A Dietitian’s Journey – the 25 week breakthrough

Finally!  Like anyone else who’s been working long and hard towards achieving their health goals, I’m so excited that I’ve finally made a significant ‘breakthrough‘! I didn’t think it would take this long, but when I think that it has taken me close to 20 years to become this insulin resistant, it only makes sense that it is going to take some time to become insulin sensitive again!

Last night, for the first time since I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) ten years ago, my 2 hour post-prandial blood glucose (i.e. two hours after a meal) was 5.8 mmol/L (105 mg/dl).

To put that in context for someone without Diabetes, blood glucose taken two hours after meals should be less than 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dl) – so my blood sugar after supper was not only in the non-Diabetic range, it was much better than that!

This means that the delaying the time between meals that I have been doing each weekday is starting to have its effect.

‘Hearing’ for the first time

When insulin was released after I ate dinner last night, my cells responded to insulin’s signal and took up the glucose from my blood, into my cells! This is what is supposed to happen, but from years and years of eating a diet that had far to many carbs (mostly as “healthy” fruit and milk), my cells had become non-responsive to insulin’s signal. The glucose (the blood sugar produced after food is digested) would stay at high levels in my blood because even though sufficient insulin was being produced and released by the βeta-cells of my pancreas, my cells had become insensitive to its signal. My cells had become insulin resistant – they were ‘deaf’ to insulin’s signal.

Last night, for the first time that I’ve observed, my cells responded to insulin properly!  Like a hearing-impaired person hearing for the first time, my cells could ‘hear’!

Still “hearing-impaired”

My cells aren’t yet ‘healed’. They and my liver are still insulin resistant which is evidenced by the fact that even though I haven’t eaten anything since dinner last night, my blood glucose is high.

As it is supposed to do in response to both a low-carb diet and intermittent fasting, my body is breaking down my fat stores for energy (lipolysis) and the free fatty acids that are released are being used to produce glucose for my blood (in a process called gluconeogenesis) and ketones for my other organs, including my brain.

My blood glucose should increase from the gluconeogenesis, but it shouldn’t stay high! 

In a perfect world, my blood glucose should be maintained around 4.0 mmol/L (72 mg/dl) when I am intermittent fasting, but it is much higher than that.  The VERY good news is, it is falling to these ideal levels earlier and earlier each day, as I continue to intermittently fast Monday to Friday.

Intermittent Fasting – the missing ‘key’

It used to be late in the afternoon before my blood glucose would finally fall to 3.9 – 4.2 mmol/L, but over the six days it has been falling to these levels earlier and earlier each day.

blood glucose readings July 25 – August 23, 2017

 

Last Thursday, while checking my blood glucose every 2 hours, it dropped to 3.2 mmol/L at 1:55 PM and I immediately ate some carb-containing food, but the next day, late in the afternoon it only reached 4.8 mmol/L at 4:00 PM, despite me delaying the time between meals, both days. As someone with Type 2 Diabetes, I have to monitor my blood sugars every few hours when I am delaying meals, to be sure my blood sugar is being maintained by my body breaking down fat.

Monday, my blood glucose was 3.7 mmol/L (67 mg/dl) at 4:00 PM and yes, I ate something immediately.

Tuesday it was 4.6 mmol/L (83 mg/dl) at 2:30 PM

Today (Wednesday) it was 4.5 mmol/L (81 mg/dl) at noon!

Best of all was that last night, 2 hours after eating, my blood glucose was only 5.8 mmol/L (105 mg/dl) – not just ‘normal’, but well below the non-Diabetic cutoffs! This is what I have been waiting for!

Tracking Ketosis

Ketones (also called ‘ketone bodies’) are naturally occurring molecules (acetoacetateβeta-hydroxybutyrate, and their spontaneous breakdown product, acetone) that are produced for energy while people are sleeping, or when they haven’t eaten for a while. Ketone production is natural and normal and occurs to everyone – otherwise we would need to get up at night to eat!

Ketones are picked up the body’s tissues and converted into something called ‘acetyl-CoA’ which then enters the citric acid cycle and is burned in the cell’s mitochondria (the ‘powerhouse’ of each cell) for energy. When we are sleeping, or are eating low-carb high health fat or simply not eating for a while, this is what our body uses as fuel instead of glucose. When eating low carb over an extended period of time, the body makes the little bit of glucose it needs for our brain and blood from fat and uses ketones for the rest.

A Ketostix® urine test strip (from several weeks ago)

Ketones can be easily  and inexpensively detected in urine using a test strip, such as Ketostix®.

When people are at a low level of ketosis, they produce both acetoacetate and βeta-hydroxybutyrate in approximately equal quantities. These ketones are used by the muscle cells for energy. Ketostix® only measures the amount of acetoacetate in the urine.

For those that choose to eat very low carb and remain in ketosis for a while, their body’s will take the acetoacetate and convert it to βeta-hydroxybutyrate. Since Ketostix® only measures acetoacetate, the strips may become lighter and lighter because there is less acetoacetate in then urine. This is when blood ketone strips becomes helpful.

Abbott Laboratories® produce a small serum monitoring system that can test either blood glucose levels or serum β-ketone levels, using different test strips. The glucose strips cost about the same as glucose test strips used with other glucometers, but the β-ketone test strips are quite costly, costing between $3-$5 each, depending on where they are purchased.  I don’t use them very often – only to make sure I don’t let my ketones get too high.

Note: I take a rather conservative approach to low carb eating and don't see any need to lower carbs to such a point as people are producing large amounts of ketones. I encourage insulin-resistant clients who are eating low carb to monitor both their blood sugar and ketone production often and to discuss their results with their doctors.

The β-ketone test strips measure the amount of βeta-hydroxybutyrate in the blood.

β-Ketone test strip, measures βeta-hydroxybutyrate in blood sample

This morning, about an hour after I measured my fasting blood glucose at 7.8 mmol/L, I measured my fasting β-ketones (which measures the amount of βeta-hyroxybuterate in my blood) at 1.6 mmol/L.

A low level of serum βeta-hyroxybuterate is considered 0.34 mmol/L and a mid-range level of serum βeta-hyroxybuterate  is considered 2.36 mmol/L, so I was in the low-mid range level, which is the highest level that I go. I am also monitoring my blood sugar every two hours to make sure that my blood sugar level is being maintained adequately.

Note: as they say on TV "don't try this at home".  Be sure to discuss following a low carb diet with your doctor first and also discuss whether there are any health reasons to avoid remaining in mild ketosis for any period of time.

At these levels, my body is happily breaking down my own fat stores for energy and the free fatty acids that are being released are being used to produce glucose for my blood (via gluconeogenesis). This is evident by my blood glucose being 7.8 mmol/L around 9:30 AM today.

This morning’s workout ‘selfie’

My body produces ketones (as evident by my βeta-hyroxybuterate being 1.6 mmol/L) an hour later and these ketones are being picked up my body’s tissues and are being converted into acetyl-CoA, which is being burned by my cells mitochondria for energy.  These ketones not only fuel my brain, so I can work, they also fuel my body so I can exercise.

Yes! I aim to do some kind of exercise for 30-45 minutes most days.

This is the BIG difference between “starving” and “fasting”. I’m fat-adapted and I have plenty of fat stores to burn, so my body is really quite happy burning my own fat stores for energy while maintaining my blood sugar using the carbs in my diet and the glucose synthesized from my fat.

‘Getting moving’ and occasionally ‘breaking a sweat’

When I speak of ‘exercise’, it’s not crazy intense, but it is my getting my body ‘moving’.

All my morning walks (with and without Nordic poles) – from the very first one 5 1/2 months ago, have been done fasting.

Yesterday I did 15 minutes of aerobic exercise and 30 minutes of lower body resistance training – not in a gym, but at home. I was fasting…and continued to fast until late in the afternoon. Remember, my body is breaking down my fat stores for energy and I have plenty of those!

all the “gym” I need!

I’m not a member of a gym.

I have a corner of one room set up with my Nordic Track ski-machine, a few free-weights (2#, 5#, 10# and for the future 20#), a floor mat, 3 levels of resistance bands, and a “step“.

If I use my Nordic Track, I listen to music while I work out, and have a water bottle with homemade club soda (seltzer) close at hand. I have a Sodastream® machine, so I always have a steady supply.

I am using the “step” or doing aerobics of some kind, I use some videos I found on You-Tube of a TV show I used to exercise to years ago. I always liked them because they gave lots of instructions so that only one muscle group at a time is being worked.  That way, only one part of my body needs to recover, and I can work other parts the following day.

If I am doing my free weights, I follow the routine I learned from a kinesiologist friend, when I took off the first part of the weight 5 years ago.

I keep it simple and simply make part of every day doing something that requires me to ‘get moving‘ and 3 times a week I aim to make that activity something that ‘breaks a sweat‘.

I don’t exercise to ‘lose weight’ – I’m active because it’s part of a healthy lifestyle.  It’s good for my heart, for reducing stress and to increase muscle tone – and it makes me feel terrific.

Sure, I still have a long way to go but a each week and each month passes, I am closer to my goal that I was the week or month before.  I am certainly closer than had I never started!

Here’s some more proof…

These three photos were taken on this date (August 23) in 2015, shortly after I had heard about low carb high fat eating from a retired physician-friend, last year in 2016 and today 2017. While there isn’t a huge difference weight-wise between last year and this year (14 pounds), the difference one can’t see is becoming evident.

Me – August 23 2015, 2016 and today 2017

Yes, the progress it is painfully slow and it would be easy to get discouraged except that I have read the studies and seen the results that other clinicians have obtained with their patients. It’s twenty-five weeks since I started – just about 1/2 a year, but my hard work and determination to ‘stick with it’ is paying off.  Last night, for the first time since I was diagnosed as having Type 2 Diabetes, my cells provided evidence that they are beginning to respond to the signals from insulin the way they are supposed to.

This afternoon, they did it all again!  

This was my blood glucose 3 hours after lunch (which I decided to eat today, because I felt hungry). As mentioned above, 4.5 mmol/L (81 mg/dl) is well below the ‘normal’, non-Diabetic post prandial glucose level of 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dl)

This was even better than after dinner, yesterday!

It took longer than I expect, but it’s happening!

So, one day at a time, one week at time, the weeks add up to months and the months to half a year and in half a year, I have measurable progress!

Oh, did I forget to mention that my weight is down again?  I am seeing “numbers” I haven’t seen since I gave birth to my children!

Slow, yes – but very sure.

Now let’s see what I’ll accomplish in the second half of this year!

Have questions?

Want to know how I can help you accomplish your health goals? Why not send me a note using the “Contact Us” form above.

To our good health!

Joy


Note: I am a "sample-set of 1" - meaning that my results may or may not be like any others who follow a similar lifestyle. If you are considering eating "low carb" and are taking medication to control your blood sugar or blood pressure, please discuss it with your doctor, first.

Copyright ©2017 The LCHF-Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.) 

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

Caffeine Substantially Increases Plasma Ketones in Healthy Adults

INTRODUCTION: This recent Canadian study reports that the caffeine contained in 1  1/2 to 3 cups of unsweetened coffee is sufficient to increase plasma levels of ketones, including β-hydroxybuterate, for several hours.


A pilot Canadian study conducted at the Université de Sherbrooke in Sherbrooke, Quebec and published in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology on November 25, 2016 evaluated the effect of caffeine on the production of ketones in healthy adults. Researchers were interested in caffeine as a ketogenic agent based on its ability to increase lypolysis (the breaking down of fat for fuel).

Method of the Study

Two different doses of caffeine were administered to 10 healthy adults who had fasted for 12 hours and who then ate a breakfast that containing 85 gm carbohydrate, 9.5 gm fat and 14 gm of protein.

Subjects were either given;

(1) no caffeine

(2) a cup and a half of regular drip coffee

(3) three cups of regular drip coffee 

The subjects plasma caffeine levels were measured over the next 4 hours and it was found that those that drank 1  1/2 cups of coffee had~ 2.5 mg caffeine per kilogram of body weight and those that drank 3 cups of coffee had ~ 5.0 mg caffeine per kilogram of body weight. 

Plasma caffeine over time

Results – the effect of caffeine on ketone production

Subjects that had 1  1/2 cups of coffee (2.5 mg of caffeine per kilogram)  had 88% higher ketone production than subjects that had no caffeine.

Subjects that drank 3 cups of coffee (5.0 mg caffeine per kilogram of body weight) had 116% higher ketone production over subjects that had no caffeine. 

β-hydroxybuterate per hour

Expressed as the amount of βhydroxybuterate in μmol/L, it is evident that this ketone rises significantly in response to caffeine, and rises in a dose-dependent manner. That is, the more caffeine consumed the more βhydroxybuterate was produced.

Amount of β-hydroxybuterate produced in response to caffeine dose

Researchers reported that the level of ketones found in the blood after 3 cups of coffee was approximately twice that produced after an overnight fast.

This increase in plasma ketones obtained with these doses of caffeine could, at least in the short term (a few hours) contribute to ~5-6% of brain energy needs.

Mechanism

The increase in free fatty acids as well as β-hydroxybuterate is explained by caffeine blocking phosphodiesterase (PDE), preventing the inactivation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) – with increased caffeine leading to higher levels of cAMP.

Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) is a cellular messenger that is involved with transferring hormones such as glucogon, which is the main catabolic hormone of the body and which functions to raise both the concentration of glucose and fat in the bloodstream and has the opposite effect of insulin).

Glucagon needs cAMP in order to pass through the plasma membrane, so as a result cAMP serves to regulate glucose, fats and glycogen.

cAMP activates hormone sensitive lipase, an enzyme which breaks down fat (lypolysis). This increased breaking down of fat, increases free fatty acids (FFAs), which can then be converted in the liver to the ketones acetoacetate and β-hydroxybuterate.

Final Thoughts…

While this is a small study, the data supports that a few cups of regular, unsweetened coffee (without any butter or coconut oil added) increases the amount of ketones produced for several hours.

If you are following a low carb diet and are monitoring your blood or urine ketones, be aware that having coffee can increase the amount of ketones your body is producing.


Here is a recipe for delicious carb-free cappuccino or latte that you can have the barista at your favourite coffee house make for you:

http://www.lchf-rd.com/2017/08/21/bullet-less-low-carb-cappuccino-and-latte/


References

Vandenberghe C, St-Pierre V, Courchesne-Loye A, et al, Caffeine intake increases plasma ketones: an acute metabolic study in humans, Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 2017, Vol. 95, No. 4 : pp. 455-458 
Dr. David Perlmutter, MD (www.drperlmutter.com/caffeine-ketosis-friend-or-foe)

Note: Everyone's results following a LCHF lifestyle will differ as there is no one-size-fits-all approach and everybody's nutritional needs and health status is different. If you want to adopt this kind of lifestyle, please discuss it with your doctor, first.

Copyright ©2017 The LCHF-Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.) 

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

Bullet-less Low Carb Cappuccino and Latte

Okay, so it is Monday morning and a double or triple espresso cappuccino or latte is what you want, but not with all the carbs in the foamed milk.

Since weight-loss is one of your goals, and you know from reading an earlier article on leptin differences in overweight versus lean people that drinking “bulletproof coffee is not the best way to go, is there an alternative?

Yes there is!

I call it “Bullet-less Cappuccino“.

Bullet-less cappuccino

Bullet-less cappuccino (or latte) is made the same way as a regular cappuccino or latte, except instead of foaming milk (which has 12 carbs per cup!), I use 1/2 oz of heavy (whipping) cream diluted with 2 oz of ice cold filtered water. The ratio of cream to water can be changed to suit your taste and the amount of foam you want, and the total volume made can be adjusted depending on whether you want cappuccino or latte – but the good news is that regardless, the result is carb-free!

Since my diet naturally contains ~ 75% healthy fat and I was quite overweight before (obese, actually), I keep the amount of cream used low, so I don’t need to add much extra fat outside of those found naturally in the foods I eat.

This drink is very satisfying and is a great way to start an intermittent fast day. Yes, you can drink this while fasting as it does not cause an insulin release, because it is carb-free.

Whether you make it yourself, as I do or ask the barista at your favourite coffee house to make it for you…enjoy!

Be sure to read this new article about how starting your day with coffee has been found to boost nutritional ketosis. A summary of the study and results here: http://www.lchf-rd.com/2017/08/21/caffeine-substantially-increases-plasma-ketones-in-healthy-adults/


Note: Everyone's results following a LCHF lifestyle will differ as there is no one-size-fits-all approach and everybody's nutritional needs and health status is different. If you want to adopt this kind of lifestyle, please discuss it with your doctor, first.

Copyright ©2017 The LCHF-Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.) 

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

Increasing the Time Between Meals: Intermittent Fasting

When people think of “fasting” what comes to mind is an almost-intolerable short period of time without food, and with nothing to drink (except maybe water) and where people usually spend most of the time counting until they can eat again. This is the case when we are used to burning carbs as our fuel source and then just stop eating. Our body slows its metabolism in response to the severe calorie restriction in an effort to spare energy.  We feel cold, tired, lethargic and we find it difficult to concentrate because our body is in starvation mode.

When we are fat-adapted, we use the fat in our diet (dietary fat) and our own fat stores (endogenous fat) as our fuel source. When we “fast”, we stop supplying our body with dietary fat, so our body relies solely on our fat stores to supply its energy needs.  Most of us who are following a low carb high fat diet have plenty of endogenous fat, so when we aren’t eating, we don’t feel hungry, tired or cold because our body has a plentiful source of energy! Our basal metabolism doesn’t drop.  Rather than feeling cold and tired and finding it difficult to think, we are able to think clearly using ketones produced from fat to fuel our body, rather than glucose.

Intermittent fasting” is simply increasing the amount of time between meals.  Fasting is not eating or rather, not eating now. It’s different than “starving” because our basal metabolic rate is being maintained through our fat stores. When we are in starvation mode, our basal metabolism drops significantly in order to spare energy – that’s why we feel cold and tired, because our body is saving calories for our brain and our heart to function. Fasting also doesn’t mean that we can’t consume anything! There are plenty of things we can have during the delay before our next meal. The most natural “intermittent fast is the one between after supper and breakfast the next morning.  Yes, that is why it is called “breakfast“.

Why Fast?

When we eat, insulin is released in response to the presence of carbs in the food we eat and functions to (a) move glucose out of the blood and to (b) store the glucose that is not immediately needed for energy, as fat.

When we are accustomed (as most of us have been) to eating three meals a day plus having a couple of snacks, insulin is released every few hours. If we have been “grazing”, we have been constantly releasing insulin. As a result of this, our cells have become insensitive to insulin – something known as “insulin resistance“, or insulin tolerant.  To conceptualize this, think of going into a room with loud music.  At first your ears buzz and your auditory system is overwhelmed, but after a bit of time, your body adapts. It’s similar with smell.  When you’re exposed to a pungent odor, at first that’s all your can concentrate on, but after time passes, your brain starts to “tune out” the signals from your nose and you become less aware of the smell.  It’s not that the odor decreases, but our response to the odor, decreases as we become “tolerant” to that molecule bound to our olfactory receptors.

The difference with “insulin resistance” is that it is more than our body becoming “tolerant” of the circulating insulin, it actually responds less to it.

Think of someone that drinks considerable amounts of alcohol.  They can have 3 or 4 drinks and not feel intoxicated, because they have a “high tolerance” to the ethanol in the drink.  It takes more and more alcohol for them to respond. When someone is “insulin tolerant” (also called “insulin resistant“), the same amount of insulin has less and less effect, so to adapt, to be able to move the glucose out of the blood and store the excess energy as fat, the body needs to release more and more insulin. From years and years of eating 3 carb-based meals plus a couple of carb-laden snacks each day, our insulin levels simply don’t fall to baseline.

When someone is not insulin resistant, delaying the time before the next meal enables their insulin levels to fall to baseline (10-30 pMol) in approximately  12 hours, so if they don’t eat anything after dinner and their first meal of the day is breakfast the next morning, that time period is usually close to 12 hours. However, for people who are insulin resistant,  a longer time period is often needed for their insulin levels to fall to baseline. Just as insulin resistance developed over time, gradually, a new lower baseline can be set over time by increasing the length of time that one intermittently fasts.

Twelve-Hour Fast

A twelve-hour fast is the easiest one for most people to do, because during most of it, they’re asleep!

This is the one I suggest to my clients once they’re fat-adapted (usually after ~4 weeks of eating low carb high fat) as all it entails is not eating anything after supper until breakfast the next morning.

That’s it.

So, say they finish dinner at 6:30 PM, then the next time they eat is breakfast the next morning at 6:30 AM. This simple, short 12-hour “fast” is just enough to enable their insulin to fall to baseline. Doing this often, if not daily is the goal. This is entirely do-able and an important first step in restoring insulin sensitivity and it is certainly not something “radical”. Years ago, people didn’t eat after supper!

People who have Type 2 Diabetes should check with their doctor before beginning doing any form of Intermittent Fasting – and definitely should do so if they are on any kind of medication to manage their blood sugar, blood pressure or cholesterol, without having their doctors oversee it.  Medication will often need to be adjusted downward (and sometimes eventually discontinued entirely) as insulin sensitivity returns, so don’t do this without involving your doctor, first!

Eighteen Hour Fast

Once people have become used to not eating from supper until breakfast, they may want to wait to eat their first meal until noon the next day, especially if they don’t feel particularly hungry in the morning. Some people are not “breakfast” people and if they eat well the night before, they may not want to eat in the morning. An eighteen hour “fast” is from after someone has finished dinner (say, at 6:00 PM) until noon the next day.

Many do want their cup of coffee, which is totally fine provided it is unsweetened. I don’t recommend that people use sugar substitutes, especially the sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol or xylitol which have the same number of carbs per teaspoon as ordinary table sugar.

Cappuccino foamed with 1/2 oz of cream diluted with 1 oz of cold, filtered water

Cream can certainly be added to drip coffee and there’s no need to give up your morning latte or cappuccino – just a little creativity to replace the milk (which has almost as many carbs per cup as a slice of bread!).

My trick is to foam 1/2 an ounce of cream with an ounce or ounce and a half of cold, filtered water.

This makes fasting until lunch entirely possible!!

Twenty-four Hour Fast

Note: I don't do these and I don't recommend that my clients do these unless they are being very closely monitored by their doctor, however I want to describe them, so people know what they are.

A twenty-four hour “fast” is from the end of supper one day, until the start of supper the following day (technically it is a 23-hour fast unless you add the extra hour  😯). As with the eighteen-hour fast, one can have unsweetened coffee or tea with a drop of cream, club soda (seltzer) with a twist of lime or lemon, or “bone broth“. “Bone broth” can be made from any kind of meat, fish or poultry bones, but for me, when I think of “bone broth“, I think of a wonderful, rich broth made from beef marrow bones, that is gently simmered overnight on the stove, ready to be sipped as desired, on a fast day.

To avoid getting constipated, many people will take psillium fiber with water each morning and which can be added to cups of “bone broth” or dissolved in a little bit of diluted coconut milk.

Ingredients for “bone broth” – beef marrow bones, ox feet, onion, garlic and fresh peppercorns

 

 

 

 

 

cup of beef “bone broth” – made from ingredients above

What’s not to love about sipping this when “fasting”?

 

 

 

 

 

The main purpose of delaying the time between meals (“intermittent fasting”) is to restore insulin sensitivity. When we aren’t eating, we aren’t releasing insulin – and as we continue eating low carb high fat and delaying the time between meals, our insulin receptors become sensitive to insulin once again.

Normalized blood sugar levels (both fasting blood glucose and HbA1C) is a natural byproduct, not the goal.  The goal is releasing less and less insulin in response to the food we eat and our body’s sensitivity to the insulin that we do release, being restored.

Weight loss is another added benefit!

Have questions?

Want to know how I can help you?

Please send me a note using the “Contact Us” form on the tab above.

 


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Note: Everyone's results following a LCHF lifestyle will differ as there is no one-size-fits-all approach and everybody's nutritional needs and health status is different. If you want to adopt this kind of lifestyle, please discuss it with your doctor, first.

Copyright ©2017 The LCHF-Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.) 

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.


 

A Dietitian’s Journey – visibly evident progress after 5 months

For the last 2 weeks, the Lower Mainland has been covered in smoke due to hundreds of wildfires in the area.  The very poor air quality had made going for a walk impossible.

Everywhere I went, I needed to wear an N95 mask to filter out the particulate matter and with the excessive heat and reddish-yellow skies, I had no desire to be out any longer than I needed to.

Over the weekend, cool marine finally air arrived and the air cleared for the first time in weeks. Finally it didn’t look like I was living on Tatooine.

When I woke up yesterday, the first thing I wanted to do was go for a morning walk. I walked 3 km around the local track and today I went again and decided to make a short video. When I went to upload it, I noticed how very different my face looked than from my first walk, 5 months ago (March 16 2017).

LEFT: March 16, 2017 | RIGHT: August 15 2017

I’ve only lost 13 pounds in the last 5 months since I began eating Low Carb High Healthy Fat, but the difference in how I look and how I feel is quite evident.  As I’ve covered in previous “A Dietitian’s Journey” blogs, my blood work has certainly reflected the change.

I don’t really do any exercise outside of walking and even then, I only started doing it regularly 7 weeks ago (June 22, 2017) and not for the last 2 weeks (due to the air quality advisory). Five weeks of walking has helped me tone my muscles a bit and lower my overall blood sugar, but not had any significant impact my weight loss. While for the last 8 weeks, I’ve delayed the start of my first meal (intermittent fasting) which has impacted my fasting blood sugar, it hasn’t really impacted my weight, as I consume the same amount of protein, fat and carbs per day, just over a shorter period.

My weight loss has really only been accomplished by doing what I have been teaching my professional clients to do over the last 2 yearseating low carb and high healthy fat. I was tired of being the “fat Dietitian”! Now I’m now “practicing what I preach”.

Is it hard?  Not at all! This has to be the easiest way to eat and requires little, if no culinary skill. Sure, one can get pretty creative making all kinds of exciting ethnic foods if they know how to cook, but it is certainly not required!

The difference in how I feel is truly all the motivation to keep doing it! Losing weight is a bonus.

Want to know how I can help you achieve your own health and nutrition goals? Why not send me a note using the “Contact Us” form above.

To our good health!

Joy


Here is the short video that I made today:

Note: I am a "sample-set of 1" - meaning that my results may or may not be like any others who follow a similar lifestyle. If you are considering eating "low carb" and are taking medication to control your blood sugar or blood pressure, please discuss it with your doctor, first.

Copyright ©2017 The LCHF-Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.) 

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

 

A Dietitian’s Journey – living on Tatooine

For the last two weeks, I have been living on Tatooine.  Not really, but it certainly has felt like that – with smoky, red sunrises and sunsets, inhospitable heat and high levels of ground-level ozone.  British Columbia, where I live, remains under a state of emergency as 148 wildfires continue to burn across the province, with this being BC’s worst fire season in almost sixty years. As a result, the air quality in many communities, including mine, has deteriorated to dangerous levels.

This is what the sunrise has looked like from my backyard the last two weeks:

There have been high concentrations of fine particulate matter known as PM2.5  in the air, which are solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of ≤2.5µm (micrometres). Due to their small size, these particles easily penetrate indoors, even when windows are closed and are small enough to pass from the lungs into the bloodstream – putting people with lung or heart disease, Diabetes or asthma at risk.

In addition to the smoky air, temperatures each day have been in the low- to mid-thirties Celcius (90-95 degrees Fahrenheit) which is highly unusual. Here in the Greater Vancouver area, we’ll get a few days in a row like that once or twice each summer, but not for two weeks solid!  Thankfully I have air conditioning, but it has been brutal to be outdoors.

Concentrations of ground-level ozone have reached and stayed at advisory levels.  This is formed when pollutants given off by the forest fires and compounds from the solvents used to put out the fires react in the air, in the presence of sunlight.

Even wearing an N95 mask outside which is designed to filter out the small smoke particles, I have found my breathing very laboured.

Needless to say, my morning and after-dinner walks have been impossible. I tried exercising indoors, but my lungs were simply too irritated from the small smoke particles.

I have continued with delaying the time between meals (referred to as “intermittent fasting“)but for shorter periods of time as my body is under physiological stress and I continue to eat a low carb high fat diet. My weight has dropped another pound over these last two weeks, despite no exercise at all. My blood sugar on the other hand is considerably higher without the walks.

An air quality analyst with Metro Vancouver has reported that the weather is expected to shift this coming weekend, allowing some of the smoke to begin to dissipate. Until then, part of taking care of my health is not to exercise. 

Reporting from Tatooine, British Columbia, I’m Joy Kiddie, practicing what I preach.

Note: I am a "sample-set of 1" - meaning that my results may or may not be like any others who follow a similar lifestyle. If you are considering eating "low carb" and are taking medication to control your blood sugar or blood pressure, please discuss it with your doctor, first.

Copyright ©2017 The LCHF-Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.) 

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

LCHF Thai Green Curry (Vegetarian friendly)

For most people on a traditional low-fat “diet”, a Thai green curry is definitely ‘out’ – considered to have “way too much fat” in the coconut milk, not to mention in the deep fried poultry (or in this case, tofu)!  But for those eating Low Carb High Fat, the fragrant aroma of the galanga root and kaffir lime peel in the Green Curry Paste beckon.

Thai Green Curry is a meal of contrasts, with the crunchy bitterness of miniature Thai eggplants, the gentle bite of zucchini cubes or golf-ball size green Thai makhuea eggplants, short pieces of long beans or Western green beans and an abundance of tender anise-like leaves of Haropha basil.

What’s not to love about the natural creamy sweetness of pure coconut milk offset beautifully by the salty pungency of Thai Nam Pla (fish sauce)?

Whether one adds pieces of deep fried tofu or an abundance of cut up boneless chicken or duck, Thai Green Curry can be a meal in itself.

Green Thai Curry

If it is felt that Thai food must be served over rice, then why not make white cauliflower ‘rice’? It’s so easy and only 5 carbs per 1/2 cup (125 ml).

Cauliflower “Rice”

Cauliflower “Rice”

All there is to making Cauliflower “Rice” is to microwave finely chopped raw cauliflower with a tablespoon of water for 3 minutes covered at power level 10 (100%).  Then, let it stand covered for another 3 minutes, and voila!

When it is made from fresh compact heads of cauliflower, it has virtually no taste of its own and no smell!  Cooked as above, it is surprisingly hard to distinguish from the carb-laden original.

LCHF Thai Green Curry

Thai Green Curry can be made using any fresh vegetables you have on hand, or you can be a purist and shop at a South Asian market for a variety or traditional ones.

I usually use one or two varieties of Thai eggplant, long beans and when available, fresh miniature ears of corn (a mere 2.5 grams of carbs in an ounce (30 gm)).

Here is a basic recipe and cooking method;

  • 2-3 bunches Thai miniature green eggplant, taken off stem
  • 1/2 lb (250 gm) Thai round (golf-ball size) green eggplant
  • 1 bunch of long beans (1/2 lb / 250 gm) or equal quantity of green beans, cut in 1″ (3 cm) pieces
  • 1 medium size green zucchini, cut in 1/2 ” (1.5 cm) cubes
  • 1-2 bunches of Thai basil, washed and taken off stem
  • 1 package of deep fried tofu* (or 1 lb of chicken or duck thighs, marinated in a mixture of Thai green curry paste (1 Tbsp), 1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce, 2 Tbsp Thai coconut milk (100% pure).
  • coconut oil
  • Thai Green curry paste (available in jars at most supermarkets)
  • 250 ml of 100% pure coconut milk (boxed is preferable)
*some people avoid tofu due to its naturally containing phytoestrogens and goitrogens.  Then again, there are LCHF paleo-adherents that avoid most vegetables due to the compounds they naturally contain, such as phytates, oxylates and trypsin inhibitors which can bind minerals such as calcium and iron.  I think the nutrient benefits of non-starchy vegetables, their fiber content as well as their anti-oxidant properties are well learning what foods they shouldn't be paired with, to avoid an anti-nutrient effect.

Heat a heavy cast iron saucepan, frypan or wok.  Add the coconut oil and heat.  Spoon in a heaping tablespoon of Thai Green Curry Paste (less, if you don’t want it spicy!) and splash in 1 teaspoon of fish sauce (or to taste).

If using poultry, add it at this point and stir fry it until 80% cooked. Then add the vegetables beginning with the most dense, first.  (I start with the miniature eggplants and then the long beans or green beans, along with the larger Thai eggplants).  Toss them around in the fragrant seasoned oil until the vegetables begin to cook.  Then add about 1/2 of the coconut milk and turn the heat down to medium and cover. When the veggies are ~ 80% cooked, add in the more tender vegetables such as zucchini cubes and if serving with Cauliflower “Rice”, add the rest of the coconut milk. If serving alone, I don’t add more coconut milk, because there’s nothing to absorb it when serving.  Cover, and let the zucchini cook slightly.

It's important not to overcook the curry.  The vegetables should be "just" cooked and still slightly crunchy. If cooking Cauliflower "Rice", have it ready to go and cook it right at this point. Cooking it too far in advance will result in it having a strong cabbage-like smell.

Toss the basil leaves into the curry and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 


Nutritional Info: The only carbs in this dish are 5 gms of carbs for every 1/2 cup serving of vegetables and 6 gms of (net) carbs for 3 oz (100 gm) of tofu.  If using poultry, then there aren’t any carbs. A half cup of 100% pure coconut milk has only 2 gm of carbs.

Low Carb Chow Mein

This recipe was made on the spur of the moment, when I felt like the taste and texture of Chow Mein, but without all the empty carbs of wheat or rice-based noodles.

I found a package of Bean Curd Strips at the local Chinese grocery store and since they had almost no carbs in them, I decided I would see how they would “sub” for noodles.  They were amazing!

They were chewy and crispy – with almost no discernible taste of their own.

Bean Curd Strips

I prepared them exactly as I would for real Chow Mein.

I plunged them into boiling water for a minute and tossed them around so they softened, then lifted them out and placed them into a colander to drain and shocked them with ice water.

I quickly blanched some cut up Chinese Broccoli (Gai Lohn) and sliced baby carrot in the same hot water, to save cooking time, later.

Then I heated a non-stick skillet on medium hot, added some coconut oil and fried the blanched Bean Curd Strips gently until golden and crispy on the bottom.  I flipped the whole mass over and continued frying them on the other side, while gently grinding Himalayan Pink Salt on the top.

I happened to have a defrosted boneless duck breast on hand, so I cut it in strips and marinated it in a mixture of real soy sauce, a bit of Chinese cooking wine and a splash of sesame oil.

I heated up a wok, added some coconut oil and about a tablespoon of diced fresh garlic then stir-fried the duck breast until almost cooked, and set aside.  In the same wok, I added a bit more oil, a bit more garlic, then added in the blanched veggies and some sliced zucchini and snap peas that I had on hand, to round out the colour and texture, then added back the almost-cooked duck breast. I poured in a little bit of chicken stock and then when the whole thing was cooked, thickened it with the tiniest amount of tapioca starch and water – just to give the sauce some body.  If I wasn’t a purist, I could have added butter to bind it, as the French would do.

Any meat could substitute, as would any vegetable of your choosing. The focus, after all was the noodlesand they did not disappoint!


You can follow me at:

 https://twitter.com/joykiddieRD

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Low Carb Beer Batter Fish

I have been asked so many times for this recipe, that I’ve decided to post it and while this isn’t everyday fare for me, one of my sons would eat it as often as I would make it. There is a local fish and chips place right on the Pacific Ocean and I’ve been told this easily rivals theirs.

Have a look:

Low Carb Beer Batter Fish

The batter is light and crispy – like the best tempura batter.

In fact, when I make fish this way, I dip slices of zucchini in the leftover batter, and make a deep fried side to go with it. I mean, why not?  Once you’re frying, might as well, right?

Low Carb Beer Batter Fish and Zucchini

I fry in cold-expressed virgin coconut oil, as it has a high smoke point and unlike commercial refined seed oils like grapeseed, soybean, sunflower,  safflower  and corn oil, cold-expressed virgin coconut oil doesn’t produce Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs), which cause oxidative damage to cells in the body.

I heat the coconut oil to between 160-170 °C or 320-340 °F, which is hot enough that a piece of batter dipped vegetable begins to puff and get golden quickly, but still allows some frying time for the internal parts to be fully cooked.

My favorite fish to fry this way is fresh Pacific Cod loins, but even defrosted Haddock Loins come out pretty good, if defrosted in the fridge until ~80% thawed, then pressed dry with a paper towel prior to dipping in batter, to get the excess water out.

Okay, enough background…here’s the recipe:

Low Carb Fish and Vegetable Beer Batter
  • 11 Tbsp unflavoured Whey Protein Isolate powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt, ground
  • 1 tsp guar gum (or xanthan gum)
  • 3 eggs, large, free-range, beaten well
  • 3 Tbsp low carb beer (such as Sleeman Clear 2.0) or sparkling water (Club Soda, Seltzer)
Cooking Instructions
  1. Slice 6 cod or haddock loins in half and pat dry well with a paper towel.
  2. Cut one or two firm slender zucchini into 1/8″ (1/3 cm) slices.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a heavy pot until between 320-340 °F. (160-170 °C).  Make sure there it is deep enough that the thickest piece of battered fish can float.
  4. Mix all the batter ingredients together in a wide, shallow bowl and whisk well for a minute or two, to make sure there are no lumps. (You can’t toughen the batter, as there is no gluten!)  The batter should be a light creamy yellow.
  5. When the coconut oil is hot enough, dip your zucchini (and/or other vegetables) and fry first on one side and then the other and set aside on a plate lined with several paper lunch bags, to absorb the excess fat. Don’t over cook.Be sure to whisk your batter back together for 20 seconds or so before dipping the fish to ensure the perfect consistency.
  6. Dip your dried, cut fish loins in the batter and coat well on both sides, and fry in the coconut oil until the batter is golden brown on the first side. Flip each piece over gently and fry on the second side, until the fish is cooked in the middle and a golden and crisp.*Don’t overcrowd the pot, as it will cause the oil temperature to decrease to much, and your fish will be greasy. I fry two pieces at a time in a 10″ (25 cm) pot.
  7. Transfer each piece to a plate lined with paper lunch bags, to absorb the excess oil.

    Enjoy!

A Dietitian’s Journey – 5 month update

It’s been 5 months since I began my own weight-loss journey, following a low carb high healthy fat diet and here is a short update. 

Fasting Blood Glucose

When I began this journey at the beginning of March, my fasting blood glucose was averaging 12 mmol/L. Four months into eating low carb high fat, my fasting blood sugar was averaging 8.5 mmol/L. 

July 25th, it was measured at the lab and on my home glucometer as 8.0 mmol/L – still way above the cutoffs for those with Type 2 Diabetes of 6.0 mmol/L, and way above the normal levels of 4.5-5.5 mmol/L.  

It is highest is in the morning, I believe due to cortisol’s effect (see 4 month update, for details).

2 hour Post-Prandial Blood Glucose

I’ve been tracking my blood glucose regularly since I started implementing the dietary and lifestyle changes 5 months ago, and my 2 hr post prandial (after a meal) glucose had been averaging ~7.2 mmol/L, which is much better than the 7.7 – 8.6 mmol/L which is what it was at the beginning of March, but still no where good enough!

…but I noticed that after I go for my brisk 3-4 km each morning, it is 5.4 mmol/L. This gave me an idea (see below).

Blood Glucose through the night – effects of Cortisol

For about a week, I measured my blood glucose at 1 AM and 4 AM and 6 AM (in the interest of science, of course!) with a brand new glucometer that I standardized at the lab, when I had my fasting blood glucose and fasting insulin done on July 25th. My morning fasting blood glucose would rise to ~6.6 – 6.8 mmol/L (119 – 123 mg/dl) from the 5.4 mmol/L it was when I went to bed, even though I hadn’t eating or had anything to drink.  This had to be the effect of cortisol!

Fasting Cortisol

I had my fasting cortisol assessed the same day that I had my fasting blood glucose assessed (July 25 2017) and it was, as I suspected, high421 (125-536) nmol/L 

…and this is with walking 4 km / day and sleeping 8 hours (restful sleep). 

I need to come up with some additional strategies for lowering stress.

Fasting Insulin & Calculating Insulin Resistance

I also had my fasting insulin assessed the same day that I had my fasting blood glucose and fasting cortisol assessed (July 25 2017).

Based on the July 25th lab work, I calculated my Insulin Resistance using both Matthews (1985) Equations (HOMA1-IR), as well as using Oxford University Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism  homeostasis model assessment (HOMA2-IR)  calculator (2013).

From when my fasting insulin and fasting blood glucose was last tested 2 years ago in August 10, 2015, my insulin resistance  calculated by HOMA2-IR had gone down from 3.06 to 2.77, but it’s still too high because my fasting blood glucose remains high.

Average Insulin Resistance – in the normal population

One study reported that the average HOMA2-IR in the general (non-Diabetic) population is 2.1 +/- 2.2 (Diabetes Care, Volume 24, Number 3, March 2001), so I am guessing that a HOMA2-IR of 1.00 would be a healthy target – one that will likely take me a year to approximate.

Whether that will be possible with diet and lifestyle change alone, has yet to be seen.

That is my goal.

High Morning Glucose – assessing the problem

I believe the reason that my blood glucose remains high in the morning is due to a combination of residual hepatic (liver) insulin resistance (from years of eating way too many carbs) and high cortisol that is stimulating an overproduction of waking glucose.

Effect of Walking

The last 5 months, my fasting blood glucose has been consistently high at 8.0 – 8.5 mmol/L (144 – 153 mg/dl) and my 2 hour postprandial is fine for a Type 2 Diabetic at ~7.2 mmol/L – but a far cry from the non-Diabetic range I am seeking.

…but I noticed that after I go for my brisk 3-4 km walk each morning, my fasting blood glucose is 5.4 mmol/L (yes, I go fasting).

The effect of moderate exercise seems substantial, so I decided to see what effect there would be on my early morning fasting blood glucose levels if if I took a short walk after dinner.

The results were dramatic!

For the last week and a half, my blood glucose drops to ~5.2 – 5.4 mmol/L (94-97 mg/dl) after a very leisurely 15-20 minute walk around my neighbourhood.

High Morning Glucose – assessing the solution

Based on my high fasting blood glucose of 8.0 mmol/L on July 25th, my physician’s colleague naturally recommended that I go on Metformin, but I have decided to hold off on introducing it for 3 months provided that;

(1) I continue the dietary and lifestyle changes I have been doing for the last 5 months and…

(2) I add a 20-minute walk after dinner.

Plan to Reassess in Three Months

I am requesting that my physician provide me with a requisition to have my fasting insulin and FBG re-run in October, when I update my HbA1c, so I can recalculate my HOMA2-IR again and see how much less insulin resistant I am by then.

I want to know the magnitude of the insulin levels dropping, not just the fasting blood glucose, which I expect, will drop…after all, the goal is to lower the very high levels of insulin. High blood glucose is a symptom – the cause is too much insulin being released, due to insulin resistance.

Blood Pressure

As mentioned previously, I asked to be started on a very low dose of Ramipril (Altace) about 6 weeks ago, as my blood pressure had begun to creep up again. When I saw 160/90 mmHg two days in a row, I went to see my doctor.

10% of the time I am ≤ 119 / 79 mmHg, considered normal blood pressure

64% of the time I am ≤ 120/80 mmHg, categorized as “Prehypertension”.

…and 26% of the time, measured before I take my medication, I am ≤ 138/90 mmHg, categorized as “Stage 1 Hypertension”.

I will continue to take the blood pressure medication as a temporary measure to offer some protection against heart attack, stroke and kidney damage until I lose some more weight, and my blood pressure stays down on its own.

Weight

Overall, in the last 5 months, I have lost 12 pounds and ~3 inches off my waist. I’ve lost about the same number of inches off my neck circumference  (3 inches) which has had a dramatic effect on how I look.  I have a neck and ONE chin.

I’ve lost overall about an inch off my mid-arm, an inch off on my thighs (gaining muscle and losing fat, at the same time) and lost around an inch off my chest.

Lowering Stress, Lowering Insulin

I need to get my cortisol levels down, as these are driving my high morning fasting blood glucose levels. Walking in the morning has been good, adding the short evening walk even better. Now I am adding (on alternate days from my 3-4 km walks) a workout with 5 and 10 pound weights and other forms of resistance training. I am even jumping rope (which has gotten much harder since when I last did it at around age 16!).

The goal is to get my insulin levels down, and I am already doing everything that needs to happen for that; eating only the carbs necessary to have a nutritious diet, with no excess protein and extending the time between meals (intermittent fasting) a few days per week.

It is going to take time

Over the next 3-6 months, I expect fasting insulin will keep falling.

My goal over the next year is to reach a ‘normal’ 2 hour postprandial peak of 60 mIU/L (430.5 pmol/L) as determined by Dr. Kraft’s Insulin Response curves, which should be an Insulin Resistance (HOMA2-IR) of between 1.0 and 2.0.

Over time, the fat in my liver (“hepatic adiposity“) will continue to decrease, and the derangement which took time to develop will resolve.

While the rate of resolution to for me to achieve normal insulin metabolism is unknown, I know if I keep doing what I am doing, it should happen. It doesn’t always occur, but I won’t know if I don’t try.

Have questions?

Want to know how I can help you achieve your health and weight goals? Why not send me a note using the “Contact Us” form, above.

To our good health!

Joy


 https://twitter.com/joykiddieRD

  https://www.facebook.com/lchfRD/

Note: I am a "sample-set of 1" - meaning that my results may or may not be like any others who follow a similar lifestyle. If you are considering eating "low carb" and are taking medication to control your blood sugar or blood pressure, please discuss it with your doctor, first.

Copyright ©2017 The LCHF-Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.) 

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.


 

What is the Anti-Inflammatory Protocol and what is it used for?

Changing how and what we eat, as well as managing stress and getting enough restful sleep has been shown in research studies to reduce pain and symptoms in people with chronic inflammatory diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism, Celiac disease, etc.. As well, there is increasing evidence that cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke are inflammatory in nature and that lowering risk is best managed through dietary and lifestyle changes. For those with a strong family history of heart disease, the Anti-Inflammatory Protocol dove-tails perfectly with a low-carb high healthy fat diet.


Knowing which foods promote inflammation and why and which foods are evidence-based to have anti-inflammatory properties  and why is essential for those seeking to reduce pain and symptoms associated with a chronic inflammatory condition. Choosing foods that are nutrient densepromote gut healthaddress diet-related disruptions in hormone-regulation and that target immune system regulation are key in the Anti-Inflammatory Protocol.

Nutrient density – Every system in the body, including the immune system requires an array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and amino acids to function normally. Micronutrient deficiencies and imbalances are considered key players in the development and progression of autoimmune disease, therefor attention is put on consuming the most nutrient-dense foods available. A nutrient-dense diet provides the ‘building blocks’ that the body needs to heal damaged tissues. The goal is to supply the body with a surplus of micronutrients to correct both deficiencies and imbalances, supporting regulation of the immune system, hormone and neurotransmitter production.

Gut health – It is thought that ‘gut dysbiosis’ (gut microbial imbalance) and ‘leaky gut’ may be key facilitators in the development of autoimmune disease. The foods recommended on the Anti-inflammatory Protocol support the growth of healthy levels and a healthy variety of gut microorganisms. Foods that irritate or damage the lining of the gut are avoided, while foods that help restore gut barrier function and promote healing are encouraged.

Diet-related Disruptions in hormone regulation – What we eat, when we eat, and how much we eat affects a variety of hormones that interact with the immune system. Eating foods with too much sugar or ‘grazing’ throughout the day, rather than eating food at set meals spaced apart deregulate these hormones. As a result, the immune system is typically stimulated. Promoting regulation of these hormones through diet, in turn has a modulating effect on the immune system. As well, dietary hormones that impact the immune system are also profoundly affected by how much sleep we get, how much and what kinds of activity we do, and how well we reduce and manage stress, so looking at diet and lifestyle together, is key.

Immune system regulation – Our intestines are home to millions of bacteria which live in symbiotic relationship with us.  We provide food for them and when in balance, they maintain the integrity of the gut wall, which serves as a protective barrier. When our gut ‘flora’ gets out of balance, having an excess of pathogenic bacteria, this protective barrier becomes compromised, resulting in small ‘holes’ that permit exchange between the inside of our gut and the blood stream.  This is what is called “leaky gut“. Endotoxins produced by the proliferation of “bad” bacteria can get into the blood stream, stimulating the immune system, and resulting in systemic inflammation. What becomes critical is to limit the factors that contribute to excess of the “bad bacteria” and restore a healthy amount and diversity of “good” gut microorganisms, so that the gut once again functions as a protective barrier, and immune system regulation is achieved.

What is the Anti-Inflammatory Protocol?

The Anti-Inflammatory Protocol identifies foods that promote inflammation from those that research indicates have anti-inflammatory properties. It isn’t simply a list of “eat this” and “don’t eat that”, but explains what about a particular food promotes inflammation or inhibits it. It explains the role of key inflammatory -producing compounds such as lectinssaponins and protease inhibitors, and which foods they are found in, and how eating those foods contribute to “leaky gut“. Which grains can one eat?  Which should be avoided? What about beans and lentils? Are there some better than others?

The Anti-Inflammatory Protocol explains which healthy cooking and eating fats won’t contribute to the production of Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) – and how this compound causes oxidative damage to the cells in the body. Knowing this enables people to know whether oils such as grapeseed for example, are a good choice and if not, why – as well as which other oils would be preferable.

I want people to understand in simple terms how omega 6 (ω-6) fats compete for binding sites and elongation enzymes with omega 3 (ω-3) fats, as this enables them to determine whether foods such as nuts and seeds should be included in an anti-inflammatory diet. If they understand the role of hormones such as insulin and what causes it’s release, they can determine for themselves whether products like agave syrup or coconut sugar are preferable to table sugar when following an anti-inflammatory protocol. I find that once people understand the theory as to why they should eat less of certain foods (explained in ways that don’t require an educational background in science!) and they also understand which types of foods they should aim to eat more of, they are empowered to make dietary choices that contribute to reducing inflammation, as well as symptoms, along with risk factors for other inflammation-related conditions.

I consider my primary role is as an educator. I don’t want to tell someone they need to eat this food on this day and this other food on the next day.  It is far more rewarding and helpful to them, if I help them know how to make these decisions themselves.

Want to know more?

Why not send me a note using the “Contact Us” form above.

To our good health,

Joy


 https://twitter.com/joykiddieRD

  https://www.facebook.com/lchfRD/


Note: Everyone's results following a LCHF lifestyle will differ as there is no one-size-fits-all approach and everybody's nutritional needs and health status is different. If you want to adopt this kind of lifestyle, please discuss it with your doctor, first.

Copyright ©2017 The LCHF-Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.) 

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