Japanese Diet Secret: Kurozu (Black Vinegar)

 

Black vinegar, also known as kurozu (黒酢) is a very popular weight loss product among the Japanese. Men and women alike are awed by the health benefits, especially the ones concerning their diet.

Black vinegar is believed to have originated in China and spread out to the rest of East Asia.. Kurozu is a light but traditional black vinegar produced from unpolished rice and has been widely used in Japan as a seasoning and as a health supplement. Currently in the states, a one liter bottle of this could cost you up to $35 dollars!

 

Kurozu Benefits

 

Kurozu and Weight Loss

Now the real interesting part about kurozu is that it can help people shed fat without any drastic changes to their diet (not that adding kurozu to a salad as opposed to ranch dressing would hurt though). According to a study performed by a Kyushu professor, kurozu reduced the size of fat cells, called adipocytes, in mice. The study used kurozu liquid concentrate (KLC). The findings were as such:

In the KCL group, the average adipocyte size in subcutaneous and perirenal adipose tissues was significantly reduced. The KCL-administered rats displayed greater numbers of small adipocytes in the subcutaneous, perirenal and mesenteric adipose tissues than did rats from the other groups. In the KCL group, the DNA content in subcutaneous adipose tissue was significantly increased. The rate of fatty acid excretion was significantly increased in the KCL group.

In plain English, fat cells shrunk in the presence of the constituents that make up kurozu. Fat cells are made up of fatty acids that, when secreted by fat cells, get used up as a form of energy, leaving you with smaller fat cells, less fat tissue, and a leaner look. The great part about kurozu is that it is rich in amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Ingesting enough amino acids also promotes the growth of lean tissue such as muscle, since muscle needs protein.

Another way to increase the rate of fatty acid excretion is through fasting for short periods of time, such as 16-36 hour periods.

Get your own bottle of Black Vinegar over at Amazon!

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_vinegar

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citric_acid_cycle

http://www.livestrong.com/article/269937-natural-health-benefits-of-black-vinegar/

http://www.lipidworld.com/content/9/1/134

Wondergressive: The Health Benefits of Fasting

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3128363/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15149153

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1081754/human-digestive-system/45315/Salivary-glands

Save the Food Pyramid by Cutting it by the Limbs

Yes, that’s right. What you thought was healthy wheat and whole grain does not turn out to be so healthy after all. Bread, pasta, mozzarella sticks, pretzels, bagels, etc… As a matter of fact, you are probably better off drinking a can of Pepsi. This can sound absurd at first, since most of the printed text books teach you otherwise; that wheat products should form the foundation of our diets.

The bread that Jesus from the Bible shared and the bread we consume today are totally different. The wheat crops grown in the last 50 years are a result of genetic manipulation and hybridization. This has brought upon the creation of a super starch called amylopectin A. This starch is present in normal bread, whole wheat bread, whole grain bread, high fiber bread, you name it. Two slices of whole wheat bread now raise your blood sugar level by more than two tablespoons of sugarThe health claims written on these products are as misleading as the Fox News news anchors.

What you need to know about blood sugar levels is that starches cause it to spike, some more than others. When blood sugar levels rise, the body releases insulin from the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that tells the body to start to store the dietary sugars into its fat stores, and does not allow for an easy way for you to burn that fat while insulin levels are up.

Here is an easy way to remember the aforementioned:

YOU EAT SUGARY OR STARCHY FOOD → BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS UP → INSULIN UP → FAT STORAGE

Of course, this does not mean that you should completely remove starch and carbohydrates from your diet. Carbohydrates are very important for bodily functions, especially for fueling your cells. But certain carbohydrates do more harm than good.

Now that we covered the super starch amylopectin A, you should also know that current wheat is also made up of super gluten. There is nothing super about it though, except that it makes you super sick and fat. Gluten is a protein that stops the bread from falling apart and gives it a sticky texture. The modern genetically modified wheat contains twice as many chromosomes and produces harmful gluten that triggers obesity, body inflammation, as well as Celiac disease, which now affects at least 21 million Americans.

On a happier note, I am sure there are many people like me who just cannot quit on bread, crackers that go well with cheese and wine, etc… You do not have to quit these. There is a vast number of alternatives to wheat products such as rice and buckwheat. You can make bread and crackers out of rice flour. There is also quinoa flour and oat flour.  Most of these alternatives are gluten free, and none of them contain the super starch that makes your blood sugar levels sky rocket.

So instead of cutting any limbs, let’s work towards defining a more accurate food pyramid.

 

 

 

Suggested Reading: Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

Sources:
Huffington Post 
The Atlantic 
Health Central