Showing posts with label dieting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dieting. Show all posts

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Potomatatoes & Acidity

Anonymous asked "Do totatoes can acidity in the body?"

Well, that is not an easy question to answer, as such.

Are we talking potatoes or tomatoes?
Are we talking cancel or cause?

Never mind - I'm guessing that it relates to the much discredited acid-alkaline diet that lingers in the fringe diet circles.   In essence, it proposes that foods are good or bad depending on the pH of a solution of the ash of the food.  The notion that the acidity or alkalinity of the ash of a food will influence the impact that the food has on your body is just plain weird.

There is no scientific data to support the theory.  There is not even a coherent theory.

Your stomach is already 100-1000 times more acidic than a tomato or a potato, so any native acidity will have a negligible impact.  No foods are natively alkaline.

As you body never reduces food to its ash, the properties of the ash are immaterial to human nutrition.

Eat a varied, balanced diet.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Of camels and straws and chocolate


Really, the picture is just there because it is pretty.

This post has nothing to do about camels, a little to do about straws of the sort that worry camels but nothing to do with drinking straws but a little to do with chocolate.

But most to do with dieting and perspective.

Many moons ago we had a receptionist who seemed, like most women, to be on a permanent diet. To reward herself for her calorific restraint she treated herself to a 50g (2oz) chocolate bar every day as part of her lunch.

50g of chocolate. Every day.

Doesn't seem much until you multiply by 365.

That's over 18 kilograms of chocolate a year. Nearly 40 pounds of fat and sugar a year.

Surely her diet would do better if she didn't eat the chocolate.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Locked away in a room full of celery...

I used to be intrigued by a story I was told as a kid, that hard boiled eggs use more energy to digest than they contain and so you loose weight if you eat them.

Sounded dodgy to me, even then. It implied that if you were locked in a room with nothing but water and hard boiled eggs, you would starve to death.

But apparently that is the case with celery.

The calories in food are a measure of energy content. For something we eat to be a source of "negative calories," it must provide fewer of these units of energy than we expend in consuming it. Yet everything contains calories, so at first this concept appears impossible.

Therefore, the hunt is on for ingestibles whose energy content is not released into our bodies because we humans lack the ability to break them down — it doesn't matter how many calories these goodies have, provided we can't extract them.

Cellulose in plants is one such substance: although it contains a goodly amount of carbohydrates, they are packaged in a form we cannot digest, so we fail to absorb their calories.

Celery has about 6 calories per 8-inch stalk, making it a dieter's staple.

Its ingestion can result in negative calories, but it is a fallacy to believe that effect has to do with energy expended in chewing. Though chewing might feel like a somewhat strenuous activity, it burns about the same amount of energy as watching paint dry. It is the bodily energy devoted to the digestion of the green stalks that exhausts calories.