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Need info on low-carb approach to heart disease, if possible in German

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Dad suffered a heart attack a few days ago and just received two stents. I know that his obesity and borderline diabetes have contributed as has a family history of heart disease. I did a lot of research online and found some good stuff by Dr. William Davis, the author of "Wheatbelly". I'm curious if anyone has used his "Track your plaque" program to manage heart disease or if there are any resources that do not include taking statins or similar drugs but dietary/lifestyle intervention including supplements.
Any help is appreciated.

Birgit

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOPINTOS 11/11/2012 5:08PM

    So sorry. I don't think I read that!

Thoughts and prayers with you and your family

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1CRAZYDOG 11/11/2012 10:29AM

    Sorry to hear about your Dad and hoping he has an uncomplicated recovery. Looks like you got some information re: German language sites, but I'll keep my eyes peeled!

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TINAJANE76 11/11/2012 9:31AM

    First of all, sorry to hear about your dad. My father also had a heart attack earlier this year and, although he's made some positive steps toward living a healthier lifestyle, I do often worry about his health and how he takes care of himself.

My German's a bit rusty but doing a quick search, I found that a site called gostoneage.com seems to have quite a bit of information in German about the Paleo lifestyle, some of which is connected to managing heart disease:

www.gostoneage.com/tag/herz
infarkt/

Also, if you do a search for 'Herzinfarkt und Paleo Dišten' lots of sites will pop up that might be helpful to you.

Good luck and best wishes for your dad's speedy recovery.


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RUSSELL_40 11/11/2012 9:18AM

    I have CHF, which means my heart muscle is weak, but I have enlarged blood vessels, with 0 plaque, so not sure if the benefits I have had apply to someone with plaque in their arteries. I take 13 pills a day besides eating low carb, which is down from 22 a day, and have just gotten off Lovastatin.

My diabetes hasn't been a problem for 30 months now after starting low carb. My last A1C was 5.1, without any meds. The amount of blood my heart pumps has tripled since 2002, and is now high enough that if I met my cardiologist today, she wouldn't put me on an ICD. Some of my pills are because of other pills, like potassium, since I take 3 Lasix pills, so 4 pills to get rid of water, plus the obligatory aspirin.

Concerning my heart I also take Spironolactone, Doxazosin Mesylate, Lisinopril, Digoxin, and the one they say has done the most to strengthen my heart.. Coreg. I also take Coumadin at night. Coreg, and Lisinopril 2X a day.

I will say that every test the have performed shows HUGE improvements, but not sure if it would reduce plaque, or prevent any more from developing. He isn't going to change if he doesn't want to though. You may want to ask this question on a heart Sparkteam, and see if someone has similar experiences.

Just recently I got off my Lovastatin, and gout medicine, because my numbers looked so good, especially my cholesterol numbers.

I hope they can figure something out, and his health improves.

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KANOE10 11/11/2012 9:13AM

    I am sorry to hear about your dad. I do not have any knowledge to help you. I hope you find some good resource to help you.

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KALIOPPE 11/11/2012 4:17AM

    Sorry, double post

Comment edited on: 11/11/2012 4:18:00 AM

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KALIOPPE 11/11/2012 4:16AM

    Birgit, sorry to hear about your dad. I will be looking out for any info online. My mother also suffers from heart disease and diabetes and had two strokes and one minor one in the last four years. She is on statins as well as other drugs, plus insulin. I hope one day to try to convince her to try reducing her wheat and sugar, which is as high as ever, ever after she's cuts all her 'unhealthy' fats. Sigh. Best of luck.

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What is ketosis and why I like it

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I want to start out by sharing a link that explains a common misconception about ketosis and keto-acidosis:
eatingacademy.com/nutrition/is-ketos
is-dangerous


Ketosis or keto-adaptation is not dangerous but very helpful. Ketones are what our brain and our muscles use for fuel when there is no glucose. Only when our carb intake goes under about 50 grams/day does our body start fueling significantly with ketones that are made from fat. This is the reason why people on low-carb (under 50 grams of carbs) diets can lose weight quickly and without hunger. Their body has learned that fuel comes from fat, either body fat or fat in the diet because there are not enough carbs to burn. The human body does need some glucose but it can manufacture the necessary glucose through gluco-neogenesis in the liver. Since gluconeogenesis will only happen when the glucose is needed this will not lead to excessively high sugar levels in the blood as happens when we eat high-carb foods which will then cause a rise in insulin. Insulin will lower the blood sugar level quickly, but the result is that the low blood sugar level will make us hungry for more carbs. By eating a low-carb diet, our body gets in the habit of burning ketones for fuel and blood sugar levels are much more stable. This is why people on ketogenic (very low-carb) diets can easily skip breakfast, exercise without fueling or even do some intermittent fasting without feeling hungry.
When people on ketogenic diets increase their carbs a little, to the level where they are still relatively low-carb, but not ketogenic, these benefits often go away.
This is what happened to me several times when I fell back into old habits of eating. The most recent one was using supplements that contained sugar when I felt sick, another was eating more fruit because we had it for free in your garden. At other times I really wanted to enjoy a piece of chocolate but low-carb chocolate is still hard to find and somewhat time-consuming to make, so the regular stuff put my carb levels over the limit. The level at which a person switches from primarily burning ketones to primarily burning sugar for energy varies a little bit. Some people will stay in ketosis with almost as much as 100 grams of carbs/day while others need to stay at 20 or 30 grams/day.
This is why the popular Atkins diet recommends starting at 20 grams of carbs/day for 2 weeks and then increasing gradually from there.
The only disadvantage could be that reducing the amount of carbs to 20 grams would eliminate not only fruit, but also dairy and some vegetables and these things have nutrients we may not want to miss. For this reason Dr. Atkins recommended that people take a supplement during the very low-carb induction phase of his diet.
At 50 grams of carbs/day I have a much wider choice of foods that fit in my eating plan. The only thing I eliminate completely are grains and beans and sugars, none of which I really miss. Nutrient-wise my diet is complete, allowing for all the essential nutrients in my diet on a daily basis. I have every intention to stay on this level of carbs for life because it is tasty and easy to maintain.
I want to finish with the words of two of the leading researchers in low-carb nutrition, Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney, who have this to say in their book: "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living":
This process of keto-adaptation is a powerful metabolic state because it means your cells have a sustained fuel supply thanks to a steady release of energy from body fat. (p. 39)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-LINDA_S 11/11/2012 7:59PM

    Thanks for clearing that up. I don't know why so many are afraid of ketosis.

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JAZZID 11/11/2012 4:25AM

    You are correct about the difference between ketosis and keto-acidosis. My son has Type I diabetes and if his blood glucose levels become extremely high he is at risk for developing ketones or keto-acidosis in his blood/urine which is very serious and in the past has resulted in him having to go to the hospital emergency and being administered IV fluids for hours to flush the ketones out of his system. I have to admit that I am one of those people who confused the the two until my son's endocrinologist explained the difference to me.

With the approval of my nutritionist, I am following the Primal/paleo lifestyle and eating low/lower carb. I like Atkins but don't like being in ketosis and I have found through trial and error that I don't have to be in ketosis in order to lose weight and reap the health benefits, i.e., lower LDL levels, cholesterol etc., of a low/lower carb diet. I cycle my carbs, lower on less active days, higher when I am more active, but my carb range varies from approximately 40 - 80, and I may possibly be in a mild ketogenic state on the low carb days. However, I have noticed that it takes me a few days to feel the full effect of being in ketosis so I can take advantage of cycling my carbs pretty low for a couple of days without the headaches and brain fog. This way I get to eat more fruit and some dairy (primal approved), I don't feel deprived, and I still lose weight. My nutritionist still advised me to supplement with a multi-vitamin on my lower carb days.

So far so good, eating this way, from October 15th, my starting weight was 164 and as of Saturday (Nov. 10th) I weighed in at 157.2. emoticon

Thanks for posting. Great informative blog. Glad you are feeling better too! emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/11/2012 4:28:04 AM

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NDTEACHER1 11/11/2012 12:04AM

    Nice job. Thanks for sharing.

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UMUCGRAD 11/10/2012 8:46PM

    Wow!
Thanks much.

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KICK-SS 11/10/2012 8:20PM

    I allow myself "up to" 50 grams carbs per day - no more... But that being said, I do also have to watch overlall calories...

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PJ2222 11/10/2012 7:47PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Back in Ketosis - quickly this time

Friday, November 09, 2012

It took only 24 hours this time, a sign that I had not overdone it too badly with the fruit carbs.
I can always tell that I'm back in ketosis by the fact that my weight suddenly drops, this time from 132.8 down to 131.2 this morning. As usual I had somewhat of a hard time to keep snacking down yesterday and ended up having a little bit more of the dark chocolate than planned. Eating lots of macadamia nuts, probably about half a cup, helped keep things under control.
My goal is now to stay in ketosis until at least Christmas and see my muscle mass improve and body fat go down. My next doctor's appointment is on Dec. 11 so I have 32 days left to make improvements. As always I will focus on what I do from day to day rather than the results to keep me motivated. Life is less hectic for the rest of the fall and winter and that should help a lot to fit more exercise into my schedule.

  
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RUSSELL_40 11/11/2012 8:59AM

    My doctor visit is 1 week prior to yours. I am in ketosis almost all the time, and it takes me about 24 hours, since I do not eat any fruit, and limit cheese to 2-4 ozs a week. Fructose, and Lactose are sugars. It has never taken me 2-3 days to reach ketosis, or have I ever suffered from carb flu.

Its always a war between diversity in your diet, and the benefits of lowering carbs even more. I know several people who don't eat any carbs at all, and feel great. I enjoy my vegetables too much though, and since I lose quickly, don't feel the need to go so low.

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GOPINTOS 11/10/2012 1:06PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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Melinda (gopintos)
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ADZY86 11/10/2012 12:26PM

    I'm also working on staying in ketosis til Christmas. We can do it! When I first set the goal, my thoughts were 'stay in ketosis til Christmas eve, and then on Christmas day you can eat whatever you want, and go back to low carbing on Boxing Day'. But the longer time passes, the more I'm looking up low(er) carb alternatives I can make on Christmas day. Oven roast vegetables, low carb cheesecake, there's loads I can do to prevent Christmas gain. Hmmm maybe I can stay in ketosis until New Year?! emoticon

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JSTETSER 11/10/2012 4:13AM

    I am going to look up ketosis, and learn something this morning. Thanks for the post.

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-LINDA_S 11/9/2012 3:50PM

    Good job! Don't know if I've ever really been in ketosis, but I'd like to see what would happen.

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KALIOPPE 11/9/2012 3:49PM

    Hey, we're sharing a goal! I too am trying to stay in ketosis until December. Here's to a good visit with your doctor and to getting more exercise in the next few weeks. emoticon

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ERIN1957 11/9/2012 12:38PM

    Good for you!
Keep up the dedication to your health.
Great job!

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Trying new things this coming winter

Friday, November 09, 2012

I like to try new things, new twists to an old way of eating, new forms of exercise, new hobbies and new goals. I'm in a time of transition at the moment. Part of it is the time of year, the end of fall and beginning of winter just around the corner. My daughter's swim season is coming to an end allowing me more time in the afternoon then I've had for several months. This is a good time to try new things and things that are seasonal.
As far as exercise I want to learn one completely new thing, snowshoeing. Last year we bought snow shoes but never had enough snow to try them.
I'm also going to work on my horseback riding, in particular bareback, which is great for improving posture, balance and core strength. I may replace running with swimming for the winter, hoping that I can transfer some of the things I've learned in other sports to learn faster. Maybe I'll learn a few new moves ice skating. I'm also still planning on building more upper body strength.
As far as my diet I am going to have to learn some new things as well. I have not gone through a winter eating low-carb yet so I have not had time to think through adjusting existing recipes to make them low-carb. Soups will have more fat instead of starches for thickening. I may experiment with veggie and meat lasagna to skip the pasta. Today we are invited to a pot-luck so I'll get to try out some new stuff. A chocolate cheesecake is going to be on the menu for dessert, if I have time maybe some low-carb cookies.
The greens in my fall garden under the greenhouse tunnel are getting close to being big enough to eat, I hope we will get some more mild temperatures in November to speed things up.
My biggest difficulty about winter is the cold in the morning. It will be interesting to see if ketosis is going to increase my body temperature which was usually under 97 degrees on waking, typical for hypothyroidism. Many of my other hypo symptoms disappeared once I was completely keto-adapted.
This is going to be a fun winter, I have so many things I want to do. Maybe there will even be time to just sit in a cozy chair and do some knitting while listening to older Jimmy Moore podcasts.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-LINDA_S 11/9/2012 3:54PM

    Oh! I forgot to check my fall garden the last few days! I need to see if the lettuce is ready to pick. I've read that even a low-carb diet will eventually affect metabolism adversely. Even Atkins admitted that.

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GOPINTOS 11/9/2012 12:07PM

    Love it! You shine a whole new light on winter!

While I am not crazy about the cold so much (or heat bills ha) I do enjoy the down time. Everything seems so peaceful & tranquil almost, a resting time before rejuvenation in the spring.

Snowshoeing and iceskating. Sounds fun! Last year was the first winter of our pond being full and the kids waited and waited for it to freeze over and it never did. We do have a geothermal that dumps in but that is deep enough that the top should still freeze. It just didnt get cold enough (which was easier on the heat bills haha)

Anyways, loved this blog. Have you tried bone broth? I was reading up on it and amazed at the benefits. I use it quite often for fasting or just cuz. The other day, I added it to my butternut squash soup. A-mazing! I make it much the same as I use to make stock, except for adding vinegar to break down the bones, & then cooking chicken bones for 24 hours (beef I would do longer but I havent made any yet) and then since the bones are so soft, I grind those along with the veggies. So it is nice and thick!! Too thick for DH. He won't touch it. It is a texture thing for him. It is a texture thing for me too, but in a good way. I feel more like I am eating soup when I have just the broth.

Ok, so anyways, enjoy your winter!!!!
Thanks for sharing!

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Melinda (gopintos)
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BRAVELUTE 11/9/2012 11:47AM

    Enjoy your wintery journey into the new and exciting!! Ketosis is something new to me, but it sounds like something is working for you!!

I'll be interested to see what kinds of thoughts you have as spring pops out of the ground!!

Isn't it a wonderful thing to be able to go on harvesting salad now? It brightens even the gloomiest of days.

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RUSSELL_40 11/9/2012 9:19AM

    Happy that you can enjoy low carb cookies, cheesecake. I can't eat anything like that.

I do cook my meat and vegetables in a cup of water, and it turns into a soupy mix. Adding a Tbsp of olive oil thickens it. Hopefully drinking the juice helps me get the nutrients..lol.

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ERIN1957 11/9/2012 7:45AM

    Love your plans!

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HEALTHY4ME 11/9/2012 7:14AM

    Love the enthusiasm, I am dreading winter cos my knee is so much worse, and I have very poor balance. But puppy will need to be walked, so will buy another pr of those trax things for your boots and head out. Hoping in my area the snow and ice stay away. Maybe by next winter I will have my knee fixed ( would rather it fixed itself but highly doubtful) and then I want to do snow shoeing too!
Great plans you have in store!!!


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Safe starches - not for most of us

Thursday, November 08, 2012

That is my conclusion after doing some additional research on Ron Rosedale's blog.
The reason is this:
While I believe that so-called "safe starches" are not as toxic as grains and beans and sugar, they will still raise insulin-levels and raised insulin levels always lead to fat storage and inhibit fat burning. Anyone who is overweight or obese or has a tendency to become overweight has probably been exposed to enough fructose and glucose from their diet (even if they eat low-carb now) that they are to some degree insulin-resistant and leptin-resistant. I had my personal example of this when I found out yesterday that my daughter's H A1c blood test came back at 5.7, right on the border to pre-diabetes. She has been eating no grains or beans and far less sugar than most kids her ago for the last 8 months and her weight is normal, her body fat percentage lower than average. But the occasional chocolate bar or larger serving of fruit or dairy must have been more than what her body needs.
Rosdale argues, convincingly, that there is a direct correlation between long life expectancy and low carbohydrate consumption.
The other disadvantage of consuming more than about 50-60 grams of carbs/day is that you lose the advantage of not feeling hungry or having any cravings for food, something that really helps with weight loss and weight maintenance.
So for anyone planning to experiment with adding safe starches to their plan I would suggest to have an H A1c test done to make sure that you are not in or very near the pre-diabetic or diabetic range.
If you are considering adding safe starches because you feel hungry this could be because your carb levels had not been low enough (under 50 grams/day or even lower for some) or your protein levels were too high and/or fat levels too low. It is also possible that someone is not feeling great on ultra low-carb because they are not fully keto-adapted, a process that can take between 2- 6 weeks, depending on the person.
I learned the hard way that every time I am out of ketosis (as I am at the moment) that even once I am back in ketosis it takes several weeks until I get all the benefits of increased energy. I'll really try to stick with it from now on, even if I get sick.
There are individual differences of course but I think they may not be as big as I used to think.
Here is Ron Rosdale's blog on this issue :
drrosedale.com/blog/2012/08/18/a-con
clusion-to-the-safe-starch-debate-by-a
nswering-four-questions/#axzz2Bb9URBRR

  
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RUSSELL_40 11/9/2012 9:11AM

    I agree Birgit, and am cutting protein a bit, and upping fat. I couldn't find the Rosedale diet book, but having it shipped to me.I can't go above 40 net carbs without hunger, and weight gain. I think safe starches is just another attempt to get people to do a "low carb" version that does not work. If enough people fail at low carb, the SAD doesn't look so sad ( pun ).

The other interesting part of yesterday's blog was Dr, Cate Shanahan's diet. She has her patients on a 30-70 total grams of carbohydrate diet. How many people, and what are the results? How long have they been eating this way? Wouldn't that be something to convince others to do a controlled study with the same parameters?



Comment edited on: 11/9/2012 9:12:14 AM

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ERIN1957 11/9/2012 7:05AM

    I so agree keeping carbs under 50-60 I believe is ideal long term.
I do not think once and awhile a bit higher isn't that harmful, depends on where the carbs come from.

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GOPINTOS 11/9/2012 12:56AM

    Very interesting take. I havent read Rosdale yet but I would agree that if you have an underlying health issue like pre-diabetes/diabetes, there's no such thing as safe starch.

However for those that are otherwise healthy and fat adapted, a starch like a potato is hard to beat. It's pretty paleo/primal if a person is into that.

If you are interested in reading about some experimenting around with it, nothing scientific though, there is a monster thread at MDA called Eat MOAR Taters, and another one just starting up that will probably become monster haha

Anyways, the first one is about a 90 page thread where we shared our experiences and there are pros and cons discussed. Sometimes civil, sometimes not so much but for the most part :) Again, it was not intended for those with health issues. Plain and simple, it is just a fat hack. A fat hack used by otherwise healthy individuals who experienced success with fat loss and satiety. :)

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EGALITAIRE 11/9/2012 12:54AM

    Thanks for posting Birgit - always interested in more good info

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