Summer of 68
- POSTED ON: May 27, 2013



Today begins what I am calling my summer of 68.

The picture above expresses my current mood. I want to take an information vacation on a private beach. During this, my 8th maintenance summer season, I plan to keep my dieting efforts consistent while sharing less about the ongoing specifics of my individual behaviors. 
 

Right now, I have nothing new to say, and I don't feel a need to keep sharing the same old things over and over.  DietHobby is my online scrapbook.  I've already shared many of my personal experiences, and the majority of my Thoughts, Ideas, Hopes, and Beliefs about dieting.

   These are now all part of the easily accessible, DietHobby ARCHIVES. If you have an interest in what I'm thinking or doing...Go there. 

Whenever the mood strikes me, I'll post here, and will continue to add articles which I find personally helpful or interesting to this online scrapbook. 

PLEASE NOTE: The fact that I choose not to post about my specific individual maintenance difficulties does NOT mean they've been eliminated or resolved.


Our Power
- POSTED ON: May 25, 2013

 


Movie Trailer for DietHobby
- POSTED ON: May 24, 2013

                 
Here's the StreetCorner where I hang out for long-term weight-loss maintenance. 

Traffic tends to zoom right by. Sometimes someone will slow down or pause a bit.

People drop by for short visits but most continue on to search for a more comfortable location. Very few people choose to stay.

    See below for a Movie Trailer recently made to help people discover this Diethobby website and its YouTube channels. 


About Salt
- POSTED ON: May 20, 2013



The idea that "salt is bad for you" is entrenched in the American mindset; sodium's right up there with trans fats and cigarettes. We now commonly see ads warning us of the high sodium content of processed foods.

 I take the idea "that a normally healthy person should restrict salt"with a grain of salt.
i.e. to take a statement with 'a grain of salt' or 'a pinch of salt' means to maintain a degree of skepticism about its truth. The phrase has been in use in English since the 17th century;

In reality, the IDEA THAT SALT IS BAD FOR US IS NOT (and has never been) BASED ON SOLID EVIDENCE. Even worse, the idea is dangerously wrong: we need salt to live, and not eating enough can make a person die.

Salt
does not cause our bodies to gain or lose fat.
Salt has no calories.

High consumption of salt only results in temporary weight gain as it causes the body to retain water. Low consumption of salt can result in temporary weight loss as it causes the body to expel water. It is normal and healthy to see these water weight fluctuations.

Our blood is 0.9% salt and it is continually flowing through our lymphatic system. Salt is also necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid, the digestive enzyme secreted by the stomach in order to digest protein. It’s important for nerves and muscles. When we sweat we can taste the salt coming out of our skin. Salt is vital for life’s existence. Put a salt block outside and all animals will consume it.

A diet low in salt can eventually lead to dehydration. Salt holds water in the body, and without it, people can actually dehydrate and die even while drinking water.

The anti-salt campaign began in the 70s, based on two pieces of flimsy research. Although researchers quietly acknowledged that the data were 'inconclusive and contradictory' or 'inconsistent and contradictory'... publicly, the link between salt and blood pressure was upgraded from hypothesis to fact, probably because there was no other good suspect at the time to blame for hypertension.

After studying new research conducted since 2005, a committee commissioned by the Institute of Medicine and CDC issued a report that "said there was no rationale for anyone to aim for sodium levels below 2,300 milligrams a day" .

One study found that among people with moderate to severe heart failure, those who consumed less salt were more than three times more likely to be readmitted to the hospital; another found that older folks with high blood pressure consuming less than 3,000 mg of sodium a day were as likely to suffer heart problems and strokes as those eating more than 7,000 mg a day. The average, across cultures and generations, is around 3,700 mg, suggesting this is probably around a naturally healthy range.

Despite this evidence, the American Heart Association has not amended its low-sodium recommendations.

Here’s an recent article by a medical professional about this subject.


To Salt or Not To Salt
        by Dr. Ayra Sharma, M.D. - May 20, 2013

Unbeknownst to many readers, the first 10 years of my research career was built largely on studying the effects of salt (or rather sodium chloride) on blood pressure.

In over 40 peer-reviewed publications, we described in excruciating detail the physiological effects of increasing and decreasing sodium intake, in many cases using single-blind randomised trial designs in hundreds of volunteers.

We not only examined the effects of salt on blood pressure but also on a wide range of physiological, metabolic and psychological parameters. We studied the effects on acid-base balance, we conducted genetic studies, we even performed in vitro studies on cells cultured from “salt-sensitive” and “salt-resistant” individuals.

In many respects, these studies left me as confused about the role of sodium on these parameters as I was before. Not that we did not report findings that helped us better understand the complex physiology of sodium homeostasis – it is just that we failed to convincingly demonstrate any major health implications of these findings.

In some cases we even reported adverse consequences of sodium restriction resulting both in significant elevations in plasma lipids and insulin resistance (perhaps not surprising given that reducing sodium intake markedly stimulates both the sympathetic and renin-angiotensin systems – the very systems we seek to block to reduce cardiovascular risk).

That was almost 20 years ago – the field does not appear to be much clearer today.

Thus, although surprising to some, I must admit that I was by no means surprised by the report on sodium released last week by the Institute of Medicine, with the rather revealing conclusion that,


“…the evidence from studies on direct health outcomes was insufficient and inconsistent regarding an association between sodium intake below 2,300 mg per day and benefit or risk of CVD outcomes (including stroke and CVD mortality) or all-cause mortality in the general U.S. population.” (or any other population for that matter)


This is not to deny that despite considerable methodological problems (not least in the actual measurement of salt intake), there is evidence to support the idea that higher salt intake may affect blood pressure and possibly cardiovascular risk. However, the data is certainly far less conclusive than food bloggers and health activists would lead us to be believe.

Not surprisingly, the same activists and organizations are now up in arms stopping just short of criticizing the scientific credibility of the IOM expert committee – no doubt, the same folks would have been applauding the conclusions of this “illustrious panel”, had the findings been more in line with their own activist agendas.

What is perhaps even more infuriating to those who have always considered the issue of sodium recommendations a slam-dunk case is the statement by the IOM that, there is in fact no basis on which to draw recommendations for the general public in recognition of the fact that significant proportions of the population may require higher sodium intakes and may even be likely to suffer harm from overly enthusiastic sodium restriction.

While I have no illusions that this report will in any way put the century old debate to rest (indeed the report calls for further research), I think that there is a much bigger message in this report that should let us tread cautiously when it comes to dietary recommendations in general.

Let us remember that associations (on which so many of our assumptions about healthy diets depend) simply do not prove causality, even when backed by seemingly plausible biological hypotheses derived largely from rodent toxicology.

We should also remember that fancy statistical predictions on the vast number of lives lost or saved by altering the population intake of this or the other nutrient, are generally based on sometimes rather heroic assumptions that may well explain whey they are rarely (if ever) borne out by actual interventions.

Thus, whether we are talking about salt, fat, carbs, sugar, fiber, gluten, calcium, Vit D, dairy or red-meat, a degree of humility in advocating for policies and other measures to reduce or increase this or the other is generally in order.

Seldom in the field of nutrition are things as cut and dried as some will have us believe – if only food were as simple as tobacco.

                          Dr. Sharma’s Obesity Notes – www. drsharma.ca

 


All Goals Are Not Reachable For All People
- POSTED ON: May 17, 2013

                        

A common MYTH is the idea that …with enough effort…, it is possible for everyone to be able to reach the same goals.

However, not all goals are reachable for all people.

The existence of this Myth tends to be overlooked or forgotten when it comes to weight and what our bodies can accomplish. As a result of this blindness or memory loss, overweight or obese people are wrongfully perceived as morally inferior and weak and lazy.
Efforts to Diet become internalized “attempts at redemption.”

Our culture contains an enormous Diet Industry.
This is a particular form of economic and commercial activity involving the marketing of food, equipment, and drugs etc. as well as the marketing of information, and services from “experts”.

The term Diet Industry “Experts” involves a wide range of information givers, which includes “successful dieters”; trainers; dietitians; nutritionists; therapists, doctors and other medical professionals; hospitals; drug companies; scientists; educators; authors; publishers; journalists; politicians; and various organizations of all types, including “health care” organizations.

 Unfortunately, a close look at the Diet Industry shows that even successfully following any Diet, … even those diets that we choose to call: a “Lifestyle Change”, a “Way-of-Eating” Plan, a “non-diet” plan, … doesn’t really bring us a permanent Solution for long-term weight-control.

However, long-term weight-control has never been a requirement or even a primary goal of the Diet Industry, nor the motivation behind it. Any study of the Diet Industry shows that it is a “triumph of capitalist success in selling promises to desperate people”.

One of the ways the Diet Industry sustains itself is by subtly connecting people to “ideals” of body-weight – even though those ideals are unattainable or unsustainable for the vast majority of the population.

 A Yorkshire Terrier and a German Shepherd are both black and tan, and they both are of the same “species.” That doesn’t mean one can become the other’s size and weight – “if they just try hard enough!

This such a difficult concept to get people to understand and to remember.

We are not all the same.
We do not all look the same.
We cannot all look the same, no matter how hard we might try.

The Diet Industry would like us to keep believing that if we just do the right things, each of us can wake up one day with a Body that looks like a fashion, fitness, or other advertising model who is pictured online, or in magazines, television or movies. 

 It is important for each of us to understand and remember that this is a MYTH.
Although that might be true for a very small percentage of people with the right genetic makeup, it is simply not true for everyone.

We need to rise above this MYTH. In order to find peace, we need to ACCEPT our own genetic, physical, psychological, cultural, and behavioral differences. We each need to learn how to live with our own self,  and to be happy with the specific body that each of us individually has.


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