Today is National Keto Day. Who knew??

Blog

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

Are mushrooms low carb and keto friendly?

Blog

The short answer is… yes. I use mushrooms all the time to accent a meal. I put them in my omelets, serve them along side a steak, sauté them with green beans, snap peas, or broccoli among other vegetables. I think they’re great. I don’t think it’s possible to add so many mushrooms to a meal or a recipe that you’ll pop over your carb limit for the day.

There are many varieties of mushrooms, and the most common types are naturally low in carbohydrates in their natural form.

For example, a 1-cup (96-gram) serving of raw, whole white button mushrooms contributes 3 grams of carbs to your day. A cup of raw oyster and shiitake mushrooms contains around 6 and 7 grams of carbs, respectively.

If you like portobello mushrooms, you’ll find around 3 grams of carbs in both a 1-cup (86-gram) serving of them diced, or an average mushroom cap you might use to make a meatless burger

Can You Eat Mushrooms on a Keto Diet? (healthline.com)

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

Are we counting carbs wrong?

Blog

Personally, I don’t count carbs at all. I don’t know how many I consume in a day. I don’t track macros either. What I do, and it’s a practice I’ve had for decades now, is eat mostly meat and vegetables that are cooked at home. If I do look at a label to see the carb count I don’t look at “net carbs” where you subtract the fiber from the carbohydrates to make you feel like you’re eating fewer carbs. I look at the total carbs and if a single serving is in the double digit range I might skip it depending on what else I’m eating that day.

I generally don’t eat breads, pastas, rice, or other grains. I stay away from potatoes and other starchy root vegetables. I do have them on occasion but they are not a mainstay of my diet. I might consume them once per month or so.

Shulz and her co-author, Joanne Slavin, a professor of nutrition and food science at the University of Minnesota, suggest looking at carb quality rather than quantity. When it comes to the quality of carbohydrates, they recommend looking at factors such as the percentage of whole grains, whether there’s any added sugar, the total amount of fiber, and the ratio of total carbohydrates to the amount of fiber and added sugar.

If these factors can be summed in one sentence, it would be: “Eat more unprocessed food.” This is something that we all know is good for us in theory, but when it comes to the many, many food choices we make every day, it can be all too easy to just focus on the quantity of carbs, rather than the quality, letting the fruits and vegetables fall to the wayside.

We’re Counting Carbs All Wrong (lifehacker.com)

Low carbohydrate diets beneficial for pancreatic cancer

Blog

More and more studies are showing that diets low in carbohydrates have benefits far beyond maintaining weight loss.

In conclusion, low-carbohydrate diets, regardless of the type of protein and fat, are associated with a lower risk of pancreatic cancer in the US population, suggesting that adherence to low-carbohydrate-diets may be beneficial for pancreatic cancer prevention. Future studies should validate our findings in other populations.

PubMed.gov

Fighting COVID-19 by going low carb

Blog

More and more evidence shows that the high risk factors for dying from COVID-19 can be reversed within weeks when going on a low carb diet. Almost immediately blood sugars stabilize, people become less insulin resistant, and inflammation throughout the body goes down.

Other studies have found that dietary changes can rapidly and substantially improve cardiovascular risk factors, including conditions like hypertension that are major risk factors for worsened Covid-19 outcomes. A 2011 study in the journal Obesity on 300 clinic patients eating a very low-carbohydrate diet saw blood pressure quickly drop and remain low for years. And a 2014 trial on 148 subjects, funded by the National Institutes of Health, found a low-carb diet to be “more effective for weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor reduction” than a low-fat control diet at the end of the 1-year experiment.

Wall Street Journal

How to prevent or reverse metabolic syndrome

Blog

In a previous post I discussed what metabolic syndrome is and its possible causes. Here I’ll discuss what you may be able to do to reverse or prevent it.

To start you can immediately reduce your consumption of carbohydrates. It’s not to say you need to eliminate them from your diet but if you have a sugar addiction or have difficulty staying away from breads, cereals, and other grains it is in your best interest to find substitutes to remove as much from your diet as you can.

This is where the Keto Diet or a High Fat Low Carb (HFLC) diet comes into play. By removing carbs from your daily consumption you can start to immediately reverse some of the issues that lead to obesity and type-2 diabetes. The higher consumption of protein and fat on an HFLC diet allows you to feel full and satisfied, also known as satiety. When you feel satiated you can go longer without eating. And with the removal of carbs from your diet, you won’t suffer the spikes in insulin which will contribute to greater insulin sensitivity.

You can also try what is now known as Intermittent Fasting. It’s not some crazy thing where you stop eating for days on end. It’s simply cutting out some of your meals and limiting the time you eat to a certain time window of the day.

I started this well over 25 years ago just on a whim. I was getting heavier and approaching 200 lbs. I didn’t ever want to see the scale hit that number so I decided to change my eating habits by eating only when hungry. The first meal I cut out was breakfast. I was rarely hungry in the mornings and breakfast actually got in the way of reading the morning paper. So since the day I decided to go down that route I simply have a cup of coffee while reading the news in the morning. I was able to next skip lunch. It seemed the longer I went without eating the less hungry I became. For a long time now I have been eating only one large meal per day with maybe a snack in the evenings. It can be done and without even thinking about will power.

There are books to get you started on both the low carb approach and intermittent fasting approach. The two combined make powerful tools that you can use without any medication. The best part about going low carb and following intermittent fasting is that it’s free. No diet shakes or powders. No meal plans or pharmaceuticals. All you need to do is not eat as often and stay away, as much as you can, from sugar, breads, cereals, and other carbohydrates.

High protein low carb recipes

Blog

Prevention Magazine provides a bunch of recipes for those wanting some high protein low carb meals. Most are pretty obvious but I’m interested in the salmon with roasted red pepper sauce.

They do serve up a little misinformation though. For example:

But while some people benefit from limiting their carb intake—say, you have trouble controlling your blood sugar—a keto-style low-carb diet can be tough to follow. (I mean, is a life without sweet potatoes or even blueberries worth living?!) Not to mention, a diet predominately high in protein and fat will likely lack fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which reduce your risk of chronic diseases.

Prevention Magazine

The Keto Diet is not all that restrictive and you can have blueberries. Maybe not sweet potatoes all that much but you can have them too every once in a while. Stop peddling this nonsense!

Going low-carb improves the ability to regulate blood sugar

Blog

Another study is showing that limiting intake of carbohydrates allows those with Type-2 Diabetes to better control their blood sugar.

Patients with type 2 diabetes improve their ability to regulate blood sugar levels if they eat food with a reduced carbohydrate content and an increased share of protein and fat. This is shown by a recent study conducted at Bispebjerg Hospital in collaboration with, among other partners, Aarhus University and the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen. The findings are contrary to the conventional dietary recommendations for type 2 diabetics.
Nutritional therapy is important to treat the type 2 diabetes optimally, but the recommendations are unclear. According to the Danish Health Authority, up to 85% of newly diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes are overweight, and they are typically advised to follow a diet focused on weight loss: containing less calories than they burn, low fat content and a high content of carbohydrates with a low ‘glycaemic index’ (which indicates how quickly a food affects blood sugar levels).

eurekalert.org