Total Pageviews

Saturday 31 October 2015

Jamie Woon - Sharpness - Later… with Jools Holland - BBC Two

Heard this on Tuesdays edition of later with Jools loved it hope you will too


Monster Mash

It can't be Halloween without this one. All the best Jan.

MICHAEL JACKSON - Thriller (Music Non Stop Version)

Saturday night again and music night on this blog, this seems appropriate on Halloween night. Eddie

Pumpkins and Spooky Fun : Happy Halloween !

As two of the grandchildren start preparations - I just couldn't resist posting these two mobile phone pictures ...

The top one was taken at a 'Pumpkin Scoop' and the bottom one shows the 'vampire' and 'witch' getting in party spooky mood ... well why not.

Whatever you are doing today (and I know not everyone welcomes Halloween) please enjoy your Saturday.

I wonder what 'Saturday Night Is Music Night' may feature later ?

All the best Jan

These Friendly Zombie Eyes Can Be So Healthy For Halloween !

Continuing the Halloween Healthy Eating theme ... how about these healthy zombie eyes? I'm sure the younger guests will enjoy them, and 'oldies' too ... and while snacking on Zombie Eyes doesn't sound too appetizing to everyone, these zombie eye's pack a nutritional punch, especially good for the little ones!

1 punnet of cherry tomatoes (more on the large side)
5 hard-boiled eggs
2 ripe avocados
1 heaped tbsp organic greek yogurt
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of smoked paprika
6 Kalamata olives, halved

Piping bag
Sharp knife
Small metal scoop/ melon baller
Small saucepan

1. Wash and dry the tomatoes and slice a very thin layer off the bottom so they sit flat on a cutting board.
2. Slice off the very top of the tomatoes and hollow out the seeds and center, leaving an empty cavity
3. Mash up your boiled eggs in one bowl and in another, mash together your avocados and yogurt.
4. Combine your egg and avo mix and stir thoroughly. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
5. Fold down your piping bag and spoon in your green egg mixture. Depending on the size of the opening on your tomatoes, cut your piping bag tip so it can easily fit inside while still allowing it to be big enough for the filling to come out.
6. Slowly pipe the mixture into the tomatoes until slightly coming out of the top. Repeat on all tomatoes
7. Sprinkle each ‘ eyeball’ with the paprika to give a bloodshot look to them and top with a half an olive to finish off the eye.

You can serve up to your little 'grommets and goblins' as a fun lunchtime snack or as a movie-time munchies.
Alternatively just leave a plate of these zombie eyes on the table and watch them disappear ... swiftly.

Recipe idea and photo from here

The tomato juice / seeds can be mixed into the 'gravy' used in your favourite low carb shepherds pie recipe.

All the best Jan

Friday 30 October 2015

The Meatocalypse Has Arrived

Thanks to Adele Hite at Eathropology for this video


Spookily Friendly Peppers For Halloween !

5 Tips For A Healthy Hallows Eve!

You may have read that we've just spent some time with family and grandchildren - having some half term holiday fun. Like most kids they are looking forward to some Halloween party fun this weekend, and have some lovely costumes ready for a 'Halloween' get-together on Saturday ... some photo's may follow ... watch this space!

Regular blog readers will know that healthy eating is encouraged, for diabetics and non diabetics alike ... these four words 'eat whole fresh foods' appears throughout this blog.  

So if you are looking for a great food idea, how about this one pictured above. Just take some peppers, cut off the top ... de-seed them, and fill them with your choice of salad ... feel free to add a little carrot, crunchy celery even a small piece of grape. Of course don't forget to carefully cut out the 'Spooky' face!

Photo and food idea from here 

All the best Jan

Thursday 29 October 2015

Two Pigs Dressed As A Doctor The Source Of Bacon Cancer Study

The World Health Organisation has retracted a study that revealed a connection between bowel cancer and bacon after an alert staff member discovered that the doctor presenting the results was actually two pigs dressed up in a long white lab coat.
“The presentation he gave was certainly impressive with lots of graphs and pie charts,” said Dr Hermione Trotter, head of ontological research at WHO. “No-one questioned his credentials because he had a stethoscope around his neck. We were on the verge of recommending a world wide ban on bacon and sausages when one of our secretaries noticed something out of the ordinary.”
“I happened to see a little curly tail poking out from the back of his lab coat”, said UN stenographer Penny Stencil. “So I quietly went out and procured a bucket of slops from a nearby city farm and brought it into the meeting room. The fake doctor started salivating and forgetting his statistics and finally he dropped the pretence altogether and both of them leapt squealing from the rostrum and attacked the bucket.”
The bogus bacon study follows on from a similar attempt to discredit chicken nuggets carried out by seven chickens dressed up as an expert on heart disease.
“We’ve stepped up our screening procedures and any doctor wearing anything longer than a poncho will be x-rayed on the way into the building,” said WHO security chief Warren Truncheon. “You’ll have to excuse me, I’ve got to go to a lecture on the dangers of horse meat that’s currently being delivered by a doctor with a really long face.”


Swede Rosti

If you're looking for something a bit different that's tasty and low carb ...

... why not try some Swede Rosti.

Here's how:

Cut a swede into large chunks or strips and put through a food processor fitted with a fine slicing blade. Or grate with a coarse cheese grater. Put the sliced raw swede into a mixing bowl and add some olive oil and three egg yolks per medium sliced swede. Mix well with a spoon and place a handful of mix into a steel ring. I use one 3.5" dia.x 2" deep. Get a cup or glass and compress the mix until firm within the ring, remove the ring. Rosti will be around an inch thick. Make up more until you have used all your mix. You can then fry them straight away in oil or butter or store them in a fridge.
Carbs. around three per rosti or 100 grams.

All the best Jan

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Dr Maryanne Demasi: Too Much Medicine

Could our relentless pursuit of good health be making us sick?

Advances in medicine have propelled health care to new heights and a vast array of diagnostic tests and drug therapies is now available. But are we getting too much of a good thing?

An increasing number of doctors now say that sometimes, “less is more” when it comes to medical interventions. Some doctors are concerned that resources are being wasted on the "worried well" and that the ever-expanding definition of how we define "disease" has been influenced by vested interests. Could excessive medical interventions be causing more harm than good?

Dr Maryanne Demasi examines how our relentless pursuit for good health might be making us sick. #ABCcatalyst


Taking Time To Say Our Thanks

A bouquet of flowers and a slice of low carb cake to all the people that take the time to read our blog, and special thanks to the people that post comments, you are very much appreciated. Thanks also for the emails, phone calls, twitter messages and support we get from friends from all around the world.

The team enjoy posting the recipes, links to diabetes and low carb news, the Saturday Night Is Music Spotlight and of course some posts which highlight even more!

We never stop telling the good news, about the LCHF lifestyle, we believe that every post can make a difference. Someone, somewhere, will read it, and may well change their life. We never forget, diabetes can be a life sentence, not a death sentence. Control your diabetes and live a long and active life.

If we have helped one diabetic, per hundred thousand page views, in the time that this Blog has been active then that's very cool.

So our thanks again, and please enjoy your slice of low carb Summer fruits sponge cake. You can see the recipe here

Good health to you all.

From 'The Low Carb Team'

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Truth is sometimes a bitter pill

When ABC television show Catalyst questioned the effectiveness of cholesterol-cutting statins medications in a two-part series two years ago, the repercussions were fast and furious.

Statins affect many people because they are Australia’s most widely prescribed pharmaceutical and billions of dollars hang on their makers’ claims of lowering the risk of heart attack.

In October 2013, some pro-statins doctors claimed the airing of views contesting that belief could lead to thousands of deaths and demanded the Catalyst show be pulled after the first part was broadcast.

The presenter, Maryanne Demasi, came under heavy attack by health groups including the National Heart Foundation and even some of her high-profile colleagues at the ABC, notably Media Watch host Paul Barry and medical expert Norman Swan.

After an internal review was critical of some of Demasi’s reporting, the offending shows were expunged from the ABC’s website and the supporters of widespread statins use appeared to have won the day.

So it was surprising to see Demasi pop up on social media last week promoting a new British Medical Journal study she notes “strongly suggests the benefits of statins have been grossly exaggerated”.

Which is what she was trying to demonstrate on Catalyst two years ago. And it appears she thinks she’s been vindicated.

Much like another recent study on the side effects of hormone replacement therapy, this BMJ report has seen little news coverage in Australia.

The media seems somewhat gun-shy after being burnt in previous controversies.

The BMJ study is important because it proclaims to be the first “to systematically evaluate statin trials using average postponement of death as the primary outcome”. In a nutshell, it found statins increased life expectancy by just three days for people who did not already have a diagnosis of existing heart disease or associated symptoms.

This is highly pertinent to Catalyst’s assertion that many people were being prescribed statins — which have a high proportion of nasty side effects — when they didn’t need them.

For those who had already had a heart attack or stroke, the BMJ study says statins increased their longevity by just four days.

And that’s pertinent because this is the core group who doctors were worried might go off their medication because of the Catalyst report.

A University of Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy study released in June this year reported about 61,000 Australians changed their statins use after the Catalyst program.

It made the extraordinary assertion that up to 2900 “preventable and potentially fatal major vascular events” could result.

That is completely confounded by the BMJ study, which focused particularly on “survival gain” through statin use.

The BMJ study stressed that its findings were over the life of the 11 trials it assessed, which included patients at lower and high risk of heart disease who were followed for up to six years, comparing those who took statins with those put on a placebo.

“Statin treatment results in a surprisingly small average gain in overall survival within the trials’ running time,” the BMJ study concluded.

So was Demasi right when she blew the whistle on statins and got shouted down?

It is a measure of the defensiveness invoked by any questioning of overprescription — as happened with the outrageous levels of ADD medications here in WA — that the ABC’s internal review found little wrong with the first part of Demasi’s report which had provoked the hostile initial reaction.

“The factual information in the program was accurately presented and the reporter has demonstrated that she diligently sought and considered a variety of views on the subject,” it found.

“No material inaccuracy has been demonstrated by any complainant.

“In our view, notwithstanding this conclusion that the program did not infringe standards for accuracy and impartiality, the program highlights the risks of reporting unorthodox and controversial perspectives, particularly where there is a tendency to assume that the mainstream view is well known and well understood and does not require the same level of explanation as the unorthodox position.” That sounds a lot like “don’t rock the boat” — at least on medical issues.

There were obvious problems in reporting style with the second Catalyst program titled “Cholesterol drug war” which led to a finding that editorial standards were breached.

But that doesn’t mean Demasi’s conclusions or the evidence and opinions she adduced were wrong.

“By omitting a principal relevant view — held by the National Heart Foundation and other experts — that statins are useful in primary prevention if carefully targeted, the program had the effect of unduly favouring the perspective that statins are ineffective in primary prevention,” the internal review said.

But the overriding problem here is that statins are not “carefully targeted”.

If you put aside the journalistic principle that “balance” is always needed — even if one side’s argument is palpably wrong — the big issue left hanging is the substance of the position taken by the NHF.

The BMJ report undermines the strident campaign by the foundation in its support of the prevailing statins-prescribing regime in Australia, particularly for so-called “primary prevention”.

What is unseen by the public in these arguments is the pressure brought to bear by massive pharmaceutical corporations on public health groups — indeed on individual doctors — to fall in line with research on their medications that they often control both financially and scientifically.

In America’s much more open society, a lot is known about the funding of public health lobby groups and high profile medical spokesmen by what is known as Big Pharma.

There is no similar level of disclosure in Australia, even though the global nature of these pharmaceutical corporations would suggest they operate in a similar way here.

The BMJ authors recommended the prescribing guidelines for statins in Britain be reviewed in the light of the findings on their lifesaving efficacy.

The silence here is deafening.


This latest report from the WHO is about as much use as a rubber beak on a woodpecker.

Yet again we see complete and utter bollocks re diet from the WHO. Meat has been ate since the beginning of time, 4 million years on it's a health hazard. This latest report from the WHO is about as much use as a rubber beak on a woodpecker. When a man gives up eating bacon, he might as well take a one way walk up to Beachy Head. It's no wonder why so many Muslims are so pissed off. affraid And don't waste your money starting a bacon factory in Tel Aviv. No bacon and you have grief big time.  rofl  Am I right or am I right?

Beachy Head  Eastbourne

""For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal (bowel) cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed," Dr Kurt Straif from the WHO said."

Link to info here.

So, logic says to me, I know I will stop eating meat and become a vegetarian, err no, they get more colorectal cancer than meat eaters FACT!

Cancer incidence in vegetarians: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford).

Key TJ1, Appleby PN, Spencer EA, Travis RC, Roddam AW, Allen NE.
Author information


Few prospective studies have examined cancer incidence among vegetarians.

We report cancer incidence among vegetarians and nonvegetarians in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Oxford (EPIC-Oxford) study.

This was a prospective study of 63,550 men and women recruited throughout the United Kingdom in the 1990s. Cancer incidence was followed through nationwide cancer registries.

The standardized incidence ratio for all malignant neoplasms for all participants was 72% (95% CI: 69%, 75%). The standardized incidence ratios for colorectal cancer were 84% (95% CI: 73%, 95%) among nonvegetarians and 102% (95% CI: 80%, 129%) among vegetarians. In a comparison of vegetarians with meat eaters and after adjustment for age, sex, and smoking, the incidence rate ratio for all malignant neoplasms was 0.89 (95% CI: 0.80, 1.00). The incidence rate ratio for colorectal cancer in vegetarians compared with meat eaters was 1.39 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.91).

The overall cancer incidence rates of both the vegetarians and the nonvegetarians in this study are low compared with national rates. Within the study, the incidence of all cancers combined was lower among vegetarians than among meat eaters, but the incidence of colorectal cancer was higher in vegetarians than in meat eaters.

Link to info here.


Cream of Celeriac Soup

Cream of celeriac soup

Celeriac is a great winter vegetable, it is also a low carbers favourite. I saw this very nice recipe by James Martin, and thought it one to share. It does make a creamy soup, and for an added touch can be served with crispy pancetta and croûtons ... although it does have a nice taste without this ... so it's up to you dear reader whether or not to add the garnish!

Serves Four

For the soup.
75g/3oz butter
1 onion, finely chopped
50g/2oz streaky bacon, cut into small pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 leek, white only, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
700g/1lb 8oz celeriac, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 litre/1¾ pint chicken stock
200ml/7floz double cream
salt and white pepper

For the garnish (optional).
4 rashers pancetta
25g/1oz butter
1 tbsp olive oil
50g/2oz celeriac, peeled and finely julienne'd
1 slice white bread, cut into 1cm/¼ dice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp double cream

Preparation method:
1.For the soup, heat a large frying pan or saucepan until medium hot, add 25g/1oz of the butter, the onion and bacon and fry for a couple of minutes to just soften. Add the garlic, leek, celery and thyme sprigs and fry for another minute; then add the chopped celeriac. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the celeriac is just tender.
2.Blend the soup to a fine purée using a stick blender or a blender. Return to the heat in a pan. Add the cream and whisk in the remaining 50g/2oz of butter.
3.Season with with salt and white pepper. Serve the hot soup in bowls, or keep it warm in the pan if making the garnish.

For the optional garnish.
Fry the pancetta until crisp then set aside. Return the frying pan to the heat, add half the butter and the olive oil and heat until foaming. Add the celeriac and stir fry for 1-2 minutes, or until just softened, then remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Add the rest of the butter and the bread to the pan and cook until golden-brown and crisp, tossing to cook on each side. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. To serve, pile the julienne'd celeriac into the centre of each of four soup plates. Ladle the soup around. Crumble the crispy bacon over the top and then scatter over the croutons. Finish with swirls of extra virgin olive oil and cream.

Recipe idea from here

This celeriac and bramley apple soup is nice too, see it here

All the best Jan

Monday 26 October 2015


Dr Aseem Malhotra reveals why you need to let fat be your medicine

This morning, as I do most days, I breakfasted on a three egg omelette cooked in coconut oil, with a whole milk coffee. I enjoyed a wedge of full fat cheese with my lunch, poured a liberal dose of olive oil on my evening salad and snacked on nuts throughout the day. In short, I ingested a fair amount of fat and, as a cardiologist who has treated thousands of people with heart disease, this may seem a particularly peculiar way to behave. Fat, after all, furs up our arteries and piles on the pounds – or at least that’s what prevailing medical and dietary advice has had us believe. As a result, most of us have spent years eschewing full fat foods for their ‘low fat’ equivalents, in the hope it will leave us fitter and healthier.

Yet I’m now convinced we have instead been doing untold damage: far from being the best thing for health or weight loss, a low fat diet is the opposite. In fact, I would go so far as to say the change in dietary advice in 1977 to restrict the amount of fat we were eating helped to fuel the obesity epidemic unfolding today. It’s a bold statement, but one I believe is upheld by an array of recent research.

These days I make a point of telling my patients – many of whom are coping with debilitating heart problems – to avoid anything bearing the label ‘low fat’. Better instead, I tell them, to embrace full fat dairy and other saturated fats within the context of a healthy eating plan. It’s an instruction that is sometimes greeted with open-mouthed astonishment, along with my request to steer clear of anything that promises to reduce cholesterol – another of those edicts we are told can promote optimum heart and artery health.

As we will see, the reality is far more nuanced: in some cases lowering cholesterol levels can actually increase cardiovascular death and mortality, while in healthy people over sixty a higher cholesterol is associated with a lower risk of mortality. Why, exactly, we will come to later.

First though, let me make it clear that until very recently, I too assumed that keeping fat to a minimum was the key to keeping healthy and trim. In fact, to say my diet revolved around carbohydrates is probably an understatement: sugared cereal, toast and orange juice for breakfast, a panini for lunch and pasta for dinner was not an uncommon daily menu. Good solid fuel, or so I thought, especially as I am a keen sportsman and runner. Still, I had a wedge of fat round my stomach which no amount of football and running seemed to shift.

That, though, wasn’t the reason I started to explore changing what I ate. That process started in 2012, when I read a paper called ‘The toxic truth about Sugar’ by Robert Lustig in the science journal Nature. In it, Lustig, a Professor of Paediatrics who also works at the University of California’s Centre for Obesity Assessment, said that the dangers to human health caused by added sugar were such that products packed with it should carry the same warnings as alcohol. It was an eye-opener: as a doctor I already knew too much of anything is bad for you, but here was someone telling us that something most of ate unthinkingly every day was, slowly, killing us.

The more I looked into it, the more it became abundantly clear to me that it was sugar, not fat, which was causing so many of our problems – which is why, along with a group of fellow medical specialists I launched the lobbying group Action on Sugar last year with the aim of persuading the food industry to reduce added sugar in processed foods.

Then earlier this year I had another light-bulb moment. In February Karen Thomson, the granddaughter of pioneering heart transplant surgeon Christian Barnard, and Timothy Noakes, a highly-respected Professor of Exercise and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town, invited me to speak at the world’s first ‘low carb’ summit in South Africa. I was intrigued, particularly as the conference hosts are both fascinating characters. A former model, Thomson has courageously battled a number of addictions including alcohol and cocaine, but lately it is another powder – one she labels ‘pure, white and deadly’ – that has resulted in her opening the world’s first carbohydrate and sugar addiction rehab clinic in Cape Town.

Noakes, meanwhile, has recently performed a remarkable U-turn on the very dietary advice he himself expounded for most of his illustrious career: that is, that athletes need to load up on carbohydrates to enhance performance. A marathon runner, he was considered the poster boy for high carbohydrate diets for athletes – then he developed Type 2 diabetes. Effectively tearing pages out of his own textbook, Noakes has now said athletes – and this goes for those of us who like to jog around the park too – can get their energy from ketones, not glucose. That is, from fat not sugar.

Alongside them were fifteen international speakers ranging from doctors, academics and health campaigners who between them produced an eloquent and evidence-based demolition of “low fat” thinking – as well as suggesting that it is carbohydrate consumption, not fatty foods, which is fuelling our obesity epidemic.

Read more:


Focaccia Bread : Low Carb and Gluten Free

Low carb foccacia bread |

I've only just recently come across this very nice "low carb, wheat free, gluten free, sugar free focaccia bread". It's a recipe idea Libby first suggested quite a while ago now ... as she says "add plenty of olives, rosemary and salt on top. Slice thinly, or even toast." ... I'm sure you will enjoy it.

½ cup coconut flour
5 tbs psyllium husk
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Himalayan salt
4 eggs
1 cup boiling water

Place the coconut flour, psyllium husks, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir until combined.
Add the eggs and mix. The mixture will be a very firm 'play-dough' like consistency so don't work it too hard at this point.
Add the cup of boiling water and mix until thoroughly combined.
Form into a focaccia shape and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Using a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts through the dough, sprinkle with plenty of salt, rosemary and place olives on top of the dough.
Bake at 180C for 25-30 minutes. It is cooked when the centre is no longer 'spongy'.
Serve hot with butter, cold with cheese, avocado slices, tomatoes, labna, etc.

Psyllium husk 100% fibre and once added to water, swell and thicken. This property is used to thicken foods, added to gluten-free baking where it binds moisture and help make breads less crumbly, and as a laxative, it can help maintain a healthy digestive tract, help maintain gut flora, and remove toxins. Add some to your coconut muesli to increase fibre intake. Always drink plenty of fluids when taking psyllium, as the husks will swell and absorb liquids from your gut as it transits through.

Nutrition Information and more at Libby's 'Ditch The Carbs' Blog here

Hope you may make and enjoy this Low Carb, Gluten Free Focaccia Bread Recipe.

Looking for another gluten free loaf? Then why not try this lovely Rosemary and Thyme one.

All the best Jan

Sunday 25 October 2015

Triglycerides: A Risk Factor and Target for Therapy

Elevated levels of triglycerides have proven time and time again to be linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD). While it can be a challenging condition to control, it opens the door for treatments.
Lipoprotein is a spectrum, classified into subclasses by size. Its role is to transport triglycerides, a type of fat found in the blood. But just like PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9), researchers aren’t sure why we have even triglycerides.
Presentations at the 10th Annual Cardiometabolic Health Congress (CMHC 2015) in Boston, Massachusetts specifically looked at cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Henry N. Ginsberg, MD, Irving Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, spoke about the latest analysis on triglycerides and what to expect next.
In the Framingham Heart Study, 5,127 patients with no history of coronary heart disease (CHD) were evaluated. Higher levels of triglyceride were linked to more relative CHD risks. Notably, women seem to be more denoted at risk of triglyceride because their levels are typically higher than men by 50%. So when a woman has a high level, say over 200 mg/dL, it’s probably going to have a greater affect.
Ginsberg referenced a meta-analysis made up of 17 studies that determined that triglyceride level is an independent cardiovascular disease risk factor. With fasting and nonfasting triglyceride being a hot topic of debate, another meta-analysis including 29 studies consisting of nearly 250,000 people indicated that fasting linked to CVD events. On the other hand, low triglyceride and low LDL (low density lipoprotein) levels were associated with less events. Notably, patients with high levels of triglyceride are still at risk for CVD regardless of being on statins.
Hypertriglyceridemia is also a risk factor for atherosclerosis – but why? Well, there’s old-fashioned and new-fashioned ideas about the disease which causes plaque to build up in the arteries. Ginsberg detailed the different understandings during the presentation.
Old-fashioned ideas:

  • Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) can enter the artery wall
  • Associated with increased factor VII, fibrinogen, and PAI-1
  • Associated with other lipid abnormalities

New-fashioned ideas:

  • VLDL can enter the artery wall
  • It’s the cholesterol and apoC-III, not the triglyceride

“ApoC-III may directly contribute to development and progression of atherosclerosis,” Ginsberg presented during the session. ApoC-III (apolipoprotein C-III) is a protein and component of VLDL. Research looked at variants that affect remnant cholesterol as a causal risk factor for ischemic heart disease. When it was analyzed in rat models, “C-II was an activator and C-III was an inhibitor,” Ginsberg continued. While plogitazone had no effect, apoC-III in the liver was down. This proved that apoC-III is important for clearing triglycerides.
Triglycerides are both a risk factor and target for therapy. One approach is using fibrates, a class of amphipathic carboxylic acids for metabolic disorders, has proven to work very well. The Helsinki Heart Study reported a 34% CVD reduction with Gemfibrozil and the BIP trial showed a 7.3% CVD reduction. CVD outcomes in trials with fish oils have been a mixed bag. The JELIS study showed positive results in the first phase that turned up negative in the second. Others like the Origin trial showed negativity in pre-diabetic and diabetic.
But are there any drugs that lower triglyceride levels with lowering apoCIII, or vice versa? “I don’t think so,” Ginsberg said. “It’s going to be hard to tease out but if it works, it works.”


Avocado Kebabs : Something Different For Lunch

20 Reasons To Love Avocado!

From their heart-healthy benefits and skin-loving nutrients to their unique versatility in recipes and making snack times extra delicious, we love having avocados every day! Here is another avocado recipe idea you may like!

Now many love to have kebabs during the summer months, but they can also make a lovely lunch, and is a bit different served at this time of year. This recipe is Italian-inspired. It's easy to make and requires no cooking. Keep these ingredients on hand so you can put this simple lunch time kebab dish together at a moment's notice.

Serves Four
8 (6-in.) wooden skewers
5 oz. salami
1 firm-ripe, Fresh Hass Avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
8 grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 (8-oz.) package fresh mini mozzarella cheese balls
8 pitted Kalamata olives
Olive oil spray or balsamic vinaigrette dressing mist
Italian herbs, optional

Cut the salami into cubes or wedges about 1-inch wide. There should be enough for one cube per skewer.
Cut each avocado half into 12 chunks.
Thread each skewer with a piece of avocado, followed by one grape tomato, a mozzarella cheese ball, another piece of avocado, one piece of salami, an olive, and a final piece of avocado.
Place skewers on a serving tray and mist lightly with the olive oil or balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Sprinkle with chopped Italian herbs if desired, and serve.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve two kebabs crossed on a bed of green lettuce for a pretty salad presentation.


Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Recipe idea adapted from here

... remember recipes are made for sharing and can always be amended to suit your tastes ...

Buon Appetito

All the best Jan

Adele - Hello

After a four year absence she's back with a new album, only three days since the release of this track and already nearly 39 million views


Saturday 24 October 2015

Jamie Lawson - Wasn't Expecting That

A  poignant video with a sad ending that brings back memories for me 


Dancing under the Moon - Native American Chant

"I miss the days when I could sit down among my elders.. I long for the majestic mountains. Now I am old and have no one to seek wisdom from. But I give our GOD thanks and praise that I can remember most of what I was taught as a child... Two crows"

I appreciate this has only a Native American theme but I love this music and check out the fantastic art work. Eddie

"Burn You Up, Burn You Down" - Peter Gabriel, from "Still Growing Up"

Saturday night again and it's music night on this blog. One of my all time favourite artistes Peter Gabriel. Eddie

Beef Pot Roast

Beef pot roas image

Many may say this is the perfect winter warmer, a delicious one-pot roasted beef joint with vegetables. At this time of year it goes down a treat. The recipe uses Silverside of beef.

Silverside is taken from the hindquarter and is a large, lean, boneless cut of meat with very little marbling of fat and a wide-grained texture. It gets its name from the shiny silvery membrane covering its internal surface.

Next time you are out shopping why not look out for some silverside of beef ... 

For a delicious beef pot roast here is what you need and do:

Serves 3
750 g silverside beef joint
2 tbsp olive oil
2 stick celery, chopped into large chunks
3 carrots, chopped into large chunks
2 onions, peeled and quartered
3 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
300 ml red wine
250 ml beef stock
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp dried oregano

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas mark 4. Season the silverside of beef joint well.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan then add the joint and brown it on all sides. Put it in a casserole dish (making sure it’s large enough to fit the joint and all the vegetables).

3. Add another tablespoon of oil to the frying pan then brown all the chopped vegetables. Arrange them around the joint in the casserole pot.

4. Add the crushed garlic cloves, red wine, Beef Stock, bay leaves and dried oregano to the casserole and bring to the boil.

5. Cover the casserole with a lid and cook in the preheated oven for 2 hours, turning the meat over halfway.

6. Remove the bay leaves and serve the joint sliced with the vegetables.

Tip: soak up all the lovely roast juices with buttery mashed swede on the side.

Beef recipe idea from here

All the best Jan

Friday 23 October 2015

Consumers Are Embracing Full-Fat Foods

Public health authorities have long urged Americans to cut back on foods high in saturated fat like butter, meat and whole milk. But a new report on dietary-fat consumption suggests that the public is increasingly eating more, not less, of these foods.

The new report, which was published last week by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, found that sales of butter in the United States rose 14 percent last year and climbed another 6 percent in the first three months of 2015. Sales of whole milk rose 11 percent in the first half of this year, while skim milk purchases fell 14 percent. The report also predicted that consumption of red meat and eggs would climb in the coming years.

The trends reflect what appears to be a shift away from processed foods and toward those that are considered more wholesome, even when they contain saturated fat and other macronutrients that were once vilified as unhealthy, such as dietary cholesterol, said Stefano Natella, the Global Head for Equity Research at Credit Suisse and an author of the new report.

“I think this is part of a trend toward more natural foods — more organic, unprocessed and simple foods,” he said. “All these foods have a natural characteristic attached to them. Full-fat milk sounds a lot more natural to people than 2 percent or skim milk. Cows don’t produce skim milk. You have to process it to take out the fat.”

In recent years, a number of studies have cast doubt on the health benefits of the traditional low-fat diet, suggesting instead that eating more fat — with the exception of trans fats — and less sugar and refined carbohydrates might be better for overall health.

But there is still debate over the health effects of saturated fat. Most public health authorities recommend steering clear of it and eating mostly unsaturated fat, like the kinds found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and avocados. Others say this advice, which stems from the notion that eating saturated fat promotes heart disease, is not supported by scientific evidence.

The trends identified in the new report suggest that Americans have not been embracing the advice on saturated fat long dispensed by the federal government and groups like the American Heart Association, which for decades have told Americans to cut it from their diets.

The federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which were first issued in 1980 and are updated every five years, recommend that people limit their saturated fat intake to less than 10 percent of total calories. The guidelines encourage people to replace butter, cream and tropical oils with the unsaturated fats in soybean, corn, olive and canola oils. And they also advise people to choose low-fat or nonfat dairy foods instead of cheese and whole milk, allowing them to get the vitamins and minerals in milk without the saturated fat.

The 2015 dietary guidelines have not yet been finalized. But the advisory panel that shapes the guidelines recommended earlier this year that Americans eat fewer animal-based products and more plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. The advisory panel said that Mediterranean-style and vegetarian diets were good examples of this approach, and that such diets are “more health promoting” and “associated with less environmental impact.”

The advisory panel continued its hard stance on saturated fat and raised concerns about added sugars and sodium as well. But the panel backed away from a longstanding restriction on cholesterol-rich foods like eggs and shrimp, an acknowledgment that dietary cholesterol is not the villain it was once thought to be. The panel also dropped another decades-old recommendation from the low-fat era that people limit their total intake of dietary fat.

The new report by Credit Suisse found that sales of butter, cheese and milk were rising nationwide, along with sales of almonds and eggs. In the past year egg consumption rose 2 percent while organic egg consumption grew 21 percent, the report said.

Similar trends may be occurring in other countries as well. Sales of butter rose 9 percent in the Britain last year, and global consumption of butter is growing at a rate of 2 to 4 percent, the report stated. It also found that red meat consumption per capita in Europe was growing, that demand for fat and protein would increase in the coming years, and that carbohydrate intake from bread and pasta was slipping.

“Durum pasta sales in Western Europe were down 13 percent in the last five years, with Italy showing a 25 percent decline,” the report stated. “In the U.S., volumes are down 6 percent. Bread consumption in France is declining at a rate of 1.5 percent a year.”

The authors of the report said they based their findings on information from global databases on food consumption, a review of over 400 scientific papers and books, and interviews with academics and industry experts. The report was prepared in large part to provide Wall Street with insight into changes in consumer purchasing habits.

“We believe that consumers are at a turning point,” the report stated.

The Credit Suisse Research Institute produced a similar report two years ago on sugar, which found that sugar consumption in the last 30 years had risen 45 percent globally, resulting in the average person consuming about 70 grams daily, or roughly 17 teaspoons.


Could you start your day more healthily ?

Is your alarm set to the song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. It’s impossible not to smile when this song plays. This, combined with these seven suggestions could set the tone for a productive, happy and healthy day. Read on and see what you think ...

1. Drink A Glass Of Water As Soon As You Wake Up

This helps re-hydrate your body, revs up your digestive system, and gets things flowing. You may notice positive changes like clearer skin and better digestion.

2. Do Not Check Your Email Or Phone For At Least An Hour

Do you sleep with your phone next to you and grab for it first thing when you wake? This is not a good habit. If you choose to resist the temptation to check your email, Facebook etc. for at least an hour after waking up, you'll find that your mind is more clear, focused and happy.

3. Think Of One Thing For Which You Have Gratitude

This sets the stage for positivity throughout the day. If you come up with three or five things, even better.

4. Step Outside And Take A Deep Breath

Fill your lungs with fresh air. Even if it’s cold outside. This only takes 10 seconds! It reminds you that you are alive and breathing.

5. Move Your Body

You don’t necessarily have to do a workout before breakfast, but moving your body even a little is a great way to get the blood flowing and shake the body into wake-up mode. Simply doing a few stretches is a great option. Or turn on your favorite song and dance like no one is watching.

6. Take Time To Eat A Healthy Breakfast

Focus on getting whole real foods in your body. Eggs can make a great start to the day or 'Just Nuts'  

Just nuts

7. Say Your Affirmations

Look into the mirror and say something positive to yourself.
For example - I feel great when I take care of myself.

Hope you all have a great day. You may have some other tips and ideas to share with us ... this article inspired by words from Krista Butler

All the best Jan

Thursday 22 October 2015

Statins are Independently Associated with Increased HbA1c in Type 1 Diabetes


•Statin use has been associated with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2DM), and with impaired glycemic control in T2DM patients. The association between statin use and glycemic control in type 1 diabetes (T1DM) is unknown.
•In the present study of patients with T1DM, use of statins is independently associated with impaired glycemic control.
•These results are the first in patients with T1DM, and may indicate a need to revisit dose of insulin when starting statin treatment.



Statin use has been associated with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2DM), and with impaired glycemic control in T2DM patients. The association between statin use and glycemic control in type 1 diabetes (T1DM) is unknown. The association between use of statins and glycemic control in T1DM patients without known heart disease was examined.


Cross-sectional study of 1093 T1DM patients from the outpatient clinic at Steno Diabetes Center. Physical examination, questionnaires, and echocardiography were performed in all patients. Investigators were blinded to all laboratory measurements. Data were analyzed in uni-and multivariable models.


Mean age 49.6 years, 53% men, mean diabetes duration 25.5 years, 475 (43.5%) received statins. In baseline analyses statin users tended to be older, have longer diabetes duration, and have more severe kidney disease. Left ventricular ejection fraction was not associated with statin use. In multivariable models including age, gender, diabetes duration, BMI, blood pressure, physical activity, family history of cardiovascular disease, physical activity, albuminuria, eGFR, retinopathy, smoking, cholesterol, ejection fraction, triglycerides, and use of ACE/ATII-antagonists, aspirin, calcium-antagonists, betablockers or diuretics, statin use was independently and significantly associated with higher HbA1c (0.2% (95%CI: 0.1;0.4) (2.0 mmol/mol (0.2; 3.8)), p = 0.029).


In T1DM, use of statins is independently associated with impaired glycemic control. A causal relationship cannot be determined from this study. Given the benefit on cardiovascular outcome, this should not cause patients to stop statin treatment, but may indicate a need to revisit dose of insulin when starting statin treatment


These foods may help boost your immunity !

Autumn / Winter for some of us can mean a cold, sneezes, sore throats or even flu. Is there something we can do that may help boost our immunity? Well, perhaps there is! Reading various articles recently these foods may just help.

There are many citrus fruits which provide a good source of Vitamin C, which is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. Oranges were historically used for their high content of Vitamin C.

Ounce for ounce, red bell peppers have twice as much Vitamin C than citrus fruits, as well as being a rich source of beta-carotine. 

Broccoli is super charged with vitamins and minerals. It has almost 5 times as much vitamin C, 8 times as much Calcium, and almost 2.5 times as much Fibre as Potato. For many low carbers it is a favourite vegetable.


Garlic has a long history of use as an infection fighter - against viruses, bacteria and fungi.Garlic's immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulpher containing compounds such as allicin.


Like Vitamin C , ginger may also help prevent a cold from taking hold in the first place. Ginger tea is great to drink when you feel a cold coming on. It is a diaphoretic tea, meaning that it will warm you from the inside and promote perspiration. It is also good when you don't have a cold and just want to warm up!

Bowl of spinach

Spinach is believed to be of Persian origin. By the 12th century, it spread across Europe and became a desirable leafy green known for good health; a reputation that stands firm to this day. Spinach is rich in Vitamin C and packed with numerous antioxidants and beta-carotene, which may well increase the infection fighting capability of our immune systems.

Cracked Almonds

Almonds are the ultimate crunchy treat. They contain heart-healthy fats, are very nutritious and require no preparation. Almonds are packed with antioxidants. They also provide large amounts of fiber, protein and several vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, manganese and magnesium. Eating a handful of almonds a day is a great way to get the vitamin E your body needs to stay healthy.

I hope you've found this article of interest, and may consider some of these, but if you have any underlying health issues or allergies, care should always be given to which foods you choose to use.  

 “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates  c460 - 370BC

All the best Jan

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Dietary Intervention for Overweight and Obese Adults: Comparison of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets. A Meta-Analysis



Reduced calorie, low fat diet is currently recommended diet for overweight and obese adults. Prior data suggest that low carbohydrate diets may also be a viable option for those who are overweight and obese.


Compare the effects of low carbohydrate versus low fats diet on weight and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk in overweight and obese patients.

Data Sources

Systematic literature review via PubMed (1966–2014).

Study Selection

Randomized controlled trials with ≥8 weeks follow up, comparing low carbohydrate (≤120gm carbohydrates/day) and low fat diet (≤30% energy from fat/day).

Data Extraction

Data were extracted and prepared for analysis using double data entry. Prior to identification of candidate publications, the outcomes of change in weight and metabolic factors were selected as defined by Cochrane Collaboration. Assessment of the effects of diets on predicted risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk was added during the data collection phase.

Data Synthesis

1797 patients were included from 17 trials with <1 year follow up in 12. Compared with low fat diet, low carbohydrate was associated with significantly greater reduction in weight (Δ = -2.0 kg, 95% CI: -3.1, -0.9) and significantly lower predicted risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease events (p<0.03). Frequentist and Bayesian results were concordant. The probability of greater weight loss associated with low carbohydrate was >99% while the reduction in predicted risk favoring low carbohydrate was >98%.


Lack of patient-level data and heterogeneity in dropout rates and outcomes reported.


This trial-level meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials comparing LoCHO diets with LoFAT diets in strictly adherent populations demonstrates that each diet was associated with significant weight loss and reduction in predicted risk of ASCVD events. However, LoCHO diet was associated with modest but significantly greater improvements in weight loss and predicted ASCVD risk in studies from 8 weeks to 24 months in duration. These results suggest that future evaluations of dietary guidelines should consider low carbohydrate diets as effective and safe intervention for weight management in the overweight and obese, although long-term effects require further investigation.