Clinical proof that the keto diet is protecting me against inflammation

Ketogenic weight loss

I discovered low carbohydrate, healthy fat ketogenic weight loss in 2012 when at the age of 58 my waist line started to get fatter and I inexplicably picked up weight, even though I believed that I was making good food choices. At the time I was exercising regularly.

After about 15 weeks I had shed 8 kilograms, slimmed down by 22 centimeters overall, and my body fat had decreased by 10 % according to a skin fold test conducted by my biokineticist. As I learned more about carbohydrate restriction and also began to practice intemittent fasting, I lost a further 2 kilograms and centimeters.

Ketogenic weight loss is sustainable

That was 7 years ago and my weight and waist measurement are constant. My mood is upbeat and stable, I have heaps of energy, sleep well, and no longer need to use anti-depressants nor anti-anxiety medication.

Healthy blood readings and protection from inflammatory diseases

As clinical proof that the low carbohydrate, healthy fat keto lifestyle is healthy, I have my results from fasting blood tests on 7 November 2019

P-GLUCOSE FASTING
My result is 4.2 mmol/l
Normal result should be between 3.5 – 5.5 mmol/L
CRP ULTRASESITIVE screening for risk factors for cardiovascular disease
My result is 0.26
The low risk range is < 1mg/L
P-HOMOCYSTEINE screening for risk of atherosclerosis and blood clots
My result is 13.8
Normal range is between 5.0 – 20.0 umol/L
INSULIN FASTING
My result is 3.2
Normal result should be between 2.1 – 10.4 mIU/L

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What are the five basic steps of weight loss? – Coffee: Healthier than we thought

REDUCE YOUR CONSUMPTION OF ADDED SUGARS

COFFEE: HEALTHIER THAN WE THOUGHT

Due to its high caffeine content, coffee is sometimes considered unhealthy. However recent research has come to the opposite conclusion, perhaps due to the fact that coffee is a major source of antioxidants, magnesium and chlorogenic acid.

Coffee protects against type 2 diabetes

Coffee, even the decaffeinated version appears to protect against type 2 diabetes. In a 2009 review, each additional daily cup of coffee lowered the risk of diabetes by 7%, even up to six cups per day. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study estimated that drinking at least three cups of coffee or tea daily reduced the risk of diabetes by 42%.

The Singapore Chinese Health Study showed a 30% reduction in risk.

Coffee reduces total mortality

Large scale studies found that most major causes of death, including heart disease, were reduced. Coffee may guard against neurologic diseases Altzheimers, Parkinsons disease, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

As a caution, while these correlation studies are suggestive, they are not proof of benefit. However, they suggest that coffee may not be as harmful as imagined.

Store your coffee beans well

Use an airtight container away from excessive moisture, heat and light. Flavor is lost quickly after grinding so investing in a reliable grinder is worthwhile. Grind beans immediately before brewing.

Iced coffee is easy and inexpensive to make

Simply brew a pot of regular coffee and cool it in the refrigerator overnight. You can cinnamon, coconut oil, vanilla extract, almond extract and cream to flavor your coffee without changing its healthy nature.

Avoid adding sugar or other sweeteners.

Replace addictive snacks with coffee in your weight loss diet

Dr. Robert Cywes recommends sipping on hot black coffee during your day, to avoid reaching for processed food snacks when you are Banting or on a keto diet.

REFERENCE:

The Obesity Code – Dr. Jason Fung

IMAGE CREDIT:

Mike Kenneally, Unsplash

What are the five basic steps of weight loss – Beverages: No sugar added

How much alcohol is too much for low carb, healthy fat, keto lifestyle?

STEP 1: REDUCE YOUR CONSUMPTION OF ADDED SUGARS

BEVERAGES: NO SUGAR ADDED

The sugar-sweetened drink is one of the leading sources of added sugars. This includes soda pop, sugar-sweetened teas, fruit juice, fruit punch, vitamin water, smoothies, shakes, lemonade, chocolate or flavored milk, iced coffee drinks and energy drinks.

Hot drinks such as hot chocolate, mochaccino, cafe mocha and sweetened coffee and tea can also be included. Trendy alcoholic drinks add significant amounts of sugar to your diet, including such drinks as ‘hard’ lemonade, flavored wine coolers, cider beers as well as more traditional drinks such as Baileys Irish Cream, margaritas, daiquiris, pina coladas, dessert wines, ice wines, sweet sherries and liqueurs.

What about alcohol itself?

Alcohol is made from the fermentation of sugars and starches from various sources. Yeast eat the sugars and convert them to alcohol. Residual sugars result in a sweeter beverage. Sweetened dessert wines are obviously full of sugar and not recommended.

However, moderate consumption of red wine does not raise insulin or impair insulin sensitivity, and therefore may be enjoyed. Up to two glasses a day is not associated with major weight gain and may improve insulin sensitivity.

The alcohol itself, even from beer seems to have minimal effects on insulin secretion or insulin resistance. It is sometimes said that you get fat from the foods you eat when you drink alcohol, rather than the alcohol itself. There may be some truth to that although the evidence is sparse.

So what is left to drink?

The best drink really is just plain or sparkling water. Slices of lemon, orange or cucumber are a refreshing addition.

Just be sure to cut sugar out of your life once and forever, in order to succeed on your weight loss diet.

REFERENCE:

The Obesity Code – Dr Jason Fung

What are the five basic steps of weight loss – make breakfast optional

STEP 1: REDUCE YOUR CONSUMPTION OF ADDED SUGARS

MAKE BREAKFAST OPTIONAL

Breakfast is, without question, the most controversial meal of the day.

The advice to eat something, anything, as soon as you step out of bed is often heard. But breakfast needs to be downgraded from ‘most important meal of the day’ to ‘meal’.

Different nations have different breakfast traditions. The big American breakfast contrasts directly with the French ‘petit jeuner’ or ‘small lunch’. The key word here is ‘small’.

The greatest problem is, that like snacks, breakfast foods are often little more than desserts in disguise containing vast quantities of processed carbohydrates and sugar. One of the main ways to succeed with a Banting weight loss diet or a keto weight loss diet, is to forego sugar altogether.

Breakfast cereals, particularly those that target children are among the worst offenders. On average they contain 40% more sugar than those that target adults. Not surprisingly, almost all cereals for children contain sugar and ten of them contain more than 50% sugar by weight. Only 5.5 percent met the standard for ‘low sugar’. In diets of children under age eight, breakfast cereals rank only behind candy, cookies, ice cream and sugared drinks as sources of dietary sugar.

A simple rule to follow is this: Don’t eat sugared breakfast cereal.

Many breakfast items from the bakery are highly problematic: muffins, cakes, banana bread and Danishes. Not only do they contain significant amounts of refined carbohydrates, they are often sweetened with sugars and jams. Bread often contains sugar and is eaten with sugary jams and jellies. Peanut butter often contains added sugar.

Traditional and Greek yogurts are nutritional foods. However, commercial yogurts are made with large amounts of added sugar and fruit flavors.

Oatmeal is another traditional and healthy food. Whole oats and steel-cut oats are a good choice requiring long cooking periods because they contain significant amounts of fibre that requires heat and time to break down.

Avoid instant oatmeal. It is heavily processed and refined which allows for instant cooking and it contains large amounts of added sugar and flavors. Most of the nutritional value is gone.

While rolled oats and dried fruit granola attempt to disguise themselves as healthy, they are often heavily sugared and contain chocolate chips and marshmallows.

Eggs, previously shunned because of cholesterol concerns can be enjoyed in a variety of ways: scrambled, over easy, sunny side up, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, poached, etc.

Egg whites are high in protein, and the yolks contain many vitamins and minerals including choline and selenium. Eggs are particularly good sources of lutein, zeaxanthin, antioxidants that may help protect the eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts.

The cholesterol in eggs may actually help your cholesterol profile by changing the cholesterol particles to the larger, less atherogenic particles. Large epidemiologic studies have failed to link increased egg consumption with increased risk of heart disease.

Eat eggs because they are delicious, whole unprocessed foods.

Consider this: If you are not hungry, don’t eat at all.

Simplify your life.

Reference:

The Obesity Code – Dr. Jason Fung

What are the basic steps of weight loss? Just don’t snack

STEP 1: REDUCE YOUR CONSUMPTION OF ADDED SUGARS

JUST DON’T SNACK

The healthy snack is one of the greatest weight-loss deceptions.
The myth that ‘grazing is healthy’ has attained legendary status. If we were meant to ‘graze’, we would be cows.
Grazing is the direct opposite of virtually all food traditions. Even as recently as the 1960’s people only ate three meals per day.
Constant stimulation of insulin leads to insulin resistance.

The solution? Stop eating all the time.

Snacks are often little more than thinly disguised desserts.

Most contain prodigious amounts of refined flour or sugar.

These pre-packaged conveniences have taken over the supermarket shelves.

Pre-packaged snack foods have taken over our supermarket shelves.

Are snacks necessary? No. Simply ask yourself this question. Are you really hungry or just bored? Keep snacks completely out of sight.

If you have a snack habit replace that habit loop with one that is less destructive to your health. Perhaps a cup of green tea in the afternoon should be your new habit and will ensure success with your weight loss keto diet.

There’s a simple answer to the question of what to eat at snack time.

Nothing. Don’t eat snacks. Simplify your life. Period.

REFERENCE:

The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung

What are the five basic steps of weight loss and what to do about desserts

Fresh berries for keto, low carb weight loss.

STEP 1: REDUCE YOUR CONSUMPTION OF ADDED SUGARS

WHAT TO DO ABOUT DESSERTS

Most desserts are easily identified and eliminated from your diet.

Desserts are mostly sugar with complimentary flavours added.

Examples include cake, cookies, puddings, pies, mousses, ice cream, sorbets, candy and candy bars.

So, what can you do about dessert?

Follow traditional societies by:

  • Have fresh, seasonal fruits, locally grown, with whipped cream
  • Have a small plate of nuts and cheeses
  • Dark chocolate with more than 70 percent cacao is a healthy treat

Chocolate is made from cocoa beans and does not naturally contain sugar. (However, most milk chocolate does contain large amounts of sugar.) Dark and semisweet chocolate contain less sugar than milk or white varieties.

Dark chocolate also contains significant amounts of fiber and anti-oxidants such as polyphenols and flavanols.

Studies on dark chocolate consumption indicate that it may help reduce blood pressure, insulin resistance and heart disease. Most milk chocolates are little more than candies with not enough cacao to offer benefit.

Chocolate that is at least 70% cacoa offers health benefits and contains very little sugar.

Nuts, in moderation, are another good choice for an after-dinner indulgence.

Most nuts are full of healthful, monounsaturated fats, have little or no carbohydrates and also contain fibre.

Macadamia, walnuts and cashews can all be enjoyed. Many studies show an association between increased nut consumption and better health, including reducing heart disease and diabetes.

Pistachio nuts, high in the antioxidant gamma-tocopherol and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, calcium and selenium, are widely enjoyed in the Mediterranean diet. A recent Spanish study found that adding 100 pistachio nuts to one’s daily diet, improved fasting glucose, insulin resistance and insulin levels.

Dessert is not to be taken every day and should be an occasional indulgence only.

If your goal is weight loss, your first major step is to severely restrict sugar.

REFERENCE:

The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung

What are the 5 basic steps of weight loss? Avoid added sugars

My LCHF keto weight loss success

Obesity is a hormonal disorder of fat regulation. Insulin is the major hormone that drives weight gain, so the rational therapy is to lower insulin levels.” – Dr. Jason Fung

In his comprehensive book. The Obesity Code: Unlocking The Secrets Of Weight Loss, Dr. Jason Fung identifies and explains what the 5 basic steps of LCHF, ketogenic weight loss are.

In the next several blog posts, I will lay them out for you.

For LCHF, Keto weight loss success, reduce your consumption of added sugars.
For LCHF, Keto, Banting weight loss success, reduce your consumption of added sugars.

STEP 1: REDUCE YOUR CONSUMPTION OF ADDED SUGARS

SUGAR STIMULATES INSULIN SECRETION , but it is far more sinister than that. It contributes directly to insulin resistance in the liver and over time insulin resistance leads to higher insulin levels.

Many natural, unprocessed whole foods contain sugar, such as fructose in fruit and lactose in milk.

Naturally occurring and added sugars are distinct from one another. The two key differences are amount and concentration. Sugars are added to food during processing or cooking .

Some pitfalls of added sugars:

  • Sugars may be added in unlimited amounts.
  • Also, sugar may be present in processed foods in much higher concentrations than in natural foods.
  • Sugar may be ingested by itself, which may cause people to overeat sugary treats, as there is nothing else within the food to make you feel “full”.

For these reasons, we need to direct our efforts towards reducing added, rather than natural sugars in our diets.

Check all processed food labels to find out how much sugar there is in 1 serving of the product.

Here is the first step to doing that:

READ ALL LABELS ON PROCESSED FOODS

Almost ubiquitous in refined and processed foods, sugar is not always labeled as such. Other names include sucrose, fructose, maltose, dextrose, glucose, molasses, hydrolyzed starch, honey, invert sugar, cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, corn sweetener, rice/corn/cane/maple/malt/golden/palm syrup and agave nectar.

These aliases attempt to conceal the large amounts of added sugar.

If it comes in a package, it probably contains sugar.

Asking how much sugar is acceptable is like asking how many cigarettes are acceptable. Ideally, no added sugar at all would be best if you want to succeed with your weight loss keto diet.

In the next post, we will look at how to deal with deserts.

REFERENCE:

The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung

9 Lower-carb alternatives to grains

The good news is that if you’re looking to limit your carb intake, there’s plenty of options for you — especially when it comes to replacing grains.” – Business Insider

Reproduced from a Business Insider article, here are plenty of lower-carb foods to add to your plate. Not all of these will be available in your local food market, but some surely will be.

So start experimenting.

Cauliflower rice is enjoyed on a LCHF Banting ketogenic diet.
Cauliflower rice is enjoyed on a LCHF Banting ketogenic diet.
Broccoli is similar to cauliflower rice. Make riced broccoli easily using a box grater or a food processor.
Quinoa is a nutritious alternative to rice and contains fifteen times less carbohydrate content. Avoid quinoa during your LCHF Banting Transformation weight loss phase but enjoy it in moderation when you have achieved Preservation.
Delicious sweet potatoes are prebiotic vegetables and can be prepared in a myriad of different ways.
If you’re lucky enough to get this cabbage turnip fusion at your vegetable market, then enjoy it as part of your Banting, low carb healthy fat diet for it’s anti-oxidant and extremely low carb, 9 grams of net carbs, benefits.
Ripe butternut cut into two halves is enjoyed as part of a LCHF Banting ketogenic diet.
The Japanese konjac plant is used to make Shirataki rice and noodles that have zero carbohydrates and calories, and zero gluten and soy. It is flavoured by the other ingredients in the meal.
Get your konjac products at http://www.skinnypasta.co.za or at Wellness Warehouse.
Butternut squash is another delicious side vegetable although I personally opt for pumpkin instead because it has half the number of carbohydrates that butternut has and is equally delicious. A South African favourite barbecue side is to remove the pips from butternut halves and fill the space with fried onions, garlic, chopped peppers and mozzarella cheese. These are then enclosed with aluminium foil and cooked on the barbecue grid.
Super affordable, prebiotic vegetable cabbage rice only has five grams of carbohydrate per cup and can be used for anything.
Delicious zucchini noodles have only six grams of carbohydrate per cup.

Reference:

Business Insider

Alcohol: How much is too much?

How much alcohol is too much for low carb, healthy fat, keto lifestyle?

“With Christmas soon upon us and the swing of festive parties and celebrations underway, champagne corks will be a-popping and cocktail shakers to the ready. I, like many, really do love a glass or two, especially at times of celebration, but I’m so often asked for guidance about how much is too much?”

Amelia Freer,Registered Nutritional Therapist FdSc, Dip ION

Amelia further goes on to say that there has been a long-held belief amongst the medical community that a little bit of alcohol does us good. this comes from studies that seem to show that all causes of death (but particularly heart disease) are higher in people who completely abstained from alcohol, than was in people that drank moderately (a couple or so units a day). (Corraeo et al., 2004)

She does however, point out that alcohol consumption has been linked to a huge number of problems. It is after all, a psycho-active substance that can sadly lead to significant problems with addiction and dependency. It has also been linked to over 200 disease and injury conditions.

Continue reading “Alcohol: How much is too much?”

Cook something – Roast Chicken

Banting staple roast chicken recipe

Quantities given are for 4 servings

Make a point of sourcing organic chickens rather than free-range for this Banting staple. Although free-range birds are not penned, they are still fed hormones.

Ingredients

1 head garlic
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried oregano
4 tbsp melted butter
1 medium white onion (quartered)
1 whole chicken
2 large lemons (quartered)
1 handful fresh thyme
2 medium red onion (quartered)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C.
  2. Cut the garlic in half vertically through the middle.
  3. Peel the cloves off one half of the garlic and place them in a pestle and mortar with the dried herbs and the melted butter.
  4. Mash together with some seasoning to make a paste.
  5. Rub the chicken all over with the paste and season well with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the quarters of one onion and a lemon in the cavity of the chicken with some of the fresh thyme.
  7. Place the remaining ingredients into a roasting tray and place the chicken on top.
  8. With a piece of string, tie the legs together to keep the aromatics in the cavity (the most basic form of trussing).
  9. Roast for 70 to 85 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken. Check to see if the chicken is cooked by sticking a skewer into the thickest part of the leg – the juices should run clear. If not, return it to the oven for another 10 minutes and check again.

Cook’s Tip

If you roast it properly, not only do you get some good fat in the tray for later use, and obviously heaps of protein, but more importantly, once you’ve finished carving you can bang that carcass straight into water to make a broth.