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  1. Galina L.
    During my engineering education it was firmly drilled into us by our professor who taught the subject of Complex Systems Theory (who obviously was generally annoyed with that stupid engineers who though everything could be fixed if you knew how it worked) that it was very important during problem-solving to distinguish between complex systems like human body, climate, economy, and simple systems like a car, mechanical watches, oil refinery plant because what fixes one type of a system, brings chaos into another type. Complex systems works smoothly only when self-regulated, only small changes could be introduced as an input and the data on exit should be examined to correct further actions. Attempts to micro-regulate complex systems always result in a chaos in the system. I wish doctors would realize such differences too. Micromanaging symptoms of diseased body is , unfortunately, the standard approach of modern medicine. People who think about managing their health issues or body weight by counting calories in and calories out are just delusional, even though they are under an impression they follow the low of thermodynamics.

    Such training gave me the foundation to approach my own health management. We have to ask ourselves each time - treating one particular symptoms, how do we affect the work of whole body? Should be we always fight elevated body temperature, diarrhea,vomiting? How we should treat abnormal fluctuations of a blood sugar? How effective the taking "water pill" for an edema is? Body temperature could go too high, and there are situations when antibiotics are or corticosteroids are absolutely necessary. There are important comforting medical practices like giving a painkiller, or a calming medicine, we just have to always remember that our body is not as simple as a car, and dulling a symptom may backfire.

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  1. Logan
    I've also been losing on LCHF, but I'm still counting calories, I've designed my diet to be around 2000 calories at about 75% Fat, 20% Protein and 5% Carbs, and I'm losing about 1 lbs./week, which is exactly the rate I want to be at.

    Now I'm sure most people like the ideal of losing weight while being ignorant to how much they are consuming, but I don't like being ignorant, I want to see the cause and effect of what I'm doing, I want to be able to see the pattern and understand it.

    There is also the financial side of things, I can't afford to be eating food my body doesn't use, so it's important for me to understand that I may have the same results from eating a 12 once steak and a 6 once steak, if I'm satisfied and my body can function on the 6 once steak, then there is no need to spend the extra money on a 12 once steak.

  2. Marcy
    Logan, thank you for bringing up the financial side of sticking to a way of eating. I also am on a very tight budget so I, too, need to eat that 6 ounce steak and realize my body has had enough with that.
  3. Galina L.
    I have an issue with the assumption that what typical western junk food does to a human body, a traditional diet even high in carbs can't do. Yes, it can, the difference is in a degree. From my experience I can tell that 99% of children and 90% of young adults who eat traditionally, would be thin, but the closer and especially past the middle age, the more proportion of overweight people would be , with 90% of old folks skinny obese. Rates of a high-blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular events are still very high.
    People who grew-up on a junk, have romanticized opinions about traditional ethnic diets, and when they look at a typical crowd of mostly normal-weight people, it supports that assumption. Besides the quality of traditional foods, multiple rules( like children are not allowed to snack, to choose their own food, certain meal times are followed) play a big role.
  4. Galina L.
    There is nothing wrong with keeping track of consumed food and counting calories in order to observe trends, a LC blogger ItistheWooo (http://itsthewooo.blogspot.com/search/label/Calories) who lost 160 lbs and keeps it off for ten years does it.
    Reply: #55
  5. FrankG

    There is nothing wrong with keeping track of consumed food and counting calories in order to observe trends, ...

    I agree Galina.. hence my "logging the car's gasoline consumption over distance" analogy above. It can provide useful feedback for some... while others like myself (after many years of tracking every mouthful, along with recording BGs, insulin injections etc... in endless spreadsheets) would rather enjoy the freedom of eating tasty, nutritious food to satiety. If that makes me "ignorant" then so be it :-)

    Sure I may cook a 12 oz steak (if I can afford it) but these days, more often than not, half of it will be eaten later at a second meal. I find better quality food more satisfying and with much less waste... you can also get cheaper cuts of even grass-fed cattle, which other people may overlook... it does not all have to be about rib-eyes!

    However I don't think that Woo is claiming it is simply counting calories per se which has given her long-term success, is she? This is the issue I have with proponents of CICO.. their main focus is on calories.

    Reply: #59
  6. Murray
    Well, there's glory for you, Wade. But for me you cannot put Humpty back together again, once he has fallen off the wall, whatever he says "glory" means in his language. If you have a diet that dictates eggs and salmon weekly to avoid nutrient deficiencies, I would have thought it is not plant-based. By that definition, my diet is,plant-based, as most of what I eat is from plants. I am close to Dr. Terry Wahls and her keto-Paleo diet with nine servings per day of greens, sulphur vegetables, and anti-oxidant-rich berries, etc. I also have weekly salmon, seaweed and liver to avoid nutrient deficiencies. Perhaps my daily, instead of weekly, eggs means I am no longer plant-based. Perhaps my daily cheese and yoghurt puts me over the line. Labels can be confusing. It seems to me if Bill Clinton is avoiding starches, sugar, processed food and eats eggs and salmon, then he is Paleo. He is certainly I not far off in principle, varying only in detail. I found instructive the comment his diet adviser made when he saw Clinton eating the bread roll, something to the effect of "You don't know how many vegetarians I've seen suffer heart attacks!"

    Lapsing from dietary objectives is never an issue for me. For example, I simply do not eat grains. I have no desire, any more than eating worms. Yes, those fishing worms were in the fridge much of the summer beside the tin of steel cut oats, both calling out "Murray, eat us" to no avail. A lapse for me is eating too much aubergine in a really good ragout and throwing off my ketones the next morning. (I pressure cook eggplant to reduce the lectin content.)

    As to Dr. Dayspring, I don't cite him for diet advice. But he explains the biochemistry of cholesterol lipoproteins better than anyone else I've read and is recognized as perhaps the leading expert. If George Bush indeed has atherosclerosis, I would hope he starts a diet rich in vitamin K2 fats (from pasture raised animals) and avoids grains, starchy vegetables, added sugar and vegetable oils. This worked for my cousin, who went from a 909 (Yikes!) CAC score on a "healthywholegrain-based" diet (the food pyramid) to zero, following a diet within the range prescribed by Dr. William Davis (Track Your Plaque.) From what I read, Bush followed as so-called heart healthy diet with little or no processed foods and has been every athletic, participating in mountain biking distance rides with war veterans, etc. on a regular basis. Another example that the standard guidelines to eat "heart healthy" and exercise are misguided.

  7. Murray
    Paul and Galina, the surplus daily calorie explanation overlooks appetite. If I eat 100 calories extra fat one meal, I am less hungry the next. A friend whose family operates a small dairy, one morning inadvertently ate an unlabelled 500 ml container of their creme fraiche (about 35% fat) instead of their yoghurt (about 5.6% fat) and later at dinner remarked that he was just not hungry that day for some reason. That is when he realized he had eaten a creme fraiche instead of yoghurt.
  8. Murray
    Thanks, Paul, much appreciated. Just spent a day keto-fasting while driving 12 hours to spend the U.S. Thanksgiving break studying organic chemistry together with my daughter. She wanted a study partner and we Canadians gave Thanksgiving last month. (Our autumn arrives sooner.) I hope her course covers ketones.
  9. Galina L.
    Sure, Frank,
    What Wooo does looks like a trucking for being aware of what is going on. Like you, I relay on my natural appetite nowadays too. However, some people could overeat even a LC food .There are individual differences, I remember commenters (Blogblog probably) reported on gaining fat from drinking heavy cream. For others the advice to put an extra butter on everything backfired.
    I enjoy the convenients to be in a comfort zone all the time - never too hungry, never too staffed.
    Reply: #60
  10. FrankG
    Thanks Galina.

    Maybe the wires are getting crossed with some here: for me "calorie-counting" is the hellish existence I went through, for literally decades prior to starting LCHF: based on the simplistic "1lb of fat = 3,500 calories", I (along with many many others, or so it seemed to me) would dutifully estimate my daily caloric needs, then either consciously force myself to eat less than that amount (to be sustained over many weeks, months years -- rest of my life?), and/or drag my sorry butt down to the gym and chain myself to an exercise machine which told me exactly how many extra calories I had burned and sweated off -- all the while hungry and so obsessed with food that anyone without a super-human "will-power" would break under the strain. What I ate, I was told, was only of secondary importance to "how many calories".. with a meal by meal allotted allowance and the promise of "weight loss" based on "1lb of fat = 3,500 calories".

    As if our body works on a "meal by meal" basis, rather than maintaining equilibrium over the long term.

    The "predictive" power of CICO is a myth, and not just an abysmal failure but I'm convinced it leads to unhealthy long-term outcomes: such as we see with the so called "yo yo dieter" where the weight regain is rapid and often greater than the starting weight; with more of the regain being fat tissue with less lean muscle than before. Add to that the insidious long-term damage such as depressed metabolic rate and it is not just not helping but it is actively harming.

    It is an huge mistake to focus simply on the energy content of our food -- especially as determined by a bomb calorimeter (this is nothing like how humans use "calories") and/or the readout on a gym machine. We eat to nourish our entire body. Energy is just a part of the complete picture.

    ON THE OTHER HAND... if you develop a broader approach to your lifestyle -- working with your body rather than fighting against it -- in particular your diet (what you habitually eat) and consider alternate approaches such as (but not limited to) LCHF, then I can see the sense in tracking your progress over time, so that you can adjust if necessary -- and this adjustment does not have to mean "calories", it could just as easily mean type of food, macronutrients etc... how are you with dairy? Is raw milk better for you than store bought? How about nuts? EVOO, butter, or Coconut Oil? etc... etc...

    This tracking/feedback can include anything ranging from simply looking in the mirror, seeing how your clothes fit, how many holes in your belt etc... to using a bathroom scale, tape measure, BG meter, on-line food log which provides a detailed breakdown of your diet; blood profiles, metabolic ward, metabolic chamber etc.. etc... go as far as you want, like or need (watching out for orthorexia) BUT calories are only one small part of that picture. They don't tell the whole story and even then they may only help tell you what changed AFTER the fact... they are not a useful predictive tool other than in the very broadest sense of the First Law of Thermodynamics.

    Reply: #61
  11. Murray
    Good points, Frank. On the first law of thermodynamics, it has no explanatory power in this context. Sure the first law is conserved. This is a constraint, not an explanation and it has no predictive value or normative role. Why? Because it simply pushes the question to what are the different systems of energy input and expenditure, and how do these vary with the composition of the diet. The CICO slogan implicitly (ideologically) presumes the only three operative factors in the system are calories that go down the gullet, exercise (plus a fixed base metabolism) and fat stored. This ideology suits the soft drink industry (and the pharmaceuticals who treat the results), but it provides no insight into weight management. Indeed, my experience and that of others demonstrates that exercise impedes fat loss, so eat less exercise more is misguided advice that perpetuates and exacerbates the status quo trajectory toward wide-spread spreading wide and associated diseases.

    There are many factors involved in verifying the first law constraint. First is digestibility. Wrangham cites studies that cooking increases by about 12% the available calories in meat for example. Also, grinding meat ( into mince, for example) increases availability by about 12%, and the combination is almost additive (about 21%). A second digestibility factor is the regulation of the rate of fat ingestion by regulation of bile acid production. I found an interesting study that cells low in energy send signals to the liver to increase bile production to increase available fat for fuel. This implies not all fat is taken up and some proportion passes through. Thus, there is another "calories out" that must be considered in applying the first law of thermodynamics. Floating feces means fat is passing through, accounting for many calories. Not all of that fat is fat that is eaten. Butyrivic bacteria disgust fibres into butyric acid (the saturated fat named after butter), which is how gorillas get more than half their calories (I.e., they ingest mostly calories from saturated fat) by eating low-fat leavesi. So fibre calories get converted into saturated fat calories, which may pass through or be taken up. But it also indicates another factor--caloric consumption by gut flora. The state of one's gut flora will influence both the calories out side of the first law constraint, and the macronutrients profile. People who think they eat no fat may be producing ample saturated fat. The low carbs one eats might be burned up by lactobacillus bacteria and not make it into the blood stream, so one 100 grams of sugar might be converted into 100 grams of blood sugar in one person but 25 grams in the next, who has a healthier gut flora. Then there is the effect of macronutrients on metabolism. A very low carb diet fires up fat burning and ketone burning and keto adaptation has numerous effects on the calories out side of the constraint. Among them is to enhance mitochondria number and efficiency, so fat is burned more easily and cells have more energy. The thermogenesis effect of high fat and ketones is well known. This increases calories out. And there is less signalling to the liver to produce bile, so more fat passes through the gut into the toilet. More calories out. Also, with higher ketones, there are ketones (calories) in the urine. More calories out. Compare this to high carb roller coaster blood sugar which causes blood sugar surplus to trigger fat formation and storage, followed by a blood sugar low triggering hunger and appetite. Thus, the diet predisposes to increasing calories in, versus a low carb high fat diet that predisposes to fat burning.

    I could go on, but some simple analysis shows that many factors go into energy intake, portioning and outputs. The CICO slogan is unassailable, as it is a tautology, but it is a tautology that by the nature of our language and indoctrination leads people into an ideological frame of mind that perpetuates the problem and profits certain industries immensely. Little wonder soft drink companies are spending millions and millions promoting the ideology of more exercise being the CICO cure all, creating splashy images of you playing beach volleyball etc. to associate their sugar beverages with energy and activity. I am sure ondrej's comrade Lenin understood enough Marx to see through the false consciousness and corporate carbo-hegemony of the CICO ideology.

    Replies: #62, #63
  12. Paul the rat
    Xmass present Murray

    Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2013 Oct;166(2):338-42. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2013.07.010. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

    Profound changes in blood parameters during torpor in a South American marsupial.

    Franco M, Contreras C, Nespolo RF.
    Instituto de Ciencias Ambientales y Evolutivas, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Campus isla teja, Valdivia, 5090000, Chile.
    Seasonal torpor or hibernation is a phenomenon characterized by a physiological transition to dormancy (torpor) during challenging periods in terms of energy availability or metabolic load. Extensive physiological reprogramming and changes in gene-expression, immune function, oxygen transport and intermediate metabolism, occur during eutherian hibernation. Here we studied the seasonality of blood parameters, and during daily torpor, in a South American marsupial (Dromiciops gliroides). Seasonal trends in blood parameters showed an increase in hematological parameters during winter, and increases in total proteins, albumin and globulin during autumn. In contrast, torpor induced a drastic drop during most blood parameters. PCV dropped significantly 60%, as well as RBC (58%), hemoglobin concentration (58%), WBC (79%), including neutrophils (51%), eosinophils (84%) and lymphocytes (82%). Biochemical parameters also showed reductions: triglycerides (81%), proteins (32%), albumin (24%), globulins (38%), albumin (24%), creatinine (48%) and glucose (42%). Our results confirm some patterns observed in hibernating eutherians, such as leukopenia, probably caused by sequestration of white blood cells in organs. However, red blood cells and hemoglobin concentration also were reduced, which is to the best of our knowledge has not been reported for marsupials. The observed reduction in biochemical parameters suggests that marsupials, as in eutherians, change from carbohydrate-based to lipid-based metabolism during hibernation. However, the absence of increases in beta-hydroxybutyrate is puzzling. Finally, we found an increase (although non-significant after statistical correction for multiple comparisons) of creatine kinase which together with an increase in neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio could be indicative of muscle lysis and inflammation. These results indicate profound changes in standard physiological processes during torpor.

    Reply: #66
  13. FrankG
    Very thorough discussion Murray thanks -- indeed CICO has little to no practicable value to anyone (excepting vested interests, as you say) and in my view, causes more harm than good for far too many.

    It seems to keep coming up: so I did want to highlight the difference between focusing on calories per se as the way to manage "weight"; as compared to the potential usefulness of tracking what you eat (including calories -- among other variables) as a way to provide feedback and allow for adjustments along the way.

    In regards gorillas: I always get a wry smile when I think of those "low-fat eating" herbivores actually living off an high-fat diet! In the same way you can flummox a "by the book" dietitian by pointing out to them that their "low-fat", calorie-restricted diet is, in reality, high in "deadly" ARTERYCLOGGINGSATURATEDANIMALFAT from the body stores!!! Watch their eyes bulge, then the brain explodes as they try to cope with the cognitive dissonance :-P

    Reply: #64
  14. Paul the rat
    "...Watch their eyes bulge, then the brain explodes as they try to cope with the cognitive dissonance…"

    My favorite comic relief is watching die-hard vegans after they have been told that their cholesterol is very high. Their first reactions is to argue that it is something wrong with analysis, or samples got mixed-up. Some of them get very agitated and hostile as if I personally was responsible for it. I am tempted to record one of such episodes and post it on YouTube.

    Because 'we all know' that high cholesterol is a problem of meat-eaters.

  15. FrankG
    A recent post by Dr John Briffa regarding yet more conflict of interest among those responsible for issuing Cholesterol Guidelines...


  16. Murray
    Appreciated, Paul, as always. The modal shift in metabolism from carbohydrate burning to lipid is expected. The absence of beta hydroxybutyrate is indeed surprising, although it does fit with my hypothesis concerning hominid evolution. (I like to work with hypotheses, as they are allies to help me organize data and experience relationally, functionally, historically and logically.) I read in Phinney and Volek that muscles burning fat or ketones yield ketones into the blood. I notice my ketones go up with mild exercise and are lower after sleeping, so perhaps muscle work is required to generate plenty of ketones, apart from MCT coming in from diet. As I understand that MCT length oils are not stored, there would have to be some other mechanism for generating ketones. Now suppose our ancestors were non-hibernating but adapted to cope with starvation (fat burning mode) and had latent genes for a hibernating mode (fat burning mode). Moving into the savannahs, so goes the hypothesis, they became scavengers of ruminant carcass left by large cats. Slim pickings, unless you grab a rock and break open the bones and skull for yummy marrow and brain, both loaded with cholesterol, omega3, vitamin k2 and other fat soluble goodies, and lots of calories. Evolution works by commandeering old, available forms, to new purpose, with new adaptations. So as we (that is, our ancestors) got better at selecting stones and then crafting them, the brain gets bigger, on a high omega3, cholesterol and k2 diet. This is such a trove and self-reinforcing feedback, that we start pursuit hunting. See Tim Noakes's Waterlogged for numerous physical and physiological adaptations for pursuit hunting in heat, which are astounding, so the selective advantage must have been massive. But here is a new evolutionary demand, high endurance performance on a fat burning diet. So one would expect adaptations to metabolism in the same order of astounding as the ones for salt, heat and running adaptations that Noakes reviews. So evolution would commandeer hibernation and starvation metabolism as the starting template for non-starvation, non-hibernating, endurance performance driven, brain growing metabolism. So I expect a keto-adapted anscestor had a high capacity to generate ketones for energy (from muscles burning fat) for the newly enlarging brain, for example, which we seem to have retained as a latent metabolic state, if carbs are not too abundant. The bonus in all this, is that by commandeering and adapting starvation and hibernation modes, the keto-performance modes seem to have inherited repair and replace mode. It seems it would have been adaptive to retain these features into keto-performance mode. And so we have a wonderful confluence of desirable features in the human keto state.

    Just a working hypothesis, but it is consistent with my personal experience and those of many with whom I've compared experiences. It also fits with phenomena such as decreasing brain volume with higher carb diet, such as the shrinkage of the hominid brain in the past 200,000 years ago or so, with the advent of more carbs being available by neutralizing toxins through cooking, and the correlation between retention of brain mass with aging and lower average blood sugar.

    Reply: #68
  17. Marcy
    No mainstream revolution in the USA, sadly. Just read an editorial in the paper today about receipts you get after buying food that have messages on them, they are called Nutricate receipts and they are to provide people with information about the meal they just bought, the calories, etc. Some of the sample dietary advise given is all low fat, such as, holding the mayo on your sandwich will save you 150 calories; Low-fat milk is a great source of calcium; order your breakfast sandwich without sausage and meals without cheese. Some chain in the northwest part of the country called Burgerville has started this. They are trying to reduce cholesteral by steering people to what some nutritionist somewhere deems is healthy. This is going to annoy me if it catches on.
  18. Paul the rat
    Hey Murray,
    Straight of the press. My set up (at work) does not, unfortunately, allow me to make a link to full articles. I hope you can access them.
    All these signaling pathways (MAPK, IRS, Akt, Foxo …) are regulated by dietary macronutrients. It appears, as we talked about it many times, that ketogenic diet works, say, in our favor - big time.
    By the way, this review is based on mice studies so it was rejected by Ondrej Journal of Human Health and Well-being, I am told.

    J Endocrinol. 2013 Nov 26. [Epub ahead of print]

    Insulin signaling, resistance, and the metabolic syndrome: insights from mouse models to disease mechanisms.

    Guo S.
    S Guo, Medicine, Texas A&M University HSC, Temple, 76504, United States.
    Insulin resistance is a major underlying mechanism for the 'metabolic syndrome', which is also known as insulin resistance syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is increasing at an alarming rate, becoming a major public and clinical problem worldwide. Metabolic syndrome is represented by a group of interrelated disorders, including obesity, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. It is also a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease and increased morbidity and mortality. Animal studies demonstrate that insulin and its signaling cascade normally control cell growth, metabolism and survival through activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and phosphotidylinositide-3-kinase (PI3K), of which activation of PI-3K-associated with insulin receptor substrate-1 and -2 (IRS1, 2) and subsequent Akt→Foxo1 phosphorylation cascade has a central role in control of nutrient homeostasis and organ survival. Inactivation of Akt and activation of Foxo1, through suppression IRS1 and IRS2 in different organs following hyperinsulinemia, metabolic inflammation, and over nutrition may provide the underlying mechanisms for metabolic syndrome in humans. Targeting the IRS→Akt→Foxo1 signaling cascade will likely provide a strategy for therapeutic intervention in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and its complications. This review discusses the basis of insulin signaling, insulin resistance in different mouse models, and how a deficiency of insulin signaling components in different organs contributes to the feature of the metabolic syndrome. Emphasis will be placed on the role of IRS1, IRS2, and associated signaling pathways that couple to Akt and the forkhead/winged helix transcription factor Foxo1.

  19. BR
    Marcy, the bright side of this is that as everybody buys low fat, prices for full fat products can stay lower. How bad can that be?
    Reply: #70
  20. Murray
    Yes, BR, this is a problem with an excellent organic dairy in my area. They were coming out with a delicious 48% milk fat cream. However, supply was spotty and eventually they discontinued. The reason was that they had too much skim milk and they could not sell it all. I suggested they feed it to pigs, but the corporate commercial hog suppliers (which dictate to farmers what they may feed) would not allow it and there were not enough independents to take it all. (I do get some nice whey fed pork from Mennonite farmers.) sic transit glorious milk fat.
  21. Murray
    Thanks, again, Paul. I take it it is not lost on you the significance of my keto-performance hypothesis if it is broadly correct. I continually roll my eyes whenever I see a report on a paper and the researcher's discussion section refers to the state of ketosis as a "starvation" response. This, of course, begs the question of the significance of the results and virtually assures confirmation bias. They thus overlook the significance of finding crucial experiments to do an evolutionary genealogy of the inheritance and adaptation of starvation, hibernation and pursuit hunting performance features. A working hypothesis on the genealogy acts as a paradigm to interpret results and artfully design subsequent experiments, controlling for variables that would make a difference in the paradigm.
  22. Murray
    Paul,, by the way, I do not have access to journals requiring subscriptions, but I get by. As I work through this organic chemistry course with my daughter, the details of technical papers get clearer, but I am not sure yet how much it adds to the qualitative analysis. Will see.

    I find the organic chemistry text and approach a bit frustrating. It reminds me of cooking. Cooking held no appeal to me so long as it was following recipes and rules of thumb. Then I found science of cooking sources, that got into the science of protein denaturing at different temperatures and surfactants and emulsions. Then cooking became interesting. Much of this organic chemistry to me seems like recipes. I like to derive from first principles (ever the mathematician), so I have found the McBride Yale lectures on organic chemistry (available free on iTunes U) more enlightening. He has a more epistemological approach, deriving chemistry from quantum mechanics and electron interactions. One learns to be a chef instead of a cook.

  23. Paul the rat

    "...I take it it is not lost on you the significance of my keto-performance hypothesis if it is broadly correct. I continually roll my eyes whenever I see a report on a paper and the researcher's discussion section refers to the state of ketosis as a "starvation" response. .."

    My understanding is that ketotic state is superior to that when body runs on glucose, I do not agree that ketones are, so called, alternative, emergency fuel used out of necessity when organism is starving, but this "emergency fuel" scenario goes hand in hand with fat-is-bad dogma. In addition, the notion that ketones are bad for us is entrenched even firmer in the minds of estabishement that "fat is killing us".

    Reply: #74
  24. Murray
    The booklet that comes with my blood glucose/ketone monitor says that if ketones (BHB) measures above 1.5 mmol/l to seek medical attention immediately. Ha! I am above 1.5 almost very morning. I suppose above 1.5 might indicate metabolic trouble on a high carb diet.
    Reply: #75
  25. FrankG
    That advice Murray, would be aimed at someone with Type 1 Diabetes: where a raised BG along with raised Ketones could indicate potentially very damaging Diabetic Keto-Acidosis (DKA) -- perhaps the result of too little, or ineffective, injected insulin.

    In your case, the raised Ketones and raised BG would tend to be mutually exclusive... but you will still find health-care professionals who continue to confuse DKA with ketosis :-)

  26. FrankG
    I wonder how much longer it will take before the BG meter manufacturers catch on to the potentially huge untapped market of those who (among other health benefits) are seeking to avoid Type 2 Diabetes in the first place.
  27. Paul the rat
    "..I am above 1.5 almost very morning.."
    Frank is right , 1) it refers to diabetics. 2) most medicos do not understand the difference between ketotic state and keto-acidosis. But this is how they are 'schooled' in med schools even as we speak.

    I am +- 4 mmol/L 24/7 for several years now.

    Reply: #82
  28. Paul the rat
    Br J Nutr. 2013 Nov 25:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]

    Effects of dark chocolate and cocoa consumption on endothelial function and arterial stiffness in overweight adults.

    West SG, McIntyre MD, Piotrowski MJ, Poupin N, Miller DL, Preston AG, Wagner P, Groves LF, Skulas-Ray AC.
    Department of Biobehavioral Health, The Pennsylvania State University, 219 Biobehavioral Health Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
    The consumption of cocoa and dark chocolate is associated with a lower risk of CVD, and improvements in endothelial function may mediate this relationship. Less is known about the effects of cocoa/chocolate on the augmentation index (AI), a measure of vascular stiffness and vascular tone in the peripheral arterioles. We enrolled thirty middle-aged, overweight adults in a randomised, placebo-controlled, 4-week, cross-over study. During the active treatment (cocoa) period, the participants consumed 37 g/d of dark chocolate and a sugar-free cocoa beverage (total cocoa = 22 g/d, total flavanols (TF) = 814 mg/d). Colour-matched controls included a low-flavanol chocolate bar and a cocoa-free beverage with no added sugar (TF = 3 mg/d). Treatments were matched for total fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates and protein. The cocoa treatment significantly increased the basal diameter and peak diameter of the brachial artery by 6 % (+2 mm) and basal blood flow volume by 22 %. Substantial decreases in the AI, a measure of arterial stiffness, were observed in only women. Flow-mediated dilation and the reactive hyperaemia index remained unchanged. The consumption of cocoa had no effect on fasting blood measures, while the control treatment increased fasting insulin concentration and insulin resistance (P= 0·01). Fasting blood pressure (BP) remained unchanged, although the acute consumption of cocoa increased resting BP by 4 mmHg.

    In summary, the high-flavanol cocoa and dark chocolate treatment was associated with enhanced vasodilation in both conduit and resistance arteries and was accompanied by significant reductions in arterial stiffness in women.

  29. Marcy
    BR, like Monty Python, as you say, 'always look on the bright side of life', too right you are. Leave all the 'bad for you' fatty stuff for me, but please don't take it away completely.
  30. Galina L.
    I have mixed feeling when benefits of cocoa are discussed. I have to manage multiple allergies, and I know from an early age that chocolate and cocoa are very problematic. In Russia excluding some foods as allergies-promoting ( like citruses, strawberries, tomato-based sauces, honey, chocolate, smoked meats and fish , hot spices, alcohol, especially red vine and beer) is a standard medical advice for the people with different autoimmune conditions. I also have a Rosacia (well under control), and I noticed it reacts on the same foods as eczema . There are other factors like sun exposure, heat, physical activity which increase vasolidation and don't affect eczema and asthma , but I suspect there is a strong autoimmune component in Rosacia.

    It looks for me that the frequency of allergies in a modern world population (different allergies, diabetes 1, Hashimodo thyroid, asthma and basically all types of allergies) increases together with metabolic diseases. In the light of it I view with a suspicion any advise which may result in the increase of sensitivity to allergies.

    Reply: #85
  31. FrankG
    For those who like to equate dietary protein with dietary carbs in respect to BG and insulin secretion - I just read this...

    Dietary protein does not negatively impact blood glucose control.


  32. BR
    I am +- 4 mmol/L 24/7 for several years now.

    Hi Paul, I'd be very interested to see what you eat daily to maintain that level 24/7. Could you please post it if you don't mind.


  33. Paul the rat
    Total carbohydrates no more than 8%E (mostly from vegetables and only skins of dark fruits), often no carbohydrates

    Protein (mostly organ meats mainly from lamb, eggs, fish, sometimes nuts-only freshly harvested walnuts, hazelnuts) 15-25%E

    Remaining energy from fats: lard 50% ( often goose fat, or wild game fat, e.g. boar), coconut oil 30%, butter 10%, flax seed oil, hemp seed oil.

    I add whole range of herbs and spices to all my food

    One day/week fasting

    Run 6 miles 4 days/week. Run Chicago marathon few years ago (keto-adapted).

    BMI - 19.5; Age 57; Last time needed medical help or intervention - do not remember.

    Big pharma hates me.

  34. BR
    Wow, pretty nice, Paul, good for you.
  35. Murray
    Galina, I sometimes react to chocolate. I assumed it was me but have since read about aflatoxins from mould on cacao beans. Sometimes the processing method allows moulds to grow. I eat 100% chocolate daily and often I lightly roast cacao beans. I like the beans because I can inspect them for mould. (Brazil nuts, by the way, are terrible for mould. Almost all have it--look for small areas of white--so I now use a peeler to peel Brazil nuts. It also removes the outer oxidized layer of fat. I no longer react to Brazil nuts and they taste sweet instead of bitter. It's a lot of work, though.) I find I react to some brands of 100% dark chocolate and not to others. I get a clean theobromine buzz from good chocolate and an unpleasant off feeling from unsuitable chocolate.
  36. Murray
    Paul, the only "wild boar" I can get here in Toronto is wild in name only (the breed is called wild boar,). My supplier is from a farm where the wild boars run free in pastures, but they are domestically raised. Essentially, wild boars are a smaller pork breed than conventional pigs. Kind of like how wild blueberries are low bush, smaller versions than high bush blueberries. I like some wild blueberries, as they are small and mostly dark skin, as opposed to blueberries which are as large as marbles these days. But most wild blueberries these days are cultivated.

    It looks as though we are fairly close, except I have a lot of cheese (raw milk cheese only, no dead milk cheese) and organ meat just once or twice per week. You have inspired me up the organ meat ratio in my diet. I am expecting to get several jars of duck foie gras, encased in dark yellow duck fat, from a lovely woman from Provence who works with a Quebec farmer to make them. (She prepares them personally by hand so I can only get it seasonally.) The duck fat is marvellous.

    Yes, I find a weekly fast moves me up a notch or two on ketone mmol/l but I find it hard to fit it in regularly. Weekdays have demanding brain work and weekends are either social occasions or the times when I can get creative cooking.

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