At the origins of the predominance of sugar and carbohydrates

09 Jul 2021 one comment blooness

Why is it that despite the growing obesity rate in the US, despite the long proven link between diseases and excessive sugar consumption, and despite the scientifically proven benefits of fats,governments have continued to recommend a high carbohydrateintake in the diet?

Find this chapter of the ideal diet for mankind in PODCAST format:

 

By what rhetorical process has fat been so demonized as to demonize it to the point of calling an extremely high-carbohydrate meal "fat"?

Why on earth in the common mind do we say that fats make you fat, or that they are the bedrock of serious illnesses?

 

Finally, why do official bodies take so long to update their nutritional recommendations, despite repeated scientific findings in favour of a reduction in the consumption of sugars, and more generally carbohydrates?

To understand how carbohydrates, especially sugars, have found themselves propelled to the forefront of the Western diet since the 1960s without any caution or moderation, we have to go back in history. Let me take you behind the scenes of the sugar and food industry lobbies at the end of the Second World War...

Note: This article is one of the chapters of the Blooness Food Guide, a guide designed to bring together the ingredients of the ideal food for humans.

This information is taken in part from an article by Gary Taubes in Mother Jones on October 31, 2012.

 

At the origins of the sugar lobby, Sugar Information Inc.

It all began in 1943, when sugar producers and refiners created the Sugar Research Foundation, renamed the Sugar Association in 1947, which had its own public relations department, "Sugar Information Inc", created in 1949.

The objective of this association was to protect the interests of the sugar industry against the early scientific research on sugar, which concluded that sugar was probably dangerous.

 

The battle against sweeteners

One of their first victories was to have cyclamate banned in 1970 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)The United States Food and Drug Administration, which has, inter alia, the mandate to authorize the marketing of drugs in the United States.

Cyclamate is a sweetener 30 to 40 times sweeter than sugar, but above all much cheaper than sugar. However, between 1963 and 1968, "light" sodas, some of which were made with cyclamates, became increasingly popular, putting the sugar industry under pressure.

In its war against sweeteners, the sugar industry spent $600,000 (now $4 million) to denounce the negative effects of synthetic sweeteners. The operation was a success for the Sugar Association, since cyclamate was banned by the FDA.

 

Focus on the link between sugar and diabetes

In the 1970s, the link between type 2 diabetes and excessive sugar intake was beginning to become evident. Research conducted by the USDA, the United States Department of Agriculture, showed that excess sugar caused a sharp increase in the disease, while a South African physicist, George Campbell, who was in charge of a diabetes clinic in Durban, South Africa, suggested that an intake of more than 35 kg per person per year - twice as much as is currently consumed in the United States - was enough to trigger a diabetes epidemic.

The same George Campbell still found in the city of Durban, South Africa, that coronary heart disease, hypertension and gallbladder disease were very common among the local white population but almost non-existent among Zulus living in rural areas. In 1956, he flew to Philadelphia where he practiced for a year and discovered that the diseases in the local black population were almost identical to those observed in the white population in South Africa, which ruled out any genetic factors.

Other scientists were similar epidemiological and statistical findings. In Israel, diabetes specialist Aharon Cohen found that out of 5,000 immigrants from Yemen in 1949, there were only 3 cases of diabetes. In contrast, among Yemenis who arrived about 20 years earlier, the incidence of diabetes was nearly 50 times higher.

Cohen concluded that the much higher sugar consumption among those who had already settled in Israel was the critical factor responsible for the difference in disease levels.

Finally, Professor John Yudkin of Queen Elizabeth College University implicated sugar in the development of cardiovascular disease in his book Pure, White and Deadlywhich inevitably triggered the hilarity and anger of the sugar industry.

This link, which was increasingly emphasized at the time, led the Sugar Research Foundation (RSF), renamed the International Sugar Research Foundation (ISRF) in 1967, to meet in a crisis cell in 1975 in Montreal. "Sales are dropping," said John Tatem Jr., president of the ISRF at the time, in front of industry leaders because of the "link between sugar and certain diseases.

That was when one of the most extensive campaigns of lobbying and faking of scientific studies was about to begin. The goal was to find someone to blame and blame it on. That culprit was going to be the fat man.

Between 1975 and 1980, the SRIF spent approximately $655,000 to fund studies aimed at "ensure that research remains a vital support to the defence of industry"as it says in the internal notes. The method was extremely well-oiled. Each study proposal was reviewed by committees made up of people close to the industry, including representatives of sugar-related companies such as Coca-Cola or Hershey's.

Of course, the money went to studies oriented in favour of sugar, some of which went so far as to demonstrate its therapeutic value in the treatment of depression.

The objective was to "show the safety of sugar". To this end, the SRIF created a committee funded at $60,000 per year (currently $220,000), composed of doctors and dentists, to champion the idea that sugar has a place in a healthy diet.

It was then that a famous nutritionist was going to make their task easier, by pointing out an ideal culprit linked to cardiovascular diseases...

Next chapter : Ancel Keys, the nutritionist behind the fat hunt

Mediterranean diet: the importance of vegetables

21 Apr 2021 0 comment blooness

Hello and welcome to this sub-part of the guide on Mediterranean diet, the summary of which you can find here.

In this chapter, we will see the importance of vegetables in the Mediterranean lifestyle: what are they and what benefits do they bring to our body?

As you have seen in the introductory chapter on the Mediterranean diet, the application of this "diet" consists of "imitating" the traditional dietary practices of certain Mediterranean peoples in order to reap the health benefits: longer life expectancy, lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, degenerative diseases, diabetes, cancer, and in turn, potential weight loss.

In this healthy quest, regular consumption of vegetables would be one of the factors co-responsible for improving the health indicators of individuals in Mediterranean populations. We will therefore try to list as many of them as possible, in order to give as many ideas as possible in terms of cooking recipes, while at the same time trying to list some of their benefits.

Obviously, it would be utopian to list the virtues of each ingredient, especially since most of them, when consumed together, provide their share of benefits. But we can nevertheless try to list some of the known benefits of a particular vegetable, bearing in mind that it is when consumed together and without necessarily paying particular attention to them that vegetables seem to be beneficial. It is therefore not a question of identifying one or two vegetables in particular, and of remaining focused on "mono-diets", which would make no sense either in terms of taste or health, and even less in terms of respecting the seasons.

When it comes to vegetables, there are no hard and fast rules to follow, because if you start with the modern diet, even the slightest reintroduction of vegetables and raw vegetables is a big step towards a healthier diet. However, it is the dose that makes the poison. It is therefore a question of eating them intelligently, all things considered, and of avoiding consuming too much of them at inappropriate times, especially when you are not at all used to eating them.

In this section, we will voluntarily put aside legumes (or seed vegetables), which are a particular type of energy vegetable, and which will be the subject of a separate article, and we will sometimes mention certain nutrients that straddle the line between vegetables, herbs, or others, according to the nomenclature in force, but also according to dietetic logic.

Indeed, if we take the example of the potato, it is certainly a vegetable in botanical terms, more precisely a tuberous vegetable. However, as it is more similar to a starch in terms of energy, it would not be intellectually honest and above all counterproductive to suggest that unlimited potatoes have the same consequences on health and figure as broccoli. Like legumes, tuber vegetables will be given special treatment. They are neither good nor bad, but we simply need to understand the logic behind them, so that we can eat them better without becoming overweight or developing other health problems in the long run. Don't panic, we'll go into all this in detail in this chapter and in the following ones, in order to understand the "global" logic of the Mediterranean diet and of eating well in general.

On the other hand, trying to reduce the Mediterranean diet to a single factor, such as vegetables in this case, in the hope of reaping the benefits, is wishful thinking. Admittedly, it is a first step towards a rebalancing of the diet, and probably towards better health. However, the Mediterranean diet, like the advice given in this guide in general, such as moderating energy intake in the form of carbohydrates according to your objectives, or prioritising raw foods, must be considered as part of a complete, holistic approach, and not as a magic formula where we eat the same type of vegetable every day without paying attention to everything else, as if it would do us good.

Thus, this chapter on vegetables should be seen as one of the ways to improve one's health, among all the other ways to do so in the Mediterranean lifestyle, and more globally in the Blooness guide.

The value of vegetables in human nutrition

One of the reasons for eating vegetables is that most healthy populations eat a lot of them. The idea is to emulate this practice, bearing in mind that it is part of a holistic approach, not an isolated one.

But imitation does not mean blindness. If vegetables are beneficial, it's because of the nutrients they contain and the satiety they bring. Here is a brief overview of their content and the virtues that can be derived from them.

Fibre

The best known nutritional characteristic of vegetables is that they are high in fibre and - for the most part - very low in calories. Because of their low energy content, they allow the body to draw less from the daily nutritional intake, and therefore to be less "overwhelmed" with energy in the form of calories.

Secondly, most vegetables are low in direct-use carbohydrates, in that they do not provide carbohydrates in the form of sugar, but fibrous carbohydrates. As we saw in the chapter on fibre and carbohydrates, there is a fundamental difference between carbohydrates and fibre, which is that fibre is a special type of carbohydrate that the body cannot absorb. This means that fibre is hardly converted into energy, which can be a problem in times of famine, but not in the context of an easily accessible diet. In addition, fibre has other important benefits. It lowers theglycaemic index of a meal, improves digestion and has a beneficial effect on the intestinal microbiota.

Vegetables and vitamins

One of the accepted interests of vegetables is their contribution to various micro-nutrients, which contribute to the proper functioning of the body. From vitamin C to the various B vitamins, carotenoids and polyphenols, they all contribute to the general health of individuals.

Among the important vitamins in the Mediterranean diet is vitamin K. Remember, in the chapter dedicated to it, we saw that this vitamin had recently been the subject of renewed interest on the scientific scene. It has a coagulant effect, that is to say that it will help the calcification of tissues and the repair of blood vessels, to put it simply.

In addition to its action on the bone system, recent studies have shown that this vitamin is involved in many metabolic phenomena linked to cell growth and is associated with good cardiovascular health. As we saw in the chapter on vitamin K, it is found in the form of K1 in most green vegetables, such as thyme, parsley, chard, dandelion, spinach, broccoli and endive. With less than 100 grams of broccoli, for example, the recommended daily minimum for a 75 kg adult is more than met.

Vegetables and minerals

When it comes to minerals, we are not left out with vegetables. The Mediterranean diet provides magnesium, potassium and calcium, which are invaluable when we move away from a standard modern diet that is generally rich in cereals, fruit and dairy products. In other words, the more you cut back on carbohydrates and dairy products, the more you need to compensate with vegetables to provide the necessary minerals.

As a reminder, magnesium, found for example in spinach, has a favourable effect on heart function, muscle relaxation, blood pressure, blood sugar regulation and lipid metabolism. We also saw in the chapter devoted to potassium, whose podium of foods that are rich in potassium is dominated by spinach, avocado, mushrooms, artichokes, fennel or lentils or white beans on the legume side, is essential for cardiovascular health. It is particularly appreciated by sportsmen and women after exercise, but supplementation is dangerous, as you should not have too much. A simple diet rich in ingredients containing potassium is sufficient to meet our needs.

Finally, calcium, which is mainly found in cheeses but also - and you can find this "top calcium foods" in the chapter dedicated to it - in vegetables such as broccoli, dandelion, watercress, spinach, Swiss chard, black olives, or white and red beans on the legume side, has an action on bones but not only. It also acts on the regulation of blood coagulation, nerve impulses and muscle contraction.

Vegetables and polyphenols

Still on the subject of the benefits provided by vegetables, we find polyphenols, water-soluble molecules mainly present in the plant kingdom. Although research has not yet explored all the characteristics of these micro-nutrients, we do know that they have antioxidant properties, in the sense that they help to fight against cell oxidation, and thus combat cell ageing.

Polyphenols are basically used by the plant to defend it against external aggressions, such as UV rays, insects or even diseases. In humans, they are thought to have preventive effects against certain cancers and inflammatory, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.

Polyphenols can be found in tea, cocoa, chilli, capers, broccoli, onions, aubergines, or even red fruits and other berries which have the advantage of being low in sugar, such as blackberries, blueberries, redcurrants, etc.

In short, polyphenols are a kind of super-nutrient, to which we will dedicate an entire chapter. In the meantime, the consumption of vegetables provides humans with their share of polyphenols, and the virtues that go with them.

Benefits against diseases

As a result of the above, vegetables are said to have an effect on civilisation diseases, as some epidemiological studies tend to show. Broccoli, cabbages, radishes, onions, garlic and many other vegetables are said to ward off cancerous diseases, cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory diseases, thanks to the many metabolic interactions in which the nutrients they provide participate in the body.

 

The different types of vegetables

A vegetable is a plant of which certain parts can be eaten: the root, the stem, the leaf, the flower or the fruit for example. However, not all vegetables are equal in terms of energy! While the consumption of vegetables is more than recommended in this guide and in this chapter, there are some vegetables that - as we will see together - should not necessarily be eaten on a daily basis, and in non-moderate quantities, because of their energetic carbohydrate content.

With regard to their classification, vegetables are sorted according to the part that is commonly consumed. This is how they are classified:

  • flowering vegetables, whose flower is eaten (e.g. broccoli);
  • leafy vegetables, whose leaves are eaten (lettuce);
  • root vegetables (carrots) ;
  • stem vegetables (asparagus) ;
  • bulbous vegetables (garlic) ;
  • Mushrooms, which are not vegetables, but are eaten as such, and which we will include in this listing;
  • Fruiting vegetables (avocado);
  • tuber vegetables (potato) ;
  • seed vegetables (beans) ;

Beware, however, that tuber and seed vegetables will be treated rather differently in terms of consumption, and will need to be moderated to some extent. We will explain the reason for this later in the chapter.

The ultimate list of vegetables consumed and recommended in the Mediterranean diet

A. Flowering vegetables

Flowering vegetables are vegetable plants whose flower is edible. These include cauliflower (whose leaves are also eaten), broccoli, artichokes and capers. For information, vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower should be green or white respectively, and firm. If they are soft and starting to bloom, they are getting less and less fresh.

1/ Cauliflower

 

2/ Romanesco cabbage

3/ Broccoli

Broccoli is a variety of cabbage originating from Sicily, famous for its anti-cancer properties. Broccoli may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

4/ The artichoke

Native to North Africa, Egypt or Ethiopia. Antioxidant, may play a role in preventing type II diabetes, good source of vitamin B3, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, fibre and vitamin C.

5/ Capers

 

B. Leafy vegetables

Leafy vegetables are the vegetables that make up our salads. These are vegetables whose edible part is the leaf: endive, watercress, curly endive, lettuce, lamb's lettuce, rocket, batavia, endive, chard, spinach, cabbage (whose flower can be eaten, but also the leaf), Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, celery, fennel, sorrel, rhubarb, etc...

1/ Chard

Eaten raw, or sometimes cooked like spinach, chard is rich in minerals, antioxidants, vitamin C and beta-carotene. It is a vegetable rich in protein, which is believed to improveinsulin secretion.

2/ Celery

Historically very popular in Egypt, Greece and Rome, celery was used for its supposed medicinal and aphrodisiac properties.

3/ All types of cabbage

4/ Watercress

5/ Vegetable cortea

Little known in France, the vegetable cortea is the basis of a very popular Mediterranean dish, Mloukhiah. It is also eaten in Africa and Asia. It is particularly rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and vitamins A, E and B.

6/ Spinach

Native to Iran, spinach plays a role in vasodilatation and blood thinning, very useful for the brain. Good source of vitamin B9.

7/ Fennel

Native to the Mediterranean basin, fennel is known to be an ally in treating digestive disorders and inflammation of the respiratory tract. Traditionally, it has been used to treat flatulence, menstrual pain and to stimulate lactation.

8/ Lettuce

9/ Lamb's lettuce

10/ The Roman

In the lettuce family, it is a common ingredient in salads.

11/ Arugula

12/ Endive

Rich in fibre, endive is a good source of vitamin B9, vitamin C and potassium. It helps to reduce constipation and promotes satiety. Finally, it has good antioxidant properties. It should be eaten mostly raw, or cooked but with gentle cooking. To remove the bitterness when cooking, the small white cone at the base of the core can be removed.

 

C. Root vegetables

1/ The carrot

It is rich in minerals and beta-carotene (provitamin A).

2/ The radish

The first crops are said to have been cultivated in the Near East more than 5,000 years ago. Rich in potassium, calcium and vitamin C, it is said to have a beneficial effect on the heart and digestive system and, like most vegetables, to help prevent certain cancers.

3/ Black radish

Native to southern Asia, it has been cultivated in Egypt for over 5000 years. It is said to help prevent certain cancers, has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and is rich in vitamin C and potassium.

4/ The turnip

5/ Beetroot

6/

 

D. Stem vegetables

1/ Leek

Source of antioxidants, vitamin C and B9, protective effect against certain cancers.

2/ Asparagus

Native to the eastern Mediterranean basin, rich in vitamins A, B9 and PP, phosphorus and manganese.

3/ Celery

4/ Fennel

 

E. Bulb vegetables

1/ Garlic

Along with the onion, for example, it is one of the "superfoods" of the Mediterranean diet, to which we will devote an entire chapter in the large section dedicated to foods that should never be ignored. Like the onion, it is a vegetable that turns into a bulb and is used mainly as a condiment to enhance the taste of dishes.

Originally from Central Asia, it has been used for 5,000 years in the Mediterranean region, particularly in Egypt. It is known scientifically for its lipid-lowering, anticoagulant, antihypertensive, chelating (against certain heavy metals and toxins), antioxidant, immunostimulant and anti-cancer effects.

Most of the protective effects of garlic seem to lie in its sulphur-containing substances, which protect against the formation of nitrosamines, carcinogenic intestinal bacteria produced from nitrates and nitrites, which are found in significant quantities in products from modern agriculture. This is precisely where garlic, but also onions, seem to be a formidable anti-cancer weapon.

Garlic also contains polyphenols, vitamin C, selenium and many other protective micro-nutrients. It is a central food in the Mediterranean and South Asian diet, typical of the blue zones.

 

 

 

Peas

Although from a botanical point of view, peas are considered to be legumes, which will be the subject of a separate chapter, they can be attached to the family of fresh vegetables from a nutritional point of view, in particular because they are eaten before they are ripe (otherwise they are split peas). However, they are more energetic than most fresh vegetables (hence their classification between vegetables and legumes, the latter often being richer in carbohydrates). It is one of the oldest vegetables grown in Europe and Asia. In Iran, Palestine, Greece and Switzerland, peas were already present 10,000 years ago, but were eaten dry and crushed before cooking, in the same way as bulgur for example. They are rich in minerals, trace elements, antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin C and fibre. They also contain two antioxidant pigments that are essential for retinal health: lutein and zeaxanthin.

 

F. Mushrooms

Fungi are not strictly speaking vegetables. They lack chlorophyll and are therefore unable to photosynthesise, and they feed on organic matter that constitutes or has constituted other organisms. Mushrooms are therefore a plant, which constitute a rule of their own.

We have included them in the list of Mediterranean vegetables anyway, because they can and are ultimately consumed as vegetables by humans, and have roughly similar energy values, i.e. they do not cause energy or insulin peaks.

They are generally rich in iron, minerals and B vitamins. Source of antioxidants.

 

G. The fruit-vegetables "kings" of the Cretan diet

There are foods that, although considered vegetables, are botanically fruits, but fruits that are very low in sugar and high in fibre. It is partly for this reason that fruit and vegetables, as a whole, are recommended for health, whether in the Mediterranean diet or in general.

We tend to lump them together, as some fruits are more like vegetables in nutritional and practical terms, and it is recommended that these 'fruit vegetables' are preferred to too much sweet fruit on a daily basis.

Photo source

In other words, when you hear that you need to eat five fruits and vegetables, give priority to the vegetables and fruit vegetables listed below, reserving sweet fruits for moments of pleasure (especially at snack time), and in moderate quantities.

The reason why these foods are botanically considered fruits is that they contain the seeds of the plant within them. This characteristic makes them fruits, and has nothing to do with their higher or lower sugar content.

Here are the famous "king" fruit vegetables that are typical of the Mediterranean climate, or that have made their appearance in Mediterranean cuisine, and which are in practice related to vegetables.

1/ Eggplant

Originally from Asia or Mesopotamia, it was introduced into the Mediterranean by the Arabs. Rich in potassium, manganese, copper, selenium and B vitamins. It is a good candidate for the anti-obesity diet.

2/ The tomato

Originally from the northwest of South America, the tomato has become an essential part of the gastronomy of many countries, especially in the Mediterranean basin. It is a source of vitamins A, B, C and E and of trace elements (potassium) that are good for kidney function. It could prevent certain cancers and is beneficial for the cardiovascular system.

3/ The lawyer

Originally from Mexico, the avocado has more or less conquered the Mediterranean, and Morocco, Spain, France, Italy and Israel have become producer countries. It can be eaten on its own or with a vinaigrette, lemon, shrimp, salmon, tuna, eggs or in a salad. The avocado is a very high-fat fruit and is one of the key foods in a healthy diet, as recommended in this guide. It is a very good blood sugar regulator and therefore a valuable ally against diabetes. It is an excellent source of vitamin E, with antioxidant properties. And it is rich in unsaturated fats, which are excellent for your health. Finally, it has a positive effect on bones and joints, as it slows down the degradation of cartilage. It is a key food in the low-carb diet, to which a chapter will be dedicated, given its important nutritional properties.

4/ The olive

The fruit of the olive tree, the emblematic tree of the Mediterranean, the olive can be eaten as a condiment or used to make olive oil. A source of antioxidants, olives are said to act against hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and are anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and even anti-cancerous. The monounsaturated fatty acids in olives are associated with a loss of abdominal fat, better insulin sensitivity and improved digestion. Olive oil is one of the superfoods featured in this guide and is characteristic of a diet rich in good fats.

5/ The gherkin

Used as a condiment, it is a good antioxidant, rich in minerals, vitamin B9 and pro-vitamin A. Probiotic, and aids digestion.

6/ Cucumber

Belonging to the same species as the gherkin, the cucumber originates from India, and has been cultivated for more than 3,000 years in Western Asia, thus in the Mediterranean. Hydrating, anti-anxiety, source of antioxidants, rich in vitamin K.

7/ Chillies and peppers

Originally from South America, the different types of chillies have spread to Asia, Africa and the Arab-Muslim world via Europe. It is a main condiment in many tropical, but also Mediterranean, African and Asian cuisines. It is said to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, and is said to regulate blood sugar levels via capsaicin.

8/ Rhubarb

Native to Asia, this fruit lends itself very well to savoury dishes. Source of vitamin C, calcium, potassium and antioxidants.

9/ Courgette

Antioxidant, anti-cholesterol, rich in vitamins and minerals.

Although some fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and avocados originated in South America, they are regularly served in some Mediterranean countries, and fit comfortably into the Mediterranean diet.

Olives, avocados and aubergines are all fruits that are rich in monounsaturated fats, and they are de facto key foods in the the low-carbohydrate, high-fat dietThey are therefore a key food in the diet recommended in this guide.

 

H. Tuber vegetables, or how to incorporate good sources of carbohydrates

And finally, in the list of vegetables, you will notice that some tubers are missing, such as the potato for example. This is totally deliberate, as this particular type of vegetable is much higher in carbohydrates than a "classic" vegetable like broccoli for example. Potatoes are more like a carbohydrate-rich food like cereals than a source of fibre. This is why potatoes can be part of a so-called Mediterranean diet, but in small doses, for example during certain festive meals or on very taxing days, but they do not have the benefits of the vegetables listed here, which have an infinitely lower caloric intake.

However, some root vegetables can find their place in the Mediterranean diet, and more generally in a healthy diet. A suggested list is given below.

  • Manioc
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Potato
  • Parsnip
  • Sweet potato
  • Tutabaga
  • Salsify
  • Horseradish
  • Pink radish
  • Black radish
  • Ground pear
  • Oca from Peru
  • Tuberous glycine
  • Yam
  • Crosne
  • Ulluco

Now that we have dealt with the "classic" vegetables and tubers, let's move on to the fruiting vegetables. You will have noticed that the list we have drawn up does not include certain foods such as aubergines, cucumbers or courgettes, for reasons of nomenclature.

 

I. Seed vegetables

Coming soon...

 

How much to eat of the vegetables?

A priori, as mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, there is no real conformity as to the quantity of vegetables, in the sense that the objective, if we start to take an interest in the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and more generally in healthy eating, we quickly understand that the objective here is to reintroduce vegetables frequently into our plates, and to give them a real place.

In practice, eating Mediterranean style means providing, at least on a daily basis, a share of vegetables, which can be found in various forms:

  • Raw vegetables: lettuce, lamb's lettuce, romaine, rocket, and salad in general.
  • Green vegetables : pepper, courgette, carrot, broccoli, artichoke, asparagus, spinach, fennel, etc.
  • All types of cabbage: cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, romanesco, broccoli, green, white and red cabbage.

In practice, this consists of bringing a lot of vegetables to the meal, which could sometimes even be the main accompaniment to a protein, instead of a starch. This combination can be used when we are trying to lose some body fat, for example, or when our current energy expenditure is relatively low, or during the evening meal, when an energy intake in the form of carbohydrates is often unnecessary, except in a few exceptional cases linked to the practice of a sport, for example. If this type of low-carb meal tends to be repeated, we should ensure that we compensate for this lack of carbohydrates by adding certain foods rich in good fats, such as olive oil, avocado, and/or a protein rich in omega-3, such as fish.

In the case of a balanced diet between the three macronutrients, and therefore typically Mediterranean, which would bring its share of carbohydrates, we could simplify things to the extreme by recommending half of the plate in the form of vegetables, a quarter in the form of protein, and a quarter in the form of carbohydrates, which we would prefer to be healthy and low GI (such as legumes for example).

However, beware of eating too many vegetables, so as not to disturb your transit, especially if you are not used to eating them! Prefer unprocessed, raw vegetables(as opposed to pre-salted), steamed or lightly cooked in coconut oil or olive oil at low intensity, and not too frequently in soup, except on hot days.

Now that vegetables have no secrets for you, let's move on to spices, herbs and other condiments, often neglected and yet so precious, both for their nutritional and culinary benefits. This is the subject of the next chapter...

Source photo

The Mediterranean diet, among the healthiest in the world

21 Apr 2021 0 comment blooness

Hello and welcome to the summary and introduction of the Mediterranean diet, which is one of the pillars of the Blooness Guide, the guide to the ideal diet.

The Mediterranean diet is correlated with good cardiovascular health, remarkable longevity, and good physical and mental health. As a result, it continues to fascinate dieticians and nutrition enthusiasts alike. In fact, the Mediterranean diet, along with the Okinawa diet, are considered the two best diets in the world today, by a large part of the scientific community.

For our part, we have tried to take the best of this diet, in order to enrich our guide, and to take advantage of all the virtues brought by this diet in the framework of an "ideal human diet". Indeed, empirically, it is possible to take and list the foods consumed in the Mediterranean regions, and which are known to be vectors of good health for the populations living or having lived in the areas bordering the Mediterranean, at a time when they were still spared from mass consumption and industrial products.

By making an inventory of the world's healthiest foods and integrating them into our daily lives, we are helping to improve our overall health. This is what we will try to do in this large part of the Blooness guide, the guide to the ideal human diet.

But just before drawing up this list, and dedicating a separate chapter to each major group of ingredients, we could not approach this major theme without introducing it properly. First of all, by defining what this diet consists of, how it differs from, but above all how it relates to, the low-carb diet, which is also one of the pillars of the guide, and by quickly recalling its virtues and its history.

Let's start with its virtues, because if this food has a good press, it is good to remember why.

What are the virtues of the Mediterranean diet?

Here are some of the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. "Quickly", because the benefits of a Mediterranean diet are not in doubt from a scientific point of view, and the web is full of information and new studies that point in this direction, and to list them exhaustively here would be too long.

1/ Decrease in overall mortality.

2/ Reduction of cardiovascular pathologies.

3/ Protection against high blood pressure: HPA is an excessive rise in pressure in the arteries, a rise that persists over time. It is the most common chronic disease in the world, and its consequences can be very serious.

4/ Increase in bone density and muscle mass.

5/ Prevention of depression.

6/ Improvement of fertility.

7/ Reduced risk of Alzheimer's.

8/ Reduced risk of metabolic syndrome: also known as "belly syndrome".

9/ Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

10/ Decrease in the risk of Parkinson's disease

11/ Reduction of obesity and weight loss

12/ Reducing the risk of gout

Moreover, according to the scientific data that continue to pour in, people with Mediterranean eating habits have less cancer, inflammatory diseases, overweight, metabolic syndromes, etc...

In fact, there is no one diet to follow that would objectively and safely achieve health goals with a promise of results. On the one hand, because there are several Mediterranean diets, and on the other hand, because the studies are based on observations.

However, on a practical level, the method used by various nutritionists is to imitate the traditional dietary practices of certain Mediterranean peoples in order to reap the health benefits.

The application of this diet has a clear objective, even if it is not guaranteed: it is toextend life expectancy by protecting oneself from cardiovascular diseases, the risk of cancer and other degenerative or metabolic diseases. In other words, it consists of providing the body with the food consumed in Mediterranean areas where, during the 20th century in particular, remarkable life expectancy has been observed, with a limited occurrence or even absence of certain diseases that are common elsewhere in developed societies, and all this despite a sometimes rudimentary health system.

 

Definition of the Mediterranean diet

Let's see what Wikipedia says:

The Mediterranean diet, also known as the Cretan diet or the Mediterranean diet, is a traditional dietary practice in several countries around the Mediterranean Sea characterised by the consumption of plenty of fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, herbs and olive oil, moderate consumption of dairy products, eggs and wine, limited consumption of fish and low consumption of meat.

In other words, the Mediterranean diet gives pride of place to fruit, vegetables, legumes, wholegrain cereals and fats, particularly olive oil. It is a diet that could almost be described as "flexitarian", in the sense that a large part of its intake is made up of plant proteins, provided by the high consumption of legumes and whole grains.

The Mediterranean diet favours the consumption of vegetables, quality fats, mainly polyunsaturated, and whole grains. Conversely, red meat, sugar and industrial products, which form the basis of the modern Western diet (and not only), have a very limited place.

Source : Semsems

In addition to the nature of the food itself, the way in which it is grown, and therefore its quality, should also be noted. Thus, in the Blue Zones in general, and of course in the Mediterranean, food comes from local, seasonal agriculture, with traditional processes and relatively limited food processing . As a reminder, Blue Zones The Blue Zones are a concept that groups together areas of the world where life expectancy is well above the world average, and where "civilisation diseases" (diabetes, cancer, hypertension, thyroid, etc.) are rarer than elsewhere. We can consider that a large part of the Mediterranean is part of these Blue Zones.

Secondly, beyond diet, the researchers also described the Mediterranean lifestyle, which is similar to that of the Blue Zones. This lifestyle is characterised by frequent and moderate physical activity, exposure to the sun, attachment to the community and, more generally, a joie de vivre.

Finally, the Mediterranean diet is not a weight-loss diet, it is mainly oriented towards good health. However, one of the collateral consequences is precisely a loss of weight, in the long term, for people who are overweight.

The "Mediterranean diet" was inscribed on 16 November 2010 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO as a "set of skills, knowledge, practices and traditions".

 

The origin of the Mediterranean diet

It was once known as the "Cretan diet". It was made famous thanks to the work of two doctors and scientists: Serge Renaud, then Michel de Lorgeril, who conducted, with the help of other scientists, the famous Lyon Diet Heart Study.

This study tested the effectiveness of a Mediterranean diet on 600 patients who had survived a myocardial infarction over nearly four years. A control group followed the recommended nutritional advice to reduce cholesterol, and an experimental group followed a Mediterranean diet. The results were clear. There was a 50-70% reduction in the risk of heart attack in the experimental group, fewer cardiovascular complications (pulmonary embolism, stroke, etc.), fewer cancers and an improvement in life expectancy.

Other studies have since confirmed the hypothesis that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial for general health.

In terms of food alone, does this mean that we have to copy exactly the food that is eaten in these regions? What about quantities? How do we go about it? Things are actually not that simple, and we will clarify these important questions later. Before that, let's look at how the Mediterranean diet differs from the Low-Carb diet promoted in this guide, and what the link is between the two.

 

Mediterranean diet and low-carb lifestyle

As mentioned in the preamble, the Mediterranean diet has been recognised as one of the healthiest in the world. However, fat can make up to 40% of the macronutrient intake in this diet (contrary to those who still believe that fats are harmful to health), which is consistent with what has been stated in this guide so far.

However, a significant proportion, up to about 30% of calorie intake, sometimes more, can come from carbohydrates (which might surprise the most assiduous low-carb dieters).

This fairly even distribution of protein, carbohydrates and fat might disconcert many advocates of the keto or low-carb lifestyle. However, the subtlety of the Mediterranean diet is that it provides the body with a very good quality carbohydrate intake, unlike the carbohydrate-rich foods frequently consumed in modern societies since the 1960s.

As a result, this way of eating has much more in common with the low-carb diet than it seems. In both cases, the emphasis is on good fats and quality proteins, and all this at the expense of sugar and bad carbohydrates.

Although the Mediterranean diet is indeed richer in carbohydrates than the generally practised low-carb diet, it favours good quality, low to moderate glycaemic index carbohydrates and is consumed within the framework of a Mediterranean lifestyle, as described above, i.e. a lifestyle characterised by frequent and moderate physical activity and openness towards others.

In other words, the carbohydrates provided by the Mediterranean diet have nothing to do with those we are used to consuming in developed Western countries. Gone are the white rice, white pasta, industrial noodle soups and white burger buns. In the Mediterranean diet, preference is given to legumes, wholegrain cereals, or even fructose provided by some fruits. This type of carbohydrate, as we saw in the chapter on glycaemic indexes, does not disturb insulin, nor does it erode its effectiveness. On the contrary, they are released more slowly in the body and are much richer in protective nutrients than the "processed" carbohydrates as we know them.

Finally, Mediterranean populations used to work outdoors and be active, the exact opposite of the sedentary lifestyles that have developed with the tertiarisation of developed countries. Therefore, these low-GI, good quality carbohydrates can only be welcomed by the body, which in a way, to illustrate the point, burns them without any scruples. Where carbohydrates from refined and processed ingredients, consumed as part of a sedentary lifestyle, can only lead to overweight, uneven energy, mood swings and long-term health problems.

Therefore, once these reminders have been made, we can consider that the Mediterranean diet is in a way a low to moderate carbohydrate diet, and that it is characterised by a quality carbohydrate intake, which changes everything in terms of the way we approach carbohydrates and their energy impact on the body.

Moreover, it is not a question of "choosing" between the Mediterranean diet and the low-carb diet, but rather of bringing to the "raw" low-carb the best of the Mediterranean diet.

Indeed, there are different ways of eating low-carb. We can eat two hard-boiled eggs in the morning, chicken breast and a portion of lentils at lunchtime, toasted and salted almonds in the afternoon, and canned tuna with microwaved broccoli in the evening, without seasoning or spices. It's low-carb, but tasteless, deprived of healthful nutrients, and the antithesis of the Mediterranean diet. Moreover, it is not sustainable in the long term, because pleasure and the awakening of the senses are part of an ideal diet, and indispensable for health and mood. This is what the Mediterranean diet will provide, if only because of the quality and originality of its ingredients.

As for the question of how much carbohydrate to allocate in a Mediterranean diet where we don't want to gain weight - and this is a sensible question - it will depend in practice on your energy expenditure, your experience, your feelings, the season, the stress of the moment, and many other parameters. This is a technical and important subject to which we will return later.

In the meantime, let's start with the basics, and look in detail at the foods that are consumed in the different regions of the Mediterranean, grouping them into food families.

Summary of the Mediterranean diet guide

  • Vegetables in the Mediterranean diet
  • Spices, condiments and herbs in the Mediterranean diet
  • The issue of fruit in the Mediterranean diet
  • Pulses in the Mediterranean diet
  • Whole grains in the Mediterranean diet
  • Nuts in the Mediterranean diet
  • Good fats in the Mediterranean diet
  • Fish and seafood in the Mediterranean diet
  • White meat and dairy products in the Mediterranean diet
  • Red meat and sweets in the Mediterranean diet
  • Drinks in the Mediterranean diet
  • The Mediterranean lifestyle
  • The French paradox
  • Why and how the Mediterranean diet is good for your health
  • Weight loss on the Mediterranean diet
  • Carbohydrate intake in the Mediterranean diet
  • Conclusion on the Mediterranean diet

Glycemic Index, Glycemic Load, Insulin Index: Understanding Blood Sugar and Carbohydrates

09 Mar 2021 one comment blooness

After half a century of hunt for fatit is now the turn of carbohydrates to be the subject of much discussion. Indeed, we saw in the Blooness guide that fats had been demonised in public opinionThis is despite the fact that they are essential for the body and the hormonal system, and that if they are consumed in the right way, they do not lead to overweight or metabolic diseases.

In contrast, carbohydrates, which have dominated the modern diet since the 1960s, are far more likely to lead to overweight and health problems, as they are often consumed in excess, and via unhealthy foods.

Rather than replacing fat with carbohydrates as the bad guy, this chapter will show that not all carbohydrates are the same, and that depending on their impact on blood sugar, some will be healthier than others. Thus, the path to a healthy diet is not just about rebalancing the proportions of the three macronutrients protein, fat and carbohydrates. It also involves making the right choice of foods.

Potatoes, one of the most common sources of carbohydrates. Source photo.

If you choose to reduce your carbohydrate intake, it's also a good idea to carefully select the foods that make up that carbohydrate intake, however small, to get the most energy and vitality from them.

To do this, we first need to define certain concepts, such as load or glycemic index, and then we can draw up a list of the "best" carbohydrates to include in your diet, whether you are on a low-carb high-fat diet or not.

For people who have chosen to follow the ketogenic diet, which involves a minimal amount of carbohydrates per day, this is less of an issue. In all other cases, this part of the guide is absolutely central!

What is blood glucose?

In order to understand the impact of consuming too many "bad" carbohydrates, we first need to define some extremely important concepts. Firstly, blood glucose, which is the level of glucose in the blood.

This glucose is a preferential source of energy for the body. But remember, we saw in the chapter specifically devoted to carbohydrates that after a meal rich in carbohydrates, blood sugar levels rise. The body is constantly trying to maintain blood sugar levels at a certain level (between 0.7 and 1.1g per litre of blood), in order to avoid excess glucose in the blood, which could be harmful, but also to build up glucose reserves (in the liver and muscles, and then in the fat cells), to be used later on.

For this reason, the pancreas releases insulin, a hypoglycaemic hormone, in the sense that it is responsible for lowering the level of glucose in the blood, by sending the excess glucose into the cells responsible for storing it.

Photo credit: blooness.com

The excess glucose is then stored as glycogen in the muscle cells or liver in the first instance. This is what athletes try to do when they do what they call a "carbohydrate recharge". The problem is that if the storage is already saturated on the muscle side - this is most often the case with sedentary people who, due to lack of physical activity, are not used to drawing on their muscle glycogen reserves - then the excess carbohydrate will be stored as fat in the fat cells.

This physiological phenomenon leads to overweight and, over time, to health complications linked to this overweight or to "wear and tear" on the pancreas, which is overburdened by an excessive intake of carbohydrates and is commonly known as insulin "resistance".

 

How much carbohydrate can the body store before turning it into triglycerides (fat)?

This is a central question for anyone who does not want to overload their body with too many carbohydrates, so as to avoid turning glucose into fat.

The glycogen stores of a healthy individual are about 100g in the liver and 250g in the muscles. This amount can vary according to an individual's ability to increase his or her glycogen reserves, particularly in athletes. Athletes are sometimes advised to limit their carbohydrate intake to around 350g during their famous "carbohydrate rebound", after they have emptied their stocks via a low to moderate carbohydrate diet over several days, so as to replenish their glycogen stores without increasing their body fat.

 

The influence of carbohydrates on hypoglycaemia

High-glycemic foods cause a secretion of insulin, the famous hypoglycemic hormone that regulates blood sugar. For this reason, a few hours after consuming very sweet products, we tend to feel what is commonly known as a "rush", characterised by general tiredness and reduced alertness.

Evolution of blood sugar levels according to the type of carbohydrate food consumed. Source photo: Sport Passion.

As one thing leads to another, we then tend, as a rather intuitive reaction, to want to counteract this energy crash by consuming sugar, which then leads to hyperglycaemia, and then another hypoglycaemia. And these endless cycles lead to overweight, and above all to very unpredictable energy levels and moods.

It is extremely important to understand this mechanism, as it is one of the ills of the 20th and 21st centuries, since modern diets have promoted, for reasons of yield, preservation and taste, foods rich in carbohydrates, often with a high glycemic index.

What is the glycemic index?

The glycemic index (GI), sometimes spelled glycemic index, measures the ability of a food to raise blood sugar levels. In other words, the higher the GI, the more carbohydrates are released into the bloodstream, the higher the blood sugar level, the more insulin is secreted by the pancreas, and the more excess carbohydrates are stored in the liver, muscles and fat.

This index, defined by Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, is given in relation to a reference food, which, according to the studies, is white bread or pure glucose, whose GI is 100. The calculation of the GI is based on the evolution of blood sugar levels following the consumption of 50g of carbohydrates present in the food.

In general, foods are categorized by GI into three main groups:

  • High GI foods (over 60 or 70), such as white rice, white bread, bananas, sweets, etc.
  • Medium GI foods (between 40 and 65 approximately): such as basmati rice, traditional baguette, most fruits, or some well-known soft drinks.
  • Low GI foods (less than 50 or 40 according to the tables in force): with low insulin secretion, these include oilseeds, vegetables, legumes, rye bread, etc.

But beware, a food containing more carbohydrates than another, will not necessarily have a higher GI than the second. A baked potato, for example, will have a higher GI than some industrial sweetened soft drinks, whereas a potato contains about 24g of carbohydrates (from starch) and a soft drink can contain more than 30g of carbohydrates (as sugar).

Source: Yuka.

In fact, the glycemic index depends on many parameters, in addition to the carbohydrate content, including, among others

  • The degree of processing: blowing, crushing, refining, etc. all increase the glycaemic index, as these processes often remove the natural sugar coating, as well as the nutrients and fibres that contain it.
  • Cooking: the longer it takes (the example of pasta is the most famous), the higher the GI. Similarly, some nutritionists advise leaving cooked rice in the fridge overnight before eating it, as the starch recovers its complexity when the food is left to rest for several hours, thus allowing slower digestion. This is a process used by some top Japanese chefs.
  • The presence of fibre or the combination with other foods (e.g. rich in protein) helps to reduce the GI of the carbohydrate food.

A famous table classifies foods according to their glycemic index. Basically, what you need to remember is that if you want to eat a low-GI diet, you should focus on carbohydrate sources such as legumes (beans, chickpeas, broad beans, lentils), wholegrain cereals, oilseeds, vegetables, brown or basmati rice, rye bread, minimally processed foods, fruit in moderation, and gentle cooking methods.

Coral lentil soup, low GI (26) and source of fibre and protein. Photo credit: Blooness.

These foods relate to carbohydrate intake (and only carbohydrate intake), which should be a variable source of energy depending on your lifestyle. They are therefore the "complementary" part of your diet, accompanying the protein and fat intakes, which by their nature have little influence on blood sugar levels, and are extremely important in the context of a healthy diet as recommended in this guide.

Fructose, a good source of carbohydrates for a natural treat. Photo credit: Blooness.

Secondly, as we said earlier, just because one food has more carbohydrates than another, it does not necessarily have a higher GI. On the other hand, some foods have a lower GI than others, even though they are known to be more unhealthy. The glycemic index is therefore not a paradox-free index, and some people prefer to use the glycemic load.

Glycemic load, definition

The glycaemic load is an index that weights the glycaemic index with the amount of carbohydrates contained in a food. The glycaemic index measures the variation in blood sugar levels, based on 50g of carbohydrates in a food. However, some high GI foods require a considerable amount of food to be eaten to reach these 50g, while other low GI foods easily exceed this amount.

To address this problem, Prof Walter Willett introduced the concept of glycaemic load, which is calculated by multiplying the GI of a food by the amount of carbohydrate in a portion of that food and dividing by 100.

If the result is less than or equal to 10, the glycaemic load is said to be low or zero. If it is between 11 and 19, it is said to be moderate. If it is greater than or equal to 20, the glycaemic load is high.

Let's take an example. Watermelon has a very high GI of 72, and white rice 64, which is lower. However, you need a large quantity of watermelon (150g) to achieve the same glycaemic load as white rice, because white rice contains more carbohydrates than watermelon (28g per 100g, compared with 8g per 100g). Thus, the glycaemic load of a watermelon is only 4, while that of a 150g portion of white rice is 25! Therefore, a portion of watermelon may have less impact on blood sugar than a portion of rice.

Watermelon has a high GI, but a decent glycemic load, you'd have to eat a lot of it to have negative effects. Photo credit: Blooness.

In short, to simplify, it is very interesting to use the glycemic load rather than the glycemic index alone, because the glycemic load takes into account the quantity of food ingested, and above all the quantity of carbohydrates contained in the food, which gives this index a more concrete character.

Basmati rice, chickpea falafel and chickpea hummus. Three good quality carbohydrate-rich dishes, excellent for a healthy carbohydrate recharge or a very active day. Photo credit: Blooness.

Speaking of concrete things, if we look at the glycemic load, the carbohydrate-rich foods to prioritise would be mainly fruit, legumes, oilseeds, vegetables and finally wholegrain cereals. Rice, even basmati, has a relatively high glycaemic load, even if it is still acceptable, and it is a good idea to reserve it for before or after major efforts, or on a day that is very taxing in terms of energy.

Insulin index

The insulin index is another indicator that measures the rise in insulin levels following the ingestion of a food. It compares the level of insulin secreted after eating the food with the level of insulin secreted after eating the same amount of white bread.

The interest of this indicator is that it highlights an increase in insulin secretion when consuming lactose-rich products, which do not have such a marked increase in blood glucose, thus reinforcing the idea that consumption of lactose-containing products should be reduced as much as possible anyway.

Conclusion

As you can see, the trick is to control your carbohydrate intake, not only in quantity, but also in quality, through the way it is made, cooked and combined with other nutrients.

Thus, to reduce the risk of overweight, metabolic diseases (diabetes in particular), recurrent fatigue caused by cyclical hypoglycaemia, stress and many other ailments, it is advisable to favour foods with a low to moderate glycaemic index and load.

Chickpea hummus in a basil version (fibre), an excellent source of low GI and low GC carbs. Photo credit: Blooness.

Starting with legumes (beans, chickpeas, broad beans, lentils, which are the stars of the Mediterranean diet), whole or semi-complete cereals, rice as long as it is basmati and in reasonable doses, oilseeds and fruit in reduced doses.

Find here the list of the best low GI breads for health.

It is also advisable to give priority to a consistent intake of proteins and good fats. Ideally, foods with a high glycemic index and load should be limited, such as industrial products, foods very rich in fast sugars, refined cereal products, soft drinks, sweets, pastries, white rice, white pasta, white bread, etc...

In the next chapter, we'll give you the ultimate list of foods that will make up your carbohydrate intake (coming soon ). We will also look at how to manage your daily amount of carbohydrates and when to give them priority (also to come). So stay tuned!

Top of the healthiest breads, when and how to eat them

01 Feb 2021 one how blooness

Bread is one of the staple foods in many cultures. It is usually eaten at different times of the day, and is associated with many other foods in more or less relevant ways.

In this Blooness guideIn this article, we will look at how to optimize the consumption of bread, for those who have decided to keep it in their diet, and which breads to choose in order to do as little damage as possible to health, and we will see that we can even get the best out of it for line, energy and vitality at the same time.

What is bread?

Bread is a food made of flour, water, salt and sometimes leaven or yeast to make it swell during baking. It is one of the staple foods in many cultures and civilizations.

The history of bread is said to have begun as early as the Upper Paleolithic, a period extending from 45,000 to 12,000 years before the present, and the consumption of bread spread throughout Europe through the Phoenicians, a people originally from Phoenicia, the region that corresponds to present-day Lebanon.

Photo source

The nutritional properties of the bread depend on the flour we choose for its preparation. Flour comes mainly from bread-making cereals, i.e. they are used to make bread, such as soft wheat (wheat), spelt or rye, which contain gluten.

As a reminder, gluten is a set of proteins that can be more or less well digested depending on the individual, and it is what gives a dough its elasticity. The problem is that for reasons of yield, manufacturers have worked on numerous genetic crosses to increase the gluten content of wheat, in order to make the dough more elastic. They have also mutated the wheat to make it less tall, for ease of processing. It is therefore assumed that these modern gluten-rich wheat varieties may cause inflammatory and immune reactions in some individuals, such as digestive discomfort, migraines, ENT diseases and allergies.

A healthy and practical breakfast: traditional baguette, Abondance PDO cheese, Zaatar and olive oil.

To get around this problem, so-called alternative flours can be added to classic bread flours, which are gluten-free and can sometimes even completely replace bread fl ours in certain preparations, such as buckwheat, barley, durum wheat, maize, chestnut, walnut, etc. flours.

In order to fully understand the bread issue and make the best choice according to its profile, it is necessary to distinguish between breads made from bread flours, which are mainly wheat flour -based breads in general, such as baguettes for example, and which contain gluten, and alternative breads, made from non-bread flours, which do not contain gluten, such as buckwheat breads.

Link between bread and glycemic index

The problem with most breads, whether industrial or bakery, is that they have too high a glycemic index. In other words, they raise blood sugar levels too quickly, causing a spike ininsulin, the hormone that is supposed to regulate blood sugar levels, and this can lead to fat storage and fatigue after the insulin spike.

This is particularly the case with rusks, white baguette, industrial bread or pastries. Fortunately, there are alternatives.

What changes the glycemic index of bread?

Between this or that bread, and when comparing two wheat flours, what factors influence the glycemic index?

  • First ofall, the fibre content : the higher the fibrecontent of a flour, the lower its GI will be.
  • Protein and fat content : the more protein and/or fat the flour contains, the lower its GI will be.
  • The more afood is mechanically transformed, the more the structure of its fibres and starch particles will be modified, and the more its GI will increase. Thus, more refined flour has a higher glycemic index than wholemeal or integral flour.
  • The content and structure of the starch, which is materialized by the ratio between amylopectin and amylose: the higher the amylosecontent of an ingredient, the less starch will be degraded by our digestive enzymes, and the lower the GI will be.

Wheat flours with a low glycemic index

When choosing bread, we can look at the flour used, and so choose bread that has been made with a flour with a relatively low or moderate glycemic index. It is best to eat bread whose flour has a glycemic index below 55.

For example, T150 (or T170) wheat flour has a maximum glycemic index of 45, while T45 wheat flour, which is widely used in industrial preparations, has a glycemic index of 85. Basically, the higher the number after the "T", the better it is in terms of glycemic index.

Photo source

T45 is the whitest, most refined flour and T150 is the most complete flour. The more wholemeal the flour is, the more nutrients it has retained and the smoother the release of energy from its metabolism over time, thus avoiding insulin peaks.

In between are T55, T65 and T80 flours, which are intermediate flours. The T65 flour is a correct alternative, with a glycemic index of 70, which is still high, but not as high as that of the T55 white flour (85).

In addition to wheat, there are alternative flours with which some bakers make healthier bread.

Wholemeal bread

Wholemeal bread has a high fibre content, which improves digestion but above all lowers the glycaemic index. It is made from wholemeal flour, which contains whole wheat grains that contain more vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre than white flour.

Wholemeal bread is therefore more nutritious than white bread, and its glycemic index is much more interesting from a health point of view, since it is about 50, thanks to the T150 flour used to prepare it. We prefer organic bread, in order to avoid pesticides as much as possible on the seed coat.

However, the husk of the grain, known as bran, which is retained during the preparation of wholemeal bread, is likely to be poorly digested by some individuals, who will then opt for a "traditional" bread (T65 to GI 70 flour) or for one of the alternatives that we will see below.

Integral bread

Even richer in fibre and minerals than wholemeal bread, there is also wholemeal bread, made with a flour that has not been refined and thus retains all the components of the cereal. Of course, the same limits as for wholemeal bread are found in terms of digestion in some individuals who have a poor tolerance for whole wheat grains.

In general, during major changes in eating habits, the intestines and the body must be given time to adapt. This requires a gradual rather than radical change. As far as bread is concerned, we can go through semi-complete breads, or bread made of several cereals.

Between the classic baguette and tradition, which one to choose?

The traditional baguette requires a longer fermentation time than the white baguette (15 to 20 hours between 4°C and 6°C, compared to 3 to 4 hours between 20°C and 29°C). Moreover, it does not contain any additives, as this is strictly forbidden, and its only ingredients are wheat flour, water, salt and yeast or leaven (leaven is preferred).

Photo source

Finally, the traditional baguette is made from T65 wheat flour, which has a slightly lower glycemic index (70) than the T45 wheat flour used for the white baguette, which has a GI of 85.

So we'll prefer the traditional baguette to the classic baguette.

The rye bread

Rye bread, also known as black bread, has one of the lowest glycemic indexes, between 40 and 45. Rye is a cereal that contains a lot of calcium, potassium and sodium, and is also rich in iron and fluoride. It is a good alternative to the white baguette.

Rye flour contains gluten, just like wheat flour.

At the level of the designation, the proportion of rye flour in the dough must be substantial for the bread to be marketed under this term; if the proportion is between 10 and 35 %, the bread is called 'rye bread'.

Example of organic wholemeal bread "au" rye
Organic wholemeal rye flour at 59%.

That being said, nothing prevents you from combining rye flour with other flours such as wheat flour to lower the average glycemic index of the preparation.

Buckwheat bread

Buckwheat flour is a very interesting alternative to wheat flour: it is rich in fibre, protein and antioxidants. It has a low GI of 40, compared to 45 for T150 whole wheat flour, and 85 for T45 wheat flour used for the standard baguette.

Finally, it contains no or very little gluten.

Buckwheat can be used in cakes, such as the famous "galette bretonne", and is a very good source of low GI carbohydrates when these cakes are topped with eggs and cheese at the beginning of the day.

It is a priori one of the most interesting alternatives in terms of bread, since it is gluten-free and has an almost unbeatable GI.

Spelt Bread

Baby spelt is a hardy wheat that has undergone little processing. It is rich in "good" mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals and vitamins (E and B). In addition, its proteins contain the eight essential amino acids that the body needs, which is rare for a cereal. Secondly, baby spelt contains very little gluten and is therefore more easily digestible.

Baby spelt should not be confused with spelt, which is richer in gluten, but is still a possible alternative to refined wheat flour.

Example of spelt bread (not small spelt) with sourdough + yeast

Baby spelt has a low GI of around 40, like buckwheat flour, and is a good alternative to wheat flour.

The bread of Kamut or Khorasan

Kamut is a cousin of wheat and contains 20 to 40% more protein than modern wheat. It is quite rich in selenium, zinc and magnesium, and has a very interesting proportion of essential amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids.

Its GI is 45, which also makes it an alternative to basic bread. Kamut contains gluten, in small quantities.

Baking bread: yeast or leaven?

Between baking bread with yeast - which is what many bakers do - and baking with leaven - which is more traditional and is coming back into fashion - it is better to choose a leavened baking method. In fact, sourdough bread has the advantage, in addition to being more nutritious, of having a low glycemic index of about 65 versus 80 for yeast bread.

Photo source

Baker's yeast makes it possible to produce a rapid alcoholic fermentation, thus reducing the fermentation time required to raise the dough, where the leaven comes solely from lactic fermentation caused by bacteria present on the slower wheat grain husk.

Top 5 Healthiest Breads

So here is the ranking we were all waiting for: the top of the healthiest breads, chosen for their low GI and nutritional properties. Their consumption should not cause any damage in terms of vitality or line, or even be beneficial, if they are eaten in very small proportions, and at key moments of the day, as we will see at the end of the article.

To choose between wholemeal flour or not, it will depend on your digestive tolerances. But what is certain is that sourdough will always be preferred to standard baker's yeast, and you will have to buy them organic.

  • Leavened spelt bread: rich in fibre, low GI (40), rich in vitamins and minerals, and containing very little gluten.
  • Buckwheat sourdough bread: rich in fibre, low GI (40), rich in vitamins and minerals, and containing very little gluten.
  • Whole wheat sourdough bread: rich in fibre, low GI (45), moderate in vitamins and minerals, but contains a lot of gluten.
  • Baguette tradition au levain: with a moderate GI (55 to 65, compared to 80 for the white baguette), the baguette tradition contains no additives, and will be a very healthy alternative to both the white baguette and wholemeal bread. The flour of the latter comes from the milling of wheat with its shell, and it can therefore be badly tolerated. The traditional bread is the best practicality/health ratio, as you will find it easily in bakeries, and it will allow you to continue to eat bread in the form of a baguette if you like it!
  • Rye bread: low GI (50), rich in calcium and potassium, which may occasionally be an alternative, but contains gluten.

Associations with other flours

It is possible to combine flours traditionally reserved for bread with other flours, such as legume or coconut flours, to obtain breads with a low or moderate glycemic index.

Nevertheless, in most cases, it will be necessary to make homemade bread in order to experiment with these associations. Many recipes exist on the Internet.

Some manufacturers are starting to use alternative ingredients such as chickpeas or lentils to make low GI pasta, for example, and sometimes bread, by mixing them with wheat flours, thus lowering the glycemic index and meeting the growing demand for healthy products.

Here is a list of ingredients that can be used in low GI flour:

  • Oat bran: 15.
  • Lupin : 15
  • Almond : 20
  • Hazelnut : 20
  • Hulled barley: 30
  • Lenses: 35
  • Coconut: 35
  • Chickpeas: 35

With this type of flour, you will be able to prepare pastries with a moderate GI.

You will find on this page a table of common flours classified by glycemic index, but also by glycemic load per 100g of food..

When is the best time to eat bread?

Apart from festive meals, bread - traditional or buckwheat for example - is best eaten at the beginning of the day. Indeed, it is at this precise moment that thebody needs slow sugars to accompany the first efforts, whatever the time of getting up (no matter if you get up very early, or if you work at night, the main thing is to consume them when you get up).

As such, this bread intake must remain modest and should be accompanied by a majority of fatty acids and proteins if we want to remain on a "low-carb" diet. Fat and protein found in eggs, cheese and olive oil, particularly recommended at the beginning of the day.

Photo source

Conversely, avoid bread in the evening (but also cheese and eggs, by the way), otherwise it will be unnecessarily stored as fat. On this subject, I would refer you to the main principles of chrononutrition, a subject that will be covered in a future chapter.

Photo source for article illustration.

Top of the best cheeses for health (fat, lactose free and low salt)

16 Dec 2020 2 comments blooness

Good morning to you all! The purpose of this summary post is to draw up a list of the best cheeses to consume, should you have chosen to include them in your diet.

Certainly, cheese is a food that is causing controversy over its health relevance.

Often demonized because it is considered too fatty, especially too rich in saturated fats, too salty, too caloric, or poorly digested because of the lactose it contains, cheese is nevertheless increasingly coming back to the forefront for its interesting nutritional properties, provided you learn how to eat it.

If one wants to make the cheese lawyer, here are the arguments that could be made in its favour:

First of all, it is fatty and high in protein, and free of carbohydrates, so it is totally compatible with a diet oriented towards health and sport. Indeed, the low-carb diet low in carbohydrates and sugars is back in the spotlight, and the Blooness guide does not fail to echo it.

It does contain saturated fats, but according to some doctors and dieticians, if consumed at the beginning of the day, and not before bedtime, these saturated fats could be beneficial for health and dietary balance. In any case, this is the trail that has been dug for a long time by practitioners of chrononutrition, a type of diet that puts the biological clock back at the centre of the diet, and to which we will come back on Blooness.

It is an ancestral food that is consumed in certain blue zones without any particular health problems.

Finally, there is a plethora of cheeses with little or no lactose, and the salt content tends to be lowered by cheese producers, who even market low-sodium versions.

Just avoid or moderate fresh cheeses, which still contain too much lactose, which in addition to being considered by emerging nutritionists as a relatively bad type of carbohydrate, is not suitable for lactose allergies.

First of all, here is a list of the fattest cheeses. These are the cheeses that should ideally be favoured in low-carb food, and must be eaten in the morning when you get up.

In this list, cheeses that are too high in sodium have been italicized. People at risk should therefore avoid some of these overly salty cheeses.

Top of the fattest cheeses:

Brillat-Savarin PGI

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 390 kcalories
  • protein: 10 g
  • carbohydrates: 2 g
  • lipids: 38 g
  • sodium: 435 mg

Saint-Albray

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 365 kcalories
  • proteins: 17 g
  • carbohydrates: 0 g
  • lipids: 33 g
  • sodium: 520 mg

County

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 417 kcalories
  • protein: 28.1 g
  • carbohydrates: 0 g
  • lipids: 34 g
  • sodium: 567 mg

Cheddar

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 403 kcalories
  • protein: 25.5 g
  • carbohydrates: 0.5 g
  • lipids: 33.4 g
  • sodium: 670 mg

Tome, paving stone or brick of the Cazelles Gabriel Coulet

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 384 kcalories
  • proteins: 21 g
  • carbohydrates: 3 g
  • lipids: 32 g
  • sodium: 720 mg

PDO Abondance (Savoy Cheeses)

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 401 kcalories
  • proteins: 25 g
  • carbohydrates: 1 g
  • lipids: 33 g
  • sodium: 787 mg

Gorgonzola

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 360 kcalories
  • protein: 19.4 g
  • carbohydrates: 0.1 g
  • lipids: 31.2 g
  • sodium: 1450 mg

Parmesan

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 441 kcalories
  • protein: 39.4 g
  • carbohydrates: 1.87 g
  • lipids: 30.9 g
  • sodium: 1090 mg

Saint Paulin

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 370 kcalories
  • protein: 23.5 g
  • carbohydrates: 0.9 g
  • lipids: 30.4 g
  • sodium: 722 mg - available in a low-sodium version.

Beaufort

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 393 kcalories
  • protein: 26.6 g
  • carbohydrates: 3.71 g
  • lipids: 30.3 g
  • sodium: 506 mg

Cantal

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 371 kcalories
  • protein: 24.7 g
  • carbohydrates: 0.2 g
  • lipids: 30.3 g
  • sodium: 875 mg

Bishop's Bridge AOP

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 298 kcalories
  • proteins: 22 g
  • carbohydrates: 0 g
  • lipids: 23 g
  • sodium: 701 mg

Picodon

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 365 kcalories
  • protein: 20.9 g
  • carbohydrates: 1.33 g
  • lipids: 30.3 g
  • sodium: 560 mg

Pyrenean cheese with cow's milk

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 376 kcalories
  • protein: 22.4 g
  • carbohydrates: 4.38 g
  • lipids: 30.1 g
  • sodium: 779 mg

Tomme de Savoie

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 361 kcalories
  • protein: 22.6 g
  • carbohydrates: 0.234 g
  • lipids: 30.1 g
  • sodium: 807 mg

Goat dung or raw milk

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 384 kcalories
  • protein: 23.2 g
  • carbohydrates: 0 g
  • lipids: 32.6 g
  • sodium: 405 mg

Caprice of the Gods

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 330 kcalories
  • proteins: 15 g
  • carbohydrates: 0.8 g
  • lipids: 30 g
  • sodium: 1400 mg

Gouda

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 363 kcalories
  • proteins: 24 g
  • carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fat: 29.9 g
  • sodium: 747 mg

Blue with cow's milk

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 344 kcalories
  • protein: 18.6 g
  • carbohydrates: 0.9 g
  • Fat: 29.4 g
  • sodium: 1260 mg

Bleu de Bresse

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 348 kcalories
  • protein: 17.9 g
  • carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fat: 29.3 g
  • sodium: 551 mg

Ambert shape

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 353 kcalories
  • protein: 19.8 g
  • carbohydrates: 4.14 g
  • lipids: 28.5 g
  • sodium: 921 mg

Auvergne Blue

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 353 kcalories
  • protein: 19.7 g
  • carbohydrates: 1.4 g
  • Fat: 28.4 g
  • sodium: 1230 mg

Emmental cheese

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 367 kcalories
  • protein: 28.2 g
  • carbohydrates: 0 g
  • lipids: 28.3 g
  • sodium: 277 mg

Sainte-Maure

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 344 kcalories
  • protein: 21.8 g
  • carbohydrates: 1.15 g
  • Fat: 28.2 g
  • sodium: 1040 mg

Brie

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 337 kcalories
  • protein: 19.6 g
  • carbohydrates: 2.2 g
  • Fat: 27.9 g
  • sodium: 645 mg

Pélardon

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 352 kcalories
  • protein: 23.8 g
  • carbohydrates: 0.85 g
  • lipids: 27.8 g
  • sodium: 572 mg

Reblochon

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 330 kcalories
  • protein: 20.8 g
  • carbohydrates: 0.094 g
  • lipids: 27.6 g
  • sodium: 477 mg

Rouy

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 335 kcalories
  • protein: 22.5 g
  • carbohydrates: 1 g
  • lipids: 27 g
  • sodium: 484 mg

Chavignol dung

Per 100 grams:

  • energy: 329 kcalories
  • protein: 19.7 g
  • carbohydrates: 1.25 g
  • lipids: 26.9 g
  • sodium: 679 mg

Morbier

Per 100g:

  • energy: 347 kcalories
  • protein: 23.6 g
  • carbohydrates: 3.14 g
  • lipids: 26.9 g
  • sodium: 990 mg

Saint-Nectaire

Per 100g:

  • energy: 339 kcalories
  • protein: 24.4 g
  • carbohydrates: 0.228 g
  • lipids: 26.9 g
  • sodium: 328 mg

Pouligny Saint-Pierre

Per 100g:

  • energy: 328 kcalories
  • protein: 20.2 g
  • carbohydrates: 0.45 g
  • lipids: 26.8 g
  • sodium: 377 mg

Maroilles

Per 100g:

  • energy: 348 kcalories
  • protein: 28.2 g
  • carbohydrates: 0 g
  • lipids: 26.4 g
  • sodium: 933 mg

Halloumi

Per 100g:

  • energy: 333 kcalories
  • protein: 22.07 g
  • carbohydrates: 1.47 g
  • lipids: 26.4 g
  • sodium: 1250 mg

Mimolette

Per 100g:

  • energy: 329 kcalories
  • protein: 24.9 g
  • carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fat: 25.7 g
  • sodium: 1110 mg

Tomme

Per 100g:

  • energy: 343 kcalories
  • protein: 28.6 g
  • carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fat: 25.6 g
  • sodium: 697 mg

Saint-Marcellin

Per 100g:

  • energy: 283 kcalories
  • protein: 12.7 g
  • carbohydrates: 1.01 g
  • Fat: 25.4 g
  • sodium: 1520 mg

Pavé d'Auge

Per 100g:

  • energy: 304 kcalories
  • proteins: 22 g
  • carbohydrates: 0 g
  • lipids: 24 g
  • sodium: 1600 mg

Coulommiers

Per 100g:

  • energy: 292 kcalories
  • protein: 19.4 g
  • carbohydrates: 0 g
  • lipids: 24 g
  • sodium: 506 mg

Vacherin Mont d'Or

Per 100g:

  • energy: 288 kcalories
  • protein: 17.6 g
  • carbohydrates: 0.671 g
  • lipids: 24 g
  • sodium: 450 mg

Chevrot

Per 100g:

  • energy: 288 kcalories
  • protein: 18.5 g
  • carbohydrates: 1.25 g
  • lipids: 22.8 g
  • sodium: 449 mg

Neufchâtel

Per 100g:

  • energy: 255 kcalories
  • protein: 9.15 g
  • carbohydrates: 3.49 g
  • lipids: 22.8 g
  • sodium: 334 mg

Valençay

Per 100g:

  • energy: 282 kcalories
  • protein: 17.5 g
  • carbohydrates: 2.05 g
  • Fat: 22.2 g
  • sodium: 824 mg

Chaource

Per 100g:

  • energy: 272 kcalories
  • protein: 17.4 g
  • carbohydrates: 1.35 g
  • lipids: 22 g
  • sodium: 792 mg

Camembert with raw milk

Per 100g:

  • energy: 267 kcalories
  • protein: 20.4 g
  • carbohydrates: 1.22 g
  • lipids: 20.2 g
  • sodium: 670 mg

Top of the least salty cheeses

As areminder, the recommended dietary intake of sodium is 400 to 800 mg / day, and this can go up to at least 1200 mg / day for athletes, and perhaps more for those who practice the ketogenic diet. Ideally, there should be no overdosage or deficiency, otherwise there is a risk to health.

This raises the question of cheeses that are more or less rich in salt (which contains 40% sodium as a reminder).

Photo

It is therefore sufficient to consult the above list of the fattiest cheeses, and to lift the fangs on cheeses whose sodium content per 100g of cheese can quickly exceed the recommended intake, which can quickly be achieved if one chooses to eat cheese in the morning as a main food.

Therefore, if one suffers from certain illnesses where salt could be harmful(hypertension in particular), one should ideally avoid Parmesan, Gorgonzola, Caprice des Dieux, Saint-Marcellin, etc... and possibly find their low-sodium version (this exists for certain cheeses such as Saint Paulin).

The cheeses listed below will be low in sodium, and therefore more suitable for people who need to reduce their salt intake. This list is taken from our top fat cheeses, from which we have removed those with too much sodium.

  • Low-sodium Saint Paulin
  • Emmental cheese
  • Reblochon
  • Rouy
  • Saint-Nectaire
  • Pouligny Saint-Pierre
  • Vacherin Mont d'Or
  • Neufchâtel
  • Brillat-Savarin PGI
  • Etc...

Top lactose-free cheeses

Now that we've seen which cheeses are the highest in fat and the lowest in salt and sodium, let's take a look at which ones contain the least lactose.

Cheeses very low in lactose (traces)

In general, the older a cheese gets, the more the lactose content decreases because it is transformed into lactic acid by the bacteria present in the cheese. In case of low or moderate lactose intolerance, it is best to choose these matured cheeses:

  • Saint-Albray
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Blue
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Gruyère
  • Maroilles
  • Mimolette
  • Edam
  • Emmental cheese
  • Gouda
  • the Mimolette
  • the County
  • the Cantal
  • the Tomme
  • the Reblochon
  • la Raclette
  • the Saint-Paulin
  • the Holy Secretary
  • the Gorgonzola
  • the Picodon
  • Savoy Volume
  • Goat dung or raw milk
  • Caprice of the Gods
  • Pélardon
  • Pouligny Saint-Pierre
  • Pavé d'Auge
  • the Coulommiers
  • Vacherin Mont d'Or

Cheeses that contain little lactose (1 to 2 g of lactose per 100 g)

These should be consumed according to the digestive tolerance to lactose. If there are no allergy problems, the lactose content remains so low that it is negligible in terms of health and figure.

They are usually soft cheeses and have less than 5 g of carbohydrates per 100 g:

  • the Camembert
  • le Rouy
  • the Chaource
  • Brie
  • la Mozzarella
  • la Ricotta
  • Roquefort
  • the Beaufort
  • Tome, paving stone and brick of the Cazelles Gabriel Coulet
  • Pyrenean cheese with cow's milk
  • Sainte-Maure
  • Chavignol dung
  • Morbier
  • Saint-Marcellin
  • Chevrot
  • Neufchâtel
  • Valençay
  • PDO Abundance
  • Brillat-Savarin PGI

Cheeses that contain too much lactose

Finally, here is the list of cheeses that should be avoided in the context of a low-carb / chrono diet, but to be reserved if you wish for exceptional meals. Indeed, these are mostly fresh cheeses, containing too much lactose.

  • cottage cheese
  • le Saint Môret®.
  • the Philadelphia®.
  • the Kiri®.
  • The Caprice of the Gods®
  • the Boursin®.
  • Tartarus®.
  • le Carré frais® (Fresh Square®)
  • cow's milk cheese

In other words, you should avoid fromage frais, yoghurt, and of course milk. These foods contain lactose and growth factors, which are harmful to health.

Finally, when choosing a cheese, it is better to choose sheep's cheese rather than goat's cheese, the latter often being a little dry and acidic.

The top of the fattest, least salty, lactose-free cheeses.

And so here is the ultimate top of the highest fat, low-sodium and lactose-free (traces) cheeses. To obtain this list, we have extracted from our previous lists the cheeses that "matched" these three conditions.

We find, in this ultimate top, which will of course evolve, the following cheeses:

  • Low-sodium Saint Paulin
  • Emmental cheese
  • Reblochon
  • Saint-Nectaire
  • Pouligny Saint-Pierre
  • Vacherin Mont d'Or
Photo

As those who follow the "chrono" diet know, the quantity of cheese to eat in the morning is roughly calculated as follows: at least the height above the metre, i.e. 75g if you are 1.75m tall (at the beginning), then increase the quantity of cheese to prolong satiety before lunch, especially for the elderly or sportsmen and women. The whole accompanied by bread, weighing half the weight of cheese, and quality (traditional baguette for example), with olive oil.

The choice of bread, as well as chrononutrition, are two exciting topics that will be the subject of articles very soon ...

Source photo image illustration.

Ideal dosage of multivitamins and minerals: what is the best multivitamin on the market?

27 Nov 2020 0 comment blooness

The following is an overall summary of the Recommended Daily Intakes (RDAs) as recommended by governments for each vitamin and trace element.

This article is a summary of the entire first part of the Blooness Guide, the guide to the ideal diet. In this first part, we learned what was a macronutrientsand we listed and learned about the benefits of all micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that act in our bodies.

So, in order to make things clearer, and for the sake of synthesis, we have drawn up this list of recommended dosages for each micronutrient, vitamin and mineral, as well as their known action in the body, so that you can choose your own multivitamin, if you have decided to supplement yourself.

Of course, the recommendations are general, and it is up to each and everyone to draw up their own health assessment, and to get in touch with a doctor in order to be as precise as possible in terms of supplementation!

This is not a question of recommending anything, but simply listing official recommendations and comparing these recommended daily intakes with multi-vitamins recognized as being among the best multi-vitamins on the market.

If you know of other brands, other products that are interesting in terms of dosage, do not hesitate to suggest them as comments so that we can add them to the comparison!

Here is the list of recommended dosages of vitamins and minerals, with a comparison of the best multi-vitamins on the market!

This list of the best multivitamins as well as the list of recommended daily allowances has been drawn up and is up to date in 2021.

Vitamin A

  • Skin, vision, antioxidant, cell differentiation.
  • Official recommendation: between 700 and 900 µg / day
  • Risk of deficiency: low.
  • Nutrimuscle: 1200 µg (150%)
  • Chrono Vita+: 780 µg (97.50%)
  • Nutri and co: 800 μg (100%)

Vitamin D3

  • Immunity, bones, muscles, general health.
  • Official recommendation: 600 IU / day (15 µg / day)
  • Emerging recommendation: at least 5000 IU / day (125 µg / day)
  • Risk of deficiency: high.
  • Nutrimuscle: 2,000 IU (50 µg). Exists in Vitamin D alone otherwise (2 000 IU).
  • Chrono Vita+: 200 IU (5 µg)
  • Nutri and co: 1000 IU (25 µg)

Vitamin E

  • Antioxidant, immunity, blood clotting, cardiovascular health, menstrual pain
  • Official recommendation: approx. 12 mg / day
  • Risk of deficiency: normal.
  • Nutrimuscle: 36 mg (300%).
  • Chrono Vita+: 12 mg (100%).
  • Nutri and co: 12 mg (100%).
  • Elite: 22.4mg (187%).

Vitamins K1 and K2

  • Cell growth, cardiovascular health, bone.
  • Official recommendation: 75 µg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: normal.
  • Nutrimuscle: 50 µg (67%) of K1.
  • Chrono Vita+: X.
  • Nutri and co: 80 μg (107%) of K2.
  • Elite: 100 μg (133%) as K2 MK-7 (patented microencapsulated K2VITAL®).

Vitamin C

  • Antioxidant, immunity.
  • Official recommendation: 75 to 90 mg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: normal.
  • Nutrimuscle: 200 mg (250%).
  • Chrono Vita+: 80 mg (100%).
  • Nutri and co: 80 mg (100%).
  • Elite: 250 mg (312.50%)

Vitamin B1

  • Nervous system, muscles.
  • Official recommendation: 1.2 to 1.5 mg / day.
  • Emerging recommendation: up to 2.4 mg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: normal.
  • Nutrimuscle: 2 mg (182%).
  • Chrono Vita+: 1.40 mg (127.29%).
  • Nutri and co: 2.2 mg (200%).
  • Elite: 1.8mg (164%)

Vitamin B2

  • Nervous system, muscles, energy, cellular health.
  • Official recommendation: 1.4 mg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: normal.
  • Nutrimuscle: 2 mg (143%).
  • Chrono Vita+: 1.4 mg (100%).
  • Nutri and co: 2.8 mg (200%).
  • Elite: 1.8mg (129%)

Vitamin B3

  • Energy metabolism, mucous membranes, sex hormones and psychological functions.
  • Official recommendation: 16 mg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: normal.
  • Nutrimuscle: 20 mg (125%).
  • Chrono Vita+: 16 mg (100%).
  • Nutri and co: 16 mg (100%).
  • Elite: 18 mg (113%)

Vitamin B5

  • Tissue, steroid hormones, metabolism, physical and psychological functions.
  • Official recommendation: 6 mg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: normal.
  • Nutrimuscle: 10 mg (167%).
  • Chrono Vita+: 6.70mg (111.67%).
  • Nutri and co: 6 mg (100%).
  • Elite: 7 mg (117%)

Vitamin B6

  • Physical and psychological functions, nervous system, red blood cell renewal, energy metabolism, immunity, protein and glycogen metabolism.
  • Official recommendation: 1.5 mg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: normal.
  • Nutrimuscle: 2.4 mg (171%).
  • Chrono Vita+: 1.70 mg (121.43%).
  • Nutri and co: 2 mg (143%).
  • Elite: 2 mg (143%)

Vitamin B8

  • Macronutrient metabolism, tissue, nervous system
  • Official recommendation: 50 µg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: normal.
  • Nutrimuscle: 150 µg (100%).
  • Chrono Vita+: 50 µg (100%).
  • Nutri and co: 51 µg (100%).
  • Elite: 150 µg (300%)

Vitamin B9

  • Cell growth, red blood cells, immunity, nervous system.
  • Official recommendation: 200 µg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: normal.
  • Nutrimuscle: 200 µg (100%) as L-methylfolate, a recommended form.
  • Chrono Vita+: 200 µg (100%).
  • Nutri and co: 200 µg (100%) as Quatrefolic®, a recommended form.
  • Elite: 300 µg (150%) in the form of natural methylfolates (recommended form).

Vitamin B12

  • Immunity, nervous system, energy metabolism, recovery.
  • Official recommendation: 2.7 µg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: normal, high in vegetarians.
  • Nutrimuscle: 3 µg (120%).
  • Chrono Vita+: 2.5 µg (100%).
  • Nutri and co: 2.7 µg (100%)
  • Elite: 2.8 µg (112%)

Magnesium

  • Cell division, nervous system, energy metabolism, physical and mental recovery, protein synthesis, bone...
  • Official recommendation: 375 mg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: high, especially in athletes and hyperactive people.
  • Nutrimuscle : X. Available in magnesium supplement, 58.5 MG / capsule. Magnesium citrate (Recommended form).
  • Chrono Vita+: 120 mg (32%). Magnesium oxide.
  • Nutri and co: 150 mg (40%). UltraMag® (Recommended Form).

Zinc

  • Cell division, oxidative stress, DNA synthesis, macronutrient metabolism, vision, fertility, bone, tissue.
  • Official recommendation: 10 mg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: normal, high in vegetarians.
  • Nutrimuscle: X. Exists as a separate zinc supplement, dosed at 11 mg (110%).
  • Chrono Vita+: 10.16 mg (101.60%).
  • Nutri and co: 10 mg (100%).
  • Elite: 15 mg (150%)

Selenium

  • Oxidative stress, immunity, spermatogenesis, thyroid, tissue.
  • Official recommendation: approx. 55 µg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: normal.
  • Nutrimuscle: X. Exists as a separate supplement, dosed at 55 µg (100%).
  • Chrono Vita+: 10.16 mg (101.60%).
  • Nutri and co: 30 µg (54%).
  • Elite: 50 µg (91%)

Iodine

  • Thyroid hormones, reproduction, blood cells, muscles and nervous system.
  • Official recommendation: 150 µg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: Low.
  • Nutrimuscle: X.
  • Chrono Vita+: X.
  • Nutri and co: 10 µg (6.7%).
  • Elite: 150 µg (100%).

Phosphorus

  • Bones, teeth, energy metabolism.
  • Official recommendation: 750 mg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: low.
  • Nutrimuscle: X.
  • Chrono Vita+: 53.91 mg (7.70%).
  • Nutri and co: X.

Calcium

  • Bones, teeth, muscles, coagulation, cell division.
  • Official recommendation: 1000 mg / day.
  • Risk of deficiency: low.
  • Nutrimuscle: X.
  • Chrono Vita+: 71.40 mg (8.93%).
  • Nutri and co: X.

Iron, copper and manganese

Judged to be pro-oxidising by certain professionals, these minerals have not been dosed voluntarily at Nutri and Co or Elite. On the other hand, iron was dosed at 73.71% of the nutritional reference values in Chrono Vita+ and copper at 100.02% of the NRVs.

Co-factors and miscellaneous

Some multi-vitamins find it useful to include co-factors in their composition. Cofactors are chemical compounds that are not proteinic but are necessary for the biological activity of proteins.

Cofactors can be either of a mineral nature (Iron, Sulphur, etc) or of an organic nature and in this particular case they are called coenzymes (example: the famous coenzyme Q10).

Here are some co-factors whose merits are praised by some multi-vitamin manufacturers, and which can be found in those listed below.

N-Acetyl-Cysteine 180 mg

  • Interests: antioxidant
  • Nutri and Co: 180 mg
  • Elite: 300 mg

CoEnzyme Q10

  • Interests: antioxidant
  • Nutri and Co: 30 mg
  • Elite: 50 mg

Quercetin

  • Interests: antioxidant
  • Nutri and Co: 20 mg
  • Elite: 400 mg

Lutein

  • Interests: antioxidant and eye health
  • Nutri and Co: 7 mg
  • Elite: 10 mg

Lycopene

  • Interests: antioxidant
  • Nutri and Co: 1 mg
  • Elite: 15 mg

Miscellaneous

Nutri and Co :

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid (R form) 50 mg. Antioxidant and energy metabolism.
  • Rutin (S. japonica extract) 32 mg. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, vasoprotective and antithrombotic properties.
  • Hesperidin (citrus extract) 32 mg. Antioxidant and vasculoprotective properties.

Elite:

  • Choline (patented form Cognizin®) 250 mg. Cognitive functions.
  • L-carnitine (L-carnitine tartrate) 1000 mg. Energy.
  • Chondroitin sulfate (patented herbal form Mythocondro®) 900 mg. Joints.
  • Zeaxanthin 5 mg. Antioxidant.
  • Glycine 9000 mg. Joints, antioxidant, etc...
  • Blueberry extract from organic farming 400 mg
  • Ginger extract from organic farming 500 mg
  • Dry extract of green tea leaves from organic farming 1167 mg
  • Extract of Ginkgo Biloba from organic farming 200 mg
  • Acacia fibre from organic farming 6600 mg
  • Fructo-oligosaccharides 300 mg.

Conclusion

Each multivitamin has its own dosage, and your choice will necessarily depend on your health check, your doctor's advice, your goals, and certainly your beliefs and budget.

In any case, whatever your choice, these products are recognized as being of high quality.

If you know of other brands, other products that are interesting in terms of dosage, do not hesitate to suggest them as comments so that we can add them to the comparison!

Portez-vous bien <3

Illustration photo source.

Previous chapter: All about selenium.
Next chapter: Conclusion of volume 1 on the basics of nutrition.
Return to the summary of the guide.

Exercise to improve immunity

19 Nov 2020 0 comment Elsa

How to take care of yourself naturally during this period of confinement? An article inspired by Dr. Jean-Paul Curtay, a nutritherapist who is passionate about nutrition and its close links to health.

Get moving!

Today I am presenting the first major rule of healthy living to be implemented during this long period of health insecurity, which is essential for the survival of our health capital.

We're all on the lookout for the slightest sneeze or a poorly positioned mask. Instead, let's ask ourselves how best to strengthen our body's immune defence. It starts with being in good physical condition!

What kind of sportsman are you?

Confinement should not be used as an excuse to give up physical fitness!

I don't want any self-justification for not going for a run or a few sets of abs! Whatever your level or ability, it is important to maintain your muscles.

Yes, very important because you may not know it, but they are the reservoirs of our white blood cells. These famous immune cells that stand up against external aggressions (pollutants, viruses, bacteria, etc...). And, of course, against the SARS COv2 virus that caused the Covid-19 epidemic.

Your muscles contain an amino acid called "glutamine" which, along with white blood cells, fights infection. As you can see, the more you build muscle, the more you increase your immune system.

This explains why people with inflammatory or infectious diseases lose muscle mass: apart from the fact that it melts because they obviously cannot do sport when they are ill, they also use it to defend themselves.

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As a result, when a new intruder points his nose, the body is very depleted in glutamine and white blood cells. Likewise, older people who let their muscles melt, find themselves with weakened defences.

The power of mitochondria

In addition to strengthening muscles, physical activity leads to the multiplication of mitochondria! Kesako? These are the mini energy centers of our cells. There are thousands of them in each cell.

Among other functions, they provide the energy needed to multiply antibodies and white blood cells. In this way, a real bulwark against inflammation is created.

The importance of breathing

Knowing how to correctly exploit our respiratory capacity is very important when practicing a sport. However, all too often we under-exploit it. As a result, our breathing accelerates, which reduces the quality of gas exchanges.

Reduced oxygen uptake reduces the production of white blood cells. It is therefore very important to work on your breathing during physical effort.

Oxygenation is essential in our fight against the virus. Remember: Sport is the official supplier of immune energy.

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In short, exercise linked to good oxygenation stimulates the formation and activity of mitochondria, which increases the chances of fighting inflammation. Push-ups and squats are coming, so the covid just has to behave!

Good to know. Several studies show that a walk in the forest develops a certain category of white blood cells, the Natural Killer! They owe this nickname to their great efficiency in wringing the neck to retroviruses, such as HIV or coronavirus. And that's what SARS COv-2 is all about. So, if you can, go do your squats in the woods!

Illustration photo credit.

What is the purpose of naturopathy and does it really work?

14 Nov 2020 0 comment Elsa

Today, we welcome Elsa as a mail manager for a post on naturopathy, a field in which she specializes and especially for which she is passionate.

In this article, she explains what naturopathy is, and if you are interested in this subject, she may publish more posts on it!

Good morning to you all! I'm Elsa. I'm Elsa. I have been a nurse for several years and have been trained to become a NATUROPATH.

My profession is little or not well known. Its name sounds good, but most of you have only a vague idea of what it covers. Being a naturopathic doctor does not make me exclusively a great witch of plants and herbal teas, but above all a preventive and natural health therapist.

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Naturopathy is a medicine that uses natural healing processes. What could be more current in these times of health insecurity? My mission is to offer the best possible tools to the organism so that it can find in it the necessary vital (immune) force.

I do not make medical diagnoses, as I am not qualified to do so, but I work closely with allopathic medicine (our current and traditional western medicine). Naturopathy is complementary to it.

My discipline consists in observing the individual as a whole, both psychically and physically,
spiritual, social and environmental. Naturopathic care is referred to as naturopathic medicine.
natural "holistic". That is, it considers the person as a whole. It makes a point
of honor to consider the authenticity of the being. There is no question of accompanying two people,
suffering from the same disorder, in the same way. Each person is unique.

We work with the central idea that the individual has his or her own inner strength, what we call "life force". The one that allows him to get up in the morning and maintain his health. The body has the capacity to be its own therapist.

Naturopathy has no claim to cure but allows the person to self-regulate. For this we carry out a real work of investigation. We question the habits of life, we study the capacities of the filter organs (emunctory) to eliminate the overloads, overloads which slow down the process of good physiological functioning. These overloads, which sometimes lead to major clinical discomforts: chronic inflammation, digestive pain, headaches, etc., are the main cause of the disease.

Depending on the reception assessment, we propose a naturopathic cure according to the vital capacity of the subject. The two main cures are detoxification and revitalization. The first accompanies the person so that he can "cleanse" his kidneys, lungs, digestive organs, liver and skin. The second allows the person to recover energy so that they can accomplish the previous tasks.

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But above all, we ask for the involvement of the person who wants to improve his or her health. This
Long and tedious work sometimes requires a big change in lifestyle habits. The
In order to be able to alleviate his or her problems, a person must invest time and energy.

She's having to rethink her daily life. There is often talk of a beautiful awareness. The
The effects of our cures are felt gradually and are very encouraging. Naturopathy
helps to see a little more clearly in this world where we no longer know what to eat or what to do for good.
to truly preserve his health capital. Naturopathy does not follow a universal rule
but adapts to each individual.

Optimal arm, forearm and biceps strength training

01 May 2020 0 comment blooness

The king exercise of the long biceps: curl on a sloping bench

Curl on an inclined bench is often referred to by weightlifting aces as the best exercise for biceps hypertrophy, and it is the one that covers almost all anatomical genera, according to the king of weightlifting in France.

Lying on an inclined bench (head up), arms towards the ground with a dumbbell in each hand, you will have to bend your elbows. This movement particularly stresses the long chief of the biceps brachialis.

 

Exercise for the short portion of the biceps: alternating sitting curl, tight shoulder blades.

Sitting on a straight bench, shoulder blades tight, with a rotation of the hand, and alternating, this unilateral exercise allows you to focus on each biceps.

Starting position in hammer grip, a rotation of the arm outwards during the elbow flexion and finishing in supination grip, i.e. palm of the hand towards the shoulder. This version of the seated curl allows the entire biceps brachialis to be used, not just the long ones.

You can slightly elbow it at the end of the movement. The interest of this exercise, is to develop both the short and the long portion, according to the disciple of the king of bodybuilding in France.

 

The hammer curl

The hammer grip allows a more targeted work of the brachial and brachio-radial (forearm muscle), at the expense of the biceps. It is a complementary and essential exercise to be integrated into your biceps session, in order to increase the volume of your arm from an aesthetic point of view, and not to cause a delay on the brachialis.

It can be done standing, sitting or on a desk, it is best to do it standing or sitting.

 

The curl pronation for the forearms

 

Biceps Exercises: Beware of Trauma

To avoid injuries, and to work intelligently, you must on the one hand put your ego aside and opt for weights that will make your biceps work without cheating, and on the other hand perform a movement without any risk to the tendons. The goal is to build muscle without trauma.

How to measure your weight

First of all, you have to domesticate your body, and start with very light weights and a high number of repetitions and series (5 series of 20 repetitions) in order to fully understand the movement that you want, and which allows congestion.

Then, to start taking volume, you have to start in series of 4, with about 8 to 15 repetitions.

Finally, it is interesting from time to time, on a low-risk biceps exercise, to drastically increase the load and do 2 or 3 sets with 6 or 8 repetitions maximum. The objective here is to "shock the muscle" and work the nervous system, even if it means cheating a little.

For those who just want to slim down, and above all not to gain muscle volume - I am thinking mainly of women but some men too - it is necessary to take care to gain very small weights, and to work on long series. But here too, small series with moderate to heavy loads, from time to time, when your energy level is high, can be hyper-productive in terms of loss of fat mass. All this, of course, in combination with the Blooness diet, which is moderate in carbohydrates and rich in healthy ingredients.

Pay attention to the range of motion and inclination

When you work your biceps on an inclined plane, a desk for example, tension is created on the tendon, especially when you do a full amplitude.

This is why it is strongly advised to start on a reduced amplitude when you are in supination, especially if you are on a sloping surface, or to privilege the exercises which are done standing (without cheating by using the shoulders of a backward movement), or sitting.

The idea is to have the biceps not too far forward but perpendicular to the ground, in order to limit the tension on the tendon.

Therefore, the ideal is to straighten the bench vertically, or to work with rubber bands or in pull. For the pull, it is the same movement as the sitting curl described in the 2nd exercise of this article with the famous rotation. Here are all the explanations concerning this movement: