E-spoons E-zine
May 2012

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SOMETHING FISHY

Don't let junior flunk out of calorie school  or make a faux pas when ordering the salad but make sure you eat lots of dark chocolate to curb those cravings, because although it sounds a little fishy, eating chocolate doesn't lead to weight gain.  Weight gain is coming from growing up in our chemical worldit’s hard to believe but for fish these chemicals are more of a laughing matter, and  flowers and trees feel differently about the noise pollution matter. There could be something fishy in your grocery bag, and something not so fishy, about twenty first century fish which means you might not be getting the omega-3 you need to get your sperm leaving the station armed so you create a Wimbledon champion who scores  game, set and match.

The E-spoons E-zine is a monthly compilation of stories appearing on 7 Big Spoons™ blog.  The stories are based on the latest science tit bits and will help you become a little healthier, wealthier and wiser by explaining the why.  As a friend of Spoonful of Science you have been included on our mailing list – should you wish to unsubscribe follow the link at the bottom of the E-zine.

Reading on line is exhausting so if you would prefer to read your copy of E-spoons in the loo -  download the pdf here.    

Eating diet foods causes children to flunk out of calorie school
Calorie schoolI was a chubby kid, so diet foods  have always been IN my life.  The big question of course, is did the diet foods help keep me from exploding into the two ton Tessie, my  mother believed I was destined to BE,  or did they programme me for a lifetime of  weight problems.

I suspect in my case, they probably set me up for a life time of fat troubles, because my brain ended up being unable to do calorie maths.The brain starts mathematically illiterate.   But it quickly learns how to do calorie maths, so by the time it is fully wired – it knows approx how many calories are associated with specific tastes.

The golden rules of calorie maths are simple ...........................

Sweet things taste really good.  Fatty foods taste good too.  And green vegetables suck. 
AND
Sweet things are full of calories.  Fatty foods are really full of calories. Vegetables are for rabbits.

When the lessons have been learned, you brain can quickly tally up how many calories you’ve consumed – so that when you’ve consumed enough calories to meet your needs – YOU STOP EATING.

“Baby” rats fed DIET foods – don’t learn this calorie maths – click here to read more.  Human children more than likely suffer the same fate as  “baby” rats  when fed diet foods, because the wiring gets crossed.   The brain learns “sweet” foods have ZERO calories, so to get enough to keep you going, you need to eat lots.   
 
Since the brain is running on the belief  that sweet things are low calorie foods – problems arise.
 
Living according to this disconnect,  causes energy in, to routinely exceed energy out, because the brain doesn’t realize it is time to  stop.   An energy recipe, which inevitably produces a HEFFA-LUMP.
 
To learn more about the calorie school – read the full article
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If you’re raising a Heffa-lump or know someone who is,  then  don’t miss the opportunity to get tips and advice.  I am giving a FREE presentation packed with info at the Strawberry Skin Deep Lifestyle Event. 
Heffa-lump advert
5 May, from 10.30 – 16.30 at  Kensington Bowling Club.  For more info
drop me an e-mail or contact the organizer,  Gail at 082 929 4934

The semantics of dieting can easily lead to dieting faux pas
You sit down to order at a cafe.  You’re currently “ON DIET”, your status necessitates that you choose very wisely.  To be safe you turn to the section labelled salads.  Glance through the options and make your choice. 

STOP !

You may not be acting as virtuously as you think.
 Pasta salad


That “pasta salad” would sit quite comfortably in the Pasta Section of the menu.  But in the pasta section, you would have given it a miss.  The restaurateur knew this, so he added a lettuce leaf,  jacked up the price and stuck the dish in the salad section.  Research reported in theJournal of Consumer Research, found that dieters were frequently conned by terminology.  Find out what words are routinely used to dupe unsuspecting dieters.
 
And if you are  ON DIET and  are considering popping something into your mouth.  STOP.  Don’t assume anything - read the list of ingredients, then decide whether to tuck in or skip out.
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Chocoholics go dark to lessen food cravings
Dark chocolate giving the hunger neuron a frightDoes all resistance crumble at the thought of chocolate ?

Science suggests a little chocolate is actually good for you, even if it is not so good for dogs.  The big problem with chocolate, is it is often very difficult to just do A LITTLE.
 
But, thanks to the research from the University of Copenhagen, you can now have your chocolate without SUCCUMBING.

The Copenhagen team discovered the secret is to go DARK.
Follow the link to discover why dark chocolate is a super health food and a win-win-win gift from the gods.
Return to Table of Contents
 

Of course, if you over indulged in this gift from the gods, this Easter, then you need to enrol in my programme.
Cheat the Fat Genes
Learn how to “fix” the fat problem once and for all, by getting your body chemistry balanced.
www.cheatthefatgenes.com
 
 
Calories in chocolate are special, they don’t add up to fat
Chocolate eaters are thinnerIf you’re feeling racked with guilt and  worried that mouthfuls of bunny ears and tails, are going to lead to you sporting an extra large “tail”, then this research report is going to make your day.

Regular chocolate eaters are thinner  !

Yup,  banishing chocolate from your life, is not a requirement to be a skinny bean pole.

Don’t get all excited – the research report is not a licence to pig out on chocolate, the message is a little chocolate is not all bad, the reason – chocolate calories are SPECIAL. Read more......
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Is obesity a consequence of living in a chemical world ?
Pollution contributing to obesityWe all know obesity is a BIG problem,  BAD eating habits and lack of physical activity are huge contributors to the problem, but as the crisis unfolds,  many believe there is more to it.  We are living in a polluted world, many of these environmental pollutants find their way into our bodies.  Are environmental pollutants role players ?  

A Danish study, found women with the highest levels perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), during their pregnancy 20 years ago, ended up with the  fattest daughters today.  Read more about how estrogen disrupters may be contributing to the obesity epidemic.
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Carbon dioxide is laughing gas for fish
Tiny fish teasing big fishEver been exposed to laughing gas ?   A dose of the stuff, can quickly turn you from a sane composed human being, into a giggling buffoon. It appears, carbon dioxide is laughing gas for fish !  Only the fish aren’t really laughing.

We are all aware that carbon dioxide emissions pose a danger to human existence, primarily because of the propensity of the gas to  turn up the heat.  Up until now, we’ve thought the hotter air is responsible for  cascade of trouble.....
 
But, whiffing carbon dioxide causes fish a few sensory dilemmas too, leaving them acting a little CRAZY.
 
Click here, to learn more about how CO2 frazzles fish brains.   So for the sake of the fishes.........
 
Do your bit to use a little less energy ! 

Return to Table of Contents

 
Separating noise pollution from the flowers and the trees
Flower enjoying a little noise pollutionMost stories about pollution end rather badly for Mother Nature, at least. But, scientists from North Carolina have discovered a plant that is very grateful for the noisy clamour created by man.

Catch the story of  the reproductive success and failure of the scarlet gilia as it  lives beneath the din of the oil compressors.
Return to Table of Contents
 
Are you bringing home the bacon in a bagful of germs ?
Someing fishy in the grocery bagYou’re doing your bit for the environment by loading up your groceries in a re-usable grocery bag.   Every time you hit the store, you fish it out and fill it up.  Big question, do you ever wash it out when you’re done ?

It seems somewhat ironic, that in our germphobic modern world, that approx 80 % of people fail to hose down their grocery sack. But in the survey carried out as part of the Home Food Safety programme  -  1 in 6 Americans sampled, just kept re-cycling their eco-friendly recyclable bag.   

This  failure in GERM WARFARE is unlikely to be motivated by laziness,  I suspect it is just a case of ignorance.

I am big on cultivating your microflora, but when it comes to these bugs,   there are good guys and bad guys.   The gunk that winds up in the bottom of a shopping bag is going to stack the odds towards the seriously  bad guys.  The kinds of bacteria that can give you a nasty case of the runs – Salmonella, Listeria and E.coli.

The point of this post is not to create panic, the risks are pretty small.  To begin with, most food items have enough packaging around them, that it is difficult to get inside even when you have two hands, so bacteria haven’t got a hope in hell.  But spills happen, fresh produce and bakery items are often not zipped up in layers of plastic.  Cross-contamination can happen in a “dirty” bag.

Take precautions with that bag....

  • wash the bag out every so often, especially if there has been a spill or leak of some kind
  • watch out for food items that are not smothered in plastic – particularly meaty foods
  • don’t leave the bag in the boot (for American readers – this is the  trunk) of the car – it’s dark and warm, making it ideal for bacteria to multiply

Read the full story...
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Twenty first century fish may not be that good for you
Everyone knows.........eating fish is good for you.  Fish eaters are smarter and healthier, thanks to the boat load of goodies packed in fish flesh.    Well, maybe ................  Just like the nutritional value of a modern day steak is not quite the same as that hunk of meat eaten by Caveman Fred, fish flesh has undergone a little modernization too.

Fish feeding on vegetable matterThe fish that are landing on dinner plates around the globe,  are often not wild and free.  They’re actually old  farm hands.  Aquaculture is big business. Current estimates suggest around 50 % of fish we’re eating,  grew up on a farm.

As far as mother nature is concerned –  fish food is other “fish” and marine organisms. But fish growing up on farms, don’t always have fishy options for their dinner, because it is too difficult and expensive for fish farmers to do.

So, fish growing up on farms have to eat food that is readily available and relatively cheap and that fish are happy to eat.  Vegetable oils turn out to be an all round fish friendly food. Fish seem to enjoy it and they grow up big and strong quickly.

Researchers have discovered,  fish don’t seem to mind the change in diet, but the benefits of eating these fish are a little diminished.

Getting and keeping your omega ratio balanced with diet alone, is a challenge in the modern world, no matter what you do.  Fortunately, you can get a little pharmacological help getting your omega-3 quota.  Supplementing with omega-3 is probably  one supplement worth investing in.
NB. Just make sure you’re purchasing a product with omega-3 only. 
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Are your sperm leaving the station unarmed ?
Sperm being armed by omega-3Aerodynamics is important in design – sleek, pointy things cut through the air more efficiently, so they go a lot faster.   Just compare a farrari with a mini-bus. 
 
Anything that is sleek and pointy is going to move better, including sperm.  To make a sperm that is sleek and pointy requires an omega-3 fatty acid.
 
When omega-3 supplies are low, the sperm that leave the station are not quite the right shape.  Too much drag,  means they never have a fighting chance to meet up with the princess i.e. their owners are infertile.

So if you’re trying to make a baby, get your sperm swimming like a fish by eating a lot more fish.
Return to Table of Contents
 

Need help

Before birth exposure to fish oil scores game, set and match
Birthing a Wimbeldon championAre you hoping to birth a Wimbeldon Champion ?
 
Well, before you buy the tennis outfit and start those tennis lessons, you need to ensure junior’s poweful forearm swing will actually connect with that tiny tennisball i.e. your kid needs good hand-eye coordination.

A good set of genes is imperative. Think the Williams sisters.   Regular ball work, will refine the inherent skill i.e. practise, practise, practise. BUT... the secret to getting the racket and ball to connect, is all in the first serve.  Babies getting high doses of omega-3 in utero, pop out with a huge advantage.

NOTE : Giving your child the omega-3 advantagemight not be enough to lift the Wimbeldon Title,  but will at least ensure your toddler  is a star performer at play school and  help set them up to win the game of life. 
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Other stories from the blog this month..............

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Thank you for taking the time to read the e-zine. I love hearing from readers, so drop me an e-mail to let me know which story you enjoyed the most,  did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective. 
 

Did you catch this month’s Neurotechnology Tips  ?

Neurotechnology tips provides tit bits of science to  help you buzz up your brain performance.

Click here to have a Neurotechnology Tip delivered directly to you in box next week.

 Neurotechnology Tips for May 2012

     
Being slapped by a fish once a week makes you smarter Me and you can often make better decisions than a gang What you think you see is what you get
 
Next month our “Beds are burning”.   Look out for the June edition of E-spoons in your inbox on 6 June 2012 (the first Wednesday of the month). 
Yours scientifically
Dr Sandy

Phone :       +27 (0)11 452 2207
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E-mail :       drsandy@spoonfulofscience.com

 The cartoons were drawn by Guy Alain Ngangob– drop him an e-mail if you need a cartoon or two.   If you want to access the science articles used to compile the newsletter visit the relevant pages on the blog and follow the link.   
 
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