Just Out…New study: is low carb sustainable in the long run?

Recently Diet Doctor posted this article on a new study of whether or not staying on a low carb diet is healthy in the long run.  “One of the big criticisms of low-carbohydrate diets is the claim that they are unsustainable long term, so it’s great to see teams of researchers carrying out studies to find out about the effects of following a low-carbohydrate diet over longer periods of time.”  Here is the article and the links if you want to read the details.

“A team of researchers in Japan has been studying low carbohydrate diets. In a study published in January 2014, the researchers had already found that a moderately low-carbohydrate diet is more effective than calorie restriction for improving lipid profile and blood sugar control in type-2 diabetics.

Now, in a new study, the team set out to find out whether eating a moderate low-carb diet is sustainable, effective and safe long term.

The researchers followed 200 patients with type 2 diabetes over a period of three years. They found that a moderate carbohydrate restriction (70–130 g/day) was enough to have a positive effect on the patients’ health markers, and that the diet is “highly effective, safe and sustainable”. They added that:

Over 36 months, the [moderate low carb] intervention showed sustained effectiveness (without safety concerns) in improving HbA1c, lipid profile, and liver enzymes in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes.

Nutrients: Efficacy of a Moderately Low Carbohydrate Diet in a 36-Month Observational Study of Japanese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

 

What is the Difference Between Paleo Diet and a Ketogenic Diet?

I have been asked this question multiple times…what is the difference between the Paleo and Keto diet?  Personally, I follow the Keto diet.  Well about 80% of the time.  They are both very similar in that they are both low carb, somewhat.  Let’s break down the difference between the two diets.

The Paleo diet is more of a lifestyle choice that focuses on eating quality foods that support digestive health. It is based on eliminating grains and legumes due to their phytic acid content.  Most dairy products are also off limits on the Paleo diet because they contain lactose, which is hard for most people to digest (although some people do include ghee or grass-fed butter).  The dictionary describes the Paleo diet as such: “a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food.”  By removing the most difficult foods to digest, the Paleo diet can be therapeutic for gut health, autoimmune conditions, blood sugar balance, and weight loss.

Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low, during famine or fasting.  We don’t do this through starvation of calories, rather just a starvation of carbohydrates.   During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.  The Keto diet is based on drastically reducing carbohydrates which forces the body to burn ketones for energy.  The main source of fuel for the body is glucose.  Basically, EVERYTHING is a carb (with the exception of meat, fat (and eggs)) and ALL carbs break down into glucose.  Insulin is then produced to metabolize the glucose.  IF we starve the body of carbs (glucose) it has no other choice but to burn fat for energy.

Both diets are touted as being much healthier for the body without having to count fat or calories.  Both diets have similar allowable foods such as meat and fish, vegetables, nuts and seeds, eggs and good fats.  Both diets avoid grains and legumes (for different reasons) and both diets avoid processed foods (this is always a good thing).  There are many differences between the diets though such as; Paleo allows fruit  and root vegetables where on the Keto diet, they both have far too many carbs.  The Paleo diet isn’t as low carb as the Keto diet which means you will not enter ketosis (fat burning).  The Keto diet doesn’t restrict dairy where the Paleo diet does (for digestive reasons).

How can these diets be unhealthy? You are basically not eating junk and empty calorie foods.  Many health professionals say that we NEED lots of carbs as this is our main source of fuel but there really are no hard evidence-based research that can dispute the health benefits of both diets.

So which diet best suits you?  Probably both.  I do not eat gluten in my diet for the most part, not because I cannot digest it, but because I feel it is not healthy for you.  So, for me, following either diet would work however I choose to follow the Keto diet as I am not a fan of fruit and am always seeking weight loss.  The choice is yours but either diet will help you achieve weight loss and better health and isn’t better health what all of us want?

How Does Stress Sabotage Your Weight Loss Efforts?

Every day when talking to customers in our health food stores, I realize that stress is such an issue with women in today’s world and such a deterrent to weight loss….but how does stress affect your weight loss efforts?   Aside from weight loss, let it be known that 70% of all doctor’s visits are stress related.  Stress contributes to 7 of the top 10 killers in North America.  These would include heart disease, cancer and diabetes just to name a few.  Additionally, stress causes poor sleep which in turn is a major stress on your body.   Cortisol is our stress hormone which is released when your body perceives a stressor.  Cortisol is not all bad…it is the hormone of energy and alertness and adapts to stress.  It’s when we get too much cortisol that becomes a major problem.

Cortisol is our fight or flight hormone.  If you were chased by a predator, you either fought it or you ran like a bat out of hell.  Physiologically multiple things happen when your cortisol levels are activated.  Blood is shunted away from your gut and pushed into the muscles (so you can run faster).  Your pupils dilate (so you can see where you are running) and most importantly, you store fat!  Your body doesn’t know how long you will have to run for so it stores fat for future energy.  So bottom line, when you are stressed you will not lose weight because your body becomes very efficient at storing fat!

Today, stress (emotional or physical) is almost constant and this can cause a number of issues when it comes to weight loss and health, especially when combined with easy access to unhealthy foods.  Cortisol makes cells less responsive to incoming signals.  For example; Type II Diabetes is a disease where sufficient insulin is produced, but your body’s cells can’t read the insulin signal.  We call this insulin resistance.  When insulin remains high as in this case, your body will NOT release fat from its fat cells which traps the fat you have into their cells.

Many good weight loss supplements will add ingredients to address cortisol as well as added fat burners.

Protein Bars:  Good or Bad?

With so many protein bars on the market, it’s hard to know what to look for in a good quality low carb protein bar.  Some bars have more sugar than a candy bar or donut and not much protein.   When looking at the ingredients list, don’t forget that when following a low carb diet, you don’t just look at the total carbs.  You must look at the NET carbs.  These are the carbs that are left over after you subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols.  For example, if the bar says it has 28g of total carbs, 12g of fiber and 8g of sugar alcohol, it only has 8 NET carbs.  These are the carbs left that have a glycemic response and will affect blood sugars.  Other things to look for include:

  • Gluten Free
  • High Fiber (10g or more)
  • Moderate Protein (no less than 8g)

Basically, the fewer ingredients the better.  Why not make your own protein bars?  This will take the guessing game out of all of the unknown ingredients and you can control everything yourself.  Check out this site which has links to 50 best low carb protein bar recipes.

https://www.lowcarblab.com/best-low-carb-protein-bar-recipes/

Creamy Keto Hot Cocoa

Who doesn’t love a nice cup of hot cocoa especially in this cold, snowy winter to soothe and relax you?  Cacao is loaded with antioxidants which helps to protect your body, especially during the cold and flu season.  Try this recipe from Dr. Mercola and share it with your family.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 heaping tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon MCT oil
  • 1 teaspoon xylitol or other sugar substitute

Procedure

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for three minutes.
  2. Place cocoa mixture in a small saucepan and warm the mixture over low heat. Be sure to whisk often to ensure all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  3. If you’d like to, add coconut whipped cream or cacao nibs.

Cellulite And How To Get Rid Of It

Cellulite, How Do I Get Rid Of It??

Did you know that 80% – 90% of women have some cellulite?  Isn’t that a crazy number?  Men are fortunate as only 10% of them are affected by cellulite.  So what’s the deal on this?  It’s more common in women because women are more likely to have the particular types of fat and connective tissue that cellulite is associated with.

What is that ugly cottage cheese-like stuff on your butt and thighs? The answer is simple: it’s just normal fat beneath the skin. It appears to be bumpy because it pushes against connective tissue, causing the skin above it to pucker. It isn’t harmful to your health, but many people try to get rid of it because it’s so ugly.

Cellulite doesn’t only affect women who are overweight; thin people get cellulite too. However, the more weight you lose, the more reduced your cellulite will appear. It can also be more visible if you eat a poor diet, follow fad diets, have a slow metabolism, don’t exercise enough, or don’t drink enough water.  It could even have to do with the color of your skin! Cellulite is less noticeable in darker skin tones.  There is no exact cause of cellulite, but popular theories include that it could have something to do with hormonal factors, genetics, your diet, your lifestyle factors and even clothing that limits your blood flow.  Hormonal changes, specifically a decline in estrogen levels, may contribute to changes in circulation and a reduction in the production of collagen.  A combination of fat cells becoming larger or increasing in number, a thinner collagen layer and change in blood supply may lead to cellulite.

So what can you do?  Unfortunately, at this time, researchers and doctors have not identified a cure for cellulite, or a treatment that may permanently reverse the effects.  However, there are strategies you may use to temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite or which may halt the progression of the process.

Dry Skin Brushing:   Your skin is the largest organ in your body.  Although there are benefits to using dry skin brushing for aesthetic reasons, the technique also offers whole body benefits.   Dry skin brushing may help to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. This may help to diminish the appearance of cellulite.  It also stimulates the lymphatic system, exfoliates the skin and increases circulation.  Use coconut oil as a moisturizer once you are done dry brushing.

Drink plenty of water: One of the jobs of your fat cells is to hold and sequester toxins that the liver and kidney can’t keep up with.   Without enough water, your body won’t be able to flush out toxins (which flush out the fat with it) and it won’t be able to effectively break down cellulite.

Coffee Rub:  Many women have reported success with a simple mix of coffee grounds and warm water.  Use this scrub for ten minutes twice per week on areas where cellulite reduction is desired.  You should start to see some great results after four weeks of regular treatment.

Essential Oils:  Juniper, Rose Hip, Birch and Rosemary oil help in various ways including increasing circulation and promoting detoxification of the cells.  Mix any or all of these oils on the areas that you want to reduce cellulite.

Proper circulation helps to prevent and eliminate cellulite.  Avoid wearing clothes with tight elastic bands that may restrict blood flow to hips, thighs, and other areas prone to cellulite.  Also, if you experience a lot of soreness during physical activities, tight muscles may also be restricting blood flow.  Perform stretching exercises such as yoga or Tai Chi to loosen up cramped tissues and improve your circulation.  You can take supplements such as Gingko Biloba or you can purchase any products that are designed for varicose veins as all of them are designed to promote circulation, as well as strengthen veins.

Food For Thought…and Steve Jobs

As we progress into the new year 2018, it brings to mind the thoughts of Steve Jobs as he lay on his sickbed… so very true and ‘food’ for serious thought!!  Remember that achieving health is not just about diet and supplements.  It about a healthy mind as well.  Take a moment and read what he wrote.  It puts so many things into perspective. 

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, CEO and maker of iPad… iPhone etc., died a billionaire and here are some of his last thoughts and words on the sickbed:

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to… at this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.

You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – health and life itself.

When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he has yet to finish reading – “Book of Healthy Life”.

Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.

Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends.

Treat yourself well. Cherish others.

As we grow older, and hence wiser, we slowly realize that wearing a $300… or $30.00 watch… they both tell the same time.

Whether we carry a $300… or $30.00… wallet/handbag, the amount of money inside is the same.

Whether we drink a bottle of $300… or $10… wine the hangover is the same.

Whether the house we live in is 300 sq. ft… or 3000 sq. ft… loneliness is the same.

You will realize, your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.

Whether you fly first or economy class, if the plane goes down, you go down with it.

Therefore, I hope you realize, when you have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, who you chat with, laugh with, talk with, have sing songs with, talk about north-south-east-west or heaven & earth…that is true happiness!!

Five Undeniable Facts of Life…

  1. Don’t educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy so when they grow up they will know the value of things… not the price.
  2. Best awarded words in London… “Eat your food as your medicines, otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food.”
  3. The One who loves you will never leave you for another because even if there are 100 reasons to give up, he or she will find one reason to hold on.
  4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human… only a few really understand it.
  5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, YOU have to manage!!

Remember… if you just want to walk fast, walk alone, but if you want to walk far, walk together!!

Six Best Doctors in the World…

  1. Sunlight
  2. Rest
  3. Exercise
  4. Diet
  5. Self Confidence
  6. Friends