3 parts. The first is just a simple way to figure out how many grams of protein you should get and a couple of simple menus that show what you need to eat to get there. The second part contains pictures of food and what 20 grams of protein looks like. The third part is just a real long alphabetical list of food and how much protein is in that food.

PART 1

When planning out your caloric intake, start with protein. 1 gram for every pound of lean mass is a MINIMUM. For me this number is 160. If you aren’t sure about your numbers, take your bodyweight and subtract 20% (BW x .8). When you calculate everything out you will find that getting this much protein probably won’t leave much room for carbs and fats. If you find this to be the case, then you have a good reason to believe that to this point you haven’t been getting enough protein, and I’d bet dollars to low-carb fat free donuts that increasing your protein intake will have a positive effect on your diet.

What does eating 200 grams of protein a day look like?

Whey  Shake w/ Milk
6 Egg Whites
1 Can of Tuna Or Chicken Breast
Whey  Shake w/ Milk
6-8oz Chicken Breast or Tuna
6-8oz Chicken Breast

or

250 g  chicken breast

230 g  cottage cheese

6  eggs

250 g  cottage cheese with dry fruits

130 g rice (I measure it dry before boiling; it’s half a cup)

+ any amount of veggies

Total: 2549 kcal

Protein: 187 g

Or

10 hard-boiled eggs

460 g 0% cottage cheese

250 g  cottage cheese with dry fruits

+ any amount of veggies

Total: 2013 kcal

Protein: 186 g

Eat something like this everyday and “fill in” the rest of your eating around this. Becareful you don’t add in too many carbs and fats or you will go over your caloric requirments.

PART 2 Where can you get your protein?

People who aren’t used to reading food labels usually have no idea how many grams of protein they’re getting. The following list of foods can help eyeball protein portions. Building every meal around a portion of at least 20 g of protein is good place to start for women figuring 6 meals x 20g of protein equals 120g/day. For a man either go with 30 grams x 6 meals for 180 grams total or go with  25 grams x 7 for 175 grams.

20 grams of protein =

Protein powder (whey) 21 grams protein powder (whey isolate)
83 kcal, 20 g protein, 0.2 g carbs, 0.2 g sugar, 0.2 fat
Egg whites 182 grams egg whites (5 egg whites)
94 kcal, 20 g protein, 1.3 g carbs, 1.3 g sugar, 0.3 g fat
Tuna 80 grams canned tuna (packed in water)
84 kcal, 20 g protein, 0.0 g carbs, 0.0 g sugar, 0.4 fat
Turkey 80 grams turkey
88 kcal, 20 g protein, 0.0 g carbs, 0.0 g sugar, 0.8 g fat
Scallops 118 grams scallops
91 kcal, 20 g protein, 0.7 g carbs, 0.4 g sugar, 0.8 g fat
Chicken breast 87 grams chicken breast
91 kcal, 20 g protein, 0.0 carbs, 0.0 g sugar, 1.3 g fat
Shrimps 75 grams shrimps
99 kcal, 20 g protein, 0.9 g carbs, 0.0 g sugar, 1.7 g fat
White fish 143 grams codfish
101 kcal, 20 g protein, 0.4 g carbs, 0.0 g sugar,  2.1 g fat
Seitan 76 grams seitan
110 kcal, 20 g protein, 6.1 g carbs, 0.0 g sugar, 0.6 g fat
(Seitan is a vegetarian meat-subtitute made from gluten, the main protein of wheat.)
Fat free Greek yogurt 194 grams fat-free Greek yogurt
111 kcal, 20 g protein, 7.8 g carbs, 7.8 sugar, 0.0 fat
Spirulina 33 grams spirulina
123 kcal, 20 g protein, 6.3 g carbs, 0.0 sugar, 2.0 fat
Spirulina is a kind of sea weed rich in protein. However, eating 33 grams of spirulina powder in one go is too much and above the recommended serving size.
Ham 125 grams ham
125 kcal, 20 g protein, 2.5 g carbs, 2.5 g sugar, 3.8 g fat
(but careful: high in sodium)
Quorn 138 grams Quorn – meat substitute made of mycoprotein (mushroom protein)
130 kcal, 20 g protein, 6.2 g carbs, 0.8 g sugar, 2.8 g fat
Red meat 105 grams lean beef
131 kcal, 20 g protein, 0.8 g carbs, 0.0 g sugar, 5.3 g fat
Mussels 182 grams mussels
131 kcal, 20 g protein, 4.5 g carbs, 0.9 g sugar, 3.6 g fat
Fat free yogurt 400 grams fat-free yogurt
144 kcal, 20 g protein, 16 g carbs, 16 g sugar, 0 g fat
NB: although fat-free yogurt contain protein, it is not a good food to rely on for your protein intake if you’re looking to lose weight as you’re also getting 16 g of milk sugar (lactose) along with the 20 g of protein.
Cottage cheese 179 grams cottage cheese
159 kcal, 20 g protein, 4.1 carbs, 4.1 sugar, 7 g fat
Sardines 88 grams sardines
174 kcal, 20 g protein, 0.1 carbs, 0.0 sugar, 10.4 g fat
Mushrooms 667 grams mushrooms (uncooked) (I put the cooked mushrooms in the picture because the 667 g of raw mushrooms were taking too much volume for the plate)
180 kcal, 20 g protein, 20 g carbs, 10 g sugar, 2 g fat
Tofu 167 grams tofu
192 kcal, 20 g protein, 1.7 g carbs, 0.7 g sugar, 11.7 g fat
Feta cheese 121 grams feta cheese(10% fat)
194 kcal, 20 g protein, 0.1 g carbs, 0.1 g sugar, 12.5 g fat
(but careful: high in sodium)
Ground beef 105 grams ground beef
196 kcal, 20 g protein, 0.5 g carbs, 0.4 g sugar, 12.6 g fat
Edamame 185 grams edamame(soy beans)
204 kcal, 20 g protein, 4.4 g carbs, 1.9 g sugar, 11.9 g fat
Tempeh 103 grams tempeh(fermented soy product)
207 kcal, 20 g protein, 13.3 g carbs, 0.0 g sugar, 8.2 g fat
Eggs 159 grams eggs (3 whole eggs)
225 kcal, 20 g protein, 1.1 g carbs, 1.1 g sugar, 15.7 g fat
Lentils 235 grams lentils
228 kcal, 20 g protein, 33.2 g carbs, 0.0 g sugar, 1.6 g fat
Red kidney beans 250 grams red kidney beans
240 kcal, 20 g protein, 37.5 g carbs, 1.3 g sugar, 1.3 g fat
Salmon 105 grams salmon
245 kcal, 20 g protein, 1.1 g carbs, 1.1 g sugar, 17.9 g fat
Chick peas 313 grams chick peas
325 kcal, 20 g protein, 45.9 g carbs, 0.0 g sugar, 6.9 g fat
Surimi 222 grams surimi
278 kcal, 20 g protein, 26.7 g carbs, 10 g sugar, 10 g fat
Surimi is fish-based food product. It is a processed food and not the healthiest choice but it is a cheap source of protein.

PART 3 Food items with listed protein amounts

Almonds
dry roasted unblanched—1oz—5 grams
Planters—1oz—6 grams
Almond meal—1oz—11 grams

Anchovy
canned in oil—5 pieces—6 grams

Artichokes
boiled—4oz—4 grams
S&W hearts marinated—1/2 cup—2 grams

Asparagus
cooked —4 spears—2 grams

Avocado
avocado—1—4 grams

Bacon
cooked—3 strips—6 grams

Bagel
egg, plain, poppy seeds—1—8 grams
cinnamon raisin—1—7 grams

Bass
striped baked—3oz—19 grams

Beans
baked beans plain—1/2 cup—6 grams
refried—1/2 cup—8 grams

Beef
brisket braised—3oz—21 grams
chuck pot roast—3oz—23 grams
corned beef brisket—3oz—15 grams
corned beef canned—3oz—10 grams
eye round roasted—3oz—24 grams
filet broiled—3oz—21 grams
flank broiled—3oz—22 grams
ground broiled—3oz—22 grams
ground fried—3oz—21 grams
porterhouse steak—3oz—21 grams
roast beef med—2oz—12 grams
shortribs braised—3oz—18 grams
t-bone steak—3oz—21 grams

Biscuit
buttermilk—1—2 grams
plain—1—4 grams
w/egg—1—11 grams
w/egg & bacon—1—17
w/egg& sausage—1—19 grams
w/egg & steak—1—19 grams

Black Beans
cooked—1 cup—15 grams

Blackeye Peas
cooked—1 cup—13 grams

Blintze
cheese—2—13 grams

Bluefish
fresh baked—3oz—22 grams

Bran
oat cooked—1/2 cup—4 grams

Brazil Nuts
dried unblanched—1oz—4 grams

Bread
chapattis as prep w/fat—1 (2 1/2oz)—6 grams
cornstick—1 (1.3oz)—2 grams
Cracked wheat—1 slice—2 grams
Focaccia rosemary—3.5oz—6 grams
French—1oz—3 grams
Irish Soda—2oz—4 grams
Italian—1oz—3 grams
Oat bran—1 slice—3 grams
Paratha—4.4oz 1 piece—10 grams
Pita—1 reg 2oz—5 grams
pumpernickel—1 slice—3 grams
rye—1 slice—3 grams
seven grain—1 slice—3 grams
sourdough—1 slice—3 grams
Thomas English muffin—1—4grams
white—1 slice—2 grams
whole wheat—1 slice—3 grams

Broccoli
spears cooked—1/2 cup—3 grams
birds eye w/cheese sauce—1/2 package—5 grams

Brussels Sprouts
fresh—1/2 cup—2 grams

Buckwheat
Wolffs kasha med. Cooked—1/4 cup— 64 grams!

Bulgur
cooked—1/2 cup—3 grams

ButterFish
baked—3oz—19 grams

Calzone
cheese—-12 oz—48 grams

Canadian Bacon
jones slices—1—3 grams

Carp
fresh cooked—3oz—19 grams

Cashews
dry roasted—1oz—4 grams

Catfish
fresh—3oz—15 grams

Caviar
black granular—1 tbsp—4 grams
red granular—1tbsp—4 grams

Cheese
American—1oz—4 grams
bel paese—3 1/2oz—25 grams
blue—1oz—6 grams
brick—1oz—7 grams
brie—1oz—8 grams
camembert—1 wedge—8 grams
cheddar—1oz—7 grams
cheddar low fat—1oz—9 grams
Colby—1oz—7 grams
Colby low fat—1oz—9 grams
Edam—1oz—4 grams
Feta—1oz—7 grams
Fontina—1oz—7 grams
Gjetost—1oz—3 grams
Goat soft—1oz—5 grams
Gouda—1oz—7 grams
Gruyere—1oz—8 grams
Limburger—1oz—8 grams
Monterey—1oz—7grams
Mozzarella—1oz—6 grams
Mozzarella part skim—1oz—7 grams
Muenster—1oz—7 grams
Parmesan—1 tbsp—2 grams
Provolone—1oz—7 grams
Ricotta—1/2 cup—14 grams
Romano—1oz—9 grams
Roquefort—1oz—6 grams
Stilton blue—1.4oz—9 grams
Swiss—1oz—8 grams
Whey cheese—3.5 oz—15 grams

Chestnuts
roasted—I cup—5 grams

Chicken
breast & wing fried—2 pieces—36 grams
broiler/fryer breast w/skin roasted—1/2 breast(3.4oz)—29 grams
broiler/fryer breast w/skin stewed—1/2 breast(3.9oz)—30 grams
broiler/fryer breast w/o skin—-1/2 breast(3oz)—27 grams
broiler/fryer drumstick w/skins, floured, fried—1.7oz—13 grams
broiler/fryer drumstick w/skins roasted—1.8oz—14 grams
broiler/fryer drumstick w/skins stewed—2oz—14 grams
broiler/fryer drumstick w/o skin fried—12 grams
broiler/fryer drumstick w/o skin stewed—1.6oz—13 grams
broiler/fryer skin roasted—from ?chicken(2oz)—11 grams
broiler/fryer thigh w/skin, battered, fried—3oz—19 grams
broiler/fryer thigh w/skin, floured, fried—2.2oz—17 grams
broiler/fryer thigh w/skin stewed—2.4oz—17 grams
broiler/fryer thigh w/o skin fried—1.8oz—15 grams
broiler/fryer thigh w/o skin roasted—1.8oz—13 grams
broiler/fryer thigh w/o skin stewed—1.9oz—14 grams
broiler/fryer w/skin floured, fried—1/2 chicken (11oz)—90 grams
broiler/fryer w/skin roasted—1/2 chicken (10.5oz)—82 grams
broiler/fryer w/skin stewed—1/2 chicken (11.7oz)—82 grams
broiler/fryer wing w/skin battered, dipped, fried—1.7oz—10 grams
broiler/fryer wing w/skin floured, fried—1.1oz—8 grams
broiler/fryer wing w/skin roasted—1.2oz—9 grams
broiler/fryer wing w/skin stewed—1.4oz—9 grams
canned w/broth—I can (5oz)—31 grams
Cornish hen w/o skin roasted—1/2 hen (2oz)—13 grams
Cornish hen w/o skin roasted—1 hen (3.8oz)—25 grams
Cornish hen w/skin roasted—1/2 hen(4oz)—25 grams
Cornish hen w/skin roasted—1 hen(8oz)—51 grams
Drumstick breaded & fried—2 pieces (5.2)—30 grams
Oven roasted breast of chicken—2oz—11 grams
Thigh breaded & fried—2 pieces(5.2oz)—30 grams

Chickpeas
chickpeas—1 cup—12 grams

Chili
con carne w/beans—8.9oz—25 grams

Chocolate
chips milk chocolate—1 cup—12 grams
chips semisweet—1 cup(6oz)—7 grams

Clams
cooked—20 small—23 grams
raw—20 small—23 grams

Cocoa
hot cocoa—1 cup—9 grams

Cod
atlantic cooked—3oz—19 grams
pacific baked—3oz—21 grams

Coffee
caf?au lait—1 cup—4 grams
cappuccini—8oz—4 grams
coffee con leche—1 cup—4 grams
mocha—1 mug (9.6oz)—3 grams

Corn
cream style—1/2 cup—2 grams
on the cob—1 ear—4 grams

Cottage Cheese
creamed—1 cup—26 grams
dry curd—1 cup—25 grams
lowfat 1%—1 cup—28 grams
lowfat 2%—1 cup—31 grams

Couscous
cooked—1/2 cup—3 gram

Crab
Alaska king cooked—3oz—16 grams
Baked—3.8 oz—29 grams
Blue cooked—3oz—17 grams
Crab cakes—1 cake(2.1oz)—12 grams
Soft shell—1 (4.4oz)—11 grams

Cranberry Beans
cranberry beans—1 cup—14 grams

Croissant
cheese/plain—1 (2oz)—5 grams

Croutons
plin—1 cup—4 grams

Dates
whole—10—2 grams
Deli Meats/ Cold Cuts
bologna beef—1oz—4 grams
bologna pork—1oz—4 grams
braunschweiger pork—1oz—4 grams
headcheese pork—1oz—5 grams
liverwurst—1oz—4 grams
mortadella—1oz—5grams
pepperoni—1 slice—1 gram
salami—1 slice—4 grams
corned beef—1oz—5 grams
pastrami—1oz—5 grams
genoa—1oz—6 grams

Duck
w/ Skin roasted—1/2 duck(13.4oz)—73 grams

Eel
smoked—3.5oz—19 grams

Egg
cooked any style—1—6 grams

EggNog
eggnog—1 cup—10 grams

Fava Beans
canned—1/2 cup—7 grams

Figs
dried—10—6 grams
*fresh= 0 grams

Flounder
fried—3.2oz—13 grams
cooked—3oz—21 grams

French Toast
w/ butter? slices—10 grams

Green beans
cut—1/2 cup—3 grams

Grouper
cooked—3oz—21 Grams

Haddock
cooked/smoked—3oz—21 grams

Halibut
Atlantic/pacific cooked—3oz—23 grams
Greenland baked—3oz—16 grams
Ham * highest protein content per brand
Alpine lace cooked—2oz—9 grams
Armour deviled canned—3oz—14 grams
Carl budding honey ham—1oz—5 grams
hansel ‘n Gretel Virginia—1oz—5 grams
Healthy choice deli cooked—6 slices(2oz)—10 grams
Hormel curemaster—3oz—14 grams
Kraus—1oz—5 grams
Louis rich dinner slices—3.3oz(1 slice)—16 grams
Oscar Myer deli smoked—4 slices—9 grams
Lower sodium—3 slices—10 grams
Russer Canadian maple—2oz—9 grams
Underwood deviled—2.08oz—8 grams
Underwood deviled light—2.08oz—11 grams

Hamburger
double patty w/bun—1 reg—30 grams
double patty w/bun—1 large—38 grams
double patty w/bun and cheese—reg—28 grams
single patty w/ bacon cheese bun—1 large—32 grams
single patty w/bun—1 large—23 grams
single patty w/bun—1 reg—12 grams
single patty w/bun and cheese—1 large—30 grams
triple patty w/bun—1 large—50 grams
triple patty w/bun and cheese—1 large—56 grams

Hazelnuts
roasted—1oz—4 grams

Heart
chicken simmered—5oz—11 grams

Herring
atlantic kippered—1 fillet (1.4oz)—10 grams
atlanic cooked—3oz—20 grams
atlantic pickled—1oz—4oz

Hot Dog
beef—1 (2oz)—7 grams
beef & pork—1 (2oz)—6 grams
chicken—1 (1.5oz)—6 grams
corndog—1—7 grams
turkey—1 (1.5oz)—6 grams
w/ bun, chili—1—14 grams
w/ bun plain—1—10 grams

Hummus
hummus—1/3 cup—4 grams

Ice Cream
ice cream can contain between 2 grams to 9 grams per serving…see brand label

Kidney
beef simmered—3oz—22 grams

Knish
kasha—1 (7oz)—7 grams
potato—1 (7oz)—8 grams

Lamb
cubed lean braised—3oz—29 grams
cubed lean broiled—3oz—24 grams
ground broiled—3oz—21 grams
loin chop w/bone broiled—1 chop (2.3oz)—16 grams
rib chop lean broiled—3oz—19 grams
shank lean braised—3oz—24 grams

Liver
beef pan fried—3oz—23 grams
chicken stewed—5oz—34 grams

Lobster
cooked—1 cup—30 grams
newburg—1 cup—46 grams
steamed—1 (5.7 oz)—43 grams

Mackerel
atlantic cooked—3oz—20 grams
canned—1 cup—44 grams

Matzo
plain/whole wheat—4 grams

Meat Sticks
beef jerky—1oz—11 grams

Milk
1%—1 cup—8 grams
2%—1 cup—8 grams
buttermilk—1 cup—8 grams
goat—1 cup—9 grams
skim/whole—1 cup—8 grams

Miso
miso—1/2 cup—16 grams

Monkfish
baked—3oz—16 grams

Mousse
chocolate—1/2 cup—9 grams

Muffin
blueberry/corn—1(2oz)—3 grams

Mussels
blue raw—1 cup—18 grams
fresh blue cooked—3oz—20 grams

Navy Beans
cooked—1 cip—20 grams

Noodles
chow mein—1 cup—4 grams
egg cooked— 1 cup—8 grams
Japanese soba cooked—1 cup—3 grams
Shofar no yolks—2oz— 91 grams!

Nuts mixed
dry roasted w/peanuts—1oz—5 grams

Pasta
all shapes cooked—1 cup—7 grams
fresh w/egg cooked—2oz—3 grams
protein fortified—1 cup—9 grams

Peanut Butter
chunky/smooth—2 tbsp—8 grams

Peanuts
dry/oil roasted—1oz—7 grams

Peas
green—1/2 cup—4 grams
split pea cooked—1 cup—16 grams

Perch
cooked—3oz—21 grams

Pierogi
pierogi—3/4 cup—11 grams

Pigeon Peas
dried cooked—1/2 cup—6 grams

Pike
cooked—3oz—21 grams

Pink Beans
cooked—1 cup—15 grams

Pinto Beans
eden organic—1/2 cup—5 grams

Pistachios
dry roasted—1oz—4 grams

Pollack
baked—3oz—21 grams

Pompano
florida cooked—3oz—20 grams

Pork
center loin roasted—3oz—24 grams
loin w/fat broiled—3oz—20 grams
pork roast—2oz—10 grams
spareribs—3oz—26 grams
tenderloin roasted—3oz—24 grams

Pout
ocean baked—3oz—18 grams

Pumpkin
seeds roasted—1oz—9 grams

Quiche
cheese—3oz—11 grams
lorraine—3oz—15 grams
mushroom—3oz—9 grams

Red Beans
canned—1/2 cup—6 grams

Rice
brown long grain—1/2 cup—3 grams
pilaf—1/2 cup—4 grams
ristotto—6.6oz—6 grams
Spanish—3/4 cup—11 grams
White long grain—1/2 cup—3 grams

Rockfish
pacific cooked—1 fillet (5.2oz)—36 grams

Sablefish
smoked—1oz—5 grams

Salmon
baked—3oz—22 grams
pink w/bone canned—3oz—17 grams
salmon cake—3oz—18 grams
smoked—1oz—5 grams

Sardines
in oil w/bone canned—2— 6 grams

Sausage
bratwurst pork—1 link—12 grams
Italian—2.4oz—13 grams
Kielbasa—2.4oz—8 grams knockwurst pork & beef—1oz—3 grams
Smoked pork—1 link—15 grams
Zungenwurst (tongue)—3.5oz—17 grams
Turkey—2.5oz—11 grams

Scallops
fried—2 large—6 grams

Scone
fruit/plain—1—4 grams

Scrod
Gorton baked—1 pkg—17 grams

Scup
fresh baked—3oz—21 grams

Shad
baked—3oz—18 grams
roe baked—3.5 oz—22 grams

Shark
fried—3oz—16 grams

Sheepshead fish
cooked—3oz—22 grams

Shrimp
fried—4 large—6 grams
canned—3oz—20 grams
jambalaya—3oz—11 grams

Smelt
rainbow cooked—3oz—19 grams

Snails
cooked—1/2 cup—41 grams

Snapper
cooked—3oz—22 grams

Sole
fried—3.2oz—13 grams
cooked—3oz—21 grams

Souffle
cheese/spinach—3.5oz—11 grams

Soybeans
dried cooked—1 cup—29 grams
dry roasted—1/2 cup—34 grams

Squid
fried—3oz—15 grams

Sturgeon
smoked—1oz—9 grams

Sweetbreads
beef braised—3oz—23 grams

Swordfish
cooked—3oz—22 grams

Tofu
firm—1/2 cup—20 grams

Tuna
canned light oil—3oz—25 grams
canned light water—3oz—22 grams
canned white oil/water—3oz—23 grams
fresh cooked—3oz—25 grams

Turkey
breast—1 slice—5 grams
breaste w/skin roasted—4oz—32 grams
canned w/broth—1/2 can—17 grams
ground cooked—3oz—20 grams
leg w/ skin roasted—2.5 oz—20 grams

Veal
cutlet braised—3oz—31 grams
cutlet fried—3oz—28 gramsloin chop braised—2.8oz—24 grams

Venison
roasted—3oz—26 grams

Wheat
white wave seitan—4oz—31 grams
wheat germ toasted—1/4 cup—8 grams

White Beans
canned—1 cup—19 grams

Whitefish
smoked—1oz—7 grams

Whiting
cooked—3oz—20 grams

Yellowtail
baked—3oz—25 grams

Yogurt
fruit low fat—8oz—9 grams
plain—8oz—8 grams
plain low fat—8oz—12 grams
plain no fat—8oz—13 grams
vanilla lowfat—8oz—11 grams

How We Get Fat

 Energy Intake Exceeds Energy Output

At a fundamental level, fat storage occurs when caloric intake exceeds caloric output.  Now, I know that a lot of people claim that basic thermodynamics don’t hold for humans. Simply, they are wrong.  Invariably, the studies used to support this position are based on a faulty data set: to whit, they are drawing poor conclusions about what people SAY that they are eating.

For example, one popular book bases one of its many incorrect theses on a 1980 report suggesting that the obese ate the same number of calories as the lean.  Ergo, obesity was caused by something else.  The problem is this, the data set is wrong.  A fact we’ve known for nearly 30 years but that the author was somehow unable to become aware of in his ’5 years of dedicated research’.

Study after study after study over the past 30 years shows that the obese systematically under-report their food intake (by up to 30-50%) and over-report their activity (by about the same).  So when they say they are only eating 1800 calories per day, they may be eating 2400-3600 calories per day.  And their activity isn’t nearly what they think.

And when you put those same folks in controlled metabolic ward conditions and control their food intake and/or activity output…voila, the energy balance equation holds.  It’s only when you believe the (incorrect) self-reported data that it doesn’t.

And make no mistake I am NOT saying that the obese are lying about their intake, not consciously anyhow.  Most people simply suck at knowing how much they are actually eating.  Leave them to self-report it and they almost always screw it up.   If you’re mistaken enough to believe the self-reported values, you reach even more screwed up conclusions about things.

In that vein, I have found that the chronically underweight “I can’t gain weight no matter what I do” are invariably vastly over-estimating what they are eating.  That is, they are eating far less than they think.  Other studies show that ‘health conscious people’ tend to under-report their true ‘junk food’ and dietary fat intake; to appear more healthy they conveniently forget or leave out that trip to the burger joint.

Put differently, this isn’t something that only occurs in the obese (so spare me accusations of ‘hating the obese’ or some nonsense).  Am I clear or are people going to misinterpret me some more in the comments and claim I said that fat people lie about their food intake?  Because I’m not saying anything of the sort.  Make no mistake, I’m sure some do lie about it; most are just clueless about how much they are actually eating.

Now let me make it clear that there is obviously a lot more going on here, hormones and all manners of other stuff impact on the energy balance equation.  For example, chronically elevated cortisol does a lot of nasty things in terms of reducing metabolic rate (reducing the energy out side of the equation) as well as negatively impacting on calorie partitioning (where calories go when you eat them).  But for the most part, a lot of that is outside of our control.  It’s relevant but you can’t do much with most of it.  So I’ll focus on calories.

.

 Nutrient Intake, Oxidation and Storage 

The primary storage of fat in the body is in fat cells, duh.  Most of that is found in what is called subcutaneous fat, which is found under the skin.  There is also fat stored around the gut area called visceral fat (this surrounds the organs).  Fat can also be stored in ‘bad’ places like the liver and pancreas under certain conditions; this is called ectopic fat storage.

I’m going to focus here on subcutaneous fat.  There, whether or not fat is stored or removed comes down to a concept called fat balance,    You can think of fat balance as the fat specific equivalent of energy balance.  That is

Net Change in Fat Stores = Fat Stored – Fat Burned

I’d note that the same nutrient balance holds for protein, carbohydrates and alcohol (which I’m not going to talk about today).  That is, the net effect on bodily stores, whether protein or carbohydrate stores in the body increases, decreases or stays the same comes down to the balance of protein/carb stored vs. protein or carbs/burned.

So at a fundamental level, fat gain occurs when fat storage exceeds fat burning (technically oxidation).  And fat loss occurs when fat oxidation exceeds fat storage.  I’d note that both processes take place in some amounts throughout the day, controlled by a host of processes I’m not going to talk about.  Just recognize that what happens over time in terms of your fat stores comes down to the relationship between those two processes: fat storage – fat oxidation.

So what determines fat oxidation and fat storage rates?

 Back to Nutrient Intake, Oxidation and Storage

  1. Carbs are rarely converted to fat and stored as such

  2. When you eat more carbs you burn more carbs and less fat; eat less carbs and you burn less carbs and more fat

  3. Protein is basically never going to be converted to fat and stored as such

  4. When you eat more protein, you burn more protein (and by extension, less carbs and less fat); eat less protein and you burn less protein (and by extension, more carbs and more fat)

  5. Ingested dietary fat is primarily stored, eating more of it doesn’t impact on fat oxidation to a significant degree

Let’s work through this backwards.  When you eat dietary fat, it’s primary fate is storage as its intake has very little impact on fat oxidation (and don’t ask me a bunch of questions about “But people say you have to eat fat to burn fat?” in the comments.  That idea is fundamentally wrong but would take an entire article to address).  It also doesn’t impact greatly on the oxidation of the protein or carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are rarely converted to fat (a process called de novo lipogenesis) under normal dietary conditions. There are exceptions when this occurs.  One is with massive chronic overfeeding of carbs.  I’m talking 700-900 grams of carbs per day for multiple days.  Under those conditions, carbs max out glycogen stores, are in excess of total daily energy requirements and you see the conversion of carbohydrate to fat for storage.  But this is not a normal dietary situation for most people.

A few very stupid studies have shown that glucose INFUSION at levels of 1.5 total daily energy expenditure can cause DNL to occur but this is equally non-physiological.  There is also some evidence that DNL may be increased in individuals with hyperinsulinemia (often secondary to obesity).  There’s one final exception that I’ll use to finish this piece.

But when you eat more carbs, you burn more carbs and burn less fat.  And that’s why even if carbs aren’t directly converted to fat and stored as such, excess carbs can STILL MAKE YOU FAT.  Basically, by inhibiting fat oxidation, excess carbs cause you to store all the fat you’re eating without burning any of it off.  Did you get that?  Let me repeat it again.

Carbs don’t make you fat via direct conversion and storage to fat; but excess carbs can still make you fat by blunting out the normal daily fat oxidation so that all of the fat you’re eating is stored.  Which is why a 500 cal surplus of fat and a 500 cal surplus of carbs can both make you fat; they just do it for different reasons through different mechanisms.  The 500 calories of excess fat is simply stored; the excess 500 calories of carbs ensure that all the fat you’re eating is stored because carb oxidation goes up and fat oxidation goes down.  Got it?  If not, re-read this paragraph until it sinks in.

Oh yeah, the same holds for protein. Protein isn’t going to be converted to and stored as fat.  But eat excess protein and the body will burn more protein for energy (and less carbs and fat).  Which means that the other nutrients have to get stored.  Which means that excess protein can still make you fat, just not by direct conversion.  Rather, it does it by ensuring that the fat you’re eating gets stored.

Of course protein also has the highest thermic effect, more of the incoming calories are burned off.  So excess protein tends to have the least odds of making you fat under any conditions; but excess protein can make you fat.  Just not by direct conversion to fat; rather it’s indirectly by decreasing the oxidation of other nutrients.

Ok, is the above clear enough? Because I can’t really explain it any simpler but will try one last time using bullet points and an example.  Let’s assume someone is eating at exactly maintenance calories.  Neither gaining nor losing fat.  Here’s what happens with excess calories.  Assume that all three conditions represent identical increases in caloric intake, just from each of the different macros.  Here’s what happens mechanistically and why all three still make you fat:

  1. Excess dietary fat is directly stored as fat

  2. Excess dietary carbs increases carb oxidation, impairing fat oxidation; more of your daily fat intake is stored as fat

  3. Excess dietary protein increases protein oxidation, impairing fat oxidation; more of your daily fat intake is stored as fat

Got it?  All three situations make you fat, just through different mechanisms.  Fat is directly stored and carbs and protein cause you to store the fat you’re eating by decreasing fat oxidation.

And I’d note again, since someone will invariably misread this that that doesn’t mean that a low-carb and/or low-protein diet is therefore superior for fat loss.  I’m not saying that and don’t think that I am.  Because in such a situation, while you may be burning more fat, you’re also eating more dietary fat.  So net fat balance can be unchanged despite the dicking around with macronutrient content.  It still comes down to the deficit.

.

The Obvious Question: Why Not Just Eat Zero Dietary Fat?

And now I’ll answer the question that I know every person who has read (and hopefully understood) the above is asking: so if carbs and protein are rarely converted to and stored as fat, and make you fat by decreasing fat oxidation and causing all ingested dietary fat to get stored as fat, can’t I eat as much as I want of protein and carbs so long as my dietary fat intake is zero?

And the answer is still no.  Remember how I teased you above with one other exception, when carbs are converted to fat for storage?    That exception is when dietary fat is below about 10% of total daily calories.  Under that condition, the body ramps up de novo lipogenesis.  So you still get fat.

Because the body is usually smarter than we are.  Under conditions where dietary fat intake is ‘adequate’ (meaning 10% of total calories or more), the primary fate of that fat is storage and protein and carbs are used for other things.  And when dietary fat is too low, the body will start converting ingested carbs (and probably protein, though it would still be rare) to fat for storage.

Oh yeah, the other question you’re going to ask in the comments “What about alcohol?”  That’s going to require a full article so be patient.  I know that’s another thing lacking on the Internet but so be it. But I can briefly tell you that alcohol is seen as a poison to you body because it is a poison and that means your liver will shut down normal functions to deal with this invader. Taking your liver “offline” will disrupt metabolic processes that help maintain weight. Also chronic alcohol use will damage your liver.

And I really hope that clears things up.  If it doesn’t, re-read this piece until it is.

What I see wrong about paleo diet. Just another opinion.

What I see wrong about the Paleo Diet. Basically I have read that you can eat many things that are more or less unhealthy.

Bacon,sausage,light mayo,too much red meat.

Bacon is high fat and full of nitrates. Nitrates are not good for your body because……

I will on occasion eat some bacon but maybe once every six months to a year.

Sausage is basically all garbage. The majority of it it fat and any meat in it is the scraps left behind that no one would even think of eating if left that way. They stuff this scrap meat and fat into a casing which is intestinal material from the animal. Of course they add some spices and don’t forget the salt!!! The salt levels are so high I get dried out just thinking about it.

Mayo is not good to eat because 1) it’s processed and 2) the loads of oil they use to make it is low-grade. Sure , there are egg whites but they don’t buy chicken eggs and then hard boil them then let them cool then peel them and then separate the white from the yoke and throw away the yolk. That would cost too much and take too long with way too many added steps. Remember, the company is selling this stuff to a worldwide market! The egg whites are powdered and they add real cheap oil to it and salt. Why pay money for crap when you can get better stuff like humus to spread on your sandwich?

Red meat is ok but I think it is something you have to limit in your diet. That is because your body has a tough time digesting red meat. Small portions of red meat can be eaten with large portions of salad and steamed or even better raw veggies that will help as roughage and aid in the digestive process.

The Paleo Diet has these allowances that are akin to the Atkins Diet. We can all see that the Atkins Diet is over and done with now, obviously another diet fad. I think the Paleo diet is  better than the Atkins Diet though but it should be modified to eliminate the above said items to make it healthier.

Tired of eating the same fats?

 

Tired of eating the same fats?

tired of eating the same fats???
guys i hear this non-sense from people who say they get tired of their fats….

yea, i’d be tired of them too if i ate them everyday for months on end…

you have to be creative and cycle through different foods.. keeping yourself PSYCHOLOGICALLY on track with your diet…

so for those of you scarfing pb and almond butter all the time… switch up to something ur really gonna love

pistachios

did u guys ever wonder why its so hard to stop eating sunflower seeds?? how about cracking a peanut shell and eating the peanuts??

notice how these foods make you work a little bit.. through their shells.. for their nutrients??

our brains LOVE THIS STUFF…. your brain rewards you for the work you put out.. and it just tastes better… also it makes you feel full because signals are being sent that your eating, but not eating alot at a time.. thx to having to work through the shell..

pistachios are the forgotten efa’s…… people dont think pistachio when they think efa.. but we’re talking about a great fat source here…

they’re low in calories.. so you can eat more of them and feel fuller, longer.. great stuff if your cutting.. or about to go to sleep at night..

In research at Pennsylvania State University, pistachios in particular significantly reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) while increasing antioxidant levels in the serum of volunteers.[22][23] In rats, consumption of pistachios as 20% of daily caloric intake increased beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol) without lowering LDL cholesterol, and while reducing LDL oxidation.[24]
Human studies have shown that 32-63 grams per day of pistachio nut can significantly elevate plasma levels of lutein, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and gamma-tocopherol.[23]
In December 2008, Dr. James Painter, a behavioral eating expert professor and chair of School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University, described the Pistachio Principle. The Pistachio Principle describes methods of “fooling” one’s body into eating less. One example used is that the act of de-shelling and eating pistachios one by one slows one’s consumption allowing one to feel full faster after having eaten less.[25]

A more anabolic protein drink

Title: Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise.Researchers: Tipton KD, Rasmussen BB, Miller SL, Wolf SE, Owens-Stovall SK, Petrini BE, & Wolfe RR.Source: American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2001 Aug;281(2):E197-206.

Summary: This study was designed to determine whether drinking an essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement (6gEAA+35g carbs) before exercise results in a greater anabolic response than supplementation after resistance exercise.

Methods: Six healthy human subjects participated in two trials in random order, PRE (6g EAA+35g carbs consumed immediately before exercise), and POST (6g EAA+35g carbs consumed immediately after exercise). A primed, continuous infusion of L-[ring-(2)H(5)]phenylalanine, femoral arteriovenous catheterization, and muscle biopsies from the vastus lateralis were used to determine phenylalanine concentrations, enrichments, and net uptake across the leg.

Results: Blood and muscle phenylalanine concentrations were increased by approximately 130% after drink consumption in both trials. Amino acid delivery to the leg was increased during exercise and remained elevated for the 2 h after exercise in both trials. Delivery of amino acids (amino acid concentration times blood flow) was significantly greater in PRE than in POST during the exercise bout and in the 1st h after exercise. Total net phenylalanine uptake across the leg was greater during PRE (209 +/- 42 mg) than during POST (81 +/- 19). Phenylalanine disappearance rate, an indicator of muscle protein synthesis from blood amino acids, increased after EAC consumption in both trials.

Conclusion: These results indicate that the response of net muscle protein synthesis to consumption of an EAC solution immediately before resistance exercise is greater than that when the solution is consumed after exercise, primarily because of an increase in muscle protein synthesis as a result of increased delivery of amino acids to the leg.

Discussion: First let’s talk about what’s right with this study. Then we’ll tackle what’s wrong with it to keep things in perspective.

Here’s what they did right. These researchers measured systemic levels of amino acids after the drink, the amount of amino acids delivered to muscle tissue, as well as the uptake of amino acids into the muscle for protein synthesis. This way they were able to follow the effects of the protein drink from the time it entered the blood stream to its eventual incorporation into muscle protein.

What they found was that systemic (amino acids in the blood stream) levels of amino acids were the same whether you took the drink before or after training. Amino acid delivery to the leg increased during exercise, and remained elevated for at least 2 hours after training. This is the result of increased blood flow to the working muscle. This increase in blood flow peaks during exercise then returns to normal over the next 2 hours.

Here is where it gets interesting. Delivery of amino acids, meaning the quantity of amino acids delivered to the muscle, was significantly greater when they gave the protein drink before training and remained significantly higher for at least an hour after the workout, compared to drinking it immediately after training. The increased delivery of amino acids from drinking the protein drink before training increased amino acid uptake into muscle by over 250%!

The superiority of taking protein before training is obvious when comparing the percentage of amino acids taken up by the leg from the protein drink. When the protein drink was taken before training, ~42% of the amino acids in the drink were taken up into the muscle. The proportion was much lower when the protein was drank after training, only about 16% of the drink was taken up into the muscle. That’s over twice as much of the amino acids being taken up by muscle when it is consumed before training. It was estimated that ~86% of total uptake was incorporated into proteins whereas only ~48% of total uptake during the post workout trail was incorporated into proteins. That’s a huge difference.

As for the bad, this study only used 6 grams of amino acids! I can blow my nose and produce more than 6 grams of protein. These researchers had previously (1) used higher amounts of protein (40 grams) without carbs, so in this study they wanted to see if they could elicit a similar anabolic response with less protein and more carbs. Of course, anybody who’s serious about putting on muscle weight is going to need more than 6 grams of amino acids before their workout. I would suggest at least 20 grams before and another 20 grams after. Although they used only essential amino acids in this study, using a whole protein source is equally effective as long as it contains all the essential amino acids.

If you want the most muscle growth from your protein supplements, you must take one right before training, and the another right after. Although I alone have been recommending this for some time, you will surely see others making these recommendations in the near future. At least you’ll know you knew about it way before the rest of the world did. 

1. Tipton, KD, Ferrando AA, Phillips SM, Doyle D, Jr, and Wolfe RR. Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 276: E628-E634, 1999

Title: Effects of a 7-day eccentric training period on muscle damage and inflammation.Researchers: Chen TC, Hsieh SS.Institution: Department of Ball-Related Sports Science, Taipei Physical Education College, Taipei City, Taiwan.

Source: Medicine and Science Sports & Exercise 2001 Oct;33(10):1732-8

Purpose: This study examined the effects of a 7-day repeated maximal isokinetic eccentric training period on the indicators of muscle damage and inflammatory response.

Methods: Twenty-two college-age males were randomly assigned to eccentric training (ET) and control groups (CON). The initial exercise was 30 repetitions of maximal voluntary isokinetic eccentric contraction (ECC1) on non-dominant elbow flexors with Cybex 6000 at 60 degrees.s-1 angular velocity. The ET group performed the same exercise for the following 6 consecutive days (referred to as ECC2 to ECC7) after ECC1. Upper arm circumference (CIR), range of motion (ROM), and maximal isometric force (MIF) were measured before, immediately after, and every 24 h for 7 consecutive days after ECC1. Plasma creatine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), glutamic oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT), leukocyte counts, and serum interleukin-1beta and -6 (IL-1beta, IL-6) levels were assessed before; at 2 h; and at 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7 d after ECC1. Muscle soreness was measured before and for 7 consecutive days after ECC1.

Results: The ECC1 produced significant changes in most of the measures for both groups, with the exception of leukocyte counts. No indicators of increased damage were found from the second consecutive day of eccentric training to the 7th day for the eccentric training group.

Conclusion: Continuous intensive isokinetic eccentric training performed with damaged muscles did not exacerbate muscle damage and inflammation after ECC1. In addition, a muscular “adaptation effect” may occur as early as 24 h after ECC1, as shown by the ET group’s performance for 6 consecutive days after ECC1.

Discussion: One of the most controversial aspects of HST is the suggestion that people train in a predominantly eccentric fashion for two weeks straight. Heresy! they shout. Then when you ask them why it’s so bad to train a muscle more frequently or, heaven forbid, do negatives two workouts in a row, they say because your muscle can’t “recover” that fast. This study calls into question the belief that muscles can’t recover if trained again soon or even the next day.

They looked at a wide variety of markers for muscle damage including plasma creatine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), glutamic oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT), leukocyte counts, and serum interleukin-1beta and -6 (IL-1beta, IL-6). Although both groups experienced a significant change in all these indicators (accept leukocyte count), no indicators of increased damage were found from ECC2 to ECC7 for the ET group.

What about soreness? For both the group who only did one training session as well as those who did seven in a row, muscle soreness developed 1 day after the first eccentric training bout, and remained through the 3rd day, then gradually diminished regardless of which group they were in. The group that did the eccentric sets every day experienced the same progression and subsidence of soreness as the group that did only one set at the beginning of the week. The soreness level was almost back to baseline on 7 day for both groups.

The results of this investigation indicated that repeated bouts of the eccentric exercise performed on each of the following 6 days after the first bout did not affect recovery from the first training bout. This is in agreement with a substantial amount of other studies indicating that muscle adapts effectively to physical load even when the loading is frequent or even continuous. Keep in mind that we are only talking about the physical recovery of the muscle. We are not talking about performance. After all, HST is “Hypertrophy-Specific” by design.

So once again, HST turns out not to be so outlandish, but instead, simply a derivative of the research. The results and the science, speak for themselves. 

In this day and age there is really no reason why people should be afraid of science. Science is what makes our world go round. Not only is science an integral part of our modern world, but it is the very foundation of any effective method for building muscle. So, we created theHS:Report to increase our readers awareness of the science behind modern training, diet, and supplementation.In 1978 I began lifting weights and drinking protein drinks. Decades ago, gyms were anything but high-tech. I remember one of the first gyms I trained at was in the back of an old laundromat. Most of the equipment was homemade (not to be confused with “custom made”) and rickety. Anything made of iron had a good layer of rust. It was dark, it was musty, and it smelled like old gym clothes that for some reason still unbeknownst to me were never actually washed.Man I used to bust my butt in that gym, dreaming of the day when I would look like Arnold and Lou. After my workouts I’d go home, pop in a rented copy of Pumping Iron (you couldn’t actually buy it yet) in the machine and throw back a horrendous tasting protein drink made by the Master Blaster himself. As I’d watch Arnold and Ed grimacing under the squat bar, I’d take a swig of the Blaster’s brew and you would’ve sworn by the grimace on my own face that I had just finished a “squat till you puke” set of squats right along with them. But you know what they used to say, no pain no gain. I just figured gagging down nasty protein drinks was just part of the commitment.

Well, times have changed. I no longer workout in the back of an old laundromat, and I no longer gag down awful tasting protein drinks, but I’ve never lost my passion for bodybuilding and supplements. On the contrary, it has become my life’s quest to find out all that can be known about building muscle. Along the way I’ve spent countless hours in the gym, a small fortune on supplements, and 10 years in college just to make sure I didn’t overlook any of the finer details.

What was the result of this life spent on bodybuilding? Well, I’ve had the good fortune of training some really great competitors, writing for a few of the best bodybuilding magazines ever, consulting for some really great companies, and the high point of it all…was the chance to publish HST to the world and create the best supplements yet made.

When I published HST, I never imagined the effect it would have. Don’t get me wrong, I knew without any doubt it was the most effective way to build size quickly, I just didn’t think people would listen. To my pleasant surprise, it has sent out a wave of change that has covered the globe and produced literally thousands of pounds of muscle. And the supplements, well, they are something I am very proud of.

My goal with HST and the HS:APS has always been muscle hypertrophy, period. TheAdvanced Protein System (APS) was designed according to the absolute latest research on the anabolic effects of protein and training. Although research has led to some controversy as to exactly how much protein an athlete needs on a daily basis, there is no question about the need for protein immediately before and after your workouts.(1-5) So I gathered the highest quality proteins available and I designed a protein system that would lead to the greatest uptake of amino acids each and every workout, thus producing the fastest muscle growth possible without a prescription.

The results had by users of HST and the HS:APS have proven their effectiveness.

Here is a sample:

“Ok, today I finished my second cycle fifth week (5’s). My results seem too good to be true. Get ready for this: So in two cycles with a length of two and a half months I gained 7.5 kilos (16.5 pounds), and my waist went increased only 1.5cm! Bryan if you want to use my post as proof that HST works please do!”

— restless

“Just did my measurements following the 15s of my full body cycle of HST. Man, it is going insane, sure I know that some of the gains will be local swelling from the constant training, but I doubt that it totals all of it.

Bodyweight 93.6 to 95.5kg
LBM 77.6 to 79.1kg
Arm +0.45inch
Thigh +1.2inches!!!!!
Calf +0.4inch

Loads are feeling good, only just reached failure in one exercise (bench) and am getting psyched to get my lbm over 80kg, possibly even to the great 181lb mark (82.5kg) and all this with a constant cold that my kids gave me. Excellent stuff”

— Aaron_F

“Hi Bryan, I have just finished my first HST cycle and am very pleased with the results, to say the least. I have gained 8.8 pounds, put on 1″ on my arms, 1.6″ on my thighs and 0.8″ on my calves (even though I didn’t train them directly). My strength has gone up noticeably as well. I can now power clean the weights that I used to deadlift!”

— Jean-Claude

As always, Hypertrophy-Specific Training is FREE to everybody. Add Primer and Driver to your program and you can’t make faster gains without a syringe! I’m not kidding. The science has finally reached a point where real muscle gains in only a matter of weeks are possible. HSN and HST are the embodiment of that science.

Come to www.Hypertrophy-Specific.com and set up your HST program and get yourself the Primer and Driver Advanced Protein System. I guarantee you will see improvements that will change the way you train and the supplements you use forever. 

Research behind HSN Primer & Driver:

1: Tipton KD, Rasmussen BB, Miller SL, Wolf SE, Owens-Stovall SK, Petrini BE, Wolfe RR. Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Aug;281(2):E197-206.

2: Rasmussen BB, Tipton KD, Miller SL, Wolf SE, Wolfe RR. An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise. J Appl Physiol. 2000 Feb;88(2):386-92.

3: Tipton KD, Ferrando AA, Phillips SM, Doyle D Jr, Wolfe RR. Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids. Am J Physiol. 1999 Apr;276(4 Pt 1):E628-34.

4: Biolo G, Maggi SP, Williams BD, Tipton KD, Wolfe RR. Increased rates of muscle protein turnover and amino acid transport after resistance exercise in humans. Am J Physiol. 1995 Mar;268(3 Pt 1):E514-20.

5: Biolo G, Williams BD, Fleming RY, Wolfe RR. Insulin action on muscle protein kinetics and amino acid transport during recovery after resistance exercise. Diabetes. 1999 May;48(5):949-57.

6: Biolo G, Tipton KD, Klein S, Wolfe RR. An abundant supply of amino acids enhances the metabolic effect of exercise on muscle protein. Am J Physiol. 1997 Jul;273(1 Pt 1):E122-9.

8 Tips For Beginners Wanting To Lose Weight

8 Tips For Beginners Wanting To Lose Weight




EVERYONE who wants to get leaner should read this article. Sometimes we veterans forget what we once knew or we don’t practice what we now know. If you’re a beginner, this will be an introduction. If you’re experienced, let this be a reminder.


1. JUST GET STARTED – TAKE DECISIVE ACTION!

There are so many opinions about how to lose body fat that many people end up completely confused and they don’t do ANYTHING!
They’ve read about 27 ways to diet, 34 ways to do cardio, 101 ways to lift weights and 79 supplements to take. But they still don’t have a clue how to start.
You stuff your brain with so much information it feels like it’s going to explode, but then you never do anything about it. You’re like a deer stuck in headlights. Sound familiar?
I call this the “paralysis by analysis” syndrome.

The most important thing you can do is take action. Just begin the journey and figure it out as you go. Better still; get a coach or trainer right from the start.
Actually, losing fat is not that complicated. You don’t need a PhD in exercise physiology to figure out that any exercise is better than no exercise. You don’t have to be a genius in nutritional biochemistry to figure out that an apple is better than a pop tart. Getting lean is simple: Exercise. Eat healthier foods. Eat smaller portions. Isn’t this stuff just common sense? Didn’t your mother tell you this?

So what’s stopping you? What makes you freeze up?

If you’re like most people, FEAR is stopping you. You’re so afraid of doing something wrong, you choose to do nothing rather than make a mistake or look foolish.
What you must understand is that people who accomplish much and people who accomplish little BOTH have fears. The difference between the two is that the latter feels the fear and lets it immobilize them. The former feels the fear and does it anyway.

Begin the process. You can always fine-tune your program as you go. Naturally, it’s better to aim and then fire, but its better to fire and then adjust your aim later than not to fire at all. You can’t win a battle by hiding in the trenches.

2. WALKING IS A GREAT WAY TO START A CARDIO PROGRAM

Ok, so you’ve decided to forge ahead in spite of your fear and start working out. Congratulations. Now what? How do you choose between Stairmaster, Tae Bo, Lifecycle, Yoga, Kickboxing, Elliptical machine, jogging, swimming, etc.?
Any exercise is better than no exercise so stop over-analyzing: just pick something and start. Just do it.

If you can’t make up your mind, then here’s the simplest, easiest, most guaranteed way for any beginner to successfully start a fat loss program:

Walk!

Here’s why:

It requires no equipment

It requires no knowledge of exercise technique

It can be done by almost everyone, regardless of experience

It can be done almost anywhere

It’s safe

For all these reasons, walking is the perfect way to begin. However, the better your condition becomes, the more you’ll need to advance to higher levels of exercise intensity to reach higher levels of fitness.

I’m not saying you should abandon walking, but if you decide to keep walking, a casual stroll will no longer do. For an experienced exerciser, I would consider walking a method of locomotion more than a serious workout.

There’s a big difference between walking for health vs walking for fat loss. Even a 10 or 15-minute casual walk has health benefits. But if you want to turn walking into an effective, fat-melting workout, you’ll need to push yourself for 30 minutes or more several days per week. Walking briskly uphill (or on an inclined treadmill) is an excellent fat-burning workout for anyone.

3. DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN MINUTIA – FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS

Read any book about success and it will tell you “pay attention to detail.” Sounds like good advice – unless you haven’t mastered the fundamentals yet. In that case, it’s the worst advice you could follow.

Every day people ask me questions like these:
“Should I use a fast acting protein powder like whey or would casein be better? What if I mix both and also add a little bit of Soy? If I use all of them, what ratio of the three would be ideal and when should I take them?”
“I want to do the ephedrine-caffeine stack and it says to take 20 mg of ephedrine with 200 milligrams of caffeine. The ephedrine comes in 25 milligram tablets, so should I chip a little bit off the tablet to get the right ratio?”

Do you see the problem here?

These are legitimate questions, but they’re completely moot if you’re eating doughnuts and sitting on the couch all day long. Fix your diet and get your butt moving first, then worry about the little things.

Emerson said, “The height of the pinnacle is determined by the breadth of the base.” The heights you reach will depend entirely on how broad a foundation you build. Great coaches such as Vince Lombardi and John Wooden credited most of their success to drilling their players on fundamentals.

Forget about ALL the minutia until you have the fundamentals down cold!

Forget about supplement dosages

Forget about macronutrient cycling

Forget about tempo manipulation

Forget about glycemic indexes

Forget about the latest Bulgarian or Russian periodization program

Master the fundamentals first!

The fundamentals of fat loss include: (1) Do your cardio, (2) Lift weights, (3) Burn more calories than you consume (4) Eat 5-6 small, frequent meals and never skip meals, (5) Keep your fat intake low, but include small amounts of good fats, (6) Eat natural foods; avoid processed & refined foods, (7) eat more complex carbs, fruits & vegetables, (8) eat lean proteins with each meal, (9) Think positive: visualize yourself as you would like to be.

If you’re not doing all these things, and you’re looking for the perfect supplement stack or the optimum periodization plan, I’m afraid you’re barking up the wrong tree.
I don’t want you to think that details don’t matter – they do. The “Law of Accumulation” states that every success is a matter of hundreds or even thousands of tiny efforts that often go unnoticed or unappreciated. Everything counts. Everything either helps or hurts. Nothing is neutral.

The problem is when you get bogged down in minutia before you’ve even learned the basics. Minor details produce minor results. Major fundamentals produce major results.

Don’t major in minor things. Lay your foundation first, then move on to the finer points. And remember, as Jim Rohn says, always be suspicious of someone who says they’ve found a new fundamental.

4. KNOW YOUR CALORIES

The most important dietary factor in fat loss is not how many grams of carbohydrate, protein or fat you eat, the most important factor for fat loss is calories. Eat more than you burn each day and you will store fat. Eat less than you burn each day and you will lose fat.It’s just that simple.

Where the calories come from is important too, but unless you understand the calorie concept, nothing else matters.

I’m appalled at how many people claim to sincerely want to lose body fat who admit they haven’t a clue how many calories they eat.
Get serious! If you don’t have the faintest idea how much you’re eating, how can you expect to make any progress?

Did it ever occur to you that your ONLY problem might be overeating!
Do you realize that too much of anything gets stored as fat?

That’s right – even if you’re eating nothing but “natural and healthy” foods, if you eat too many of them, you’re still going to get fat.

Portion control, my friend, portion control!
On the other hand, maybe you’re under-eating and slowing down your metabolism. There’s a fine line.

5. NEVER, EVER QUIT! MAKE FITNESS A LIFESTYLE!

Do you know what is the biggest mistake made by beginners?
They quit!

Remember in the January issue, where I mentioned how attendance in our gym shoots up for about 6-8 weeks around New Year’s? Well, it’s back to normal now because all the quitters dropped out already.
What’s especially sad is that most people quit right when they’re on the verge of making substantial progress.

Remember: You’re never a failure as long as you’re working on the progressive realization of a worthy goal. But the second you quit, then it’s official – you’re a failure.
Quitting should not even be an option because…

FITNESS IS A LIFESTYLE!

Don’t let these four words slip by you just because it’s an oft-repeated cliché. This is an important mindset! You have to stop thinking of getting in shape for a New Year’s resolution, vacation or wedding (or a contest, you bodybuilders). You must start thinking about getting healthy and in shape FOR LIFE.

When you’re just starting out, firmly resolve that quitting is not even an option. Don’t approach this endeavor with an “I’ll try” attitude. If you accept quitting as a possibility, you might as well not even start; just grab that remote control, a bag of chips and get back on the couch where you were before.
Also, understand that results may come slowly in the beginning if you’re not the genetically-gifted type. This process requires great patience and persistence for most people.

Most beginners never allow themselves the time it takes to get any momentum going. They expect too much too soon, get discouraged and quit.
It takes a big push to get started. It’s like getting a rocket off the ground – it uses most of its fuel just launching off the pad, but once it’s in the air and the inertia has been overcome, it can keep going with very little energy expenditure. Don’t quit just because it’s difficult to “launch!”

6. GET A PERSONAL TRAINER, COACH, OR MENTOR

Life is too just too short to learn everything there is to know on your own. Don’t waste time climbing the ladder only to find it’s leaning against the wrong wall! Learn from the experts. Get a trainer, personal coach, or mentor to help you start right – right from the start.


7. JOIN A GYM IF YOU CAN, BUT A SET OF DUMBBELLS ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH TO GET YOU STARTED

. In a well-equipped gym, the possibilities are endless, the atmosphere is motivational and people are there to help you.

More often than not, however, beginners start at home. That being the case, I admit that you don’t need a gym to get started. You also don’t need any of that garbage advertised on late night TV. The only piece of equipment you need has existed for over 100 years – that’s right, the humble DUMBBELL!

Remember – don’t overcomplicate this – think basics, basics, basics (and dumbbells are as basic as it gets.)

Dumbbells are the single most versatile piece of equipment in existence. You can perform hundreds, even thousands of exercises with dumbbells.

Ladies, a set of 3 to 20 pounds will be more than sufficient. Guys, a set from 10 to 40 pounds should do the trick (for now). I’ve also heard wonderful things about Powerblock dumbbells for space-saving, although I don’t have first hand experience to cite.
If you also get yourself a bench and clear out a little corner in your favorite room, then you’re ready to roll!

Here it is – The beginner’s all-dumbbell routine:

1. Dumbbell bench press (chest)

2. Dumbbell side lateral raise (shoulders)

3. One arm dumbbell row (upper back)

4. Dumbbell extension behind head (triceps)

5. Dumbbell Bicep curl (biceps)

6. Dumbbell Lunges (thighs)

7. Dumbbell One leg calf raise (calves)

8. Dumbbell leg curl (hamstrings)

9. Crunches (abs)

There you have it. Simple and effective. At home or in a gym.

If you’re just starting, do this routine for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps per exercise, except calves and abs which you can go up to 20 reps. Rest 1 minute between sets. You’ll train your whole body in each workout, 2 -3 three days per week, non-consecutive days.

After 3 – 6 months, you’ll probably need to add exercises and move up to a split routine. (So I guess I have to do another article, called 8 tips for intermediates: How to keep going).

8. WEIGHT TRAINING IS NOT OPTIONAL – IT’S MANDATORY!

It’s is a common misconception that you should start with aerobic workouts and lose the fat first before adding weight training.
Unfortunately, the best you can hope for from diet and aerobics alone is to become a “skinny fat person.” You may lose weight, but you’ll have a poor muscle to fat ratio and a “soft” appearance.

Obviously, weight training is the key to developing strength and muscle. What few people realize is that weight training also increases fat loss, although it occurs indirectly.

Weight training is anaerobic and burns carbohydrates (sugar).Cardio is aerobic and therefore burns fat. So it seems logical to focus on aerobic training for fat loss.
However, something interesting happens “beneath the surface” when you lift weights. Weight training increases your lean body mass – aerobic training does not.
Low calorie dieting and aerobic training without weight lifting can make you lose lean body mass. If you lose lean body mass, your metabolism slows down, and this makes it harder to lose fat.

If you increase your lean body mass, you increase your metabolic rate and this makes it easier to lose fat. With a faster metabolism, you’ll burn more fat all day long – even while you’re sleeping!

If you have limited time, and your main priority is fat loss, then do a very brief weight training program and spend the majority of your time concentrating on cardio. But never neglect the weights completely – always do both, and if possible, devote equal attention to each.





Remember , 80% of your goals come from your diet. 10% from your training.

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Breakfast For Din Din

awsome breakfst

Looks good! Eggs over easy on top of sweet potato hash mixed with peppers & onions………..too bad I I didn’t have this for breakfast…………..I had it for dinner!!

Actually to be truthful I had this for my pre dinner , dinner.

Looking at food as a fuel source is the optimal way to approach your diet whether cutting or bulking.  Eating eggs/egg whites at night is a very smart move. The egg protein is THE PROTEIN all other protein sources are gauged against. Eggs are a great way to start your day so why not have em to end your day?

This meal was part of my high carb day (re-load or re feed) .

 

 

The great fish oil scare of 2013 and how to understand scientific studies.

Going back to last years scare that fish oil supplements can cause prostate cancer. This study came out and the media jumped on it and ran. The study some how said that omega 3’s were a cause for cancer and almost overnight I was slammed by text messages and emails from people telling me I’m going to get cancer now….

I came across this great article that not only explains the actual study that was done but also gives you some good info to use when the next big study pops up and throws the world into a tumultuous spin.

Research Review: Fish oil & prostate cancer

A recent study linking Omega-3s and prostate cancer caused a media storm and frightened a lot of people.

But before you stop taking your fish oil, pay attention to the kind of study this was, and remember – correlation does not equal causation (more on this below).

When it comes to using research to make real-life decisions, study design matters.

Introduction

A new study appears and it’s all over the news.

Vitamin X or food Y is correlated to cancer, heart disease, or stroke!

Suddenly people start avoiding vitamin X or food Y.

But hold on. What does it mean to say that two things are “correlated”, anyway?

Correlation: A mutual relationship or connection between two or more things.

If you ever hang out with geeks like me, you’ve probably heard us mutter things like, “That’s correlational, not causational”, or, “That was only a correlation.”

With flashbacks of your last math or stats class, you nod blindly and hope the conversation moves on to something more interesting, like a princess having a baby.

But have you ever wondered why we get so worked up about correlational studies in the first place?

Actually, it’s not correlation itself, or even correlational studies, that are the problem.

The problem comes when correlation is confused with causation.

To put it simply, just because two or more things happen at the same time doesn’t mean that one causes the other.

Ice cream causes murder

Here’s an example to make this clearer.

One very well known and repeatable correlation is that murder rates correlate to ice cream sales.

ice cream chart Research Review: Fish oil & prostate cancer

Yes! Strange as this may seem, as murder rates go up, ice cream sales in most cities also rise.

Let’s look at a couple of possible explanations.

HYPOTHESIS 1: MURDER CAUSES PEOPLE TO EAT ICE CREAM.

Here, I’m making the reasonable assumption that people buy the ice cream because they plan to eat it.

A few problems with this idea:

  • Even though ice cream sales and murders increase at the same time, lots of people buy and eat ice cream, not just murderers. In fact, even if every murderer bought ice cream after committing the deed, this would make no statistical difference. Thankfully, ice cream sales are always higher than murder rates – even though both tend to increase at the same time.
  • If committing murder caused people to buy and eat ice cream, then nabbing bad guys would be as simple as hanging out at ice cream parlors and grocery stores near the freezer department! But last time I looked, policing wasn’t quite that easy.

HYPOTHESIS 2: BUYING OR EATING ICE CREAM CAUSES MURDER.

Now, not having ice cream may indeed lead to a murderous desire for ice cream.

But if that were the case, you’d think that the murder rate would be higher whenever ice cream was in short supply — and sales figures were correspondingly low.

In fact, sales go up as murders rise. So maybe it’s a post ice cream high or a sugar crash that turns ice-cream buyers into murderers?

Problems with this idea:

  • If this were true, then banning ice cream would stop murder. Hmm. I don’t think it’s quite that simple. After all, before ice cream was invented, we had murders. And in places where nobody has ever heard of ice cream, they still have murders.
  • Ice cream parlors would be the epicenter of murders.  But see hypothesis 1 above.

HYPOTHESIS 3: THE CORRELATION IS DUE TO RANDOM HAPPENSTANCE (COINCIDENCE).

This is similar to the correlation between the decrease in pirates and climate change / global warming. (Yep, that correlation also exists.)

So, although the association between murders and ice cream may be random, I think there’s a better explanation…

HYPOTHESIS 4: SOMETHING ELSE CAUSES THE INCREASE IN BOTH MURDERS AND ICE CREAM SALES.

Let’s try this on for size:

Warmer weather is probably the cause of both increased murders and increased ice cream sales.

Note that this is also a correlative explanation. But it’s the best one we’ve come up with, so far.

Silly examples don’t count

Okay, okay, the ice cream sales and murder correlation is a silly example.

When it comes to legitimate scientific studies, nobody would really make the mistake of thinking that correlation is proof of causation, right?

Wrong.

Actually, the scientific research is littered with examples of people doing precisely that.

The most famous of these may be the studies linking hormone replacement and the prevention of coronary heart disease.

Hormone replacement therapy studies

Back in 2012, we discussed one of these studies.

To summarize, back in the 80s and 90s, because scientists had noted a correlation between estrogen replacement therapy and a decreased risk of heart disease, many women were put on estrogen replacement by their doctors.

Twenty years later, a controlled randomized study showed that in fact, estrogen replacement was very bad for heart disease! Oops.

How could a mistake of this magnitude occur?

It turned out that women of higher socioeconomic status who were more interested in their health (or better positioned to do something about it) were much more likely to ask for or agree to take estrogen than poorer women who had less access to health care.

And while on the surface it may have looked as if hormone replacement therapy reduced a woman’s risk of heart disease, in fact, it was a woman’s socioeconomic class that actually predicted that risk.

Middle and upper class women were less likely to suffer from heart disease –despite the fact that more of them were on hormone replacement therapy, notbecause they were on hormone replacement therapy.

In the end, here’s the important point: correlational studies are usually based on observation. What this means is that researchers gather information without making inferences.

They do this either with questionnaires, or by taking direct measurements (blood pressure, ice cream sales, etc.). They then let the statistical hamsters process the information (data).

Most long-term “people” studies are observational. And while this methodology sounds fine, it’s very weak. Because it can’t prove anything. It can only find when things are related.

Like ice cream and murder.

Pirates and climate change.

Birth control and heart disease.

Causation

Now that I’ve done my share of fist-shaking about correlation, I’ll tell you about causation and how to prove it.

Causation: To cause something to happen.

Yes, it’s as simple as that. To cause something is to make it happen.

If I hit you in the head with a baseball bat, that causes your head to ache. This relationship is causational.

There is a cause (getting hit in the head with a baseball bat) and an effect (a headache).

You might see a potential problem right away here.

Sure, hitting you in the head is likely to lead to a headache. But maybe you had a migraine before I hit you.

So the key to showing causation is to control for everything other than the hypothesized cause.

That’s why we call studies with this design “controlled experiments.”

And when you want to prove causation, the ideal is a very specific type of controlled experiment, called a double blind randomized controlled experiment.

Defining the terms

Okay, I’m about to go off on a little research tangent.

Mostly because I think it’s important for you to understand the difference between various types of studies. Especially if you want to figure out how to interpret the fish oil one.

But, if you already know this stuff, or you’re simply not interested, feel free to skip down to the fish oil and prostate cancer part below.

DOUBLE BLIND

The phrase “double blind” has nothing to do with eyesight. Instead, it tells you who is aware of the conditions of the experiment.

As strange as it sounds, in a double blind study, neither the volunteers (subjects) nor the experimenters know exactly what is going on.

The experimenters merely collect the data. Only a third party, who is not doing the testing, is aware of the whole story.

From this you can probably guess that a “single blind experiment” is one where only the subjects are in the dark.

With the estrogen replacement double blind study, the researchers didn’t know who was on estrogen and who was on placebo.

But before the blind was removed, they were convinced that the women taking estrogen were doing better.

In fact, they were so certain of this that they felt it was unethical not to stop the experiment immediately and give estrogen to the entire group!

Why bother conducting blind experiments?

One reason is that it reduces the possibility of researcher bias. That’s important because researcher bias can sometimes influence results.

(In fact, in some cases, including the hormone replacement experiment, even making the study a double blind may not be sufficient to protect against researcher bias.)

All drug trials are double blind (using placebo and drugs). But these are the exception, since many experiments can’t be blinded.

For example, when experiments involve an obvious intervention, like exercise, eating fewer calories, or meditation, pretty much everybody figures out who is in the experimental group and who is in the control group without being told.

RANDOMIZED

Now let’s take a look at another word in the description: “randomized”. This means that subjects are randomly assigned to groups.

Typically, studies like this will include a control group that receives a placebo or no intervention.

And an experimental group that gets the intervention – whether that’s a drug, exercise, a supplement, or something else.

The participants are sent into one group or the other in a completely random way.

CONTROLLED

A “controlled” experiment is one where the researchers control the intervention.

If that’s a drug, they control who or what gets the drug, how much, when, for how long, and pretty much everything else you can think of regarding the drug.

Researchers also try to control everything else that may change following the intervention.

For example, let’s say that people start to exercise as a part of a study.

In real life, when people take up exercise, they’ll often start to eat differently than in the past. This is a confounding variable — the arch-enemy of controlled experiments.

So in such a study, researchers should control for diet. They might ask people not to change their usual diet until after the experiment is over.

If a controlled experiment is appropriately set up, at the end researchers can be pretty confident in their conclusions about those specific conditions. But they can’t use their results to draw definitive conclusions about much else.

In other words, controlled experiments have limited generalizability.

Correlation versus causation

Now that you understand the difference between correlation and causation, let’s compare the advantages and disadvantages of each type of experiment.

CORRELATION EXPERIMENTS CAUSATIONAL EXPERIMENTS
Type of study
Epidemiological Double-blind, randomized
Number of subjects
Lots – 100 to 100,000 Few – 5 to 50
Length of study Long – years to decades Short – days to months
Measures Usually lots Vary, but tends to be fewer than correlational
Driven Data-driven Experimental design-driven
Statistics Lots of stats using models, regression analysis and sometimes t-test (ANOVA) Less stats using comparative tests (t-tests)
Humans or animals Nearly all human Mostly animals (except in stage 3 drug trials)
Advantages Able to uncover surprising connections and relationships Able to prove causation
Disadvantages Unable to prove causation or explain the relationships found Limited applicability or generalizability. (All studies should focus on yes or no answers to the question the study was designed to answer; the hypothesis must be accepted or rejected).

Both types of studies and data interpretation have their place. And adopting only one or the other would seriously limit our capacity to understand the world around us.

Correlational experiments and results stretch our minds by suggesting previously unimagined possibilities. Maybe ice cream really does cause murder! Let’s investigate that some more!

The problem with correlational studies is that they can’t give us certainty. Meanwhile, experimental studies give us certainty, but only within a very narrow range. Often, they can’t be performed on humans.

For instance, the definitive study on smoking as the cause of lung cancer was done on primates, since it would be unethical to randomly assign people to the smoking habit.

(In fact, many people argue that it’s unethical to perform such experiments with primates – but that’s a topic for another article.)

Research question

The reason we’ve gone into this detail about study design is simple: to make sense of this week’s review, you need to understand the potential drawbacks of correlative studies.

This week’s study asks: Is there an association between plasma phospholipid fatty acids and prostate cancer risk?

Brasky TM, et al. Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk in the SELECT Trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Subjects and methods

The first thing you need to know is that this study was a study-within-a-study. For you artsy types, that’s sort of like a play-within-a-play.

The main study was a causational study called SELECT that gave a group of 834 men Vitamin E and selenium to see whether this would decrease their rates of prostate cancer.

(This study concluded that vitamin E and selenium didn’t prevent prostate cancer.)

In fact, vitamin E actually increased prostate cancer rates — although the dose was probably too high, which makes it tricky to generalize to a more reasonable dose.

(Incidentally, that’s actually an interesting finding and was lost in all the fish oil debate.)

In the study we’re reviewing today — the study-within-the-study, which was correlational in design — an additional 1393 more prostate cancer-free men joined the original group of 834 guys.

(These were matched for age, race, education, BMI, smoking status, alcohol consumption, family history of diabetes and prostate cancer, and SELECT group.)

Researchers measured the blood plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids and trans-fatty acids in those who had prostate cancer and those who did not.

Results

More men with the highest levels of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fats in their blood (total of EPA, DPA and DHA) had low-grade, high-grade, and total prostate cancer.

This is what grabbed the headlines, but there’s more. (And this is the crazy part.)

More men with the highest levels of trans-fatty acids in their blood did not get prostate cancer.

So, according to these correlations, the men who did get prostate cancer had more omega-3s in their blood.

And the men who didn’t get prostate cancer had more trans fats in their blood.

Odd.

Conclusion

Okay, so before you stop taking omega 3s and fish oil because of this study, here are a few things to consider:

This is a correlational study. Like the ice cream and murder study. So we can’t say whether omega 3s cause prostate cancer, prostate cancer causes omega 3s to appear in the blood, or if some other common factor causes both. (Not can we say anything about the causal relationship between trans fats and prostate cancer.)

The researchers measured blood serum levels of omega-3s, not dietary consumption of omega-3s. And the correlation between eating omega-3s and blood serum levels of omega-3s is weak.

Aging may decrease omega-3 consumption and/or deregulate blood serum levels of omega-3s. That means that the problem could be blood serum omega-3 deregulation, not dietary consumption of omega-3s, or the omega-3s themselves.

Serum omega-3 levels rise for fewer than five hours after eating fish or taking fish oil. Forty-eight hours after you take fish oil, your serum levels are back to baseline.

There was no data on how much fish or omega-3s the subjects consumed. None. Based on population data, it’s unlikely that many of these guys were supplementing with fish oil in the first place.

So maybe eating more omega-3s in fish or fish oil form raises the blood serum level of omega-3s, and higher levels of omega-3s in turn cause prostate cancer.

Or maybe prostate cancer causes a dysfunction in the body that also raises omega-3 levels.

Or maybe some physical dysfunction raises both blood omega-3 levels and causes prostate cancer.

In other words, this study doesn’t demonstrate that omega-3 fatty acids cause prostate cancer any more than a spike in ice cream sales explains an increase in murders

Bottom line

KNOWN RISK FACTORS

Before throwing out your fish oil, let’s talk about the more important risk factors for prostate cancer, such as:

  • age;
  • ethnicity/ancestry (for example, men of African descent have much higher prostate cancer mortality rates than men of Asian descent);
  • genetic makeup (although, like breast cancer, the genes we know about to date are responsible for fewer than 10% of cases);
  • family history (i.e. having other close relatives with prostate cancer);
  • previous cancers (even if they’re other types);
  • systemic inflammation;
  • poor diet and sedentary lifestyle;
  • obesity (because adipose tissue is inflammatory if you have too much of it); and/or
  • the hormonal environment (such as inappropriately elevated levels of IGF-1).

(Heck, even this interactive map of world prostate cancer incidence and mortality shows that there are significant regional variations.)

And unlike the correlational studies (which, again, simply say that X happens at the same time as Y), we know the causal mechanisms by which many of these risk factors above actually work (in other words, X causes Y because Z).

As a result, we know that fish oil supplementation can actually improve a few of them, including inflammation, obesity, and the hormonal environment.

OMEGA-3S ARE STILL GOOD FOR YOU

While the media have jumped on this particular study as newsworthy, many other studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids prevent prostate cancer (perhaps by controlling inflammation or lowering the cell signaling molecules that could stimulate cancer cell growth), or have no effect at all on prostate cancer.

Meanwhile, omega-3 fatty acid consumption has been found helpful for everything from Alzheimer’s to joint pain.

And the most convincing data demonstrate that omega-3s decrease blood triglycerides and cardiovascular disease – diseases that pose a greater risk for most men than prostate cancer.

So before you avoid omega-3 fatty acids, recognize that in doing so, you’d be giving up proven benefits for unproven risks.

In our view, the benefits of omega-3s still outweigh any risks.

References

Click here to view the information sources referenced in this article.

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