First I send my sincere condolences to those who lost their beloved ones through recent adulterated illicit brews.
In the follow up to the death toll, NACADA has put up a very good advert warning people of spirits and other packaged drinks of suspicious origin.
At the end of the TV advert, they give a toll free number 1192 to call to report any suspicious drink.
Out of curiosity, from the couch of my house, probably to report suspicious drink in the flask (tea) I tried to call the number but it does not go through.
At first, the recorded voice requested me to hold since the line seemed to be busy, but, immediately the recorded voice informs me that the number I have called cannot be reached.
Shame on you NACADA!
If you have set up a toll free number, let it work, otherwise do the right thing….
I had an opportunity to undertake unusual role of going shopping for a porridge flour in a local supermarket.
First, I must admit that our supermarkets are coming of age. There are quite a range of products to choose from. Some products not so good but others are close premium.
I wanted a good flour for preparing baby porridge. The only way to tell a product is good nutritionally is from the label. Ok, as a keen buyer, I started checking labels. One product caught my attention. That is the porridge flour from Proctor ε Allan. The company had two different products; Proctor ε Allan porridge flour for the family, marketed with slogan of high nutrition porridge and the other product is flour for baby porridge.
The Proctor ε Allan baby porridge flour is marketed as a high protein porridge flour. Surprisingly the two flours have similar levels of protein content as indicated on the label, which is a minimum of 14% although the baby porridge flour is marketed as high protein flour.
Probably, the indication of 14% minimum protein content could mean the flour might have higher protein content than 14%. But then, shouldn’t the company indicate the actual amount? Whey are they suggesting one is high protein product while it is comparable to an alternative?
The only difference between the two types of flour is the micro-nutrients, specifically vitamins. The baby porridge flour has slightly high amounts of some vitamins and minerals compared to family porridge flour as indicated on the label. Based on the labeling, the baby porridge can not be categorised as high protein. The 14% protein is not high as some products like meat or fish hav over 20 % protein, soy protein and egg white have over 75% protein. Maybe they should call it high in vitamins!
Next time check if the product has what it claims to offer!
Aging, although inevitable can be slowed through proper nutrition.
There are a lot of talk about diets that slow aging. I am not making the same mistake of advancing those mythical anti-aging claims. I have been looking for scientifically proven nutritional interventions that can slow aging. So far, only three nutritional interventions have been scientifically proven to slow aging.
Conventionally we have been conditioned to think that; the more food you eat, the more healthy you are and possibly the longer you will live. This is totally contrary to scientific evidence on aging.
Science claims that calorie restriction (eating little food) is the way to retard aging and add years.
Calorie (energy obtained from food) restriction is defined as under nutrition without malnutrition.
Calorie restriction does not only retard aging but also extends both mean (survival) and maximal (longevity) life span and delays the onset of a number of life-shortening diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer.
It has been experimentally demonstrated that moneys fed a calorie restricted diet for 10 years showed low blood pressure, reduced intra-abdominal fat, and decreased levels of circulating insulin, glucose and cholesterol. Therefore, calorie restricted diet puts these monkeys at a lower risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases than normal fed monkeys.
The survival (median life span) of the monkeys fed calorie-restricted diets exceeded that of ad libitum–fed monkeys.
Foods rich in antioxidants have been shown to slow oxidative reactions that lead to tissue and organ degenerations. Antioxidants can be obtained naturally for foods or through supplementation.
Diet rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) modulates many age-associated degenerative diseases (atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and inflammatory disease).
Rats and mice fed with food high in polyunsaturated fats have shown to experience extended life span and delayed the onset and progression of diseases compared to those fed corn oil.
Calorie restriction is the only nutrition intervention shown to slow aging. The antioxidants and polyunsaturated fats act by reducing age-related diseases which are the main causes of aging.
- EJ Masoro. (2000) Caloric restriction and aging: an update. Exp Gerontol 35: 299–305.
- Mace, K, Barry Halliwell. (2004). Influence of Diet on Aging and Longevity in Bioprocess and Biotechnology for functional foods and Nutraceuticals. 317-376
Technology is making complex things simpler.
It is now possible to know the percentage of fat in your body and how body fat decreases or increases as you follow different regimes of work-out.
Although you are putting a lot of effort in losing weight, you actually do not know the amount of fat (which you are trying to cut) in your body.
The main objective of losing weight is to cut on the undesirable fat and increase the muscle mass. But without any standard way to monitor the changes in body fat and muscle mass, it is difficult to truthfully know how you are faring.
At Arimifoods we are looking for modern and better ways to help you live at optimal health naturally without use of artificial chemicals or unknown technologies. To ensure we remain true to our objective, we have acquired a sophisticated weighing balance that allows you to monitor your body fat in percentage, your muscle mass in percentage and the amount of water in the body. At the same time you will know your body mass index (BMI).
Body mass index is a parameter that shows whether you are under weight, healthy weight, overweight or obese. Above a certain value of BMI sends signals that you should be watching what you eat to keep at healthy weight.
Knowing your body fat and muscle mass helps you to know if you are cutting on the undesirable fat or not.
If you are based in Meru, or passing through Meru and would like to check your body fat, pass through our office at EDFRI Green house (Room G5) next to Uchumi supermarket in Meru town and within seconds, you will know your body fat and muscle mass as well as amount of water in the body and BMI. The weighing balance works exactly like an ordinary bathroom balance and has no side effects.
Every day a disturbing figure of 25 000 people both children and adult die of starvation. Among these, 18,000 children say bye bye to this world due to lack of food to put in their stomachs.
By the way, the world produces enough food that can feed each and everyone. Then, what is the problem? Why are children dying of starvation at this era? Is it the governments to blame? is it the developed countries to blame? or is it that the starving people are lazy?
What do you think should be done to reduce the number of people succumbing to starvation or completely ensure no kid dies due to lack of food?
I cherish every moment that I write in this blog.
It has also been a pleasure having you as a reader. Thanks and keep reading.
I know some of you readers have subscribed to receive the articles that I write in this blog for free. I also know others are secret readers, those who read every article and enjoy the stuff but have not subscribed. All is good. By the way, subscription is absolutely free.
By subscribing you enjoy receiving these informative articles straight into your email inbox for free. Once you subscribe, you do not have to visit the website to read the article, they come into your email.
I am also thinking that we can do better. Rather than just writing articles and you reading them, we can meet. This will give me a chance to see my readers.
What I am thinking, probably might excite you, maybe it might not. If you are based in Kenya, I would like to know your town. Then I will arrange a get-together kind of a meeting with all readers from your town i.e. all major towns in Kenya.
To know your town, just leave a short comment below this post with few words indicating the town you live in or town close to you. I will then organise when to visit your town and with all readers in that town we will talk more about health eating and healthy lifestyles.
PS.Note I am bringing a very new and exciting product in the Kenyan market. The product is a candy that you take and smell nice instead of using perfume. Imagine saying goodbye to chemical perfumes. This is what the perfume candy will do for you.
That is not all. The candy comes either as with added sugar or sugarless. The sugarless candy is healthy as it is very low in calories.
Food science has moved to a totally new level, development of nutritious products that deliver nutrients as well as enhance your beauty.
These products are called Nutricosmetics.
I am the first one to launch a real nutricosmetic product in Kenya and in Africa; a perfume candy- you chew, you smell nice all day long. Not just fresh breath, but the whole body ooze fresh scent.
Due the negative effects of cosmetic chemicals on skin and health, it is time to move from the use of chemicals to natural foods that enhance beauty. Join.
Ok, there is common knowledge that kids, expectant mothers and other vulnerable groups including the aged require vitamins and minerals in higher doses than the normal daily recommendation for other age groups.
However, it is taking things too far to fortify sugar with vitamins to ensure kids and the vulnerable groups meet the daily requirements.
Sure, kids in developing countries are said not to get the required amount of Vitamin A. At the same time it is unethical to fortify a food that has adverse health effects with vitamins just to meet the daily requirements.
I am shocked to see billboards of Mumias sugar screaming that you get all the sweetness and vitamin A to boot. I think this is one of the irresponsible food fortifications I have come across in the recent past.
Diabetes is rocking our country. Prevalence of diabetes in Kenya has skyrocketed in last decade and you know there is no treatment, but you have to manage the condition throughout lifetime.
Taking high amounts of sugar is one of the risk factors for diabetes. Although sugar itself is not a direct cause of diabetes, it is scientifically known that high sugared foods or high amounts of sugar in foods plays a role in developing diabetes. So why should a responsible company encourage taking sugar, disturbingly so to kids?
Diabetes II comes about when there is too much sugar in the blood system. This is how it comes about; When you consume foods high in sugar, an organ called pancreas releases an hormone called insulin to regulate the sugar in the blood. If the sugar in the food is moderate the insulin works perfectly.
If excessively sugary foods are consumed over a prolonged period of time, the pancreas overworks itself trying to mop up the excess sugar in the blood system. This happens by release of more of insulin. As the higher amounts of sugar are consumed, more and more insulin is released to help cope with excess sugar. This may lead to failure of the pancreas due to overwork or toxicity as a result of excess sugar- leading to diabetes.
Sugar is also known to be a high calorie food and processed sugar provides empty calories. High calorie foods lead to body weight gain, setting stage to a plethora of chronic health conditions including obesity and an increase to diabetes risk.
By encouraging kids to take sugar at tender age just to meet recommended Vitamin A requirements sets the wrong precedent for the coming generations.
Probably there are better ways of ensuring kids get the recommended Vitamin A by fortifying healthy foods such as milk, breakfast whole grain cereals, yoghurt and similar foods.
In addition there are natural foods rich in vitamins which include sweet potatoes, carrots, sweet pepper, spinach and other green leafy vegetables.
Have a healthy valentines day!
I am not trying to scare you or scare myself but I am overweight.
I know it is rare for men to say they are overweight. Sure, I am a man but that does not excuse me from being honest. I am overweight.
Being overweight no longer means you are doing well financially or contented with life, as some communities think. Overweight is a matter of death and life.
Body weight isn’t just an issue with women.
Body weight is a real concern for anybody wishing to live healthily.
This is because overweight is the first warning sign that you are sliding into the danger zone of becoming obese.
How do you know you are overweight?
Overweight is a combination of two numbers. Most people just check their body mass (weight) and think that they are truly monitoring the parameter that determines their health. Checking body weight is good, but not entirely complete without taking into account body height and sometimes gender and age.
To know if the weight is posing risk to health, height and body weight are tabulated using a formula to give what is popularly known as BMI. BMI stands for body mass index.
Body mass index is calculated by diving the body weight in Kg by height in metres squared.
To tabulate BMI measure your body weight using a bathroom weighing scale and using a tape measure, take the height. From those two figures, divide body weight by the square of height in metres (100 cm make one metre).
So, what is my BMI
A normal or healthy BMI is between 18 – 24.9.
Anything below 18.4 means you are under weight.
BMI above 25 rings the bells sending warning signal as BMI between 25- 29.9 means you are overweight and anything above 30 classifies you as obese.
My body weight is 72.6 Kg and my height is 169 cm. From the calculation; my BMI as it stands now is 25.4.
You may say that this is just on the borderline. True, but it is a warning that my health is at risk
Why is being overweight a risk to health
More than 50 ailments or diseases are linked to being overweight ranging from breathing problems to circulatory disorders (heart attack, high blood pressure, heart failure), muscle and joint problems (arthritis), and digestive ailments (colon cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease). Being overweight can interfere with sleep, make it difficult to keep up physically with children or friends as well as shorten life.
What is the way forward?
The parameter that influences BMI by the greatest magnitude is the body weight. So, if I can cut my body weight I will definitely bring my BMI down to normal.
The main way to bring down weight is not hitting the gym although it is important, it is negative calorie balance that leads to weight loss.
If you burn more calories than those consumed, you are guaranteed to lose weight. There are very few exceptions to this rule.
Gym helps to keep body physically fit not necessarily to lose weight. This is because if you burn less calories in the gym than you consume form foods, there is less likelihood of losing weight.
I take it a personal challenge to bring down by BMI to normal. Looking forward to this challenge.
The nutritional and therapeutic properties of human, cattle, goat, sheep, camel and horse milk is well known. However, the goodness of donkey is not well known.
Milk is considered as a complete food. Therefore, all sources of milk are attracting extra attention as such milk could offer benefits that are not yet well-known.
Donkeys have mainly been used as pack and ride animals in developing economies.
In late nineteenth century donkey milk gained a new perspective as it was used in feeding orphaned children in France.
Before that, in the Roman age, the donkey milk was used for nutrition and skin care.
The increase in Cow’s Milk protein allergy among children has led to search for alternatives. Researchers in Italy established that infants can tolerate the donkey better.
This brings good news to infants experiencing Cow’s milk protein allergy as donkey’s milk can used until when cow’s milk can be taken without any allergic complications.
Donkey’s milk is also highly palatability. This is advantageous since at young age, kids are known to reject non-palatable foods.
Milking Dairy Donkeys
Milking of donkeys is unique compared cattle and other dairy animals. It therefore requires special mechanisms.
There are dairy donkey farms in Europe, mainly in Italy, France, Spain, and Belgium. There are also dairy donkeys farms in the Xinjiang and Shanxi provinces of China, sharing the largest donkey stock worldwide with Ethiopia and Pakistan.
Milking of donkeys must be carried out in hygienic conditions to ensure no contamination.
A dairy donkey yields 350 (1.5 glasses) to 850 (3.5 glasses) ml of milk. This is very little amount compared to the amount a dairy cow can produce.
Composition of Donkey Milk
Selling point of donkey milk
Donkey milk and its protein is scientifically shown to be palatable and not allergic to infants.
Salimei E and Fantuz F. (2012). Equid milk for human consumption. Animal. International Dairy Journal. 30: 130-142.