Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chocolate Matters: From Beans to IsaDelight

Cocoa and chocolate
Chocolate quality depends on care from bean harvest to tempering.

Chocolate is often celebrated as one of the holiday season’s top guilty pleasures, a treat with high appeal and often loaded with calories from fat and sugar that can side track weight-management goals. However, dark chocolate is low on calories and can even help you avoid the holiday bulge by satisfying cravings. It is also dubbed a brain food because it helps ward off bad moods and oxidative stressors. Yes, science has given a green light to dark chocolate as a “guilt-free pleasure.” 
The reasons to eat regular amounts of dark chocolate are appearing limitless, but its health benefits and flavor are contingent on manufacturing. Thankfully, Isagenix recognizes the benefits of this healthy indulgence, and has come up with a delightful solution. IsaDelight Plus is a decadent 50-calorie snack rich in quality cocoa (70 percent) with an abundance of cocoa antioxidants, along with brain-healthy amino acids, and  metabolism-boostinggreen tea included. 
Additionally, in IsaDelight, cocoa is not just a simple indulgence. It is here that the road in dark chocolate equality divides: in the process of harvesting, fermentation, roasting, grinding, cooling, heating, tempering and molding. In the case of the IsaDelight, care in processing has made chocolate nutritious without sacrificing the pleasure of the palate.
Isagenix’s VP of Product Innovation Pierre Teissier, Ph.D., gives insight into the intricacies of chocolate production and the ways in which Isagenix has worked to yield a superior cocoa product. Here is a simple overview: the raw cabosses (cocoa beans still in their shells) must be dried, fermented and roasted prior to their use. They are then cracked, winnowed and the white beans are cleaned. These non-alkalized cocoa nibs (alkalization destroys valuable antioxidant flavanols) are then roasted (giving them their familiar dark brown color), ground and pressed yielding three products: cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, and, with additional processing, cocoa powder. The cocoa liquor is a brown paste that contains most of the beneficial antioxidant polyphenols, the cocoa butter is the fat, and the cocoa powder is the fibrous plant material.  
Dr. Teissier explains that many companies take the cocoa liquor and add fillers, flavors, fats and emulsifiers to take the difficulty out of finalizing the product. As he puts it, this is bad chocolate. The chocolate that we all know and love, in its purest form, is a combination of cocoa butter and cocoa liquor. The trouble is that these two substances have different consistencies and melting points. 
IsaDelight Plus combines quality dark chocolate with brain-healthy amino acids, vitamins and metabolism-boosting green tea.
IsaDelight Plus combines quality dark chocolate with brain-healthy amino acids, vitamins and metabolism-boosting green tea.
Combining the liquor and the butter occurs duringtempering. Tempering, Dr. Teissier explains, is an integral part of the final product. As the chocolate is tempered, the cocoa liquor and cocoa butter are heated and brought down to a narrow temperature of 35°C. At this temperature, the cocoa butter just starts to solidify as the cocoa liquor starts to soften—here the two may be combined into a beautiful silky emulsion. However, the temperature range is a mere 2°C. It is during this stage that mood-boosting vitamins and amino acids are added to the mix. Isagenix conducts this process under careful temperature regulation to ensure that the emulsion doesn’t separate, the chocolate doesn’t burn, the amino acids and vitamins aren’t destroyed, and the final product does not require any added emulsifiers. Lecithinis added only to suspend the amino acids and vitamins in the emulsion and prevent them from rising to the surface. 
Many of the world’s most well-known cocoa products neglect the detail of this process and compensate with unhealthy additives. The process that Dr. Teissier recounted above is often avoided by adding synthetic fats, some even hydrogenated, to mimic the consistency of the cocoa liquor and more easily form an emulsion. The detailed process of tempering and roasting that Dr. Teissier described requires great precision and attention to detail. The IsaDelight is a good product, he says, because the “chocolate is very delicate. We strictly control the temperature to get the best antioxidant content. It is a good chocolate, and great for your brain! That is the great thing.”

Monday, December 12, 2011

(NaturalNews) Artificial Sweetener Disease (ASD) is sweeping across America, affecting tens of thousands of consumers, and Western medicine calls it anything but what it really is, so that doctors can prescribe expensive pharmaceuticals and set up "check up" appointments for the following weeks.

Call it recurring headaches, unbearable migraines, depression, anxiety, muscle pain, arthritis flare ups, buzzing or ringing in the ears, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease, inflammation, even acid reflux, but don't call it ASD, or the patient may stop consuming synthetic sweeteners, and then not schedule more doctor visits.

The symptoms of ASD can change overnight, depending on how much chemical sweetener you consume, and which ones. Some combinations are especially toxic. Consumers can go from a migraine headache to vomiting or from vision problems to an upset stomach. Many people experience central nervous system disorders, cramping, nervous twitches and abnormal reflexes. (http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/)

It all started when Ronald Reagan took office in 1980. He immediately fired the head of the FDA, under advisement from Donald Rumsfeld (CEO of Searle Pharmaceutical at the time), and hired Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., who auspiciously approved aspartame. It was the decade of the diet craze, and Rumsfeld and his constituents made a fortune off theartificial sweetener which had been banned for decadesdue to laboratory testing results proving it was carcinogenic. The same FDA tainted approval process gave way to sucralose in 1991, and then sorbitol in 2003. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robbi...)

Gulf War Syndrome mainly ASD

It isnot a coincidencethat a wave of fibromyalgia cases hit the American troops during the Gulf War. Studies revealed that drinking diet sodas in the 120 degree heat lead to serious health repercussions. It was cleverly chalked up under the umbrella term "Gulf War Syndrome," but the same problems are occurring for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan now. (http://www.militaryspot.com/resourc...)

It is also no coincidence that 4 out of 5 fibromyalgia cases affect women, who are more likely to eat diet foods and consume diet drinks than men. Nearly all chewing gum and breath mints are loaded with artificial sweeteners. (http://healthwyze.org/index.php/com...)

The popular saying that "there's not enough artificial sweetener in any specific product to cause health concerns" is a lie, especially now that in 2011 there are synthetic sweeteners in over 25% of all food, drink, gum and candy available. This cumulative effect has created ASD, and thanks to little or no regulation of chemical agents in food, it's not going away any time soon.

There is no prescription drug, and there never will be one, that cures the problems that artificial sweeteners create. In fact, over 70 percent of reported cases of fibromyalgia, chronic depression, IBS and acid reflux are caused by consuming chemical agents which have been approved by the FDA for consumption. (http://www.foodintol.com/food_intol...)

Cancer may be the distant, long term result of consuming chemicals, but ASD is the short term consequence, and it is very serious. If you look to prescription drugs to cure these "chronic ailments," then you will experience even more side effects from the prescription medicines, and maybe worse ones than you already have.

The good news isthe cure for Artificial Sweetener Disease is absolutely freeand involves no doctor, no health insurance co-pays, and has zero side effects. Here is thesecret curefor ASD: throw away your sugar free gum and candy, and then trash all foods and drinks you have that are labeled "light" and "zero." Read the labels on everything, so you canfilter out all artificial sweeteners from your products, including aspartame, sucralose, sorbitol, acesulfame-k, aspartic acid, and saccharine.

As an alternative to poisoning yourself, try Xylitol or Stevia in order to cut calories, or simply eat more organic vegetables! If problems persist, take a list of everything you ate this week to your Naturopath or Nutritionist to analyze.Remember, if you're getting sick from moldy bread, don't look for a prescription drug to cure you, just stop eating moldy bread.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Study finds eating meals lower in percent protein may lead to overeating
Worried about overeating high-calorie goodies during the upcoming holidays and piling on the pounds? Eating foods with a higher percent of calories from protein may be all it takes to help control appetite and manage weight, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia, Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, and Massey University in New Zealand found that lean adult men and women fed foods containing 15 or 25 percent calories from protein over a four-day period ate 12 percent fewer calories overall than subjects fed foods containing 10 percent calories from protein.

The study, published in PLoS One in October, also found that the subjects fed the lower protein (10 percent) diet reported they were hungrier after breakfast in comparison to those fed a higher (25 percent) protein diet.

“In our study population a change in the nutritional environment that dilutes dietary protein with carbohydrate and fat promotes overconsumption, enhancing the risk for potential weight gain,” the authors wrote.

“Protein Leverage Theory”

When placing blame on contributors to the increasing obesity epidemic in the United States, the usual suspects that come to mind are easy access to high-calorie foods and too little time spent exercising. This study was designed to test a “protein leverage theory”, which proposes that when faced with a diet lacking enough protein—a more hunger-satisfying nutrient— people compensate by overeating.

The protein leverage theory is not far-fetched—studies in other species including non-human primates, pigs, rodents, birds, fish, and insects all consistently show that when the percentage of protein is reduced in their diets, they compensate by eating more calories from non-protein sources such as carbohydrate and fats.

Between 1961 and 2000, the protein percentage in Americans’ diets declined from 14 percent to 12.5 percent. Although it’s less than a 2 percent drop, it was paired alongside a 14 percent increase in total caloric intake from fat and carbohydrate.

Study Design

Twenty two healthy, lean men and women participated in three, four-day study sessions where the subjects stayed overnight and had all meals provided and their eating habits monitored.

The recipes for the foods made were modified to contain 10, 15, or 25 percent calories from protein. Fat was kept constant at 30 percent, and carbohydrate was also modified to be 60, 55, or 45 percent of calories. The study’s meals were prepared in a way so the participants could not tell the difference in the fat, carbohydrate, or protein content of the foods eaten. Meals served included apricot yogurt muesli for breakfast, teriyaki sushi roll for lunch, and chow mein for dinner. Outside of meals, snack foods, or ‘anytime foods’, were also available to the participants whenever they liked, and these were either sweet or savory options—carrot cake, apple crumble muffins, and cheese scones among the choices.

When comparing what subjects ate on the 10 percent protein diet versus the 15 percent protein diet, researchers found that subjects consumed an average of 12 percent more calories over the 4-day session. Of that 12 percent increase, 57 percent was due to eating more savory foods, and 43 percent due to eating more sweet foods.

The authors noted that 70 percent of the caloric increase in the subjects on the 10 percent protein diet came from eating foods that were available anytime (snack foods). The increase in calories was evident from the first day of the trials and persisted throughout.

“If subjects maintained the level of increased intake observed on the 10 percent protein diet in our study, 
without an accompanying increase in energy expenditure through increased activity,” the authors wrote, “a 1.0 kg [about 2 pounds] weight increase per month would be expected.”

IsaLean Shake and IsaPro

One convenient way to obtain hunger-satisfying protein is IsaLean Shake. The complete meal replacement contains only 240 calories, of which more than 35 percent comes from high-quality protein.
The high-protein shake is clinically shown to promote healthy weight loss, help maintain or build muscle when combined with exercise, and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Vanilla IsaPro whey protein is another product that can be enjoyed by adding one scoop to one and a half scoops of IsaLean Shake, or mixed into recipes (like this one). Whey protein is ideal for boosting fat burning and promoting muscle maintenance.

Reference: Gosby AK, Conigrave AD, Lau NS et al. Testing protein leverage in lean humans: a randomised controlled experimental study. PLoS One 2011;6:e25929. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0025929

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Oz Family's Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is a time for family. And if you're looking to add a recipe or two to your family's Turkey Day repertoire, why not try one of these? All four recipes come straight from Dr. Oz and his family, and they're excited to share their delicious traditions with you.

Root Veggie Medley

1/4 cup sweet potatoes
1/4 cup carrots
1/4 cup fingerling potatoes
1/4 cup skinned whole shallots
1/4 cup garlic cloves
1/4 cup parsnips
1/4 cup beets
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar glaze
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all vegetables in large bowl. Toss the mixed vegetables with the olive oil, thyme, balsamic vinegar glaze, salt and pepper. Serve up and enjoy!

Lisa’s Autumn Harvest Soup

1 cup puréed pumpkin flesh
1 sweet potato, cubed
1 cup dried red lentils
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 head of garlic
1/2 onion
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp maple syrup
Olive oil

Sauté 1/2 head garlic and 1/2 onion in olive oil for 10 minutes. Add in 1 cubed microwave-cooked sweet potato, 1 cup cooked puréed pumpkin flesh, 1 cup dried red lentils, and 1 can light coconut milk. Then, add a quart of water as the soup cooks to avoid it becoming too thick. Then add in the cumin, cayenne and maple syrup.

Boil for 45 minutes.

Add salt to taste after the soup has finished cooking.

Pour the soup into a blender and purée it to a desired texture. Enjoy!

Oliver Oz’s Broc-Cauli Soup

1 cup cauliflower, steamed
1 cup broccoli, steamed
1 1/2 cup of milk
1 1/2 cup of water
1/2 head of garlic
1/2 onion
1 oz grated cheddar cheese
Olive oil

Sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil for 10 minutes. Add the milk, water, broccoli and cauliflower into a pot and stir. Add in the cheddar, garlic, onion, salt and pepper (to taste). Boil the soup for 15 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a blender and purée. Serve and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Soufflé

3 sweet potatoes, cubed and peeled
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 lemon juice
1/4 cup coconut oil (or butter)
1 pinch of salt
1/4 pecans
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom

Mix the brown sugar and lemon juice with the coconut oil (or butter), pinch of salt, pecans, dried cranberries, cinnamon and cardamom.

Add in the cubed sweet potatoes and bake until tender (about 45-60 minutes), and keep moist with water.