Zinc: supplement?

Fitness and health involve constant self-tutoring. The tutor mentions zinc.

Apparently, zinc is lost in sweat: during athletic performance, therefore, a person might likely lose some.

I take zinc supplement – not every day, but most days. I just take 25mg.




Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Cholesterol: hdl vs ldl

More lifestyle tutoring: the tutor continues to research cholesterol.

Perhaps many of us have heard that HDL is the “good” cholesterol, while LDL is the “bad”. What’s the difference?

HDL: collects cholesterol from the blood and conveys it to the liver, where it will be cleansed from the body.

LDL: conveys cholesterol to an artery, where it may be deposited to form plaque. As a result, the artery wall thickens, while its room for blood passage decreases.






Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle, nutrition, health: Fibre battle: apple vs orange

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor researches which fruit – apple or orange – has more fibre.

Just before bed I tend to eat fruits and/or vegetables if I haven’t had enough during the day. One reason to eat fruits/vegetables is for fibre.

I’ve been wondering which fruit has more fibre – apple, or orange?

Apparently, they are dead equal, both averaging 2.4g fibre per 100g.

Oranges can be much easier to eat, though, especially when you’re not hungry but need to consume your daily allotment of produce.




Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle, health: MSG (monosodium glutamate): is it best avoided?

Engaging in more lifestyle self-tutoring, the tutor shares his findings about a topic he’s long considered: consumption of MSG.

MSG, I was told as a kid by a cook, can intensify the taste of food. Another kid, sitting at the table as well, said he’d been advised to avoid it.

For decades I’ve followed my old friend’s counsel (although I haven’t seen him for decades): I’ve tried to avoid consuming MSG. Often, one food will have it but a similar food won’t, so I pick the one without.

Today I checked the mayo clinic as well as healthline. To me, they both render the same opinion: MSG has been suspected to cause problems, but there’s no hard evidence it does. Some people may be sensitive to it.

Joe Leech at healthline points out that MSG is often used in processed foods, the likes of which are best consumed sparingly. Someone who eats a good diet, therefore, doesn’t likely consume much MSG, so probably needn’t worry unless they find, in their own case, that they’re sensitive.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Health: does zinc help with eczema?

Maintaining health can mean self-tutoring. The tutor shares his own experience with zinc.

About twenty years ago I read a great book about health. I think it was by a doctor from Seattle, but can’t recall the title or his name.

In that book the doctor stated that, from his point of view, Americans often have low zinc. He said much else as well, of course, but low zinc was a recurring theme. He often advised his patients to take a zinc supplement.

As a 47-year veteran of this body, I know I tend to develop eczema in the fall. However, taking zinc seems almost to nullify it. A few weeks back my eczema began in earnest. I bought some zinc and started taking it; within a week the eczema was just a hint.

I wash my hands many times per day, so eczema can hit me hard. However, it’s settled down to just a hint of roughness on the wrists, with no redness or itching. I credit the zinc.

Looking at the Mayo Clinic’s website today, they seem to report unclear scientific evidence that zinc can help eczema. Maybe it doesn’t work for everyone, but it seems to for me.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Biology: what is the most contagious disease among humans?

Tutoring biology, diseases are mentioned. The tutor names perhaps the most contagious one.

Measles is potentially the most contagious disease among humans. In particular, all children in a natural, unvaccinated population will catch it.1

When I was a kid, I heard about measles, but didn’t catch it. I believe I was immunized against it at some point. I never hear about it now, likely because children are typically vaccinated.

Measles can be fatal, by complication to pneumonia or swelling of the brain.


1Mader, Sylvia S. Inquiry into Life, 11th ed. Toronto: McGraw Hill, 2006.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: carbohydrates, part 2: simple, complex, and the glycemic index

More nutritional self-tutoring: the tutor continues about comparisons between carbohydrates.

In my last two articles, here and here, I discuss simple vs complex carbohydrates, then the glycemic index, respectively.

The original talking-point of this series of articles is that we typically seem to hear that complex carbohydrates should be chosen over simple ones. The obvious question:

  • Are complex carbohydrates always more beneficial than simple ones, and why?

The simple answer is no, not necessarily.

First, recall from my article here that simple carbohydrates can be thought of as sugars, whereas complex carbohydrates can be thought of as starch.

From a dietary point of view, the general rule about carbohydrates is that the lower the glycemic index (GI) (see yesterday’s article), the better. Some starches have a high glycemic index – white bread can have GI very close to that of glucose itself. Yet, since white bread is mainly starch, rather than sugar, it’s still complex carbohydrate.

Vegetables with high soluble fibre content tend to have a low GI (kidney beans, for instance).

Fructose, a sugar, has a surprisingly low GI of 19.

Therefore, a complex carbohydrate can have a high GI, while a simple one can have a low GI. From a dietary point of view, the general rule for carbohydrates seems to be that low GI is better than high, rather than that complex is better than simple.

Which foods are low vs high can be confusing at first, but there are a couple of sources below that have very useful tables to help.






Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: carbohydrates, part 1: what is the glycemic index?

Tutoring school subjects, the glycemic index might rarely be mentioned. In other contexts it’s important. The tutor briefly explains the glycemic index.

In yesterday’s post I began about carbohydrates from a dietary point of view, discussing the difference between simple and complex ones.

To go further with the discussion, a definition is needed: the glycemic index.

When carbohydrates are digested, they are separated into individual molecules called simple sugars. Glucose is a simple sugar, for example. The simple sugars are then absorbed into the blood, which elevates blood sugar.

A food’s glycemic index measures the rise in blood sugar caused by eating that food, relative to eating glucose itself. On the scale, glucose is given a glycemic index (GI) of 100.

≤55 low
56 to 69 medium
≥70 high

Next post I’ll discuss the connection between carbohydrates and the glycemic index.




Lifestyle: Bacon as a food: Is it too fatty?

Lifestyle is all about self-tutoring. The tutor looks into a long-time curiosity: the viability of bacon as a food.

Most of us probably love bacon. Is it too fatty to be taken seriously as food? To quote HAMlet: To eat, or not to eat, bacon: that is the question.

I decided to compare bacon with peanut butter and cheese. My specific interest is the fat content versus protein content. My findings:


I’m surprised how well cooked bacon compares to the other two.




Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Health and fitness: weight loss: bmi (body mass index)

Tutoring math, numbers are always interesting. The tutor shares some findings about “healthy” weight loss.

About two months ago I concluded that, for the purpose of a sport I’m in, I should lose 15 to 20 pounds. From 177 pounds, that would put me between 157 and 162.

The idea of losing 20lbs I found daunting; I felt good at 177lbs. I knew I’d have to go hungry; at the current exercise level I wasn’t losing weight. I found myself asking, “Is it safe to go from 177 to 157lbs?”

I searched the net and quickly found the nih. It indicates that a healthy bmi is between 18.5 and 24.9, and offers to calculate yours. All it asks is the user’s height and weight.

I entered my digits and found my bmi, at 177lbs, to be a surprising 24. Then I entered my same height with weight 150lbs. The utility stated that my bmi would be 20.3, still well above 18.5.

With that confirmation that it would be safe to do so, I went ahead with my weight loss plan; I’m at 165 right now.

I’ll be talking more about bmi and weight loss:)



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.