Fat of the Land

Doctor Does 180 on Fat

fried_eggs

After decades of stringently advising anyone who would listen to eat a low fat diet, British doctor and author, Michael Mosley, now says the medical community had it all wrong. (H/T Diet Doctor)

Milk, cheese, butter, cream – in fact all saturated fats – are bad for you. Or so I believed ever since my days as a medical student nearly 30 years ago.

During that time I assured friends and family that saturated fat would clog their arteries as surely as lard down a drain. So, too, would it make them pile on the pounds.

Recently, however, I have been forced to do a U-turn. It is time to apologise for all that useless advice I’ve been dishing out about fat.

Mosley details the huge impact that Dr. Ancel Keys had on dietary advice (infamous in the LCHF and Paleo communities) with his manipulated study data and campaigns to silence those who disagreed with him publicly. Mosley himself gave up or avoided red meat, butter, and full fat dairy products based on the bad information being disseminated by the medical community. That, plus regular exercise, led to a steady weight gain over the years…and becoming a borderline diabetic.

So to what conclusion has the good doctor come now?

Eggs are a prime example of how we got it wrong on fats. In the Eighties we were told they were cholesterol time bombs and were warned to eat no more than one a week. So I gave up eggs and tried to persuade my family to do likewise. What a mistake that was.

A study in the British Medical Journal in 2013 concluded: ‘Higher consumption of eggs is not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke.’

So eggs are back, and the protein means you’ll feel fuller for longer.

It’s always terrific to hear from a doctor who’s seen the nutritional light, so to speak. But readers in the extensive comment section under the original article do have a valid beef with Mosley. Take Alan from Newport, for example, who writes:

Why does he keep referring to “we”or “us” getting it wrong? It was him who was earning money from TV & books that got it wrong causing uncountable harm to people who followed his advice. What is he doing to put it right? Refund all the people who bought his books and whose health suffered as a consequence? No! He is trying to flog another book!

The man has a point.

Confessions of a Carb Junkie

Once a junkie, always a junkie they say. Whoever “they” are, they’re right. Time to confess that I fell off the wagon a couple of days ago.

I was shopping at the dollar store in town when out of the blue a strong desire for something sweet came over me. It’s not that this never happens, but neither has it been frequent since we went low carb nearly two years ago. On this particular day, however, I gave in to the desire and purchased candy.

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One 6-pack of mini candy bars later I was left with a much larger portion of regret than enjoyment. They tasted okay, but that’s the best I can say…and this disappointment actually overrode any urge the sugar might have prompted to crave more.

It took me a day to screw up the courage to confess my “transgression” to Brian; I place that word in quotes because we make a conscious effort not to fall into the trap of seeing what we eat as good or bad, but rather healthy or unhealthy. I encourage you to do the same…seeing it as a moral issue only adds to the psychological appeal of “being bad” or “cheating,” which takes no one in a positive direction.

And that, dear readers, is my confession. I hope it will provide someone with the encouragement to avoid a similar brief moment of pleasure that is far outweighed by everything it didn’t provide for me!

The Government in Your…SHOPPING CART?

Don’t ever be fooled into thinking your government has run out of ideas to thrust a nanny state on its subjects citizens.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is suggesting major changes to grocery stores to “nudge” Americans to purchase healthier foods when they shop.

*SNIP*

“Most Americans, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, do not purchase enough whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, and legumes, and purchase too many items with excess calories from fats and added sugars,” the report said.

Whole grains = carbs = glucose = insulin over-production = diabetes/metabolic syndrome = obesity = poor health and diseases of civilization…what could go wrong?

NannyObama

The USDA said the ideas are “intended to change the choice architecture of the food retail environment to make healthier choices more prominent,” which is in line with first lady Michelle Obama’s stated second term agenda to “impact the nature of food in grocery stores.”

Change the choice architecture?

Sounds like government-speak for this famous Ronald Reaan quote to me:

78-Year-Old Athlete Touts Ketogenic Diet

Jay Lehr Unicycle

Meet Ironman competitor Jay Lehr.

A 78-year-old man says he feels he’s found the diet version of the Fountain of Youth. It’s a high fat low carb diet featuring foods like eggs, butter and lard. And Jay Lehr believes that his ketogenic diet deserves the credit for his participation in Ironman competitions, reported the High Plains Journal on July 14.

“I’ve never been inside a regular doctor’s office,” boasted Lehr. “I have lived my entire life on high fat—dairy, eggs, butter and lard—which as you all know has not been the recommended diet for the last 50 years, and I’m going to convince all of you to help make it the recommended at least through the next generation will take us some time.”

A professional, Ph-D holding agriculturist, Lehr is on a mission to discredit the 30-something Food Pyramid (now known as MyPlate), claiming that the government’s nutrition policies have only harmed the American public by damaging their health.

He said he recognized many consumers fear fats based on “half of a century of a terrible diet based on government advice.” Lehr also highlighted the research done showing that using butter is healthier than using vegetable oils when cooking.

In championing high fat low carb diets, Lehr highlights the message from many health professionals recently about low-fat diets that are designed to control calories. They don’t work for weight loss.

Right on, Dr. Lehr!

Alchemy: Will Chocolate Cure What Ails You?

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate…if belly fat is what ails you, according to a new study.

A new study shows that enjoying dark chocolate leads to a reduction in abdominal size. Participants ate about 500 calories worth of dark chocolate per day.

*SNIP*

Fifteen women with NWO syndrome participated in the study, and for one week they received a standardized Italian Mediterranean diet without chocolate. After this phase, anthropometric measurements and immunological tests were conducted. Then all patients were placed on the same standardized Italian Mediterranean diet for seven days, but included 100 grams of dark chocolate. Participants ate about 1700 calories per day, but this wasn’t a diet plan because calories were adjusted to maintain body weight. The chocolate was divided into two doses. No alcohol or antioxidants were allowed. The chocolate product contained a total of 42 grams of fat and 32 grams of sugar.

Aah, alchemy rears its ugly head once again. The fact that the Mediterranean Diet on its own did nothing to address belly fat is much more informative than what occurred with the addition of dark chocolate. Alchemy is looking to one element (a food, a beverage, an herb — whatever) to solve your problem.

For starters, if you followed every piece of alchemy advice you could get you hands on — to cover all the bases, you see — you’d literally have to stay awake 24-7 just to take in all the different elements for optimum health.

But beyond that, I always go back to indigenous folks. No matter what part of the world they call home, as long as their diet remains unchanged by the introduction of a contemporary diet, they don’t get obese and they are not afflicted with the diseases of civilization like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

They don’t have to OD on grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice or lemon juice mixed with maple syrup. They don’t have to choose their food based on color. They don’t have to add cinnamon to everything they eat. And they don’t have to buy capsules filled with some herb that only grows in the mountains of Bolivia.

As a matter of fact, despite having very limited access to the doctors, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and “knowledge” we have here in first world countries, they avoid many of the health problems we face by simply continuing their traditional, local diets. Which tend to be high in fat and extremely low in carbohydrates. Ketogenic, even.

Sing it with me: ALCHEMY! What is it good for? HUH! Absolutely nothing.

Homemade Classic Ranch Dressing

Homemade Classic Ranch Dressing

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: About 3 cups

Homemade Classic Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar

1 1/2 cups olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried dill

1 tsp. dried parsley

1 tsp. dried chives

1 cup sour cream

Instructions

Combine eggs and lemon juice or vinegar in blender container. Put lid on and blend on high speed for one minute. Leaving blender running, remove cap from lid and drizzle olive oil into blender in a slow, steady stream. Blend for one additional minute. (Mayonnaise made)

Add salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, parsley, chives and sour cream. Replace lid and blend on high for two to three minutes, rocking blender gently, until well combined.

Transfer to desired container and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

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Neurologist Says Carbs Bad for Your Brain

carbs

Despite the screeched declaration that “Your brain needs carbs!!!” that I received from a nutritionist while in the hospital a couple of years back, Dr. David Perlmutter (author of Grain Brain) says the exact opposite may be true:

In recent years, many people have adopted a low-carbohydrate diet to help with weight loss or because they want to eat less gluten. But some new research shows there may be a connection between carbs and cognitive function. …Dr. Perlmutter talks about his book and the potential health benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet.

Perlmutter explains the connection between carbohydrates and inflammation:

Carbohydrate immediately induces [an] increase in inflammation and an increase in the production of chemicals that are called free radicals, which damage your protein, your fat, and even your DNA. So basically what we’re talking about here is preventing that very disease, Alzheimer’s, that people dread the most and for which there is no treatment.

He then elaborates on a resulting process called glycation, and why adequate fat consumption is required to combat the problem, not to mention preventing it in the first place.

When your blood sugar elevates, that blood sugar binds to proteins. It’s called glycation, and that leads to a huge increase in inflammation in the human body, and affects not only the brain, but every organ in a very detrimental way. Everybody’s [talking about] low fat, no fat, this and that, and that’s the worst thing for your body. Your brain is 60 percent fat; it’s built from the fats that you consume in your diet, and fat can reduce inflammation. Let me be clear about one thing though. Not all fats are good for you. When we talk about increasing you consumption of fats, we’re talking about olive oil, nuts, seeds, grass-fed beef, wild fish, coconut oil; the good fats.

I know he’s a neurologist and all but that nutritionist did screech at me with an impressive level of desperation. Not to mention the fact that she was trained to the requirements of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association), who met last year to decide to offer nutritional guidelines with no scientific backup because “it can’t hurt.” What could be more confidence-inspiring than that?

Call me crazy, but I’m thinking that a neurologist with scientific evidence.

Our Favorite Summer Beverage

Palmer 063014

If you’re not already acquainted, meet the Arnold Palmer. It’s a mixture of iced tea and lemonade preferred by the famous golfer. Here’s how I make it low carb-friendly…

With family roots in rural North Carolina, I have very strong opinions about iced tea. Naturally, it must be homemade and very strong. I use Luzianne’s iced tea blend but basically blow off their directions! Rather than using half hot and half cold water, I fill the pitcher with boiled water. I judge by the darkness of the tea as to when it’s finished, but I generally let mine steep for 20-30 minutes, rather than the 3-5 recommended on the box. For the purpose of using it to make Palmers, I stir in two packages of stevia after removing the tea bags, since I’m going to dilute it with lemonade.

MY ICED TEA TIPS: There are varying opinions about this, but I do not add ice to the warm pitcher of brewed tea — it can make the tea cloudy. Ditto for refrigerating it. I make the pitcher a couple of hours before I’m going to start using it, and just let the pitcher cool/come to room temperature.

As for the lemonade, I use the store-bought sugar-free mix for ease and convenience. I don’t find any discernible difference between Crystal Light and the store brand, so I save a little hard-earned moolah that way. We don’t go overboard with the artificial sweeteners, but do use them in beverages.

When ready for the refreshing deliciousness, I fill a tall glass (glass NOT plastic is important!) with ice, then add the tea and lemonade to your taste. I like a ratio of 2:1 tea to lemonade. Brian likes a slightly higher tea ratio.

Garnish with a slice of lemon, if desired, and a straw is highly recommended.

Enjoy!

(Also delicious: sugar-free peach drink instead of lemonade)