September 2009

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Last week a national paper in Sweden announced a new diet to lose weight – LCHF ( which means low carb / high fat). What surprised me is not the arguement that a low carb / high fat diet is likely to help you lose weigh but the notion that this is NEW. As far back as ancient Egypt it was known that glucose was linked to fat storage and therefore avoiding foods that cause spikes in glucose levels would aid fat loss.

When glucose levels are elevated, insulin will kick in and start storing excess glucose as fat. Fat ( saturated or otherwise) does not trigger insulin resposne so the fat collection process is not triggered by eating fat. The main foods that trigger insulin is starch and sugar..

Whilst starch and sugar are within the group of foods known as carbohydrates they are very different to other members of the same group like green beans or cabbage or almonds and nuts. They are all carbs but that group title is really misleading.

What woudl be helpful is a new definition of a diet called LSSHP ( Low Starch and Sugar / High Protein) . Perhaps that might be the solution ….Not New but a New Name.

26 September 2009

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Reading today about a family in Dundee seperated by social services because two of the children are very fat makes me want to scream.

Whilst obesity is clearly a major health and economic issue facing the UK I fail to see how social workers are best placed to deal with this problem. Are we seriously going to sepearte all obeses families in the UK?

What this family needs, just like anyone who is obese in this country is advice on how to lose those extra inches which is base on proven science; practical and sustainable. Seperating clhildren from loving parents is complete madness especailly when it is likely that this family is fat becasue they have actuallly done what they have been told to do by the government experts.

The obestiy challnage can be won very easily if we stop repeating the failed messages of the past 30 years.

23 September 2009

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In Endocrine Today an article was published highlighting the expense of following a Mediterranean diet and suggesting that this was an issue in the battle against the bulge. It is true that a steak will cost more than a pizza and it is true that fortified starch is cheaper than eating berries or spinach but we should all think beyond the obvious.
Whilst the cost of eating well is higher than filling up on cheap fodder in the form of grain sugar and other starches there are massive savings to be made in other ways.

Firstly a diet low in starch and sugar is unlikely to make you gain weight and therefore you are unlikely to require a diet club or diet drugs or other diet products and services. Secondly a diet low in sugar and starch is likely to be far more healthy and the need for endless skin and hair products will be reduced. The secret of beauty and youth is locked into nutrition more than anything else.

Now when you look at the cost of barriatric surgery or the real cost of diabetes and you start to wonder why anyone would begrudge spending a little extra on some healthy nutritious food rather than eating cheap fattening animal fodder….

If we can not explain to someone the benefits of eating well beyond a matter of out of pocket expense then we must accept that over half the population will be obese because sugar and starch are cheap for a reason.

21 September 2009

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It is generally accepted that sugar is linked to obesity if it is eaten in excessive amounts. But what has been highlighted in numerous studies is that the more sugar we consume the faster we are likely to age.

The bio chemical process is simple. When you eat sugar or anything that turns to sugar quickly (which means some starches) the starch and sugar turns to glucose in the blood stream. Normally you would hope that the glucose is quickly transported to cells that need energy. If however the blood can not get rid of the glucose quick enough the excess glucose will over time start to link itself with protein molecules in the blood. This process is called glycation.

If this process continues you then develope AGEs which are Advanced Glycation End products and these can cause inflammation and damage to your skin and circulation.

But ofcourse anyone familiar with the hunter gatherer diet would have no difficulty understanding why we are simply not designed to have lots of sugar whether it is in the manufactured form or the natural form found in fruit. Sugar is a treat !

15 September 2009

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While we all sunning ourselves during the August break a small announcement was made by the American Diabetes Association launching thier new service to people who may be pre diabetic. These are people that are often insulin resistant and are likely to develope diabetes type 2.

Up till now the ADA has had pretty much contempt for the notion that there is a link between the intake of carbohydrates and diabetes. It came as some surprise that the ADA has now launched this new area for pre diabetics with a focus on the intake of carbohydrates.

I suspect that like all other experts in diabetes it is becomming increasingly difficult to ignore the link between the eating of starch and sugar and a rise in insulin levels and the link between inceased levels of insulin and insulin resitance and subsequent diabetes type 2.

It is remarkable that any one ever thought it would be a good idea to feed a diabetic type 2 or a person with insulin resitance a diet rich in starch or sugar.

3 September 2009

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