Health & Views – June 2019 1st issue – by Dr Harold Gunatillake
A diet is all that we consume in a day. And a balanced diet is a diet that containsan adequate quantity of the nutrients that we require in a day. A balanced diet includes six main nutrients, i.e. Fats, Protein, Carbohydrates, Fibre, Vitamins,and Minerals. All these nutrients are present in the foods that we eat.
By present day definition a balanced diet should include prebiotics and probiotics for the nourishment of the gut microbiota- your internal friends that looks after yourhealth in all respects and aspects.
Let us first find out what the cave man ate to be strong, tall robust and fit to hunt for his food.
Man is what he eats, goes a famous German saying. So, let us find out what ourstone age people’s delicacies were. Did they have a balanced diet?
These old cavemen lived in caves several thousand years ago in the jungles hunting for their own food daily. They did not have the means to cultivate and grow fruits and vegetables, but lived solely on hunted animal flesh, mostly barbecued or held on
fire to burn.
These prehistoric friends ate meat raw, lightly burnt animal bones and many a hearth excavated by archaeologists testify to a rudimentary knowledge of firemaking and roasting meats From what we can gather from the faunal remains left over from his hearty meals,
Balangoda man was a carnivore to the core.
He loved to gorge on meats of all kinds and was sure a very meaty fellow as a result. Meats gave him the protein he needed
to make his day.
Sri Lankan veddah’s were different. They are aborigines or indigenous people of Sri Lanka. Many veddahs also farmed using chena cultivation and they did kill animals to eat. They never harmed young and pregnant animals.
The staple food, rice, was cultivated in extensive paddy field, while vegetables,greens, grains and cereals were cultivated in rain-fed lands called ‘Chenas’
Veddas are famously known for their rich meat, venison and the flesh of rabbit, turtle, tortoise, monitor lizards, wild boar.
They did have a very balanced diet composed of rice, cereals, nuts, vegetables andanimal flesh.
Meat eating cave man during the Palaeolithic life, did not know that he needs tofeed his inside friends- the gut microbes.
So, you can now explain why the cave man’s Palaeolithic life expectancy was 25
On the other hand, the aboriginal veddahs in Sri Lanka lived longer because of the
variety of food such as rice, vegetable curries, mallung, ambul thiyal, kolakenda,
they consumed daily.
In contrast to the paleolithic cave man, veddah’s had a life span of about 60 or more. They naturally fed their gut microbes with fibre and probiotics.
The Western pattern diet (WPD) or standard American diet (SAD) is a modern dietary pattern that is generally characterized by high intakes of red meat, processed meat, pre-packaged foods, butter, fried foods, high-fat dairy products,
eggs, refined grains, potatoes, corn (and high-fructose corn syrup) and high-sugar ..
It is not a well-balanced diet as it lacks fibre and probiotics and prebiotics not included for the nourishment and wellbeing of the microbiota
A low-carb diet is low in carbohydrates, primarily found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. Instead, you eat real foods including protein, natural fats and vegetables.
Studies show that low-carb diets result in weight loss and improved health markers.
These diets have been in common use for decades and are recommended by many doctors.
This low carb and high fat diet originated from the lifestyles of eskimos.
The Inuit, the native people many call “eskimos” have not eaten carbs in over35,000 years. Somehow, they have managed to thrive. Ever seen a plant growing in the Arctic circle? No? So, no carbs. By the way the word Eskimo means “meat eater.” You don’t say?
Their gut microbial diversity is different from those who eat a high carb, low fat diet.
They do not live beyond 65 years because they have no microbial protection.
Modern diet relates to ‘Junk food’ that simply means an empty calorie food. …Junk food is an informal term applied to some foods which are perceived to have little or no nutritional value, but which also have ingredients considered unhealthy when eaten regularly, or to those considered unhealthy to consume at all.
Any diet regime should promote a healthier gut microbiota
“Low Carb with high fat diet regimes may not be the best to keep your gut microbiota happy and friendly”
Recent studies have revealed that over 100 trillion of beneficial bacteria, viruses and fungi are found mainly in our gut. In addition to looking after your health, mood, metabolism, mental health, autoimmune diseases endocrine disorders, gut-health, providing vitamins, immune system, cancer, and in many other ways, the gut bacteria or microbes as we call them, seem to keep bad bacteria in check.
We need to look after these beneficial microbes for our good health, and how should we do it?
Studies have revealed that gut microbes or microbiome has enormous functional responsibility to the host and the diet plays a fundamental role in the shaping of the composition of gut microbiota.ui4
A new study published in the “British Medical Journal” investigated these requirements of keeping healthy balanced diet as the traditional balanced meal containing high unprocessed carbs, low fat, and a moderate amount of proteins, and not the low carb diet referred to as a ketogenic diet, with high fat intake recommended for weight reduction.
Long term following of such diets may be detrimental for the survival of good microbiota in the gut and most likely result in self-created chronic inflammatory diseases in your body and discouraged according to present day studies.
Keto diets and Atkin types, promoting low carbs and high fat intake to combat overweight problems, may not be the best dietetic regimes, to keep microbial ecology inprime form for our health.
Please take time to enjoy & share the video.
Many years back there was not much of a choice of cooking oils. Lard obtained from pig fat was very popular. I remember in the 1950s in Singapore they used lard in street noodle outlets. Lard has about 40% of saturated fat:50% of monounsaturated fat and 10% of polyunsaturated fat. Smoking point is 218 deg. C. ideal for deep and stir frying. It is low in saturated fat unlike other animal fats, butter, tallow, and high in heart friendly monounsaturated fat.
Today most oils used in street food outlets and hotels is vegetable oils. Lard wasdemonized though much better for health than the faked processed vegetable oils.Lard has a better flavour and texture when used as a cooking oil.Vegetable oils from corn and rape seed which produces canola oil, are cheaper and popular, used for most dishes today.
Fish and chips outlets use vegetable oils. Mind you, when you use any cooking oil as a rule must be discarded after the first usage, because of the free radical formation.The oil that is used in the fish and chips industry, seems to use the same oil repeatedly during the whole day, and from a health point of view, it is best to avoid.Free radicals generally seem to shorten your life.
Today, in the super-markets there is a load of cooking oils, includes extra-virgin oil,coconut oil, sesame oil, peanut oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, and so
For Asian curries and cuisines, coconut oil seems to be the most popular and hasstood the test of time.
Coconut oil is extensively used in cooking fish and vegetables in Asian curries and is very stable, does not go rancid. Coconut oil has a high smoke point andlonger shelf life than some other fats. As it is solid at room temperature, it can be used in baking recipes, for frying, for greasing baking pans and as a replacement for butter or vegetable oil in recipes.
Let’s go deeper into saturated and unsaturated fats.
You are aware that a molecule of water is composed of two hydrogen atoms linked to one oxygen atom.
So, on boiling water at 100 deg. C, you get pure healthy steam.On the other hand, fatty acids that form fats are composed of chains of carbonatoms linked together with a pair of hydrogen atoms hanging on, either side of each carbon atom. You may refer to this as a long hydrocarbon chain consisting of carbonand hydrogen atoms.
All oils have a variable smoking point unlike water that steams at 100cOils vary in their smoking points, and the unhealthy smoke comes from the carbon chains, unlike water when boiling emanates steam.
Fats are classified as saturated fats and unsaturated fats. A third kind of artificial or synthetic fat is trans-fat.
In a saturated fat, all carbon atom chain is filled with hydrogen atoms linked on each
side of each carbon atom.
Let me describe this in a simpler way.
If you get into the train, and when you look around there are no vacant seats. Thenwe say the train is saturated.
In fatty acids the seats are carbon atoms and the occupant are a hydrogen atom.
When you talk about unsaturated fatsUnsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature.
They differ from saturated fats that their chemical structure contains one or more
Unsaturated fat typically comes from plant sources such as olives, nuts or seeds.
Also present in fish.
Unsaturated fat could be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated.
With monounsaturated fat there is one pair of hydrogen atoms missing from a carbon atom and its double bonded
In polyunsaturated – there are many vacant carbon atoms with many double bonds
Nutrients lost in cooking
Cooking at high temperatures in oil and large quantities of water for longer times cause micronutrients in the food to get lost, such as water-soluble vitamins likevitamin C, Thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and B12, niacin and folate in green
When little water is used for cooking green veggies, retain most of the minerals and vitamins.
Root veggies retain minerals and vitamins regardless of the amount of water used.
Let’s talk about trans fats or hydrogenated fats
The term “hydrogenated,” as in hydrogenated vegetable oil, means hydrogen is added to the oil. This process turns a liquid fat such as vegetable oil into a more shelf-stable, solid, and spreadable fat, such as margarine. Some oils are only partially hydrogenated, and in this process some monounsaturated fatty acids arev converted to saturated fatty acids (trans fats) that are harmful and can raise
cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease.
It is best for health reasons to avoid eating frozen food in the supermarket, as you
know trans-fat is used to increase their shelf life and prevent going rancid.
They raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol.
Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It’s also
associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Remember what your grandmother told you.
Always cook your food in little water like curries and add a few tablespoons of
coconut milk for flavour or steam your veggies.
Restrict using oils for deep and stir frying as both results in high dense high calorie
flavoured foods that stimulates to eat more and result in inflammatory diseases like
coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes and so on.
Hope you enjoyed this you tube and thanks for watching
WE are in Sri Lanka now, in the ‘city of Kings’ (Kandy) holidaying and meeting friends for the next few months. This is an annual trip we make to avoid the winters in Sydney from May to October.We arrived a few days back without any hassles.We came across an army check point on Kandy Colombo Road: they were courteous and quite friendly. You need to show your passport. There is some inconvenience at Katunayake Airport. You need to walk with your baggage, of course helped by a porter to the car park, 200 yards away.
Our destination was Kandy and driving in the night takes two and a half hours. For the tourists the interesting places in Kandy are:
• Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.
• Kandy Lake.
• Giragama Tea Plantation.
• Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden.
• Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue.
• Dalada Maligawa Museum.
• Esala Perahara.
• Walk in Udawattakele Forest Reserve.
• National Museum
People in Kandy, including the Kandyan’s are very friendly, and the only city where people still smile even to a stranger as a mark of friendship and welcome. Go for walk round the lake -4 kilometres, as most locals, do. You will enjoy this
walk on the lake bund.
What thins you could do in the night-time:
• 1/ Visit the Tea Factories.
• 2/ Traditional Kandy Dancing.
• 3/ Walk the Lake.
• 4/ Fill your belly at some of these restaurants.
• 5/ See the Temple of the Tooth.
• 6/ Discover Kandy from above at the Big Buddha.
• 7/ Take a stroll through the Botanical Gardens.
• 8/ Learn about Spices in the Spice Garden.
All hotel rates re very cheap now, and this would be the best time to plan a holiday venture in the Pearl of the Indian Ocean
Written by Dr harold Gunatillake
Can reach on mobile 0778611555
Solidarity, Friendship, Peace, was the theme when the Sri Lankan inter-faith community joined to celebrate the first day of the following month as declared after another crescent new moon has been sighted.
The iftar celebration was organized by combined efforts of Sri Lankan Consul General, and Australian Lanka Muslim Association, was held on the 18th May at Blouza Function Centre, in Granville, Sydney.
Over 400 men and women participated in the prayer’s tradition, followed by speeches, and exquisite feast.
It was a great evening for Sri Lankans of both communities to interact and show their solidarity for peace in Sr Lanka.
Let us talk about Visceral Fat, today –What, is visceral? let’s define that word first. It refers to ‘unreasoning’, But also refers to the internal organs in your belly.
Fat is found under the skin which gives identity to the genders. Fat distribution in ladies is different to that of men.
Men do concentrate their excess dietary fat in the belly, wrapped around the vital organs including the liver, pancreas and intestines. And that fat is referred to visceral fat. This shape of the belly in men is described as apple shape
In women, the fat is mainly under the skin and the belly shape is more like a pear.
Dietary fats are not just a source of energy; they function as structural building blocks of the body, carry fat-soluble vitamins, are involved in vital physiological processes in the body, and are indispensable for several important biological functions including growth and development.
So, why is visceral fat considered so bad news?
Having too much of fat inside the abdominal cavity is linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease and even cancer
Regardless of shape or size you could carry excess visceral fat.
We all have visceral fat surrounding our internal organs, and too much causes the problems.
An adult man’s waist measurements at naval level should be under 40 inches and woman less than 35 inches.
Now what increases this fat?
Factors which contributes to visceral fat include stress, diet, and lack of exercise
Healthy lifestyle will reduce your chances of visceral fat accumulating in your belly.
High carbohydrate diets and secretion of extra insulin tend to increase the accumulation of visceral fat.
So, taking too much of foods containing added sugars are the culprits. When there is too much glucose in our blood stream glucose is stored as fat. This happens quicker when you consume refined process carbohydrates and sugary foods.
These carbs release insulin from the pancreas and results in weight gain by storing the excess sugar as fat in the body. For some reason visceral fat that accumulates seem to harm you more than being beneficial unlike the fat that accumulates in other parts of the body by producing a chemical called interleukin a type of inflammatory molecule. They can trigger sometimes a series of autoimmune reactions, and linked with cognitive decline, arthritis, diabetes and so on.
Excess alcohol consumption also gives a big belly in addition to other harmful effects.
The others are- Trans-fat. Trans-fats are found in foods in the supermarket to increase their shelf-life. All frozen foods are full of them. They replace your good healthy fat in your body and plays havoc and cause diseases including cancer. More wrong type of unhealthy bacteria is produced in your large gut. Sodas and fruit juices can all increase your belly fat due to the added sugar content.
The new trend among the young working people is to buy ready made foods from the supermarkets and eat on the way to work. No time for having home cooked foods. These readymade foods are full of trans fats that will affect the future generations and would be as bad as the effects of climate changes.
Adipo-pectin a collagen like plasma protein secreted by the fat cells play a causal role in the development of insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. This protein is found to be less in cases of insulin resistance, diabetes, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
It is also found low in those having high levels of visceral fat.
To check whether you have too much of visceral fat ask your doctor to test your adipo-pectin levels in your blood and confirm by doing a cat scan.
You do not have to worry about the pinchable fat under the belly skin. It causes no threat unlike the visceral fat.
The good news is that visceral fat yields easily to exercise and diet with benefits ranging from lower BP and low cholesterol levels.
Having a lean belly is a sign of good health
High risks with visceral fat are:-
Diabetes, increased inflammation, makes it harder to lose weight, heart disease, Dementia, depression and mood problems.
Eat a balanced diet with less processed foods and carbs with added sugars
Exercise daily- walk at least 10,000 steps a day.
See your doctor for further direction.
Presented by Dr Harold Gunatillake FRCS, FIACS, FICS, AM (Sing), MB, BS (Cey)
Martin Luther Jr said it differently-
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther Jr. did not have health in mind when he cited the above to his people, but that citation applies well as a drive for good health.
I have my own saying- “Walk foreword and age backwards”
What this means is stay active all the time, without sedentarily sitting down, wasting time on watching TV series for hours, as most do.
How does walking help? Let’s discuss further.
Studies have shown, if you walk at a slow pace of two miles per hour you could lower your risk of getting most chronic diseases like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes by lowering the insulin resistance, arthritis and many others. If you walk faster, you are benefitted more.
Studies have shown that women who walk for 30 minutes a day may cut their risk of getting a stroke by 20-40%. When you are sedentary it retards blood circulation, and any form of regular walking or exercise you increase your heart rate supplying oxygen, and micronutrients to the cells, organs, tissues, muscles to keep them active and healthy. Heart becomes stronger to perform better at times of need for physical work.
Ideally, you are supposed to log 150 minutes of brisk walking to raise your heart rate at least twice a week. You don’t need any special equipment except a comfortable pair of walking shoes and a devise strapped in your wrist to record pulse rate and other data.
Is walking good as running for your heart?
Young fit people will always run or jog as cardiac workout, but the older people a good brisk daily walk is as good as a run, for your heart health. For many years the experts thought that running or jogging improves your heart health more than a brisk walk. But it turns out that brisk walking is just as good when it comes to cutting your risk of high blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol levels if you do it regularly.
Should you walk indoors or outdoors?
It is traditional to do an early morning or late evening walk in a park or on road-sides. But the author of this article recommends indoor walking and the advantages are many:
You do not have to worry about the weather for the day and wear clothing accordingly. You could even walk in your comfortable pajamas, in your own environment.
You could ease at any time and rest on your usual comfortable chair for few minutes until you start again.
You could open the fridge and have a drink if you are thirsty, and toilet facilities in your own home is a great convenience.
You could do more steps indoors than outdoors. The author does 25,000 steps daily indoors whilst attending to other home routines, as well. You walk over 20 kilometers and burn over 1,000 calories.
This routine will lose weight, especially lose your visceral fat and that is a guaranty.
Being more active like walking daily can help people think, feel, and sleep better and perform daily tasks more comfortably at ease
These recommendations are based on the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. They recommend how much physical activity we need to be healthy. The guidelines are based on current scientific evidence supporting the connections between physical activity, overall health and well-being, disease prevention and quality of life.
Brisk walk a day, lowers your blood pressure by relaxing your peripheral blood vessels causing less strain on your heart to pump blood more forcefully. Not only it lowers the risk of high blood pressure, lowers your cholesterol, triglycerides levels in your arterial vessels. Walking also lowers your resistance to insulin and improves sensitivity, thereby lowering your sugar level in your blood, especially among the diabetics and those having metabolic syndrome.
A great advantage to the diabetics is that their blood sugar level drops as more is utilized by the muscles for quick energy. Those having good strong muscles from physical activities seem to absorb more sugar for energy than those having weak muscles. So, doing muscle strength exercises at the gym weekly and daily walking may cut down on antidiabetic medication among diabetics. If you are in the early (pre-diabetic) stage of diabetes, you may not need any medication, as exercise and walking alone will maintain a normal blood sugar level. This applies to type 2 diabetes only and not type 1.
Older people must walk daily to keep fit and feel young. So, my adage, “walk forward and Age backward” is true for older citizens. You tend to improve your cognition, including memory, attention and processing speed. You get better strong bone and good balance and even if you trip you may be able to prevent a fall, and less risk of injury.
Those who walk daily have fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety and your quality of life and sense of overall well-being improves.
You need to wear a pedometer or any other device to record the number of steps, mileage, and the pulse rate. Most smart phones have a health app you could download, which is most useful to record your daily activities plus your energy levels, and so on.
On an average an older person could do 7000 steps per hour. That is equivalent to roughly burning 300kcals and doing 5 km walk.
Walking and hormones
Walking in the jungle in a calm environment or at home can help balance hormones. Due to the calmness and being relaxed, you could reduce your cortisol levels, reduce blood pressure and heart rate and boost your immune system.
Sure, way to reduce visceral fat
According to the National Asthma Council Australia, you shouldn’t let asthma get in the way of being physically active. You need to take deep breathing exercises daily and with daily walks asthma seem to ease in most cases. For more information please refer-nationalasthma.org.au
Walking is your steps to good health. The health benefits of walking are many, but mainly for heart health, lowering your risk of heart attack and stroke, reducing you risk of getting most chronic diseases, including cancer. Your appetite for food increases and you may enjoy your food better, you relate to your love ones at home and elsewhere at ease. Women who walk daily has a lower risk of getting breast cancer. A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that physical activity has a direct link to improved life expectancy when it comes to breast cancer.
Do walk daily.
Hope this article initiates an incentive to start walking for better health and longevity.
This video is all about fats and carbs ending up in the liver, elevates your blood cholesterol. Contrary, foods such as eggs containing high cholesterol and low fats do not reflect an increased level of blood cholesterol. Filmed by Dr Harold Gunatillake