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Monday, 5 December 2016

PCSK9 inhibitors could increase diabetes risk

medwireNews: The results of two independent studies of genetic variants suggest that treatment with a PCSK9 inhibitor could increase the risk for diabetes.

In the first study, involving 112,772 participants, the researchers constructed two genetic scores consisting of PCSK9 and HMGCR variants to mimic the effects of treatment with PCSK9 inhibitors and statins, respectively. They found that low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol-lowering variants in both genes were associated with a reduction in the risk for cardiovascular events, but an elevated risk for diabetes.

After adjustment for a decrease in LDL cholesterol levels of 10 mg/dL, the team found a “nearly identical” reduction of 18.9% and 19.1% in the risk for cardiovascular events with the presence of PCSK9 and HMGCR variants, respectively.

These findings suggest that “treatment with a PCSK9 inhibitor should reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by approximately the same amount as treatment with a statin,” write study authors Brian Ference (Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, USA) and colleagues in The New England Journal of Medicine.

However, the presence of PCSK9 variants was associated with an 11.2% increase in the risk for diabetes per decrease of 10 mg/dL in LDL cholesterol, and the presence of HMGCR variants was associated with a 12.7% increase in risk.

“[L]ike statins, PCSK9 inhibitors may also increase the risk of new-onset diabetes,” say the authors. However, because the proportional reduction in cardiovascular disease risk associated with PCSK9variants was “much greater” than the increased risk for diabetes, they conclude that “as with statins, the reduction in cardiovascular risk with PCSK9 inhibitors should far exceed any potential increased risk of diabetes.”

In the second study, Amand Schmidt (University College London, UK) and colleagues analyzed data from 568,448 individuals included in randomized controlled trials, observational studies, and genetic consortia to estimate the association between PCSK9 variants and type 2 diabetes risk.

The team showed that four independent PCSK9 variants were associated with a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels, ranging from 0.02 mmol/L (0.78 mg/dL) to 0.34 mmol/L (13.15 mg/dL) per LDL cholesterol-reducing allele.

When the variants were combined into a weighted gene-centric score and scaled to a reduction in LDL cholesterol of 1 mmol/L (38.67 mg/dL), presence of the variants was associated with a 29% increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

The study authors also found that PCSK9 variants were associated with increased fasting glucose, bodyweight, and waist-to-hip ratio, but not with glycated hemoglobin, fasting insulin, or body mass index.

"[G]enetic variants in PCSK9 that associate with lower concentrations of LDL cholesterol are also associated with a modestly higher risk of type 2 diabetes and with associated differences in measures of glycaemia,” write the authors in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

They recommend that future trials of PCSK9 inhibitors should carefully monitor changes in metabolic markers, including bodyweight and glycemia, and conclude that genetic studies “could be more widely used to interrogate the safety and efficacy of novel drug targets.”


Tiramisu the Low Carb Way : Certainly puts the 'T' in ChrisTmas !

This recipe idea can certainly put the 'T' into chrisTmas ! You can make this as boozy as you like, alternatively, you can omit the alcohol entirely, especially if you are serving to children. Why not simply drizzle a little brandy over the top of individual servings for those who like it... sounds good to me !

Serves 10 slices
Flourless sponge cake
110g / 4 oz / 1 stick butter melted
½ cup coconut flour
3 -5 tbs granulated stevia, or sweetener of choice, to taste
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
8 eggs
Coffee and brandy drizzle
1 cup very strong coffee
brandy (optional or use brandy essence)
Cream layer
1 cup heavy/double/whipping cream
2-4 tbsp sweetener of choice to taste
brandy to taste (optional or use brandy essence)
To decorate
40g / 1.5 oz dark 90% chocolate to decorate (optional)

Please go across to Libby's 'Ditch The Carbs' site to see the instructions and more here

If you should need help with weight/measurement conversions see here

A little more about Tiramisu ... from the Italian, spelled tiramisù and meaning "pick me up", "cheer me up" or "lift me up"! It is a a popular coffee-flavoured Italian custard dessert. Over the years the recipe has been adapted into many varieties of cakes and other desserts. Its origins are often disputed among Italian regions, but most accounts of the tiramisu date its invention to the 1960s in the region of Veneto, Italy, at the restaurant "Le Beccherie" in Treviso.

image from here

This will be great for the coming Christmas Season - or special occasion

All the best Jan

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Shock Statin News: Millions taking controversial heart drug unnecessarily report confirms

STATINS might not be worth suffering the side effects as it's revealed millions are taking the controversial heart drug unnecessarily. What are statins and the new updated research and news explained.

Records of nearly 800,000 people aged 60 and others over 24 years showed the drugs prescribed to reduce risk of heart disease and strokes had no effect on life expectancy. 

The only exception was for patients aged over 65 who were already at high risk of heart problems. 

This is in spite of Government-backed guidance that the drugs, linked with side effects such as muscle pain, memory loss and diabetes, should be taken by up to three million people at low or medium risk. 

The research, published in leading journal Public Library of Science last week and carried out by researchers at the University of East Anglia, warned of “over treatment”. 

Campaigning GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick said: “This is further confirmation of many independent researchers who have discovered statins have no benefit except in very small population of people at very high risk. 

“Millions taking these drugs should not be taking them.” 

Leading London-based cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra added: “This study supports the fact that there are millions of people taking statins not receiving any benefit from them. My concern is people are not being told this by their doctors, which is ethically dubious.” 

NHS watchdog Nice advises all adults with a 10 per cent or higher chance of developing heart disease in the next decade be considered for statins – meaning up to 17 million are eligible. 

Up to 10 million take them. The new research showed statins had no effect on longevity in patients over 60, unless the risk of heart disease was high – 20 per cent or above. 

It follows an independent analysis published earlier this month in healthcare journal Prescriber that concluded claims about statins had no credible scientific basis. 

This research claimed millions of patients are being misled about the pros and cons of the drugs. 

The Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Authority which oversees drug safety said: “The efficacy and safety of statins have been studied in a number of large trials which show they can lower the level of cholesterol in the blood and reduce cardiovascular disease and save lives. 

“Trials have also shown medically significant side effects are rare.”


Italian cabbage stir fry : LCHF : è così buono

You may have seen the Asian cabbage stir fry recipe here, well how about trying it Italian style! Yes, Cabbage Stir Fry or Crack slaw done the Italian way! With a little extra garlic, tomato paste and fresh basil, this low-carb favourite will be / is amazing ...

Serves Four

10 g carb per serving

750 g green cabbage
150 g butter
600 g ground (minced)beef
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
90 g leeks, thinly sliced
120 ml fresh basil
1 cup mayonnaise or sour cream, for serving

I do know a friend who also included some dried Italian Herbs into the mix, that's the joy of cooking, recipe's can always be amended a little to suit your needs.

The original recipe instructions are here

and just for you dear reader - here is an Italian style cafe

è così buono
Buon appetito
All the best Jan

Saturday, 3 December 2016

John Legend - Love Me Now

John Legend's baby features in this though provoking video

Ward Thomas - Cartwheels

This British country and western duo have a lot of radio airplay's of late enjoy


Sting & Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes live 2016 Rock Paper Scissors Tour

Matt Monro - On Days Like These

Saturday night again and music night on our blog. Jan and myself love driving around the lake district in our little red car listening to this sort of music. Unfortunately our meagre pensions don't run to owning a Lamborghini. Eddie

The Lake District

Jan and our little red car

Broccoli and Smoked Salmon Omelette.

Ingredients For 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


1. Heat the olive oil in a small non-stick frying pan (around 15cm diameter) and gently sauté the Broccoli and onion, until softened and onion starting to become golden. Remove from the pan and keep to one side.

2. While the onion and Broccoli are cooking, mix together the cream cheese and chopped chives. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Return the pan to the hob, increase the heat and add the butter. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk together with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Once the butter is bubbling, add the eggs. Swirl around the pan and either using a fork or rubber spatula, stir around until the eggs are almost set. Spread to cover the surface and leave to continue cooking for a minute or so, until the top of the eggs are almost set, with just a little liquid on the surface.

5. Spoon the onion and Broccoli onto one half of the omelette. Add the cream cheese and finally lay over the salmon. Tilt the pan and carefully fold over the other half of the omelette on top of the filling. Slide onto a plate and serve with a green salad.

Tip... Fried bacon or chorizo are delicious alternatives to smoked salmon. You could also add a pinch of dried chilli flakes into the pan with the onion and Broccoli for a kick.

Original recipe idea from the ‘Tenderstem’ site.


Poinsettia - have you got yours yet ?

One thing that is always part of Christmas in our house is the Poinsettia, at least one ... if not more, are purchased, and they do look so warm, cheerful and welcoming dotted around on tables, shelves etc. Of course there are many varieties available but for me my favourite is the wonderful RED ones, they are brilliant. We also have some cheery Father Christmas 'wooden' ornaments / decorations and they sit well together on the hall table ! If you'd like to find out more about these wonderful plants and their link to Christmas please read on.

"Poinsettia plants are native to Central America, especially an area of southern Mexico known as 'Taxco del Alarcon' where they flower during the winter. The ancient Aztecs called them 'cuetlaxochitl'. The Aztecs had many uses for them including using the flowers (actually special types of leaves known as bracts rather than being flowers) to make a purple dye for clothes and cosmetics and the milky white sap was made into a medicine to treat fevers. (Today we call the sap latex!)

The poinsettia was made widely known because of a man called Joel Roberts Poinsett (that's why we call them Poinsettia!). He was the first Ambassador from the USA to Mexico in 1825. Poinsett had some greenhouses on his plantations in South Carolina, and while visiting the Taco area in 1828, he became very interested in the plants. He immediately sent some of the plants back to South Carolina, where he began growing the plants and sending them to friends and botanical gardens.

One of the friends he sent plants to was John Barroom of Philadelphia, who gave the plant to his friend, Robert Buist, a plants-man from Pennsylvania. Robert Buist was probably the first person to have sold the poinsettias under their botanical, or latin name, name 'Euphorbia pulcherrima' (it means, 'the most beautiful Euphorbia'). It is thought that they became known as Poinsettia in the mid 1830's when people found out who had first brought them to America from Mexico.

There is an old Mexican legend about how Poinsettias and Christmas come together, it goes like this:

There was once a poor Mexican girl called Pepita who had no present to give the the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve Services. As Pepita walked to the chapel, sadly, her cousin Pedro tried to cheer her up.
'Pepita', he said "I'm sure that even the smallest gift, given by someone who loves him will make Jesus Happy."

Pepita didn't know what she could give, so she picked a small handful of weeds from the roadside and made them into a a small bouquet. She felt embarrassed because she could only give this small present to Jesus. As she walked through the chapel to the altar, she remembered what Pedro had said. She began to feel better, knelt down and put the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into bright red flowers, and everyone who saw them were sure they had seen a miracle. From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the 'Flores de Noche Buena', or 'Flowers of the Holy Night'.

The shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves are sometimes thought as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ. The white leaves represent his purity.

he Poinsettia is also the national emblem of Madagascar and grow there as large outdoor shrubs."
The above words from here
To learn about caring for Poinsettia plants, see here

And talking about things coloured red, and you know I nearly always include a recipe!
can I interest you in a tasty and warming bowl of
Roast Red Pepper & Tomato Soup - you can see the recipe here

Thanks for reading, wishing you all a Happy Weekend
All the best Jan

Friday, 2 December 2016

Saturated fat could be good for you

A Norwegian study challenges the long-held idea that saturated fats are unhealthy

A new Norwegian diet intervention study (FATFUNC), performed by researchers at the KG Jebsen center for diabetes research at the University of Bergen, raises questions regarding the validity of a diet hypothesis that has dominated for more than half a century: that dietary fat and particularly saturated fat is unhealthy for most people.

The researchers found strikingly similar health effects of diets based on either lowly processed carbohydrates or fats. In the randomized controlled trial, 38 men with abdominal obesity followed a dietary pattern high in either carbohydrates or fat, of which about half was saturated. Fat mass in the abdominal region, liver and heart was measured with accurate analyses, along with a number of key risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

"The very high intake of total and saturated fat did not increase the calculated risk of cardiovascular diseases," says professor and cardiologist Ottar Nygård who contributed to the study.

"Participants on the very-high-fat diet also had substantial improvements in several important cardiometabolic risk factors, such as ectopic fat storage, blood pressure, blood lipids (triglycerides), insulin and blood sugar."

High quality food is healthier

Both groups had similar intakes of energy, proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, the food types were the same and varied mainly in quantity, and intake of added sugar was minimized.

"We here looked at effects of total and saturated fat in the context of a healthy diet rich in fresh, lowly processed and nutritious foods, including high amounts of vegetables and rice instead of flour-based products," says PhD candidate Vivian Veum.

"The fat sources were also lowly processed, mainly butter, cream and cold-pressed oils."

Total energy intake was within the normal range. Even the participants who increased their energy intake during the study showed substantial reductions in fat stores and disease risk.

"Our findings indicate that the overriding principle of a healthy diet is not the quantity of fat or carbohydrates, but the quality of the foods we eat," says PhD candidate Johnny Laupsa-Borge.

Saturated fat increases the "good" cholesterol

Saturated fat has been thought to promote cardiovascular diseases by raising the "bad" LDL cholesterol in the blood. But even with a higher fat intake in the FATFUNC study compared to most comparable studies, the authors found no significant increase in LDL cholesterol.

Rather, the "good" cholesterol increased only on the very-high-fat diet.

"These results indicate that most healthy people probably tolerate a high intake of saturated fat well, as long as the fat quality is good and total energy intake is not too high. It may even be healthy," says Ottar Nygård.

"Future studies should examine which people or patients may need to limit their intake of saturated fat," assistant professor Simon Nitter Dankel points out, who led the study together with the director of the laboratory clinics, professor Gunnar Mellgren, at Haukeland university hospital in Bergen, Norway.

"But the alleged health risks of eating good-quality fats have been greatly exaggerated. It may be more important for public health to encourage reductions in processed flour-based products, highly processed fats and foods with added sugar," he says.

Facts: The FATFUNC-study
  • The Study is named (FATFUNC) and was performed by researchers at the KG Jebsen center for diabetes research, Department of Clinical Science at the University of Bergen.
  • In the randomized controlled trial, 38 men with abdominal obesity followed a dietary pattern high in either carbohydrates (53 % of total energy, in line with typical official recommendations) or fat (71 % of total energy, of which about half was saturated).
  • Fat mass in the abdominal region, liver and heart was measured with accurate analyses (computed tomography, CT), along with a number of key risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Study abstract:


Coq au vin with celeriac mash

Skin on or skin off ... that is the question! Whatever your preference, in this recipe suggestion, the mix and flavour of the chicken with the vegetables and herbs is just delicious. The accompaniment of celeriac mash, always a low carb winner, just adds nicely to this dish - so have a look at the recipe and perhaps give it a whirl ...

Serves 4

Olive oil spray
100g diced pancetta
8 chicken thighs, (skin removed if preferred)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into half-moons
2 sticks celery, trimmed and finely chopped
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp thyme leaves
1 sprig rosemary, leaves roughly chopped
1 tbsp sage leaves, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
300ml red wine
500ml chicken stock
10 shallots, peeled and halved
2 cloves garlic, crushed
800g celeriac, roughly cubed
Parsley, to serve

1. Spritz the olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the pancetta until it releases its natural oils. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the chicken thighs and cook for 4-6 minutes until well browned all over. Remove the thighs and set aside.
2. Add the onion, carrots and celery to the pan, season, and cook for another 3-4 minutes until just tender. Add the mushrooms, turn the heat up and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute, stirring until a paste has formed.
3. Stir through the herbs and pancetta, then pour in the wine. Leave it bubbling for 2-3 minutes until the alcohol has evaporated. Add the stock and peeled shallots, then bring to the boil. Place the chicken thighs back in the pan and cook with the lid on for 10 minutes. Take the lid off and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly and the chicken is cooked through, always check chicken is thoroughly cooked.
4. Meanwhile, make the mash. Lightly spritz a saucepan with the oil and cook the garlic for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the celeriac and cook for 1 minute, before pouring over cold water to cover. Bring to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes until very tender, then mash well with seasoning.
5. To serve, spoon the chicken on to a bed of celeriac mash and sprinkle with parsley.

Original idea from 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

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Systematic Review of the Association between Dairy Product Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular-Related Clinical Outcomes

The objective of this systematic review was to determine if dairy product consumption is detrimental, neutral, or beneficial to cardiovascular health and if the recommendation to consume reduced-fat as opposed to regular-fat dairy is evidence-based.

 A systematic review of meta-analyses of prospective population studies associating dairy consumption with cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary artery disease (CAD), stroke, hypertension, metabolic syndrome (MetS), and type 2 diabetes (T2D) was conducted on the basis of the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement. 

Quality of evidence was rated by using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation scale. High-quality evidence supports favorable associations between total dairy intake and hypertension risk and between low-fat dairy and yogurt intake and the risk of T2D. 

Moderate-quality evidence suggests favorable associations between intakes of total dairy, low-fat dairy, cheese, and fermented dairy and the risk of stroke; intakes of low-fat dairy and milk and the risk of hypertension; total dairy and milk consumption and the risk of MetS; and total dairy and cheese and the risk of T2D. 

High- to moderate-quality evidence supports neutral associations between the consumption of total dairy, cheese, and yogurt and CVD risk; the consumption of any form of dairy, except for fermented, and CAD risk; the consumption of regular- and high-fat dairy, milk, and yogurt and stroke risk; the consumption of regular- and high-fat dairy, cheese, yogurt, and fermented dairy and hypertension risk; and the consumption of regular- and high-fat dairy, milk, and fermented dairy and T2D risk.

Data from this systematic review indicate that the consumption of various forms of dairy products shows either favorable or neutral associations with cardiovascular-related clinical outcomes. The review also emphasizes that further research is urgently needed to compare the impact of low-fat with regular- and high-fat dairy on cardiovascular-related clinical outcomes in light of current recommendations to consume low-fat dairy.

Full text:


Change your diet or you'll die; Low carb advice lands doctor in hot water!

Gary Fettke is an orthopaedic surgeon and an advocate of a low carbohydrate diet.

He said he became passionate about nutrition after amputating limbs of diabetic patients whose diets were a big part of the problem.

"What I've been advocating for some years is cutting sugar down, particularly all the refined sugars in the diet," he said.

"Over time that's evolved, and it's evolved to what I call low carb, healthy fat.

"It's just eating lots of vegetables, pasture-fed meat and the right amount of oil in the form of things like nuts, avocado, cheese, olive oil and fish."

One of his patients, Julian Robinson, who had to have his leg amputated because of complications from diabetes, said the diet changed his life for the better.

More on this story here.


Apples with Cinnamon in a Vanilla Sauce

This makes a very nice dessert, to be enjoyed anytime, but also perfect for any up coming winter festivities. The spicy cinnamon and naturally sweet apples bring a perfect ending to your meal, and at 11g carbs per serving, could fit in with your LCHF menu plans well! Read on and see what you think ... 

Serves Six
11g carb per serving

Vanilla sauce
120 ml heavy (double) whipping cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 star anise (optional)
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
480 ml heavy (double) whipping cream

Cinnamon apples
3 tablespoons butter
3 apples, preferably a type that is firm and tart, e.g.Gravensteiner or Granny Smith (but you may have your own favourite)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

The sauce goes great with various desserts, where you would normally have served vanilla custard. For example, you can heat a few blackberries or raspberries and serve with the vanilla sauce.

Or why not put it in the freezer and you’ll have a luxurious ice cream!

Please see recipe instructions here

Did you know ... Cinnamon is a popular spice often associated with baked treats, cereals and smoothies. However, you may not have considered that the teaspoon of cinnamon that you add to your baked treats may be doing you more good than you realized. Studies have shown that cinnamon could assist with boosting brain function, fighting cancer, aiding in digestion, supporting weight loss and fighting diabetes.

Incorporate cinnamon into your life by:
Adding a cinnamon quill into your morning tea, sprinkling half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon onto your homemade granola or adding a sprinkle of cinnamon into your next bowl of breakfast oatmeal.

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Kellogg’s is reintroducing toys in their breakfast cereals

SEVEN years ago Kellogg’s made the decision to stop including toys in their breakfast cereals, effectively removing the one good reason children had for getting out of bed every morning.

Well, the good news is Kellogg’s recognised the error of their ways and they’re back. This month they reintroduced toys into specially marked packs of Coco Pops, Sultana Bran, Rice Bubbles, Crunchy Nut and Just Right.

The toy of the moment is a spoon-straw, which means you can eat your Coco Pops with your spoon, and then suck up the chocolate milk with the same instrument.

Anyone over the age of 10 will have a slight touch of nostalgia for cereal box toys. They were first introduced in 1910 in the US and continued globally until 2009.

Iconic toys from Kellogg’s history include the empress of Australia model boat (1937), diamond jubilee badges (1984) and the Simpsons finger skateboard (2003).

That’s right. A skateboard. For your fingers.

So why were the toys removed in the first place?

According to Kellogg’s, “we change our priorities to ensure we’re giving our consumers what they want — we stopped putting collectables in packs to invest in other product innovations.

“But after getting positive feedback and requests from parents recently we decided to bring collectables back in pack — we wanted to celebrate the nostalgia by giving them a way to re-create the memories of opening up their cereal boxes in the morning to find a surprise inside”.

Breakfast cereal has had a bit of a bad rap of late. Childhood obesity rates are causing concern in Australia and some breakfast cereals have the sugar of two to three sweet biscuits in just one serve. So should parents be concerned about toys being used as an incentive for children to eat cereal?

Larissa Oliver, Shopper Activation Manager at Kellogg’s Australia told Kidspot that they did research in the Australian market before reintroducing the toys.

“When we did some research recently, 81 per cent of mums we spoke to thought it was a good idea for Kellogg’s to do these types of promotions,” she said.

“We listened to mums who loved the idea of collectibles, because we wanted to bring back the excitement of discovering them — like many of us (including me) enjoyed while growing up.”

More here:

Just a marketing ploy to boost the sales of sugary cereals, perhaps those in the the following video would be more nutritious than Kellogg's 

Coffee and Walnut Sponge Cake : Low Carb Treat

Wednesday already - where do the weeks go!
Amid all the hustle and bustle why not take time to enjoy a small slice of cake.
I can recommend this one, goes especially nice with a mid-afternoon cuppa ...

100 grams of ground almonds
100 grams of walnuts
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon of melted butter
2 tablespoons of double (heavy) cream
1 tablespoon of instant coffee
100 grams of clotted cream

1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Melt the butter, I used a Pyrex jug, add the eggs, cream.
3. Place 1 tablespoon of instant coffee in a cup and pour some boiling water over the coffee, keep water to a minimum, just enough to melt the coffee. Then add the dry ingredients and mix.
4. Microwave in a 700 watt for 5 minutes in a 6" x 3" micro-wave safe glass dish.
5. Allow to cool and cut in half. Spread on clotted cream and add walnut halves.

Serves 6 , around five carbs per portion.
Please note this cake is very low in carbs, but quite high in calories, so have a small slice !

Whatever you may have got planned please

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Look what 12 months on a keto diet did to my body.


The British Dietetic Association, cyber bullying and the big payola scheme

Over at the excellent site which can be found here run by ace investigative reporter Marika Sboros, a thread is running called "CYBER BULLYING VIRUS – INFECTION SPREADS AMONG DOCTORS" My response over there is waiting for approval. I thought it worthwhile to post my comment here and elsewhere. Eddie

Just for the record, I have never stated RD Catherine Collins posts on sites using other names, however, I have stated the RD Chris Cashin has used various names on social media sites. I first became aware of Chris Cashin back in the day I joined the forum for profit site this was over eight years ago. Cashin posting as Ally5555 and constantly harassed low carbers, with negative doom and gloom re. the low carb higher fat diet. The low carb diet was proving to be the salvation of many diabetics and continues to be, to the present day. Cashin’s antics can best be described and understood in the post below, posted by at the time forum moderator, and well known low carb expert Dr.Katharine Morrison.

November 13th, 2008, 7:45 am link 1

“I think there would be a lot less hostility towards you Ally if you actually gave constructive advice to people. Many diabetics have not had a positive relationship with NHS dieticians, myself included. A few have had their problems listened to and appropriately addressed and I hope the situation will continue to improve.

I have yet to see a post from you which is written with the aim of helping someone get better control of their diabetes or improve their nutritional state. So far I have simply seen one post after another of the "Do not try this at home variety." None of your negative comments regarding low carbing have been substantiated by scientific evidence. I am patiently waiting for your scientifically based expose of the errors of Dr Bernstein's method and Gary Taubes collection of evidence. All we have got so far is personal opinion.”

Back to the topic of cyber bullying. The forum for a very long time was controlled by anti low carbers. Countless low carbers were banned over the years including type two diabetic and low carb expert Dr.Jay Wortman. When the well known in the UK Dr.David Unwin aka The Southport Doctor joined the forum, he was immediately labeled a troll. This ridicule has been allowed to stand to this day. “Forgive me if am wrong but I smell a low carb troll here” link 2

Clearly, the attitude of the management of the forum, regarding low carb has changed big time in recent times. I suspect this has come about, because they see some profitable mileage to be had, and the overwhelming evidence that proves a diet based on highly processed carbohydrates is very wrong for a diabetic.

It never ceases to amaze me, how the likes of Cashin and Collins bleat like lost lambs when questioned or critiqued, but are able to sleep in their beds, when in my opinion, they have sent countless people to an early grave. If this was just my opinion, it would be meaningless, but increasingly this is also the opinion of many healthcare professionals. As we are seeing, these brave, honest and highly qualified professionals, are being subjected to constant ridicule, court cases and threats. Meanwhile The British Dietetic Association et al are accepting funding from outfits such as Danone, Abbott Nutrition, Nestle, Cereal Partners, BelVita Breakfast Biscuits and Coca Cola. Can anyone be so naive to think, the BDA and it’s RD’s are not heavily influenced by the aforementioned companies.

One last point. It may surprise many to know, the BDA has no formal policy on what constitutes the correct diet for a diabetic, or what is considered to be a safe blood glucose level. How do I know, because Catherine Collins told me on twitter, just before she blocked me. Evidently it’s all down to Diabetes UK the charity. One thing can never be denied, the BDA and many of it’s RD’s are masters of passing the buck. Link 3

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3 is here. 

Chicken meatballs with cauliflower mash

Why not use chicken in meatballs - just add a creamy paprika sauce - it makes a perfect winter warmer!

Serves Four
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
460g chicken breasts, roughly chopped
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
200g mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 large cauliflowers, roughly cut into florets
100g baby leaf spinach
Olive oil spray
1 tbsp smoked paprika
150ml chicken stock, made with half a stock cube
200ml half-fat sour cream
Fresh parsley, to serve
25g flaked almonds, toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
2. Roughly chop half the onion, setting the other aside for the sauce. Bash both garlic cloves and add one to a food processor along with the chopped onion, chicken, dried herbs and mushrooms. Pulse until well combined.
3. Tip into a bowl along with the egg and mix well. Using slightly damp hands, shape into 12 meatballs, then put in the fridge to chill.
4. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the cauliflower. Boil for 10-12 minutes until tender, then drain well and mash with seasoning. Stir through the spinach and set aside to keep warm.
5. Lightly spritz a non-stick frying pan with the olive oil and brown the meatballs all over for 2-3 minutes (you may have to do this in batches). Place the browned meatballs on to a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until cooked through.
6. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Finely slice the other half of the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until just tender in the same pan used for the meatballs. Finely chop the remaining garlic clove and add to the pan, cooking for another minute.
7. Sprinkle over the smoked paprika and stir until well combined. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then simmer. Stir in the sour cream.
8. Serve the meatballs on a bed of the cauliflower/spinach mash, then spoon on the sauce and sprinkle with parsley and almonds.
9. Sit down, tuck in and and enjoy ...

Original recipe idea here

Each serving provides:
15.8g carbohydrate 8.3g fibre 40.6g protein 13.3g fat

As this recipe suggestion doesn't have too much colour to it,
why not spruce up your table with a small flower arrangement!

Thanks for reading - hope you may enjoy this dish soon!
All the best Jan

Monday, 28 November 2016


Today, Candice Choi of the Associated Press published a feature piece on Kellogg’s Breakfast Council of “independent experts”.

As is customary with these sorts of industry efforts, all is not what it seems. Certainly, public health took a backseat to corporate damage control.

And, yet again, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is mired in controversy for passing off food industry marketing as education; quite unfortunate for the tens of thousands of dietitians who embrace public health but see their credential denigrated by their organization’s actions.


  • “On its website, Kellogg touted a distinguished-sounding “Breakfast Council” of “independent experts” who helped guide its nutritional efforts. Nowhere did it say this: The maker of Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes paid the experts and fed them talking points, according to a copy of a contract and emails obtained by The Associated Press.”
  • “For Kellogg, the breakfast council — in existence between 2011 and this year — deftly blurred the lines between cereal promotion and impartial nutrition guidance. The company used the council to teach a continuing education class for dietitians, publish an academic paper on breakfast, and try to influence the government’s dietary guidelines.”
  • “[Kellogg] told the AP it had been reviewing its nutrition work, and decided not to continue the council. The breakfast council page is no longer online.”
  • “The breakfast council was also a way to patrol for naysayers. After an advocacy group issued a report criticizing sugary cereals, Sarah Woodside, a Kellogg employee, sent the council an email explaining why it was unfair and asked them to alert her if they noticed any discussions about it.”
  • “Disclosures by the council could be confusing. When two of the experts taught a class for dietitians on the “science behind breakfast,” an introduction said they were members of Kellogg’s Breakfast Council, then said they had no conflicts of interest. It said Kellogg funded the class, but had no input into its content.”
  • “Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, said health experts usually have good intentions when working with companies, and may not realize they’re being used for their credibility.”
  • “One of the breakfast council’s most notable achievements was publishing a paper defining a “quality breakfast” in a nutrition journal. Kellogg touted the paper in its newsletter as being written by “our independent nutrition experts.” Dietitians could earn continuing education credits from the publisher for taking a quiz about the paper.”
  • “Kellogg didn’t describe its own role in overseeing editing and providing feedback, such as asking for the removal of a line saying a recommendation that added sugar be limited to 25 percent of calories might be “too high.”


Mince Pies : The Low Carb Way : Father Christmas Will Love Them !

Talking with the grand-children recently, I asked them, what was the best thing we could leave out for Father Christmas when he visits soon! Mince pies was the unanimous answer, with some carrots for Rudolph and the other reindeer. What a good idea I replied, and I just happen to know of a very nice mince pie recipe which is low carb - Sshh don't tell anybody else - but I just know Father Christmas likes them this way !!!

Fellow blogger and Type 1 Diabetic Ewelina writes 'Can you imagine Christmas without mince pies? Well, you don’t have to now as there is a solution to your festive cravings. Low carb pastry filled with aromatic low carb mincemeat. All covered with vanilla and brandy butter making your Christmas truly merry but still guilt free.

The recipe below makes six pies, and if you wish to make more, just double or triple the ingredients. Erythritol is used as a sugar substitute, but you can use any other sweetener of your choice (just remember to adjust the carb count for it).'

50g fresh or frozen cranberries
75g (its about ½) Bramley apple
25g chopped walnuts
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. ground almond
2 tbsp. erythritol (or any other sweetener of your choice)
2 tbsp. brandy
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
Pinch of ground cardamom
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves

100g ground almond
15g coconut flour
15g soy flour
1tbsp arrowroot starch
½ tsp xantam gum
3 tbsp coconut oil (slightly warmed up)
1 tbsp cold water

Brandy butter:
50g butter
30g erythritol (powdered)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp brandy


Mince meat:
1. Place all the ingredients (apart from brandy) in a small sauce pan and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes. Add brandy and stir well.


1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add coconut oil and water and mix well. Form the dough into a ball and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
3. Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out to about 30cm/12inch circle.
4. Using 7cm /3 inches round cookie cutter (or a glass), cut out circles. You should have enough dough for 6 tartlets plus some dough for decorations.
5. Gently loosen circles of dough with an offset spatula and place in a mini muffin tin, shaping to fit the hole.
6. Prick the bottoms of pies with a fork and fill each shell with about 2 tsps of mincemeat. Decorate with leftover dough (I just cut out little circles using brandy bottle lid) and bake for about 20 minutes until pastry edges are golden brown.
7. Let it cool down before removing from the tin.

Brandy butter:

1. Beat butter with erythritol, vanilla extract and brandy until well combined and smooth. Dollop a tsp of brandy butter on each pie and serve.

Nutrition without brandy butter (using erythritol as sweetener).
Per mince pie: Carbohydrates 4.1g Protein 5.4g Fat 21g Calories 233

If you serve it with a tsp of brandy butter add about 70kcal and 8g of fat to each pie.

Please note that this carbohydrate count does not include the erythritol. Studies have shown that erythritol has little to no affect on blood glucose levels.

Recipe idea from here

Please make sure to save at least one for Father Christmas ...

All the best Jan

Sunday, 27 November 2016

'We've been deceived': Many clinical trial results are never published

Canadian universities and research hospitals are among the worst offenders, according to new online tool

Every year, thousands of Canadians sign up to participate in clinical trials, offering their bodies to further the development of important medical advances like new drugs or devices. But the results of many of those trials never see the light of day.

A new online tool aims to put pressure on some of the companies and institutions behind the problem. TrialsTracker maintains a list of all the trials registered on the world's leading clinical trials database and tracks how many of them are updated with results.

Amid pharmaceutical companies and research bodies from around the world on, maintained by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, nine Canadian universities and institutions rank in the top 100 organizations with the greatest proportion of registered trials without results.

"It's well documented that academic trialists routinely fail to share results," says Ben Goldacre, who was part of the team from the University of Oxford that developed TrialsTracker. "Often they think, misguidedly, that a 'negative' result is uninteresting — when, in fact, it is extremely useful."

The University of Toronto's David Henry says "publication bias," as it's called, is robbing the medical community and patients of important information.

"We've been deceived about the truth about treatments that we've used widely over a long period, in very large numbers of individuals, because of the selective publication of results that are favourable to the product," says Henry, a professor of health systems data at U of T's Institute for Health Policy Management and Evaluation.

But Henry adds that publication bias isn't the only reason results aren't being made public. He says many institutions haven't made it a priority.

"If you leave it to the trialists, they've often moved on to the next trial," he says. "At the end of the day, I don't think they give enough weight to it."

Increasing transparency

Henry notes there has been progress as the scientific community begins to recognize the importance of making all results available.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires most clinical trials to register and post results on

But studies show many organizations are ignoring the rules. In a paper that accompanied the launch of TrialsTracker earlier this month, Goldacre noted that approximately half of registered clinical trials fail to publish their results, and studies with negative or non-significant results are twice as likely to be unpublished.

TrialsTracker's real-time data supports these findings. An algorithm scours for results within and also among the available scientific literature. 

Using this method, the researchers found that between 2006 and 2014, 45 per cent of the clinical trials registered on — or nearly 12,000 studies — are missing results.

Both the University of British Columbia and University Health Network — the two Canadian institutions with the highest number of missing results on TrialsTracker — point out, in statements sent to CBC News, that the site's algorithm will miss some results. 

Goldacre acknowledges the method isn't perfect, but says trialists must take responsibility for ensuring results are easily accessible.

"Research that is hard to discover is not transparently reported," he writes.

Both institutions said they continue to work on ways to ensure that research participants are better informed about the results of studies they participate in.

Publications officers

One possible solution might be found at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), where the organization's first "publications officer" was hired about a year ago, to help researchers navigate the often daunting process of publishing their results.

David Moher runs the Centre for Journalology at OHRI, which studies the science of academic publication. He advocated for hiring the publications officer, and says part of their job is to explain there are more ways to publish results than in traditional academic journals.

"The important point is to make results available, and there are many ways to do that in 2016," he said, pointing to the open-access repositories that are available at several Canadian universities as an example.

Moher hopes to study the effect of the publication officer at his institution and, if it's effective, see the model replicated at institutions across the country.


Roast Chicken or Turkey with Stuffing : Made The Lower Carb Way

I do enjoy my Roast Chicken or Turkey served with some tasty stuffing, but some stuffings can be higher in carbs. Anne Aobadia has come up with this lovely lower carb alternative ... so why not let the aroma from bacon, sage and apples fill your house...

This low carb and delicious stuffing is rich, full of flavour and gluten-free. I'm sure the family will love it. Here is what you will need for eight servings ...

Serves 8
6g carb per serving
2 tablespoons butter
2 yellow (white) onions, finely chopped
150 g bacon, diced
225 g root celery, diced
1 apple, grated
60 g pecan nuts, chopped
2 pieces of low-carb bread
240 ml heavy (double) whipping cream
900 g ground (minced) pork
fresh sage 2-3 sprigs, finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter, for greasing the baking dish

Tip: You can replace the celery root with half the amount of celery, ie 3–4 stalks, or 1/2 lb.

Please see recipe and full instructions here

The colour of downy sage leaves and their flavour varies but, in essence, sage is a very strongly aromatic and slightly bitter herb that can withstand long cooking times without losing its flavour.

The strong flavour of sage means that a little goes a long way, especially if you're using dried leaves, so use sparingly. Sage goes well with pork, beef, duck and chicken recipes, and fatty meats in particular. In Italy it is commonly chopped, mixed with melted butter and served stirred into pasta or gnocchi. Fry sage leaves with liver or kidneys, or try dipping them into a light batter and deep-frying - they can be used to garnish dishes or eaten as a snack.

Words and picture about sage taken from here 

All the best Jan