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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Low carb diets are taking my patients off diabetes medication

Carbohydrates have been seen as an essential part of our diet for some time. Recently however, some research has challenged our thinking, and this has made some healthcare professionals a little uneasy.

We need carbohydrates for energy, there is no doubt about that, but do we need the amount of carbohydrates most of us consume?

Okay, so what is this new research suggesting? A pilot study was conducted and published in 2013. This demonstrated that it is possible for people with type 2 diabetes, when given a carefully controlled diet of 800 calories a day for eight weeks, to improve their diabetes control radically.

Professor Roy Taylor (who carried out the original pilot study) is now conducting a huge research study, with the backing of Diabetes UK, to find out whether the outcomes of this pilot study can be replicated across a wider diabetes population.

Michael Moseley wrote a book called the ‘8-week blood sugar diet’, which explains the science behind this diet and makes this type of diet accessible to the average person with type 2 diabetes. Although it is not recommended by NICE for type 2 diabetes, Diabetes UK is currently backing this research.

Some colleagues feel that because we don’t know what will happen long term, we should not encourage people to try this. Their concern is that a reduction of carbohydrates may mean loss of fibre, vitamins and minerals through reduced fruit and vegetable intake. They also feel that a higher intake of fats may be promoted in the form of dairy foods and coconut oil. They prefer a more measured approach, with reducing portion size a key factor.

I think they feel that the 'blood sugar diet' is really just a current version of the Atkins-type diet, but this very low carbohydrate diet comes from a far more scientific approach.

People with type 2 diabetes feel empowered to try this diet. Several patients I work with have tried this diet under supervision. Some have reduced their HbA1c, lost weight and been able to come off all diabetes medications. Others have reduced their HbA1c significantly, reduced their medications and lost weight. All were at different stages with their diabetes. As an aside, I have spoken to far more men than women who have been interested to try the diet.

If we look back at the drive over the past 20 or more years to reduce fats significantly from our diets in the western world, do we see a leaner and healthier population? No, with the reduction of fats and increase in intake of carbohydrate foods, our waistlines have increased and there has been a huge increase in numbers diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and obesity. It is surely not by chance, that all this has happened during the same time period.

Dr Taylor may be providing a huge service to the world with this research, especially if the findings show that for some with type 2 diabetes they may go into remission by this dramatic reduction in carbohydrates over the course of eight weeks.


Graham

Chicken with mushrooms & peas : A recipe that suits my LCHF lifestyle


Eddie and I have been living the low carb lifestyle for nine years now. Eddie is a Type 2 diabetic. This lifestyle has enabled him to lower and control his blood sugar numbers. I am not a diabetic, nor do I have any underlying health issues, but I choose to live this lifestyle. I have found I feel healthier for it, my energy levels increased and also in the back of my mind …both my dear mum and Gran developed Alzheimer’s in later life…..I think this runs in families. I also believe cutting down on starch and sugars may well help the fight against this disease, so rightly or wrongly, my choice is to eat low carb, high fat, moderate protein. Both mine and Eddie’s carbohydrate intake is no more than 50g per day, and often less. We have enjoyed many low carb meals over the past nine years, this recipe suggestion included! It's a quick and easy chicken dish with bacon, peas and a parsley sauce - use chicken thighs for extra flavour and juiciness - very tasty.

Ingredients:
Serves Four
2 tbsp. olive oil
500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
a little flour, for dusting
50g cubetti di pancetta
300g small button mushrooms
2 large shallots, chopped
250ml chicken stock
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
50g frozen peas
small handful parsley, finely chopped

Method:
1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a frying pan. Season and dust the chicken with flour, brown on all sides. Remove. Fry the pancetta and mushrooms until softened, then remove.

2. Add the final tbsp. oil and cook shallots for 5 minutes. Add the stock and vinegar, bubble for 1-2 minutes. Return the chicken, pancetta and mushrooms and cook for 15 minutes. Add the peas and parsley and cook for 2 mins more, then serve.

Tastes great served with a mix of cauliflower and broccoli florets, or some buttery mashed swede.

Chicken can make a tasty meal and is usually very reasonably priced, it's also one of the most popular meats around. It has a high level of good quality protein, as well as B vitamins, iron, copper and selenium, I hope you may enjoy this dish soon.
Original recipe idea is here

You can read our 'Introduction to low-carb for beginners' post here

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Europe Is Killing Itself will the US go the same way?

As Jan often says, we try to be a type of magazine at this blog, posting items non diabetes and diet related. I don't agree with everything this guy says, but it's hard to deny some of the points raised in this video. Eddie 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Smoked haddock and celeriac bake


It was back in 2011 that Eddie wrote about 'Great Grub Celeriac' and still to this day it is one of our favourite lower carb vegetables. This recipe, for a delicious bake, brings together the rich and earthy tastes of smoked haddock, onion and celeriac to create a warm, hearty dish that is layered with different flavours.

Ingredients:
Serves Two
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 rosemary sprig, leaves picked and chopped
2 smoked haddock fillets
200ml (1/3pt) milk
1 dried bay leaf
pinch nutmeg
1 garlic clove, halved
250g (8oz) celeriac finely sliced
75ml (3fl oz) double (heavy) cream
20g (3/4oz) Gruyère cheese, grated
salad, to serve

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C. Heat the oil in a large pan, then cook the onion and rosemary with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes, or until softened.
2. Put the fish, skin-side down, in a pan with the milk, bay leaf and nutmeg. Gently bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes.
3. Transfer the fish to a plate with a slotted spoon, reserving 75ml (3fl oz) poaching liquid. Flake the fish and discard the skin.
4. Rub a small baking dish with the garlic. Add a layer of celeriac, followed by a layer of fish and the onion mixture; season with black pepper. Repeat until the ingredients are used up, finishing with a layer of celeriac.
5. In a jug, combine the reserved poaching liquid and the cream. Pour it over the celeriac and scatter with the cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
6. Remove the foil and increase the heat to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Bake for 25 minutes more, or until golden. Depending on your oven it may need longer - check before serving... w
ith salad.

From an original idea
here

There's also a nice recipe for a Pork, celeriac and apple bake here 

A variety of recipe ideas is within this blog, but please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Monday, 18 September 2017

11% of older diabetes patients dangerously overtreated

Overtreatment of diabetes in elderly patients could be contributing to an increase in the number of falls, dizzy spells and confusion those individuals experience, according to research published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Diabetes patients are generally treated for long-term care with aggressive blood sugar-lowering medications, lead researcher Michael L. Maciejewski, PhD, and co-authors wrote in the study. However, intense diabetic therapy isn’t always necessary in older patients, since the benefit of those aggressive treatments declines with age, while risks increase. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the United Kingdom has released evidence that the benefits of aggressive glycemic control only begin eight years after initial treatment, Maciejewski noted in the study.

“Treating diabetes requires balancing the risks of long-term harm from undertreatment with the short-term and long-term harm from potential overtreatment,” he and colleagues wrote.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 80,000 Medicare recipients with diabetes to complete this study, all of whom were 65 or older. After sorting through Medicare claims from 10 states, Maciejewski and his team found 8,560 of 78,792 patients—nearly 11 percent—were potentially being overtreated for diabetes, exposing them to risks like dizziness, confusion, falls or even death as a result of too-low blood sugar and blood pressure.

Comparatively, just 6.9 percent of patients in the cohort were suspected to be undertreated for their illness.

According to the study, rates of overtreatment were highest among those with dual eligibility for Medicaid (13.4 percent) and older individuals over age 75 (12.1 percent). Overtreatment was lowest among Hispanic patients.

Around 14 percent of the estimated 8,500 overtreated patients received deintensification treatment, Maciejewski and co-authors stated. Deintensification was most common in adults between 65 and 70 years old and Hispanic patients, as well as patients with six or more chronic conditions, those living in urban areas and those with more outpatient visits.

For patients over 75 years old, deintensification appeared to be rare.

“It is troubling that the oldest Medicare beneficiaries were more likely to be overtreated and less likely to have their medication regimens deintensified, because these older adults are least likely to benefit from tight glycemic control and most likely to be harmed,” Maciejewski and colleagues wrote. “It is encouraging that those with multiple chronic conditions were more likely to receive deintensification, because they often have complex medication regimens, and prior studies have shown that risk for hypoglycemia increases with age, comorbidity burden and polypharmacy.”

While Maciejewski’s team analyzed this data several years ago, they noted in their research the American Geriatrics Society began recommending less intense diabetes treatment in 2013, so rates in 2017 could be lower than what they found.

“By focusing at both the overtreatment and undertreatment ends of the diabetes quality spectrum, we can best begin to truly improve the quality of diabetes care, ensuring that patients get needed care while avoiding unnecessary potential harm,” the authors wrote.


As a "older diabetic" I am neither overtreated  or undertreated, low carb ensures I'm not dependent on hypoglycemic diabetes drugs for control of blood sugar 

Graham

Handbags at dawn anyone?

Sixty-year-old woman is shoved to the ground as fists fly in a punch-up between transgender activists and their extreme feminist rivals in Hyde Park!

"The transgender issue is the most sensitive in Britain today, sparking passionate debate among equal-rights campaigners.

But now that passion has erupted into the sort of outright violence normally associated with football hooligans.

Two factions – the Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (or so-called TERFs) and their bitter enemies Trans Activists – clashed in an unseemly bust-up that ended with a 60-year-old woman being bundled to the ground and punched in the face. The incident was caught on video and is now being investigated by the police.

Mother-of-two Maria MacLachlan, who describes herself as a ‘gender critical feminist’, was attacked at Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park at about 7pm on Wednesday."


Full article here.

Jeez I thought I had lead a pretty interesting life, clearly I have  no idea how the 'real' world works. Anyone want to try and convince me, we are not heading for oblivion. The worlds gone nuts I tell thee. 

Eddie

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Raspberry Cream Cheese Mug Cupcake : Low Carb and Delicious !


Are you a fan of mug cakes?  They're very popular in the low carb, keto world. In about five minutes you can mix a few basic ingredients and have something that tastes very close to a cake.  A single serving of sweet, low carb goodness. 

No oven needed for this recipe, it's 'cooked' in the microwave!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Mug Cupcake
Ingredients:
Serves One
1 tbsp. melted butter, cooled
2 tbsp. almond flour
1 egg
1 tsp sugar substitute
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp. cream cheese, diced into small bits
5 raspberries
1 tiny pinch salt
For the Frosting
(4 servings, so you'll have enough for extra cakes)
4 oz. (1/2 brick) cream cheese
4 tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp sugar substitute
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Nutritional Information:
51 grams fat, 9.9 grams carbohydrate, 4.1 grams dietary fibre, 5.8 grams net carbohydrate, 14.8 grams protein.
For preparation/cooking instructions please see 'Modern Low Carb' site here

Did you know, Raspberries, are a member of the rose family, and have a wonderfully intense, sweet taste, and many consider them to be the finest flavoured of all the berries.

Raspberries grow well in cool, damp climates, and the red varieties, such as Heritage and Malling Jewel, are the most commonly sold, though you can also find black, yellow and golden types.

They are an essential ingredient in the classic English dessert, Summer pudding, and their flavour combines well with that of other berries.

Availability:
Late June to early September. If you've got a garden or allotment, raspberries are quite easy to grow.

Choose the best:
Look for bright, evenly coloured and plump berries, with no mushy or mouldy examples. If you're buying a punnet, check that the underside isn't stained - that means the lower level of berries has been crushed.

Avoid raspberries with their hulls still attached; that indicates that they were picked before they were ripe, so their flavour will be tart.

Prepare it:
As raspberries are very delicate, try not to wash them unless absolutely necessary. Just pick off any bits of stalk or leaf. If they must be washed don't put them directly under the flow of the tap, as they'll disintegrate. Gently pat them dry with kitchen paper.

Store it:
Arrange them on a layer of kitchen paper on a plate, so that they don't crush each other, and store them in the fridge. Take them out of the fridge an hour before eating, so that they're at room temperature. They are best eaten on the same day they were bought or picked.

I do hope you may enjoy some raspberries, and perhaps this recipe suggestion soon!

All the best Jan

'Snowflake' freshers receive Paddington Bear-style wristbands to remind them where they live!

"Thousands of 'snowflake' students are to be issued with brightly coloured wristbands printed with their address and emergency contact details this Freshers Week.

In a move labelled patronising by academics, more than 13,000 freshers including students at Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool will be given the Paddington Bear-style wristbands in case they forget where they live during boozy nights out." Full story here



My heart goes out to the modern day University students, it's clearly a very tough gig. Many running up £60K in debts to get a degree, with the grim prospect of having to actually work for a living. Then they have to find the safe areas within the Uni, can't have them upset with controversial conversation. The next problem is working out what gender you are (over thirty these days) and to cap it all, if you lose your wristband, you could be wondering the streets lost. Us old fogies had it so easy when we left School around fifty years ago, we knew who we were, what we were, and where we were going.

Eddie

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Katie Melua - I Will Be There (Full Concert Version)

Posted this song before but worth another play, great orchestral arrangement and beautifully sung 
Graham

Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - If This Is Goodbye

No words required. Eddie 

Johann Sebastian Bach - Suite nº 3, BWV 1068 (Karajan)

Saturday night again and music night on this blog. After a very poor summer winter appears to be on the way in the UK. Only one thing for it, turn the heating on, batten down the hatches, open a bottle of wine and chill out to this stunning music. Things could be worse. Eddie

Salmon stuffed with avocado : Great food !


Take some salmon, add some mashed avocado and what a fabulous pairing they make. It's a quick and easy, great tasting meal!

Ingredients:
Serves Four
4 Salmon Fillets (approx. 4/6 oz. each)
2 Avocados, mashed
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Sea Salt + Black Pepper, to taste

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 400F. / 200C. / Gas 6.  Place salmon fillets on a work surface and cut a slit in them horizontally (do not cut all the way through). Stuff mashed avocado in between the slits and season the fillets liberally with salt and pepper.

2. Heat olive oil in an oven safe skillet/pan (you can use cast iron for this, but any will do) over medium high heat. Sear the salmon, skin side up if they have skin, for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Flip the fillets over, transfer the pan to the oven and finish cooking until salmon is cooked to desired done-ness, about 5-7 minutes depending on thickness. Serves 4.

Goes well with sautéed lower carb vegetables ...
For help with ounce to gram conversion see here
As seen on Nourished Peach Blog here

couldn't resist these Autumn flowers

All the best Jan

Friday, 15 September 2017

Apple Crumble : The Lower Carb Way


Autumn is definitely the right season for delicious apple crumble, and I can remember my dear Mum making a wonderful variety of crumbles using fruits appropriate to the season. She made it 'the traditional' way with flour, sugar etc. which if you have a look around the many recipes available on the 'net' you will see the carbohydrate content could be anything from 65g to 90g per serving! Now, if you are diabetic this would have your blood sugars rising, (best avoided!) and if like me you choose to eat the LCHF way and restrict your carb intake to no more than 50g carb per day a 'traditional' crumble is best avoided!

However, fear not, Apple Crumble - which really is a symbol of great family meals and togetherness - has a lower carb version! Yes fellow low carb blogger Julia McPhee has a 'low carb' version of this family favourite and she says ' No McPhee family gathering is complete (without her version) of Apple Crumble'.

Ingredients: 
6 (Granny smith) apples, peeled and sliced
50g Butter
1 cup Almond meal
1 tbsp. Natvia
Optional
½ cup chopped nuts or Crunchy Grain Free Granola

Instructions:
1. Boil apples until soft in a small amount of water. Place in a baking dish.
2. Place softened butter, almond meal, Natvia, and nuts in bowl and mix together (real crumble requires mixing by hand), until well combined but still crumbly.
3. Spread over cooked apples and bake at 180 for 30 minutes or until crumble is golden brown.
4. Serve warmed with fresh cream or yoghurt.

Note that nutritional information is calculated for 1 serve of crumble and does not include cream or yoghurt.

Serves: 8
Serving size: 1
Fat: 27.3g
Carbohydrates: 14.9g
Protein: 7.1g

Recipe suggestion from Julia McPhee's blog here

If you need help with measurement and conversion please see here

We bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Avocado on a plate : LCHF recipes

 
Halloumi and Avocado Plate

Real food on a plate. Fried halloumi. Avocado. Cucumber and pistachios. Sour cream and lemon. Because food doesn't have to be complicated.
Ingredients
Serves Two
10 oz. / 275 g halloumi cheese
2 tablespoons butter for frying
2 avocados
¼ cucumber
1⁄3 cup / 75 ml sour cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ lemon (optional)
2 tablespoons pistachio nuts
salt and pepper

Why not vary the crunchy veggie… or better yet, make a medley.
Celery, radishes, jicama, kohlrabi, and even romaine lettuce all work well with,

or as a substitute for the cucumber.

83% Fat 13% Protein 4% Carbs 12 g carbs per serving
Find recipe instructions at Diet Doctor site here


Tuna and Avocado Plate

More real food on a plate. Tuna. Eggs. Spinach and avocado. Mayo and lemon.
Because food doesn't have to be complicated.
Ingredients
Serves Two
4 eggs
2 oz. / 50 g baby spinach
10 oz. / 275 g tuna in olive oil
1 avocado
½ cup / 125 ml mayonnaise
¼ lemon (optional)
salt and pepper

Canned tuna is a go-to pantry item when the fridge and freezer are empty.
Try to choose a good quality brand, packed in olive oil rather than soybean oil,

and preferably MSC certified.

76% Fat 23% Protein 1% Carbs 3 g carbs per serving
Find recipe instructions at Diet Doctor site here


Avocado's - from their heart-healthy benefits and skin-loving nutrients
to their unique versatility in recipes and making snack times extra delicious, we love avocados!
Read about 20 great reasons why you should fall in love with avocado too, if you haven't already, here

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Fact and Fallacy of a Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) Diet

As a Registered Dietitian with a post-graduate degree in Human Nutrition, and a past (published) researcher, it bothers me when people make negative comments about a Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) style of eating, without really understanding what it is – and what it isn’t. This article addresses a few of the common misconceptions that appeared recently in a French-language editorial in the Perspectives section of Le Soleil newspaper (07 septembre 2017, 17h55) and written by several very well-educated and experienced Quebec Dietitians. Certainly, if these esteemed RDs have misconceptions, others do as well. It is my goal in writing this article, to clear up some of these confusions.

FALLACY
: “The LCHF diet targets a very low carbohydrate and high-fat diet, aimed at rapid weight loss.”
FACT 1:
Firstly, there is no single LCHF diet.

The Atkins Diet is one kind of LCHF diet, so is a Paleo Diet, and these are substantially different from each other. There are LCHF diets written by non-healthcare professionals such as the “Bulletproof Diet”, as well as those from Dr. Jason Fung, a Nephrologist (kidney specialist) from Toronto and from Dr. Eric Westman of Duke University. Referring to “the” LCHF diet fails to take this huge range into account.

FACT 2: There is no one “goal” of LCHF diets.

From my experience, most of the well-designed LCHF diets written by healthcare professionals and researchers are aimed at lowering insulin resistance (IR), which underlies the symptom of high blood sugar and Type 2 Diabetes. Weight loss is a natural byproduct of eating in such a way as to lower IR.

FACT 3: LCHF diets that focus on weight management rarely aim for “rapid weight loss”.

LCHF diets designed by healthcare professionals with a weight management goal generally aim for consistent weight loss and/or inches lost, and reducing abdominal obesity. Morbidly obese people or those with a great deal of weight to lose and who begin eating low-carb will lose weight rapidly at first, firstly from water-loss and then from fat loss. That is not the aim, but the result.

FALLACY: “this diet is so restrictive”…

FACT 4:
“this diet…”

Which LCHF diet? As mentioned above, there are many different LCHF-style diets and they differ substantially from each other.

Fact 5: The term “restrictive” is not defined, so this statement really has no meaning.

What are all LCHF diets “restrictive” in?

Foods that are not included on an Atkins Diet are very different from what is not included on a Paleo Diet. Dr. Fung’s recommendations differ from Dr. Westman’s. For example, Dr. Fung does not limit any fats, and Dr. Westman does.

Which LCHF-diet is “restrictive” and in what foods or nutrients?

FALLACY: “this diet is so restrictive that the likelihood that the people who adopt it will drop it in the short or medium term is high.”

FACT 6:
The authors didn’t provide evidence that people who adopt a LCHF-style of eating drop it in the short- or medium term because it is restrictive in something.

Which LCHF diet is restrictive and what is it restrictive in? Is there evidence to support that people that stop eating those foods regularly are unable to continue to do so in the short- or medium term?

FALLACY: “There is a difference between processed high-carbohydrate foods such as juice, sweetened beverages, white bread, pastries and sweets, and whole foods high in unprocessed carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole wheat, vegetables, fruits, legumes , which are associated with good health and the prevention of the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.“.

FACT: 7: all carbohydrates (whether from juice, fruit, pastry, brown rice or whole wheat) are broken down and supply the blood with glucose.

FACT 8: how quickly all carbohydrates are broken down to glucose varies.

FACT 9: how much insulin is released in response to all of these different carbohydrates is what most well-designed LCHF diets endeavor to address.

FALLACY: “Whenever an attempt is made to isolate a nutrient (carbohydrates, proteins or lipids) and make it responsible for all ills, it is wrong. The reality is that we need these three nutrients for the health and enjoyment of eating.”

FACT 10: Well-designed LCHF-diets have all three macronutrients in them; carbohydrates, protein and fat.

The major difference is LCHF diets are low in carbohydrate and high in fat. Which carbohydrates are eaten on different LCHF diets vary. Paleo diets for example eat starchy vegetables that ketogenic-style LCHF diets don’t. In addition, which fats are promoted in the different styles of LCHF diets also differs. Paleo diets are known for promoting lots of red meat, including processed meat such as bacon and sausage and lots of full-fat cream and butter.

LCHF diets, such as the one I teach, include the saturated fat found naturally in foods, such as in steak or in cheese but encourage the “high fat” part of the diet to come from mono-unsaturated fruits such as avocado and olives, from a wide variety of nuts and seeds, as well as from the oils from these foods. It also includes the carbohydrates found in an abundance of non-starchy vegetables, specific fruit, and nuts and seeds. A look at just a few of the recipe ideas posted on this web site, certainly do not indicate a “restrictive diet”.

FACT 11
: The Dietary Guidelines in Canada (and the US) have “attempted to isolate a nutrient – fat, and make it responsible for all ills”.

In 1977, the Dietary Guidelines in both countries were first changed to restrict fat intake from all sources, especially saturated fat, in the belief that eating fat contributed to heart disease (see previous articles).

While it is now known that dietary fats do not cause heart disease, and even the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation changed their recommendations in this regard, it is my conviction that it was this vilification of fat and the corresponding promotion of diets very high in carbohydrates (45-65% of daily calories as carbs) that contributed to the dual obesity- and Diabetes epidemics that we now have.

Some final thoughts…


It would seem to me that the article published in LeSoleil was an emotionally-charged defense of the Dietetic profession, launched as a reaction to words said during an interview on a Quebec radio program. It did not however come across as a well-thought out analysis by highly educated and experienced Dietitians.

Personally, I don’t feel threatened by the many studies that have been published as far back as 15 or 20 years ago, supporting the use of LCHF-style of eating to address insulin resistance and which as a natural byproduct, promotes weight loss.

While it was both shocking and surprising to me at first, it certainly “fits in” with the pathways I learned in my undergraduate degree – yet promptly set aside to teach the recommendations of Canada’s Food Guide.

A LCHF-style of eating can be done safely, with slow yet consistent weight loss, while monitoring with specific lab work.

It certainly doesn’t have to be restrictive, as one can eat meat, fish, seafood, poultry, cheese and other dairy, vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds. It can provide a nutritionally adequate diet – certainly no less adequate that the average Canadian eats, following Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide [see Do Canadian Adults Meet Their Nutrient Requirements Through Food Intake Alone? Health Canada, 2012, Cat. No.: H164-112/3-2012E-PDF].

In conclusion, referring to a wide range of therapeutic diets designed by Physicians and Dietitians as being “absurd” and “dangerous” may paint a bold message with a broad brush that makes for popular journalism, but lacks the evidence-based support that these Dietitians, and our profession is known for.


Graham

Brussels Sprouts May Benefit Your Health !


10 ways Brussels sprouts may benefit your health.
By Rachael Link MS RD.

"Brussels sprouts are a member of the Brassicaceae family of vegetables and closely related to kale, cauliflower and mustard greens. These cruciferous vegetables resemble mini cabbages and are typically cut, cleaned and cooked to make a nutritious side dish or main course. Brussels sprouts boast high levels of many nutrients and have been linked to several health benefits.

1. High in Nutrients
Brussels sprouts are low in calories but high in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Here are some of the major nutrients in a half cup (78 grams) of cooked Brussels sprouts:
Calories: 28
Protein: 2 grams
Carbs: 6 grams
Fibre: 2 grams
Vitamin K: 137% of the RDI
Vitamin C: 81% of the RDI
Vitamin A: 12% of the RDI
Folate: 12% of the RDI
Manganese: 9% of the RDI
Brussels sprouts are especially rich in vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and bone health. They’re also high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps promote iron absorption and is involved in tissue repair and immune function.
What’s more, their high fibre content helps support regularity and gut health. In addition to the nutrients above, Brussels sprouts contain small amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium and phosphorus.
Summary: Brussels sprouts are low in calories but high in many nutrients, especially fibre, vitamin K and vitamin C.

2. Rich in Antioxidants
Brussels sprouts have many health benefits, but their impressive antioxidant content stands out. Antioxidants are compounds that reduce oxidative stress in your cells and help lower your risk of chronic disease. Eating Brussels sprouts as part of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help supply the antioxidants your body needs to promote good health.
Summary: Brussels sprouts contain kaempferol, an antioxidant that may reduce cancer growth, decrease inflammation and promote heart health.

3. May Help Protect Against Cancer
Some studies suggest that the high levels of antioxidants in Brussels sprouts could help protect against certain types of cancer. Including Brussels sprouts as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle may help reduce the risk of cancer, but more research is needed.
Summary: Some studies show that the compounds found in Brussels sprouts may decrease the risk of cancer.

4. High in Fibre
Just a half cup (78 grams) of cooked Brussels sprouts contains 2 grams of fibre, fulfilling up to 8% of your daily fibre needs. Fibre is an important part of health, and including a good amount of it in your diet affords many health benefits.
Studies show that dietary fibre can relieve constipation by increasing stool frequency and softening stool consistency to ease passage. Fibre also promotes digestive health by helping feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Increased fibre intake has been associated with other health benefits too, such as a reduced risk of heart disease and improved blood sugar control. Current guidelines recommend women eat at least 25 grams of fibre per day, while men should eat at least 38 grams of fibre per day. Eating Brussels sprouts, along with other good sources of fibre like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, can easily help you meet your fibre needs.
Summary: Brussels sprouts are high in fibre, which can promote regularity, support digestive health and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

5. Rich in Vitamin K
Brussels sprouts are a good source of vitamin K. In fact, just a half cup (78 grams) of cooked Brussels sprouts provides 137% of your daily vitamin K requirement. This important nutrient plays a vital role in the body.It is essential for coagulation, the formation of blood clots that stop bleeding. Vitamin K may also play a role in bone growth and could help protect against osteoporosis, a condition characterized by progressive bone loss. In fact, one review of seven studies concluded that taking vitamin K supplements could increase bone strength and decrease the risk of bone fracture in postmenopausal women. Keep in mind that those taking blood-thinning medication should moderate their vitamin K intake. But for most people, boosting vitamin K intake may reap many health benefits.
Summary: Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin K, a nutrient important for blood clotting and bone metabolism.

6. May Help Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
In addition to their impressive nutrient profile and long list of health benefits, Brussels sprouts may also help keep blood sugar levels steady. Multiple studies have linked an increased intake of cruciferous vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, to a decreased risk of diabetes. This is likely because Brussels sprouts are high in fibre, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Increasing your intake of Brussels sprouts alongside an otherwise healthy diet may help you keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Summary: The fibre and antioxidants in Brussels sprouts may help keep your blood sugar levels stable.

7. Contain ALA Omega-3 Fatty Acids
For those who don’t eat fish or seafood, eating enough omega-3 fatty acids can be a challenge. Plant foods only contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that’s used less effectively in your body than the omega-3 fats from fish and seafood. This is because your body can only convert ALA to the more active forms of omega-3 fatty acids in limited quantities. For this reason, you would need to consume a greater amount of ALA omega-3 fatty acids to meet your daily omega-3 needs, compared to if you were getting your omega-3 fats from fish or seafood. Brussels sprouts are one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, with 135 mg of ALA in each half-cup (78-gram) serving of cooked Brussels sprouts. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce blood triglycerides, slow cognitive decline, reduce insulin resistance and decrease inflammation. Including a few servings of Brussels sprouts in your diet each week can help you easily meet your omega-3 fatty acid needs, with a half cup (78 grams) providing 12% of the daily requirement for women and 8.5% for men.
Summary: Brussels sprouts are a good source of ALA omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation, insulin resistance, cognitive decline and blood triglycerides.

8. May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a normal immune response, but chronic inflammation can contribute to diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. A large study found that a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables was associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers in the blood. Additionally, Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants, which can help neutralize the free radicals that can cause inflammation.
Summary: Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants and contain compounds that may help lower levels of inflammation.

9. High in Vitamin C

Brussels sprouts provide 81% of your daily vitamin C needs in each half-cup (78-gram) cooked serving. Vitamin C is important for the growth and repair of tissues in the body. It also acts as an antioxidant, is involved in the production of proteins like collagen and may even enhance immunity). One review including over 11,000 participants found vitamin C reduced the severity of the common cold, decreasing its duration by an average of 8% in adults. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, but Brussels sprouts are one of the best vegetable sources available. Adding even just one or two serving of Brussels sprouts to your diet a few times a week can help you meet your needs.
Summary: Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that’s important for immune health, iron absorption, collagen production and the growth and repair of tissues.

10. Easy to Add to Your Diet
Brussels sprouts make a healthy addition to any diet and are easy to incorporate into side dishes and entrées. People often enjoy them roasted, boiled, sautéed or baked. For a simple side dish, first cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts. Mix the sprouts with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roast them on a baking sheet until they’re crispy. Brussels sprouts can also be added to frittatas or stir-fried dishes for a flavourful and nutritious dinner.
Summary: Brussels sprouts are simple to prepare and you can enjoy them in a variety of delicious side dishes and main courses.

The Bottom Line
Brussels sprouts are high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making them a nutritious addition to your diet. They may also come with added health benefits, including the potential to reduce the risk of cancer, decrease inflammation and improve blood sugar control..."

Words above are taken from an article by Rachael Link MS RD.
You can read her full article with all relevant information and research links here

Looking for Brussels Sprouts Recipes ...

... How about these three suggestions 

Brussels Sprouts and cheddar cheese soup here
Fish with Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts here
Buttered sprouts with pancetta here

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Soup au pistou with walnut pesto : A Bowl of Vegetarian deliciousness !


This is a classic Provençal vegetable soup, with a rich, earthy walnut pesto twist. Perfect for warming up these cooler Autumnal nights ...

Ingredients:
Serves Six

For the soup
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1/2 fennel bulb, finely chopped
1x 31g pack basil stalks, finely chopped (reserve leaves for pesto)
3 garlic whole cloves
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
200g (7oz) spinach, chopped
1 x 400g tin cannellini beans, washed and drained
1 1/4l (2 pints) good quality vegetable stock

For the walnut pesto
50g (2oz) walnuts, chopped
large bunch basil leaves reserved from soup
40g Parmesan
2 garlic cloves, crushed
125ml (4fl oz.) mild olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

Method:
1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onion, carrot, celery and fennel. Cook for 5-6 minutes over a low heat until starting to soften. Add the garlic and basil stalks and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, spinach, cannellini beans and when the spinach has wilted, season with salt and pepper and add the stock. Mix well and bring to a simmer, cook for 10 minutes.

2. While the soup is cooking, prepare the pesto. Put the walnuts, basil, Parmesan and garlic into a food processor and whizz for 10 seconds or until nearly smooth. Add the salt and whizz again, gradually drizzling in the oil until it is all combined. Season to taste.

3. Once the soup is done, ladle into 6 bowls and drizzle the pesto on top of each one.

Per serving:
Carbohydrate 2.9g Protein 10.1g Fibre 1.2g Fat 14.2g
From an original idea here

Recipes are to be shared, enjoyed, sometimes amended to suit your particular likes and needs and you will find a variety of recipe ideas within this blog. Not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Monday, 11 September 2017

Type 2 diabetes complications - levels of amputations at ‘record high’

DIABETES can be a complex condition to manage - and if it is not managed successfully the condition can lead to foot ulcers and amputation.

Diabetes UK has branded the rate of diabetes-related amputations in England a ‘national scandal’, following the publication of new data this week.

It said the total number of major and minor procedures have risen to 23 every day - which is compared with 20 every day between 2010 and 2013.

People with diabetes have a much greater risk of developing problems with their feet, due to the damage raised blood sugars can cause to sensation and circulation.

Data published by Public Health England and the National Cardiovascular Intelligence Network, and analysed by Diabetes UK, revealed the 25,527 major and minor amputations reported during the period 2013 to 2016 to be a record high.

This represents an increase of more than 3,000 total amputations when compared to the previous three-year period of records.

Robin Hewings, Diabetes UK’s head of policy, said: “It’s a huge concern that the number of amputations is increasing.

“Amputations devastate lives and, despite a slight decline in major amputations, a minor amputation can mean someone losing a toe or a foot.

“With good healthcare and support, four out of five of amputations are preventable.

“But nearly a quarter of hospitals in England still do not have a specialist diabetes foot care team.

“The financial impact on our health service is also massive, at least a £1 in every £140 of NHS spending in England goes on foot care for people with diabetes.

“We need to urgently increase the numbers of podiatrists specialising in diabetes and improve the quality of foot checks at GP practices, or people will continue needlessly losing their limbs.

“Progress has been made and investments in improvements have started.

“But the quality of services varies significantly across England, and the Government needs to go much further to address this issue.

“This means committing more money to improving services, and actively encouraging poorly-performing CCGs and hospitals to learn from those areas where best practice exists.

“The rise in preventable amputations is a national scandal, and we’re looking for decisive, urgent action on this issue.”

However, the new data has revealed a reduction in the rate of major amputations - but an increase in the number of minor procedures.

A major amputation is above the ankle, while a minor amputation can mean the loss of a toe or a foot.

Diabetes UK is set to launch its 2017 Putting Feet First campaign to promote the importance of people living with diabetes understanding how to spot the early signs of a foot problem and take care of their feet.

http://www.express.co.uk/

Scary numbers and the amputations could be avoided just by keeping blood sugars under control and having regular foot checks with a podiatrist 

Graham

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Beef Bourguignon ... low carb and so delicious


If you are a regular reader, you may have already seen and tried this lovely low carb dish, it's one of our favourites, but you can never have too much of a good thing - can you? It is delicious, why not give it a try soon.

Ingredients:

Serves Two
250 grams of diced braising steak
A handful of shallots
A handful of button mushrooms
50 grams of smoked bacon lardons
1 teaspoon of mixed dried herbs
1 bay leaf (optional)
2 beef stock cubes
1 large glass of red wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Method:
Heat the oil (to medium heat) in a frying pan. Add the shallots and mushrooms, fry/saute until golden brown, Remove from pan into oven proof casserole dish.

Add bacon lardons to pan and cook until they are lightly browned, add to casserole dish.

Finally put diced beef into frying pan and lightly brown each side of cubed beef then put into casserole dish.

Make up the beef stock to approx. half to three quarters of a pint, but the red wine should make up about half of the liquid.Bring to a gentle simmer in the frying pan and add the mixed herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Pour over the ingredients in the casserole dish, add your bay leaf (optional). Cover and cook for approx. two to two and a half hours at Regulo 4 Electric 180 stirring after the first hour. Serve with steamed broccoli and white cabbage or vegetables of your choice.

Very delicious, very easy to make and very low carb.

Hope you enjoy it.

All the best Jan

Over a million kids in America six years old and under are on psychiatric drugs!

The following information is the most accurate and documented data available on psychiatric drug usage in the United States. The information is from IMS Health, a company that provides information, services and technology for the healthcare industry. It is the largest vendor of U.S. physician prescribing data.


Big Pharma likes to get 'em hooked when young, customers for life. It's becoming official, the worlds going mad. More information here.

Eddie

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Jack Savoretti - Whiskey Tango

Another new release from a guy we've featured a few times before on the blog, have a good weekend folks
Graham

Carlos Santana And Wayne Shorter - Apache (Live) - Supernatural Tour 2003

These guys are in my opinion up there with the best musicians of my generation. Everyone I suspect has heard of Carlos Santana, but not so well known is Wayne Shorter. If ever a musician ever drew breath was better than Wayne, I have yet to hear them. This is art folks at the highest level. That's my lot for tonight, have a great weekend. Eddie

Tina Turner simply the best end of!

Graham gives me some stick, evidently I am living in the past with my music. I have checked out a lot of the new generation of so called pop stars, I am not impressed. Check out Tina at sixty years of age, the kids couldn't live with her stamina and talent. Eddie

Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb

Saturday night again and yes, it's music night. Busy week for me and Jan, and yesterday I got some fishing in, soaked to the skin, it never stopped raining ha ha. We had around seven days of hot weather this summer, so much for all this global warming malarkey. Kicking off tonight with a live track from a truly EPIC concert. Turn up the volume and blow ya brains out. Eddie 

Frittata - Using North African Inspired Ingredients !


Traditional North African food draws inspiration from the culinary traditions of Europe, Africa, and the Arab Middle East. From the rich tagines of Morocco to the harissa-spiced dishes of Tunisia, the sea-meets-desert cuisine offers a wealth of hearty, comforting, and complex meals worth getting to know... and you can read more here

This recipe idea from Tesco real-food is for a North African inspired frittata, (Yum!) and combines some tasty ingredients. Have a look below ...

Ingredients
Serves 4-6
2 tbsp. olive oil
225g (8oz) butternut squash peeled, deseeded and diced
8 large (British Lion) eggs
400g chickpeas, cooked to pack instructions
1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
50g (2oz) rocket (arugula) leaves
1tsp ground cumin
pinch of dried crushed chillies
salt
freshly ground black pepper
150ml sour cream (optional)
handful of chopped coriander

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas Mark 5. Lightly oil a 20cm (8in) non-stick baking tin. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the butternut squash and peppers and sauté for 8 minutes or until almost tender and golden. Transfer to the tin and stir in the chickpeas and rocket leaves.

2. Now beat the eggs with the cumin, chilli flakes and plenty of seasoning. Pour into the baking tin over the vegetables. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the frittata is set in the middle and the top golden.

3. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, before turning out and cutting into squares. Serve warm or cold with a crisp salad. If you like, mix a handful of chopped coriander with the sour cream.

Each Serving: 
Carbohydrate 12.4g Protein 12.5g Fibre 4g Fat 13g
Read more here

We bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan