Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I just finished reading a fascinating study from Japan recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society: the “OHASAMA STUDY”.

Interestingly, I am noticing more and more studies done in Japan are, in reality, just remake of many studies done in the Western World. The final point being they often have conclusions which are quite different from what we got in our hemisphere. And, believe me, it is not because the said studies are not well done; it is the contrary…

But I will not insist on the subject.

The objective of the OHASAMA STUDY was to determine the effects of an ANIMAL protein diet on the brain functions of older folks in comparison with a diet with proteins of PLANT origin. It was done in one small town in Japan over a period of 7 years with over a thousand persons.

The searchers observed that persons in the highest quartile of animal protein intake had SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER DECLINE in mental functions then those in the lower quartile of animal protein intake. In fact, men who consumed the most animal protein had a 59% reduced risk of higher-level functional decline compared to men who consumed the least animal protein, meat and/or fish included.

The interesting, and practical, part of this study is as animal protein intake is a MODIFIABLE aspect of a diet, it can be used as a PREVENTION instrument for functional decline in elderly adults.

We already know not eating enough protein, especially when aging, is very bad for you health. This is very important because we are talking here about staying independent, both mentally and physically as years go on.

Proteins prevent things like vision loss, incontinence and bone loss, while simultaneously increasing muscle strength, but now we can add a protective effect on the brain.

But again, I will insist on the conclusion of the study: not all proteins will provide this incredible protection and WE NEED ANIMAL PROTEIN to do the job properly.

One reason seems to be animal protein keeps our level of IGF-1 high (Insulin-Growth-factor). It’s a substance responsible for bone growth and development, and we need more and more as we age. If one does not get enough of IGF-1, he can loose 20% of his bone density in one month. And this can be easily fixed by just eating an additional 3 ounces of meat per day. And, as you can see with this study, protein from plant source is not an option.

Humans are designed to eat animal proteins and now we have some proof it is THE way to stay strong while aging.

Aren’t you happy you have decided to go on a Zero-Carb all meat high animal protein diet???


Sunday, March 9, 2014


I though it would be interesting for all of us to see what is the place of eating chicken when doing a Zero Carb diet. The main reason being variety it is always welcome when on an all-animal product diet. Yes, and I will admit it right here, I could easily continue eating my beef, at all meals, for the rest of my life. But each time I have chicken, I realize how I enjoy it so much…

The first thing that come to my mind about eating chicken, which is not offered by other type of meat is: the skin!!!! Taking a bite in crispy chicken skin is one unique pleasure, especially if you get it to be nicely flavored and salty enough to satisfy you. For myself, this one reason would be enough to “go chicken”!!!

In traditional Chinese medicine, chicken has an important place. And believe me, even nowadays, Chinese have no problem eating their it many times per week. In fact, when Chinese doctors examine a sick person, the first thing they do is to question their diet and especially find out if they eat chicken; and if it is missing in their menu, it is part of their first suggestion they give toward recovering health.

Another nice thing about chicken is its freshness. Meaning that, because the flesh can spoil rapidly, by necessity, chicken has to be eaten fresh. This guarantees good protection of the nutrient content, especially the proteins. Talking proteins, chicken meat contains of full array of essential amino acids; in fact, it is so good, one could only depend on it to answer all his protein needs. One cup of cooked chicken contains 61% of ones daily requirements for proteins, which makes it a “filling meat” because of the satiety index of the said proteins.

Chicken meat, when compared with other meat sources appears to be the one of highest protein source of the ‘traditional’ meats, though the equal second when compared with fish. (Not bad)

Also, and not the least, chicken contains a large array of nutrients. 

On the vitamin side, it has a lot of vitamin A, D and E, folate, Vitamin B12 (only contained in animal products…), and the full array of the other Vitamin B (B1, B2, B6). As for minerals, it is a good source of iron because of the myoglobin it contains (especially the dark meat), phosphorus, zinc and the powerful antioxidant selenium. Selenium plays a role in the prevention of some forms of cancer. A deficiency of selenium can cause Keshan’s disease, a heart problem in the young and, not the least, it can be responsible for cognitive decline in adults. Eating poultry meat could help alleviate these conditions.

Interestingly lean breast of chicken provides 25% more selenium than beef, lamb and pork, and 90% more manganese then lamb. It also provides 40% more vitamin E than lamb and beef.

As for the fat content, it also contains omega-3 but, sadly, nowadays grain-fed chicken have too much of omega-6. To solve this problem, one trick is to avoid eating a lot the “dripping fat” when cooking this meat and replace it by other oil, especially coconut oil or butter. Of course, if one can find “free-range” raised chicken that had the chance of feeding on insects (the way it should be…), this would be an optimal choice. Another interesting option, would be chicken fed with added “flaxeed” in their diet. This will boost their omega-3 content. By feeding broiler chickens only small amounts of a supplement rich in alpha linoleic acid (an n-3 PUFA), such as flax seed, the n-3 PUFA in thigh meat can be increased from 86 mg to 283 mg/100 g, and that in the minced carcass from 93 to 400 mg/100 g. To a large extent, the fat contents of the different portions determine the content and enrichment of PUFAs, so dark chicken meat always contains more PUFAs than white breast meat.

Of course, there is concern about antibiotics given while chicken farming but now most supermarkets offer good quality chicken without added chemicals and this, for not more money then regular chicken. As for regulations, the words "no antibiotics added" on meat or poultry products indicate that the producer has satisfied the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service that the animals were raised without antibiotics.

Finally, aside variety, chicken offers a lot of possibilities “preparation wise”. It can easily be eaten cold, as chicken salad with mayonnaise, or as big roasted chunk, which is very handy for lunch or picnic. Leftovers can find a place in omelets or even make up some “chicken patties”.

Chicken meat can make many positive contributions to the diet of those on low incomes as chicken meat is is frequently. more affordable than other meats.

And because it is of a consistently high quality as for its freshness requirements, one can “go chicken” with no guilt!!!


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