Nutrition

Fat vs Sugar

There has been this debate regarding whether fat or sugar is worse. Which makes u fat? A pair of twin brothers, who are also doctors, did 1 month experiment on themselves in an attempt to find out the answer.

BBC Documentary: Fat vs Sugar

Some points to note:

CARBOHYDRATES (low fat diet)

  • Provide fuel for brain. Brain uses 60% glucose for energy, so lack of carbs would lead to decreased performance in memory and focus.
  • It is a more efficient fuel for physical activity as compared to fat.
  • Contrary to popular belief, it actually increases sensitivity to insulin. Effects are more efficient lowering of blood sugar after meals.

FATS (low carb diet)

  • Suppresses ghrelin (hunger hormone) for longer periods of time, hence making one feel full for longer.
  • There seem to be a stop trigger to prevent one from consuming too much fat.
  • Does not necessary makes one fat. On the other hand, one may lose weight, but that includes a large percentage of muscle mass, which leads to potential problems in future. This is due to the breakdown of muscle for energy as glucose are not readily available.
  • Desensitize response to insulin. After one month of high fat low carb, Dr Xand actually became 0.2 points to being pre-diabetic.

The combinations of sugar & fat: (not available in nature)

  • The killer is a 50-50 combination of sugar and fat.
  • There is no mechanism to pull a stop trigger.
  • It is almost addictive as the combi makes people go back for seconds.
  • Mice experiment showed great increase in body mass.

In conclusion, a healthy diet is one that is balanced. It is unhealthy to exclude major macronutrients. Eat real food existent in nature, and reduce processed foods to minimal.

It is an interesting experiment. My sis often wonders why our grandma is healthy and living a long life despite eating all sorts of things – carb, fat, protein. She came to her own conclusion that grandma doesn’t eat processed foods. Grandma does not snack on potato chips, cookies and cheesecake. She does not even like butter and milk much, though she often put too much oil in the dishes she cooks. And she loves to walk, is always curious, and kind.

Sometimes the answer is around us. We just need to observe. As Michael Pollan puts it in Food Rules,

  1. Eat Food
  2. Mostly Plants
  3. Not too much

That pretty much sums up. No need for complicated science or calculation of calories. Calorie counting don’t work (been there done that). It serves as a guide but just a very vague one. It is like currency. Different currencies has different values and not exactly interchangeable. It is complicated. Calories from carb and protein are different. Its origins matters, how it is metabolised are also different. So, one calorie from bread does not really mean one calorie from an apple, or pork. It is different.

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Vanilla Almond Granola

Easy to make and delicious Vanilla Almond Granola! It is surprisingly easy to make. What took me so long to try?!

Whisk together coconut oil and syrup until well combined.

Make sure the oats are evenly coat.

Spread it evenly on the pan before baking. Stir to ensure the granola is baked evenly, every 15 mins.

Vanilla Almond Granola

Ingredients:

2½ cup or 200g rolled oats

¾ cup silvered almonds

½ tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

½ cup maple syrup (substituted with golden syrup)

¼ cup coconut oil

¼ tsp almond extract (omitted)

1 tbsp vanilla extract (yes, 1 tablespoon)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 300oF or 150oC. Line baking pan with baking paper.
  2. Toss oats, almonds, cinnamon, salt together. Set aside.
  3. Whisk syrup, coconut oil till combined.
  4. Whisk in almond extract and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over oats mixture and toss to coat evenly, making sure all oats are moistened.
  6. Spread it on the baking sheet, and bake for 45min, stirring every 15min.
  7. Allow granola to cool completely so that it will be crunchy.
  8. Keep in airtight container for up to 3 weeks, at room temperature.

Notes:

  • It is a scale down from the original recipe, and it fits my baking pan just nice. So it depends on the size of your own baking pan.
  • I used a combination of sliced almonds and diced almonds because that’s what I have on hand. I find that sliced almonds are good as it is thin and crunchy after baking, giving the finished product more “dimension”.
  • I omitted almond extract as I finished it. The granola was still good.
  • Substituted maple syrup with golden syrup. Yea.. I am making it more unhealthy so called. But I think that both are sugars, and downing too much maple syrup is equivalent to overdose of sugar too. Besides, it was practical for me because I could not think of a better way to finish up my golden syrup. End product was good, maybe better because golden syrup is thicker and sweeter compared to maple syrup. Just eat in moderation. J
  • Stirring every 15 min is absolutely important, especially that I used almond flakes, which are thin. Some almond flakes were still burnt.
  • It is absolutely delicious and easy to make.

 

No bake Peanut Butter Cookies

I am trying.. to prepare more food that I can bring on the go, as my new workplace is horrendously inaccessible and far, with

not many food choices that suits me. (There is only one canteen.)

Close-up texture of the cookies

Anyway, I found this recipe on Tone It Up. If u are female and trying to “Tone It Up”, u won’t regret popping over to take a look. The site is managed by two gorgeous women who are fitness trainers and decided to start a community where women can encourage each other to become healthy and fit. There are plenty of FREE articles for exercise routines, recipes, motivation, etc.

The recipes they provide are pretty simple, delicious and healthy. I have reached an age whereby I can feel it if I drank too much the previous night, or if I don’t sleep properly for 2 days. I just feel, I can’t go on living the way I lived. I NEED to CHANGE. So, I found their site by chance and it has become my new hobby. Hope things turn out well 🙂

I was just lazy to sift the cocoa powder, so I had to do extra work trying to let it all well mixed using two spoons (refer to next picture). Recommended: Sift the cocoa powder first.

Make sure everything is well mixed.

Mix well, and fast, as the oats “soak” peanut butter dry too fast.

After 20 minutes??

Ingredients

    • 1/3 cup honey
    • 1/2 cup almond milk
    • 3 to 4 tbsp cacao powder
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter (no-sugar added, natural peanut butter)
    • 3 cups oats
    • 1 scoop vanilla or chocolate Perfect Fit protein powder

Method

  1. Heat honey, milk, cacao powder over medium heat till boiling.
  2. Add peanut butter, oats and protein powder. Mix well.
  3. Form into cookies, place on wax paper. Refrigerate until set.

Notes

  • Sift the cocoa powder first, so that it can mix well with the other ingredients.
  • Shaping into energy balls or bars is easier, I find. It’s really up to u. What shape and size, it doesn’t matter.
  • Used skimmed milk instead of almond milk
  • Rolled oats were used.
  • The end product was just sweet enough for my liking, but maybe not sweet enough for general public who are desensitized by too much sugar in the daily food. (Plus, I added extra cocoa powder so it is even less sweet. It did not turn out too crumbly because I only add a little extra.)
  • It is good to know that the peanut butter should not be too dry otherwise it will be harder to mix. (I did not mix properly and took some drier portions of the peanut butter).