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

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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.

 

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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

 

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Pill Poppers Beware of Getting Robbed (Part 2)

pills

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The continuation of my list of medications from last week that may rob you of your health is lengthy. You may be surprised at this list and may not realize that you are a pill popper because for some of these on the list you do not need a prescription and it is just over the counter medicine.

Get in the habit of knowing about what you ingest (food, beverage, pill ) or inhale, read the packaging and educate yourself on what you put into the body. This is important with concerns of nutrient depletion but also with other health issues. For example, taking a laxative may be very helpful in a time of need but it is also addicting. If you take laxatives for a long enough time period, your bowels will not work without them. This is true of nasal spray as well. So for the sake of your health,  I continue with number five on the pill popper list.

5. Birth Control Pills (prevent pregnancy)

This is a big one, so I ask you ladies before you start taking the pill, is he worth it? There are much safer ways to prevent pregnancy. One of which is to just say, “no”. If you are going to engage in sex, find a way to prevent pregnancy without messing up long-term mental and physical health. Taking the pill to regulate hormones? There are much safer ways to regulate them, speak to your doctor.

Depletes: Vitamins;  B1, B2, B3, B-6, B9 (folic acid) and B12, C, the amino acid tyrosine, CoQ10 and minerals; selenium, magnesium and zinc (copper typically increases)

Problem: lowers immune system, sense of taste and sex drive and raises the risk of heart disease, depression, cancers of the colon and breast and CoQ10 depletion (see #1 statins, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/pill-poppers-beware-of-getting-robbed/)

Replenish: High potency multivitamin and multimineral, COQ10 200mg, Tyrosine on an empty stomach, speak with your doctor about dose

6. Diabetes Medications (lower blood sugar)

Depletes: vitamin B 12, folic acid (B9) and CoQ10

Problems:  Uncontrolled muscle movements and weakness, low blood pressure, mood swings, eye issues

Replenish:  vitamin B12 800 mcg, folic acid 400 mcg and CoQ10 100mg

7. Antibiotics (antibacterial)

Depletes: biotin, inositol, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and beneficial gut bacteria

Problems: yeast overgrowth or (candida), diarrhea and any other symptom mentioned before regarding depletion of these nutrients.

Replenish:  biotin 50 mg, inositol 500mg, vitamins B1 25mg, B2 25mg, B3 50mg, B5 50mg, B6 50 mg, vitamin K 100mcg, calcium 1000mg, magnesium 500mg, potassium 100mg, iron and a probiotic of at least a billion active cultures to improve gut bacteria

8. Steroids (treat many conditions with inflammation and other ills from rashes to asthma)

Depletes: B vitamins, Vitamin C and D, folic acid, potassium, calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc

Problems: decreased immunity, muscle weakness, weight gain, diabetes

Replenish:  the vitamins and minerals using the information that have already been mentioned. Monitor blood sugar.

The list goes on to include medications for: ulcers, epilepsy, gout and acid reflux. It also includes over the counter and much more critical health treatments as chemotherapy, aspirin, laxatives, anti-fungals, antipsychotics, hormone replacement therapy and antibiotics.

Potentially “good” medications can be “bad” for your health. General symptoms of not feeling well may not be identified by your doctor and you may not be getting the answers or help that will make you feel better. Medications that rob the body of micronutrients may be culprit for your ills.

Take a minute to research your O-T-C or prescription before you pop a pill. Here are a few suggestions that may help so you have the knowledge to make educated decisions with your doctor about taking medicine and your health.

1. Read the package insert

2. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/ce/ceCourse.aspx?s=ND&cs=&pm=5&pc=11-108

3. http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/search.cfm?startswith=lipitor&x=0&y=0

 
 

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Insulin’s Immense Role in Metabolic Overdrive (MO)

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)

Maybe it’s just because of its role as a counter-regulatory hormone (it balances out other hormones: cortisol, growth hormone, glucagon etc…) that raises blood sugar ? Maybe it is due to insulin‘s role in fat storage? Or maybe it’s the relation to high blood pressure and heart disease or digestion? But, most likely it is for all of the above reasons that insulin is a main catalyst for MO.

Insulin is a fat storing hormone released by the beta cells in the pancreas. Aside from its major role in blood sugar regulation via the liver, muscle and fat cells, insulin is involved in emotional, cognitive, and the reward system (“a collection of structures in the brain that attempts to regulate and control behavior by inducing pleasurable effects,” www.wikipedia.org) and  brain function, nerve function, electrolyte (sodium and potassium) balance and hydration, protein synthesis and muscle-building, the aging process with insulin like growth factor and enzyme activity.

When insulin functions the way it’s supposed to you feel good because everything it’s tied into is running smoothly. When things go amiss it’s a domino effect and anything it is tied into may not do its’ job the way it is supposed to and MO is full throttle, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/what-is-metabolic-overdrive/.

A healthy lifestyle is the absolute best remedy for this. Exercise, makes insulin work more efficiently. Eating carbohydrates, starch and sugar immediately signals the pancreas to release insulin. Avoiding these foods help give the pancreas a rest. Practicing relaxation techniques helps control stress hormones. No need for the pancreas to work in overdrive when you control blood sugar with these healthy behaviors.

If you answer yes to two or more of these questions, insulin is likely the cause of your MO:

Do commercially prepared carbohydrate foods (such as bread, cereal, pasta, potatoes, rice, beans, desserts, soft drinks, and fruit) make up more than 40 percent of each meal or snack that you eat?

Between meals, do you feel hungry or crave sweets, starches (such as bread), or caffeine (such as coffee)?

Do you feel as if you might be addicted to certain types of sweet foods—as if once you start eating these foods, you can’t stop?

When you eat them, do you feel high, followed quickly by an emotional low?

Have you at any time experienced any of the following?

  • Feeling thirstier than usual, despite normal water consumption
  • Weight gain despite following a weight loss plan or trying to reduce calories or portions
  • Sensation of your heart beating quickly (palpitations), even though you have not exerted yourself
  • Feeling tired in the morning or during the day, despite adequate sleep
  • Feeling sleepy or drowsy after meals
  • Feeling shaky when you are hungry
  • Trembling (shaking) of the hands
  • Blurred vision
  • Bleeding gums, despite good dental care
  • A tingling sensation in your legs or feet
  • Low sex drive/libido (lower than in the past or than what you’d like)
  • Impotence or erectile dysfunction
  • Fatigue that is relieved by eating
  • Dizziness, giddiness, or light-headed
  • Have you noticed a change in your ability to focus or concentrate?
  • Have you recently developed headaches, suffering one more than once a week?
  • Do you feel you have a diminished ability to work under pressure?
  • Do you get up to urinate at night?
  • Do you frequently wake before 5 a.m., even though you have not set an alarm?
  • Do you wake feeling hungry, dry mouthed, or dehydrated?
  • Do you gain weight in your stomach rather than in your hips or thighs?

So if you think your insulin may be behind any of these symptoms, consider making an appointment with your primary care physician. Mention that you think you may have an insulin or blood sugar disorder, and be sure to say whether or not this problem runs in your family. Explain that you are interested in a glucose tolerance test with fasting, 1, 2 and 3 hour insulin levels. If you have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar, an early warning sign that diabetes is developing), your 90-minute glucose reading will be lower than your fasting glucose reading. You also might experience a drop in glucose of greater than 30 mm in an hour, or your reading may be below 70. Your sugar is overly high if your fasting glucose is greater than 100, your 2-hour glucose is greater than 140, or if at any point during the test your glucose rises above 200.

If you test normal on your blood work but you answered yes to any of the questions in the quiz, you may be developing an insulin issue that is not yet extreme enough to be detected. If you make no changes to your lifestyle, it may eventually show up!

If you are in MO with an insulin disadvantage, you must strictly adhere to Level 1 eating and you will probably have to stay at this level for a longer period of time than someone who does not have an insulin disadvantage. Follow Level 1 for at least a month, deviating only as needed to ensure that you don’t lose momentum and stop following the plan altogether. You’ll find specific advice for how to modify the plan for success in Chapters 6 and 12 of “The Stubborn Fat Fix“. You also need additional supplements, outlined in Chapter 9.

 

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Low Carb, Low Calorie Diet No No’s Are Now Yes, Yes

shirataki

shirataki (Photo credit: crd!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_tongue

If you have not heard already I thought I’d share! Over the course of the low carb diet craze and as people have started eating this way for life, there have been many low carb products that have infiltrated the market.  I try to keep my clients away from naturally high carb foods that are reinvented by commercial companies as a low carb food product. Actually I feel the same way about messing with any natural food, including high fat foods morphed into low fat foods or even selling just the white of an egg because of an unproven belief that egg yolks are evil.

I am inspired to write about a Japanese noodle called Shirataki meaning “white waterfall”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirataki_noodles, that has hit the market,

It is not an altered product which is why this may be an answer for those who are used to seeing starch on their plate or for long term low carbers who might want to dabble in a little pasta or rice. Shirataki noodles are versatile as they fit into any diet plan. This is so key for families where everyone eats differently.

Too good to be true, you may ask? Maybe not, as the noodle is derived from soluble fiber, and not much else. Health benefits of soluble fiber and glucomannan may include:

  1. delayed stomach emptying increasing satiety (feelings of fullness),
  2. promotion of good bowel function and help alleviate constipation, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8566676,
  3. supports good bowel health because it is a prebiotic (food used by healthy gut flora)
  4. blood sugar control via a similar mechanism as the diabetes drug acarbose/precose,
  5. decreased cholesterol and possibly LDL  cholesterol
  6. increased insulin sensitivity, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10857960?dopt=Abstract,
  7. fits right into any diet: gluten-free/gliaden free, low-calorie, low carb, vegan

Be aware that just like anything, too much of a good thing may not be so good. Individuals have reported side effects when taking glucomannan supplements, these adverse effects were: intestinal obstruction, flatulence, diarrhea, and effects on the metabolism of  medication like making diabetes medications more potent causing hypoglycemia, http://www.drugs.com/npp/glucomannan.html. These types of reactions to glucomannan is likely more from large supplement doses but you should still be aware and eat as part of a balanced diet instead of going overboard and making it the main food you consume. So although it may seem like a miracle food you want to gobble up, small amounts should do the trick.

So you are now up to par on the health benefits, what about taste?

Well, it does not taste like pasta because it is not processed semolina (wheat) pasta. It actually does not have a taste because it is just a fiber gel. It takes on the flavor of condiments, sauces or soups and does not have the same texture. If you go into this thinking it is an equal replacement, you will not like it. Think about it as a different healthier food that is a hands down winner when it comes to calories, carbs and health.

Compare the nutritional facts for yourself

Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Pasta will set you back 180 calories and 41 grams of carbs (100% of carbs converts to sugar in your body) for a 2 oz. (or 1/4 of a cup) portion. If you choose to eat 1/2 a cup double that and if you eat a whole large bowl, forget about it, http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/ronzoni-healthy-harvest-whole-wheat-blend-pasta-thin-spaghetti-16-oz-51307860.

At forty grams of carbohydrates, this is not possible on a very low carb diet. Even if you did squeeze pasta in, it goes against everything low carb because the carbs you do eat are high nutrient dense vegetables, nuts, seeds or low glycemic fruit.

Miracle noodles angel hair pasta, 3 oz. is 0 calories and 0 carbohydrates.

Pick your poison or not. But this is definitely worth a try. If you are wondering how to prepare shirataki “Miracle Noodles”, there are some interesting ideas in this free recipe downloadable book, http://www.miraclenoodle.com/t-Recipes_Preparation.aspx#back.

 

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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.

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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

 

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Eat Foods With Fat: What is your response to carb overload? (3)

NutriSystem chocolate chip pancakes (with adde...

Bet you are waiting for reason #3 and so here you have it, the three reasons why you should eat food with fat:

1. When you eat real “fat” foods, that provide nutrients NOT available in low-fat foods, they serve as part of your “variety” of foods that contribute to a “balanced” diet.

2. As you consume fat soluble nutrients (through eating “fat” foods), they are readily absorbed and your body gets the broad spectrum of nutrition it needs to be healthy and function.

3. The third reason is the response to carbohydrate overload (100% of carbohydrates turns to sugar), hormones (insulin/cortisol…) and organs (liver/pancreas…) work overtime chasing high and low blood sugar levels and trying to maintain balance. This affects health and contributes to:

Overweight and obesity: Cravings and hunger are communication signals from your body telling you to feed it the nutrients you are lacking, not necessarily more empty (low/non-fat foods providing calories and little nutrients) calories but the lacking nutrients from the lack of healthy fats. Also, the more carbs you consume, the more insulin your body produces making it more difficult to lose weight, no matter how many calories you do or DO NOT eat. When blood sugar is lowered by insulin, you get hungry.

Blood sugar issues:

Diabetes (high blood sugar): As fat is vilified, you eat more carbs/sugar, your blood sugar spikes

Low blood sugar and mood changes: then like all things that go up blood sugar falls or maybe it even crashes leaving you hungry, irritable and mean. The real focus should not be on calories but the removal of the cause of the roller coaster ride your blood and organs are on trying to bring the body back into balance.

Irritability is not the only emotionally related issue linked to a “fat-free, higher
carb” diet. I’ll keep you hangin’ ’til next week on this one. As I have too many health issues to mention in this weeks blog.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2012 in FAT, Food

 

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