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Diabetes and a Very Low Carb Nutrition Plan

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I’ve previously written about jessemaa’s experience with going Very Low Carb High Fat – a/k/a Ketogenic diet. He is a guy who participates in the 52 Day Challenge. His wife has been an insulin dependent Diabetic for the last 25 year. She is now managing her diabetes almost solely with diet. She is doing this under a Doctor’s supervision – smart Lady.

Others on the 52DC have mentioned that they are pre-diabetes or in the earliest stages. Jessemaa put forth a discussion post to provide some of his and his wife’s experiences with going Ketogenic. Here is the Link to the Discussion.

I find it interesting to hear other people’s experiences with eating VLCHF, especially since it has now become a popular diet for our celebrity crowd.

My friend has lost 34 pounds and is almost back to her wedding weight. Her 12 yo son is down 18 pounds and looks fantastic. His doc was shocked.

Still – there is so much miss information, such as ketones are the cause of the weight loss – so take supplements that produce ketones in the presence of carbs and lose weight. Really? Might as well try Snake Oil.

Take a few minutes and read the discussion. Then take a couple of more minutes and tell us about your experience.

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Squib – Short Description

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I have a love-hate attitude about News Gathering Services. They pull it all together and make it easy for you to see the information you want – but – and here is the VERY BIG BUT – The Squib or Short Description often is a biased lead in to the article. It is designed to hook you in to read the damnable article. On some services – they at least identify it as “Sponsored.”

Here’s one that got my dander up.

An Easy Way Diabetics On High Protein Low Carb Diets Can Avoid Early Symptoms Of Kidney Failure
The American Diabetes Association insists patients with type 2 diabetes should not go on a high protein diet as a means for weight loss because of the unknown long-term effects of protein intake on kidneys.

Please tell me where a VLCHF diet is a High Protein Diet. And tell me – what the hell is “high protein?”

The article from EmaxHealth is a prime example: 

Early signs of kidney failure often have no symptoms and can easily go undetected until they are very advanced, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Poor Diet Recommendations Are The Cause

All too often with diabetic patients the primary focus is on blood sugar control when it comes to diet recommendations. Practitioners often recommend a high protein, low carbohydrate diet to keep glucose levels low and it’s killing the kidneys.
According to Mayo Clinic findings, some high-protein, high fat diets are stressful on the digestive system and the kidneys. These diets include animal protein and dairy products, which are high in fat, contributing to other factors of the disease such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, high blood pressure and heart disease.

The American Diabetes Association insists patients with type 2 diabetes should not go on a high protein diet as a means for weight loss because of the unknown long-term effects of protein intake on kidneys. High-protein diets worsen kidney function in diabetics because the body may have trouble eliminating all the waste products of protein metabolism. 

OK – I’m ranting. I’ll stop.

Low Carb Diet – The Pillar or Diabetes Control

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The Low Carb Program of Diabetes UK has been extraordinarily successful in going against the general advice of the Diabetes establishment. I signed on for a short time to see what they are about. Very helpful – very structured and it is free.

A recent Article entitled: Low-carb diets should be reinstated as pillars of diabetes control, suggests new study by Camille Bienvenu, she summed up a recent editorial:

Perhaps the most important statement: “Over half of those who consumed only 14 per cent of their total energy requirements as carbohydrate, compared to 53 per cent as per current dietary recommendations, could also safely reduce their medication.”

I had previously posted about one of the Challengers from the 52DC -Jessemaa. His wife was put on a VLCHF diet by her physician. She has been an insulin dependent diabetic for over 25 years injecting 70-90 units of insulin per day. From mid-December to mid-January she reduced her dependency to only very small doses of 8-10 units of insulin 5 times to deal with a high morning test. He recently reported that she is no longer using insulin.

We can only pray that her success continues.

As a side benefit – Jessemaa adopted the same diet – they have both lost weight.

As a Post Script – check out this Study: Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease

They actually got the damaged Pancreas in mice to regenerate.

If you read between the lines – “… a fasting-mimicking diet (FMD)—low in calories, sugars, and protein but high in unsaturated fats…” Sounds familiar – huh.

The Case Against Sugar

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I just finished reading Gary Taubes’ latest book: The Case Against Sugar, Kindle Edition. December 2016, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. 

AUTHOR’S NOTE The purpose of this book is to present the case against sugar— both sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup— as the principal cause of the chronic diseases that are most likely to kill us, or at least accelerate our demise, in the twenty-first century. Its goal is to explain why these sugars are the most likely suspects, and how we arrived at the current situation: a third of all adults are obese, two-thirds overweight, almost one in seven is diabetic, and one in four to five will die of cancer; yet the prime suspects for the dietary trigger of these conditions have been, until the last decade, treated as little worse than a source of harmless pleasure.

If this were a criminal case, The Case Against Sugar would be the argument for the prosecution. (Kindle Location 70-77)

This is not an easy read, but well worth the effort. He slowly but surely traces the history of sugar in our society and how it was and is intertwined with politics and industry.

He ties together various metabolic diseases and lays their genesis and growth on the door step of Sugar. He does not hide the fact that much of this can not be definitely proven.

The maneuverings of Big Business can not be emphasized too much. The Sugar Industry – like the Cigarette industry created a Big Lie and repeats it often enough for us to believe it is true.

You may wish to read a more professional NY Times Book Review entitled What Not to Eat: ‘The Case Against Sugar’ By Dan Barber, January 2, 2017

I am a big fan of Gary Taubes. It was his July 7, 2002, NY Times Magazine Cover article: What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie? republished in the November 2007 edition of Men’s Health Magazine that started me on this journey. 

Thank you Gary and thank you Men’s Health.

Very Low Carb High Fat versus Diabetes

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I hosted today’s 52DC. My topic was Clean Eating. What follows is some of the “discussion” that followed:

My Post: Clean Eating – By any other name – is really confusing. 10 years ago – it meant low fat. Today – who knows?

  • Organic
  • Grass fed
  • GMO
  • Whole Foods or Minimally Processed or Highly Processed Foods.
  • Low Fat or Low Carb or Very Low Fat High Carb.
  • Weight Watchers products
  • Atkins products
  • Alcohol
  • Soda or Diet Soda or water
  • 80-20 rule or 90-10 or 100%

QOTD: What is your personal definition of Clean Eating – at least for this Challenge.

My AOTD: Over the years, I defined CE as WW approved, then Low Fat – never paid attention to anything else. Today, eating VLCHF means that most of the foods I eat are whole or minimally processed foods that we prepare. I stay away from Atkins products and similar highly processed low carb foods. My main processed foods are – condiments. I will buy organic if I can find it at a reasonable price. Have yet to find grass-fed beef locally. Not really concerned about GMOs. I limit diet soda but do not eliminate it. Alcohol – red wines mainly – or – Vodka – or light beer. I’m probably an 80-20 guy.

Jessemaa responded:

AOTD: My lovely {wife} has been an insulin dependent diabetic for over 25 years. She was injecting 70-90 units of insulin per day. She had an appointment with a new MD on 12/19 and he told her if she followed his instructions she could be off insulin in 30 days. Long story short, she stopped using insulin and started a high fat very low carb diet the next day. 60% fat 15% Carbs and 25% protein. I have followed along with the same plan.

She has lost weight and has only used very small doses of 8-10 units of insulin 5 times to deal with a high morning test. Yes folks this is a BIG DEAL.

However she has had a hard time dealing with the transition. Going from very high carbs to no carbs cold turkey has caused some stomach aches, nausea and other side effects. She is doing better day by day and she is sticking with it and will continue. She is under close monitoring with her MD and he is pleased with progress.

I am amazed at the results for her and I am experiencing fewer side effects and enjoying the food plan and losing weight, so it is a win win!

My response: Nice progress – weight loss is happening – well done. 3 cheers for your wife – she is battling a massive change and her body is fighting back. The reduction in insulin shots is just amazing. My son stayed with us for 2 days – and since he ate as we did – his insulin shots went down. He still will not try an alternative.

Jessemaa responded: TNT MAN It is not surprising your son is hesitant, diabetics have been fed a load of propaganda their whole lives. Even the Diabetes Association refuses to accept that a low carb diet is a safe alternative. Follow the money, billions are spent on diabetes related drugs. Billions in R & D for drugs but very little in nutrition studies. Unfortunately some of the proponents of the low carb diabetic solution are labeled quacks. It took one doctor who was on the program himself to inspire my lovely and I to take this huge step.

My final statement: You hit the nail on the head. Well said!

U-M Study Bodes Well for Low Carb Eaters.

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I love headlines. Particularly those that herald a Magical – Secret way of preventing Diabetes. They get our attention – but they don’t really do more than draw lines in the sand.

So goes the recent press release on a University of Michigan Study.

Three low-carb meals within 24 hours lowers post-meal insulin resistance by more than 30 percent, but high-carb meals sustain insulin resistance, a condition that leads to high blood pressure, prediabetes and diabetes, according to a University of Michigan study.

The study also found that two hours of moderate-intensity exercise, which is supposed to lower insulin resistance and blood sugar levels, has no impact on these results. To the contrary, blood sugar levels increase after the exercise, said Katarina Borer, professor in the School of Kinesiology and principal investigator in a study done with doctoral student Po-Ju Lin, now at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

But read and see.

In the U-M study, 32 post-menopausal metabolically healthy women were divided into four groups and given meals of either 30 or 60 percent carbohydrates with or without moderate-intensity exercise before meals. The low-carb group showed a reduction in insulin resistance after the third meal in the evening, but the high-carb group sustained high post-meal insulin, Borer said.

  • First- the study is very small – 32 individuals. This is just too small for too short a time be meaningful.
  • Second – the group was post-menopausal metabolically healthy women – 50 to 65 years of age. Not sure why they chose this group but – anecdotal information has shown that this is a group whose hormones are “different” and have always had a more difficult time losing weight on a Low Carb diet.
  • Third – The reduction in the percent of carbohydrates went from 60% to 30%. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet – one group ate 1,200 calories or 300 grams of Carbs while the other ate 600 calories or 150 grams of Carbs.

If you want to read a more complete discussion of the Study check it out here.

I love reading positive reports – but ones like this – merely get critics all lined up to tear it apart.

Still – those of us who eat low carb – are not surprised by even this small change on one day.

 

Blood Sugar Levels, Diabetes and Alzheimer

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A recent Article in Medical X press stated that Scientists have found a new link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s:  The research is published in the May 4, 2015 The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

While many earlier studies have pointed to diabetes as a possible contributor to Alzheimer’s, the new study – in mice – shows that elevated glucose in the blood can rapidly increase levels of , a key component of brain plaques in Alzheimer’s patients. The buildup of plaques is thought to be an early driver of the complex set of changes that Alzheimer’s causes in the brain.

***

The researchers also are investigating how changes caused by increased glucose levels affect the ability of regions to network with each other and complete cognitive tasks.

Meanwhile another Article in Medical X press found that “Low sugar uptake in brain appears to exacerbate Alzheimer’s disease.”

A deficiency in the protein responsible for moving glucose across the brain’s protective blood-brain barrier appears to intensify the neurodegenerative effects of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new mouse study from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).

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Glucose is the brain’s main energy source, and GLUT1 helps move it across the blood-brain barrier, a cellular layer that prevents entry of blood and pathogens into the brain. Previous research has shown diminished glucose uptake in the brain among individuals at genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease, with a positive family history, and/or who develop the disease but show mild or no cognitive impairment. {Emphasis added.}

Are we confused yet?  Too much glucose can exacerbate the build up of plaque while the inability of delivering glucose to the brain intensifies the degenerative effects of Alzheimer;s disease.

Sounds like a double edge sword which can be blunted by a Ketogenic diet.  Then you reduce the bodies dependency on and reaction to glucose, while Ketones provide an alternate source of energy for the brain.  A win-win situation.

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