Low Glycemic, High Protein Pastas

In my search for a pasta with the highest protein content and lowest glycemic index, I put together a chart to aid me on my next shopping trip.

To begin, I had to quickly review the meaning of the glycemic index (GI) of foods and how to read the index. The lower the glycemic index, the more slowly that food digests and the more slowly it alters one’s blood sugar levels.  A GI of anything lower than 55 is considered low on the index; 55-70 is moderate; any food with a rating higher than 70 is high (too high to be considered healthy).

Type of Pasta Protein per ½ cup dry Glycemic Index
Buckwheat 8 grams 46
Kamut 10 grams 45
Mung Bean Noodles (threads) 0 26-39
Quinoa 4 grams (15% of total volume) 53
Rice, brown 7 45
Rye 6 55
Spelt 8 grams (17% of total volume) 54
Wheat, whole 3.5 grams 40-60, depending on thickness of pasta and how al dente it is when cooked

For weight loss and maintenance purposes, as well as nutritional value, I want the highest protein pasta with the lowest glycemic index.

The winners: According to my research, my pasta of choice is kamut, with brown rice pasta running a close second.

















The Australian Meat Craze: Aussies are Way Ahead of Americans

reprinted from an article I wrote on September 23, 2012

“…a crispy, fatty wonderland of tasty, tasty textures of flavors, all there to be discovered.” If this sounds like a quote from Anthony Bourdain, you’re right. In one of his No Reservations shows, Bourdain took a trip to Australia to chow down on hunks of beef, lamb and pork. Viewers had the opportunity to witness a surprising cultural sea change from Australia’s bland and tasteless to the brand new world of savory and succulent marbled meats, crispy skins, and oily fat drippings. Gone are the days of low fat, lean, and boring; Australians are crazy for woodfired Argentine meats, like those offered at Porteño’s in Sydney. The natives want real meat loaded with fat—and they eat a lot of it. And what about side dishes of vegetables? Even their Brussels sprouts are deep fried, making them far more flavorful than the average veggie.
Host Anthony Bourdain didn’t go into the health reasoning behind this dramatic evolution, but it certainly makes me ask the following questions: Are Aussies worried about gaining weight now that they’re eating all that fat? Are they gaining weight? Are they increasing their meat consumption in an attempt to up their protein intake? Are they healthier as a result? Are they stronger?
This brings to mind the “Dukan Diet,” you know the one where you eat more meat to lose weight. Rumor has it that both Kate Middleton and her mother were on the diet to lose weight for the big royal wedding.  The diet is high in lean meat proteins like beef, veal, rabbit, chicken, turkey, ham, veal, fish, and shellfish. It’s also high in eggs and lowfat dairy products.
Unfortunately, Aussies, like Americans, are facing their own overweight crisis. Perhaps now that this new high meat protein diet is in vogue, Aussies will start slimming down again. But what about all the meat fat their eating? According to Sally Fallon followers, eating all that high meat protein with the fat should trim their waistlines back to normal and keep them there.
So bring out the juicy cuts of organic grilled beef dripping with crispy fat! Such a wildly delicious way to lose weight and keep fit is certainly tempting to me! I’m boiling some all natural, grass fed beef ribs as we speak.
Fire up the barbie, mate!
Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations “Sydney Education: Fresh seafood; charcuterie; Australian Barbie” episode, aired Sunday, September 23, 2012 on the Travel Channel.

New study: Amish prove raw milk promotes health in children (from food freedom group)

This article is so interesting on its own, I am just copying and pasting the bulk of it here in my blog for you to read. You can find the article in its entirety at http://foodfreedomgroup.com/2012/05/09/raw-milk-promotes-health/
By Rady Ananda
An international team of researchers recently confirmed that children who drink fresh milk – unprocessed and unpasteurized – have a better immune response to allergens and are far less likely to develop asthma.
This comes amidst a concerted state and federal effort to criminalize raw milk in the US, with a Minnesota trial and protest scheduled for Monday, May 14.
Researchers from Indiana, Switzerland, and Germany ran surveys and tests on Swiss and US children aged 6-12 years and submitted their results to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology last month. [1]
Because the Amish emigrated from Switzerland, and are thus genetically similar, the team compared Northern Indiana Amish farm children with today’s Swiss kids. Though rural kids are known to be healthier than city kids, the team found that the Amish have a superior immune response to allergens and asthma than even Swiss farm kids have.
“Finally a health professional in America conducted research into the low incidence of allergies among farm kids,” said Kimberly Hartke, publicist for the Weston A. Price Foundation in an email to Food Freedom News. “This research validates what European researchers have already discovered: Raw milk is health-promoting.”
Over the past century, the US and Europe have seen a spike in “allergic sensitization” reaching more than half the population of both regions, says lead researcher Mark Holbreich.Concurrently, studies in the last decade continue to demonstrate “that certain populations have a significantly lower prevalence of allergic sensitization and a lower prevalence of asthma.”

“In one study, certain whey proteins in farm milk were inversely associated with asthma,” said researchers, referring to a 2011 study, which asserted:
“Exposure to farm milk in early life and consumption of raw farm milk have been associated with a reduced asthma and atopy risk, and it has been suggested that this protection might be mediated through receptors of the innate immune system.” [2]
Atopy is “a genetic predisposition toward the development of immediate hypersensitivity reactions against common environmental antigens,” explains one dictionary.
Holbreich’s team ran a skin prick test on Amish children, most of whom drink raw milk, finding that only 7% of them showed an allergic reaction. They compared this to parental surveys of Swiss kids, both urban and rural. Over 44% of the Swiss non-farm kids suffered from allergies, the parents reported, while 25% of the Swiss farm kids did.
This led the team to conclude that the Amish have additional protective factors, suggesting larger family size may play a role. With 5 or 6 siblings, each child will be exposed to that many more enviro-pathogens, thus gaining the opportunity to develop resistance while the immune system is still developing.
That’s not so for most urbanites who are mostly only exposed to industrial pollutants (rather than microbial pathogens), and denied access to fresh milk beyond their nursing years.
Most US cows are fed a daily regimen of pharmaceuticals, a practice linked directly to antibiotic resistance in humans. The Food & Drug Administration has refused to ban the practice.
Of note, one of the researchers admitted to being funded by the pharmaceutical industry, naming Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, among others.
Ninety-seven percent of US milk is heated and processed to the point that all probiotics are destroyed, while some pathogens remain.
One probiotic found only in unpasteurized, fresh milk from free-range cows, Lactococcus lactis, became Wisconsin’s state microbe after legislators hailed its unique features which enable the development of cheddar, Colby and Monterey Jack cheese. In fact, when making these cheeses from pasteurized milk, the live bacterium must be added back into the mix to curdle the milk and produce the whey. [3]
As with natural L. lactis, even a genetically reengineered form of it has been shown to break down lactose, allowing those who are lactose intolerant to drink raw milk without ill effects. [4]

[1] Mark Holbreich, et al. “Amish children living in Northern Indiana have a very low prevalence of allergic sensitization,” 19 April 2012. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Available at http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/0091-6749/PIIS0091674912005192.pdf
[2] Georg Loss, et al. “The protective effect of farm milk consumption on childhood asthma and atopy,” 16 July 2011. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Available at http://www.mnhlrp.org/images/RawMilkStudy.pdf
[3] Kenneth Todar, “Lactococcus lactis: nominated as the Wisconsin State Microbe,” n.d. (ca. Dec. 2009) http://www.textbookofbacteriology.net/featured_microbe.html
[4] Zhang W, et al. “Construction and expression of food-grade β-galactosidase gene in Lactococcus Lactis,” 17 Jan. 2011. Current Microbiology, 62(2): 639-44. Abstract at http://lactoseintolerance.researchtoday.net/archive/7/1/671.htm

The Benefits of Bone Broth: The Marrow of the Matter


Photo: Bone Broth

You don’t hear people talking about bone marrow much these days, but I’d like to share a few interesting facts about this little-known nutrient-dense culinary delight:

The bone marrow from organic animals (beef, bison, game meats, and wild fowl) provides protein and lots of minerals (iron, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfate, and fluoride), intestinal/colon disease repair, and prevention for type 2 diabetes.
Collagen in the marrow provides important amino acids, including glutamine (which helps the body to secrete more human growth hormone, which helps kids grow taller, improves sleep, improves skin (preventing wrinkles, among other things), increases immunity, increases testosterone, increases energy, builds stronger bones, improves the heart and kidneys, minimizes muscle breakdown, breaks down body fat and decreases body weight, improves fat metabolism, and improves protein metabolism).
Collagen also heals the gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines), thus healing heartburn, reflux (which seems to be causing my chronic cough), intestinal inflammation, gastric ulcers, colitis, gut-related diseases, and irritable bowel syndrome (gut cramps like I have sometimes). A preparation note: In order to pull these precious minerals from the bone, add an acid, like apple cider vinegar, to the water before cooking.
Fats from organic tallow (beef) and lard (pork) have been shown to provide high levels of vitamin D (good for the immune system and strong bones); they also promote healthy, moisturized skin, reduce cancer, and provide Conjugated Linoleic Acid.

My Sources:

Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions”