Oil & Fat News April 2004

The South Beach Diet

Fats and oils have been the villain in terms of poor dietary practice for over 30 years.  Now a new look by a cardiologist, Dr  Agatston,  proposes a pragmatic, logical and common-sense approach to losing weight on a sensible dietary regime.

The new villain on the block is dietary carbohydrate.  Not just sucrose but fructose, glucose and simple starches. These compounds have a profound effect on insulin production which stimulates appetite and encourages one to consume more sugar.

The book is very readable and the proposed two week initial regime is not too onerous (apart from giving up alcohol).  Basically his premise is that not all fats are bad (sound familiar), only saturated and trans fats are to be avoided.

The composition of a diet to lose weight in a controlled manner is to have low glycaemic index  foods with a small proportion of the energy from carbohydrates and the balance from protein, fibre and healthy oils (monounsaturated – mainly).

By The Way

If the people in the USA keep gaining weight at the current rate, government researchers predict about 40% or 68 million people will be obese by 2010.(65 percent of Americans are overweight also dogs and cats are  getting fatter!).

So whilst the last 20 years has seen the emphasis on low fat intake the average sugar intake of Americans has increased by approximately 14 kilos per annum.

For an interesting website regarding coronary heart disease, diet and the oiling of America, see Dr Mary Enig,

New Members

Total membership of the group currently stands at …94..

People who recently joined following the Fats and Oils Conference:

Dr Marie Wong .Massey Univesity

Dr Stephen Haines.  Agresearch

Dr Mikhail Vyssotski. Industrial Research

Pacific Lipids

We have a limited number of CD’s containing the Powerpoint presentations from the conference.  These can be obtained for $25.00 from the Group Secretary, P O Box 25499, St Heliers.

Omega-3 fatty acids and protection of marine resources ; the key to the future mental health of the human race

Press release for Dr Michael Crawford UK)

The future mental health, and perhaps even survival, of the human race may depend on whether we make the decision to spend our time and money on protecting the Earth’s marine environment and resources rather than on exploring other planets, says Michael A. Crawford of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition (London, UK) writing in Lipid Technology journal published today (1).

The link between mental health and the oceans lies in omega-3 (also known as n–3) fatty acids. Animals first evolved in the oceans and developed brains and eyes whose function depends on a good supply of omega-3 fatty acids, in particular docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

“The ubiquitous nature of DHA in the brains and photoreceptors of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals indicates it has a 600 million year exclusive track record in the signalling system of the eye and the brain”, says Crawford.

Once animals began to live on land and to eat foods containing omega-6 rather than omega-3 fatty acids, they lost brain capacity in relation to their body size as they evolved a bigger body (2). In contrast, humans evolved close to the sea, maintained the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet, and maintained a larger brain. But in the past 50 years we have started to eat less fish — rich in omega-3 fatty acids — and we have increased our dietary intake of the other types of fatty acids (3).

Considering the importance of omega-3 fatty acids for the brain, it is perhaps not surprising that there has been a serious decline in mental health since 1950.

Crawford says: “If, as science predicts, mental ill-health escalates during this century as heart disease did in the last, then the outlook for peace and prosperity is uninviting. Unless a new paradigm is injected into food and environmental policy for land, coastal and deep-sea resources, the prospect for the future is bleak. The stakes are high. They are the future health and intelligence of children yet to be born, and the future of our species)

Soy Foods

Health conscious Europeans turn to soy-based foods

According to a recently published report, in 2002 the market for soy-based drinks and desserts and meat free and tofu products reached 1.3 billion Euros, with further double digit growth expected for the period 2003 -2005. The report also estimates that per capital consumption of soy-based drinks and desserts has grown by over 20% in 2002 and is currently as large as the per capita consumption of meat-free and tofu products in Europe.

Innovation is seen as key in this sector with over 50 new soy-based milk products launched this year.

Avocado and soy oil mixture may help osteoarthritis

New in vitro research published in the August issue of the Journal of Rheumatology suggests that a product made with avocado and soybean oil could slow down and help repair some of the damage caused by osteoarthritis.

The product ‘Plascledine’, developed by French firm, Laboratoires Expanscience, significantly boosted the production of aggrecan, a key component of cartilage, after 9 days of treatment. The researchers tested the effect of the commercial compound made up of one third avocado and two thirds soybean unsaponifiables, and each component separately on different outcomes including the production of aggrecan and other markers of inflammation. The soybean unsaponifiables stimulated aggrecan production after treatment with an inflammation-causing compound and also reduced levels of several inflammatory factors associated with osteoarthritis.

Date of AGM   Monday May 10th 2004.

Wolfies Restaurant, Glendowie  cost 40 dollars

Note to readers: If there is anything in the lipid field that you wish to be summarized or covered in these articles let us know and we will do our best to research and inform.

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