Archive for the ‘Low Carb News’ Category

Some more studies…

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

It’s been a while since I’ve posted to this section.  Mostly because it just seemed like study after study confirmed the benefits of lower carb eating.

Here’s a couple more studies worth noting.

There has been a new link found between certain over the counter medications and dementia.  In a recent study, they’ve found that certain OTC meds inhibit the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.  Which is necessary for a variety of functions, including memory.  About a year ago, I posted a blog post about choline deficiency.  All I’ll say is that it does make me wonder.

Also, another recent study reported in TIME magazine suggested that there are health benefits to eating a low carb diet and more specifically it’s the AMOUNT of carbohydrates NOT necessarily the type of carbohydrates that are truly important.

A couple important excerpts from that article…”The glycemic index didn’t improve anything we measured for those eating a HIGH CARB diet.”.  People eating low glycemic index foods PLUS a high carb diet had HIGHER insulin levels and higher LDL cholesterol!!  The low carb group when eating low glycemic foods showed no significant effect on insulin or cholesterol.

Also from that same study it was shown that “the group eating LOW CARB had lower risk factors for heart disease” when compared to the higher carb group.

I should point out that I covered this a few years ago in my carrots are low carb article as well.  Nice to see science agrees.

And in one of the most popular low carb news stories from 2014, yet another study showed that low carb /higher fat eaters lost more weight than high carb/low fat eaters.  Surprise.  Surprise.

That’s all for now, folks.

New Study AGAIN Shows Low Carb Diets Work

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Yet another study showing the efficacy of low carb diets.  I know, as many people do, that low carb simply works.

By reducing carbs which minimizes the insulin response, people will stop storing those carbs as more fat.  This latest study showed that people who ate a low carb diet not only lost weight but their health markers (cholesterol, blood pressure, c reactive protein, liver function, etc.) IMPROVED!!!

Most carbs in our society are empty calories anyay.  Corporate food companies have to ADD vitamins and minerals (aka ‘enriched’) to even make much of the carbs people eat ‘nutritious’.  If they didn’t, they’d have ZERO nutritional value.

Combine that with adding sugar and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) to virtually everything processed, then you have a recipe for signicant health problems.

Now with regards to this latest study showing low carb works, the one thing I find really interesting is the IMPROVEMENT in HDL (the so-called ‘Good’ cholesterol).  With all the hype and fear mongering about eating animal products / saturated fat and how eating a steak will cause a heart attack???  It’s rather ironic.

How is it that the ‘Good’ cholesterol IMPROVES on a low carb diet??  Cholesterol levels improve eating a low carb diet????  Good cholesterol improves eating eggs, bacon, steak, chicken, cheese??  Apparently so.

Cancer and Sausage?

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

In yet another over-hyped study, researchers are trying to suggest a link between sausage and pancreatic cancer.  Now, this is somewhat interesting because they are saying that eating sausage everyday MIGHT increase your risk of pancreatic cancer by 0.3%.  That ain’t much.  Certainly not worth all the media hype.

But if you don’t read the article and just look at the headlines, then you don’t get to see that that’s a very small increase in risk, if the study is even accurate.

Interestingly enough, the author of the study suggested that it may be nitrites in the sausage and other processed meats.  And ironically, our low carb website has ALWAYS advocated the use of PRESERVATIVE-FREE meats and products.  That’s what I eat and will continue to eat.

Also, I am not sure how they can reduce that study down to the active ingredient being sausage.  Most people that i know eat sausage with pancakes (and lots of syrup) or french toast or biscuits or any number of other high carb foods.  I just don’t see how it’s possible that they can suggest that sausage is the problem. How do we know it’s not a combination issue, like sausage & sugar.  Or whatever.

I’m still going to eat bacon and sausage and I’m gonna enjoy the heck out of it too.  Life is a terminal disease and is far too short not to enjoy it.

Cancer loves carbs?

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

In a recent study, researchers at the BC Cancer Agency were studying the effect of diet on cancer.  They found that simply reducing carbohydrates helped slow down the growth rate of cancer in mice.

The suggested intake of carbs was set at 15% for the low carb group.  So based on a 2,000 calorie diet, that’d be about 300 calories of carbs or about 75 grams of carbs per day.   For a 1,500 calorie per day diet, that equals out to roughly 50 – 60 grams of carbs per day.

The researchers also suggested that the increase in protein (60% of the diet) could help the immune system function better when compared to a higher carb/lower protein diet.  Ironically, the mice eating the Western diet (55% carbs) gained weight and had a higher incidence of cancer.

Even at 15% carbs for the day, that’s still plenty of carbs.  I have eaten less than 20 grams of carbs per day for a couple of months and personally noticed numerous health benefits.

The study also suggested that reducing carbs also helped increase the effectiveness of anti-caner drugs and the ever popular anti-inflammatory drug Celebrex.  I have commented in other posts that I thought a low carb diet even seemed to increase the effect of coffee (a natural drug).

Recently, I can’t help but to wonder if eating a low carb diet helps eliminate food allergies and consequently reduces systemic chronic inflammation caused by those allergies and just might ultimately help boost or even normalize the body’s immune system.  Just a thought of my own.

 

Low fat and diabetes

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

In a recent study, over 8 weeks, it was suggested that reducing fat could help decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes more so than reducing carbs for 69 overweight people.

They apparently compared a low carb diet to a low fat diet.  I guess they were suggesting that by reducing fat intake, you can still enjoy being fat and not increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.

The problem is that the low carb numbers in this study were set at 43% of daily carb intake?  So on a 2,000 calorie diet, 43% of the carb intake would equate to about 215 grams of carbs by my math?  And that’s supposed to be low carb?

How about under 100 grams of carbs?  Or maybe under 60 grams of carbs? That’s what I call low carb.  200 grams of carbs per day is NOT low carb at all.

“At eight weeks, the group on the lower-fat diet had significantly higher insulin secretion and better glucose tolerance and tended to have higher insulin sensitivity,” the study’s lead author said.

Higher insulin secretion?  Now we know that one of insulins job is to move fat into fat cells.  Does it make any sense health-wise to eat a diet that actually increases insulin secretion?  Unless you were already diabetic and uncontrolled / medicated?  I suspect based on this study, a high carb, high fat diet would make for a really bad diet.  I would add that if you are eating a high carb diet, then you probably do want to cut the fat.

Of course, it would have been interesting to have kept the carb count the same and varied the protein intake.  Or kept the fat content the same and vary the protein intake.  Might have gotten similar results?  Who knows.

The real problem is jumping to conclusions on small amounts of data that could entirely erroneous and generalizing the results.

For example, there was a study showing that over a years time, people eating a high carb diet were happier than those on a low carb diet.  But the glaring thing about that was the total weight loss (not to mention 1 out 5 people were on anti-depressants).  They said the average weight loss was roughly the same in both groups over a year.  Now I know for a fact that if you’re obese and eat under 40 grams of carbs per day for a year, you’re going to lose more than 13 pounds.  So what’s that tell you?  These people weren’t following the diet for the entire year?  Probably the case.  Which would skew the results.

So give it another couple months and another study will come out showing something different.

And while I’m totally biased towards low carb, at some point, you have to find the diet right for your body, based on how you feel, how you look, how much energy, and mental clarity and focus it gives you.

Getting off the low fat wagon

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Slowly but surely, people are figuring out that eating fat doesn’t make us fat.  Fat helps us to feel full and satisfied.  In an interesting article on skim milk, the author points out some studies indicating that reducing fat intake isn’t all that effective.

There is still a knee-jerk reaction to fat.   In the last couple decades the slogan has been ‘low-fat’ everything.  And in general, people aren’t any less fat now than they were 20 years ago.  Sure skim milk has about half the calories of whole milk, but the studies are showing that people just compensate for those calories sometime during the day.

I’ve seriosly tried low-fat, low-calorie diets and really struggled with them.  You think low carb is hard?  It’s a breeze compared to the other options, because you get to eat fat (which your body needs) and makes you feel full and happy.

These days, I never buy low-fat anything, unless it’s cottage cheese where I plan on adding more flax oil (100% fat).  I want the full fat versions of everything.  Meat, cheese, dairy.  And I’ve only lost 76 pounds eating full fat vs low fat.

Choose to eat low fat?  No thanks, maybe next time.

 

Low fat dairy doesn’t help shed pounds

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

In a completely surprising study, switching to low fat dairy didn’t help kids lose weight.  Wow, what a shocker!  At least now we have some conclusive evidence that reducing fat doesn’t help kids lose weight.

All kidding aside, the only real surprise is that people/scientists still think reducing fat is helpful.  Obviously, I am a bit biased here.  And I’ve only lost 76 pounds by NOT reducing fat.  I reduced carbohydrates instead and guess what?  I lost weight.

The amusing thing to me is one of doctors was quoted as saying that these kids managed to reduce their saturated fat which will help them later in life with heart disease.  Now this is ironic to me.  Because I just read an earlier study that said there are NO STUDIES showing that eating saturated fat causes an increase in heart attacks or strokes.  There is NO evidence to conclude that.  Maybe they should be looking at inflammation levels, cortisol levels, etc.

So the old dogma is still going strong.  Saturated fat is bad, low fat is good (even though the studies aren’t showing that) and so on and so on.  Maybe one of these days, people will catch on.  I don’t know.

I can only gauge by what I know and have experience with.  I don’t buy low fat ANYTHING.  I don’t think fat is the problem.  I think excessive sugar consumption is a major issue.  I think artificial chemicals, growth hormones, antibiotics, mercury, pesticides, genetically modified food and product marketing are all major issues.

Reducing fat is just not a good idea.  Fat helps slow down digestion, which would help prevent serious blood sugar spikes and provides a highly concentrated source of energy.  Sometimes, I take saturated fat by the spoonful in the form of coconut oil.  Sometimes I even add flax oil (100% fat) to full fat cottage cheese.  And I’m still losing weight eating fat :)

No link between saturated fat and heart attacks or stroke?

Monday, March 7th, 2011

In a recent study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 21 previous studies were examined and researchers could not find a link between saturated fat intake and an increase in heart attacks or strokes.

The old dogma of ‘saturated fat is bad for you’ seems to becoming less and less on an issue.  And actually entirely false.  The researchers in this study could not any evidence to suggest that a diet in lower saturated fat resulted in fewer heart attacks or strokes.

Perhaps the real issue is not saturated fat at all.  The studies showing a Western diet is ‘bad’ for us is clearly evident, even for us non-scientists.  But perhaps the focus on saturated fat being the problem is just plain wrong.  What if it were really refined carbohydrates, sugar, corn syrup and the copious quantities in which they are added to all the processed foods Americans eat?

Personally I believe there is no one diet that fits all.  Every body is different.  I also believe that many of these studies that spread fear and doom & gloom based on ‘may cause’ or ‘potential link’ are not helpful at all.  I suspect the guilt induced by spreading concepts like ‘eating saturated fat is bad for you’ is far worse than eating the saturated fat.

For me, I feel better eating protein, fats (animal and vegetable) and lots of vegetables.  With little to no refined carbohydrates, no preservatives and little to no dairy.   Seems to be working for me and only took me decades to figure out what’s working for my body.  Better late than never I guess.

So what’s for breakfast?  This morning it’s a 3 egg omelet with sausage and spinach.

Low Carb, Television, Electricty and Biofeedback

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Eating low carb really isn’t that hard.  It’s kinda like breathing or even sex.  The more you think about it, the more screwed up it can get.  Keep it simple still applies.

I don’t have the foggiest idea how the science of low carb works down to the metabolic pathway.  In fact, I’m not sure anyone on the planet understands the exact science, because we are still learning it as a human species.  There are a lot of unknowns.  And it will probably be after my lifetime before there is even a semi-complete picture of the science and even then, I’d be surprised.  Because each person is unique.  What works for me, might not work for you.

To me, it’s kinda like electricity.  I don’t have a clue as to how electricity works or what it is.  I don’t even think there is a person on the planet who even knows what it is, but we still know how to use it.  We know how to generate it and we know how to manage and direct it.  That seems to be working for us at the moment.  Even  a four year old knows how to turn on a light switch.

So just imagine for a moment, suppose you had to know every detail about how your television works BEFORE you turned it on – for example, you had to know how liquid crystal works, how the colors are generated, how the electricity fuels the whole process, how the cable signal is encrypyed and how that even tranlates into a picture, etc. – and then have to go even deeper and have to understand the electron configuration of each individual molecule ALL BEFORE ever turning on your television, then a few things might happen.

Somewhere along the line, you might leave something out and have to start all over

OR you might get distracted with all the tiny details and forget why the hell you even wanted to turn on your television to begin with

OR you simply could make a mistake and be completely wrong.

And that’s ok.  Why?  Because it’s pretty freakin complicated.  That’s why.  And a TV is a finite machine.  Forget about a living breathing dynamic constantly changing human being. We’ve had science for hundreds of years and there are numerous conflicting studies on a daily basis all in the name of progress.

But the the other thing that would probably happen if you had to know everything about your TV before turning it on would be….

The vast majority of people would simply never turn on their television.

Thank GOD there isn’t a test and this isn’t school and you’re not being graded anymore.  Seriously.  Just press the ON button, baby, cause it’s all good.

I suspect if I were motivated enough, I could teach myself biochemistry and spend a lot of my time tracing metabolic pathways and learning about glycerols, but I don’t need to go to that level, let alone risk being accused of taking financial bribes to skew the science in my company’s motivated self interest (ala big pharma).

But even then I think the people that do function at that level are hypothesizing and speculating about very complex systems in a microscopic vacuum-like fashion and are probably missing the complexity of how those processes work in combination with other processes like breathing or vision or olfactory.  You know the basics.  So it really is like Alice in Wonderland.  How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?

For me, I just want to be able to turn on my television.  And I’ve managed to figure that out.  I even have 3 remotes with 50 buttons on each one.  And I press a button and it works.  So I guess I have to remember to pat myself on the back on that one.  Apparently, I just have really low standards for being successful as a human being.

But really, I just want to figure out what to make for dinner.  Because what I’ve been doing for the past 35 years hasn’t been working.  So for now, the bigger picture as of today, right now it’s still low carb for this body.  I tried low carb (I also tried things like low calorie) and low carb got results.  I lost weight, I felt better, and all those BS blood sugar swings are a thing of the past.  Good enough for me.

So let’s make this simpler than possible.  Here’s what I eat these days.  Try it for yourself and see if it works for you.

I eat protein, vegetables and fat with each meal.  Occasionally I eat a handful of blueberries.  On rare occasion I’ll eat almonds and chocolate (85% dark). I tend to avoid natural and artificial sweeteners and am trying as hard as possible to eliminate artificial preservatives.  I drink water and unsweet tea.  And that’s it.  And I’ve lost over 60 lbs since late August 2010.  I also walk 45 minutes about 3 – 5x per week.

And beyond that, I also do one other thing.  I try to pay attention to how my body feels and also try to pay attention to the feedback my body gives me.  But that’s a whole other story….

Ketone bodies and the brain?

Monday, December 13th, 2010

I found this interesting video online.  And it’s talking about ketone bodies and using medium chain triglycerides for brain fuel.

Ketones are produced when your body converts fat instead of sugar for fuel.  With a regular American diet, sugar and carbohydrates are the main ingredient.  And so your body just runs on sugar all the time primarily.  But when you deplete your body from sugar / carbohydrates for several days in a row through a low carb / ketogenic diet, your body begins to switch over and burn fat as it’s primary fuel source.  And ketone bodies are produced during ketosis.  Your brain then uses those ketones for fuel (as well as excrete them through urine).

So they were suggesting (and obviously more studies would be needed) that you can readily increase your ketone bodies by taking 20g or more of MCT (medium chain triglycerides).  This would be a couple of tablespoons worth.  And they went on to suggest taking coconut oil for the medium chain triglycerides as the source.

For me, I like how I feel mentally when I am in ketosis.  Things seem clearer, I get more work done, there is less fogginess.  And so I use a low carb diet not only for weight loss, but because I like the clarity.  I haven’t tried coconut oil lately (I don’t care too much for the taste), although there are medium chain triglycerides in the Udo’s oil blend I take.  But perhaps I’ll start with a teaspoon and see if I notice anything.

Now I wonder if supplementing with a little coconut oil during the first week of starting a low carb diet and transitioning into ketosis would help alleviate some of the difficulty some people have when first starting.  I have noticed that personally.  But after the first week to ten days, things start just getting better and better as my body gets used to being ketosis.