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Sunday 31 May 2015

Big Food's Big Problem: Consumers Don't Trust Brands

Industry Giants Shift Strategy To Win Back Health-Focused Americans

This rather unappetizing statement was tucked into a request for proposals recently sent to ad agencies: "Most of our food supply comes from factory farms, is dependent on GMOs and chemicals, and is not sustainably grown or raised."

The inflammatory language sounds like the typical musings of a fiery activist ready to take on Big Food. But it actually came from the Kashi brand owned by industry giant Kellogg Co. The brand is seeking ideas to "re-establish our identity in the natural foods movement."

The RFP, which was recently obtained by Ad Age, is a small but telling example of how the food industry has been shaken from its core, forced to reinvent itself in the face of shifting consumer demands. Families once reliably heaped their plates with products such as Stove Top stuffing from Kraft Foods, Hamburger Helper from General Mills and Kellogg cereals, along with similar products from other processed food titans. But now those consumers are increasingly migrating to smaller, upstart brands that are often perceived as healthier and more authentic.

Quite simply, big brands are losing one of their most valuable assets: consumer trust. And the fight to regain it will shape the industry for years to come.

Dramatic steps
The rapidly shifting tastes have forced executives into taking some dramatic steps. They are racing to reformulate iconic products like Kraft's Mac and Cheese, while acquiring smaller brands in hopes of reinventing themselves to appeal to today's finicky consumers. But their search for growth comes amid intense pressure to cut costs as bottom-line focused private equity firms such as 3G Capital lurk.

Some $18 billion in sales have shifted from large to small companies from 2009 to 2014 across all consumer packaged good categories, according to report by Boston Consulting Group and IRI. Credit Suisse recently isolated the changes in market share among food and beverage companies and found that the largest 25 companies saw their control slip from a combined 49.4% share in 2009 to 45.1% share in 2014. Their "dominance of the core U.S. market seems to be slowly eroding," Credit Suisse stated in a report.

Campbell Soup Co. CEO Denise Morrison recently summarized the situation using unusually stark language when she told financial analysts at a February meeting that "we are well aware of the mounting distrust of Big Food." She added that "we understand that increasing numbers of consumers are seeking authentic, genuine food experiences and we know that they are skeptical of the ability of large, long-established food companies to deliver them."

Months later, her confession is still resonating. Just look at the actions of some of the nation's largest retailers, such as Target, which recently committed to overhauling its grocery offerings in favor of less-processed foods. The company controls $15.6 billion in U.S. food and pet supply sales, according to Supermarket News.

Tipping point
The tipping point for Big Food might have come in the middle of 2013 when the shift away from heavily processed foods become more evident, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Alexia Howard observed in a recent report. She cited several factors: Millennials began forming households after the recession that are led by moms who are "better educated and are less brand loyal than earlier generations."

The rise of social media has also led to a "massive online conversation about what to eat and what to avoid -- and concerns about the additives in many heavily-processed foods are on the rise," Ms. Howard stated. Lastly, advancement in distribution methods are extending the shelf life of fresher, less-processed foods.

Full article here:


Of Castles (and Knights) - Corfe Castle and Lulworth Castle

You may have a young 'Knight' in your family! Our Grandson has been having a fascinating time at school recently ... learning about Castles. Two he has been talking about are Corfe Castle and Lulworth Castle both in Dorset - a most beautiful English County.

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle, above, is a favourite haunt for adults and children alike, and you can't fail to be captivated by these romantic castle ruins with breathtaking views across Purbeck.

Discover 1000 years of the castle's history as a royal palace and fortress. With fallen walls and secret places, there are tales of treachery and treason around every corner. Spot the 'murder holes' and count the arrow loops. Feel history come to life and see the wildlife which has set up home in these fascinating castle ruins."

You can see The Castle, The National Trust shop, 18th century tea rooms with garden, and a visitor centre  ... open daily from 10:00am.

Words above taken from here

Corfe Castle village

More About Corfe Castle village, Dorset:

A popular village south of Wareham, Corfe Castle is named for the dramatic stone fortress that rises above the village. Burial mounds in the area show that Corfe Castle was settled as early as 6000 BCE. There was certainly a Roman presence here, but Corfe really rose in status under Alfred the Great, when that king built a Castle here to deter Danish invaders.

The castle saw a terrible deed in 978 AD, when Queen AElfrida of Mercia murdered her stepson Edward to put her own son, AEthelred (the Unready) on the throne. A Norman castle replaced the wooden Saxon stronghold in the late 11th century, and throughout the medieval period Corfe was a royal castle.

The castle was destroyed by Parliament after the Civil War. But if you want to see what it would have like in its heyday, you're in luck - Corfe Castle Model Village has created a 1/20th scale model of the village and castle showing what it would have looked like during the Middle Ages.

The parish church of St Edward stands across from the castle, reputedly on the site of the cottage where the body of Edward the Martyr was taken following his murder. The church tower dates to the 13th century, but much of the remainder is a Victorian restoration. Taken as a whole, Corfe Castle is a very satisfying place to visit, replete with historic interest.

The above words about Corfe Castle village taken from here

And now a visit to Lulworth Castle too ...

Lulworth Castle in Dorset

Lulworth Castle, built in the early 17th Century as a hunting lodge, became a country house at the heart of a large estate. Thomas Howard, 3rd Lord Bindon, built the Castle in order to entertain hunting parties for the King and Court. The Howards owned it until 1641 when it was purchased by Humphrey Weld, the direct ancestor of the present owners.

The exterior of the Castle changed little over the years but the interior evolved in line with changing fashions until it was gutted by a disastrous fire in 1929. Consolidation work on the ruin was started by the Department of the Environment and was followed through to completion in 1998 by English Heritage.

The Castle opened its doors to the public as a tourist attraction in 1998 and today visitors can enjoy exploring the Castle, climbing the Tower, visiting the C18th Roman Catholic Chapel of St Mary and the C15th Church of St Andrew. 

There are woodland walks and a children's playground and spacious grounds to dog walk and picnic.

Inside Lulworth Castle

The above details and pictures taken from here

But surely after enjoying a great visit to a Castle a great tasting meal is needed and our Grandson and all the family tucked into a lovely tasting Roast Chicken Dinner ... just what any young Knight would enjoy ... but hey where's the broccoli it's this particular Knights favourite vegetable. 

Image result for roast chicken images

Image result for broccoli

And Of Course We Mustn't Forget the dessert of lovely low carb fruits!
What better dish to serve a young knight !

...and he even had time for a spot of garden fun with his sister
Grandchildren make such happy memories ...

Thanks for reading ... All the best Jan

Carrot Cake The Low Carb Way

Carrot Cake

A classic low carb carrot cake with cream cheese icing is a fabulous treat with your morning tea or coffee, and also works well as a dessert. 

Low Carb Carrot Cake

Nutrition Information:
Serves: 20
Calories: 174
Fat: 16.7g
Saturated fat: 7.9g
Carbohydrates: 1.7g
Sodium: 116mg
Protein: 4.0g

3 cups grated carrot
5 eggs
1 cup Butter melted
3 tbsp Natvia (granulated)
1 ½ cups Almond meal/flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Mixed spice
½ cup Chopped walnuts
2 tsp Vanilla essence
½ cup Coconut (desiccated or thread)

Beat eggs, melted butter, Natvia, and vanilla together. Add grated carrot, walnuts, and coconut then mix almond meal, spices and baking powder. Bake in a 25cm tin for 40 minutes at 170 degrees C or until firm to touch. A knife inserted into the cake should come out clean.

It is fine without icing, however if you are a fan of cream cheese icing, mix cream cheese, lemon juice and 1 tbsp of stevia and ice when cake is cold

Thanks to Julia McPhee - t
he above words and picture from here

Why not give low carb carrot cake a try and see what you think ...

All the best Jan

America The Obese: Is There A Multibillion Dollar Conspiracy To Make Sure Americans Stay Overweight?

According to Gallup, America is now fatter than it has ever been before. But how can this possibly be? After all, Americans spend an astounding 60 billion dollars a year on weight loss programs and products. After putting so much time, effort and energy into losing weight, shouldn’t we be some of the healthiest people on the entire planet?

Sadly, the truth is that obesity has become a national epidemic, and we are known around the globe for our huge size. The term “fat Americans” has become synonymous with overweight tourists, and other cultures mock us for our apparent sloth. But could there be more to this than just the fact that we eat too much? Could it be possible that we have been fattened up by design?

Before we get to that, let’s take a look at some of the cold, hard numbers. The following are some of the statistics from the Gallup survey that I mentioned above…

-The national rate of obesity has risen to an all-time high of 27.7 percent. That is up from 27.1 percent in 2013, and it is much higher than the 25.5 percent number that we were sitting at in 2008.

-At 19.0 percent, Hawaii has the lowest rate of obesity in the entire country.

-At 35.2 percent, Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity in the entire country.

-The rest of the top 10 includes West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.

And remember, those numbers just cover obesity. You can definitely be overweight without meeting the official criteria for being “obese”. According to CNN, 70 percent of all Americans are overweight at this point. To say that we have a national crisis on our hands is a huge understatement.

One of the primary reasons why most of us are overweight is due to how our food is made. The American diet is highly processed and it is absolutely packed with obesity-causing ingredients such as sugar and high fructose corn syrup. And it is well documented that some of the additives that they put into our food are highly addictive and actually make you want to eat more. In fact, it has been reported that some of the additives are about as addictive as “opiates“, “heroin” and “cocaine“. The big food corporations want us to eat as much as possible, because when we eat more of their food they make more money.

Unfortunately, being overweight is not just an issue of not looking as good as we could. As Gallup explained, a whole host of health problems are related to obesity…

More on this story here.


Saturday 30 May 2015

Lake Street Dive in the Studio: Rachael Price Sings "What I'm Doing Here"


Leona Lewis - Fire Under My Feet

New song from Leona Lewis winner of the X Factor 2006

Gimme Shelter Playing For Change

Dusty Springfield - "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" - Saturday Night Is Music Night

I was watching a 60's Music show recently and this was played - Dusty Springfield "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me"- it has always been a favourite, so I thought why not have it as my choice for tonight. All the best Jan 

Eggs in bacon baskets - quick recipe

Dietitians dishing you up a daily menu of unhealthy advice?

It’s an issue of growing concern globally: Big Food’s influence on public health policy – and your health and mine – through its proxies: orthodox-trained dietitians. In South Africa, the spotlight is on the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA, a voluntary group of registered dietitians), and the antics of its executive committee. ADSA exco appears to have appropriated moral authority on who we should all listen to on what products we should buy and eat for our health’s sake. That wouldn’t be quite so worrying, were it not for ADSA’s close ties with the food industry. I can’t take any nutrition body seriously that is in bed with companies responsible for many of the products blamed for epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer and other chronic diseases sweeping the planet. And when its advice is based on weak science (epidemiological and associational), with effects that are shockingly clear to the naked eye: epidemics of the very same chronic diseases sweeping the globe.

Top British investigative health journalist Jerome Burne wrote a scathing blog recently titled:Cuddly dietitians in cosy embrace of industry fat cats. It’s a disturbing read with parallels for this country. I’d prefer to think it’s by default rather than design that some dietitians in SA act as proxies for powerful, intrusive, influential, and invasive vested interests and help to ‘health wash’ their products. The consumer action group Grass has been looking into ADSA on that score for many months now, and found it wanting. In the first of series of posts, Grass member Sonia Mountford looks at ADSA’s links with Big Food and why we should all be worried. After all, as the ancient Ayurvedic proverb goes: When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use; when diet is right, medicine is of no need. – Marika Sboros

More on this story here.


Friday 29 May 2015

GP leaders unite to reject NICE proposal to put 10% statin threshold in the QOF

Exclusive The RCGP and the GPC have rejected NICE’s plan to introduce QOF indicators that would see practices rewarded for prescribing statins to patients with a QRISK score above 10%, warning the move threatened the ‘credibility of QOF’.

The move comes as NICE advisors on QOF are due to meet early next week to discuss potential new indicators - including two that would reward practices for prescribing statins to patients newly diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension at a 10% estimated 10-year cardiovascular risk level - which will be up for negotiation for next year’s contract if approved.

The GPC said that it was ‘vital for the credibility of QOF’ that indicators have a robust evidence base, make significant difference to patients and are backed for the profession, adding that these proposals ‘fail on all these counts’.

The RCGP warned that the proposals risked ‘the loss of professional confidence in the healthcare targets they are being asked to meet’.

NICE launched the consultation on proposed new QOF indicators earlier in the year, which included another potential new indicator would pay practices to set up a register of patients with a 10-year risk of 10% or higher, alongside the hypertension and diabetes indicators.

The proposals were made in order to reflect updated NICE lipid modification guidelines, which lowered the 10-year cardiovascular risk threshold at which GPs prescribe interventions, including statin therapy, from 20% to 10%.

This was despite opposition from GP leaders and other leading clinicians concerned about the potential for over-medicalisation of healthy people and diversion of resources away from the sick onto the ‘worried well’.

Both the GPC and the RCGP have sent robustly worded objections to enforcing statin use at the lowered threshold through QOF.

In its response to the consultation, the GPC said the plans lacked evidence, were not backed by the profession and risked undermining the credibility of QOF.

The GPC said: ‘It is vital for the credibility of QOF that it remains focussed on indicators that make a significant difference to individual patients, where the evidence base for benefit is strong, and the profession as a whole backs their inclusions; the proposal to include a measure of statin use at the 10% risk threshold fails on all these counts.’

The response also warned the indicators would reward ‘willingness to resort to pharmacological rather than behavioural intervention’, and that they were ‘medically unjustifiable’ and would ‘disempower patients and undermine informed patient choice’.

Similarly the RCGP’s official consultation response cited concerns the move would result in ‘medicalisation of five million healthy adults’ and warned it risked ‘the loss of professional confidence in the healthcare targets they are being asked to meet’ – pointing to Pulse’s finding that most GPs themselves would not opt to take a statin at this level of risk.

The response added that indicators would ‘not encourage pursuit of lifestyle modication and in fact promote over-medicalisation of risk rather than disease’.

A NICE spokesperson said: ‘NICE opened a consultation on potential new indicators for the 2016/17 QOF menu in January 2015. On 1 June and 2 June the NICE Indicators Advisory Committee will be reviewing all comments received from stakeholders. NICE will be in a position to comment on stakeholder responses after the committee has come to a final decision, at that meeting.’

Dr. Malcom Kendrick has posted about this check him out

We know the NICE panel is riddled with conflicts of interest eight out of twelve of those that contribute the statin guidelines have links to big pharma


Looking for Ten Ways To Make Your Dinner Healthier

10 ways to make your dinner healthier!

You're eating well and reaping the benefits, but are you getting as much possible goodness out of your dinner as you can? Take the nutrition of your evening meal to the next level with our simple and easy tips!

1. Make your own salad dressing.
That way you’ll know exactly what’s in there! No chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavors or stabilizers needed! Adding a dressing made with an oil to your salad or vegetables also helps you absorb more of the fat-soluble nutrients. Look out for salad dressing recipes such as this one :

Creamy Green Goodness
Transform your regular salad into a nutritional powerhouse packed with healthy fats and anti-inflammatory, alkalizing herbs!

What you need:
1/2 large avocado
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large lemon, juiced
A large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 cloves of raw garlic
Sea salt and pepper to taste

What to do:
Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

2. Serve your lunch at the same time.
If you tend to go back for seconds or eat a little more than you should, set aside the leftovers into portioned containers before you even dish up your dinner. That way you’ve prepped your lunch for the next day or two, and won’t be tempted to keep eating!

3. Feature vegetables.
So often vegetables are thought of as as side dish, but we say make them the focus of your meal! Load up your plate with vegetables and add the extras from there.

4. Mix up the method.
Avoid microwaving and boiling, instead, opting for steaming, slow cooking, or pressure cooking... you’ll retain more nutrients.

5. Cook with heat stable oils.
Vegetable oils and extra virgin olive oil struggle to maintain their integrity when faced with high heat. When they become unstable, they produce volatile compounds that are dangerous to our health. Opt for more temperature stable oils including avocado, macadamia, coconut, and almond oil. Keep the extra virgin olive oil for cold dishes such as salad to get the most benefits.

6. Eat a lighter meal.
Many of us eat our biggest meal at night, when we don’t need as much energy. Rather than having the heaviest meal at dinner, try eating like a King at breakfast, like a Prince at lunch, and a Pauper at dinner. This will give your body more time to properly digest your food, and use up the energy those meals provide throughout the day.

7. Make it with broth.
From time to time, use broth instead of oils with the technique known as a wet sauté. Use twice as much broth as you would have oil and enjoy all of the nourishing benefits! Need a recipe? Try this vegetarian Potassium Balance Broth.

8. Cut the carbs in half.
If you’re fond of having a pasta or rice dish, use less grain and add in more vegetables! Rice? Make half rice, half cauliflower rice. Pasta? Have half spelt or whole grain pasta, half zucchini noodles. The meal will be easier to digest, reducing the burden on your gut before bedtime! (Jan's addition here ... of course if you are LCHF - then like me you will probably have all cauliflower rice and all courgette noodles ... not the half and half way !)

9. Spice things up.
Ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, turmeric, and chili pepper are all easy additions to your dish, bringing a delicious flavor, and a fat-burning boost to your metabolism! Sprinkle over roast vegetables and salads, add to curries, coat fish before baking, or roll peeled, boiled eggs in them ... and how about this Aubergine / Eggplant and Green Bean Curry! 

10. Scrub your vegetables.
Don’t peel them. Scrubbing removes any loose dirt and debris, whilst still retaining all the nutrients found in and close to the skin of the vegetable. Plus it adds extra tummy-filling fiber to your meal!

Original article here

All the best Jan

Aubergine / Eggplant and Green Bean Curry

Eggplant And Green Bean Curry (Recipe)

Whether you call them aubergines or eggplants, they are a super low carb food ... in fact they are just super! However, sometimes when we cook recipes they just don't go right - but don't give up just try it again. I know "there’s nothing quite as disappointing as an under-cooked aubergine / eggplant, but the soft creaminess of a perfectly cooked aubergine (eggplant) is the epitome of culinary perfection. Slowly simmered and intermingled with sizzling spices, this curry will whisk you away to aubergine / eggplant heaven."

Serves Four
4 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
6 small aubergines ( eggplants ), cut into 6 cm (21/2 inch) wedges
300 ml (101/2 fl oz) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)
270 ml (91/2 fl oz) additive-free coconut milk
300 g (101/2 oz) green beans
(Celtic) Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
80 g (23/4 oz/1/2 cup) activated almonds, roughly chopped, to serve
Handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped, to serve
Juice of 1 lime
Lime halves, to serve

1 large brown onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger, chopped
1 large red chilli, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder

1. Place all the curry paste ingredients in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of filtered water and whizz together for a few seconds.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat and fry the eggplants until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside on paper towel to drain.
3. Heat the remaining coconut oil in the pan and cook the curry paste ingredients for about 3 minutes. Add the aubergine / eggplant and stir so it is well covered in the paste. Add the tomato passata and coconut milk and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Lastly, add the green beans and cook for a further 6 minutes.

Some words and original recipe idea here

Such wonderfully tasting good food, and the limes just go so well. Hope you enjoy this recipe idea.

All the best Jan

Delicious And Healthy Recipe : Potassium Balance Broth

Delicious And Healthy Recipe: Potassium Balance Broth

"Based on physician Henry Bieler’s ‘Bieler Broth’, this vegetable tonic provides an ideal combination of minerals for restoring acid-alkaline and sodium-potassium balance to the body’s organs and glands.

Vegetarian, cleansing and perfect for the cooler months of the year. (Serves 4)

4 cups of spring or filtered water
4 medium zucchini / courgettes, finely chopped
15 oz (425 grams) green string beans, roughly chopped
1 small bunch of parsley, stems and leaves roughly chopped
3 tomatoes, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt


1. Put all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a gentle boil, lower heat and then simmer very gently for 30 minutes, with lid on.
2. Strain and use as a broth. Alternatively, leave vegetables in, or even blend to create a thicker soup.

A particularly good adrenal tonic for stress-related conditions and general fatigue. A handy vegetable stock to use as a base in other recipes."

All words and recipe idea above taken from here

... on this blog, we do our best to bring a wide variety of articles, different studies, recipe ideas etc. In our magazine style we hope you enjoy the articles that most interest you. Also it is important to bear in mind any allergies or underlying health conditions, and if you are a diabetic we always advise to check your blood sugar readings.

All the best Jan

New Tim Noakes video goes viral !

Waldorf Salad or Just An Apple Sultana and Walnut One ?

Waldorf Salad

You may have recently seen a post on this blog called ' Tonight's low carb hardship meal it's one tough gig !' here 

Now part of the meal featured an apple, sultana and walnut salad. This salad mix is very similar to a 'Waldorf Salad' ... but I just use apples, sultana's and walnuts... although sometimes adding a little celery too.

Below, I've linked to where I first got the recipe idea from. It was Elise at Simply Recipes. I'm sure you would love it as it is, or amend it slightly as I did, to suit your taste, and dietary requirement.

Waldorf Salad Recipe:

Prep time: 10 minutes
Yield: Serves 2.

1/2 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced (or a 1/4 cup of raisins)
1 sweet apple, cored and chopped
3 Tbsp mayonnaise (or yogurt)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise (or yogurt) and the lemon juice. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper. Mix in the apple, celery, grapes, and walnuts. Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce.
Original picture and recipe idea here

Well yes ... sometimes we do cheat (shock, horror) and use ready made mayonnaise, always looking for one with a smaller amount of carbs, and they are available ... BUT you may not want to do this. You may prefer to make your own mayonnaise, or salad dressing. If that is the case I recommend looking at this recipe.
Easy Mayonnaise Recipe |

or this recipe

Super Salad Dressing. This is as easy as it can get, idiot proof to boot! Uses whole eggs and olive oil. A healthy punch of goodness in a jar. |

So there you have it - once again the choice is yours.
 Thanks for reading, and Bon Appetit !

All the best Jan

Sepp Blatter supports calls for David Cameron to quit.

Thursday 28 May 2015

NICE makes substantial changes to 'bonkers' diabetes guidelines after GP criticism

Exclusive NICE has made ‘substantial’ changes to its draft diabetes guidelines after its initial proposals were described as ‘bonkers’ and threatened to make the institute a ‘laughing stock’.
A number of pressure groups, led by the Primary Care Diabetes Society (PCDS), have called on NICE to re-consult on the changes to the guidance, expressing concern that final guidelines are still due to be published in the summer ‘without further consultation with the major stakeholders’.
But Pulse has discovered that NICE will not put the revised guidelines out to consultation because no new analyses have been undertaken since the draft guidelines were published.
As revealed by Pulse, the draft guidelines were heavily criticised in particular over updates to the management of glycaemic control, with one expert describing the draft recommendations as ‘bonkers’, while others warned they risked making ‘a laughing stock’ of NICE.
The criticisms were particularly focused on the use of repaglinide as an alternative first-line therapy in people who cannot tolerate metformin, with experts pointing out that this has not been widely used since its launch in the 1990s.
But NICE has told Pulse that it has made changes, although there is little indication around what these changes entail.
Professor Mark Baker, director of clinical practice at NICE said: ‘We thank our stakeholders for taking part in the consultation on the management of type 2 diabetes in adults NICE guideline update. The NICE Guideline Development Group has carefully considered the comments received on the draft guideline, and has made changes as a response to the consultation.’
The letter stated: ‘As registered stakeholders that responded to the draft update to the guidelines, the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists and the Royal College of Physicians of London were encouraged to learn that the GDG had subsequently made “substantial changes” to the draft recommendations.’
However, they called upon NICE to give relevant groups the opportunity to see the changes, and comment on them before they are published.
The letter continued: ‘We are writing to ask whether NICE intends to give stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the revised guideline before it is published in August. If not, we would urge you to consider doing so, to ensure the maximum possible support for this important document.’
This followed a letter sent by Primary Care Diabetes Society (PCDS) chair Dr David Miller-Jones, which was backed by the ABCD and patient groups, also called for further consultation on the guidelines before publication.
It said: ‘The original draft guideline has caused considerable concerns and was felt to be cumbersome and likely to cause confusion in non-specialist care. It was felt that this guideline would put patients at risk and lead to errors in their management.’
It added: We are concerned that the final guideline is due for publication without further consultation with the major stakeholders. We are keen to support a guideline that reflects current, safe and prudent health practices and feel that further consultation should be sought before final publication.’
NICE’s manual on developing guidelines states that a second, four-week consultation on proposed guidelines may be undertaken under ‘exceptional circumstances’ - for example if ‘information or data that would significantly alter the guideline were omitted from the first draft, or evidence was misinterpreted in the first draft and the amended interpretation significantly alters the draft recommendations’.
However, Professor Baker told Pulse that a second consultation was ‘not required’ because no new analyses had been undertaken in order to revise the draft document.
‘As no new systematic reviews, modelling or analyses have been performed as a result, a second consultation was not required.’
I always thought the present NICE diabetes guidelines were bonkers anyway.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Red meat consumption and ischemic heart disease. A systematic literature review


• Diet may strongly influence ischemic heart disease (IHD).

• We performed a literature review evaluating the association between red meat intake and IHD.

• Eleven studies (8 prospective and 3 case–control) were finally selected.

• There is no clear relationship between large intake of red meat and increased IHD.


Several lines of evidence attest that diet may strongly influence the cardiovascular risk. We performed an electronic search in Medline (with PubMed interface), Scopus and ISI Web of Science, to identify epidemiological studies on the association between red meat intake and the overall risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD). Eleven studies (8 prospective and 3 case–control) were finally selected for this systematic literature review.

Although a larger intake of red meat was found to be a significant risk factor for IHD in four studies (2 prospective and 2 case–control), no significant association was found in five other trials (4 prospective and 1 case–control).

We suggest that future diet recommendations for prevention of cardiovascular disease should take into account that the current literature data does not support the existence of a clear relationship between large intake of red meat and increased risk of myocardial ischemia.


Interesting Nutrition Facts About Fish and Some Recipe Ideas !

Fish Bake with Mediterranean Vegetables

Fish is among the healthiest foods on the planet. It is loaded with important nutrients, such as protein and vitamin D. Fish is also the world’s best source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly important for your body and brain.

Here are 11 health benefits of eating fish, that are supported by research:

1. Fish is High in Important Nutrients That Most People Don’t Get Enough of.

Bottom Line: Fish is high in many important nutrients, including high-quality protein, iodine and various vitamins and minerals. Fatty types of fish are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.

2. Fish May Lower Your Risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes.

Bottom Line: Eating at least one serving of fish per week has been linked to reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes, two of the world’s biggest killers

3. Fish Contains Nutrients That Are Crucial During Development.

Bottom Line: Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is essential for development of the brain and eyes. It is recommended that expecting and nursing mothers make sure to eat enough omega-3s... but please see the cautionary note re Pregnant Women on original article.

4. Fish May Increase Grey Matter in the Brain and Protect it From Age-Related Deterioration.

Bottom Line: Fish consumption is linked to reduced decline in brain function in old age. People who eat fish regularly also have more grey matter in the brain centers that control memory and emotion.

5. Fish May Help Prevent and Treat Depression, Making You a Happier Person.

Bottom Line: Omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial against depression, both on their own and when taken with antidepressant medications.

6. Fish is The Only Good Dietary Source of Vitamin D.

Bottom Line: Fatty fish is an excellent source of vitamin D, an important nutrient that over 40% of people may be deficient in.

7. Fish Consumption is Linked to Reduced Risk of Autoimmune Diseases, Including Type 1 Diabetes.

Bottom Line: Eating fish has been linked to reduced risk of type 1 diabetes and several other autoimmune diseases.

8. Fish May Help Prevent Asthma in Children.

Bottom Line: Some studies show that children who eat more fish have a lower risk of developing asthma.

9. Fish May Protect Your Vision in Old Age.

Bottom Line: People who eat more fish have a much lower risk of developing macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision impairment and blindness.

10. Fish May Improve Sleep Quality.

Bottom Line: There is preliminary evidence that eating fatty fish like salmon can lead to improved sleep.

11. Fish is Delicious and Easy to Prepare.

This last one is not a health benefit, but still very important. It is the fact that fish is delicious and easy to prepare. For this reason, it should be relatively easy to incorporate it into the diet. Eating fish 1-2 times per week is considered sufficient to reap the benefits. If possible, choose wild-caught fish over farmed. Wild fish tends to have more omega-3's and is less likely to be contaminated with harmful pollutants. That being said, even if eating farmed fish, the benefits still far outweigh the risks. All types of fish are good for you.

Words and Original Full Article

Easy Bake White Fish With Leeks and Cheese Recipe

1. Take 250 grams, white fish and cut into pieces about an inch square (25mm).
2. Place in an oven proof dish.
3. Chop up two leeks and place over the fish.
4. Cover fish and leeks with double cream, sprinkle over some mixed herbs, salt and pepper.
5. Bake for 20 minutes at 200c.
6. Remove from oven and cover with grated cheddar cheese.
7. Return to oven and remove when cheese has turned golden brown.

Above recipe - Serves two.

More details about the Fish Bake with Mediterranean Vegetables recipe is here

All the best Jan

The Dietetics Organization Joins the 21st Century (Kind Of...)

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, or, unlike me, you have an actual life, which precludes you from reading as many nutrition articles, blogs, and papers as I do, you might have missed the comments from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) in response to the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. (The AND was formerly the ADA—the American Dietetic Association—the body that oversees the registered dietitian credential [RD].)

This thing has been making the rounds in the low-carb, Paleo, Primal and real food circles, mostly because it is a refreshing—and we might even say downright shocking—reversal of course by this supremely mainstream organization regarding some of the nutrients that have been public outlaws for the past few decades. While the AND has certainly not come out and directly endorsed higher-fat, low-carbohydrate diets, here a few general points they made about the recommendations by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), some of which agree with the committee’s findings, and some of which don’t: 
  • Very low sodium diets are not appropriate for everyone, and may, in fact, be harmful for some populations. 
  • There is no correlation between dietary cholesterol intake and serum cholesterol levels.
  • Since the studies on saturated fat, cholesterol, and heart disease over the years have been so terribly conducted and interpreted, “the Academy suggests that HHS and USDA support a similar revision [for that of cholesterol] deemphasizing saturated fat as a nutrient of concern.”
  • Carbohydrate intake is a much stronger predictor for cardiovascular disease risk than is saturated fat, and it might not be such a bad idea to replace some amount of dietary carbohydrate with fat. 

As you can see, these points mark a huge step forward for this organization, which in the past, has been tepid, conventional, and by-the-book all the way. It’s a gutsy move, and I’m thrilled to see it happen. I applaud the AND for joining the rest of us in the 21st Century with regard to basic science about food and human health. Since I have ragged pretty hard on the AND in the past, I’m happy to be able to give credit where credit is due.

The above nicked from this great blog here.

How long before the British Dietetic Association catch up and join the real world?


Tuesday 26 May 2015

European Medicines Agency approves Amagens PCSK9 inhibitor Repatha

On 21 May 2015, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion, recommending the granting of a marketing authorisation for themedicinal product Repatha, intended for the treatment of adult patients with hypercholesterolaemia and mixed dyslipidaemia, and adults and adolescents aged 12 years and over with homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia.

The applicant for this medicinal product is Amgen Europe B.V.

Repatha will be available as 140 mg/ml solution for injection in pre-filled syringe or in pre-filled pen. The active substance of Repatha is evolocumab, a lipid modifying agent (ATC code: C10AX13).

Evolocumab, a human monoclonal antibody, binds selectively to proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), a protein that regulates the recycling of LDL-receptors on the surface of liver cells and decreases the ability of the liver to clear LDL from the blood. By binding to PCSK9 evolocumab increases liver levels of LDL receptor thereby reducing serum LDL-cholesterol levels.

The benefits with Repatha are its ability to reduce the level of serum LDL-cholesterol in patients who are unable to control their cholesterol despite taking maximum tolerated dose of statins or who cannot take statins.

The most common side effects are: nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, headache and back pain. The use of Repatha may lead to very low cholesterol levels where safety has not yet been established.

I've also seen that neurocognitive problems can occur with those taking this latest money spinner from Big Pharma! 


Cheesy mushroom omelette

Cheesy mushroom omelette

Eggs have been in the news again recently, see link here , and if you're like me and enjoy eggs why not whip up a tasty omelette with this recipe idea.

Serves 1 (0.3g carbs)

1 tbsp olive oil
handful button or chestnut mushrooms, sliced
25g cheddar, grated
small handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped
2 eggs, beaten

1. Heat the olive oil in a small non-stick frying pan. Tip in the mushrooms and fry over a high heat, stirring occasionally for 2-3 mins until golden. Lift out of the pan into a bowl and mix with the cheese and parsley.
2. Place the pan back on the heat and swirl the eggs into it. Cook for 1 min or until set to your liking, swirling with a fork now and again.
3. Spoon the mushroom mix over one half of the omelette. Using a spatula or palette knife, flip the omelette over to cover the mushrooms. Cook for a few moments more, lift onto a plate and eat by itself or perhaps with a nice salad.

Original Recipe Idea Here

All the best Jan

Dr Peter Gøtzsche exposes big pharma as organized crime.

Scallops food of the Gods !

Scallops served on a bed of chopped salad - just choose your favourite ingredients

Some General Information About Scallops:
"Buyer's guide:
Scallops can be bought in or out of their shells. The two main varieties available in the UK are the larger king scallop and the tiny queen scallop. Look out for scallops that have been harvested by hand-diving - this method has less impact on the environment than dredging for scallops does (though carefully monitored dredging at limited times is less damaging to the sea bed than random dredging).
Scallops can be steamed, fried or grilled but should be cooked gently and only for a very short time or their delicate flavour and texture will be spoiled. Steam them in wine with aromatics as you would mussels, or wrap them in prosciutto and grill or fry for a few minutes. Scallops go well with Asian ingredients: try pan-frying them in oil with ginger and fresh coriander. They're also a good complement to hearty flavours such as bacon, chorizo, black pudding or watercress. Take care not to over-cook them: serve as soon as they are firm and opaque. You’ll need about four to five king scallops per person for a main meal or about a dozen queen scallops."

Above words taken from here

Hazelnut butter grilled scallops with salad

Hazelnut butter grilled scallops with salad

These scallops, are simply and delicately flavoured with fresh herbs, lemon zest and rich hazelnuts, and takes less than ten minutes to cook.

Serves Two
For the scallops
1 tsp olive oil
1 shallot, peeled, finely sliced
75g/2½oz butter, softened
½ lemon, zest only
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chervil
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
45g/1½oz hazelnuts, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 scallops, cleaned

For the salad
½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
½ tbsp good quality white wine vinegar
1½ tbsp good quality rapeseed oil
1 Little Gem Lettuce, leaves separated
1 punnet pea shoots

Preparation method:
1. For the scallops, heat a frying pan until warm, add the olive oil and shallot and fry gently until softened but not coloured.
2. Place the butter into a bowl and add the cooked shallot, along with all the remaining scallop ingredients, except the scallops. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well.
3. Preheat the grill to high.
4. Place the scallops onto a grill tray and top each scallop with a spoonful of the hazelnut butter. Place under the grill for 3-4 minutes, or until just cooked through. Remove from the grill and set aside to rest for one minute.
5. For the salad, whisk the mustard, vinegar and oil together in a bowl. Place the lettuce leaves and pea shoots into a bowl, drizzle over the dressing and stir to coat.
6. To serve, place three scallops onto each of 2 serving plates and serve with a pile of salad.

Above recipe taken from here

Thanks for reading, and if you should try these recipe suggestions, I hope you enjoy them.

All the best Jan

Monday 25 May 2015

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick on how to identify medical advice from medical nonsense.

Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Kendrick (Full Interview)


More eggs, please. Cholesterol is OK now !

This U-turn on dietary advice is long overdue. All kinds of damage have been done to people’s lives and livelihoods

If you are reading this before breakfast, please consider having an egg. Any day now, the US government will officially accept the advice to drop cholesterol from its list of “nutrients of concern” altogether. It wants also to “de-emphasise” saturated fat, given “the lack of evidence connecting it with cardiovascular disease”.

This is a mighty U-turn, albeit hedged about in caveats, and long overdue. The evidence has been building for years that eating cholesterol does not cause high blood cholesterol. A 2013 review by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology found “no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum [blood] cholesterol”.

Cholesterol is not some vile poison but an essential ingredient of life, which makes animal cell membranes flexible and is the raw material for making hormones, like testosterone and oestrogen. Your liver manufactures most of the cholesterol found in your blood from scratch, and adjusts for what you ingest, which is why diet does not determine blood cholesterol levels. Lowering blood cholesterol by changing diet is all but impossible.

Nor is there any good evidence that high blood cholesterol causes atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease or shorter life. It is not even a risk factor in people who have already had heart attacks. In elderly people — ie, those who have the most heart attacks — the lower your blood cholesterol, the greater your risk of death. Likewise in children.

Indeed, the evidence that insisting on low-fat diets caused people to eat more carbohydrates, and that led to the explosion in obesity and diabetes, looks pretty strong — so far. After all, the main route by which the body lays down fat is to manufacture it from excess sugar in the liver. But why did carbohydrate consumption start to increase so rapidly in the 1960s? At least partly because of the advice to avoid meat and cheese. Obesity and diabetes are the price we have paid for getting fat and cholesterol so wrong.

Link to more on this story at The Times here.


DCUK Mod required, the ability to think not required !

Over at the forum of flog, a relatively new member talks of his weight loss, together with "now not needing to take medication" and diet and exercise. Please note! he did not mention the dreaded words Low Carb. Various members congratulate the guy, all quiet on the western front, so far. Another relatively new member cratat asks "Would you like to share how you have managed to do it as I need to lose at least that amount and am struggling thanks in advance steam engineer"

Steam Engineer answers the question and says amongst other things "Cut down on meat intake, increased veg intake, reduced carbohydrates (reduced potato, pasta and rice etc) and included beans and pulses into meals" and "l also cut out sweet things, sugar, chocolate etc. although the occasional treat is acceptable" again the guy mentions exercise.

The post is followed up by others, more congratulations, everything cool. Others also state they had success with not keeping to the eatwell plate etc. But note again, no grief, but oh dear, looks like it's another great result for the low carb lifestyle. Clearly this unhinges Noblehead the type one diabetic moderator and low carb anti. Who proceeds to edit a low carbers post and state "Can we just continue to offer encouragement and support to the OP and not derail this thread further with which diet is best at controlling diabetes. Thank You." 

This nonsense from Noblehead was liked by err...cratat. The fact is, no one had not supported the OP, in fact the very opposite. I fully appreciate Noblehead on insulin, a pump, test strips, and an endocrinologist, may not realise for the majority of diabetics (that's type two's) diet is the biggest weapon we have in the kit to control not only weight, but also diabetes. But even by the flogs lamentable moderation standard, today's antics reach a new low.

Please bear in mind, the thread is called Lose Weight and in the Weight Loss and Dieting forum. Perish the thought, people would derail the thread by talking about diet, especially when asked a direct question from another member.

Link to the lunacy here.


11.5 million Britons must improve lifestyle or risk being struck down with diabetes !

AS MANY as 11.5million Britons must improve their unhealthy lifestyles or be struck down with diabetes, an “alarming” report warns.

Poor eating habits and little exercise have put one in five at risk of heading to an early grave. The figures, published today, expose the extent to which our increasingly sedentary lives are creating a nationwide health problem.

Public health chiefs say people must change the way they live to arrest the rapid rise in the disease. Last year it was thought seven million were at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

But an obsession with fatty and convenience foods and poor lifestyles has seen those in danger rocket to more than 11 million, a rise of 60 per cent. This is on top of the four million already suffering both types of the ailment. The crisis is now so severe the NHS will struggle to cope with the extra patients, experts say.

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK which released the figures, said: “That 11.5million people are now at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is a wake-up call for us all to find out our own risk.

“Many cases are preventable and this is why it is so important people know their risk and take action if they are at increased risk.”

Today the Daily Express launches a bid in conjunction with Diabetes UK to get the nation back on its feet.

More on this story in the Express here.

Hardly a month seems to go by when Barbara Young is not banging the doom and gloom drum, she must have a very disheartening job. Imagine being the head of a very long standing organisation such as DUK, that has made not a jot of difference to the obesity epidemic and the often linked type two diabetes tragedy whatsoever. As most informed people know, exercise is great for general health and fitness, but as a weight loss tool not far off useless. But, all is not lost "Some 10,000 pedometers are to be given away accompanied by a pocket-sized guide to beat diabetes" 

What's the betting if dietary advice is included in the guide, it will be exactly the same advice that has been promoted by DUK, NHS, ADA, and BDA for years. And you all know where that has lead to, err... the obesity and type two diabetes epidemics. It seems to me those pedometers will prove to be as useless as Baroness Young's diabetes UK at improving the current lamentable situation, but hey, I suppose she has to something for that £100K a year salary. 

One last thought, I wonder how much of her salary depends on all the big pharma outfits that fund DUK euphemistically called "acknowledgements" 


Roquefort Cheese - Did You Know ?

Roquefort, classic blue cheese made from ewe’s milk, often considered one of the greatest cheeses of France. The designation Roquefort is protected by French law. Roquefort is one of the oldest known cheeses. First evidence of Roquefort was discovered in 79 A.D. when Pliny the Elder mentioned its rich aroma. It was reportedly the favourite cheese of the Emperor Charlemagne. Roquefort is made exclusively from the milk of the red Lacaune ewes that graze on the huge plateau of Rouergue, Causses in the Aveyron

Roquefort cheese is widely imitated throughout the world, and its name is used rather indiscriminately on processed cheeses and salad dressings. True Roquefort is noted for its sharp, tangy, salty flavour and its rich, creamy texture. Today some authentic Roqueforts are made in Corsica, but all still undergo final aging in the limestone caves of Roquefort near Toulouse in southern France, where the cool and humid atmosphere promotes growth of the mold Penicillium roqueforti. It was back in 1411 that King Charles VI gave rights to the ageing of Roquefort to only one village, Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. Nowadays, Roquefort cheeses still mature naturally in the same caves of this village for a minimum of 4 months, although today, the mold is mostly produced in laboratories to ensure its consistency.

By French law, only cheese that is processed at Roquefort, France, may be labeled “Roquefort cheese”; other French blue-veined cheeses are called “bleu” cheese.

Roquefort is generally formed in 5-pound (2.3-kg) cylinders of about 7-inch (18-cm) diameter and 4-inch thickness. The white paste of the interior is marbled with blue mold; A genuine Roquefort has a red sheep on the label ...  the cheese is wrapped in foil bearing a traditional insignia of red sheep.

Dry red wine is considered an ideal accompaniment. 

Above words and picture from here and here

Roquefort - The Cheese and The Village.

Image result for roquefort cheese caves millau france

Imagine, discover, taste and savour ...
One of the entrances to the Causse du Larzac south of the Massif Central, Roquefort is nestled at the foot of the Combalou cliffs and jealously guards the secret of the King of cheeses.

Image result for roquefort cheese caves millau france

A site to discover that will awaken all your senses...

Caves de Roquefort Société

Roquefort, the tasting experience par excellence!
Located south of the plateau of Larzac, Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, home of the famous cheese is an iconic site tucked away in the heart of a totally unspoiled environment. This land has drawn its wealth from its rich geography for centuries. It required a mountain to collapse in order for the network of underground cracks to form the "fleurines" whereby the caves are naturally ventilated.

Image result for roquefort cheese caves millau france

Exploring the caves, you will discover an ancient tradition - no less than the secrets of making the King of cheeses! Let us guide you as you taste and learn about the unique flavour that makes our cheese the highest ranked FrenchAppelation d'Origine Controléé. Sharpen your senses and prepare your taste buds - a visit to the cellars of Roquefort invites you to share what the region values most highly.

Village de Roquefort Sur Soulzon

The village and its history.
The Story of Roquefort: 
A small village with one single street, lives to the rhythm of of Roquefort cheese. Its identity is revealed through many testimonials and stories.

A walking tour with photography and sound takes you to selected places revisited by the school children of Roquefort as part of an educational project to evoke the history of the cheese capital of the world.

A unique geological heritage site.
Don't leave Roquefort without having walked one of three themed walking trails: the Ladder Trail, the Mushroom Trail, and the Menhir Trail, each with its own unique character. Signposts and information posts about the geological characteristics of the site guide your steps, while you take in the perfectly preserved landscape around you.

Arranged in superposed levels, the caves are ventilated by fleurines (natural galleries) that maintain a constant temperature all year round, from 8 ° to 12 ° C and a humidity of 95% due to infiltration of water through the scree. The Roquefort refines slowly in this environment composed of stone and wood. You can visit the refining caves all year round to discover the mysterious world of the King of Cheeses. You can also buy the produce in one of seven specialist shops.

Read More here

Have you visited Roqufort and the caves? Would you like to visit?

Think I may be buying some next time I'm shopping...

Thanks for reading, and I hope you've enjoyed this article.

All the best Jan