Archives for posts with tag: fats

Take that, 1984 Time Magazine cover of doom!

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Most people just don’t have the time to figure everything out from scratch. And that is where a simple graphic, understandable-at-a-glance, can make all the difference!

Thanks to physician Ted Naiman for putting together this simple gem:

macros

REAL FOOD.

(The original image can be found here. Give the blog a visit, too. )

Print, laminate and stick this one on the fridge!

 

I’m posting this more as a “note-to-self” than anything else.

I haven’t done much research on this at all, mostly because it takes a lot of time to find sane and compelling sources, so it is highly likely that a lot of the answers I’m looking for are out there.

If anyone actually reads this and is involved in the field, please let me know!

There is such a wide spread of hormonal experiences when transitioning to ketosis on all the forums and groups I visit online. Some women lose their cycles, for how long I don’t know.  Many who stay on a ketogenic diet seem to regain a normal cycle after some months, but I have absolutely no idea what the norm is. I don’t know if a norm exists. And then some are on birth control, some not.

I don’t make any conclusions because all reported experiences end up being an echo-chamber. The only conclusion I have so far is that different things happen to different women, but there seem to be a few subsets of common experiences.

There are two things in particular that interest me:

  • the differences between menstrual cycles on a ketogenic diet, a non-ketogenic carb-restricted diet, a “normal” middle-of-the-road diet, and a very low-fat diet,
  • the effects of different forms of hormonal birth control on all of the above cases.

The first set of baseline questions seem to me to cover the continuum of metabolic regimes. (My background is in applied maths and fluid mechanics, so it seems that this is how I now process the world: hard definitions, mathematically defined regimes and effects during regime changes. What have I become!)

It should go without saying that this kind of data should be long-term data and tested for metabolically healthy women as well as those who have already developed shit like PCOS.

Then I want the corresponding set of data for the same questions, but during periods of active weight (i.e. fat) loss.

I really want good sets of data to exist with ALL the parameters available. Influences on mood, period pain (damn you forever omega 6’s and prostaglandins), bloating, PMS-cravings, flow rate, cervical mucous, give me everything.

With online food-tracking and cycle-tracking being as easy as it is these days, there really is no excuse. It should be “relatively simple” to get a first-pass investigation going with so many people voluntarily switching to different diet regimes.

Tools like MyFitnessPal, My Days, FatSecret and all similar apps are sitting on a wealth of information. I want it!

All the data. That’s my Christmas wish.

 

 

 

The last week has delivered two absolute gems to my screen.

The first, Strong Medicine by Dr Blake F. Donaldson, is available to read and download on Babel!

I accidentally came upon it via Ash Simmonds and his HighSteaks blog. His meat-filled twitter feed is also recommended. (I have to admit that I’m getting absolute grills, Afrikaans for the heebeejeebees, mentioning some stranger’s twitter feed. StalkerPro here.)

The book itself is quite the entertaining read! A lot of pervasive life truths are punctuated by some boldly stated and highly cringeworthy thoughts straight out of a totally different cultural era. It is a bit of a rollercoaster, but Doc Donaldson pulls out some great one-liners that keep me reading, consider:

“It seems to me there are three horns to the dilemma of the fat man.”

and

“There are probably only two perfect foods-fresh fat meat and clean water.”

Always cutting straight to the point, as he also was in his recommendations to patients:

“Unless you are willing to stop eating flour now and forever, I don’t want to take care of you.”

But the zinger award must surely go to:

“You are out of your mind when you take insulin in order to eat a Danish pastry.”

And then there are musings on medical science that shows some perceptions really have not changed, not one little bit:

“…cholesterol has been made a whipping boy, which is unjustified.
Since the determination of its importance much of the research work on cholesterol has been abandoned, though some is still going on. Talk about cholesterol is old hat, forget it, and certainly it would never help you with weight reduction.”

Sigh.

Donaldson put his patients on a very strict but simple regimen, mostly fatty red meat and coffee three times a day. After the desired sustainable weight was reached, meals could be expanded to include four ingredients. I had a look at my breakfast of eggs, chorizo and tomato cooked in ghee and thought, ja, why overdo the ingredient list and make it more complicated for my body. It’s just a machine, after all.

The man had a sympathetic heart to make up for his stern and strong medicine. He recalls his experiences of working in a hall of soldiers in varying stages of recovery or death, or both, after mustard gas exposure. He crafts a striking image of a Hungarian violinist coming to the hospital ward to play beautiful songs by request from the suffering men, but the doctor, having built up strong armour to defend against the daily horrors of slow deaths, is suddenly overwhelmed by the atmosphere:

“As the strains of that old melody swept through the hall I had to leave. Some things in life you just can’t take.”


The other goodie was another one of the lectures from the Low Carb Down Under series: Marty Kendall on “Managing Insulin to Optimise Nutrition”.

If you know someone who is unlucky enough to have Type 1 Diabetes, have them watch this talk. There is no sensationalism and the explanation behind why Marty and his wife eat like they do is wonderfully clear and logically explained.

But also, this is science communication done right! Yay!

By this I mean that someone has not only made an effort to understand the underlying science, but has taken the extra (and necessary) step of translating it beautifully so that I can get an intuitive grasp of what the hell you are on about. I don’t want to spend two minutes figuring out your graph and axes in a short lecture. Stick some proper labels and pictures in the graph so that I can see what’s up! I think it can be even better, as is always the case, but this is already great to see. Clear, concise and pretty.

Marty Kendall’s blog is over at Optimising Nutrition. Go have a look.

A quick manual re-blog (does blogger talk to wordpress some other way?):

The Hopeful Geranium (George Henderson’s The High-Fat Hep C Diet ) on the rise of diabetes in India.

Quite relevant to me today as I just cooked a whole heap of fatty chicken thighs in ghee. My conclusion is that ghee is awesome. 🙂

Henderson quotes the following from B.S. Raheja on his post:

It is suggested that the real remedy for DM, ACVD and all the risk factors lies not in drugs or surgery but in the kitchen.

Some days you come across something that just makes you want to toss your laptop out the window.

Today that something is this video of the “USDA Great Nutrition Debate” of February 2000. (The USDA here is the United States Department of Agriculture.)

At first I was confused what Dean Ornish was doing there, because I’d never seen Dr Atkins speak in person and the video looks like it’s from 1980. My mental timeline was apparently severely messed up. I also realise how far we’ve come in the last 15 years with regards to video quality… Thank goodness! (“Next slide. … Next slide, please. Slide.”)

Well, that’s the debate.

And what do you know, there is Atkins himself sounding like a very rational man. I grew up amongst the “Atkins and meat will kill you” culture, and firmly believed it, even though I knew absolutely nothing about biology or nutrition (I’m still deeply embarrassed about everything I used to say as if I “knew” it).

A lot of the debate in the video really just feel like adventures in missing the point. I was going to go through a few thoughts, but it feels pointless and I’d honestly get more satisfaction from seeing my laptop sail through the rainy Norwegian skies. That is until I have to replace it, of course.

Seriously. Around 2:46:00 the question of keto-breath arises. Pffffff honestly. Choose between some potentially slight bad breath and diabetes or worse? That’s the definition of a no-brainer. The bad breath also generally goes away quite quickly, in case anyone reads this and is wondering about it. I was very happy to hear Dr Atkins saying “This is serious stuff.”

2:47:20-ish, Atkins replies to a concern about his high-protein diet: “I am concerned by the American Heart Association’s recommendations of Fruit Loops and Pop Tarts having their seal of approval. If that’s their recommendation, then I’m certainly happy that they’re not in my camp. I wouldn’t want them there.” YES. It seems there were at least two enlightened audience members in attendance.

I wish we had seen this video back in 2000. That way I wouldn’t have had to watch my dad eat his way through low-fat, hypertensive misery into a stroke. I’m not claiming the stroke could have been prevented, but I know I’d much rather live eating very happily and heartily and then keeling over. It most definitely beats the guilt and stress of stupid diets and dying anyway.

I’m having eggs for breakfast. And I’ll be cooking them in lamb fat.

Here’s yesterday’s (in my time zone, anyway) opinion piece by Gary Taubes: Diet Advice That Ignores Hunger where he discusses the recent “calorie for calorie” study that blew up just a little across the media.

Implicit in many discussions of how best to lose weight is the assumption that hunger, which is a consequence of caloric deprivation, is not an issue.

I’m pretty much living at work at the moment, so pre-prepared meals are crucial.

My daily dinner for this week consists of mixed green leaves, some red bell peppers, 3x meatballs (consisting only of mince, greek yogurt and a little butter), avocado and a dollop crème fraîche on top.

I can eat like this forever! 😀

Staple diet of awesomeness.

Staple diet of awesomeness.

The USA’s Food and Drug Administration has given all food manufacturers three years to deliver trans fatfree (i.e. all the products you get from making fat from vegetable oils ) products, as CNN reports.

Trans fats are also found in animal products such as cows’ milk, but in vastly smaller quantities than in partially hydrogenated vegetable fats.

The CNN report includes a great quote from Dr Steven Nissen (cardiovascular medicine, Cleveland Clinic):

“In many ways, trans fat is a real tragic story for the American diet,” Nissen said. “In the 1950s and ’60s, we mistakenly told Americans that butter and eggs were bad for them and pushed people to margarine, which is basically trans fat. What we’ve learned now is that saturated fat is relatively neutral – it is the trans fat that is really harmful and we had made the dietary situation worse.”

Yep.

Investigative science journalist and author Gary Taubes gives a lecture at Cornell on November 10th 2014.

There are numerous versions of this lecture on YouTube, but this one is the most recent and complete version I found.

The lecture might be too in depth for some watchers, but he really covers a lot of the issues out there concerning the Standard American Diet and the generally accepted obesity-energy paradigm (model).

Before you watch, you can ask yourself why you think people get fat. Take a few minutes to think about it, maybe even write down the logical steps a regular person should follow to make themselves put on weight.