Author Archives: Bix

A New Study Found That Standing Every 20 Minutes Can Burn More Than 770 Calories In A Day

A study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress this week found:

“Our study shows that heart patients should interrupt sedentary time every 20 minutes with a 7 minute bout of light physical activity,” said study author Dr. Ailar Ramadi.

“Simple activities such as standing up and walking at a casual pace will expend more than 770 kcal in a day if done with this frequency and duration.”

These were older patients, average age 63, and they had coronary artery disease. A younger, healthier person might expend more than 770 calories in a day … just by getting up and walking around every 20 minutes. Right? No gym membership, no universals, no jogging for miles (of course you can still do all those things).

Ready, set, get up!

What can you do for 7 minutes? Maybe some of these:

Applesauce Spice Loaf, Low-Fat Vegan


2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (in this loaf I substituted 1/2 cup spelt flour for 1/2 cup pastry flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 tablespoons warm water

1 3/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup

(Optional: About 1/3 cup of anything you want to add such as dried fruit, nuts, seeds, or raw apple pieces.)


Preheat oven to 360 degrees F. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 9×5 inch Pyrex loaf pan. Place the parchment-lined pan into the oven to preheat.

Mix almond milk and vinegar. Set aside.

Mix flax seed and water. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.

In another large bowl combine applesauce, vanilla extract, maple syrup, milk mixture, and flax mixture. Stir until blended.

Add flour mixture to apple mixture. Stir just until you see no dry flour. Don’t over-blend.

Blend in apple pieces, dried fruit, raisins, nuts, seeds, or other addition. (In this loaf I diced a small apple into 1/4-inch chunks, skin on, tossed them with a shake of cinnamon and a spoonful of lemon juice, sugar, and the flour mixture.)

Remove loaf pan from oven. Pour batter into pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove loaf from pan after 15 minutes, gently peeling away parchment. Let cool for at least an hour before slicing.

This is a very moist loaf. It’s better if left to age for a day which will even out the moisture. I slice it, freeze it, then defrost a few pieces the next day.

Do Local Foods Actually Feed Us?

I often say that local and organic foods are more marketing ploys than foods which actually feed us. Most food that is grown, sold, and consumed in this country is neither locally-sourced nor organically-grown. I hope one day most food we eat will benefit from their standards, standards that promote health of people and the environment, standards with an eye towards humaneness, energy conservation, and sustainability. But it doesn’t look like that’s the current direction, at least regarding local:

Many things that are big consumer trends — such as local — don’t actually play out that way in the sales numbers.

For all the attention to local, more fruit is imported every year from far away. In other words, many of these movements are marketing initiatives more than practical supply chain changes.

What is also interesting is that in many cases, local farmer’s market, pick-your-own, home gardening etc., seem able to flourish without any impact on the sales through stores.

It is almost as if they are different industries. One is a type of food tourism, where you can enjoy the walk through the farmer’s market, and the other is the actual food provisions of the household.
Perishible Pundit, 14 October 2018

We are not feeding ourselves with local and organic food. On the contrary, most of our plant food is conventionally grown, either here or abroad. Most of our animal food comes from factory farms. (“Factory farms raise 99.9% of chickens for meat, 97% of laying hens, 99% of turkeys, 95% of pigs, and 78% of cattle currently sold in the United States.“)

“Local” and “organic” are emblems of the overclass.

“It Is Their Brokenness That Makes Them Beautiful”

Dr. Gottlieb is a practicing psychologist with more than 40 years of experience. He began his practice in 1969, but…

In 1979 Dan was in a near fatal automobile accident which left him paralyzed from the chest down. As expected, there were years of despair and depression. He experienced loss on top of loss as his wife left the marriage and passed away several years later. And in the ensuing years he mourned the loss of his sister and his parents. And for the last three decades, he has been observing life with what he calls “a curious mind and an open heart.” In doing so, he has learned valuable lessons about what it means to be human and how adversity can teach us how to live better and love better.

Researchers Gave Subjects A Drink Containing A “Safe”Amount Of BPA. The Result? Insulin Resistance.

Thermal paper receipts are a source of BPA exposure. (Credit: Chris Phan/flickr).
“The hormone-scrambling chemical [BPA] has been shown to leach out of the paper and penetrate the skin — especially in the presence of hand sanitizer or other skin care products.”

Virginia tipped me off to this a few weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to get it up. Because, haven’t I been saying this? Endocrine disruptors in the environment – in food, water, air, products we put on our bodies – are contributing to metabolic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes, and not in a subtle way. It’s diet and exercise, sure. But it’s not that alone.

BPA Exposure In US-Approved Levels May Alter Insulin Response In Non-Diabetic Adults, Science Daily, 14 September 2018

In a first study of its kind study, researchers have found that a common chemical consumers are exposed to several times a day may be altering insulin release. Results of the study indicate that the Food and Drug Administration-approved ‘safe’ daily exposure amount of BPA may be enough to have implications for the development of Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

In A Scientific First, Researchers Gave People BPA — And Saw A Link To Precursor Of Type 2 Diabetes , Environmental Health News, 13 September 2018

The authors say their findings … build on growing evidence that continued exposures over time to BPA — widely used in plastics, canned food linings and receipt paper — might increase a person’s risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

We’re living in an age where type 2 diabetes is rampant. Here is a signal of a new path to explore for what is causing it.

Landmark BPA Study Finds Troubling Health Effects At FDA’s ‘Safe’ Levels, Environmental Working Group, 14 September 2018

“These troubling findings should raise alarms at the Food and Drug Administration and ignite renewed efforts to drastically reduce all Americans’ exposure to BPA,” said Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., an EWG toxicologist. “It’s appalling that the FDA and other federal agencies continue to say current exposure levels to BPA are safe, and refuse to ban BPA from food and food packaging.”

In addition to diabetes and obesity, [BPA] has been linked to ADHD in children and breast cancer in laboratory animals.

The study:
Experimental BPA Exposure and Glucose-Stimulated Insulin Response in Adult Men and Women, Journal of the Endocrine Society, 12 September 2018

This study is an initial step toward investigation of an intriguing hypothesis that exposure to estrogenic chemicals such as BPA may contribute to insulin resistance by triggering an innate insulin resistance mechanism.

This was a study in humans, a first. They actually gave BPA to the subjects, which begins to cross the ethics line. It was placebo-controlled. And they used hardly any BPA:

… Subjects were orally administered a safe dose of BPA, which led to the same amount of BPA in their blood that customers might encounter by handling a cash register receipt.

The dose his team used — 0.05 milligrams of BPA per kilogram of body weight — is presumed safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

When your cells become resistant to the hormone insulin, your blood glucose goes up. That’s not good. Too much glucose in the blood leads to a slew of complications, evident first in the very small blood vessels of the eye (retinopathy), the kidney (nephropathy), and the fingers and toes (numbness and tingling).

In animal studies repeated BPA exposure resulted in insulin resistance.

An association between exposure to BPA and diabetes had been previously found in animal studies and epidemiological studies. However, the FDA and EPA “would not pay attention” to those studies, said Frederick vom Saal, a professor of biology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and another co-author of the new study.

When you eat carbohydrates, your blood glucose will go up. It’s natural. But it should never go over, say, 300 mg/dl, and it should go back down in less than an hour. If it’s too high for too long, you likely have some degree of insulin resistance.

If a few cash register receipts can do this, imagine what all the BPA and other endocrine disruptors we’re exposed to in a day can do? Our grandparents were never exposed to these chemicals like we are. We’re guinea pigs.

Carbohydrates Increase Heat Production (Thermogenesis)

Pasta Primavera by Forks Over Knives

Did you ever eat a big bowl of pasta or rice before you went to bed and found yourself throwing off the covers later? That heat production is called thermogenesis and a new study adds to the body of evidence that carbs cause it:

Food Activates Brown Fat: How Brown Adipose Tissue Reacts To A Carbohydrate-Rich Meal, Science Daily, 29 August 2018

Brown fat burns fat for energy.
White fat stores energy as fat.

When we activate our brown fat, we burn more calories. That helps us maintain a healthy weight and also keeps us warm, because heat is given off as a byproduct of fat-burning.

It was known that exposure to cold temperatures activates brown fat:

“Studies showed that participants who spent hours in the cold chamber daily not only experienced an increase in the heat output of brown fat in the cold as they got used to the lower temperatures, but also an improvement in the control of blood sugar via insulin.”

This study found that eating a high-carbohydrate meal also activates brown fat:

“For the first time, it could be demonstrated that heat generation in brown adipose tissue could be activated by a [high-carbohydrate] test meal just as it would be by exposure to cold,” said [lead author] Klingenspor, summarizing the findings.

There’s also this:

“We now know that the activation of brown adipose tissue could be linked to a feeling of being full.”

So, a high-carb meal (compared to a low-carb meal) can result in:

  • More calories burned
  • More heat generated
  • Improvement in blood glucose
  • Improved satiety

You Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes On A Plant-Based Diet. Here Are Studies That Back It Up.

Great article by Dr. Greger yesterday:

How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
Michael Greger M.D. FACLM on September 20th, 2018

All of the things he says here are true, including the title of his article, which, I know, many will ridicule. But he backs it all up. Here are the studies he referenced:

Reversal of type 2 diabetes: normalisation of beta cell function in association with decreased pancreas and liver triacylglycerol, Diabetologia, 2011

Normalisation of both beta cell function and hepatic insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes was achieved by dietary energy restriction alone. This was associated with decreased pancreatic and liver triacylglycerol stores. The abnormalities underlying type 2 diabetes are reversible by reducing dietary energy intake.

Effects of the High Carbohydrate-Low Calorie Diet Upon Carbohydrate Tolerance in Diabetes Mellitus, Canadian Medical Association, Journal, 1935

Effect of rice diet on diabetes mellitus associated with vascular disease, Postgraduate Medicine, 1958

Here are some photos from Dr. Kempner’s rice diet, and some background. It was astonishing at the time. Still is.

High-carbohydrate, high-fiber diets for insulin-treated men with diabetes mellitus, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1979

These studies suggest that [high carbohydrate, high-fiber] diets may be the dietary therapy of choice for certain patients with the maturity-onset type of diabetes.

Usefulness of vegetarian and vegan diets for treating type 2 diabetes, Current Diabetes Reports, 2010

Significant benefits for diabetes prevention and management have been observed with vegetarian and especially vegan diets. This article reviews observational studies and intervention trials on such diets, and discusses their efficacy, nutritional adequacy, acceptability, and sustainability. Research to date has demonstrated that a low-fat, plant-based nutritional approach improves control of weight, glycemia, and cardiovascular risk. These studies have also shown that carefully planned vegan diets can be more nutritious than diets based on more conventional diet guidelines, with an acceptability that is comparable with that of other therapeutic regimens. Current intervention guidelines from professional organizations offer support for this approach. Vegetarian and vegan diets present potential advantages in managing type 2 diabetes that merit the attention of individuals with diabetes and their caregivers.

There you have it. Read his article if you’re concerned about diabetes, especially this part:

To be clear, we’re talking about diabetics who had had diabetes as long as 20 years, injecting 20 units of insulin a day, getting off insulin altogether in as few as 13 days, thanks to less than two weeks on a plant-based diet. Patient 15, for example, had injected 32 units of insulin while on the control diet, and then, 18 days later, none. Lower blood sugars on 32 units less insulin.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is not a forever proposition. One thing Dr. Greger doesn’t mention though is that the diet he prescribes, one of mostly whole plant foods, is accessible primarily to upper classes, not so much to the elderly, the poor and low-income, the sick and disabled. Unfortunately, those groups suffer the highest prevalence burden for diabetes. It’s not that a head of broccoli or a bag of beans will put someone out, it’s the external costs to eating this way which I’ve spoken about fairly often on my blog.

Here’s a video of Dr. Greger in 2016 saying the same thing as his article:

I like what he says about moderation:

Moderate changes in diet can leave one with moderate blindness, moderate kidney failure, moderate amputations. Moderation in all things is not necessarily a good thing.