25 December 2012

Diet Trends

"It is incredible that in the twentieth-century America a conscientious physician should have his hard-won professional reputation placed on the line for daring to suggest that an obesity victim might have some relief by cutting out sugars and starches."
                                                                        - Robert Atkins

29 November 2012

AGEs

With aging, our skin and other tissues (arteries and organs - heart, lungs, joints etc.) lose elasticity. In animals we can see clearly that the skin and muscle of old animals are stiffer that the tissues of the young ones.

27 November 2012

Bad Science


Here is an interview with Gary Taubes explaining why we came to believe the current dogma that obesity is caused by eating more and exercising less.

17 November 2012

Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Prevent Heart Disease - David Evans




















David Evans compiled a great reference book - Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Prevent Heart Disease - about the relationship of Saturated fat in the diet and heart disease, showing that there is no correlation between these two elements. The book contains 101 scientific papers (with the name of the authors and the year it has been published) showing that:

07 November 2012

Does Diet Coke make us Fat?

I have already written about the fattening properties of sugar. When we consume a sugary drink, our
blood glucose goes up, this induces insulin secretion from the pancreas, the insulin in turn will take the calories (glucose and fatty acid) from our bloodstream and store them in our fat tissues. The calories are not available anymore to fuel our daily activities, they are blocked by insulin. As a result, without adequate energy, we feel tired and hungry. We sit down in front of the TV and eat.

03 November 2012

Diabetes Related to Heart Disease

Metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance): is a combination of physiological disorders occurring together in obese, diabetic and heart disease patients.

01 November 2012

The Bigger Picture on Nutrition

"Believing that your hypothesis must be correct before all the evidence is gathered encourages you to interpret the evidence selectively. This is human nature. It is also precisely what the scientific method tries to avoid. It does so by requiring that scientists not just test their hypotheses, but try to prove them false."
                                                                                    - Gary Taubes

23 October 2012

Doctor Oz Show

Today, I was happy to see Dr Robert Lustig (the anti-sugar gay) on the Doctor Oz Show today. He was talking about the harmful effects of sugar in our body. I already wrote about this here.

20 October 2012

A "Well-Deserved" Ice-Cream after Exercise

I often hear people say that after strenuous exercise they deserve a treat, an ice-cream or some kind of "forbidden" food. They think that after running off some calories, that little sweet treat won't do any harm.

The reality, or the biochemical reaction in our bodies, is somewhat different.

17 October 2012

Cancer and Alzheimer

This is just a short post about the incidence of cancer in isolated populations compared to the "civilized world". The evidence shows that the number of cancer rises with the consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugar. You can read more about cancer and diet in this article: What causes cancer?

07 October 2012

Enjoying life

"You are out of your mind when you take insulin in order to eat Danish pastry."
                                                       - Blake Donaldson

03 October 2012

Children and Low Fat - Health Hazards

This is what I've found recently on the net: Kids still hungry after school lunch (you can also read here). With the new guidelines in America, kids get more fruits and vegetables in their school lunch and - this year - less meat. And they are hungry! After a big salad, fruits and a bit of meat, everybody is hungry. These kids, when they go home, they crave "something", which is usually a high-carbohydrate and/or sugar snack in the form of a cereal bar, or more "unhealthy" versions, like a mars bar or potato chips (more carbs and sugar).

27 September 2012

Allergies - Update

I've already wrote about my Japanese friend, M, who had severe allergic reactions to dairy products and eggs. She started a high-fat diet 3 months ago and this is what she wrote me last week:

"People are very surprise to see me being so healthy and mostly, they are shocked to find out that I can eat eggs and dairy products...
I am loosing weight, yes!
Feeling so calm and great, yes!
My focus and performance is so much better in my work, yes!
No bad reaction when I eat eggs, yes! (I eat eggs every day now...)
My skin is so smooth, yes!"
                             - M
I saw M again last Sunday. She eats eggs and dairy products, and has no allergic reactions at all. Is this a miracle? I don't think so.

This is my humble explanation, again, with the same logic of high-carbohydrate diet versus high-fat diet.

When we eat a high carbohydrate diet, insulin levels are constantly elevated, so our organs and immune system do not get the necessary energy (calories) to function or for repair. The immune system goes out of balance and starts to overreact to normal, every day substances like eggs, dairy products, dust, animal hair, etc. The doctor then tells us to avoid the substances we are allergic to. It makes sense and helps many times. But, it is more important to give the proper building blocks to our body to function well. For example, vitamin D (from dietary fat and sunlight) is very important in preventing auto-immune diseases, such as allergies.

I do not state here that everyone who changes their diet will recover from allergies, and some people will need medical help for the rest of their lives. I just want to give an example of recovery beside my story. I am convinced though, that body functions improve once insulin levels are lower, by cutting out sugar and refined carbohydrates from our diet.

23 September 2012

Overeating

When I speak about high-fat diet to my friends for the first time, their first reaction is to worry about my clogged arteries. Then, when they imagine going on this diet themselves, it is no more the health reasons which worry them the most, but the craving for carbohydrates and sugar. They simply cannot imagine life without these food items. I try to explain that hunger and overeating happen on a high-carbohydrates diet, rather than on a high-fat diet. (I have already wrote about insulin and hunger.)

18 September 2012

The Genes of Aging and Carbohydrates

U.S. geneticist, Professor Cynthia Kenyon discovered that a high-carbohydrate diet "directly affect two key genes that govern youthfulness and longevity". These two genes are insulin related, so related to the amount of carbohydrate in our diet.

14 September 2012

Paleo Food

One of my friends hinted me that I already wrote about a lot of science... what about paleo food? I went through a lot of trial and error (for nearly 10 years) before figuring out the food which is best for me. Now, the diet I follow every day (not 100% strict paleo, maybe only 90%), is what keeps me away from allergy symptoms... and the doctor away from me.

12 September 2012

Alzheimer - Also Related to Sugar Consumption

Here is an interesting article about Alzheimer's disease (dementia). This disease should be called Type 3 diabetes. This article also mentions that saturated fat, like coconut oil could be a cure for this degenerative disease. I think all saturated fats (from meat, fish, eggs, butter etc.) are beneficial, not just coconut oil.

10 September 2012

Salt - Is it the Cause of Hypertension?

Today, it is a common assumption that excess salt consumption leads to high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Hypertension is very common in obese and diabetic patients.

08 September 2012

Hunger - The Role of Insulin

The classic approach to weight loss is to eat less, so researchers put obese patients on a calorie-restricted diet. If they loose weight, it means that obesity is caused by overeating. The problem is that results are not really compelling. The subjects usually loose weight, but the diet results in negative physiological effects as well, such as:

06 September 2012

Sugar and Cancer

I already mentioned before (Africa, India, Native Americans, the Inuit) that in isolated populations the number of cancer cases increased after the adoption of a Western diet, which usually replaced the local fish, meat, vegetables, fruits with more refined carbohydrates and sugar.

01 September 2012

Nutritional Science - or the lack of it

Today's post is about bad science, and why we came to believe that dietary fat is the cause of heart disease. (A brief history here.)
"Ancel Keys deserves the lion's share of credit for convincing us that cholesterol levels predict heart disease and that dietary fat is a killer."
                                                                        - Gary Taubes

30 August 2012

Treat Obesity with High Fat Diet - Doctors Talk

Three interviews by Andreas Eenfeldt with:

(Bariatric means weight loss)

Dr Westman is treating his patients with a low carbohydrate and high fat diet. A quick summary of this video:

28 August 2012

High Protein Diet - Health Hazards

Many people does not make the difference between high fat and high protein diets. High fat diet consists mainly of organ meat, fatty meat, egg yolk, butter, seafood, fatty fish etc. High protein diet consists mainly of lean muscle meat.

For example, the Inuits and Native Americans of the Great Plains knew how to stay healthy, especially early spring when the animals they hunted were lean. Sometimes native populations had no choice but to subsist on rabbit meat (leanest of the animals) for a short period of time, until other animals (caribou) fattens up and become ready for hunting. "Living on lean game is somewhere between unhealthy and fatal." (- Stephan Guyenet). This is called Rabbit Starvation.

Eggs - Are They Really Bad?

A study just came out recently saying that eggs are a contributor to the build-up of carotid plaque in our arteries, causing heart disease. The media picked it up with articles like this one in the Los Angeles Times.

Now, fortunately not every scientist believes this. The study is controversial as many variables are not taken into consideration. This is what certain researchers would call bad science.

26 August 2012

The Fiber Myth

The fiber hypothesis is based on the study of a single investigator named Denis Burkitt, former missionary surgeon in Uganda. He proposed that a diet high in fiber, as he observed among native populations in Africa, is the key to prevent chronic diseases especially colon and rectal cancer.

22 August 2012

Nutrition and Dental Health

Most of us are born with a perfect genetic blueprint. If we give the right nutrients during our lifetime to our body, then the genetic expression will be perfect. If our food is deficient in nutrients, then our body will try to adapt to a poor diet, we still survive, but develop chronic diseases. The genetic expression depends on the building material we provide to our body. As we age, genetics play less and less role in the development of chronic diseases, meanwhile nutrition and lifestyle become more and more important.

21 August 2012

Diseases of Civilization - Native Americans

In 1902, Aleš Hrdlička, physician-turned-anthropologist, in his Physiological and Medical Observations among the Indians of Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico, reported that:

  • "Malignant disease if they exist at all - that they do would be difficult to doubt - must be extremely rare." Hrdlička had not seen "unequivocal signs of malignant growth on an Indian bone."
  • "No cases of appendicitis, peritonitis, ulcer of the stomach, or of any grave disease of the liver was observed."
  • He also noted that Indians lived as long as or longer that the "whites", suggesting that the low incidence of chronic diseases among the natives cannot be explained by a low life expectancy.

19 August 2012

Sugar - The Bitter Truth (Dr Lustig)

When we eat, there's a hormone called leptin which signals to the brain to stop eating once we had enough calories or energy intake. When we eat a high carbohydrate meal, leptin is not doing it's job. That's why we are still hungry after a big chocolate cake, but we are not hungry even after a small high fat diet meal (if it is not consumed together with carbohydrates).

Vegetable Oils - Health Hazards

In my post about Evolution, I mentioned that during more than 2 million years saturated fat was part of our diet. Evolution should be our best guide for what constitutes a healthy diet.  The longer we've been eating a certain food as a species, the less harm it is likely to do. We are supposed to consume food we are genetically adapted to. Most probably a few thousand years are enough to adapt to a new kind of food, but a few hundreds are not.

17 August 2012

Grains - Health Hazards

Our best guide for a healthy diet is evolution. The longer we've been consuming a certain type of food as a species, the less harm it is likely to do. If we want to avoid chronic disease, the best way would be to restore "biological normality - that is ... the conditions to which presumably we are genetically adapted." (George Rose - Sick Individuals and Sick Populations, 1985)

15 August 2012

Evolution - Our Love Affair with Fat

When we take animals from the wild, we first see what their natural environment is, then we attempt to recreate it in order to keep them happy and healthy. Same goes with food. We have to give these animals the food they evolved to eat and the food they would choose to eat in their natural environment.

14 August 2012

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

I've already wrote about deficiencies that might occur in vegetarians and vegans. Today, I will talk about deficiencies occurring when eating a western diet, as I receive more and more emails from people taking supplements, even though they seem to be consuming a "healthy diet" (low fat, high in fruits, vegetables, healthy carbohydrates) recommended by different health authorities.

13 August 2012

Diseases of Civilization - The Inuit

Vilhjalmur Stefansson (November 3, 1879 - August 26, 1962) - Harvard anthropologist, Arctic explorer, spent 10 years among the Inuit of northern Canada and Alaska eating nothing but meat. The Inuit diet consisted of caribou, seal, polar bear, rabbits, birds and eggs. In extreme necessity the root of a local plant was consumed as well. The Inuit considered vegetables and fruits "not proper human food".

07 August 2012

Diseases of Civilization - India

About diabetes in general:
Diabetes: the body is unable to use the carbohydrates circulating in the blood for fuel.
Symptoms: hunger, frequent urination.
Type 1 diabetes (childhood diabetes): the pancreas is unable to produce insulin.
Type 2 diabetes (adult onset diabetes): this disease is linked to excess weight and characterized by an insensitivity to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is a result of chronically elevated sugar levels in the blood. It can be improved by the adoption of a diet low in sugar and carbohydrates.

06 August 2012

Diseases of Civilization - Africa

The eyewitness testimony from missionary and colonial physicians lead to two observations:
1. Diseases of civilization were rare to non-existent among isolated populations.
2. These diseases appeared only after populations were exposed to Western foods, in particular sugar and white flour.

03 August 2012

Cancer

Today, statistically half of us will get cancer. This proportion has increased over the last few decades from 1 in 3. The increase is most striking in civilized countries.

31 July 2012

Tokelau

Tokelau is a group of three atolls located in the South Pacific Ocean with approximately 1400 inhabitants. Administratively it belongs to New Zealand.

From a dietary point of view the case of Tokelau is very interesting: we can observe what happens when a population transitions from their traditional diet to a more westernized one, and back.

30 July 2012

Allergies - M's story

M is a beautiful, 37 years old girl, from Japan. She was introduced to me through one of my friends. When I first met her, she was suffering from allergies (dairy products and eggs) which she tried to cure with expensive Chinese medicine. She was struggling to loose weight, and she was hungry all the time. All her life, she had problems with her periods (painful and not regular).

Weight Loss

On request of some of my friends, here are more details about weight loss. This is a kind of more easy to understand version of this earlier post: Calories - Eating less doesn't work.

29 July 2012

Tim Noakes on High Fat Diet

Even this legendary exercise Professor Tim Noakes embraced a high fat diet. When he was on a high carbohydrate diet, he developed a pre-diabetic condition and gained weight over the years, despite all that running. It's not possible to loose weight and maintain it for a lifetime with a high-carb diet.

27 July 2012

Deficiencies - Vegetarians, Vegans

"Any lifelong dietary plan that requires nutrient supplementation on a regular basis makes no sense from an evolutionary perspective. You don't have to be an evolutionary biologist to realize that wild animals don't take nutritional supplements, nor do they normally develop vitamin deficiencies when living in their native environment."
                                                                  - Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

26 July 2012

Total Cholesterol - It is not a predictor of heart disease

After I posted on Cholesterol and Triglycerides, I was asked by my friends to give more details on why total cholesterol level does not matter in the risk of developing heart disease. I think, this video below, summarises this problem very well.

25 July 2012

Cholesterol - The dangers of low-fat diets

For a lot of people it is not clear whether high cholesterol levels are a risk factor of coronary heart disease. The conventional wisdom tells you to cut fat from your diet in order to reduce total cholesterol level or the bad cholesterol level (LDL). So doctors advise to lower your fat intake. This is a bit simplistic.

24 July 2012

Dietary Fat is Healthy


"Civilised man is the planet's only chronically sick animal" 

Our body cannot work without the adequate nutrients, which compose the base of proper hormonal and immune functions. These nutrients have very specific metabolic effects on the human body. If we do not give the needed building blocks to our system, over the years, we develop chronic diseases linked to obesity, like allergies, diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer, auto-immune diseases.

23 July 2012

Paleo Diet - Muscle Cramps

My friend, who just started the High Fat (Paleo) diet, have been having muscle cramps during the night. She asked me what the cause can be. (Otherwise, she is feeling great).

22 July 2012

Defeating Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

The nerves of the central nervous system are covered with an insulating material called myelin, just as the electrical wires are covered with plastic. In MS, the myelin disappears due to inflammation. 

21 July 2012

Low Fat Mistake


Interesting article on the mistaken recommendation of low fat diets.
Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease

And here are 17 trials showing weight loss on a low carbohydrate diet. Is there a study showing greater weight loss on a high carbohydrate diet? I haven't seen one.

20 July 2012

Calories - Eating less doesn't work

This is the conventional wisdom: we are gluttons and sloths, that's why we get fat.

Obesity is not simply a question of energy balance : you eat less and exercise more, then you will loose weight. It does not work like this.

19 July 2012

Insulin - Why going to the gym doesn't work


Obese patients are at higher risk of developing chronic diseases (heart disease, diabetes, cancer...). So if we find a cure to obesity, we considerably reduce the incidence of these chronic diseases.

18 July 2012

Sugar - "Pure, White and Deadly" - John Yudkin

(I try to keep it very simple.)

Definitions:
- Sugar: glucose (in starches: rice, flour etc), fructose (in fruits), lactose (in milk)
- Simple carbs: one or two sugar molecules bound together
- Complex carbs: chains of sugars, it can be tens of thousands of molecules long (broken down to simple sugars during digestion)
- Glycemic Index: measure of how quickly carbohydrates are absorbed and converted to blood sugar. The more simple (refined) the carbohydrate, the greater the blood sugar and insulin response.