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A new exciting Swedish study provides us with strong clues on how a person with diabetes should eat (and how to eat to maximize fat burning). It’s the first study to examine in detail how various blood markers change throughout the day depending on what a diabetic person eats.
The study examined the effects of three different diets in 19 subjects with diabetes type 2. They consumed breakfast and lunch under supervision in a diabetes ward. The caloric intake in the three diets examined was the same, but the diets differed in the following manner:
- A conventional low-fat diet (45-56% carbs)
- A Mediterranean diet with coffee only for breakfast (= similar to 16:8 intermittent fasting) and a big lunch (32-35% carbs)
- A moderate low-carbohydrate diet (16-24% carbs)
All participants tested all three diets, one diet each day in randomized order.
The effects on blood sugar levels throughout the day are shown in this chart: Continue Reading →
According to a new study, the all-cause mortality risk was almost 60% higher in patients with type 2 diabetes taking insulin-releasing sulfonylurea tablets, when compared with patients taking metformin.
The result is scary. This is an observational study, and correlation doesn’t prove causation. But it may very well be real.
Most new-onset type 2 diabetics have many times higher levels of insulin in their blood than healthy people have. They have pathologically high levels of insulin. Taking sulfonylureas makes your insulin levels even more pathologically elevated. Is it a coincidence that those treated then live shorter lives? My guess: no.
Discuss the benefit of your therapy with your doctor as needed – do not make any changes on your own.
Many are jumping from diet to diet in pursuit of a thin and healthy body. Over the past eight years, GI (low-glycemic) and then LCHF, have been the most popular methods in Sweden. However, during the past few weeks intermittent fasting in the form of 5:2 (eat just 5-600 calories two days a week) has become hysterically popular.
The reason is likely that all three methods work. Furthermore, they work in a similar way.
The figure above is from a recent and worth-reading post by science writer Ann Fernholm:
You’ll Become Less Sweet with the 5:2 Diet (Google translated from Swedish).
Lifestyle for Weight Regulation and Health
The figure above shows how all versions of a low-carb diet (for example a low glycemic load diet, LCHF, Atkins or Paleo) will lower blood sugar and the fat storing hormone insulin. And so does intermittent fasting, such as 5:2 or 16:8. And so do exercise and adequate amounts of sleep and relaxation (by hormonal influence).
In other words, a low-carb diet, intermittent fasting, good sleep and exercise create a synergistic effect – for optimal weight and good health.
However, diet is by far the biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to weight.
What about the opposite of this? A lifestyle that creates the worst conditions for maintaining a good weight and health?
This means living a lifestyle that most people in our modern society live today: Continue Reading →
The obesity epidemic starts early in life: Germany has a new record for “heaviest baby”: 13,5 pound Jasleen. She was delivered without the help of a C-section.
- Huffington Post: Baby Jasleen, Born At 13.47 Pounds, Is Germany’s Heaviest Baby Born Vaginally
- CNN: Oh baby! Mother gives birth to 13-pound girl in Germany
The cause of heavy babies is often maternal obesity and gestational diabetes – conditions with abnormally high insulin levels. Insulin is a fat-storing growth hormone that does not just affect the mother but also the unborn child. The mother to Jasleen, not surprisingly, had gestational diabetes.
The most common cause of abnormally high insulin levels resulting in obesity and diabetes (and heavy babies) is eating excess carbs.
The smartest way to avoid these things is to avoid eating excess carbs. Why? A low-carb diet is an effective way to lower insulin levels. And normalizing the fat-storing hormone insulin tends to normalize weight for most people (and any present unborn babies).
So here’s another reason to do low carb: You won’t have to deliver a 13,5 pound baby. Continue Reading →
Personally I don’t look at obesity as a disease. I see obesity as a symptom of a disturbed weight regulation, which is often due to a hormonal problem. Most commonly having way too much insulin in the blood. Obese people often have 5 – 10 times normal levels of insulin. But there are many other possible problems that can also lead to the symptom of obesity.
Thus obesity is a symptom of a disease. The underlying disease is often metabolic syndrome, resulting in too much fat-storing insulin. The cause of metabolic syndrome is often decades of eating too much sugar and other processed junk carbohydrates.
Update: Here’s another interesting perspective on the AMA decision: Wheat Belly blog: The monetization of obesity
What happens if you “overeat” on an LCHF diet? It’s a common question and here’s one possible answer.
The young man Sam Feltham has done a three-week experiment, where he’s been eating enormous amounts of LCHF-food. On average 5794 calories daily of which “only” 10% as carbohydrates (menu).
According to over-simplified calorie counting, energy expenditure isn’t affected by what you eat. All excess calories you eat will then lead to weight gain. If this were true Feltham would have gained 16.5 lbs (7.5 kg) during the three weeks, but in reality he only gained 3.5 lbs (1.7 kg).
Here’s the explanation: Continue Reading →
Is the beer belly a reality or a fantasy? Here’s another random expert claiming to have “calculated” that the beer belly is a myth:
It reminds me of the old idea that the bumblebee can’t fly, according to the laws of aerodynamics. Supposedly it’s too heavy for its small wings (but by now science has figured out exactly how it works).
If the problem with alcohol was only due to calories, both wine and spirits should be worse for our weight than beer. But in language after language there exists a special word for “beer belly”, but not for “wine belly”. Here are a few examples:
- German: Bierbauch
- Spanish: Panza de cerveza
- Dutch: Bierbuik
- Estonian: Õllekõht
- Swedish: Ölmage
The difference can be explained by the fact that beer isn’t just full of alcohol. It also contains plenty of rapidly digested carbs, that raise the blood sugar and the fat-storing hormone insulin. Thus beer has a different hormonal effect than wine. Beer tends to promote fat storage.
Beer bellies can’t be explained by calorie counting, but that doesn’t mean that reality is a myth. It’s just another example of how often simplistic calorie thinking misses the point.
Do you want to lose weight? Here’s number 14 of my 17 best tips. All of the published tips can be found on the How to Lose Weight page.
Before we get started, here’s a short recap of the tips so far: The first and most crucial piece of advice was to choose a low-carb diet. The next were eating when hungry, eating real food, measuring progress wisely, thinking long-term, avoiding fruit, alcohol and artificial sweeteners, review your medications, stressing less and sleeping more, eating less dairy and nut products, stocking up on vitamins and minerals and finally, exercise.
This is number fourteen:
14. Get into optimal ketosis
Warning: Not recommended for type 1 diabetics, see below.
We’ve now arrived at tip number 14. If you’re still having trouble losing weight, despite following the 13 pieces of advice listed above, it might be a good idea to bring out the heavy artillery: optimal ketosis. Many people stalling at weight plateaus while on a low carb diet have found optimal ketosis helpful. It’s what can melt the fat off once again.
So how does this work? A quick run-through: The first tip was to eat low carb. This is because a low-carb diet lowers your levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin, allowing your fat deposits to shrink and release their stored energy. This tends to cause you to want to consume less calories than you expend – without hunger – and lose weight. Several of the tips mentioned above are about fine-tuning your diet to better this effect.
How do you know you’re getting the maximum hormonal impact from your low-carb diet? You do that by achieving what’s known as “optimal ketosis”. Continue Reading →
Is this man seven feet tall because he eats too much? Did he just forget to count his calories? Hardly. Far more likely he’s got an excess of growth hormone, handing him a possible career as a basketball star.
So why do we assume that people with obesity, people who grow horizontally, just eat too much? They too might have an hormonal issue. Too much fat-storing insulin, perhaps?
Is “eat less and run more” really the only thing you need to know in order to lose weight?
Why is it then that most people lose weight on a LCHF diet, even when eating until satisfied? And this without even any increase in exercise? To think that this should be so controversial!
The best explanation, in a simplified version, looks like this:
Carbohydrates – > insulin – > obesity
Thus more carbohydrates lead to more insulin which leads to more fat accumulation. With more details this can be written as follows:
Too many (bad) carbohydrates – > pathologically high insulin levels – > obesity
What constitutes “too many” varies from person to person depending on sensitivity and activity level (how much carbs you burn). Intensely exercising young men can often tolerate a fair amount of carbs, while heavily overweight older diabetics can only tolerate minimal amounts without problems.
The opposite is the following:
Less carbs – > lower insulin levels – > loss of excess fat
Insulin is a fat storing hormone. And the easiest way to increase your insulin levels is to eat more carbohydrates. The easiest way to lower insulin levels is to eat fewer carbohydrates.
This seems very straight forward. But some are still adamant opponents. Without being able to come up with any better explanation as to why a low-carbohydrate diet works (it does) they still don’t want to accept this explanation. They come up with all kinds of objections. Some don’t even want to recognize the most basic, that carbohydrates increase insulin levels or that a low-carb diet lowers insulin levels.
Their complicated objections don’t matter much in reality. The truth is clear in study after study on humans. Insulin levels are much higher when you eat a lot of carbohydrates and lower on a low-carb diet. The figure above (from Boden et al.) is one example.
Here are some more: Continue Reading →
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