RSS

Category Archives: Diabetes

It Is About “Time”: Fat Facts and The Cover Up

download

What do steak, eggs, coconut, dark meat, chicken and turkey with the skin on have in common? They are all high in healthy saturated fat and are safe foods to eat.

Bryan Walsh’s report made the cover of Time magazine, “Eat Butter.” His article describes a 43 year “human experiment” using the consumer as guinea pigs to test lowering dietary fat and reducing heart disease risk starting back in 1977; when a senate committee urged Americans to “eat less high-fat red meat, eggs and dairy; eat more carbohydrates and increase fruit and vegetable consumption”.

What happened?

  • Heart disease is still the number one cause of death
  • Obesity now effects 33% of the US  population
  • Type 2 diabetes escalated by 166%

I do not have any statistical analysis but there are many more health conditions caused by excess carbohydrate intake that are on the rise, like metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome etc…

Why did this cover-up happen?

  • The establishment refused to publish controversial research.
  • Unethical researchers cherry picked the data used for analysis
  •  Puppeteers were good at disseminating the low-fat dogma put forth by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).

The research supporting the safety and efficacy of fat and saturated fat exists. In his article, Walsh interviews researchers who explain:

  • “Americans were told to cut back on fat to lose weight and prevent heart disease. There’s an overwhelmingly strong case to be made for the opposite.” –Dr. David Ludwig, Boston Children’s Hospital

 

  • “The argument against fat was completely flawed. We’ve traded one disease for another.” –Dr. Robert Lustig, University of California, San Francisco

 

  • “Willett (Walter Willett, Harvard) found that when high saturated fat foods were replaced with carbohydrates, there was no reduction in heart disease.”
  • “Simple carbs like bread and corn may not look like sugar on your plate, but in your body that’s what they’re converted to when digested.”
  • “Studies (by Eric Westman, Duke University) found that replacing carbohydrates with fat could help manage and even reverse diabetes.”

Mind you this TIME article is not late breaking news. I have blogged on the “BIG FAT” topic before:

  1. Seeking Saturated Fat, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/?s=saturated+fat
  2. Follow The Nutrition Guidelines Or Follow Your Heart, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/follow-the-nutrition-guidelines-or-follow-your-heart/
  1. When It Comes To Saturated Fat Use Your Noggin’, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/when-it-comes-to-saturated-fat-use-your-noggin/
  2. Carbohydrates Are Worse Than Saturated Fat, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/carbohydrates-are-worse-than-saturated-fat/
  3. Andrew Weil: Saturated Fat Is Not Associated With an Increased Risk of Heart Disease, Stroke or Vascular Disease,  http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/andrew-weilsaturated-fat-is-not-associated-with-an-increased-risk-of-heart-disease-stroke-or-vascular-disease/
  4. Eat saturated Fat For Good Health, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/eat-saturated-fat-for-good-health/
  5. Fat Functions To Promote Good Health, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/fat-functions-to-promote-good-health/
  6. Have We Created Our Own Heath Crisis? High Fat Must Have Foods For Good Health, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/have-we-created-our-own-health-crises-high-fat-must-have-foods-for-good-health/
  7. The Low Fat Nutrient Less Diet Cannot Nourish The Body,  http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/the-low-fat-nutrient-less-diet-cannot-fully-nourish-the-body/
  8. Eat Foods With Fat (5): Balance Foods With Fat, https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2187&action=edit

So now what?

It is hard to break bad habits and we have been brain washed for a while into believing low-fat foods are healthy. But now it is time, no more cover ups, to open our eyes to the truth about food, fat, carbohydrates, what we eat and how it affects health.

If you want to undo the damage caused by 40 years of eating low-fat refined and processed foods avoid carbs. Eat real meat, natural fats and veggies to let the healing process begin.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Diabetes Debate on Carbohydrates

  This week I am supposed to talk about more of the health benefits of saturated fat but that will happen next week. I am delaying it because I was side tracked by a debate that I watched on diabetes and carbohydrate intake. It is a debate between Hope Warsaw registered dietitian and Dr. Richard Bernstein. You can watch it yourself, http://youtu.be/3PZno7Nkuuw, make your own decision.

My two cents, the dietitian has it ALL wrong.

  • The first words out of her mouth, “The research shows that low carb diets don’t work”.

Research shows that people do not stay on diets period. I have seen research, where compliance is far better on a low carbohydrate diet. Maybe she has not seen the studies but this is why you must rely on yourself and be your own best advocate.  

  • “People simply can’t stay on low carb diets long-term.”

The doctor sitting next to you is just one living example of how an intelligent person with diabetes, or any medical condition involving blood sugar/insulin,  can be healthy and live without related diabetes complications when blood sugar and A1C levels are maintained within normal?

  • “Eating a low carbohydrate is not a healthy way of eating. “

See my comment above. I will also share that when I calculated the menus for my book, The Stubborn Fat Fix (http://www.amazon.com/The-Stubborn-Fat-Fix-Metabolic/dp/159486828X), as carbs are added back into the nutrition plan, the nutrient density fell.

  • “People with diabetes deserve to eat healthy and enjoy food?”

Yes, agreed. Deprivation is a mindset. Low carb foods are healthy and include some of the most tasty g-d-given foods on the Earth.  Who does not like lobster with butter or steak and sautéed spinach, guacamole???? People with diabetes also deserve to live; live without complications, live without hunger, live without the need for medication.

  • She is correct that most people eat too much added sugar.

Where she misses the boat is: Most people who are overweight, have diabetes etc…eat too many “healthy” carbs like whole wheat bread or brown rice or any starch, grain or fruit. One hundred percent of those “healthy” carbohydrates converts into sugar.

  •  “The vast majority of people with diabetes need medication.”

Yes absolutely if you follow what she says and the diet she recommends! Question Hope, how do you get good blood sugar control when you feed a diabetic the very things that spike blood sugar? Oh yes, the medication you are suggesting, there is a huge financial and quality of life burden that goes along with taking medication. While chasing high blood sugar with medication that lowers blood sugar, how do you fend off the hunger that accompanies the blood sugar low without getting into a tail spin?

This is a perfect example of how things go wrong. Why? I was in the same camp as most dietitians a long, long time ago. I was drinking the same “high carbohydrate Kool-Aid” that was so willingly poured from the conventional nutrition pitcher.

When you do not think for yourself and you think you have all the answers, you don’t! Until the day I started working for Dr. Atkins, I didn’t not question the establishment, I disseminated all the same fallacies.

When I saw the research supporting low carb diets, read the labels of what I used to suggest as healthy foods, and witnessed all the positive client results while eating low carb foods, there was no turning back. I was not going to bury my head in the sand because I wanted to believe that I was too good at what I did to ever be wrong or that there was simply no other way but my way to help people.

The only difference between Ms. Warsaw and myself is that I was able to keep my eyes and mind open. You cannot tell people carbs spike blood sugar and then recommend that half their calories should come from those very same foods. Well I guess you can and that is what the establishment does, but isn’t that counterintuitive?

Dr. Bernstein states it simply, “A diabetic needs normal blood sugar to escape the complications of diabetes!” The most direct and simple way to normalize blood sugar is a low carbohydrate diet.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on April 14, 2014 in blood sugar, Diabetes, health

 

Tags: , , , ,

New Year, New Diet and Weight Loss Information

English: Nutrigenomics: bring disease, cancer,...

English: Nutrigenomics: bring disease, cancer, diet and genetics together (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are so many reasons why people choose to follow a certain diet.  It is “in” to be thin. So, if you follow a diet that cuts calories or fat, maybe you choose to eliminate meat for ethical reasons or you reduce your cravings by minimizing carb intake, you might want to consider genetic markers that influence disease risk to truly feed your body the right fuel.

Your genes are not only involved with your physical appearance but also involved in daily interactions that effect your health and your weight. Scientists are now beginning to understand how genes play part in the direct effect on health and weight loss. The metabolism, storage and absorption of macronutrients (calories, fats carbohydrates and proteins)  are directed by your genes. This may explain why, you and a friend may follow the same diet but you do not lose the same amount of weight.  Various genes have different working  mechanisms. These interactions are affected by the environment and yes that includes the food you eat.

How can body weight be affected by genes? Just a few ways are featured at,  http://www.weight-loss-i.com/body-weight-genes.htm, and they list: appetite, fat storage, Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and lean body mass to fat ratio.

Genes and related Factors on Weight and Blood Sugar (Diabetes):

These are just a few examples of contributing factors effecting excess weight and diabetes beyond the calorie hypothesis.

.

Nutrigenomics (the study of the effects of foods on genetic behavior) is a new field that is likely going to prove how much we DO NOT know about nutrition and current dietary recommendations.

If the diet you are now following does not work, it may simply be because you and your body are not in sync, you have not found the diet that your body is looking for.  You may need to explore subtle variations in your current eating regimen. You may need to work with an experienced weight loss expert who can assist you in your weight loss and improved health journey. There is hope, keep trying.

It may not be your fault that you are trying to lose weight and are not successful.

What is important to realize is that individualized diets based on genetics, will be more available in the future.

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Diabetes, diet, genes, weight gain, weight loss

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

“Novel Risks for Diabetes Identified” or “Novel” Results of Long Term High Blood Sugar?

English: Diagram shows insulin release from th...

English: Diagram shows insulin release from the Pancreas and how this lowers blood sugar leves. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Novel Risk Factors for Diabetes identified”,  http://www.healio.com/endocrinology/news/online/%7B09ED5A7E-D2E6-43CC-BC92-389717BE06E6%7D/Novel-risk-factors-for-diabetes-identified.

Are you kidding? How about focusing on insulin levels? Insulin is a fat storing hormone that works overtime trying to compensate for the USDA recommendation of 6-11 servings of bread,cereal,rice, pasta. Fruits, starchy vegetables, dairy are also loaded with carbs that beckon the pancreas to work harder to produce more insulin.

High insulin levels, translated means your body is screaming “Help!” “Stop feeding me carbs!”

But these “identified novel risk factors” would have you continue to ignore your body’s screams and focus elsewhere.

Eventually, the cycle of elevated glucose further damages beta cells, thereby drastically reducing insulin production and causing full-blown diabetes. This is made evident by fasting hyperglycemia, in which elevated glucose levels are present most of the time.”

Hello,  “eventually”, if diabetes (high blood sugar) is the last stage, why is blood sugar the primary focus? Should we not target the earliest risk factor (insulin) for high blood sugar?

By the time blood sugar is elevated the pancreas is already overworked and in such bad condition it just can’t keep up with the burden of the continuous excess sugar splurges. Over time, the pancreas becomes unable to produce enough insulin to keep up. Body damage (eyes, mouth, liver, arteries…) is done.

In other words, you want to prevent high blood sugar, lower the carb load so the pancreas is not working in overtime. This is a successful way to make sure your pancreas lasts as long as you do.

If insulin was used as a screening criteria, risks for many of these conditions would be lowered:

acanthosis nigricans

Alzheimer’s disease

cancer

cardiovascular disease

diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance and gestational diabetes

dyslipidemia (abnormal cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, VLDL)

hypertension

hypoglycemia

liver disease

polycystic ovary syndrome

skin tags

sleep apnea

The findings mentioned in this article echo, “New drugs in the making”, because they do not prevent the expression of diabetes. What was found was “Novel” results of long-term high blood sugar.

What do you think? Were “novel risks for diabetes identified” or Were they “novel” results of long-term high blood sugar?

It is plain and simple and it works: Lowering carbs lowers insulin and this will lower your risk of diabetes and the health conditions referenced above.

Related articles

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Andrew Weil:”Saturated Fat IS NOT associated with an Increased Risk of Heart Disease, Stroke or Vascular Disease.”

For many years I’ve been trying to educate people on the importance of fat in our diets. I try to explain that, one, fat is not the devil and , two, not all low fat-high carbohydrate (sugar) foods are good for you.

I admit, I’m not pushing the right buttons to be seen by the big guys but now Andrew Weil, one of the big guys, has spoken and I am sooooo happy to see that saturated fat is not being vilified as usual.

Here’s what Dr. Weil has to say, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/healthy-eating_b_629422.html.

Two points that stick out and should be considered:

He is not promoting meat consumption and that’s fine be me. Hey, I’m all with eating meat that are grass-fed and natural vs. those pumped with antibiotics. Read my book, The Stubborn Fat Fix and you’ll understand how the food supply affects our health, http://www.amazon.com/Stubborn-Fat-Fix-Metabolic-ebook/dp/B002E6IJWY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1292253814&sr=8-2 . However the reason most people avoid meat is to cut saturated fat from their diet. If there is no link between eating red meat and heart disease then we can start eating meat to help supply our bodies with important vitamins and minerals like iron and B12 that we are not nourishing our bodies with when we omit red meat from our diet.

The other point worth paying attention to is that he underscores the fact that carboydrates can upset hormonal balance, fructose and glucose can overload the liver and raise insulin levels and “refined carbohydrates, starches and sugars are the dietary cause of coronary heart disease and diabetes.”

Now that you know that saturated fat is not a one way ticket to death and that sweets/added sugars and sweeteners are at the top of the evil food list, what foods will you choose to consume?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Vitamin Water: Another “UN”Healthy Food in Disguise

In my efforts to avoid high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), I started drinking Vitamin Water. I divide the bottle into thirds and add water so the amount of sugar is not high and the HFCS is replaced with crystalline fructose (CF). The name Vitamin Water implies that this beverage is healthy but really there are less than 5% of minerals. So, in essence vitamin water is really sugar water worse yet, fructose water.

It seems I have been seeing CF in more products lately and did a little research on this new ingredient that is seemingly popping up in “healthier” foods. Here’s what I found:

Crystalline fructose is worse than HFCS! Why? Because it is composed entirely of processed fructose vs. 55% processed fructose in HFCS. Do not get my message confused. I am not suggesting you stick with HFCS. I am saying stay away from both!

Processed fructose has been linked to numerous unhealthy risk factors (high triglycerides, high blood sugar and insulin levels) and poor health conditions including: fatty liver, diabetes, heart disease and cancer;

I guess on a more positive note, CF is 20% sweeter than sugar so if you are looking to cut calories you may be inclined to use it so that you can cut calories.

But I will keep reminding you, it is not about calories. It’s about the type of metabolic activity that the calories produce. If the calories follow healthy metabolic pathways, you will avoid ill health. If your calories are metabolized and trigger unhealthy responses and increase hunger signals, you will pay with your weight and health. Vitamin Water and crystalline fructose are two perfect examples of this.

My message is to always read the labels for ingredients while you focus on eating healthy products while lessening your attentiveness on just the calories and fat. It is more important to know which ingredients your calories come from than to obsess with a 100 calorie marketing seal of approval.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My Rebirth as a Nutritionist

I took the week off after giving birth to my son. So I thought it was time to talk about my rebirth or reincarnation from my previous life as a low fat fanatic to a balanced health guru.

It has been an evolving process but it started with my work as a nutritionist for Dr. Atkins. I kept it quiet because Dr. Atkins was, and maybe still is, every dietitian’s worst nightmare. At least this is what I always believed until I was able to allow myself to think beyond what I was taught in the classroom and beyond conventional wisdom.

If I had not seen it myself I would likely still believe that low fat diets are optimal nutrition plans and fighting against low carb today. Working as a clinical nutritionist in Dr. Atkins medical practice was the beginning of my rebirth. It helped prepare me to use the low carb diet approach and the use of natural supplements in addition to what I had already learned from other dietitians.

It is quite possible to benefit from a low carb diet. I have helped thousands of people lose weight and improve quality of life with this approach especially those with diabetes, heart disease and a number of other health conditions. Almost none of my colleagues will even attempt to discuss this with me. Experts claim there is little or insufficient evidence but I did my own research and it was just sitting there waiting to be read and used in practice. Besides, before there were grocery stores, ovens etc…what did humans eat?  Pretzels? Bread? Cereal? Probably not. 

At first I was skeptical, people eating fat and meat without counting calories was preposterous. But I learned fast, for many it was the only way to sustain their weight and improve their health. For those who committed, clinical health parameters improved and clients were passionate about how they felt: increases in energy levels, controlled cravings, less of an appetite just because they cut carbs to a minimum.  Who could deny what seemed to be a miracle? Not me! At that point I was a believer and was not going to keep quiet anymore.

I certainly understand the concerns about many of the philosophies that make low carb diets controversial but the fears quickly diminish once you trust your abilities as a clinician to monitor health parameters and make changes as needed.

There is no controversy with recommending real foods that are low carb such as green leafy and salad vegetables, balancing fats and cutting out concentrated sweets and excess amounts of commercially prepared foods to include healthier fats (olive oil, nuts/seeds, and avocado).

There is nothing wrong with making simple shifts in the types of food you consume. Many of the people who speak out against low carb diets have very little if any experience with using them. Maybe afraid of the unknown, maybe misinformed or just righteous in their own mind, very likely political and monetary factors are underlying factors but clients who would benefit most suffer because conventional wisdom is stubborn and it may just be too difficult to realize that for all these years there may be more than meets the eye when it comes to nutrition.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,184 other followers