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Last year, it was already reported that findings from Copenhagen University contradicted the findings of observational studies that antioxidants improve health.

Goran Bjelakovic of the Center for Clinical Intervention Research, Copenhagen University Hospital and colleagues said that “There are several possible explanations for the negative effect of antioxidant supplements on mortality. Although oxidative stress has a hypothesized role in the pathogenesis of many chronic diseases, it may be the consequence of pathological conditions. By eliminating free radicals from our organism, we interfere with some essential defensive mechanisms . Antioxidant supplements are synthetic and not subjected to the same rigorous toxicity studies as other pharmaceutical agents.” They concluded that “Better understanding of mechanisms and actions of antioxidants in relation to a potential disease is needed

Now, the researchers there are telling us that taking vitamin supplements can make us die faster. The risk of premature death is up to 16% – yes, because we are interfering with our body’s natural defense system.

Can 67 studies involving 230,000 healthy people really be the truth for all people in the world that there is “no convincing evidence that any of the antioxidants (beta-carotene, Vitamin A and Vitamin E) helped to prolong life expectancy” but instead “showed increased rates of mortality” ?

A supplement-industry trade group questions both the review conclusions and the study selection process for the analysis. Andrew Shao, Ph.D., vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a supplement industry trade association in Washington, D.C. maintained that antioxidant supplements are safe additions to a healthy diet.

He said that “Four hundred five studies which showed no deaths were excluded from the meta-analysis, which if included, clearly would have altered the outcome of the meta-analysis.

Meanwhile, the earth continues to turn and supplements continue to be popped in.

For those calories watcher, the annual temptation is around the corner. For those who are ignorant, read on.

Chinese New Year aka Lunar New Year is the time when Chinese will go nuts with all the cookies (nuts, seeds, beans, “love letters“, all kinds of drinks, beer, wine, bak-kua (sweet-salty barbeque meat), etc to indulge in during each visitation to relatives, friends and business associates, etc.

.Bak Kwa

I for one love peanuts, black melon seeds & broad beans with my beer much more than those expensive pistachio and cashew nuts. I don’t count calories. I like fried but hate oily food.

Now, I was kinda of shocked when told of how much oil these nuts contain. Eating 12 of my favorite peanuts (approx 20grams) will mean an intake of 110 calorie or 2.75 teaspoons of oil. So, that is why the peanut cooking oil in older days which was so fattening are finally replaced by alternatives such as sunflower cooking oil.

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From the information, the worst goodies to eat too much is probably the cashew nuts. Just 10 pieces (also approx 20 grams) of the cashew nuts and it will be equivalent to 2.85 teaspoons of oil or 115 calorie.

So what is the problem when each day men consumed from 1,500-4,000 total calories and the total for females varies from 900-2,500 ?

As long as we burn what we eat, we will maintain our weight but if we don’t burn off the excess calorie, we are likely to gain weight. 1,100 calorie a day for a week can gain 1kg of weight.

Are you likely to gobble up 1,100 extra calories easily during this Chinese New Year period ?

growing Belly

Now, according to a nutritionist, to burn off 184 calories for a 60kg adult, it will need 30 minutes of swimming or 1 hour of walking. In other words, if one eats 20 cashew nuts and accumulate 230 calories, it will need more than half an hour to burn off.

For the nuts lovers, during your visitation, ask for oil-dissolving beverages such as green tea, roselle tea instead.

Heath Ledger, the Academy Award-nominated Australian actor died suddenly 1 week ago.

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Originally suspected of drug overdose, now it is suspected that this actor in films like Brokeback Mountain, The Patriot,  The Dark Knight, etc died from natural causes ( heart attack) as the the levels of toxicity in his body (from medication) weren’t high enough to have caused his sudden death.

To die at 28 years of age of heart attack is not natural. Even if it was heart attack, what were the hidden reasons that triggered the heart attack?

Seems like the celebrity circle is full of such mysteries. Like the death of Bruce Lee, 35 years later, still a much debated subject of what led to his death and still a “misadventure”.

2 days ago, I went to the popular hawker center opposite Ginza Plaza. Seated in the center of that section facing the carpark, I was undecided as to what to choose for there are so many nice food there. My eyes kept scanning stall by stall awaiting my other senses to signal me to stop at a stall.

3 tables away, porridge was the signal, but there was no one cooking there. “How can it be good“, I thought but my senses said “go for it”.

Now my eyes start searching for the cook. Ha! there is this man in the 30s seated just infront of the stall. He was seated with his legs folded up, eyes scanning for customers.

GOSH ! One of his hands was scratching and picking on his legs and toes and the other on the table. How to indulge in this food? Porridge vanished from my senses. Few minutes later, 2 customers walked there (didn’t see what he was doing) and ordered porridge from him.

Instead of washing his hands, he went straight to cook. Handling the pot and the utensils with his “dirtied” hands didn’t seems any problem but will he need to pick his ingredients in order to cook? I didn’t want to see what will happen next. I left feeling hungry. I cannot bear to report them to the NEA (National Environment Agency). Like those who had seen stalls like this, I will just shun this stall.

Older days, Chinese has a saying “Dirty eat dirty grow big”. Does this still apply in today modern hygenic society of Singapore? Those who had seen stalls like this will probably just shun it.

Although NEA had been suspending hawker for failing to “observe good food and personal hygiene practices at all times” and encouraging the public to call their “24-hr NEA hotline at 1800-Call NEA (1800-2255632) to provide feedback on food hygiene matters“, the fundamental is probably the hawkers’ mindset.

As it involved the health of everyone patronising the stall, insisting that each cook attend some form of education at least once a year will be ideal.

Permanent poster at the hawker center telling the public to report errant hawker will drive the message to them that “the public is watching you, not just for the quality of your food but also what you don’t when you are waiting for customers.

Is it true Singaporeans never weigh themselves?

From the recent global survey of 9,000 people across 13 countries (UK, USA, UAE, France, Czech Republic, Romania, Canada, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia) by a global market research firm, Synovate, Singaporeans are the least weight-obsessed people in the world as compared to the American and the French :-

  • 37% of Singaporeans saying that they never weigh themselves
  • 29% said their weight never change
  • 60% eat whatever they want, whenever they wantbathroom-scale.jpg

15% of Hong Kong people weigh themselves once or more every week and 60% only weigh when they remember.

Americans and French are most weight-obsessed, 15% of French people and 12% of Americans weigh themselves every single day and 50% of them will weigh at least once a week or more.

French attributed this to the fact that “French people take care of their image as a matter of course. Being thin is part of our culture and a point of pride. We are known for it. On top of this, there is increasing awareness of the devastation that obesity can cause to one’s health.

So, is it true that Singaporeans never weigh themselves?

Most homes do not have a weighing scale even though the price is so affordable now and they comes with digital meter (more accurate), all kinds of colors and design. Are we too busy to weigh or we are like the 29% who really believed that our weight never change or there a no necessity to weigh since we believed we are healthy or weight change doesn’t matter.

Some feedbacks are that they are afraid to see their weight fluctuate, especially when it has increased. Some felt weighing scale is quite a silly gadget to buy, a waste of money. Some Chinese old folks joked that Chinese don’t weigh themselves except to animals for sale (butcher’s family!?).

Going by the sprouting of health fitness and slimming centers, etc. around the island, weighing scales are everywhere. Moreover, all medical clinics will have it too. Those who are consuming weight-loss medicine, traditional herbal weight reduction beverages, etc should be weighing prior and after the dosage period to assess its effectiveness. So, most people would have themselves weighed.

I really wonder for those 29% who said that their weight never change, are they those who frequent the fitness center or exercise regularly themselves or resort to weight control medicine or supplements? In addition, for those 37% who do not weigh, do they eat whatever they want and whenever they want?

 Just received from a friend which I thought many readers will be impressed and amused by the way the human brain can create.

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