Thursday, May 2, 2013

"Men's Health" Or Not, Pt 2

In a wandering and not particularly useful article about endothelial disease (aka, damage to the one cell thin but very important lining of arteries), MH gives one bit of usable advice - get a test.
"The test for endothelial dysfunction isn't as simple as having your cholesterol checked, but it's no colonoscopy either. It requires a device called the EndoPAT. First, sensors attached to your fingertips monitor your normal bloodflow; then the main artery of your upper arm is restricted with a blood pressure cuff for 5 minutes. When the cuff is removed, the sensors measure the change in the amount of blood pumped with each heartbeat, an indicator of your vessels' ability to dilate. Because a computer controls the test, the technician's level of expertise doesn't affect the outcome, making the measurement exceptionally reliable, say Penn State researchers. To find a provider in your area offering the EndoPAT, visit"

Interesting side bits, the context for which the author seems not to understand -
- "the fatter your belly, the skinnier your arteries." In other words, abdominal girth is the best predictor for poor health for a number of reasons, including endothelial disfunction.  And the best way to reduce abdominal girth is carb restriction.
- mercury is bad for arteries, and omega 3 fatty acids are good.  How to get one with out the other can be a problem.  USDA recommends tilapia, sardines, catfish, salmon, and anchovies.  However, if you feed tilapia or catfish or salmon in big ponds or pens with the same rotgut you feed grain finished cattle, you won't be getting much in the way of omega 3s.  That leaves sardines, anchovies, wild caught salmon, the catfish you catch from lakes and rivers, and supplements as you means to get the omega 3s that will help balance the inevitable doses of omega 6s you get.
- lots of trans fats are left in processed foods that say "no trans fats".  Which is why you don't want to eat that crap they wrap in commercial wrappers and call "food" anyway.

Finally, MH tries to hammer on the saturated fat boogeyman - just don't fall for it.  They say there's a magic threshold of 10% of total calories which is the safe limit for sat fat consumption.  Before they should pretend to know that's true, don't you think they should first prove there's any risk whatsoever for high consumption of saturated fat?  And if it surprises you to know that no one's ever proved there's any risk whatsoever for high consumption of saturated fat, you should have been reading this blog for a longer time!  Fat is high in nutrition, provides a stable, long burning source of energy, is hormonally neutral, does not trigger blood sugar spikes, and is probably the perfect food - because it has 9 kcal per gram.  If you are going to be able to break your sugar addiction, you'll have to get comfortable eating fat, primarily saturated fat.  For most of us, our health will benefit from the shift from mostly carb calories to mostly fat calories.

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