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Thursday, 24 May 2018

How to reverse the diabetes epidemic in 3 years

Taken from Prof. Grant Schofield's blog

How to reverse the diabetes epidemic in 3 years
"It’s out! I’m honoured to be part of an authorship team with Prof Robert Lustig and Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, two rock stars of nutritional science and public health. These two guys are driving change and challenging dogma.

The paper, just published here in the Journal of Insulin Resistance, is an up to date report on the science of sugar, and offers an eight-point plan to reverse the diabetes epidemic within three years.

From the press release….
“Three international obesity experts, NHS Consultant Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, Professor Robert Lustig of the University of California San Francisco and Professor Grant Schofield, Auckland University of Technology have authored the most comprehensive up to date report on the science of sugar with an eight-point plan that if implemented will result in a reversal in the epidemic of type 2 diabetes within 3 years.

We have particularly focused on the tactics of the food industry, acting in the same way as Big Tobacco does. We are calling out The US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, British Dietetic Association (BDA), and the Dietitians’ Association of Australia who all receive annual contributions from the food industry.

Here’s our eight-point plan, all of which are evidence based to reduce population sugar consumption, and all of which were successful in curbing tobacco use.

1. Education for the public should emphasise that there is no biological need or nutritional value of added sugar. Industry should be forced to label added and free sugars on food products in teaspoons rather than grams, which will make it easier to understand. GS comment: We need a better food labelling system and all free sugars should be included in this. It should be obvious to the consumer how much sugar there is in products.

2. There should be a complete ban of companies associated with sugary products from sponsoring sporting events. We encourage celebrities in the entertainment industry and sporting role models (as Indian cricketer Virat Kohli and American basketballer Stephan Curry have already done) to publicly dissociate themselves from sugary product endorsement. GS comment: Like alcohol and tobacco in sport, the tide has turned and the untrue associations between sporting success and sugar are no longer tolerable to society. The gig’s up Big Sugar!

3. We call for a ban on loss leading in supermarkets, and running end-of-aisle loss leading on sugary and junk foods and drinks. GS comment: Supermarkets in New Zealand can’t loss lead on tobacco and alcohol, just add sugary drinks and junk food as well.

4. Sugary drinks taxes should extend to sugary foods as well. GS comment: NZ needs to join the club on sugary drink taxes, but if we want to change the three As (affordability, accessibility, and accessibility) then this tax must also extend to other junk foods. We could use the money for public health. Of our billions spent on health, the fact is most of it goes on sickness.

5. We call for a complete ban of all sugary drink advertising (including fruit juice) on TV and internet demand services. GS comment: As above, like tobacco and alcohol the tide has turned. Big sugar should be on notice.

6. We recommend the discontinuing all governmental food subsidies, especially commodity crops such as sugar, which contribute to health detriments. These subsidies distort the market, and increase the costs of non-subsidised crops, making them unaffordable for many. No industry should be provided a subsidy for hurting people. GS comment: Why do some counties make sugar cheaper yet healthy real food is costly. Sugar=wrong thing to subsidise.

7. Policy should prevent all dietetic organisations from accepting money or endorsing companies that market processed foods. If they do, they cannot be allowed to claim their dietary advice is independent. GS comment: Let’s save these guys because they clearly can’t identify that taking food industry money is a serious conflict of interest and undermines their credibility.

8. We recommend splitting healthy eating and physical activity as separate and independent public health goals. We strongly recommend avoiding sedentary lifestyles through promotion of physical activity to prevent chronic disease for all ages and sizes, because “you can’t outrun a bad diet”. However, physical (in)activity is often conflated as an alternative solution to obesity on a simple energy in and out equation. The evidence for this approach is weak. This approach necessarily ignores the metabolic complexity and unnecessarily pitches two independently healthy behaviours against each other on just one poor health outcome (obesity). The issue of relieving the burden of nutrition-related disease needs to improve diet, not physical activity. GS comment: Being fit is really good for you, but unfortunately big food is using it to confuse us about the solution to nutritional-related disease. Let’s treat these two things as important and separate, not run them against one another.

The retrospective econometric analysis and prospective Markov modelling both predict that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes will start to reduce three years after implementing these measures. This calamity has been 40 years in the making — three years is not too long to wait!

Here’s some great expert reaction so far….
“The science against sugar, alone, is insufficient in tackling the obesity and type 2 diabetes crises — we must also overcome opposition from vested interests”

Martin McKee, Professor of European Public Health London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said, “We now know how Big Tobacco works, pushing products that kill millions. This paper makes a compelling case that Big Food is doing the same. Maybe these corporations don’t care how they are seen. But if they do care about their reputation, then this paper shows that they have a lot to do to clean up their act.”

Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy, City University of London, Centre of Food Policy said, “This is an important paper with fair but firm recommendations. Slowly but surely, evidence and awareness are growing that a fundamental change is needed to national and international food policies. Food manufacturing has sweetened diets unnecessarily. Influence is bought by funding arms-length organisations who take the money and cloak themselves in spurious arguments on consumer freedom. Actually, the public worldwide is conned. The impression is given that a tweak here or there will sort out obesity and the runaway non-communicable disease toll. Media ought to realise they give airtime and space to what are effectively anti public health fronts. Declaration of funding should be made before airtime is given.”

Simon Capewell, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology
Department of Public Health and Policy, University of Liverpool said, “BigSugar, Big Tobacco and Big Food all use the same HARMS tactics to deny culpability: H Heaps money for politicians, journalists & scientists

H Heaps money for politicians, journalists & scientists
A Attack PH opponents & groups
R Recruit cronies
M Misinformation
S Substitute ineffective interventions.

Simon Chapman, Emeritus Professor, Sydney School of Public Health University of Sydney, AUSTRALIA said, “The 2005 satirical movie Thank you for smoking featured a triumvirate of tobacco, alcohol and firearms lobbyists, sharing their strategies at weekly meetings they call The MOD Squad (Merchants of Death). If the movie was remade today, a fourth member from Big Sugar would be mandatory.

These modern chronic disease vectors all use the same playbook. If you want to control malaria, it’s essential you control mosquitos. If you want to control obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, you must control the mosquito’s equivalent – the food industry”

Patti Rundall OBE, Policy Director of Baby Milk Action said, “A key tactic used by the food industry and all industries whose harmful practices should be regulated, is to create ‘front groups’ that represent their interest while sponsoring individuals in positions of influence – especially health professionals or anyone holding a position of trust. This allows them to secretly hijack the political and legislative process; manipulate public opinion and appear respectable. Since 1996, eight world Health Assembly Resolutions have called for conflict of Interest safeguards for those working in infant and young child feeding. These safeguards need to be implemented and extended to all those providing nutrition advice – transparency is an essential first step.” "

Please see the article with full links on Prof. Grant Schofield's blog here

All the best Jan

A Cheezy Vegan Broccoli Soup

As regular readers know, this blog brings a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, music and recipes! It is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. Our main focus is about the Low Carb Higher (Healthy) Fat lifestyle, LCHF for short, and you can read/find out more about that here

In recent months we have seen that more and more we have regular readers, and followers, who choose to eat vegetarian or vegan. With that in mind I am passing on this recipe suggestion from Martine at Low Carb Vegan Blog. She says this vegan soup is really creamy, tasty and delicious. The cheesy flavour of this soup comes from a combination of miso, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and unroasted cashews (you could use soy cream or almond butter for even fewer carbs). You can get these ingredients from a health food store. This soup is quite quick to make, but make sure to soak or boil your cashews in advance if you do not have a high powered blender. Serve on its own or with some crackers or low carb bread.

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 pound broccoli, use both stem and florets
1 large carrot, in chunks
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
750 ml water
1 vegan bouillon cube
100 gram unroasted cashews, boiled for 10 minutes or soaked for 2-4 hours
250 ml water
2 tablespoons shiro miso
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Can be found here

Readers please remember, not all the recipes ideas featured in this blog 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

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Salmon, Cucumber and Radish Salad : Perfect For Salad Days !

A lovely salad, and I enjoy the addition of radishes ... they add a slight crunch!

Serves Four
4 x 120g smoked salmon fillets
1 cucumber
200g radishes
120g bistro salad (e.g. a mix of lettuce, Beetroot, Red Chard) supermarkets often have pre-packed bags
2 tbsp. fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
3 spring onions (scallions) sliced, to serve
For the dressing
100g (low-fat) Greek yogurt
½ lemon, juiced
2 tbsp. fresh dill

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6. Put the salmon fillets on a baking tray and cook for approx. fifteen minutes.
2. Meanwhile, peel the cucumber into long thin strips using a vegetable peeler, and discard the watery core. Slice the radishes into rounds.
3. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice and dill with a little seasoning. Toss together the salad leaves, cucumber, radishes and mint leaves with almost all the dressing. Transfer to a large serving platter. Flake the salmon on top and add the remaining dressing and spring onions.

Nutritional Details:
Per serving 6.5g Carbs 29.1g Protein 17.0g Fat

Original recipe idea here

Smoked mackerel or smoked river cobbler works well and can be substituted for salmon if preferred. 

Radishes are the root of a member of the mustard family, radishes have a peppery flavour and a crisp, crunchy texture. Among the most popular varieties are the small, cherry-sized common variety which has a red skin and white flesh. Radishes are rich in folic acid and potassium and are a good source of vitamin B6, magnesium, riboflavin, and calcium.

Choose the best:
Go for firm-skinned radishes, with no blemishes. If they feel soft, they are likely to be spongy inside. Any greens still attached should look fresh and perky. The bigger the radish, the less crisp its texture, so avoid larger examples.

Prepare it:
To increase the crispness of radish, soak them in iced water for a couple of hours. Wash, then chop off the greens, if present, then slice off the root. Leave whole, slice or chop, as required.

Always prepare radishes just before using, as they loose their potency when cut. Mooli or daikon radishes can be sliced, diced or grated.

Store it:
In a perforated bag in the fridge for around 3-4 days. Always trim the leaves off before storing, as they'll draw moisture from the radish itself. You can keep the radish greens in the fridge, wrapped in moist kitchen paper then stowed in a perforated bag, for a couple of days.

More about radishes here

Regular readers will know that a variety of articles and recipe ideas, are within this blog. It is important to 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, 22 May 2018

Raspberry (Low Carb) Coconut Flour Cupcakes

Libby at Ditch The Carbs site has been talking about her lovely recipe for sugar-free, gluten-free, raspberry cupcakes that are made with coconut flour. Coconut flour is free from gluten and wheat, high in fibre, and lower in inflammatory omega 6. Since the texture of coconut flour is so light, you’ll be sure to make soft cupcakes with every batch. This easy coconut flour cupcakes recipe, can be adapted and made with any berry you choose ... but raspberries are good!

These are the ingredients you'll need:
(makes eight cupcakes - 4g net carbs per cake)
110 g butter melted
50 g coconut flour
4 tbsp. granulated sweetener of choice or more, to your taste
2 tsp vanilla or more, to your taste
1 tsp baking powder
8 eggs medium
120 g raspberries fresh or frozen

See how to make them, and more, at Libby's site here

be sure to put the kettle on

and get your cup and plate

then sit and enjoy

All the best Jan

Monday, 21 May 2018

Parsley ... shouldn't be overlooked !

Parsley is one of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and Middle Eastern food. The traditional British choice is curly parsley, but flat leaved (Continental) parsley is also widely available. The flavour is fresh and grassy, and works well with most other ingredients.

Choose the best:
Go for fresh looking, bright green bunches, with no wilting or discolouration. Curly parsley is darker than the flat leaf variety, and has a milder taste. Flat leaf has a more robust (and, some say, better) flavour. They can be used interchangeably, but the fact that flat leaf is much easier to clean (the curly type can trap lots of dirt in its frilly leaves) swings it for some people. Dried parsley is also available but its flavour doesn't match up to the real thing.

Prepare it:
Wash, then chop the leaves either finely (for adding subtle flavour to cooked dishes) or coarsely, for dishes such as salads, for which you want more of a flavour impact. The stalks have a lot of flavour, too, so can be chopped finely and added as well - or use them for making stock.

Store it:
Fresh cut parsley should be wrapped in damp kitchen paper, placed in a perforated bag and stored in the fridge. It will last for up to 3 days. Alternatively, treat like a bunch of flowers and put in a glass of water in the fridge, covering the leaves with a plastic bag and changing the water every two days - it can last for up to a week this way. Dried parsley should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. It will keep its potency for up to 4 months.

Cook it:
In Middle Eastern salads; with basil, to make pesto; add to soups, stews, sauces, meatballs, fishcakes, burgers, salsas and marinades.

A little more about Parsley:
Parsley has far more virtues than a bit of green to dress up a dinner plate. Parsley is enormously rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, and has natural anti-inflammatory properties, perhaps helps keep arthritis at bay. The wealth of vitamin C in parsley (seemingly with the highest concentration of the stuff in a green vegetable) makes it a great immune booster, and a healthy amount of vitamin A also helps your fight toward restoring, and maintaining, health.

I wonder do you like parsley? Do you use it in your recipes? If you may be looking for recipes that use/incorporate parsley, here are some.

Spicy mushrooms with peppers : Low carb starter or side dish
see details here

Sausage with Cauliflower and Parsley Rice
see details here 

Chicken with mushrooms and peas
see details here

Individual Fish Pies : Low Carb and Dairy Free
see details here

You will find a variety of articles and recipes ideas 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

Sunday, 20 May 2018

A Wonderful Week ...

For those of you who saw my post here, you will know that Eddie and I have been away for a short break ... and what a wonderful time we had.

Our weather from start to finish was wonderful. It was so lovely to spend time with family, and so enjoyable meeting up with low carb team member and good friend Graham. Our final few days were spent in the wonderful Lake District.

We spent time walking, cruising (on Lake Windermere) a little shopping and some very relaxing moments enjoying a tea or coffee in outdoor cafes ... yes the word wonderful sums up our break so well.

So it's time to sort through some photographs - but in the meantime I'll leave you with these two.

All the best Jan

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Kaz Hawkins and Her Band O' Men - Because You Love Me

Just came across this video last night, good song and this lady's got a powerful voice, enjoy

Listen to the Music Playing For Change

Saturday night again and music night. Yet another stunning rendition of an old classic by the mega talented Playing For Change crew, enjoy. Eddie

Cauliflower ‘toast’ avocado mash, smoked salmon and poached egg : Perfect for a Royal Lunch ?

Well, I'm sure that readers will know that here in the UK today, Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle. Of course there are many other couples who will also be getting married and I wish all couples every happiness. In celebration I thought I'd share a recipe suggestion that could perhaps be called 'A Royal Lunch' or just 'Cauliflower toast, topped with avocado mash, smoked salmon and poached egg'. Yes, throw away the bread and substitute it with cauliflower! It tastes so good and makes a wonderful LCHF weekend breakfast or lunch. Honestly, it really works well and is so much lower in carbs ... and if you are diabetic does not raise those blood sugar levels as much - just see what your meter tells you!

This recipe uses the humble cauliflower in replacement of toast and it works amazingly as a low carb replacement to bread. You finish feeling satisfied and you honestly don’t miss the bread at all. It’s seriously scrummy and can make a perfect lunch, or weeknight supper, or one super breakfast!

To feed two people you will need:
1/2 cauliflower,
4 slices smoked salmon
1 avocado, make sure it is good and ripe
2 eggs
salt, pepper
olive oil
sprinkle of turmeric, pinch of cumin

Start By:
Preheating your oven to 190C
Then take your cauliflower and pull off all his outer leaves."

Next you need to go over to Margie's site and read her instructions here
She has a great way of writing and a very clear step by step guide.

Now as it's the weekend, I wonder, will you be shopping, seeing family / friends, catching up with housework, doing some gardening, or just putting your feet up and chilling with a good book or listening to music. Of course you may also watch the wedding ...
Whatever your weekend plans, I wish you a good one.

All the best Jan

Friday, 18 May 2018

Chicken with sweet wine and garlic : A little bit French and low carb !

The dish may not look colourful ... but this simple, delicious and very classically French, creamy casserole makes an impressive dinner party dish. Of course you could just spoil yourself ... why wait for a dinner party!!!

Serves Four
9g carbs per serving
2 tbsp. seasoned flour
1 free-range chicken, about 1½ kg/3lb 5oz, jointed into 8 pieces
4-5 tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
200ml sweet wine, such as Sauternes
300ml chicken stock (see how to make your own below)
sprig each of parsley, thyme and bay tied with string
1 head garlic
50g butter
200g chestnut mushrooms
3 rounded tbsp. crème fraîche
a little lemon juice if needed

1. Tip the flour into a large food bag. Add the chicken pieces, two at a time, and shake well to coat evenly. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large pan, add a few pieces of chicken and fry on all sides until well browned. You’ll need to do this in batches and you may need a touch more oil or fat. Remove the pieces to a large saucepan or flameproof casserole.
2. Add 1 tbsp. oil to the pan, add the shallots and fry gently until softened, but not browned. Add the wine and allow to bubble until it is reduced a little. Add the stock, herb bundle and seasoning and bring to the boil. Pour over the chicken.
3. Cover the pan tightly and simmer for 45 minutes until the chicken is tender and the sauce thickened and reduced.
4. Meanwhile, separate the garlic head into individual cloves and put in a small pan with water to cover. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the garlic is tender. Drain and cool under running cold water. Peel the garlic.
5. Heat half the butter and a splash of oil in a frying pan. Add the mushrooms and cook quickly over a moderate heat until just softened. Tip into a bowl. Wipe out the pan and add the remaining butter and a splash of oil. Add the garlic and fry gently, shaking the pan until lightly browned. Season lightly.
6. Stir the mushrooms and crème fraîche into the chicken and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then taste and add more seasoning and a little lemon juice if it needs it. Spoon the chicken and sauce onto a warm platter and scatter with garlic.

Recipe Tip:

Make a simple chicken stock
Once you have jointed the chicken, cut the backbone in half and put in a pan with the leg and wing tips, 1 roughly chopped carrot, 1 stick of celery and 1 shallot. Add 1 bay leaf and a thyme sprig, a few black peppercorns and some salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and use.

From an original idea here
To add some greenery to this dish why not consider serving with some fine French beans ...

... flowers always brighten up a table

You will find a variety of recipes ideas 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

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Featuring three low carb fruits ...

Three low carb fruits

strawberries 6gm blackberries 5.1 gm raspberries 4.6gm
of carbohydrate per 100gm weight.

Low Carb Strawberry Sponge Cake
made in the microwave ...

100g ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon of melted butter
2 tablespoons of double (heavy) cream

extra thick cream and strawberries for the filling

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
Melt the butter I used a Pyrex jug, add the eggs, cream, then add the dry ingredients and mix. Pour into a 6" microwave proof dish. Microwave in a 700watt for 3 minutes. Allow to cool and cut in half.
Spread on extra thick cream and some sliced strawberries.
Serves 4-6. Less than five carbs per portion

Strawberries have grown wild for millennia in temperate regions throughout the world. While cultivation of strawberries doesn't date back this far, it still dates back hundreds and hundreds of years.

It was not until the 18th century, however, when cultivation of strawberries began to be pursued in earnest. In 1714, a French engineer sent to Chile and Peru to monitor Spanish activities in these countries "discovered" a strawberry native to this region that was much larger than those grown in Europe. He brought many samples back to France, which were subsequently planted. These plants did not originally flourish well until a natural crossbreeding occurred between this species and a neighbouring North American strawberry variety that was planted nearby in the field. The result was a hybrid strawberry that was large, juicy and sweet, and one that quickly grew in popularity in Europe.

More great strawberries information can be found at the
Worlds Healthiest Foods site here.
WHF is a not for profit goldmine of great food information.

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Cauliflower low-carb risotto with spinach and goat's cheese

This low-carb cauliflower risotto with spinach and French goat's cheese is an excellent choice for a quick and easy lunch. In fact you may even enjoy it for dinner! You'll find that each spoonful is packed with flavour and comforting creaminess ... yum!

Serves Four
1 2⁄3 lbs (750g) cauliflower
1¾ cups (425ml) heavy (double) whipping cream
2 oz. (50g) butter
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon onion powder
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
3 oz. (75g) parmesan cheese
3 oz. (75g) fresh spinach
5 oz. (150g) goat cheese
4 tablespoons pecans
2 tablespoons olive oil

Just like with rice, some prefer a softer texture and some like it al dente. Be sure to test the cauliflower mixture frequently and get it off the heat before it becomes too mushy.


Yes, for a vibrantly green dish, try broccoli instead of cauliflower. Pay extra attention to taking it off the heat before it turns into a mash.

Storing the dish

This dish keeps for 2-3 days in the refrigerator and reheats great in the microwave. Perfect for a lunchbox.

Please find recipe instructions here

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Is statin use a waste of time and money?

Transparency is lacking around efficacy of widely used cholesterol-lowering drug

In 2016, when Ireland’s State-funded sector spent almost €50 million on cholesterol-lowering statins – the world’s most prescribed drug – was the money wasted?

A BMJ study investigated statin use among Ireland’s over-50s. Lead author Paula Byrne, of Galway’s NUI – a health research board scholar in the structured population health and health services research PhD programme – told The Irish Times that “while statins are recommended preventive treatment for those who’ve had a cardiovascular event, our research focused on primary prevention; ie using statins when there’s no history of a cardiovascular event. Significantly, almost one-third of over-50s took statins. Of these, 65 per cent did so for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), a contested area in statin use. Some people taking statins for primary prevention potentially reduce their CVD risk by such a small amount as to be arguably meaningless.”

The presentation of risk part-fuels the statin controversy, with United States and Danish researchers attacking “the deceptive approach statin advocates have deployed to create the appearance that cholesterol reduction results in an impressive reduction in cardiovascular disease outcomes through their use of a statistical tool called relative risk reduction (RRR) . . . which amplifies the trivial beneficial effects of statins.”

Byrne explains: “Data from the Oxford-based Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ (CTT) collaboration show that taking statins reduces one’s risk of dying from a vascular event by 15 per cent (RRR). Consider a 45-year-old woman whose baseline risk of developing CVD is only 3 per cent. This risk level is considered ‘moderate’ according to European guidelines for the management of dyslipidaemias, and she could qualify for statin therapy if her ‘bad’ cholesterol exceeded 2.6 mmol/L and lifestyle changes hadn’t reduced her cholesterol levels sufficiently. But her absolute risk of dying from a vascular event while on statins drops from 3 per cent to 2.55 per cent, since 15 per cent of 3 per cent is 0.45 per cent.” Byrne wonders whether treating that woman maximises scarce healthcare resources: “From the individual’s perspective, will she think that an absolute risk reduction of 0.45 per cent justifies taking a statin for life and risk potential side-effects?”

‘Contemptible breaches’

Dr Maryanne Demasi asks “have we been misled by the evidence?” noting the CTT collaboration’s withholding of statin trial data: “One of the most contemptible breaches in transparency. Neither the doctors prescribing statins nor the millions of people taking these medications have had access to independent analysis of the efficacy data.”

Addressing such claims, Dr Angie Brown – medical director of the Irish Heart Foundation – said: “It’s crucial for the complexities and the veracity of multicentre studies to be understood by physicians and scientists to help appropriately modify advice and treatment that’s given to patients and the public. But the discussion of the details and statistical analyses can be confusing and lead to undue worries for patients about their treatment. We always advise individuals to discuss their concerns and treatment with their doctor.”

Responding, Galway-based Prof Sherif Sultan – president of the International Society for Vascular Surgery – said “patients do not command guardians to shield them from information. We need transparency.”

The statins industry rests on the unproven cholesterol hypothesis: that eating saturated fat raises blood cholesterol concentrations, which clogs coronary arteries, inducing CVD. Several studies challenge this dogma. Thus, a 42-country investigation stated: “ High CVD risk is correlated to the proportion of energy from carbohydrates and alcohol, or from potato and cereal carbohydrates. . . Our results do not support the association between CVDs and saturated fat, which is still contained in official dietary guidelines.”

And a BMJ analysis of 19 studies of 68,094 elderly people concluded that high blood concentrations of “bad” cholesterol is “inversely associated with mortality in most people over 60 years”.

Sugar as culprit

Study co-author Prof Sultan said “In plain English, this means the lower your cholesterol, the younger you die. This is inconsistent with the cholesterol hypothesis, which created the war on fat and cholesterol, commanding 60 years of global human experiment that is currently being acknowledged as an awful failure with atrocious generational consequences. Sugar is the dietary culprit, and healthy lifestyle changes, not statins, should be promoted.”

Prof Sultan’s co-author Dr Uffe Ravnskov received the 1999 Skrabanek Award from Trinity College Dublin for original contributions to medical scepticism. Ravnskov considers that the cholesterol hypothesis “is sustained by a number of social, political and financial factors, most of which have little to do with science or any established success in public health”.

I invited comment from three Irish consultant cardiologists. The first didn’t reply; the second didn’t “want to be associated with an article that is anyway detrimental to statin therapy and people’s perception of these drugs”; the third agreed to participate, but withdrew when I suggested that the cholesterol hypothesis is discredited and that non-industry-funded evidence for primary prevention with statins – including complete results and side-effects data – is non-existent, explaining: “Those questions are probably outside my scope of knowledge.”

But not outside cardiologist Dr Robert Dubroff’s.

Postponement of death

Dubroff wrote that many experts cite randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of statins supporting the cholesterol hypothesis, “but we should not ignore the dozens of cholesterol-lowering trials that do not”. He cites “44 cholesterol-lowering RCTs that reported no mortality benefit”, with several reporting substantial harm. And six studies on statins in primary preventionfound that the median postponement of death was 3.2 days.

Should statins be debated in the media?

Paula Byrne thinks so: “It’s about informing patients to enable more shared decision-making based on a patient’s individual baseline risk. However, we should be aware of the potential harms for people with high baseline risk deciding to stop statins based on media reports when this may not be in their best interests in terms of health outcomes. Central to good science is reproducibility, and keeping information from independent analysis stokes fears, which may or may not be justified.

“One should be able to debate controversial areas without fear; indeed, it’s the nature of science to inquire and challenge. There should be no sacred cows.”


Iceberg Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing : Vegetarian

Sometimes you just want to tuck into a nice crispy salad ... this could fit the bill! It's a crisp salad with tangy blue cheese dressing, crumbled cheese and crunchy toasted walnuts - it can make a great accompaniment to steak - but obviously eat and enjoy it to your preference.

Serves Two
50ml buttermilk
50g soured cream
50g mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
75g blue cheese, crumbled
½ small pack chives, snipped
1 iceberg lettuce washed and quartered
25g walnuts, toasted and chopped

1. Make the dressing in a medium-sized bowl by combining the buttermilk, soured cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice and 50g of the blue cheese. Season and stir through the chives. Chill until ready to serve.
2. When ready to serve, pour half the dressing over the lettuce wedges and crumble over the remaining blue cheese and a scattering of walnuts. Serve the rest of the dressing on the side.

From an original idea here

A lovely vegetarian salad/dish which nutritionally per serving is:
46g Fat 15g Protein 8g Carbs ... it fits in well with my LCHF lifestyle.

We bring a variety of recipes ideas to 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, 14 May 2018

Buttermilk ... a little about it ... and a recipe

Did you know - there are two types of buttermilk.

Traditional buttermilk is a thin, cloudy, slightly tart but buttery-tasting liquid that is left after cream is churned to make butter. These days, however, it is more commonly sold as a thick liquid produced commercially by adding an acidifying bacteria – and sometimes flavouring and thickening agents – to milk. This commercial product can be thought of as a gentler, thinner yogurt, with any buttery flavour likely added.

Buttermilk is traditionally a drink, but is more often used in baking now. When used with baking soda, it reacts to form carbon dioxide, thus helping mixtures such as soda bread, rolls, scones and waffles to rise.

It's also used as a marinade as the acidity can help to make meat more tender and flavourful. You'll find buttermilk used in this way in some chicken dishes.


Traditional buttermilk is rarely available. Commercially-produced buttermilk is often stocked in larger branches of most supermarkets.

Choose the best
All buttermilk will continue to ferment to some degree and thus become more acidic, so pay attention to use-by dates.

Store it
Buttermilk should be kept refrigerated and used quickly once opened.

Cook it
When using buttermilk as leavening with baking soda, it’s best to let it come to room temperature before use. This reaction happens immediately so is much faster than baking powder, which works only when heat is present. If the buttermilk is still refrigerated, the dough might set before the reaction has time to work fully and the result will be heavier.

If you cannot get buttermilk for baking, or do not have enough, plain yoghurt works just as well but will give a slightly different flavour.

Chicken Drumsticks or Thighs
Grilled with Buttermilk

Grilled chicken is an all-American summer classic that's perfect for a picnic or a scorching hot barbecue. You'll love this grilled buttermilk version as it's gluten-free and nut-free. What's more they're slowly marinated for hours making it super moist and tender... recipe details here

You will find a variety of articles and recipes within this blog. 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

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Our Bags Are Packed and we're off ...

Well, we've just finished packing our bags ... and Eddie and I are off for a short break. We are taking time out to see family and friends, plus spend some time in our beloved 'Lake District' ... we have been fortunate to go there many times and we just love it. Keeping fingers crossed for some dry, sunny weather but knowing our inclement weather I've packed everything from wellington boots, walking shoes to flip flops! LOL!

Leaving you with a few photographs of some of our previous Lake District visits.

Lake Windermere

The Swan a lovely boat for cruising down lake Windermere on a sunny day.

A most fantastic and mystical place, off the beaten track for this photograph.

The Lake District, so green and fabulous scenery

you will be seeing posts from me (Jan), which have been pre-prepared
We say thanks to team member Graham for over-seeing the blog,
and we're looking forward to meeting up with him later this week.

We're hoping for safe travels
See you soon

All the best Jan and Eddie

Insulin Doubles Death Rate in Type 2 Diabetics

As this study has demonstrated, markers are simply not a valid way to determine effectiveness of a treatment. In type 2 diabetes, the problem isn't a lack of ability to produce insulin; neither is it high blood glucose. The problem is the cells' ability to utilize insulin to transport glucose from blood into cells.

The problem is that cells' ability to use insulin has deteriorated. So, how can it be beneficial to give more insulin when cells are unable to utilize what's already there? Clearly, that's counterproductive.

Yet, that's precisely what doctors do! They give insulin to replace insulin, when a lack of insulin isn't the problem! It should come as no surprise that the real concerns of anyone being treated for diabetes are not answered by insulin treatment.

As this study has demonstrated, forcing insulin into the body actually results in worse outcomes. How many decades has this treatment been in vogue? All that time it's been justified because it reduces blood sugar. But the effects that count—quality of life and longevity—haven't been considered.

There's one lesson to be learned here: Health isn't found in pharmaceutical drugs, not even old tried-and-true drugs.

More on this article here.


Saturday, 12 May 2018

Jessica Simpson - When You Told Me You Loved Me

Here we are again yet another music night on our blog, hope you enjoy this song as much as I did, have a good weekend folks

Broccoli ... it's brimming with good nutrients !

Did you know that Broccoli contains almost 5 times as much vitamin C, 8 times as much Calcium,
and almost 2.5 times as much Fibre as Potato.

Pronounce it: brok-o-lee

Like cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a brassica and is sometimes known by its Italian name, calebrese. It has tight clusters of deep green buds and thick, edible stems and was developed from the more loosely packed purple sprouting broccoli. There's little to choose between the two in terms of flavour or nutrition.

All year round, but at its best from the end of July to the end of October.

Choose the best:
Go for firm, bright green, undamaged heads (if it's yellow its already past its peak) and firm stalks. As broccoli deteriorates faster when in contact with the air, supermarkets often wrap it in cellophane - always choose the unwrapped type if you can as, if it still looks good, you can be sure that it has been recently picked.

Prepare it:
Trim any woody stem ends or tough leaves with a knife. Divide into small, individual florets, each with a short stem, and diagonally slice the thicker stems. Rinse under cold water. Broccoli boils or steams in 3-6 minutes, depending on the size of floret. In stir-fries, cook it for a couple of minutes, until tender.

Store it:
In an airtight bag in the fridge.

Cook it:
Cook and drizzle with olive oil or melted butter or a handful of grated Parmesan; add to a cheesy pasta bake; stir-fry in groundnut oil with chopped garlic and dry fried cashews, adding a drizzle of sesame oil to the pan just before cooking ends.

Try purple sprouting broccoli or cauliflower.

Some words above from here

How about a tasty treat ...
Broccoli and Smoked Salmon Omelette
Serves One
1 tbsp. olive oil
100g Tenderstem® Broccoli, each piece cut into 3
Half a small red onion, finely sliced
3 large free-range eggs
Knob of butter
2 tbsp. cream cheese
1 tbsp. chopped chives
Salt and pepper
50g smoked salmon, cut into strips
See method here

... do you like broccoli?

All the best Jan

Friday, 11 May 2018

Cheesy Garlic Bread - using mozzarella dough - Keto, Low Carb

Libby at Ditch The Carbs site is a whizz in the kitchen! She has recently posted this great recipe for cheesy keto garlic bread - using mozzarella dough. At only 1.5g net carbs per slice, this is an absolute keeper for your low-carb recipe folder...

Makes ten slices
170 g pre-shredded (grated) cheese mozzarella
85 g almond meal/flour *see recipe notes below
2 tbsp. cream cheese full fat
1 tbsp. garlic crushed
1 tbsp. parsley fresh or dried
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt to taste
1 egg medium 

* Mozzarella dough can also be made by replacing the almond meal/flour with 1/4 cup (4 tbsp.) coconut flour.

Please see cooking instructions here 

... the delicious and vibrant taste and wonderful healing properties of parsley are often ignored in its popular role as a table garnish. Highly nutritious, parsley can be found year round in your local supermarket.

Parsley is the world's most popular herb. It derives its name from the Greek word meaning "rock celery" (parsley is a relative to celery). It is a biennial plant that will return to the garden year after year once it is established.

All the best Jan

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Blueberry and Cinnamon Omelette : Low Carb

How about this for a nice tasty and healthy breakfast ... it's blueberry and cinnamon omelette ... will you give it try!

What you need:
(for 1 large omelette)
3 free range eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
Handful of blueberries
1tsp coconut oil
Pumpkin seeds (optional)

1. Gently beat the 3 eggs together in a bowl
2. Heat a deep-frying pan with one tsp of coconut oil
3. Put half the blueberries in to the frying pan to soften for about 30 seconds
4. Add in the egg mixture.
5. Move the uncooked egg around the pan with a spatula until all the egg starts to set and the whole pan is covered
6. Cover omelette with cinnamon and remaining blueberries and turn to low heat
7. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes until the cinnamon mostly melted in to the omelette
8. Fold the omelette in half and cook for a further 30 seconds
9. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds

Please see original idea, and a step by step guide here

Blueberries, not only are they delicious and nutritious but they also have one of the highest antioxidant levels amongst all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings.

Blueberries are low in carbs and therefore do not have a significant impact on blood glucose levels, making them a good choice for diabetics.

Blueberries can also be frozen without reducing any of their antioxidant properties or delicate structure. So pick up those on offer in the supermarket and get them in the freezer ... now that's a good idea!

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