Friday 6 November 2015

Red Meat and Cancer : Is there really a connection? Part 3

      In part 2 we covered the first two suspects in the connection between red meat and colon cancer. Let's move on.

Third suspect: Heat compounds
The other villain is that delicious char that forms on grilled foods. That char ,and high temperature cooking in general, creats chemicals that can damage the gut such as heterocyclic amines(HCAs). Red meat produces higher levels of these chemicals than white meat.Yet again,you have to consider the entirety of a meal. Certain veggies (like broccoli or Brussel sprouts) may substatially reduce the impact of HCAs in cooked meat. And, thank goodness, even marinades with certain spices can reduce HCAs ! Caribbean spices seem to perform the best.

Fourth suspect: Iron
Red meat is rich in iron,and iron is the goldilocks of all minerals. Many people are low in iron,so anemia is a public health concern. But on the opposite end,iron is very easily oxidized (think rust). The iron in red meat can easily build up in intestinal cells,since it isn't tightly bound to other compounds like it is in many plants.When iron oxidizes,it eventually causes cell damage,which makes its link to colorectal quite easy to understand.

Fifth suspect: TMAO
What exactly is TMAO ? TMAO stans for Trimethylamine N-oxide, a compound that some research has linked to colon cancer.Red meat is high in the amino acid L-carnitine. L-carnitine gets metabolized by some of the bacteria in your gut,and eventually turns into TMAO.Many studies have linked TMAO to disease but there's more to this than meets the eye. Certain types of bacteria can increase your TMAO production while other types can decrease it.

Sixth suspect: Neu5Gc
All mammals other than humans(plus, strangely,ferrets,along with a few monkeys species) have a type of sugar in their bodies called Neu5Gc,whereas we have Neu5Ac. Neu5Gc can get into your cells and become prey to the immune system,which results in inflammation.Evidence shows that human tumors can contain high levels of Neu5Gc.A 2015 stud showed that very very high levels of this compound can cause cancer in mice.

It's pretty clear from the evidence that eating red meat every day has decent chance of increasing  cancer risk,specifically colorectal cancer. Consuming high amounts of processed red meat in particular is really playing with fire.Be sure to mix up your cooking methods,and try some gentle cooking techniques.But all that being said,the evidence is mostly observational.In this case,as in many others, moderation may be the key 

Sunday 1 November 2015

Red Meat and Cancer . Is there really a connection ? Part 2

            Now a quick rundown of the physiological mechanisms as to why red meat might or might not impact cancer. We've established that the key cancer here is colorectal cancer. So most of these mechanisims have to do with intestinal damage.Two of the villians in the red meat and cancer story are colours !Specifically, red and black. And one possible hero is also a colour: green.  

First suspect : NOCs
Red meat is red because of the red pigment in the blood.Part of this pigment can be processed in the gut into something called N-nitroso compuonds (NOCs),which can damage the gut lining.When this happens the gut repairs itself by cell replication, and DNA damage. This is not a good thing. Un processed red meat doesn't have as direct an impact on gut damage as does processed red meat . Basically, processed red meat forms NOCs much ,much faster than the meat itself.Luckily,most people don't eat an all-red-meat diet. And it turns out that if you eat green veggies with your meat,that risk of colon cancer risk can be substantially reduced ! Having some of that in your gut to compete with the pigment might reduce or potentially eliminate them from being turned into dangerous chemicals.

Second suspects: Heat compounds
The other villain is that delicious char that forms on grilled foods.It turns out that this char, and high cooking in general creates chemicals that can damsge the gut such as heterocyclic amines (HCAs). Red meat produces much higher levels of these chemicals than white meat.This is is an excellent example of why caveman/ paleo eating is not inherently healthy. Yet again, you have to consider the entirety of a meal. Certain veggies(like broccoli or Brussel sprouts) may substantially reduce the impact of HCAs in cooked meat. And.thank goodness,even marinades with certain spices can reduce HCAs.

             I hope you are learning something from all of this. Part 3 will follow soon. As you can see the whole red meat and cancer issue isn't as clear cut as we may have thought.   

Thursday 29 October 2015

Red Meat and Cancer. I there really a connection. Part.1

              In the past couple of days you've probbably been seeing headlines of the "Red Meat as Carcinogenic as Smoking!" variety.Are reporters taking crazy pills,or is there really something to the headlines this time.I am going to try and make this very complex issue understandable so that you can make your own educated decision. I am neither for ,or, against eating red meat.
             To understand this issue,you have to understand a bit about the science of red meat metabolites as well as about epidemiology(the study of how often disease occurs in different groups of people and why). Being labeled as a carcinogen is fairly common.Not only are harmful compounds like alcohol potentially carcinogenic,but so are health elixirs aloe vera and yerbamate tea.The true impact depemds on the dose ,what makes up the rest of your diet,and many other factors.
                                                      Know you meat
              First off ,you better know what exactly red meat is. Pork is not white meat.That's right ! The meat in mammals like pig is typically red when raw ,due to its high hemoglobin(a red protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood) content.Resaechers consider pork to be red meat.But there may be something in red meat that could potentially cause cancer. 
           Earlier this month reseachers of met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer(IARC).After analysing over 800 studies IARC came up with some pretty strong conclusions regarding red meat. They classified processed red meat as a "Group 1" carcinogen ("carcinogenic to humans"). As for regular red meat,it was classified as a "Group 2A " carcinogen (" probably carcinogenic to humans"). The findings were mostly referring to cancer of the colon or rectum.You can not generalize the researchers findings to all other cancer types. It's not like we didn't know this stuff already. Processed red meat has been strongly linked to colorectal cancer for years. I find it amusing that the media headlines of the past few days have been so extreme, since they're based on a 1.5 page summary. The complete report by the World Health Organization(WHO) won't be available for months. Is it possible the WHO could be wrong?
             Wrong is to strong a word.Let's just say "slighty off ". For example. The WHO position on salt intake call for less than 2,000 mg a day. There is a large amount of research out there that shows that keeping salt intake under 2,000 mg/day doesn't just lack evidence for benefit but might actually be harmful. That doesn't mean that eating a ton of salt via processed food is healthy. It just means that obsessive salt reduction is probably not a grat idea for most people.
            Much of the evidence that was reviewed was done so by observing large groups of people over time to see if disease developes. Even so. These type's of studies should not be ignored. You can't really do many cancer trials ,since cancer takes so long to develope and so many causative factors are involved. But you have to take the good with the bad. Finally,and i can't say this enough: The dose makes the poison. If your red meat intake is high,plus it's the processed kind that is much more likely to cause cancer. But if you have a grass-fed  beef burger once or twice a week, that's not even close to being a sure-fire recipe for cancer.
           In part 2, I will cover what is it about red meat and processed red meat that creates the problem ?        

Saturday 3 October 2015

My most important blog !

       This may be the most important blog i have ever posted. The single most important decision any person can make is the decision to take personal responsibility for their life.What does that mean ? Let me give you some examples.
        I cannot tell you how many times i have listened to people complain about how they are always sick,tired or depressed. I always ask potential clients the same question: "How many times a week do you elevate your heart rate above 70% of its maximum for at least 10 minutes or more ?" 90% of the time the answer is the same. " Never".
        No wonder that they have health issues,they live a sedentary lifestyle. If you want to be healthy you have to move , and move often....stay still and you will be doomed to live a life filled with health problems. The most important decision you can make in your life is to take personal responsibility for it.
        Be proactive. Its you that has to live in your skin.Not your doctor! Not your husband or wife or your children. 
        It is YOU that can take charge and conquer your health problems. Soon you will know more about your personal health challenges than any doctor knows about them.
        "YOU" have the power to change every aspect of your life. Become your own amazing success story. Take responsibility for your life today!
         YOU can change it all if you want !
         YOU can be the person you want to be if you only WANT it enough!
         YOU can have it all !
         Decide today to take responsibility. Go for it and don't stop until you reach your goals ! Imagine, YOU-The Happiest Person For A Hundred Miles Around. 
         The happiest people have lives that are just as challenging  as people who are miserable,anxious,angry and depressed. The happiest people simply frame their responsibilities and struggles in a more positive way than everyone else.
         "Imagine what you would look like,feel like and be like if you exercised regularly and ate healthy"    

Sunday 6 September 2015


      Have you ever seen this K.I.S.S. ? It stands for everything I believe in. Keep It Simple Stupid. With that in mind I am going to ask you two very simple questions. Both questions require either a yes or no answer. Question 1: when you woke up this morning did you weigh less than you did six months ago? Question 2: when you woke up this morning are you healthier than you were six months ago? Very simple. Either yes or no.If your reply was a big YES then congratulations. Good for you. Just keep doing what your doing. It only gets better. If your answer was no followed by a big “but” or a long and boring explanation why its not your fault, I say “bullsh*t. Get off your butt and get moving. Its never to late. It really is that simple.

Saturday 8 August 2015

Make today the day !

The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. Stop dreaming. Stop being overweight. Stop being unhealthy. Just stop it. Make today the very last day that you do nothing about your weight or your health. Make today the day you made the decision enough is enough.I'm not going to live like this anymore.No more excuses.No more lies. No more deceiving myself and the people who care about me. No more ! Today is the day i take back control of my life. Today i am reborn ! From here on i am going to live life and live up to my fullest potential.

Monday 3 August 2015

INTERESTERIFIED FATS: Different but just as deadly

           Before you run out buy your next box of biscuits or crisp labelled “zero trans fats” or “trans fat free” you better take a look at the ingredients list. Many companies have eliminated partially hydrogenated oils from their products, the replacement, interesterified fats, may not be much better. Since 2006 nutrition labels have been required to list the amount of trans fat in the product. This led food companies to look for ways to remove hydrogenated oils from their products. Their answer was interesterified fats. Interesterified fat is made by combining a solid fat(containing saturated fatty acids) with a liquid fat (vegetable oil containing unsaturated fatty acids) to create a fat that behaves like saturated fat in food preparation, but lacks the “bad” effects of saturated fats or trans fat once it’s consumed.
Is it safe ?
It is to early to tell for sure. Most research suggest that they are no better trans fats, having the same effects on blood cholesterol(lowering the good and increasing the bad), as well as raising blood sugar and lowering insulin levels which could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Where Would I Find Interesterified Fats ?
The same places we used to find partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats- processed baked goods,spreads and frozen convenience foods. There is no specific labelling requirements for interesterified fats, so you will not see them on the nutrition facts label. Instead, review the ingredients list for “interesterified” fats or oil. If “fully hydrogenated vegetable oil , palm oil” and/ or “palm kernel oil” are listed, the product may or may not contain interesterified fats. And of course, be wary of “no trans fat “ or “trans fat free” statements on the package.
Bottom Line
Common sense will tell you that you that any foods that can last longer than their homemade versions need additives in order to delay their “extinction”. These same types of foods tend to be high in total fat, salt and sugar as well as other food additives. Why risk your health by eating things we have a hard time pronouncing. Avoid processed foods whenever possible . Keep it natural.  



Sunday 7 June 2015

No more Mr. Nice Guy, because YOU deserve better ! Part 3

Obesity is not hereditary

There are only two reasons for being overweight, 1) eating to much crap 2) not exercising.

I'm still waiting.

Don't put your coffee in the refrigerator for freshness. The cold temperatures will dry up the oil in the coffee. Its the oil that gives the coffee its flavour. Also coffee absorbs oders and flavours of other foods.

Do you know what country has the highest rate of obesity in the world ?
Answer below.

According to The Emergency Medicine Journal,obese people are 80% more likely die in a car accident than normal-weight drivers. Slightly higher among obese woman.

30% of individuals with prediabetes will develop Type2 Diabetes within 5 years if they don't make significant lifestyle changes.

T2D is a slow and painful disease that is ultimately terminal.

Stop having intimate dinners for two when your the only one at the table.

Watching a sad movie may make you eat 28 to 58 percent more popcorn.

It does not cost more to eat healthy than to eat junk.

Have you ever noticed that the only people who say that are overweight ?

The human eye can distinguish over a million different colors and take in more information than the largest telescope known to man.

Want healthy skin? Eat berries. Berries have antioxidants that safeguard the skin from sun damage ind inflammation. They also fight puffiness,fine lines and blisters.

Gardening is not exercise. Neither is housework.

According to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute,having dense breast increase the risk of malignancy by four to sixfold. Breast density cannot be felt by the fingers;it's determined by mammographic images.

Answer : Nauro Island and the Cook Islands.

Stay Focused


Sunday 31 May 2015

No more Mr. Nice Guy, because you deserve better. Part 2

There is one thing you can do that will dramatically improve the following conditions; cardiovascular disease,hypertension,type 2 diabetes,arthritis and osteoporosis. Do you know what it is? The answer is at the bottom.

You cannot convert fat into muscle or muscle into fat. Cannot be done!

I'm still waiting to see someone do the deadlift correctly.  

If you play a sport,any sport, and want to improve your performance quickly the best thing you can do is take ballet lessons.

What you did can't hurt you. What you do next can.

Often the first signs of bad health is death!

The number 1 reason given for not exercising : no time

The average person spends 3hrs and 52mins watching TV and 1hr and 8 mins on the internet.................... PER DAY !

Bodybuilding is not a sport.

For every pound of fat you lose. You reduce the pressure on your knees by 4 lbs with every step you take.

Why do some people take better care of their cars than of themselves ?

According to the British Heart Foundation 44% of the British population does no exercise.

Total cost of inactivity to the UK economy..................£900 million a year !

Did you make a New Years resolution to lose weight and get healthy ?

Are you still doing it?

Answer : resistance training.  Free weights, machines. It doesn't matter.

I haven't missed a solid week of training since the summer of 2012.


Monday 18 May 2015

No more Mr. Nice Guy, because YOU deserve better !

You don't need to exercise harder or more. Just SMARTER!

I am still waiting to see someone do the deadlift correctly!

Situps,crunches and bicycles DO NOT work your abs or your core.

They will however hurt your back.

Weight gain is the end result of being ill. NOT the cause of your illness.

Knee raises work your hip flexors not your lower abs.

If your not using a heart rate monitor when doing your cardio work,your waisting you time.

DO NOT use the old 220-your age x percentage to figure out what your heart rate should be. It just might kill you.

Personal trainers should not sell products they recommend to their client's. EVER !

Stretch. Warmup. Workout. In that order. Always.

Long,slow cardio sessions burn very little fat.

Jogging or shuffling as i call it, is a very inefficient way of losing weight and getting fit.

It will however beat the crap out of your body.

In my opinion there are 3 things that has lead to the exessive weight gain we have seen in the past 10 years.
1. Procrastination
2. I want it for nothing
3. I want to do as littl as possible to get it.

I have never met a person who wasn't capable of losing weight and keeping it off

People who listen to me are glad they did. People who don't wish they had.

In the immortal words of "The Oak". "I'll Be Back".

Stay Focused    




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