Thursday, November 23, 2006

My Blog is Back Again.

Hey Dear Friends,

My blog was down for the last 3 days.
It was a technical problem caused by importing some tags from some site online to optimize those of mine.
I deleted the tags-all- and I tested every thing. It is OK.

I am awfully sorry.
Keep on visiting.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Adding a site map to my blog was never thought to be written about by me.
I was- and still- writing about health a simplified scientific articles or a humble personal opinion, yet trying to verify my blog and add a site map to it was impossible for me at classic Blogger. I then upgraded to Blogger-beta where verification was much more easier, that was after I had understood that Blogger will never allow uploading any files to its server.

When coming to 'add a site map' step,I found it to be extremely exhaustive hard experiment. It is something out of the scope of my knowledge and interests, because I know nothing about html, and when I tried to add a site map I thought it is a WYSIWYG like posting my blogs, then when I tried the least modifications to cope with what I am asked to do, the PC surprised me with "the opening and closing tags", "the incorrect format'....etc.

I was chained to the computer for hours repeatedly on a trial and error basis, beginning with copy and paste and ending with matching the format with other blogs like "Blogger Tips and Tricks" and "Hakuna Matata" after I read ' html Tags Definitions' in Blogger help. I got frustrated many times and I began thinking to quit the whole thing, because why should I write what nobody would read it.

Finally, the unexpected happened , and I added a site map to my blog!

I feel pity and passion for the same folks who are like I was, and this dictated me to write describing precisely how any one can add the site map to his blog easily and what mistakes to avoid, besides, I may find some of them interested in what I write in my blog, who knows?

Shall we go ?
1- On visiting my blog, click "View" and select "Source", there will be a text document, save it.
(This is to make it more easier, you may just look at it)
3- Go to 'My Account' in google (since you have a blog) and click the 'Webmaster Tools' button.
4- Under ' Add Site' , type in: http://your blog
(DO NOT TYPE IN :www.)
5- You will be asked to verify your site. choose ' add tag', copy it in a text document
to make sure it is the same before pasting it in your 'edit html' page in the head segment just before "b:skin CDATA", you will find other html functions that can't be written here.
6- Modify the text document by typing in your blog name and your blog ID
( you may find it in the address bar if you typed your URL in the address bar.
7- Copy and paste the modified document in the head segment in the html page of your
8- Go to ' Webmaster Tools' again and check verify.
9- After verification, click on ' Add a Site map', and type in :http://your blog ( Neglect any thing written under the window, this is the only format that will get your site map added, and again, do not type in, the www.).

It will be Pending for few minutes to few hours, and if you have implemented every thing right, your site map will be added.
You are done. Congrats.

1- Do not look at the examples given by the 'Webmaster Tools' page.
2- If you are stuck, add another site and never delete one before your site map is added.
3- If for any reason, your site map is not added, keep matching what you do with this schedule and do not try any thing else to keep away from a bitter taste experiment.

Modified on 12/16/2008 :
The format of the site map URL is now:
http://your blog

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"Low Carb" or Lower Carb?

Low carb, low fat are terms that are extensively used for sometime ago. the frequent use of these terms created an active attitude towards them, yet it did not create the necessary attitude of digging under them. As a result, many people actually dealt with ' labels' rather than trying to understand the right full scheme needed for keeping good health, with a serious impact on public health.

I read an opinion survey that contained so many funny things reflecting the level of awareness of some people with the meaning of ' low carb' and ' low fat' terms. You would agree with me when you know some of them:
# "It is the carbohydrates and not calories that contribute to weight gain".
# " Low carb diets are associated with the prevention of disease".
# " Restriction of carbohydrates consumption( meaning less fruits, honey, vegetables and whole grains), reduces the risk of certain cancers.
# " Diabetics need low carb" ( Contrary to the institutional recommendation that people should consume a diet that include a variety of carbohydrates containing foods).
# Those on low carb diet consume more meat and fewer other foods ( like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy products), though the American National Cancer Institute recommendsdaily 5 servings of fiber rich fruits and vegetables and 3 of low fat dairy products.
# Many folks do not know the appropriate amount of carb daily intake, some said it is 10 , 5 and 0.5 g !!

Some low-carb diet producers start people at 20 g carbohydrates daily ( I would have been died starving going this way), others say 30, 60, 100, 150 and 200 g carb daily intake.

To correct the situation we should search the scientific basis for good health.
-Texts tell us that the average person needs of energy is 2000-3000 Calories/day according to hist ype of activity.
-American National Academy of Health recommends that children and adults get a minimum of 130g of carbohydrates daily.
-Maximum Calorie intake of fat derived calories should not exceed 30% of total calories, and not more than 10% of them are saturated fats ( away from trans fats). This corresponds to 60-80 g fat/day ideally.

Now, if you are overweight, then you should be ingesting more than 3000 Calories daily. If you go according to the mentioned outline, then you should be eating 120 g fats/day which produce 1080 Calories. If you divide the rest of your calorie gain equally between carbohydrates and protein, then you should be eating 300 g carbohydrates and 300 g proteins daily.

If you want to lose weight, you should CUT DOWN TOTAL CALORIES, beginning with carbohydrates and redistributing your calorie intake between fats and proteins.

Certainly your weight gain is caused by calorie gain, so cut them down, but do not forget that you need different carbohydrates like fibers and essential sugars, as well as you need different fats like polyunsaturated fats and lecithin.
Moreover, you need the delecious taste of both.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Shave in 1 Minute

When you wake up late in the morning, you count every minute to avoid getting late at your job.You can quit any routine activity that may keep you late, except that you need to shave. I remember shaving on my way to work using an electric machine with its distressing irritable after-feelings.

Repetition of this procedure over time makes getting-up and going to work a psychological overburden, and either we reduce the number of activities done before going to work, or we change the way we do the 'must-do' activities, and of these activities is to shave.

There are many ways available to shave and all are competing at more smooth shaving, yet all consume some time, I tried them all, creams , foams, gels, electric shaving...etc. I found that the most simple, quick and cheap way is this way that I am affording you.

The Procedure:
1- Prepare your shaving liquid by mixing 2 equal amounts ( up to you ) of water and glycerin ( you can use eau de cologne ).
2- Wet your face with your shaving liquid after washing ( or dry even).
3- Shave using Gillette ll plus, or the similar that has a lubricant strand.
4- Unsatisfied?, repeat in less than a minute.

If you need more easy lubrication, just leave a comment.

Monday, November 06, 2006

8 Tips for Barbecue Without Carcinogens

I enjoy barbecue very much, and grilled meat is my favorite dish!

Respectful institutes reported the presence of carcinogenic chemicals in grilled, fried or barbecued muscle meat such as beef, pork, poultry and fish. These chemicals are either amino acid related- the Hetero Cyclic Amines( HCAs) , or hydrocarbon related- Poly Cyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs).

These chemicals are not present in uncooked meat, yet cooking it at high temperature ( higher than 160 F ) may increase the risk of producing them, e.g.
# HCAs are formed when amino acids- the building bricks of proteins - react with creatine - a chemical found in muscles- at high temperatures.
# PAHs are formed when the fat drips on hot coal or stones, charred and turned intosmoke that penetrates meat. The same smoke is present in cigarette smoke as well.

Formation of HCAs and PAHs depends on type of food, temperature, cooking method and time of cooking. They are known to be mutagenic, that is, they produce damage in DNA, and are listed as reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens.

To reduce 90% of formation of these carcinogens during barbecue, you should consider 2 aspects :1- Your meat, and 2- Your fire to barbecue it.

1- Select lean cuts - look for loin on the table - and reduce portion size.
2- Do cut the fats, trim excess fa from meat and minimize fats and oils in marinades.
3- Soak the Meat in Lemon Juice and Vinegar for 20-30 minutes in the fridge. It will help tenderizing it, as well as it will imparts a great taste ( for more of that, we - in Egypt - add chopped onions to the mix.
4- Spray water- or Lemon juice- on the meat while barbecuing.
5- According to scientists from Michigan state -US- , addition of Cherry tissues to the beef substantially reduces formation of HCAs.

1- Light the barbecue in advance. Use enough charcoal and wait till charcoal are white and glowing red before you start cooking.
2- Only use non-toxic firelighters to taste the meat and not the fuel.
3- Find out the correct cooking time for all your food. Make sure that chicken is cooked through, there are no pink bits inside and the juice runs clear. Make sure meats are thoroughly cooked and piping hot.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What Are These Synthetic Trans Fats?

Are there natural trans fats?, are they as harmful as synthetic trans fats?, how much we take of each of them?

Actually, there are trans fats that occur naturally in meat and dairy products. They mainly contain the trans fatty acid " Vaccenic acid", but they are essentially harmless in the amounts encountered. They represent 15-20 % at maximum, of the trans fats we take, moreover, Vaccenic acid can be metabolized by humans to the trans isomer of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which has a specific role in promoting health. CLA is considered to balance any harmful effect of natural trans fats. Natural trans fats have not been shown to share the harmful properties of the synthetic trans fats.

It is fair to suppose there is wide range in the toxicity in the synthetic trans isomers arising from hydrogenation of oils, and that some of these synthetic trans fats have specially high toxicity.
Then why humans synthesize these harmful trans fats?, what is the need for them?

In fact, humans do not plan to synthesize trans fats, they do their best to reduce their production, but it is difficult to prevent their formation altogether. Typically40-50% of the oil will end up as trans isomers after hydrogenation.

Food industry is concerned about shelf period as well as taste and consistency of fats. Oils are vulnerable to rancidity on storage, in addition, some trans isomers(Elaidic acid, the trans isomer of Oleic acid, the main constituent of olive oil) has a melting point has a similar temperature of the human mouth ( mouth watering?).

How I s Trans Fat Produced?
Glycerol( Glycerin) is common to all triglyceride edible fats, to this glycerol molecule, 3 fatty acid molecules are attached. The fatty acid consists of many carbon atoms, each of which is attached to the adjacent carbon by a SINGLE bond and bearing 2 Hydrogen atoms in saturated fats. I f the 2 adjacent carbons bear1 Hydrogen atom each, they coordinate to share a second bond to become bound by a DOUBLE bond, then this fatty acid is said to be unsaturated FA, if it contains more than 1 double bond, it is a polyunsaturated fatty acid.
The configuration of double bond in an unsaturated fatty acid determines the description of fatty acid, thus if the 2 Hydrogen atoms are on the same side of the Carbon chain it is a CIS isomer and this predominates naturally, in the other uncommon TRANS isomer, the 2 Hydrogen are on opposite sides of the chain.

The CIS double bond forces a kink or bend into the Carbon chain, so the unsaturated fatty acids are unable to pack closely together so readily as saturated fatty acid, and this why unsaturated fatty acids containing oils are mostly liquids at room temperature, while more saturated fats( such as Tallow) are hard. Upon hydrogenation of unsaturated fatty acid containing oil, 2 Hydrogen are bound to the vacant double-bond site removing the double bond and retaining the straight chain form and the molecule becomes more saturated.

The food industry neither needs completely hydrogenated fats which are waxy, nor it needs the polyunsaturated oils, rather it needs partially hydrogenated fats which are in between.
During hydrogenation conducted at high temperature( 260 C), the unsaturated fatty acid is subject to structural transformation. Double bonds which are naturally in the CIS configuration, can flip to TRANS configuration ( Geometrical isomers). Another possibility is that the double bond migrates along the molecular chain ( Positional isomers).

TRANS fats are involved in the pathogenesis if cardiovascular system, and lately it was found to be involved in Diabetes and Obesity.

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