Newsletter Volume 1, Number 2

December 8, 2005

From my Diary

  • Aerobics and fat loss: Last week, I used a break from weight-lifting as an opportunity to lose some more fat around the middle and promised to report progress on fat loss during the week.

  • Progress: For short periods, weight loss can be used as a proxy for fat loss, so I weighed myself every day. After 12 days, I had lost about 3.5 pounds (1.5 kg). When I am losing weight, the scales fluctuate more than usual, probably something to do with water retention.

    By Sunday, I began to suspect that the rate of weight loss was greater than I intended. To avoid losing lean body mass as well as fat, I took Sunday off from workouts and increased food intake slightly, adding two teaspoons of unsaturated fat and an extra tablespoon of dried fruit to my protein shake. By Monday morning, I felt like a tiger again. From now on I will take Sundays off to recharge my batteries and carbohydrates.

Tips of the Week

  • Eat yoghurt every day or take Lactobacillus supplements to reduce the risk of colon and rectal cancer.
    Dr. Hideki Ishikawa and colleagues at the Hyogo College of Medicine, Osaka (Japan), found that regular consumption of Lactobacillus casei may prevent the development of colon and rectal cancer. However, their study found that high intake of wheat bran fiber does not have the same benefit. Dr. Hideki Ishikawa, Hyogo College of Medicine, Osaka, and colleagues, Int J Cancer 2005;116:762-767.

  • Eat a variety of high-fiber foods to reduce the risk of colon cancer, especially beans.
    Kendall and colleagues from the University of Toronto have shown that the benefit of fiber may result from the low-glycemic index of high-fiber foods.

    They say, "As such, the effectiveness of resistant starch in preventing or treating colonic diseases remains to be assessed. Nevertheless, there is a fraction of what has been termed resistant (RS1) starch, which enters the colon and acts as slowly digested or lente carbohydrate in the small intestine. Foods in this class are low glycemic index and have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic disease. They have been associated with systemic physiological effects such as reduced postprandial insulin levels and higher HDL cholesterol levels.

    Consumption of low glycemic index foods has been shown to be related to reductions in risk of coronary heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has in turn been related to a higher risk of colon cancer. If carbohydrates have a protective role in colon cancer prevention this may lie partly in the systemic effects of low glycemic index foods.

    The colonic advantages of different carbohydrates, varying in their glycemic index and resistant starch content, therefore, remain to be determined. However, as recent positive research findings continue to mount, there is reason for optimism over the possible health advantages of those resistant starches, which are slowly digested in the small intestine." AOAC Int., 2004, May-Jun;87(3):769-74.

  • Avoid bloating and intestinal gas by increasing extra fiber gradually. Beans and other legumes may cause gas at first, but the body gradually adapts to both the extra fiber and the resistant starches. The first week, choose one day per week, say Saturday, as a bean salad day. The following week, add Tuesday as a bean stew day. If you eat fruit and vegetables irregularly but resolve to start eating more, keep a diary of your fruit and vegetable intake for a few weeks.

    Building new habits does not take long, a month perhaps. Record keeping and fixed days for beans are only props for the first few weeks, after which you can just add fruit and vegetable to your shopping list as you use them up. You can then become flexible about when to eat beans and other legumes.

  • Soluble fiber can help overcome the "lazy bowel syndrome", often associated with aging. Soluble fiber speeds up the passage of waste through the colon and makes bowel movement both easier and more regular. Soluble fiber supports the body's own detoxification system.

    Psyllium husk from health food shops is a cheap and tasteless form of soluble fiber, also sold in drugstores as Metamucil. Three times per day, I add a tablespoon of psyllium husk to a glass of water, stir and drink it plain. Small quantities could be added to stews or to breakfast cereal or to bread. I prefer to measure out fixed quantities so I know how much I am getting every day. Regular use of psyllium husk means never having to use a laxative.


The amazing story of Diana Gooch
  • Less than four years ago Diana weighed 265 pounds (120 kg) and suffered from several chronic conditions, including arthritis and high blood pressure. She says, "I've lost 10 inches off my waistlineā€¦. I really can't believe I have done it. I feel like a new woman." Diana's Journey. (The article mentions the "stone", a British measure of weight equal to 14 pounds, 6.4 kg.)

Special Report

Coming Up

  • I will write to Diana Gooch. If she agrees, I will report on the progress she made during 2005.
Fred Colbourne It's never too late!
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This newsletter and special reports should not be substituted for the advice of a physician. Please consult with your family doctor before beginning any program of exercise or diet modification.

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