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Eating Low Carb High Fat LCHF As a Treatment for Diabetes

Published on December 3, 2013,

The Diet Doctor Andreas Eenfeldt has a traslation on his excellent site of a powerful article from a leading Swedish newspaper in which science journalist Ann Fernholmn argues why  low carb high fat (LCHF) would be a a better option for diabetes than current dietary guidelines. This is an extract…

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)

OPINION The dietary advice that many diabetics receive from healthcare professionals is outdated and useless. Dogmatic defensiveness in the world of academic science prevents progress and this costs the taxpayers many billions each year.

Results from a scientific study that should have created big headline news all around Sweden were published last summer. The study, Look AHEAD, is the biggest longitudinal evaluation that’s ever been done, following lifestyle recommendations for diabetics through the past decades. Thousands of people were closely monitored to follow a low-calorie, low-fat diet and to exercise. They lost weight and during all the years of the study, weighed less than the control group.

BUT. After nine years the researchers terminated the study prematurely. The weight loss had no significant impact on morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease. The results clearly showed that the lifestyle consultations that diabetics had been given as part of their health care regime had been a waste of time and money.

In my book “A Sweeter Blood” I examined the scientific foundation for low-fat diets. The belief that a low-fat diet would be heart-protective, rests on an assumption that scientists made in the 1950′s: that the total cholesterol level is the most important measure of health. The decision was never scientifically based, but has since the 1970′s completely dominated all types of dietary guidelines. Even type 1 diabetics (juvenile diabetes) have been advised first and foremost to avoid fat, despite the fact that high cholesterol isn’t even part of their medical problems. According to dietitians, even type 1 diabetics should fill their plates with carbohydrates, even though the science clearly shows that high blood sugar causes cardiovascular disease.

Diabetics, regardless of type, run a 2-3 times greater risk of suffering cardiovascular disease compared to a healthy person. A major European study from 2004 showed that almost seven out of ten people affected by cardiovascular disease had either diabetes or were pre-diabetic. Molecular-biology research also has shown that high blood sugar levels drive inflammation in the arteries, which leads to atherosclerosis. That the Look AHEAD intervention failed may therefore be most easily explained by the fact that a low-fat diet, which is per definition a diet rich in blood sugar-raising carbohydrates, makes the diabetic’s blood sugar fluctuate too much.

The fear of fat that was born in the 1970′s seems to have made many physicians completely forget that diabetes was once called “sugar disease”. If the diabetics of the 1920′s had received today’s dietary advice they would soon have died. The fact is that the current dietary guidelines for diabetics require that physicians prescribe drugs that inhibit the effect that the carbohydrates have on blood sugar.

Unfortunately, today’s heated diet debate shows us that many researchers and physicians will continue to shun calories, fat and cholesterol more than anything else. Hundreds of diabetics on an LCHF diet testify that a strict low-carbohydrate diet has a dramatic effect on their blood sugar and health. Many lose a lot of weight and are able to discontinue medications. But leading nutritional researchers dismiss their stories as anecdotal. Their dogmatic defensiveness is an obstacle to progress…

Aftonbladet: Evaluate LCHF As a Treatment for Diabetes  (Original article in Swedish, by science journalist Dr. Ann Fernholm, Sweden.) 

More at:  Evaluate LCHF As a Treatment for Diabetes

An Open Letter to Tom Hanks From Dr William Davis: Don’t Be Diabetic!

Published on October 16, 2013,

Tom Hanks has recently announced  that he has recently been diagnosed with diabetes after many years of struggles with blood sugar. In this open letter from his blog, Wheat Belly author Dr William Davis shares with Hanks what he describes as “the blueprint” he has been using to help people get rid of diabetes…

English: Tom Hanks at a ceremony for George Ha...

Tom Hanks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Mr. Hanks–

I believe it was very courageous to share your diagnosis on television with a national audience. I am sure you will be flooded by well-wishers as well as many people with advice. I’d nonetheless like to alert you to several issues relevant to diabetes:

The majority of diabetes is reversible. Most people can make the choice to have diabetes or to not have it. I hope that you choose not to have it. This is because it is caused by diet. Sadly, it is caused by conventional advice to “cut your fat and eat healthy whole grains.” People often blame too many soft drinks and junk food, but there are many people like you who, I’m sure, try to eat well and don’t drink or eat sugary foods–yet have diabetes. This is due to grains.

More than sugary foods, grains raise blood sugar to high levels. The glycemic indexes, for instance, of whole wheat bread, oatmeal, and multigrain breads are among the highest of all foods. They ENSURE having high blood sugars. (To see for yourself, use your glucose meter and check a blood sugar immdiately prior to a meal; consume the food in question, then recheck a blood sugar at 1-hour after eating, not 2 hours as often advised to assess the adequacy of blood sugar control on diabetes medication. You want the blood sugar peak, which is around 1 hour. You will see blood sugars of 200, 250, or 300 mg/dl after eating grains.) High blood sugars from “healthy whole grains” are also toxic to the beta cells of the pancreas (“glucotoxicity”), making blood sugars go even higher. In some people, the loss of beta cells means there can be no reversing diabetes, but this is less common early in the diagnosis.

Ignore conventional dietary advice. Even better, do the opposite. Unfortunately, in the world of conventional diabetes advice, including that from most healthcare professionals, “Stupid is as stupid does.” The diet advised for people with diabetes makes fasting blood sugar and HbA1c (the 90-day measure of blood sugar) go higher, not lower.

–There are a number of other reasons that grains, especially wheat (white and whole) can be blamed: The gliadin protein of wheat is degraded in the gastrointestinal tract to small peptides that act as opiates and bind to the opiate receptors of the human brain. This triggers appetite for carbohydrates, the worst foods to eat for anyone with diabetes. Wheat germ agglutinin, another protein in wheat, blocks leptin and cholecystokinin, both of which should trigger satiety. In the presence of wheat, appetite is not satisfied.

Beyond the powerful strategy of grain elimination, we do not restrict fats but get plenty of olive oil, coconut oil, and the fats from animal organs and meats and supplement with:

Vitamin D–The insulin-sensitizing effects of raising your 25-hydroxy vitamin D level to 60-70 ng/ml helps regain control over blood sugar. A typical male requires 6000 units of D3 in gelcap form to achieve this level.

Magnesium supplementation–While the effect is modest, correcting common magnesium deficiencies stacks the odds in your favor of regaining control over blood sugar. I advocate magnesium malate, 1200 mg, twice per day.

Omega-3 fatty acids–from fish oil. After eating a meal, there is a flood of particles in the bloodstream (lipoproteins), representing the digestive byproducts of the foods consumed. These particles can block insulin. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil activate an enzyme that accelerates clearance of after-meal lipoproteins, reducing their insulin-blocking effect. I advocate 3000-3600 mg per day of the EPA + DHA omega-3 fatty acids, divided in two doses for assured day-long reduction of lipoproteins.

Those of us who follow the above principles drop fasting blood sugar and HbA1c precipitously, often enough to get off medication, reduce HbA1c into the 5.0% range, and become assuredly NON-diabetic. Even if you are among the few who have impaired pancreatic beta cells and produce insufficient insulin, elimination of grains will minimize need for medications. And, by the way, we should also pass this information onto David Letterman, who also admitted to having high blood sugars during your interview.

My sincerest hopes that you benefit from these suggestions, I remain

William Davis, MD
Author, Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find Your Path Back to Health

More at:  An open letter to Tom Hanks: Don’t be diabetic!

The Real Reason You Feel Stressed… SUGAR! Why You Reach For The Chocolate When You’re Having ‘One of Those’ Days and How You CAN Break The Habit

Published on August 27, 2013,

Here is more evidence that sugar is starting to lose its lustre within the mainstream media with a highly critical article in the UK’s Daily Mail which blames sugar consumption for stressing people out…


Sugar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having one of ‘those’ days? Grab a biscuit. Love life gone awry? Chocolate should help. Lonely or bored at home? Sit down with a glass of wine and a bowl of ice cream … 

Sound like you? You’re far from the only one. There’s nothing like stress to send many of us straight to the sweetie jar. In fact, over the last 50 years, our consumption of processed sugar has doubled.

We each now consume a staggering 24 lbs of chocolate every year – and that’s before you factor in any other sweet treats. 

However, new evidence suggests that far from being the stress reliever we assume it to be, sugar may actually cause us to be more panicked and wired.

And that’s not all. According to the charity Food For The Brain – a group of doctors, scientists, nutritionists, psychiatrists and psychologists promoting the link between food and mental health – there is a correlation between behavioural changes and blood sugar levels.

Deborah Colson, a nutritional therapist for the charity, says: ‘Poor blood sugar balance is often the single biggest factor in people suffering mood swings, depression, anxiety, and ‘emotionality’ – where someone appears to be fine one minute then in floods of tears the next. Having big blood sugar swings lessens people’s ability to cope with stress.’

…’Refined sugar and processed foods release sugar into the body too quickly,’ says James Duigan, A-List personal trainer and author of the Clean And Lean low-sugar diet. ‘This increases the amount of insulin, which convinces our bodies to store fat rather than burn it, and alters our blood sugar levels.

‘The more uneven our blood sugar levels; the more uneven our moods – we get hungry, angry, depressed and upset and can’t think clearly. Eating something high in sugar turns this back again – temporarily. But this soon gives way to a crash, when we feel panicky and wired. 

‘The more your blood sugar levels fluctuate, the more likely you are to react badly to life’s stresses. And your reliance upon sugar becomes a trap.’

…’It’s no coincidence that desserts spelled backwards is stressed,’ says nutrition expert Dr Robert Lustig in his book Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth About Sugar.

‘Cortisol (a hormone we release in response to stress) specifically increases our desire for comfort foods. Over several years, prolonged cortisol release leads to excessive intake of high-fat and high-sugar foods.’

‘Happiness isn’t only a sensory or emotional thing,’ says Dr Lustig. ‘It’s also affected by the body’s chemistry – namely serotonin. A deficiency causes serious clinical depression. One way to increase serotonin production is to eat more carbohydrates, especially sugar. Over time, however, more sugar is needed for the same effect, driving a vicious cycle.’

…Glucose, or sugar, is also present in carbohydrate-dense and processed foods, especially those with a high GI, eg white bread and white rice. 

Recent brain scans at the New Balance Obesity Prevention Foundation in Boston showed that these food-types can be addictive and stimulate cravings in much the same way as illicit drugs.

…’Every person reacts to sugar withdrawal differently,’ says Deborah Colson. ‘It depends on your general overall health and psychological factors.

Rather than making patients go cold turkey, Food For The Brain tends to increase the good foods they should be eating. By doing it this way, we expect small improvements in a week, and big changes in three to four weeks.’

So what should you eat instead?

James Duigan recommends…

Berries: These are packed with vitamin C, which helps the body deal with stress. They’re also full of fibre, which helps regulate your blood sugar levels.

Dark green vegetables: To help replenish the body’s vitamins and minerals at times of stress.

Turkey: Contains L-tryptophan, an amino acid that releases the feel-good hormone serotonin.

Nuts: They boost battered immune systems and are full of B vitamins to help lower stress. No more than a small handful a day though.

More at:  The real reason you feel stressed… SUGAR! Why you reach for the chocolate when you’re having ‘one of those’ days and how you CAN break the habit

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