Category Archives: diet

Exercise is Good, But not for Weight Loss

The old myth that you can exercise your way out of excess fat has finally bit the dust since you would have to run like a demon all day to burn off a cheeseburger. For example, all things being equal, if you are lean, a runner or any do any serious form of exercise regularly–especially if you are female–and continue the same eating habits, most people will begin to gain weight with age doing nothing different but getting older. That said, we still need exercise for strong bones, a sharp brain, and over all better physical health. So get out and walk, do some weights 1-2 times a week, do any exercise you like, and you most likely will want to be more thoughtful about the food you eat– and you might get a little help on the weight front, after all.

Yours on the move,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

More to read on the topic:

Exercise Benefits and Weight Loss

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1914974,00.html

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/AN01619

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/dieting-vs-exercise-for-weight-loss/

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/is-30-minutes-of-daily-exercise-a-sweet-spot-for-weight-loss/

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/the-appetite-workout/

http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/exandwtloss.html

Low Carb-Paleo-Primal Bump

I have written on this topic before, but with some amendments, I offer it again, since there are still many people trying to learn about this new low carb/paleo/primal way of eating.

No doubt some people may not be aware of or into the whole low carb/paleo/primal way of eating, meaning eating foods more like our prehistoric ancestors, eating foods we evolved to eat; simple clean diets with grass fed meats if possible, some roots and berries equivalents, and very few if any modern processed foods.

 Also, some people may not be aware that the old demonizing of fat is passe’ and that recent studies show that low-fat diets have run parallel to the increased fattening in the population–not surprisingly all low-fat processed foods have increased or added sugars and starches. Science reporter Gary Taubes does the best job of showing why low fat dieting is unnatural and unhealthy for humans.

There are now studies coming out with increasing frequency showing that lowering carbs to healthy  ones only, those non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits, does the best to improve all the significant numbers like blood sugar, cholesterol, etc.  Protein should be moderate, with adequate fats added to provide satiety.

High or higher fat is satisfying, and in fact winds up being less fattening than the average western diet which is heavy on fast-foods or prepared/frozen foods, foods which use poor quality fats to make matters worse. Our bodies were meant to use fat for all of the major functions, and used in place of sugar-starches-artificial sweeteners, high-fat low carb winds up being a much healthier way to eat.

Don’t be afraid of any fats except major vegetable oils like corn, soybean, cottonseed, and use olive and safflower oils, along with nut or seed oils from walnut, macadamia, grapeseed for salad or cold uses , along with butter, lard, and meat fats for cooking. Foods taste much better, and your hair, skin, nails, teeth really show the difference.

I avoid over-using cheese, but do enjoy brie, cheddar, and mostly goat cheese, several times a week.

Fats of course can be overused if there is still much carbohydrate present in the diet, so be aware of that for the combination of carbohydrates and fats is fattening.

Lastly this type of diet encourages preparing our own meals at home, which is less expensive, rarely more time consuming, and by far healthier. I check my blood sugar every morning while still in the fasted state, and also weigh myself then; if I have eaten out  the night before (and I always eat low carb) I will still see a big bump in both blood sugar and weight from all the salt and hidden carbs which frequently can be in the salt and other seasonings. Eating out also presents temptations we usually avoid at home.

We have half a century of bad information to overcome if we as a nation expect to curtail the rising obesity problem, and reclaiming our health.

Yours in learning,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Low Blood Sugar May Protect Memory

This article has some good insights about the problems with elevated blood sugar, which is sadly rampant these days.

Aging Well: Keeping Blood Sugar Low May Protect Memory

by Allison Aubrey, NPR

October 25, 2013

There’s a growing body of evidence linking elevated blood sugar to memory problems. For instance, earlier this year, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that higher glucose may be a risk factor for dementia, even among people without type 2 diabetes.

So the question is, at what point does the risk of cognitive decline set in?

Or in other words, should we be aware of creeping blood sugar, even before it gets to levels that doctors call pre-diabetes?

Well, researchers, writing this week in the journal Neurology, have some new data that suggest that even modest increases in blood sugar among people in their 50s, 60s and 70s can have a negative influence on memory.

The study included 141 healthy older people141 healthy older people141 healthy older people, all of whom had blood sugar in the normal range. All of the participants were given recall tests where they were read a list of 15 words and then asked to repeat back as many as they could remember.

The researchers found that if a person’s hemoglobin A1C (the AIC test is a common blood test that reflects a person’s average blood sugar level over a two-to-three month period) went from 5 percent, which is in the normal range, up to 5.6 percent, which is edging closer to what doctors classify as pre-diabetes, this was associated with recalling fewer words.

This association suggests the effect isn’t huge. But researchers says it’s significant.

So, what’s actually happening in the brain when blood sugar levels are chronically elevated?

Study author Agnes Floel of Charite University Medicine in Berlin says there may be a couple of things at play. It’s possible that blood vessel effects can damage memory. “Elevated blood sugar levels damage small and large vessels in the brain, leading to decreased blood and nutrient flow to brain cells,” explains Floel.

Another explanation: Elevated blood sugar “may impair the functioning of brain areas like the hippocampus, a structure particularly relevant for memory,” Floel says.

“When you’re making a decision or trying to retrieve [information from your memory], the hippocampus requires a lot of glucose,” explains Gail Musen of the Joslin Diabetes Center.

But when glucose levels rise in the body, it may lead to a disruption in the transport of glucose through the blood-brain barrier to the hippocampus. And this may impact the integrity of the hippocampus, according to the findings of the new study.

So it seems that when blood sugar in the body rises, it may be “more difficult to get that glucose to the hippocampus,” Musen explains.

We should point out that it’s possible for blood sugar to go dangerously low, a condition known ashypoglycemia. This is most commonly an issue for people being treated for diabetes with insulin.

So, what can we do to help control blood sugar and keep it in the healthy range?

What we eat is important. “Consuming a diet rich in fiber, vegetables, fruit, fish, and whole-grain products” is recommended, Floel wrote to us in an email.

And there’s exercise too: “Exercising regularly is absolutely associated with lower blood sugars, on average, and it’s also associated with brain health,” says Paul Crane of the University of Washington.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/features/npr.php?id=240784956

Ye Olde Holidays-Again

We have officially entered the high holiday season in the U.S.A, and the west in general.; with Halloween, Thanksgiving Day, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Day. Holidays mean food, presents, food, alcohol, food, discomfort, food, resolutions; or this has been the pattern in my past. Nowadays I am more into a healthy defensive mode, and think about foods I can make that will allow my spouse and I to join in the general celebrations, while we keep in mind that there are pitfalls lining the holiday pathway. I know my concerns, and I suspect you know yours. There is one particular brand of fruit cake I always had at Christmas, though I doubt now I would really like it all that much, especially since one slice has more carbs than I eat in a month now–and I never ate just one slice.

I have been making some things we like a lot getting ready for our upcoming Thanksgiving. I made a sugar-free cranberry sauce, and a cranberry relish; these freeze well, and this is the rare time in the year that I can find organic cranberries, so it’s stock up time.  I have made and bought some very low carb bread which will be part of a stuffing and a bread pudding, both helping to keep to my new ketogenic diet.  Turkey is a must, since I love it fresh roasted and in all the many ways it can be used as left overs, plus those bones make up several pints of healthy bone broth.  Celery, turnip, kohlrabi, onion, get roasted and used in small amounts, but they keep well.

For dessert I have a wonderful pumpkin chiffon pie recipe I make with no sugar, only a few stevia drops, and a chocolate mousse, my maple walnut butter treats, all with the same stevia treatment; along with flax crackers and a plethora of incredible cheeses for starters. So we are set to have a good time. I find people enjoy what we bring to the gatherings as much as the SAD foods, and it takes us out of the idea that we are deprived, since clearly we are not with this bit of planning.

Festivals and celebrations are inextricably linked with food, but food should not dominate our lives; still, for those of us who are sugaraholics, there must be attention paid to the holiday and other celebration pitfalls. We have no need at all, or excuse, to give in to the treats if we have our own safe and delicious alternatives.

Yours in celebration,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

The Kraken aka Sugar Beast

The deep brain desire for sugar does not ever entirely go away, though it can be, as it were, caged by denial of sugar-starch-artificial sweeteners. I am a writer who likes analogy, to have concrete mental images of those more abstract issues. For me, the Clash of the Titans movie, the first one I saw in 1981, had the beast, the Kraken, caged deep in the ocean by Poseidon who controlled it.  This was very powerful imagery;  as indeed all the Greek mythological gods and creatures were meant to  be.

As I struggled with a growing problem of cravings for carbohydrates, those urges/cravings were to me like the Kraken; if I could keep the beast caged, then I would be fine. Admittedly, it took me a while to figure out how to permanently lock the beast deep in my limbic brain. For me that is complete abstinence from modern sugars-starches, and all artificial sweeteners save a small amount of stevia.

Like the mythological Kraken, this is no beast to toy with; either it is caged, or it is running rampant over the landscape of my brain. For me it is extremely destructive on several levels, not the least of which is weight gain. Indeed, many people suffer from mental health issues that seem to miraculously go away once they go on a ketogenic or  very low carbohydrate paleo-type food plan.

So, if you are  also in the throes of the Kraken, be assured you, too, can cage the beast; but, beware, open the cage a little and it will come roaring to the surface once again, more powerful than ever.

Yours in being in control,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Research: Diet and Insect Behavior

I read this some months back, kept forgetting to post, but this research gives an indication that behavior is in part driven by dietary consumption. Who knows, maybe that’s why our politicians can’t seem to get any work done–they need to get off carbs.

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/06/following-the-swarm/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=fb-wall

Keto is Everywhere!

Many of us hflc types have also moved to a pure ketogenic program. I am surprised by how much is out there in the web universe compared with just a few years ago. I just discovered reddit, which has a sizeable keto community. I am still trying to figure it out.  I’ve found some interesting blogs there, like cavemanketo.com, among others.   I have no doubt there are more of these new social media sites, but I am slow to learn this kind of stuff.  I would love to learn more about them.

Information is power.

Yours in discovery,

Nan aka Sugarbaby