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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Study finds statins may not be as effective as we thought

Statins, the popular cholesterol-fighting medication, might not be as effective as previously believed in protecting seniors with no history of heart disease, according to a study published Monday.

NYU Langone Medical Center researchers looked at 2,867 healthy older adults who were taking statins and found no evidence to suggest they were living any longer as a result, according to findings published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Statins are sold under the generic name Pravastatin and under brand names such as Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor.

“Our study argues that the benefits of initiating statins in older patients, particularly those over 75, may not outweigh the risks,” said lead author Dr. Benjamin Han.

Potential side effects of statins include muscle pain, liver damage and increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“As the number of older adults in the United States is rapidly increasing, it is more important than ever that we improve our understanding of preventative interventions in aging patients, and the possible side effects and risks that accompany them,” Han said.

Reps for the makers of Lipitor and Zocor could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday.

A spokeswoman for Crestor’s maker AstraZeneca said: “The safety and efficiency of Crestor has been well established in more than 120 ongoing or completed clinical trials involving more than 67,000 patients worldwide over the past 13 years.”

Full text of the study here:


Roasted Lamb Steaks with almonds and a tomato ragu

Simple to make and very good to eat, this easy to follow recipe makes a great mid-week (or anytime) meal. If you are not keen on lamb then why not consider swapping lamb for a different meat ... or even fish!

Serves Four
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 lemon
4 lamb leg steaks 
1 onion
3 carrots
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp. tomato purée
50g (2oz) flaked almonds
1 x 400g (14oz) tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. sugar (or equivalent sweetener)
small bunch parsley

Heat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. In a small bowl, combine 1tbsp of the oil with the cumin and lemon zest and lightly season. Put the lamb steaks on a baking tray and brush all over with the oil mix. Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the onion and carrots covered with a lid for ten minutes over a medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and tomato purée for the final minute.

Transfer the lamb to the oven to cook for 10-15 minutes, adding the flaked almonds for the final three minutes. 

Meanwhile, stir the chopped tomatoes and the sugar through the vegetables and simmer for 10 minutes. Divide the ragu and lamb steaks between 4 plates. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

The original recipe nutritional breakdown per serving:
Carbohydrate 19.6g Protein 33.2g Fibre 4.5g Fat 38.0g

The above taken from a Tesco Real Food idea here

Cumin is an aromatic spice native to eastern Mediterranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm, flavoursome and slightly bitter spice derives from the seed of the Cumin plant and is traditionally added to curries, Mexican dishes and Moroccan lamb dishes.

White cumin seeds are the most commonly available variety; black cumin seeds are slightly smaller and sweeter in flavour. Cumin is widely available, all year round.
To prepare it, dry-frying cumin before grinding it brings out its flavour and softens its very spicy punch. Heat a frying pan, do not add oil, and add cumin seeds and toss until they expel a warm, rich aroma. Leave seeds to cool slightly, then grind and add to curry mixtures, soups and stews.
It is best stored in a cool, dark area.

As regular readers know, 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... 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

Black OP's outfits.

In the UK there are approximately four million diabetics. Around 90% are type two diabetics. The majority of type two diabetics could control their diabetes with a low carb higher healthy natural fat lifestyle. Medication if required, is usually minimal. Type one diabetics also benefit from low carb, by way of much reduced insulin usage, which very often leads to more stable control of blood glucose levels. The organisations below do not support or recommend a low carb diet. Therefore, blood glucose control, for the majority of diabetics is abysmal. It is clear to see why this horrendous situation has come about. Conflicts of interest.

Ask yourself, how long would large food companies and big pharma, financially support these organisations, if their dietary recommendations resulted in less sales, and loss of revenue. A low carb diet is not a no carb diet. The foods shown below, have been included in my low carb (50 carbs per day) diet for nine years. Countless hospital blood tests confirm, my diet has caused no ill effects whatsoever, in fact the contrary. My Doctor describes my diabetes control as excellent. It is worth noting, the NHS annual audited stats show, over 90% of type one diabetics and over 70% of type two diabetics, fail to get to a safe level of blood glucose control, let alone excellent. 

Why do I call these organisations Black OP's outfits. It is my opinion, these organisations are doing diabetics great harm, and are perpetuating the epidemics of obesity and often linked type two diabetes. Many are no more than wolves in sheep clothing, far too many, have taken the thirty pieces of silver.


British Dietetic Association

Danone, Abbott Nutrition, Nestle, Cereal Partners, BelVita Breakfast Biscuits and Coca Cola. 

DUK The diabetes charity.

Abbott Bayer Boehringer Ingelheim Bristol Myers Squibb Bupa Bunzl Everyclick First Capital Connect Flora pro.activ Kodak Lilly Lloyds Pharmacy Menarini Merck Serono Morphy Richards Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited Novartis Novo Nordisk Nursing Times PAL Technologies Ltd Pfizer Rowlands Pharmacies Sanofi-aventis SplendaTakeda Tesco Diets

HEART UK -The Nation’s Cholesterol Charity

Abbott Healthcare Alpro UK AstraZeneca BHR Pharma Cambridge Weight Plan Cereal Partners UK (Sh Wheat) Food & Drink Federation Fresenius Medical Care (UK) Limited Genzyme Therapeutics Hovis Kellogg’s (Optivita) Kowa Pharmaceutical Europe Co Limited L.IN.C Medical Systems Limited Merck Sharpe & Dhome PlanMyFood Pfizer Premier Foods Progenika Biopharma s.a. Roche Products Limited Unilever (Flora) Welch’s (Purple Grape Juice)

Blood Pressure UK 

Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, The Menarini Group, Servier Laboratories Ltd and Boehringer Ingelheim Limited.

The British Nutrition Foundation

The organisation's 39 members, which contribute to its funding, include – beside the Government, the EU – Cadbury, Kellogg's, Northern Foods, McDonald's, PizzaExpress, the main supermarket chains except Tesco, and producer bodies such as the Potato Council. The chairman of its board of trustees, is or was, Paul Hebblethwaite, is or was, also chairman of the Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Trade Association.

The European Food Information Council

Current EUFIC members are: AB Sugar, Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe, Bunge, Cargill, Cereal Partners, Coca-Cola, Danone, DSM Nutritional Products Europe Ltd., Ferrero, Kraft Foods, Mars, McDonald's, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Pfizer Animal Health, Südzucker, and Unilever.

The British Heart Foundation

Unilever Flora margarine.

Results for England. The National Diabetes Audit 2010-2011

Percentage of registered Type 1 patients in England

HbA1c > 6.5% (48 mmol/mol) = 92.6%
HbA1c > 7.5% (58 mmol/mol) = 71.3%
HbA1c > 10.0% (86 mmol/mol) = 18.1%

Percentage of registered Type 2 patients in England

HbA1c > 6.5% (48 mmol/mol = 72.5%
HbA1c > 7.5% (58 mmol/mol) = 32.6%
HbA1c >10.0% (86 mmol/mol) = 6.8%

These results are very similar to those obtained over the past 5 - 6 years.

Link to NHS audited statistics here.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Noakes legal soap opera costs taxpayers plenty

DEAR South African healthcare professional, here’s a question for you: are you happy with the way the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is fulfilling its twin mandates, to protect the public and guide the professions?

Do you know who makes decisions on your behalf and how your money is spent? Are you comfortable that you can get an accounting for how and why those decisions are made?

I ask because I heard that the HPCSA is appealing the ruling in the Professor Tim Noakes case. For the purpose of this column, I am not interested in getting into the yeas and nays of low carb diets; I am only interested in finding out who made this decision and why.

Because, you see, “As an autonomous body the HPCSA receives no grants or subsidies from government or any other source. It is totally funded by the fees it receives from registered persons representing the professions under its jurisdiction. Each Professional Board, however, administers its own budget in a transparent manner from the funds allocated by the HPCSA, based on fees paid by various professions to Council.” Okay?

I am willing to bet that the long-running and very costly case against Noakes was not funded by a ring-fenced reserve of fees contributed by registered dietitians and nutritionists in South Africa (I tried to find out how many there are, but the Association of Dietetics doesn’t seem to know, and the HPCSA Professional Board concerned simply lets the phone ring).

The HPCSA must be using, not just the R1 525 paid this year by each registered dietitian or nutritionist, but all the fees paid by all of you to cover the enormous costs of this. (That’s anything from a few hundred rand a year for an anaesthetist's assistant to nearly R2 000 for a psychologist.)

The decision to appeal was unexpected, at least by me. I thought the HPCSA would be doing a little research on social media. Because the picture painted during the hearing was of a fumbling, bumbling set of HPCSA witnesses and legal team who were shown up as being very ignorant about digital media, how it works and how the rest of us use it.

My expectation was that they'd crawl home, lick their wounds – and then the council would set out to craft a policy on social media, to look closely at the wording of their ethics documents and ensure that all members have ethical guidance about using digital media.

In due course, say a year from now, all the professions would have received a link to a new set of guidelines for How To Be Ethical Online.

But no. The council is appealing the ruling. I could understand that, perhaps, if the Tweet That Caused All The Trouble (the one about how to wean babies) had actually caused any harm. You know, if someone had landed up in ICU as a result of reading Noakes’ 140-odd characters, then you could (sort of) understand what can only be read as a steely determination to skewer the man.

But as it stands, it would seem no baby – or any other living creature, not even an apoplectic dietitian – was hurt during the making of this legal soap opera.

How much will this second legal leg cost, more millions sunk in a seemingly pointless vendetta? And to what other uses could the council put that money, that would serve both the public and the healthcare professions better?

And by the way, I’ve yet to hear if a better job is being done by the newish HPCSA, following the disastrous report in 2015 by a ministerial task team, which “found the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) to be ‘in a state of multi-system organisational dysfunction’ which has resulted in the body’s failure to function effectively”

That could be attested to by hundreds of healthcare practitioners who struggle to get simple assistance with repeated requests to the HPCSA (I remember a young friend’s titanic battle simply to register as a paramedic); by doctors returning to South Africa with loads of experience, willing and ready to help our strained public healthcare system, but who could not jump through enough hoops to satisfy the HPCSA (see this story for just one of many); by professional bodies who have begged the HPCSA for help in, for example, policing professions that overstep the scope of practice for which they have been trained… Have things improved much since the new regime was put in place?

Quizás, quizás, quizás, as the Song Otherwise Known as ‘Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps’ goes.

The HPCSA is a crucial custodian of healthcare in this country – but quis custodiet ipsos custodies? (Who watches the watchmen?) In this case those watchmen and women are unelected officials – chosen from a list of nominations by the professions, but appointed by the minister of health for five-year terms. So how transparent are they required to be, and who calls them to account?

If none of you healthcare practitioners wants to ask, then I do, as a member of the healthcare-using public (who pays the money to the registered practitioners which enables them to pay their fees, and therefore ultimately funds the HPCSA): who made the decision to appeal, and why?

Asking – once again – for a country that is getting just a little tired of our money being widdled away.


British Dietetic Association reveal source of "evidenced based dietary advice" shocker!

I might of known why their dietary advice for diabetics is so poor. And there was I thinking it was because they receive funding and sponsorship from Danone, Abbott Nutrition, Nestle, Cereal Partners, BelVita Breakfast Biscuits and Coca Cola. 


Every word verbatim!

Our mission on this blog, is to share knowledge regarding the best dietary lifestyle, not only for diabetics, but for all people, kids included. We never ever wanted to make money from the blog, just spread the word. You can imagine how pleased I was today, to find a blog copying our every word. Don't get me wrong, it's plain to see we honestly 'nick' all sorts of stuff from the internet, and always give a link, but copying our every word verbatim, with no links, is not on. Still, as I say, we only want to spread the word. This at the bottom of the page made me laugh "Copyright 2017 DISEASE KNOWN FOR HEALTHY LIVING"


Low Carb Orange Mousse

Don't know about you - but I've always enjoyed mousse as a dessert, it's such a lovely way to round off a delicious meal. This lovely recipe is for a light and fluffy orange mousse and it makes a nice refreshing dessert, a great end to your low carb meal. You may add a splash of orange liquor, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier, to give it an indulgent kick, but that is optional. 

Ingredients (make 8 small glasses):
3.2g carb per portion
4 sheets of leaf gelatine
zest of 2 oranges, juice of 1
4 eggs separated
100g erythritol (powdered)
300ml double (heavy) cream

1. Soak the gelatine in cold water to soften it. Heat the orange juice in the microwave for 30 sec. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine, add to the hot juice and stir to dissolve. Set aside to cool.
2. Put the egg yolks, erythritol and orange zest into a bowl and whisk over a saucepan of hot water for 10 mins until thick and foamy. Remove from the heat and continue whisking until completely cool.
3. Fold the gelatine and orange mix into the egg yolk mixture. In separate bowls, whisk the egg whites and cream until both are softly stiff, then gently fold into the orange mix. Spoon into 8 glasses and chill until set. Decorate with slice of orange. The mousse can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Enjoy, I'm sure you will!

This lovely recipe idea is from Ewelina ... and here she is

Ewelina is a Type 1 Diabetic ... here is what she says "Diabetes and cakes doesn’t sound like a great combination. Well not to me, I have always loved baking and after diagnosis with diabetes type 1 in 2011 I had to find some way of combining these two. It is quite challenging and anyone who knows a little bit about baking will agree with me. How to bake without using flour or sugar?! After long research and checking hundreds of recipes I came across some great ideas. There are sugar substitutes that work quite well in most recipes and there are many different low carb flours and flour substitutes. I’m still learning and discovering new products and recipes but with every cake I make I know more and more. Now I’m convinced that low carb cakes can be delicious and we don’t need to feel sorry for not having regular cakes. Cakes from my blog are equally good (if not better) and you can eat them without worrying too much about your sugar levels"

... Enjoy

All the best Jan

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Low Carb Treat : Port Wine Dark Chocolate Fat Bombs

If you should have some port wine at the back of a cupboard, then you may want to consider using two tablespoons of it in this low carb chocolate treat recipe for port wine and dark chocolate fat bombs! They are super simple to make and will keep indefinitely in the freezer. Also these port wine and dark chocolate fat bombs have less than 1/2g of carbohydrate. Yes, you read that right! One of these, which is about the size of a fun sized sweet/candy bar, has exactly 0.4 g net carbs. That means you could eat FIVE of them and use just two carbs of your daily total! Seriously I'm not recommending you do eat five in one go, and I would doubt you would want to ... they are really rich.

Make them in your favourite chocolate shape molds such as hearts or shells ... or another shape, the choice is yours. When made you will definitely want to keep them in the refrigerator, as they melt quite easily at room temperature.

However, these smooth, dark chocolate treats with the fruity flavour of port wine makes these low carb dark chocolate fat bombs the perfect way to end a meal. They will keep indefinitely in your freezer ... but just a reminder do not store at room temperature or they'll melt!

24 servings. You may get more or less depending on the size of your molds.
1/4 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup Hershey's - or similar - Extra Dark cocoa
3 tablespoons powdered erythritol
2 tablespoons port wine
A few drops of liquid stevia if needed
How to make them, instructions can be found at Marye's 'Lowcarb-ology' blog here

If you should need help with weight/measurement conversion have a look

These can make a lovely treat for yourself, a good friend or loved one.

image from here

All the best Jan

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Jade Jackson - "Motorcycle"

Another that's new to me, this is from her debut album enjoy

Wilhelm Kempff plays Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata

I think as long as the human race exists, people will never tire of hearing this masterpiece. Eddie

Elegy for the Victims of the Tsunami of March 11, 2011 in Japan by Nobuyuki Tsujii

Saturday night again and music night on this blog. I went looking for a well known classical piece and found this new gem. If this does not move you, check your pulse. Eddie

Moroccan Orange & Cardamom Cake

Talking about oranges (here) recently, reminded me of this recipe which you may wish to try. Although I'm not 100% sure the recipe idea did originally come from Morocco, (although with this title it probably did) they certainly grow oranges in Fez and spices are popular in many Moroccan dishes ...
It's nice to see a cake mix that uses ground almonds and polenta, as generally cakes made with polenta tend to be moist and quite dense, so if you fancy giving it a try, then please read on.

Serves 10 -12
2 oranges, scrubbed
seeds of 6 green cardamom pods, crushed
225g pack xylitol (e.g. Total Sweet)
6 large eggs
200g pack ground almonds
50g polenta
25g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp flaked almonds
Greek yogurt or cream, to serve

1. Put the whole oranges in a pan, cover with water and boil, covered, for 1 hr until a knife easily pierces them. If the oranges won’t stay under the water, place a small saucepan lid directly on top to keep them submerged. Remove the oranges from the water and cool, then quarter and remove any seeds and obvious pith where the stalk was. Blitz the oranges to a rough purée with a hand blender or in a food processor and put in a large bowl.

2. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and line the base and sides of a 21cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment. Beat the cardamom, xylitol and eggs into the orange purée, then mix the ground almonds with the polenta, flour and baking powder, and fold in until well blended. Scrape the mixture into the tin, level the top and bake for 40 minutes.

3. After 40 minutes, scatter over the almonds, quickly return to the oven and bake 20-25 minutes more until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the tin and leave to cool. Serve sliced as a cake, or with Greek yogurt or cream as a dessert.

1) Microwave the oranges - If you are short of time, you can cook the oranges in the microwave – simply pierce them all the way through with a sharp knife, then microwave in a covered bowl with a dash of water on High for 6 minutes.
2) This cake also freezes well

This recipe idea originally seen here

Nutrition: per serving (12)
kcal 257 fat 26g saturates 3g carbs 2g
sugars 9g fibre 1g protein 13g salt 0.3g

What is Cardamom ... 

Cardamom is an aromatic spice indigenous to south India and Sri Lanka, cardamom seeds come from a plant belonging to the ginger family. They are contained in small pods about the size of a cranberry. Cardamom has a wonderful aroma and an enticing warm, spicy-sweet flavour. The whole pods can be added to dishes, or the seeds can be extracted and either added whole or ground. 

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

Thanks for reading, and as always, if you've any thoughts about this recipe idea do please share them in the comments.

All the best Jan

Friday, 19 May 2017

Foods To Boost Your Brain and Memory

Kerri-Ann Jennings MS RD writes:

"Your brain is kind of a big deal.
As the control centre of your body, it’s in charge of keeping your heart beating and lungs breathing and allowing you to move, feel and think. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your brain in peak working condition.
The foods you eat play a role in keeping your brain healthy and can improve specific mental tasks, such as memory and concentration. This article lists 11 foods that boost your brain.

11 Best Foods to Boost Your Brain and Memory

1. Fatty Fish
When people talk about brain foods, fatty fish is often at the top of the list.
This type of fish includes salmon, trout and sardines, which are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids
. About 60% of your brain is made of fat, and half of that fat is the omega-3 kind. Your brain uses omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory.
Omega 3-s also have a couple additional benefits for your brain. For one thing, they may slow age-related mental decline and help ward off Alzheimer’s disease
. On the flip side, not getting enough omega-3s is linked to learning impairments, as well as depression. In general, eating fish seems to have positive health benefits.
Summary: Fatty fish is a rich source of omega-3s, a major building block of the brain. Omega-3s play a role in sharpening memory and improving mood, as well as protecting your brain against decline.

2. Coffee
If coffee is the highlight of your morning, you’ll be glad to hear that it’s good for you. Two main components in coffee — caffeine and antioxidants — help your brain. Drinking coffee over the long term is also linked to a reduced risk of neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Summary: Coffee can help boost alertness and mood. It may also offer some protection against Alzheimer’s, thanks to its caffeine and antioxidants.

3. Blueberries
Blueberries provide numerous health benefits, including some that are specifically for your brain. Some of the antioxidants in blueberries have been found to accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells.
Summary: Blueberries are packed with antioxidants that may delay brain aging and improve memory.

4. Turmeric

This deep-yellow spice is a key ingredient in curry powder and has a number of benefits for the brain. It’s a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that has been linked to the following brain benefits. It may benefit memory, ease depression, help new brain cells grow.
Summary: Turmeric and its active compound curcumin have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, which help the brain. In research, it has reduced symptoms of depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Broccoli
Broccoli is packed with powerful plant compounds, including antioxidants. It’s also very high in vitamin K. This fat-soluble vitamin is essential for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat that’s densely packed into brain cells. A few studies in older adults have linked a higher vitamin K intake to better memory.
Summary: Broccoli contains a number of compounds that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, including vitamin K.

6. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds contain powerful antioxidants that protect the body and brain from free radical damage. They’re also an excellent source of magnesium, iron, zinc and copper. Each of these nutrients is important for brain health.
Summary: Pumpkin seeds are rich in many micronutrients that are important for brain function, including copper, iron, magnesium and zinc.

7. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are packed with a few brain-boosting compounds, including flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants. Flavonoids are a type of antioxidant plant compound. The flavonoids in chocolate gather in the areas of the brain that deal with learning and memory. Researchers say these compounds may enhance memory and also help slow down age-related mental
Summary: The flavonoids in chocolate may help protect the brain. Studies have suggested that eating chocolate could boost both memory and mood.

8. Nuts
Research has shown that eating nuts c
an improve markers of heart health, and having a healthy heart is linked to having a healthy brain. While all nuts are good for your brain, walnuts may have an extra edge, since they also deliver omega-3 fatty acids.
Summary: Nuts contain a host of brain-boosting nutrients, including vitamin E, healthy fats and plant compounds.

9. Oranges
You can get all the vitamin C you need in a day by eating one medium orange. D
oing so is important for brain health, since vitamin C is a key factor in preventing mental decline. Eating sufficient amounts of vitamin C-rich foods can protect against age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a 2014 review article.
Summary: Oranges and other foods that are high in vitamin C can help defend your brain against damage from free radicals.

10. Eggs
Eggs a
re a good source of several nutrients tied to brain health, including vitamins B6 and B12, folate and choline. Two studies found that higher intakes of choline were linked to better memory and mental function. Eating eggs is an easy way to get choline, given that egg yolks are among the most concentrated sources of this nutrient.
Summary: Eggs are a rich source of several B vitamins and choline, which are important for proper brain functioning and development, as well as regulating mood.

11. Green Tea

As is the case with coffee, the caffeine in green tea boosts brain function. In fact, it has been found to improve alertness, performance, memory and focus.
Summary: Green tea is an excellent beverage to support your brain. Its caffeine content boosts alertness, while its antioxidants protect the brain and L-theanine helps you relax.

The Bottom Line
Many foods can help keep your brain healthy. Some foods, such as the fruits and vegetables in this list, as well as tea and coffee, have antioxidants that help protect your brain from damage. Others, such as nuts and eggs, contain nutrients that support memory and brain development. You can help support your brain health and boost your alertness, memory and mood by strategically including these foods in your diet."

Please note the above is only a 'snippet' of Kerri-Ann's article.
You can read it in full, with all related links, on 'Authority Nutrition' site 

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

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Chantix....This is an actual commercial

I never ever thought smoking could be a healthier option, after checking out this US commercial, I am having second thoughts. Eddie 

Halloumi, courgette (zucchini), green bean and tomato salad

Have you heard of Halloumi? It's pronounced ha-loo-mee. It's a semi-hard chewy, white cheese originating from Cyprus and made from cow's, goat's or sheep's milk, or a combination. It has a mild salty flavour and lends itself beautifully to cooking due to its firm texture which is retained even when cooked and exposed to high temperatures. It has become a firm favourite in our household and sometimes we just cook a couple of slices and enjoy them as a snack! However Halloumi does lend itself so well to recipes such as this one ...

Serves Four
3 courgettes, (zucchini) sliced into ribbons
4tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
500g Halloumi cheese
1/4tsp chilli flakes
90g mixed leaf salad
250g (8oz) green beans, blanched
250g (8oz) cherry or baby plum tomatoes, halved
15g basil, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2tbsp red wine vinegar

1. Heat a griddle / grill pan until hot. Drizzle the courgettes with a tablespoon of olive oil, season and cook until lightly marked on each side. Set aside.
2. Slice the halloumi into 12 even slices and sprinkle with the chilli flakes. Cook the slices in the hot griddle pan for 1-2 minutes on each side.
3. Divide the salad leaves between four plates and top with the blanched beans and cherry tomato halves. Add some courgette slices and 3 pieces of halloumi to each plate.
4. Make the dressing by mixing the remaining olive oil, basil, garlic and vinegar together. Season and drizzle a little over each salad.
5. Serve and enjoy 

From an original Tesco real food recipe idea here

Halloumi is a firm, slightly springy white cheese from Cyprus, traditionally made with sheeps’ milk, although these days mass-produced varieties often use cows’ milk.

In texture, halloumi is similar to a firm mozzarella, making it a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking. Unlike mozzarella, however, it has a strong salty flavour, particularly when preserved in brine.

In good supermarkets and speciality stores.

Choose the best:
Cut into slices - the halloumi should 'squeak' as it is cut into.

Buyer's guide:
The best halloumi is made from sheeps’ milk, and will come from Cyprus, although these days you can even find varieties made in Britain.

Halloumi will keep in the fridge for many months if left in its original packaging, complete with brine or whey. Once opened, submerge in salt water and refrigerate.

In the Middle East, halloumi is usually fried or grilled to take advantage of its high melting point. Although halloumi can be eaten straight from the packet, some chefs recommend soaking it in buttermilk for a day or two before preparing, to give it a richer, less salty flavour.

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

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

FDA warns of foot, leg amputations with J&J diabetes drug Invokana (canagliflozin)

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) is required to add new warnings to its diabetes drug, Invokana, about the risk of foot and leg amputations, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday.

Final results from two clinical trials showed leg and foot amputations occurred about twice as often in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with Invokana, known also as canagliflozin, as those given a placebo, the FDA said in an announcement posted on its website.

The warnings include a boxed warning, reserved for the most serious possible adverse events, the FDA said.

Invokana belongs to a relatively new class of type 2 diabetes drugs called SGLT-2 inhibitors, which help remove excess blood sugar through urine. Others in the class include Eli Lilly and Co's (LLY.N) Jardiance and AstraZeneca Plc's (AZN.L) Farxiga.

The FDA noted that results of one clinical trial showed that over the course of a year the risk of amputation in patients treated with Invokana was equivalent to 5.9 out of 1,000, compared with 2.8 out of 1,000 for patients given a placebo.

A second trial showed the risk of amputation was equivalent to 7.5 out of every 1,000 patients treated with Invokana compared with 4.2 out of every 1,000 patients given a placebo.

The agency said amputations of the toe and middle of the foot were the most common but that amputations involving the leg, below and above the knee, also occurred.

Untreated type 2 diabetes can cause blindness, nerve and kidney damage and heart disease.


Crustless Asparagus Quiche : Great Low Carb Food

Yes, fresh asparagus is great ... fresh green beans are great, lets face it fresh vegetables are really good and we each have our favourites. However, on the odd occasion, I do sometimes use frozen or tinned ... like in this recipe.

Serves 2-4
6 eggs
6 tablespoons of double (heavy) cream
One tin of whole asparagus spears 244 grams
1 heaped tablespoon of Jalapenos green peppers for extra zap* optional
Salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the eggs and cream together well in a bowl or Pyrex jug
Pour into a non stick baking dish 8" x 1.5"
Place the asparagus spears and optional Jalapeno green peppers
Place into a pre heated oven at 190C / Gas 5 and cook for twenty minutes.
Serve with a mixed salad.
Great low-carb food.

Check that the quiche is properly cooked by placing a knife in the centre, it should come out clean.
Also, as ovens vary just keep an eye on the quiche while cooking.
This quiche tastes delicious eaten hot or cold.

... now please excuse me as I sit down and enjoy!

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Nina Teicholz - 'The Real Food Politics: Institutional Defense of the Status-Quo'

Nina Teicholz is a New York Times bestselling investigative science journalist who has played a pivotal role in challenging the conventional wisdom on dietary fat. Her groundbreaking work, 'The Big Fat Surprise', which The Economist named as the #1 science book of 2014, has led to a profound rethinking on whether we have been wrong to think that fat, including saturated fat, causes disease.

Nina continues to explore the political, institutional, and industry forces that prevent better thinking on issues related to nutrition and science. She has been published in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the British Medical Journal, Gourmet, the Los Angeles Times and many other outlets.

A .PDF version of the slides used in Nina's presentation is available here;


Beef-burger, delicious served with Mushrooms and Cheesy Leeks

It may be nice to prepare, cook, eat and enjoy the worlds finest steaks, or the worlds freshest line caught fish, but I recently prepared, cooked and ate a gourmet beef burger! Well I thought it was pretty gourmet … Gordon Ramsey … may not agree, but if you're interested I'll share this easy recipe with you - and feel free to amend it slightly. For example you may wish to add a teaspoon of mustard to the recipe or use different herbs - the choice is yours. That's the delight of cooking you can explore, invent, mix up the ingredients to better suit your palate. But here’s what I did.

Serves Two Decent Sized Burgers
250/300 gram lean minced beef
1 red onion chopped
1 egg yolk
1 - 2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried mixed herbs *
Salt and pepper to season

* I used dried herbs but if you have fresh ones even better

Simple Method
1. Just place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, then stir very well making sure it is well mixed.
2. Using your hands divide the mix and shape into two equal sized burgers.
3. Place on a baking tray and cook in a pre-heated oven at 200 or Gas Mark 6 for approx. 30 minutes. All ovens vary so check burgers at about 20 minutes and adjust cooking time as necessary. When cooking burgers in the oven it may be an idea to grease or line your baking tray ... helps with the washing up afterwards!

Just a thought - Optional
Some may like to sauté the onion first in oil or butter, then add it to the mince mixture

You can either have plain burgers or why not put some stilton cheese on top of the burgers, for the last 10 minutes of cooking and let it melt - it makes the burgers that extra delicious.

We enjoyed this dish served with some mushrooms cooked in butter, I use a small frying pan, with melted butter and cook on top of the hob.

For the cheesy leeks, I just sliced up two leeks (wash them first) placed them in a small ovenproof dish. Covered them with double cream and cooked in the oven for approx. 15 minutes. Take leeks out of oven and sprinkle with some grated cheddar cheese, return to oven for further 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and it’s a slight golden brown colour - the leeks should be just soft.

Voila !

Isn't the LCHF way of eating enjoyable and delicious!
(Well I would say that wouldn't I - but it is!)

All the best Jan

Welcome From The Low Carb Team

We have recently welcomed many new readers from all around the world and some have asked questions about the blog, so we thought it would be nice to give some background information ...

The Low Carb Diabetic Blog's very first post was called, Sometimes it just makes sense ... and was back in December 2010 ... fast forward to 2017, and we're still going strong. Over the years we have met (both in the flesh and on the web) some great people and shared many different articles, recipes, studies etc... and we will continue to do this.

Our original profile states:
"We are a small band of diabetics all low carbers. Posting links to diabetes related articles and low carb food advice. In our spare time we like to lampoon the spreaders of fear and misinformation. Welcome to the crazy world of diabetes."

Our Interests:

"Challenging the outdated dogma that believes diabetics should base their diet on blood glucose raising carbohydrates, and demolishing the myths that says saturated fat causes chronic disease."

Our Favourite books:

Include "Dr.Richard Bernstein The Diabetes Solution,  Gary Taubes The Diet Delusion, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick The Cholestrol Con."

In recent years the blog has taken on a more magazine type feel with a widening of articles, news, views, recipes, some personal stories, and even a Saturday Night Is Music Night Spot ... well why not! 

The team's main concern is still with diabetes and the better control of it by following a LCHF lifestyle, but more and more people, who are not diabetic, have been discovering this lifestyle and seeing for themselves the improvement in health and well-being it can give.

None of the low carb team are medical professionals. The articles you read are personal views but often link to both medical and scientific studies.

Jan is the only one of the team who is not a diabetic, but being married to Eddie a Type 2 diabetic, and seeing how the LCHF lifestyle can and does help so many, it just made sense to her to embrace this lifestyle.

If you would like to find out more about the LCHF lifestyle, then please read Introduction to low-carb for beginners, it's free of charge and you can find it here

This picture shows some of the foods we enjoy eating.
We are low carb, not no carb, and our meals are based on whole real food,
quality protein, healthy fats and low-carb vegetables and lower carb fruits.

Jan, Eddie and Graham - 'the low carb team'

Monday, 15 May 2017

Aubergine / Eggplant and Tomato Thai Curry

Thai curry refers to dishes in Thai cuisine that are made with various types of curry paste; the term can also refer to the pastes themselves. A Thai curry dish is made from curry paste, coconut milk or water, meat, seafood, vegetables or fruit, and herbs. Curries in Thailand mainly differ from the curries in Indian cuisine in their use of fresh ingredients such as herbs and aromatic leaves over a mix of spices.

We do enjoy aubergines/eggplants quite regularly in our house and they are often in the menu plans. Not only are they an excellent source of dietary fibre, they are also a good source of Vitamins B1 and B6 and potassium. In addition it is high in the minerals copper, magnesium and manganese. A 100g serving of raw aubergine provides: 25kcal 1g protein 0.2g fat 6g carbohydrate 3.4g fibre.

This recipe suggestion can make a great week-day dish, it also makes a nice change eating just vegetables! If you'd like to give it a try here is what you'll need ...

Serves Four
2 aubergines
2tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced into wedges
1tbsp Thai red curry paste
100g *coconut cream, chopped into pieces
300ml hot water
200g cherry tomatoes

Cut the aubergines/eggplants lengthways into 6 wedges, then cut the wedges into 2 pieces.

Heat a griddle/grill pan until hot, brush the aubergines with 1tbsp olive oil and grill in batches, for about 2 minutes on each side, until there are char lines and the aubergines are softened a little. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In a wok heat 1tbsp olive oil and cook the onion over a high heat for a few minutes, stirring all the time. When the onion is starting to caramelise add the red curry paste and cook for 30 seconds.

Stir the *coconut cream into the pan, allow to melt a little, then stir in 300ml hot water. Mix well, bring to the boil and bubble for 2 minutes to thicken the sauce slightly.

Lower the heat and stir in the aubergine pieces and the cherry tomatoes, simmer for 5 minutes, season with salt and black pepper and serve.

Eat on its own, or cauliflower rice or green beans could go well with this dish!

*if you find coconut cream is too 'floury' a texture for you substitute it with coconut milk and add less water slowly, stirring well

Using original recipe each serving:
Carbohydrate 6.7g Protein 2.5g Fibre 4.5g Fat 11.6
See original Tesco Real Food idea here

All the best Jan

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Never has the interest in low carb been higher.

One hundred years ago, there were no drugs available to treat diabetes. The only way to reverse the most damaging main symptom, highly elevated blood glucose, was by using the correct diet and exercise. Type two diabetes drugs are ineffective for most people, and come with many side effects. Eating fresh whole food carries no known side effects. We knew how to reverse type two diabetes 100 years ago. Countless people all across the world, are finding the low carb higher healthy natural fats lifestyle, to be their salvation. The choice is yours, more drugs or real food from the farm and the sea.   

Diabetic Cookery Recipes And Menus by Rebecca W Oppenheimer printed 1917.
Check this link out here the complete book is available for free, packed with great information for all, not just for diabetics.

As you can see, this post on our blog We knew how to reverse type two diabetes in 1917 has received over 22,000 page views in less than a week. We are just a minnow in a big pond, the big guys low carb blogs are receiving hundreds of thousands of hits per week. Never has the interest in low carb been higher. It works and keeps on working.


Watermelon Salad in a tea-cup !

Well, as regular readers will know, I do like my cup of tea, but how about this!
Watermelon salad in a tea-cup ... that's different.

Certified Holistic Health Coach Lee Holmes writes:
"This dainty salad is a gorgeous, refreshing snack, light meal or post-meal enjoyment that will provide instant refreshment as well as a welcomed hit of hydration and nutrients. Watermelons are mostly water — about 92 percent — but every juicy bite has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as lycopene and beauty-boosting antioxidants that help keep your complexion glowing all summer long...

Serves: 3
350 g (12 oz/2 cups) diced seedless watermelon
90 g (31/4 oz/2 cups) baby English spinach leaves
Small handful of mint leaves, torn or roughly chopped
1 large celery stalk, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
60 g (21/4 oz/ 1/2 cup) crumbled goat’s cheese

1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lime juice
Handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
130 g (41/2 oz/ 1/2 cup) sheep’s milk yogurt
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl, then divide between three wide-mouthed teacups, mugs or bowls. Spoon the dressing on top and serve immediately.

Supercharged tip:
Keep the salad and dressing separate until just before serving, then when you’re ready to eat spoon the dressing on top."

Image and Recipe from Lee Holmes here

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

All the best Jan