Creation of US dietary guidelines correlate with rise in childhood obesity

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I was reading an article by Zoe Harcombe this morning where she covers why we eat carbohydrates. In the article she gives the year in which the United States started issuing dietary guidelines. It’s 1977 by the way. I had always thought the federal government’s involvement in the public school system, in particular the school lunch program, contributed to the rapid rise in childhood obesity. I found a chart on the CDC’s web site that tracks with the issuing of federal dietary guidelines.

When dietary guidelines were introduced in the US in 1977 and the UK in 1983, telling people to eat no more than 30% of their calories in the form of fat, this inevitably meant that people were being told to consume at least 55% of their calories in the form of carbohydrate. For the avoidance of doubt, the implication of setting a cap on fat was spelled out: “Increase carbohydrate consumption to account for 55 to 60% of calorie intake” (Ref 7).

The main reason we eat carbohydrates today, therefore, is because we were told to avoid fat. It was not because we had studied carbohydrates and found them to be optimally healthy at an intake of 55%. We had not even studied carbohydrates to know that they were safe at an intake of 55%. I can’t emphasise this point strongly enough. Our intake of carbohydrate is the consequence of demonising fat. However, official dietary advice doesn’t give this as the reason for eating carbs, as it hasn’t made this connection (Ref 8). Documents such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the UK Eatwell Guide focus on telling you to eat carbohydrates rather than explaining why. 

Why we eat carbohydrates – Zoe Harcombe

In the chart you can clearly see from 1963 to about 1977 childhood obesity rates were relatively flat. Starting somewhere between 1976 and 1980 the rates increase dramatically. From around 5% in 1963 to 15% to over 20% by 2016. Is it just a coincidence that US dietary guidelines started at the same time the obesity rate skyrocketed? Correlation is not causation but this looks like pretty strong evidence to me.

New York Times reports no benefit to time restricted eating… but what did participants in the study eat?

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The New York Times reported on a study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on time restricted eating, or as it is more commonly known these days, intermittent fasting. It’s important to note the study was also based on calorie restriction, which was left out of the headline, in addition to time restriction. The study showed no significant difference in weight loss or body composition between those practicing both calorie restricted and time restricted eating versus those simply practicing calorie restriction.

But now, a rigorous one-year study in which people followed a low-calorie diet between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or consumed the same number of calories anytime during the day has failed to find an effect.

The study, published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, was led by researchers at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, and included 139 people with obesity. Women ate 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day, and men consumed 1,500 to 1,800 calories daily. To ensure compliance, participants were required to photograph every bit of food they ate and to keep food diaries.

The bottom line, said Dr. Ethan Weiss, a diet researcher at the University of California, San Francisco: “There is no benefit to eating in a narrow window.”

Scientists Find No Benefit to Time-Restricted Eating – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

The article did not report on what the study participants ate. I don’t have a sufficient background in analyzing the study so I’ve reached out to some doctors on Twitter to see if they will review the findings.

I know from personal experience over decades of eating mainly one meal a day that I never need to restrict calories, count calories, count macros, or limit myself in any way in order to maintain my weight. I also know from personal experience if I want to lose weight I simply start restricting intake of carbohydrates, even more than I do now, and I can drop weight very quickly. If you add real fasting to the weight loss regimen, not eating for at least 3 days, you can enhance the weight loss effect even more. These things have held true to me when I waver off my normal weight range of 165 lbs. to 170 lbs.

If people are eating roughly the same number of calories but those calories are high in carbohydrates I wouldn’t expect for there to be a great difference in weight loss between the groups but I would expect some. In fact there was a small difference. The time restricted group lost around 18 lbs. while the other group lost 14 lbs.

The mean weight loss from baseline at 12 months was −8.0 kg (95% confidence interval [CI], −9.6 to −6.4) in the time-restriction group and −6.3 kg (95% CI, −7.8 to −4.7) in the daily-calorie-restriction group. 

Calorie Restriction with or without Time-Restricted Eating in Weight Loss | NEJM

The study says it’s not statistically significant but 4 lbs. is enough to make a difference to me. But, statistics is a different world and maybe 4 lbs. isn’t that big a deal if the participants are morbidly obese.

I’d like to see an opinion from a scientist or doctor that I trust.

Simple, Budget-Friendly Tips for Staying Healthy

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By Gabriel Patel of healthwise.com

If you’re like many other people right now, you’re open to trying any tricks or hacks that will cut costs. The good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice your healthy lifestyle to save money in your daily routine. You can actually improve your health, well-being, and financial standing all at the same time! Below, we share a few practical ways of getting healthy on a budget:

Save on keto.

It’s a myth that eating healthy is too expensive. There is no doubt that produce and meats are more expensive than their processed food counterparts, but when you consider the amount you have to spend to feel full and the costs associated with eating unbalanced meals (e.g., obesity, high cholesterol, chronic fatigue), the costs balance out.

Here are some ways you can save on a keto diet and still achieve the optimal healthy diet:

  • Buy in-season produce (check out the local farmer’s market).
  • Grow your own microgreens in your home.
  • Buy frozen fruits and vegetables (these are often picked and frozen at the perfect time retaining their wonderful nutrients).
  • Plan to eat most, if not all, of your meals at home.
  • Stick to simpler recipes with nutritional essentials.

Exercise for free.

Exercise does not have to come with a monthly fee. There are plenty of exercises that can be done outdoors like HIIT routines you get from the internet, recreational sports with friends, running, cycling, walking, and so forth. If you need to get in a quick indoor workout, you can do it using free videos, your body weight, and/or minimal equipment. Find what you love to do and there is sure to be a free version of it available!

Make money from your passion.   

It’s good for the soul to find an activity you love and do it regularly. Sure, work priorities and family obligations require time and energy, but you will find that if you invest time into what you love, everything else that seems tedious or overwhelming will be less so because you’ve filled your heart and mind with positive enjoyment.

While you’re at it, why not make some extra money by sharing what you love to do. For instance, if you love yoga, you can open a studio or start a YouTube channel to not only get in your practice but also share it with others and make some extra cash while doing so. If you are making lifestyle changes that are budget-friendly and find it invigorating, consider blogging about it and using affiliate marketing to make money off your recommendations.

If you do start a business, don’t let it become overwhelming by falling behind on some of the necessities to run it. Keep up on the collection of payments by using an invoice template that will allow you to create professional-grade invoices that fit your brand and use your logo. When you use the best invoice template, you can customize it as desired, and shoot it off to customers either before they receive the service or right after.

Reap the benefits.   

Eating well and exercising not only gives you immediate and long-term health benefits, but you will find that staying healthy will save you money in multiple areas of your life. Some insurance programs will give you rewards or cash for doing something you already do (e.g., going for a physical, achieving a certain number of steps during a certain period of time). Taking care of your body can prevent many physical ailments, resulting in less medical bills and long-term treatment costs.

If you learn how to cook superb meals at home, your dining out expenses will decrease, and you will find huge savings. Finally, if you are close enough to walk or cycle to work, school, grocery store, or any other errands, take the opportunity to both save on gasoline and get in a stellar workout.

Anything that you can do to cut costs and boost your health is a win. By implementing some of the tips above in your life, you can save big. Keep looking for other ways to combine physical and financial wellness in your life and enjoy the benefits!

Would you like to read more helpful content or access top-notch keto recipes? Visit KetoKooking.com today!

COVID-19 CAUSING UPTICK IN DIABETES?

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I was looking through Google News this morning and ran across this story about a kid who was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes months after recovering from COVID-19.

When their 11-year-old son started losing weight and drinking lots of water, Tabitha and Bryan Balcitis chalked it up to a growth spurt and advice from his health class. But unusual crankiness and lethargy raised their concern, and tests showed his blood sugar levels were off the charts.

Just six months after a mild case of Covid-19, the Crown Point, Indiana, boy was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. His parents were floored — it didn’t run in the family, but autoimmune illness did and doctors said that could be a factor.

Diabetes and Covid: Scientists explore potential connection (nbcnews.com)

I found it odd. Why would COVID cause Type-1 Diabetes? Then I clicked on the “View Full Coverage” link and found the news page with a bunch of these stories.

Google News – News about COVID, diabetes – Overview

We know people with Diabetes are more susceptible to severe COVID-19 but it is curious that there would be a link to the illness causing it.

High rates of newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus have been reported in COVID-19 hospital admissions around the world. It is still unclear, however, if this phenomenon represents truly new diabetes or previously undiagnosed cases.

It is also not known what the cause of these elevated blood sugars may be, and whether patients’ blood sugars improve after resolution of COVID-19 infection.

Preexisting diabetes in people with COVID-19 has been associated with higher rates of hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, mechanical ventilation, and death.

“We believe that the inflammatory stress caused by COVID-19 may be a leading contributor to new-onset or newly diagnosed diabetes,” said lead author Sara Cromer, HMS instructor in medicine and an investigator with the Department of Medicine–Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at Mass General.

“Instead of directly causing diabetes, COVID-19 may push patients with preexisting but undiagnosed diabetes to see a physician for the first time, where their blood sugar disorder can be clinically diagnosed. Our study showed these individuals had higher inflammatory markers and more frequently required admission to hospital ICUs than COVID-19 patients with preexisting diabetes,” Cromer said.

COVID and Diabetes | Harvard Medical School

8 Mental Health Practices to Support the Keto Lifestyle

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Sheila Johnson of wellshelia.net

As critical as recipes and ingredients are to health and well-being, the keto way of life is not complete until you prioritize self-care. And we’re not talking about going to the spa now and then.

Self-care means fostering your overall wellness, and your mental health plays a crucial role. That’s why Keto Kooking has listed these eight creative ways to start boosting your mental health today!

1. Hit the books          

If you hate your job, you can give yourself a severe mental health boon by changing careers. Why not do something you’ve never done before? Whether it means working for another employer in a different industry or starting your own company, now could be the time for you to take the leap.

If you choose to go this route, you may need to pursue a degree in your desired field. Fortunately, online universities offer flexible programs that allow you to study at your own pace so that you can manage all of your other life responsibilities. Plus, online college is typically affordable.

2. Write to yourself

If you’re like most people, you have plenty of thoughts and emotions to express. One outlet is to write in a journal each day. Dedicate 10 or 15 minutes to write about whatever you want, and freely vent your emotions onto the page. You could even write about your self-care goals and the progress you’re making.

3. Make kindness rocks

Did you know that kindness rocks are not just for kids? Go outside and gather a few stones from your backyard. Then, draw fun images and write encouraging messages with a paint pen.

Once you have a few kindness rocks prepared, take a walk through the neighborhood and leave them on people’s doorsteps. Not only can this activity improve your neighbor’s day, but it can also boost your mental health!

4. Get plants         

Houseplants can go a long way in improving your home’s interior appeal. But they can also boost indoor air quality.

Air-purifying plants can boost well-being, enhance concentration, and even improve memory retention. Consider scattering some native houseplants in your home office and primary living areas.

5. Clean your house

Clutter and mess bring stress. Take a weekend to declutter your home and give it a thorough cleaning, and you will feel the stress and anxiety fall off your shoulders. While you’re at it, look for attractive storage solutions and develop a routine that helps you keep the clutter at bay.

6. Talk to people

As social beings, we thrive on human interaction. Isolating yourself can lead to severe mental health consequences, so be sure to prioritize your most important relationships. Carve out time to get lunch or coffee with your friends, and stay in touch with your loved ones, even if it’s through video chat.

7. Help others

No matter where you live, some charities are likely looking for volunteers. Whether it’s on a weekly or monthly basis, consider signing up to volunteer at your local soup kitchen, thrift shop, or homeless shelter. Giving your time and energy to help others in your community provides the opportunity to socialize, make new friends, and can add purpose and meaning to your life.

8. Pick up a paintbrush         

Art therapy comes with well-documented mental and emotional health benefits. If you’re dealing with excessive stress or anxiety, consider picking up drawing or painting as a hobby. Learning a new instrument will also do the trick if you are musically inclined!

If you want to optimize your keto lifestyle, now is the time to start practicing self-care. Consider the unique ideas above for boosting your mental health, and keep looking for other ways to prioritize your overall health and well-being. In no time, you’ll be less stressed, happier, and more productive.

Would you like to read more helpful content or access top-notch keto recipes? Visit KetoKooking.com today!

Image via (Pexels)

USDA study shows Black Turtle Beans help alleviate insulin resistance

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This USDA sponsored study showed that cooked black turtle beans helped with improving sensitivity to insulin in mice. The USDA data on cooked black turtle beans also show there are 24g of carbs per 100g serving. I would need to see this study reviewed by some low carb experts before I would venture to add this to my diet. I think it would all depend on how low carb you want to be. I don’t think you can consume too much of this ingredient if you’re trying to remain on a Keto Diet, however.

Adding cooked black beans to a high-fat diet improved sensitivity to insulin and other measures often related to diabetes and restored gut bacteria balance in obese mice, according to a USDA Agricultural Research Service study.

As little as the mouse-size equivalent of a single serving a day of black beans—about a half cup for a human—lowered insulin resistance 87 percent in obese mice compared to obese mice eating the same high-fat diet without the black beans. Insulin resistance is when a body’s response to the hormone insulin is impaired so glucose in the blood cannot be used for energy, resulting in high blood sugar, a factor often leading to diabetes.

Mice on the high-fat plus black beans diet also decreased low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the so-called bad cholesterol, 28 percent and triglyceride levels 37 percent compared to mice eating the high-fat diet without black beans. These are both risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Other diabetes-related biomarkers such as the levels of leptin, glucagon, and a group of inflammatory biochemicals were all significantly better in the mice on the high-fat plus black beans diet.

Black Beans Help Fix Insulin Resistance and Gut Bacteria Balance : USDA ARS

Black Bean Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

How to Digitally Enhance Your Cooking Experience

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By Jennifer Scott of spiritfinder.org

Keto Kooking shares information surrounding a keto friendly diet, intermittent fasting, and metabolic health. Read more informative articles today!

Whether you are learning how to cook, wanting to break out of a cooking rut, or looking for ways to make cooking easier, technology can help. Keto Kooking wants you to know that you can use the internet, smartphone apps, and the latest gadgets and devices to find new recipes, try out new cooking methods, and save some time in the kitchen. Now, let’s get cooking!

First, Look at Your Kitchen’s Accessibility

When you begin working in the kitchen, you want to think about two things right off the bat: safety and comfort. If your kitchen doesn’t comfortably accommodate your needs and you don’t feel safe using it by yourself, then you may want to think about making some modifications to the space to make it more suited to you. The added benefit of making upgrades to your home, like installing an island or new countertops, is that the value of your home is likely to increase.

Kitchen renovations are a big job, and you want to make sure the additions/changes are made by a team of professionals who understand what you need. So, before hiring a contractor to make these alterations, particularly for the plumbing, search online for local plumbing companies and check out reviews from previous customers.

Get inspired at your favorite restaurants

One fun way to dive in is to recreate some of the dishes you love at your favorite restaurants. If you reach out to restaurants via email or social media, they might just be willing to give you their recipes. But even if not, you can try to recreate copycat recipes at home. It can be a fun challenge between you and a friend or a partner to see who can do it the best. You can do the same with your favorite drinks from local bartenders or your favorite pastries from your neighborhood bakery.

Find interesting recipes

As Digital Trends shows, you can find hundreds of different recipe apps available for your smartphone or tablet. However, some of the best are the ones that find delicious recipes for ingredients you already have on hand. SuperCook or BigOven are great choices with easy-to-use features and recipes galore.

We also love Allrecipes Dinner Spinner (dish.allrecipes.com/mobile-apps). This app features trending and seasonal recipes, allows you to search for recipes by ingredients or themes, and you can create custom collections to share with families and friends. There are also many interesting recipes that you can prepare from pantry staples like rice, pasta, nuts, and canned vegetables and fruits.

Finally, for those who love the keto lifestyle as much as we do, check out these great resources for recipes:

Turn to video tutorials to try something new

Video has really changed the way we cook. It’s so much better to actually see recipes being made instead of just reading about them. One of the best ways to learn a new cooking method is by watching online video tutorials. For example, you can learn how to zest an orange, how to quarter a chicken, or try a number of other cooking techniques with some assistance from Bon Appetit.

Investing in a quality wireless speaker or set of speakers is a good idea, as you’ll benefit not only from clear audio and voice-activated commands (meaning hands-free control of the videos) but you’re able to place the speaker anywhere you need in the kitchen. Using smart devices like Google Nest with Google Assistant, you can do so much more as you prep your dishes, such as using voice commands to set your cooking timer.

Avoid touching your screen

If you are following along with your favorite recipes on your tablet in your kitchen, you will want to keep your messy hands off the screen. And thanks to the Food Network, that’s now possible. Intel teamed up with the Food Network to enhance your cooking experience. Now you can use gesture control and voice commands to scroll through their RealSense-enabled recipes without getting oil, flour, or anything else all over your screen. You also might want to add a screen protector, just in case you get carried away.

Take advantage of new cooking gadgets

Make cooking more fun and interesting by trying one of the latest cooking gadgets. Smart technology has made its way into the kitchen in the form of various devices that can be controlled from your smartphone. For example, BGR explains sous vide machines allow you to set up everything, leave for a while, and then come back later to an absolutely perfectly cooked meal.

You can also find a wide array of other smart kitchen appliances and gadgets, from refrigerators and ovens to scales and thermometers, that are integrated with Alexa, Google Assistant, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi to make prep and cooking easy from anywhere. Many have found that cooking with an air fryer is a healthier way to enjoy their favorite foods because meals cooked in this device won’t have the extra oil (or calories).

Cooking can sometimes be boring if you are making the same meals for your family night after night. It also can get frustrating if you don’t know your way around the kitchen well. But no matter your level of cooking expertise, technology can lend a hand. If you are looking for interesting recipes or different ways to cook, tap into the latest tech, gadgets, and apps to augment your cooking.

Photo via Unsplash

Today is National Keto Day. Who knew??

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I had no idea this existed. Have at it people! It’s not that hard. Just cut out most of the carbs you are consuming and you’re well on your way. You don’t need a diet plan or a dietician to tell you what to eat. Just look at your next meal and remove the carbs.

You don’t have to eliminate them if you’re just starting out. Cut your current serving in half and over a week eliminate them altogether. Increase the portions of your protein and vegetable to compensate and you’ll find you’ll start eating less but be more full. Satiety is a feeling most people don’t feel because they’re filling themselves with empty carbs.

The Vitamin Shoppe founded the national day in 2019 as a way to raise awareness about the low-carb, high-fat diet, which has been credited for weight loss and epileptic seizure reduction. While many dieters have found success with ketogenic meal plans, researchers aren’t certain about keto’s impact long-term.

A study from National Jewish Health – a cardiac, respiratory and immune hospital – found that keto diets might help people shed pounds and promote “modest” improvements to heart health, but researchers warned that this high-fat dieting method could encourage “consumption of foods that are known to increase cardiovascular risk.” The study also claimed that keto diets might be ineffective in preventing heart disease because dieters left to their own devices tend to eat unhealthy saturated fats.

National Keto Day: Here’s what you should know before trying the diet | Fox News

FDA contradicts recent science on salt and high blood pressure

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The FDA is lowering the guidelines for salt intake to deal with high blood pressure even though recent studies show salt does not cause high blood pressure.

A new study published in the American Journal of Hypertension analyzed data from 8,670 French adults and found that salt consumption wasn’t associated with systolic blood pressure in either men or women after controlling for factors like age.

Why not? One explanation, the authors write, is that the link we all assume between salt and blood pressure is “overstated” and “more complex than once believed.” It should be noted, however, that even though the study found no statistically significant association between blood pressure and sodium in the diet, those patients who were hypertensive consumed significantly more salt than those without hypertension—suggesting, as other research has, that salt affects people differently.

No Association Between Salt And Blood Pressure, Study Finds | Time

This is the same FDA that still recommends the SAD diet. Go figure. I don’t think I’ll be changing my personal salt intake any time soon.

In far-reaching guidelines, the FDA is seeking voluntary short-term lower sodium targets for food manufacturers, chain restaurants and food service operators – focusing largely on processed and take-out food. 

The agency wants to cut sodium intake to an average of 3,000 milligrams per day, compared with 3,400 mg over the next two and half years. 

But the average intake would still be above the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommended limit of 2,300 mg per day for anyone over 14 years of age. 

FDA sets new goal for lower salt in everyday American food (yahoo.com)

Benefits of intermittent fasting

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There are many health benefits to intermittent fasting. Prevention magazine covers many of them. Mental health is not mentioned. How can intermittent fasting help with your mental health? You save money. If you’re practicing one of the many variations of intermittent fasting you’re most likely eating less. If you’re eating less you’re most likely not spending as much on food. Saving money has a positive effect on everyone’s mental health!

Maybe you’ve tried intermittent fasting (IF) to shed a few (pandemic!) pounds, since the hope and potential for weight loss is what this eating plan is best known for. And yes, scientists are looking into whether or not it really is effective at helping people slim down. But some studies show that IF—in which you only eat during a specified time period—may have other possible long-term health benefits as well.

“The goal with IF is improving metabolic health, reducing the risk of certain conditions such as diabetes, and increasing longevity,” says Laura Kelly, C.N.S., L.D.N., an advanced genomic nutritionist at Nutritional Genomics Institute. “One theory as to why fasting may be beneficial is that during the fasting period, the body’s cells are under mild stress, similar to exercise. The cells respond to this stress adaptively by enhancing their ability to cope with stress and to resist disease.”

Intermittent Fasting Benefits – Weight Loss, Immunity, Longevity (prevention.com)