Friday, June 12, 2009

A bit of science

I ate my lunch at Journal Club today - that's our department's weekly meeting where a couple of staff present something interesting from the recent literature.

From the first speaker we learned a little about the mechanisms by which alcohol is thought to have its effect, and the sense of humour of researchers who called the genes they discovered "cheapdate" (mutations in which make fruit flies unusually susceptible to alcohol) and "happyhour" (mutations in which give fruitflies partial immunity to the effects of alcohol).

The second speaker talked about the phuysiological effects of fructose. He has a particular interest in diabetes and gout, and it appears that high levels of fructose in the diet may make us more susceptible to these diseases.
This is not just the fructose in "high fructose corn syrup" (a mixture of glucose and fructose), but also the fructose in fruit, and that produced by the digestion of sucrose (aka table sugar, a molecule that is half glucose and half fructose). Fructose is fructose is fructose, it doesn't matter where it comes from.
People who eat a lot of fructose tend to put on weight around their interior parts (visceral fat), and this is linked to type II diabetes. I have a genetic predisposition to do the same thing, so I think I'm going to try and cut down on sugar and fruit - and maybe try using glucose for sweetening.

Not a lot of sugar in my bento anyway. I do have a couple of chunks of pear, and I brought mayo (in the bunny) as well as tonkatsu sauce (elephant) to put on my tonkatso today. Apart from that I have pretty much the same as I had yesterday.

parsnip = 83 Cal
kabocha = 60 Cal
laksa custard = 100 Cal
40 g tonkatsu = 87 Cal
pear = 10 Cal
carrot = 15 Cal
zucchini etc = 50 Cal
mayo = 35

Total = 440 Cal

Red shoes!
These are a recent $14 purchase from TradeMe.

Aren't they neat? You can't tell in the photo, but they're sort of metallic looking. My daughter-in-law offered the use of her small dog and two munchkins if I could find my own tornado.

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