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Yesterday the press picked up on a new study highlighting yet again the benefits of following a low carb ketogenic diet.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/09/02/low-carb-reigns-over-low-fat-diet-for-weight-loss-heart-health/

For those well versed in low carb ketogenic diets there were simply no surprises So, why then do we find that SACN and other public bodies continue to recommend high carb diets and appear to ignore these studies which are so conclusive in their findings. Is this stupidity or malice or something else?

When you read the SACN Report on carbohydrates consumption and health the most obvious issue, apart from the clear conflicts of interest which we have all know about, is the fact that the Report does not deal with a proper definition of a low carbohydrate diet.  I suspect that this might be one of the problems which we currently face.

Low carbohydrate means many things to many people. For some it means eating less bread and for others it is first stage Atkins and of course they are worlds apart.  However there is one sure thing that a low carb diet is quite different from a ketogenic low carb diet.

Imagine how different the SACN report would have read if they had defined low carb and ketogenic low carb according to the Westman Feinman definition which was shared with me back in 2005.

Lower Carb – Anything less than 150grams per day – The average in take is close to 250g a day.

Low Carb – Less than 110grams per day – this is not going to trigger ketosis

Ketogenic Low Carb – Less than 60grams a day

We desperately need a definition along these lines so that when committees like SACN , in their ignorance,  decide to do a review of published studies on carbohydrate intake they can properly evaluate the different studies.

Unfortunately for the British public this was not done and if you then look at the “low carb” studies they reviewed it is easy to see how they would think that the benefits of low carb are not proven. Had they been forced to separate out the different standards they may have found their conclusions to be very different.

So what we need is a legal definition… but I would think that .. being a lawyer.

 

3 September 2014

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I have just done a piece on Statins which can be found on Healthinsightuk.org. I hope you enjoy another tale of “show me the money!”..please feel free to go to http://healthinsightuk.org/

What grinds me down is why , in the world of health, a declaration of interest seems to be a “get out of jail” card and appears to wipe the slate clean.

I simply can’t get my head around this at all.  Clearly we do want investment in drug discovery and health but we really need to ensure that those protecting the public interest are absolutely clean and free from dogma or rigged science. We need people who actually pride themselves on independence in every sense of the word.  We need those entrusted with our health choices to come with ” clean hands” . This is a super phrase that came from the old and now defunct Court of Equity, but the principals still apply in law.

If we had this introduced almost all those sitting on SACN would be removed and it appears that many of those sitting on  NICE committees would change.

There is more to come on conflicts of interest ……………..

 

 

 

24 July 2014

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Today NICE proudly announced that it have come up with a really good idea on how to help manage the diabetes crises in the UK and is proposing that we extend bariatric surgery. Well that is about as imaginative as a cold shower. To be fair Mark Baker did say that the first solution must be diet and exercise but didn’t go on to comment why that had failed so miserably. Of course the journalist on the BBC didn’t ask that question so why would Mark Baker bother to raise this whole issue?

And it is this lack on intellectual engagement by journalists and doctors (other than those like Aseem Mulholtra and a few others) into the issue of diet and exercise which confounds me. If something is not working, and the message of diet and exercise, which has been out there loudly for over 15 years, is not working, you have to ask why and accept that you may need to change your position.

There are numerous reasons why the current message of diet and exercise cannot overcome the current obesity and diabetes challenge and whilst many want to blame the lazy British public, the reality is that this solution is  NOT WORKING. Period. So when something is not working and it hasn’t been working for 15 years do you keep doing it again and again or do you do something different. As Einstein says – madness is doing the same thing again and again but expecting a different outcome.

And is the answer paying for more bariatric operations or is there another alternative? When you look at diabetes it is hard to believe that most intelligent people would not think that the obvious diet to recommend to a sufferer is a low starch low sugar diet rather than bariatric surgery.

So for all the SACN members and all the dieticians busy telling those with diabetics to eat more low fat starch let us just remind ourselves again what diabetes is.

The term “diabetes mellitus” describes a metabolic disorder of multiple aetiology characterized by chronic hyperglycaemia with disturbances of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. The effects of diabetes mellitus include long–term damage, dysfunction and failure of various organs (WHO 1999). 

The following is from ‘Biochemistry’ by Berg, Tymoczko & Stryer:

“The hallmark of type2 diabetes is insulin resistance. The beta cells of the pancreas secrete normal or even greater-than-normal amounts of insulin, but the tissues do not respond to the hormone despite the fact that the insulin receptor is functional”

And then let us remind ourselves of the foods that trigger the release of insulin…starch ( yes even the brown stuff) and sugar.  And so diabetes is a condition that will be aggravated by the intake of sugar and starch. Can humans live without sugar and starch? Yes they can. So why tell them to base their diet on these foods?

So I have this really novel idea…We suggest  an alternative to the low fat, low calorie option currently recommended by the BDA and the NHS. We suggest a low sugar low starch diet. Risks nil – likely positive outcome high and I have attached a reference to a recent study which support this view. ( Desperate GPs trying to find a way of helping their patients notwithstanding the BDA.)

It will be cheaper than £15,000 per OP and may prove itself to be a very effective way of managing diabetes without a waiting list of a doctor’s referral.

low carbohydrate diet to achieve weight loss and improve HbA1c in type two diabetes …Unwin Practical Diabetes VOL 31 NO2

11 July 2014

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Is it not hilarious (well would be if it was a black comedy fictional film) that we have a Sugar Reduction Summit today and the BDA are tweeting that sugar intake is not associated with insulin resistance where there is no weight gain. Lordy lord.

Sugar does NOT cause insulin resistance independent of weight gain: Luc Tappy Lausanne Uni, Switzerland #sugarsummit – STEVEN JENKINS

Frankly I think this has to be the BDAs finest hour.

This shows what a god awful mess we are in.  To make this statement is so misleading and so irrelevant it is deeply worrying. Or perhaps the BDA is getting money from the sugar lobby.

I would recommend that all diabetics (type 2) consider starting a legal action against the BDA for the advice they have been given over the past30 years . The loss suffered is the loss of eyesight, loss of limbs and generally a rotten old time.

Email Hannah@bigfatlies.co.uk if you fancy a punt.

9 July 2014

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Last week the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition announced their draft findings on their carbohydrate review which they have been working on for several years.  As expected they continue to believe that science supports the EATWELL plate with the small adjustment that we reduce sugar consumption by 5% which sounds great but of course is actually nonsense.

Even though I clearly support less sugar the whole point is that if you take sugar out and continue to believe that starch is fine you have made no difference at all because notwithstanding protestations to the contrary by dieticians, starch is simply sugar that doesn’t rot your teeth.  Even a mere lawyer can work that out.

But putting aside my strong views on starch the approach taken by SACN to sugar is still remarkable.  Over 10 years ago when I first read about human biochemistry I did not need a degree in dietetics or nutrition to know that sugar is pretty lethal and it also didn’t take a degree to work out that fruit juice is sugar mixed with water. As a mere lawyer I did not have any difficulty working out that vegetables ( like broccoli and cabbage) are very different  from grapes or apples or oranges. It really didn’t take a great deal of concentration to understand the for vitamins and minerals you are best eating protein fats and vegetables rather than fruit .  So why should we , the British public continue to be told what to eat by people like Susan Jebb who in the guardian  said , just last week

“Fruit juice isn’t the same as intact fruit and it has as much sugar as many classical sugar drinks,”

Well, ,oh my lord Susan. Brain of Britain. This woman is a so called expert in nutrition and dietetics and it has taken her the past 15 years of wittering on about 5 a day to work out that fruit juice is not fruit. When do you think she will then work out that most fruit is actually just sugar as the fibre content is so low it is meaningless for people struggling to lose fat?

If Susan was a lawyer and she gave this quality of advice I can honestly say she would have been sued for negligence a thousand times.  The fact that the following organisations actually listen to this woman is deeply worrying.

NHS

BBC

Diabetes UK

British Heart Foundation UK

Until we have the same level of responsibly and liability associated with dietary advice as we do have in the real professions we will continue to have an obese and diabetic nation listening to this type of nonsense.

 

30 June 2014

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There has been  a lot of coverage on low carb and low fat diets recently and on any one day we are being told that low fat will make you fat and low carb will give you a heart attack or at very least raise your chances of getting a heart attack. Ofcourse all these articles are at one level nonsense. The news article, this week,  based on the BMJ published study didnt tell anyone that the whole study was based on very poor evidence and was only a statistical study  so about as much use as a blow to the head with a lead mallet unless you transfer that into clincial trials.

So the science is confusing and them made even more confusing by the press who want great headlines and sell copy…All well and good but we , as a nation, are getting fatter and fatter. The simple answer is to blame food companies or greed but as the experts know the problem is far more complex than these knee jerk reactions by thin people who would be thin whatever they did.

The current and continuting response by government to all the evidence is to treat us all alike which is the biggest piece of nonsense ever.  So an obese diabetic is being told to eat in the same way as my slim and very fit 17 year old son who works out in the gym three or four times a week.  The lady who is a stone overweight is being told that she needs the same diet as the man who works 8 hours in the building site but just a little less!

We are all different and there is no diet that will suit all of us all the time. Indeed just to confuse things we know that we may need to change from one diet to another diet at different stages of our life to maximise our health and therefore what worked at 20 may not work at 40 or 50.

So where should we start. Should you go low fat low carb or low calorie or just not care?

To be honest the journey of finding the right diet for the individual is hard.

I would recommend the following start position if you are struggling with your weight and have been for years.  Firstly think carefully about whether you want to lose weight for now or for life. Then and only then decide on what you want to do. The options are very different if you want a complete change that will last.

Short term quick change can be delivered with the promise of eating less and that can be a lot less or a little less. The problem for sustainability with eating less is the natural decline of the metabolic rate. This is simply the rate at which your body uses calories and as you limit your food intake your body will over time limit its calorie burn. The body is not stupid. If you want to use eating less as a long term means of losing weight for life then you must do the following

Eat less and less – you must keep reducing your calorie intake OR

You must somehow preserve your metabolic rate with the less calories and that can only be done in the Gym with heavy weights. You must also keep your levels of protein high to preserve muscle mass which is one of the keys to retaining metabolic rate. When you starve yourself by eating less your body will first turn to muscle as an energy source and this will eat into your metabolic rate.

 

The other choice is to simply cut out starch and sugar. That is not cutting out green leafy vegetables or nuts or seeds. So this is sometimes called the low carb option but for many they confuse that with not eating green vegetables ….The brilliance of this method of eating is that your calories stay sensible and you eat healthy portions of protein. You are just cutting out the unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients which have e no nutritional benefits other than quick and cheap energy. Because you are not starving yourself you will not lose metabolic rate and you will actually preserve muscle.

It is really not complex but you do need to be brave because if you read the nonsense in the papers ( as presented by the journalists) you would think that you would be killing yourself.

 

 

30 June 2012

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Last week there was an excellent article written by William Leith in The Sunday Telegraph about the growing use of sugar in our diet that most consumers were not aware of.  He rightly points out that bread and sausages and many other processed foods are being stuffed with sugar for taste and as a cheap filler. To add insult the food industry is also devleoping fruit that is sweeter and is busy pushing sugar in numerous forms on all of us and disguising it as a health product. We have all seen earnest young mums offering thier children dried fruit products as alternative for sweets not realising that sugar is sugar and whilst there may be some fibre in the dried fruit – the effect on taste buds and blood sugar is not that different.

William also focused on fructose and how the body metabolises this type of sugar and the many and varied side affects of fructose on the body which positively encourage diabetes. However what he did not write about is the poison in our thinking about fructose.  Fructose is used by many food companies as a way of making things sweet and indeed some food companies positively believe it is a good replacement to sugar. The reason for this is based on the glyceamic index (GI)of foods and fructose has a far lower GI rating than its well known brother sugar.  For this reason some so called health companies have been busy using fructose in abundance in the belief that a low GI count will mean that it is healthy.

Fructose is low GI but is definitely not healthy and should be avoided unless you are eating it as part of whole fruit and even then too much fruit is not great for a vast amount of the population.

Thank you William for writing such a great article and thank you Dr Rober Lustig who is the anti sugar campaigner who stimulated William into writing the article.

10 April 2012

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Just recently a paper was published in Circulation Research which is a publication put together by the American Heart Association .  What is really fascinating is how it was not picked up by the UK press at all.  So while we were being bombarded with a lot of noise about a large study about processed meats which was based on a ” health questionnaire ” another study showing that replacing carbohydrate with fat was not even mentioned. This study was not based on health questionnaires but clinical trials and so was a far more robust piece of work.  Again this shows the fascination the press in the UK have for these large but somewhat inaccurate studies known as epidemilogoical studies. The numbers are always impressive but what everyone seems to miss is the fact that they are not clinical trials in any sense of the word.

I hope that a few people who are really interested in understand human metabolism will take the trouble to read this study and understand that fat is not bad and indeed fats may be the very food that protect our heart.

17 March 2012

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When I first discovered the brilliance of low carb I was 10 years younger and a full time lawyer. My decision to go low carb for life came after a long period of reading about the history of the human diet as well as the studies being published illustrating the benefits in clinical trials.  We were evolved to eat low carb, high protein and the clinical trials constantly support this position.

Once I made the change I never looked back and whilst for some, the reason to go low carb is purely weight loss, for me it was general health. For years I believed that others in the world of health would see the same evidence that was so obvious to a lawyer but it seemed that I was a loan voice in a noisy market of low fat and high carb advocates.  Indeed the only people that seemed to share my understanding of human nutrition and food metabolism were either very specialist doctors in the US and the wonderful Dr John Briffa in the UK.

True low carb is really eating as a caveman which means that we should only eat natural foods and that is why I set up golower so that any low carbers or even non low carbers could eat snacks and food that lived up to the true principals of low carb eating. Whilst it does take years to develop products with such strict nutritional guidelines it is worth it as there is nothing more important than our bodies and our health , both inside and out.

Now 10 years on I am thrilled to see that Joanna Blythman , the very well respected food journalist, has written a great book on the subject called What to Eat. For me this is a brilliant break through and I do hope many more people will be open to the fantastic world of low carb which has been  seen as unhealthy or faddish. This is a real life changing diet and not only does it bring great changes to your body shape it actually gives you great health inside from lowering your blood pressure to reducing your bad cholesterol.

Thank you Joanna for having the balls to write this book.

11 March 2012

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We are all told that starch is essential for human life and indeed we have a whole food industry working towards starch being used in almost everything we eat. It is hard to buy anything that hasn’t been bulked up with starch.
Starch is fantastic for bulking up profit as it is cheap to produce but you can add on a massive margin to the consumer who has been told by the health industry that starch is essential to human life. Of course what the public aren’t told is that the studies which apparently show that starch is essential for human life are being funded by the starch companies.
Now what I can’t understand is why the nutrition profession do not make the public aware of the most basic fact of all which is that there are NO ESSENTIAL CARBS required for human life. We have essential amino acids – that is protein and we have essentially fatty acids which are fats and we have essential vitamins and minerals most of which are readily available in protein and fats. Having said that it is true that within the carbohydrate group we have leafy green vegetables which have lots of essential nutrients as do nuts seeds and some fruit.
So is it any wonder that we have health problems when the main constituent part of our diet today is based on the least essential food there is…otherwise known as STARCH. It is also not surprising to any fan of the hunter gatherer diet otherwise known as the Palaeolithic diet that guess what – if you cut out this totally unessential food you may actually improve your chances of either avoiding or minimising the risk of cancer.
Anyone that has any knowledge of early man (up till just 150,000 years ago) knows that cancer was not apparent. So to anyone with this knowledge knows that the recent study coming out of Canada showing that cancer growth can be stopped on a low carb high protein diet is not that ground breaking.
Man is quite happy living off ketones instead of glucose and what is not surprising is that certain cancer cells can only live of glucose which is the modern fuel of man. Cancer is a modern disease and will be linked to the way we live our lives today including the food we eat.
No of course the doubters out there will wave their finger at me and say “ what about all those studies showing that eating meat gives you bowel cancer ….etc. “.
Well yet again it is the food industry selling you short. Those studies are not clinical studies which mean they are making assumptions based on stats. It is true that a lot of people who eat a lot of meat will also be eating a lot of crap with their meat which is not the low carb way. Once you add in the low carb element the risk of meat – disappears.
Sad but true.
So for all you out there worrying about diabetes or cancer…go low carb and take control of your body the natural way.
The study will appear in the July issue of Cancer Research.

29 June 2011

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