Can a low histamine diet promote longevity?

High-protein diets shorten lifespan, two studies say

People on high-protein diets are likely to lose years of life along with the weight they shed, according to two studies.
It’s nearly as bad as smoking, says Dr Valter Longo, co-author of a study in the journal Cell Metabolism.

The most healthy mix is a high-carbohydrate, low protein diet, say Australian scientists who have published a study in the same journal.

This leads to increased body fat, but a longer lifespan, say the scientists from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre. They tested 25 different diet combinations on 900 mice to see what happened to their appetite, metabolic health, ageing and lifespan.

Calories aren’t all the same, says Professor Steve Simpson, academic director at the centre.

“We need to look at where the calories come from and how they interact.” Although the mice on a high-protein diet ate less and were slimmer, they also had a reduced lifespan and poor heart and overall health.

Those on a high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet ate more and got fat, but lived longest.

The mice that ate a high-fat, low-protein diet died quickest. “It is an enormous leap in our understanding of the impact of diet quality and diet balance on food intake, health, ageing and longevity,” Prof Simpson says.

Co-author Professor David Le Couteur says the study is an important step towards understanding what constitutes a healthy balanced diet.

It indicates it might be beneficial for people to eat the right diet in the right proportions and let the body dictate the correct amount of food.

“If people want to live long, healthy lives they can look at their diet and exercise. That will do more good than taking all the pills in the world.” He says the healthiest mice had the lowest levels of the branched-chain amino acids derived from animal protein and often used by body builders The results are entirely parallel with the US study.

They found meat, fish and dairy products are probably causing harm.

“We provide convincing evidence that a high-protein diet, particularly if the proteins are derived from animals, is nearly as bad as smoking,” says the University of Southern California’s Dr Longo.

His study analysed the diet of 6831 middle-aged and older adults.

Those who derived more than 20 per cent of their calories from protein were four times more likely to die of cancer or diabetes than other people.

AAP

Source: The Australian

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Histamine poisoning is not uncommon

Fatal histamine poisoning

Earlier in 2014 two people met a tragic death after eating fish. The culprit was found to be scombroid poisoning.
Scombroid poisoning is a now-outdated term for histamine fish poisoning. It is also sometimes known as pseudoallergic fish poisoning, histamine overdose, or mahi-mahi flush.
Histamine is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Scombroid fish histamine poisoning is hard to detect without scientific equipment, and can be fatal.
‘The term scombroid was used because the first fish species implicated in this poisoning were from the suborder Scombridae, which includes mackerel, tuna, marlin, swordfish, albacore, bonito, skipjack, and almost 100 other species (Scombridae is derived from the Greek word scombros, which means mackerel or tunny). The term histamine fish poisoning is now considered more appropriate because many cases are from nonscombroid fish. Examples include mahi-mahi (dolphin fish), amberjack, herring, sardine, anchovy, and bluefish.’

Source: Medscape

Histamine poisoning is not uncommon

Doctor warns scombroid poisoning involved in Bali death of Noelene and Yvana Bischoff is not rare

Connor O’Brien
Albert & Logan News
February 10, 2014

Yvana Bischoff, 14, and Noelene Bischoff who died in Bali after suspected food poisoning. Source: News Limited

A BRISBANE doctor who treated his wife for the same type of food poisoning which killed a Queensland mother and daughter in Bali says the illness is more common than most people think.

Noelene and her 14-year-old daughter Yvana Bischoff died while holidaying in Bali in January.

The subsequent autopsy indicated that they died from a combination of scombroid poisoning from food that was suspected to be tainted and existing medical conditions.

Experienced Daisy Hill general practitioner Nick Stephens cautioned that scombroid poisoning is actually not that rare, after treating his wife for it last year.

“It’s the most common form of fish poisoning in the world,” Dr Stephens said.

“But on the other hand, the complication of death (resulting from scombroid poisoning) is rare.”

Having been in the industry for 35 years, Dr Stephens was stunned when his wife Lorraine turned up at his clinic on Melbourne Cup day last year with systems of scombroid poisoning.

Mrs Stephens had been out for lunch at a South Bank restaurant when she and three friends had a major reaction about ten minutes after eating mahi mahi fish – the same variety the Bischoff’s had consumed shortly before their deaths.

Dr Stephens, 64, said when his wife arrived at his work she was bright red, having palpitations and struggling to breathe.

“I’ve never seen a patient ever look so red with a headache and the palpitations. So, obviously, with a severe dosage it can kill,” he said.

Dr Stephens said an analysis of the symptoms left him in no doubt that his wife had suffered from scombroid poisoning, even though it can be difficult to confirm.

“You cannot run a blood test or doing anything else to confirm it,” he said.

“They’ve had exactly the same problem with these people overseas, they can’t confirm it but they can’t find anything else.”

Since the attack, she has suffered from pancreatitis, which her husband believes may be a rare complication from scombroid poisoning.

Source: the Courier Mail

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Pastured eggs are better for you

Pastured eggs contain more nutrients

Hens allowed to roam free in grassy pastures filled with weeds and wildflowers have access to an extensive range of nutrients. Numerous insects, worms and beetles thrive in green meadows. Thus, in addition to the valuable plant materials available to the hens, they can also feed on mini-beasts which are naturally rich sources of protein, vitamins, enzymes and minerals.

Pastured eggs are lower in stress hormones

Caged hens are constantly under stress. Some become so distraught and anxious due to their imprisonment that they pluck out their own feathers. The ‘stress hormone’ cortisol has been linked with obesity, decreased immune function and osteoporosis. The low levels of stress in free-roaming, contented hens means fewer stress hormones – such as cortisol – pass into the eggs and thence into our bodies.

Pastured eggs are better for you

A study looking at the Vitamins A, E and fatty acid composition of the eggs of caged hens and pastured hens found that:
‘Compared to eggs of the caged hens, pastured hens’ eggs had twice as much vitamin E and long-chain omega-3 fats, 2.5-fold more total omega-3 fatty acids, and less than half the ratio of omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids (P<0.0001). Vitamin A concentration was 38% higher (P<0.05) in the pastured hens’ eggs than in the caged hens’ eggs…’

This is why pastured eggs are better for you!

H.D. Karsten, P.H. Patterson, R. Stout and G. Crews,
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems / Volume 25 / Special Issue 01 / March 2010, pp 45-54
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1742170509990214,
Published online: 12 January 2010

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Beetroot

Beetroot for flavor, nutrition, color.

Edible beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris Conditiva Group). This vegetable is one of several of the cultivated varieties of Beta vulgaris grown for their edible taproots and their edible leaves (called beet greens).[Wikipedia, “Beetroot”] Beetroot is listed as safe for people who suffer from Histamine Intolerance.
Beetroot’s color can range from white, through red-and-white striped, to golden-yellow or red. The most common color available in stores is a dark, almost purplish red.
In North America, beetroot is also called:

  • beet
  • table beet
  • garden beet
  • red beet
  • golden beet

Nutritional Information

Raw beetroot is 88% water, 10% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and less than 1% fat. In a 100-gram amount (3.5 ounces) providing 43 calories, raw beetroot is a rich source of folate (one of the B-Group vitamins) and a moderate source of manganese. Beetroots are helpful for weight loss because they provide fiber and water to fill you up, but few calories.
Some people can’t stand the flavor of beets, but others love their sweet earthiness. If you’d like to eat beets but you’re put off by the taste, grate them raw and mix them with other ingredients  in smoothies, cookie dough, burgers, hummus, salads or red velvet cake. The other ingredients can soften or disguise the flavor.
Beet greens are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C, so don’t throw them away – use them as you would use spinach or silverbeet (Swiss chard).

Food Coloring Uses

Betanin, obtained from beetroot’s vibrantly-colored roots, is used industrially as red food colorant. It improves the color and flavor of tomato paste, sauces, desserts, jams and jellies, ice cream, candy, and breakfast cereals, among other applications. [Wikipedia, “Beetroot”] Some of the names of beetroot hybrids pay homage to their gorgeous red coloring – such as “Bull’s Blood” and “Ruby Queen”. Famously, red velvet cake is made with beetroot. During the middle of the 19th century, wine was often colored with beetroot juice. In the 21st century it can be used as a coloring for pasta.

Medicinal Uses

Traditionally, Beta vulgaris has also been used as a medicinal plant. “De honesta voluptate et valetudine” (On honest indulgence and good health) was the first cookbook ever printed. It first appeared between 1470 and 1475.  The author recommended taking beetroot with garlic to nullify the effects of “garlic-breath”. For many centuries, from the Middle Ages onwards, beetroot was used as a treatment for a range of diseases, especially illnesses of the digestion and the blood.

Beetroot and Apple Juice

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for a refreshing drink: Put beetroot, apple, carrot, celery and a tiny knob of ginger through a juicer and drink it chilled.

 

 

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Oat Milk

Avoiding Dairy Milk

Many people avoid dairy products. They might do so for health reasons, for ethical reasons, or because it’s unavailable.
The ethical argument is strong. Calves born on dairy farms are taken from their mothers when they are one day old and fed milk replacements so that the mothers’ milk can be sold for use by humans. The mothers can be heard calling for their babies for up to several weeks. On average an equal number of male and female calves are born to dairy cows. Male calves are usually killed when they are about five days old. Cows stop producing milk unless they give birth every year.

If you wish to avoid dairy products but enjoy milk’s creaminess and versatility, you can drink nutritious alternatives such as rice milk or oat milk. These milks are suitable for people with Histamine Intolerance. They can even be made inexpensively in your own home. Here, for example, is a recipe for “quick oat milk”. It’s lactose-free, and celiac-friendly.

Quick Oat Milk Recipe

This quick and easy recipe yields a milk that is rather thinner than ‘Slow Oat Milk’. It can be thickened by either the addition of a little finely ground oat bran, or by cooking the rolled oats before you make the milk.

Note: you will also need a blender and a fine sieve or cheese cloth.

Put the oats in a large bowl and add enough water to just cover them. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Drain the oats and pour into blender. Add 3 cups of water and sweetener or additional flavorings if desired. If you wish, you may add more or less water, depending on the consistency you prefer.
Blend until the oats have completely disintegrated into a creamy liquid.
Strain the milk through a fine sieve or cheese cloth (this is optional). Homemade oat milk keeps for a few days under refrigeration, but while standing it may separate, so make sure you shake or stir it before using.

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Rice Bran Oil

rice bran oilRice Bran Oil- the “rediscovered” cooking oil with a high smoke point.

What is rice bran oil?

Imagine a grain of whole, freshly-harvested rice, sliced in half lengthwise and magnified many times. You would see a hard outer layer covering the whole rice seed, protecting it from the environment. This is called the husk, the hull, or chaff.

Inside this hard outer layer is a second layer called the bran, or inner husk. This is where rice bran oil is found. Bran represents only about 8% of the weight of the whole rice grain, but contains about 3/4 of the total oil. The bran is itself composed of four layers, and also includes the rice germ, or embryo. You’ve heard of wheat germ right? All grains have a “germ” sandwiched between the endosperm and the bran layer.

In the middle of the rice grain is the endosperm. This is the starchy part that we call “white rice” when the outer layers have been stripped off in a processing plant.

People in many Asian countries have been producing and cooking with rice bran oil for many years. The oil can be extracted from the bran either by pressing the steam-heated bran between heavy rollers or screw presses called “oil mills”, or by using solvents to chemically separate the oil from the bran. What’s left behind is a product called “defatted rice bran”. After the oil has been extracted, it must be purified.

What’s special about rice bran oil?

“Rice bran oil, not being a seed‐derived oil, has a composition qualitatively different from common vegetable oils.” [Kaimal et al., 2002]

  • High smoke point: Rice bran oil has a high smoke point of 232 °C (450 °F), which means it is appropriate for high-temperature cooking methods such as stir frying and deep frying.
  • Mild flavor: The oil has a mild to neutral taste, so it does not overpower the flavor of other foods.It is light, versatile and pleasant to use in  salad dressings, baking dips etc.
  • Balance: The oil has an ideal balance of polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) and monounsaturated fats (MUFA). In fact it contains 37% polyunsaturated fats and 45 % monounsaturated fats, almost a perfect 1:1 ratio.
  • Suitable for people with histamine intolerance: Rice bran oil is listed as a safe food for sufferers of HIT.
  • Health benefits: The oil is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients. It contains abundant vitamin E complex, tocopherols and antioxidants known as gamma aryzanol, as well as quantities of phytosterols, polyphenols and sqnalene. It is considered to be “heart friendly” and may help to lower cholesterol.
  • Keeping qualities: Rice bran oil has a very good shelf life compared with other cooking oils.

Keep some rice bran oil in your pantry for healthier eating!


Reference: Origin of problems encountered in rice bran oil processing. Thengumpillil Narayana Balagopala Kaimal et.al. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology. 9 April 2002. https://doi.org/10.1002/1438-9312(200204)104:4<203::AID-EJLT203>3.0.CO;2-X

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Cauliflower – the versatile vegetable

CauliflowerCauliflower – it’s better than you think

We decided to write about cauliflower in this post because:

  • it’s permitted on the Strictly Low Histamine Diet
  • it’s one of the vegetables that’s so easy to hate if it’s prepared wrongly
  • it’s good for you
  • lately, people have been coming up with inventive ways to make it actually delicious.
  • it’s very low in Calories, which is useful for people who want to lose weight

Wikipedia tells us that cauliflower (Brassica oleracea) originated in the Northeast Mediterranean. “Cauliflower is an annual plant that reproduces by seed. Typically, only the head is eaten – the edible white flesh sometimes called “curd” (similar appearance to cheese curd).”Purple cauliflower

There are four major groups of cauliflower:

  • Italian, which includes white, Romanesco, various brown, green, purple, and yellow cultivars. This type is the ancestral form from which the others were derived.
  • Northern European annuals, which include Erfurt and Snowball.
  • Northwest European biennial, which include Angers and Roscoff.
  • Asian, a tropical type used in China and India. It includes Early Benaras and Early Patna.

Fractal cauliflowerDid you know that there are hundreds of historic and current commercial varieties of cauliflower used around the world? Or that cauliflower comes in colors other than creamy white? The other colors of cauliflower include:

  • Orange, whose beautiful color is provided by beta-carotene, a provitamin A compound. Cultivars include ‘Cheddar’ and ‘Orange Bouquet’.
  • Green, which is also known as “broccoflower”. This comes in the normal cloud-shaped head (curd) or in a fractal spiral curd called “Romanesco Broccoli”. Varieties of the cloud-shaped green cauliflower include ‘Alverda’, ‘Green Goddess’ and ‘Vorda’. Romanesco varieties include ‘Minaret’ and ‘Veronica’.
  • Purple, whose stunning color is given to it by anthocyanins, plant pigments that are found in other plants, including red cabbage, red plums and red grapes. Varieties include ‘Graffiti’ and ‘Purple Cape’.

How to keep the Nutrients in Cauliflower

Cauliflower heads can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed, pickled, or eaten raw. According to Wikipedia, “Boiling reduces the levels of cauliflower compounds, with losses of 20–30% after five minutes, 40–50% after ten minutes, and 75% after thirty minutes.” However, other preparation methods, such as steaming, microwaving, and stir frying, have no significant effect on the compounds.”

Romanesco CauliflowerWonderful Ways with Cauliflower

Maybe your Mom always used to serve up cauliflower looking like a white, watery, blob on the plate, but these days there are a lot of great ways to use this versatile food, such as

  • cauliflower “rice”
  • cauliflower”steaks”
  • vegan “cauliflower cheese”
  • creamy, savory cauliflower whip
  • cauliflower salad
  • cauliflower soup
  • roasted cauliflower
  • cauliflower dip
  • mashed cauliflower
  • white sauce made out of cauliflower
  • and even cauliflower chocolate pudding!

There are loads of ideas on the internet – just type “cauliflower recipes” into your search engine. Make sure you check the other ingredients and if there’s anything histamine-unfriendly in there, either leave it out or substitute a similar, histamine-friendly ingredient.

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What’s the deal with cashews and histamine?

cashews and histamineCashews and Histamine

Cashews. They’re delicious, nutritious and versatile. But can they be eaten by people with histamine intolerance (HIT)?

Opinions are divided. One blogger, who says she is a “holistic health coach”, actively encourages people with HIT to eat cashews. On the other hand, Dr. Amy Myers, writing for Mindbodygreen, lists cashews under “Histamine-Rich Foods”, as does the website for Histamine Intolerance Awareness UK.

Histamine intolerance specialist Dr Janice Joneja says: “Unless the person is allergic to them, the following are generally safe on the histamine-restricted diet as long as they are free from any additional ingredients – Pure nuts and seeds, which includes sunflower seeds, cashew nuts and coconut and their derivatives such as coconut or cashew milk. The only seeds restricted are pumpkin seeds.”

Other histamine experts insist that coconut and all nuts and seeds should be avoided. Indeed, the world of histamine intolerance can be confusing!

Which is exactly why “Is Food Making You Sick” is all about the “STRICTLY Low Histamine Diet”. According to the old saying, “It is better to be safe than sorry”, this book lists as “safe” only the foods upon which all reputable authorities agree. Not everyone agrees that cashews can be included in a low histamine diet so we recommend that people with HIT should avoid them.

Of course, the low histamine diet is not a life-long diet. It is a diet to lower your histamine to safe levels. When you’ve been on the diet for long enough to feel better, you can gradually and slowly re-introduce small quantities of additive-free cashews (or other histamine-rich foods) into your diet, while carefully monitoring your health.

Wishing you health and happiness!

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Low-histamine foods are science-based

The List of Low-histamine Foods is Scientifically Researched.

Maybe you’re on a low-carb diet. Maybe you’re on a sugar-free diet, or an anti-inflammatory diet, or a fruitarian diet, or some other popular eating regime. That is your choice, but if you are histamine intolerant, your symptoms are not likely to subside unless you choose low-histamine foods and avoid foods (and external factors such as stress and pollution) that raise your body’s histamine levels.

Some popular diets are negotiable. Take the Paleo diet, for example – there is debate about whether Stone Age humans ate grains. Paleontologists have found traces of grains on ancient stone cooking tools dating back 105,000 years.

[Science. 2009 Dec 18;326(5960):1680-3. doi: 10.1126/science.1173966. Mozambican grass seed consumption during the Middle Stone Age. Mercader J1.]

Some people say that grains can be eaten on a Paleo Diet, while others insist that grains are forbidden. In other words, the foods included in this diet can be considered “negotiable”.

The foods in a gluten-free diet, on the other hand, are non-negotiable. Either there’s gluten in the food or there isn’t. Your body  certainly knows the difference! Scientists have tested foods to reveal their gluten content.

Don’t mix your diets!

The same applies to low-histamine foods. For his book “Is Food Making You Sick?” James L Gibb did not “invent” the low-histamine food list. The foods on the list have been selected because they have been scientifically proven to be low in histamine or low in factors that cause histamine release. These foods do not necessarily conform to the pattern of other diets. However this is due to sheer necessity!

As one Amazon commenter said in reply to a reviewer who complained about the book’s food list:

“Go ahead and follow your “anti-inflammatory” diet but it’s not the same as a low histamine diet. Choose which diet you need to follow, you can’t be on both. If you’re not histamine intolerant, then don’t follow a low histamine diet. The low histamine foods in the book were not selected on the basis of the latest food fads and crazes. They were selected on the scientific basis of how they affect people’s histamine levels. This is a fixed property of foods and cannot be changed according to people’s whims. Just because you don’t like to eat a certain food does not mean it is not low in histamine.”

Of course you can select your favorite foods from within the low-histamine food list, although we do encourage you to eat as wide a range of foods as possible from within the list, to maximize nutrition. If the range of foods seems very different from whatever diet you’ve previously been following, maybe that’s the reason why your symptoms are continuing. The Strictly Low Histamine Diet does not necessarily resemble any other diet. People who are NOT histamine-intolerant can go ahead and choose some popular diet craze to follow, but many of us do not have that luxury. As soon as our histamine levels rise, we suffer.

As mentioned before in this blog, following too many diets at the same time is not a good idea. It can overly-restrict your food choices. Find out if you’re histamine-intolerant (it’s easy to do, as the book describes). If you are, then there’s an excellent chance that going low-histamine will help you return to good health.

Bon appetit!

 

 

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Sugar and a Low Histamine Diet

sugar in a low histamine dietSugary or Sugar-free?

“SUGAR IS THE NEW FAT!”

This is the latest slogan popular in the wonderful and sometimes weird (not to mention confusing) world of food fads and fashions.

Fat used to be “bad” and then it  became “good”. Carbohydrates used to be “good” until they did a 180 degree turn and became viewed as “bad”. Evil, fattening coconuts were completely out of the question for dieters until they too turned to the Good Side, gaining a halo and angel wings. Hardly anybody used to even know what gluten was until it, too, joined the ranks of the Foods of Darkness. Wine keeps switching sides, so that it’s sometimes hard to know what to believe.

Not only can food fashions be confusing, they can also be dangerous. “Orthorexia” is defined as “an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy,” and “a medical condition in which the sufferer systematically avoids specific foods that they believe to be harmful.” {Google definitions]

The danger with following too many food-exclusion diets simultaneously, is that people can become orthorexic.

Recently a reader wrote to us saying that the recipes in “Is Food Making You Sick?” contained too much sugar for their liking.

The book is about Histamine Intolerance. It is not about a sugar free diet. It is not about a low-carb, gluten-free, low-FODMAP, lactose-free, vegan, vegetarian, fruitarian, specific carbohydrate, ketogenic, diabetic, detox, low-fat or any other kind of diet.

It is virtually impossible to cater for the entire range of popular diets, all in one book whose purpose is to focus on histamine intolerance. We have done our best, however! Many of our recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free vegetarian or vegan.

Besides, the fact is that sugar is not a food that is high in histamine, or that provokes a histamine reaction in the body, or that blocks the breakdown of histamine.

Having said that, it is important to note that Dr Alison Vickery states that histamine tolerance can be improved through the stabilization of blood sugar levels. She writes, “… unstable blood sugar can increase histamine levels, and histamine levels can progress the development of diabetes or insulin resistance.”

So, while sugar as a food in itself is not directly a problem for people with histamine intolerance, eating too much of it can cause a “spike” in your blood sugar levels. A spike is generally followed by a sharp drop in blood sugar levels as the body releases insulin to cope with your sugar intake. These zig-zagging spikes and sharp drops are what is meant by “unstable blood sugar”.

To stabilize your blood sugar levels:

  • Avoid eating large quantities of sugar and foods containing refined carbohydrates (such as sodas, candy, cakes etc.)
  • Choose foods that are low on the glycemic index.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners altogether.
  • If you want extra low-calorie sweetness, choose stevia.

Stevia sugar alternativeAlternatives to Table Sugar

People who prefer to eat less sugar can easily adapt the Strictly Low Histamine Diet to their needs. Here are some suggestions:

  • Choose, from the book, recipes that contain no sugar.
  • For recipes containing sugar, substitute rice malt syrup. Anti-sugar advocates say that the main problem with sugar is its fructose content. Rice malt syrup (also known as brown rice syrup) is fructose-free.
  • Alternatively, substitute stevia for sugar. Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the “sweet-leaf” plant, and it does not cause a spike in blood sugars when consumed.

We hope this post has been helpful!

 

 

 

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