Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba
Taken from Huatusco, Veracruz, the closest town to Margarita's family's ranch.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats for Cell Energy; diets for Health or for Illness. SURPRISE!

Ok class of too few; continuing on the topic of carbohydrates: For some reason today I became curious about how the body metabolizes food for energy. Actually, on Sunday I had bought a bottle of Pedialyte (for dehydration caused by diarrhea). The third to last meal with my mother and her husband Bruce was a horrible mistake, although the restaurant was on the beach. But everyone got sick with the exception of Margarita. So, I bought what is considered the best beverage for dehydration. However, the damn Pedialyte was horribly sweet. On the label was dextrose. 2 days later I remember to read about Dextrose and read that it is just another name for Glucose and that Glucose is a "secondary source of cell energy", which peaked my interest. So, I put a search on google for what is the Primary Source of Cell Energy and found something incredibly interesting:

I must remind you that I wasn't researching anything connected with low carb diets. However, this is really interesting.

The article is "Dynamic Adaptation of Nutrient Utilization in Humans" on Scitable by Nature Education: http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/dynamic-adaptation-of-nutrient-utilization-in-humans-14232807

The body's cells obtain energy from not only glucose, but from Protein and Fats. Carbohydrates are digested into Glucose which enters into the cell and is broken down into Pyruvate. Proteins are broken down to Amino Acids and Fats are broken down to Fatty Acids. All three are converted into ATP, which can be translated as chemical energy... However, from each fat molecule, the cells generate 200% or twice the amount of energy as from that of glucose or protein, believe it or not.

90% of the energy obtained by the heart is from Fatty Acids and Fatty Acids are the primary source of energy for Skeletal Muscle. What is skeletal muscle? Look at your calve, your thigh, flex your arm, move your neck... It's all the muscle used for moving or stabilizing your bones, meaning that it is the majority of muscle on your body and what enables you to sit up in a chair; if you have the energy. If not, you lay in bed or on a couch or you fall on the floor. We've all been there, too often... Skeletal muscle moves you and enables you to compete in sports or bike or run or canoe are swing a bat or racket or shoot hoops and avoid moguls on the ski slope...

It's interesting thinking about cardiovascular disease, cholesterol and triglycerides. One must ask, "why eat a low fat diet for protecting yourself from heart disease if your heart depends greatly upon fatty acids for being able to beat?" And then the most recent study claiming that LDL Cholesterol obtained from Animal products is not what causes heart disease, but triglycerides obtained from carbohydrates. Now, a word for you carnivores who are jumping for joy at this news: high protein diets are connected with heightened risk of cancer. I would take that VERY seriously. You should probably consider NOT eating boneless/skinless chicken breast or a rib-eye or ground beef or boneless pork chops etc if you are concerned about your risk of cancer... Muscle meats have an amino acid, Methionine, that greatly increases homocysteine levels and not only the development of cancer cells, but heart disease, strokes, mental illness and bone fractures. But, take heed; this issue is about the modern middle-class diet and mass marketing/supermarket techniques; food packaging and how you buy what you eat. If you leave the meat, skin and cartilage on the bones and stew or boil the meat, you prevent the cancer. No, this is not witchcraft. Animal bones, skin and cartilage contain high amounts of gelatin and gelatin contains high amounts of Glycine that metabolises Methionine.

When the body is at rest, which is most of the day, only 20% of the cells' energy is obtained by glucose. In fact, the main users of glucose is the adipose tissue (or fat tissues) the brain and the eyes. Aside from the heart, the liver and the kidneys rely upon fat for energy. In fact, the only people needing of high carb diets are athletes. The glucose not metabolized immediately by the body is converted to triglycerides and stored in fat cells. Not only this, high carb diets cause sudden hyperglycemia and a sudden dive or hypoglycemia in less than two hours. So, you fall asleep at the desk or you run out to buy a Snickers or a cup of coffee with milk and a lot of sugar or a Coke and a smile. When you maintain a low carb diet, your metabolism is much more stable with much few peeks and dips, and less risk of storing fat around the mid-section or worse, creating heart disease or diabetes or more likely, both.

As I mentioned previously, this artical is not connected with any diet plan, nor is it concerned with the battle between vegetarians and carnivores or low fat-diet advocates and high protein-low carbohydrate advocates. However, what struck me within this artical not concerned with the New York Times artical connecting carbohydrates with heart disease and detaching animal fat from heart disease is that it mentions that the production of cancer cells depends greatly upon energy metabolized from the glucose by-product, Lactase or Lactic Acid. All you athletes, especially body builders, bikers and runners are very familiar with Lactic Acid burn in your calves or arms due to the metabolism of glucose quicker than the muscles can rid it from their tissues... So, we can safely conclude that lowering your carb intake not only lowers your risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease, it lowers your risk of cancer...

I must remind you: A low carb diet is really the control, reduction or removal of simple carbs like typical bread-rice-pastas, corn, corn tortillas, white potatoes, refined sugars, natural juices separated from their dietary fiber, and some fruits, such as oranges (especially Mandarines/Tangerines), white grapes, bananas, watermelons... Refering to bananas and their fame as being high in potassium, there are many fruits and vegetables with higher levels of potassium than bananas (see Swiss Chard, Spinach, Bok Choy, Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cantaloup, Tomatoes, Asparagus, Cabbage, Carrots, Fennel, Summer Squash, Crimini Mushrooms, Kale, Red Bell Peppers, Sweet potatoes, Soybeans, Pinto beans, Lentils, Avocados and Kidney Beans amonst a few).

For lowering weight and risks for cardiovascular diseases, kidney disease, Diabetes and Cancer I would remove the simple carbs, maintain my protein and fat intake and increase my complex carb intake (meaning fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds). I don't mention grains since Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease is under diagnosed and incredibly on the rise... I myself believe "I am" Celiac, based on the dramatic corporal dis-inflamation and dramatic stool color-change over the past 3+ weeks without eating wheat products. So, you won't find me promoting the Mediterranean diet and fiber obtained from whole grains.

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