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How low can I push the carbs and enjoy myself? Experimenting

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ok, it's not a scientific experiment. But I plan on tracking what I eat in blog posts to have a comparison.
I need to, because after eating a lot more homegrown organic and tasty fruit this summer and fall my A1c level is up to 6.1, the highest recorded level I have had. I say highest recorded because I am quite certain by now that I was in the diabetic range before going low-carb.
My A1c level was at 5.9 after half a year on a mostly ketogenic diet last year and I had not had it checked for over 5 years while I was still on a high-carb whole-grain diet.
The interesting thing is that I have actually gained some muscle mass and lost some body fat in the last two months to where my body fat % is under 20% for the first time.


It also confirms again that DIABETES/METABOLIC SYNDROME CAUSES OBESITY, rather than, what many people believe, that OBESITY CAUSES DIABETES/METABOLIC SYNDROME.

The importance of this can not be overstated in my opinion. Only blood sugar testing, ideally as an A1c test, even for slim people, even for young people, will catch insulin-resistance early enough to prevent a host of health problems down the road before a person's metabolism is permanently damaged.
The fact that eating fruit alone will get my blood sugars up too much, while avoiding processed foods, grains, legumes and sugar is most likely a sign that my metabolism has been damaged irreversibly to some degree. At least that's my doctor's opinion, and she has much experience with bariatric medicine and with counseling people in a low-carb lifestyle.

But this is what I need to find out for myself: If I eat a very low-carb diet as long as I am comfortable, maybe forever, will my body's insulin sensitivity improve? In some people it does. Age and previous sugar/carb abuse may be issues here.
In any case, I will give it my best shot as of today. All the homegrown pears are used up so the biggest tempation is now out of the house.
I will not "count carbs", but will attempt to eat the least carbs that I'm comfortable with. As always on low-carb, I will not make any attempts to limit my calorie intake, regardless of how high it goes.
This morning starts with a cup of decaf and 1/4 cup of heavy cream.
Daily reports of my eating and exercise patterns will follow.
If I can knock down that A1c below 5.7 (normal level) by the end of the year I will be very happy. But A1c changes slowly in most people. Even a reduction would be great news, since any thing from 5.7 and up will damage tissues all over the body.
I have started noticing subtle changes in my memory function lately, I wonder what all effects I have NOT noticed.
If reading this makes you concerned about your own health, maybe it should.
Check out low-carb eating in the form of paleo/low-carb/Atkins and decide if you want to look into it.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JSTETSER 10/27/2013 6:10AM

    We will be watching. I hope that you get some good results.

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CINDYTW 10/25/2013 11:39PM

  I know how that seasonal fruit can be! I love it!! I was not able to do low carb over the summer because it was just too good! Now all the fresh local stuff is dwindling so I am planning on giving it another try. I look forward to your blogs!

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DOVESEYES 10/25/2013 10:47PM

    Interesting thanks for this.

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HOUNDLOVER1 10/25/2013 8:20PM

you are correct. The question is not whether fruit raises blood sugar but more how quickly it raises blood sugar and how much. My understanding is that fiber slows down the absorption of sugar from the gut and therefore there should be less of a spike in insulin and possibly less total absorption of sugar, but there seem to be some individual differences between people.
I appreciate your careful reading which was definitely more careful than my writing today. Must be those high levels of blood sugar interfering with my brain function. Well, that's about to change. emoticon

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PASTAFARIAN 10/25/2013 6:49PM

    Thanks, I understand the sentence now but now your sentence implies fruit consumption should not raise blood sugar. Huh? Of course fruit consumption should raise blood sugar! You must mean that it is elevated too high? Or for too long? Or not going down at all? Or something else? You refer back to your doctor telling you this so I'm thinking your doctor either isn't explaining something clearly or fully (or you're just typing too fast again :-)

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PASTAFARIAN 10/25/2013 4:46PM

    I'm trying to understand your sentence:

"The fact that eating fruit while avoiding processed foods, grains, legumes and sugar is most likely a sign that my metabolism has been damaged irreversibly to some degree, at least in my doctor's opinion, and she has much experience with bariatric medicine and with counseling people in a low-carb lifestyle."

Sounds like you accidentally omitted part of the sentence, no?

BTW, you mention that you're eating a lot of fruit. As I understand it, fruit is essentially simple sugars (albeit with a lot of fiber). In comparison, vegetables are a much better form of complex carbs, at least as far as avoiding blood sugar spikes.Why not just cut all that fruit out and leave the other complex carbs in your diet? (This is what I do - by calories, I probably eat 20:1 veg:fruit.)

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WOUBBIE 10/25/2013 2:10PM

    Looking forward to seeing your progress and results!

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SEEINGCLEARLY53 10/25/2013 1:35PM


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ERIN1957 10/25/2013 1:10PM

    I have had to add carbs back, but in the form of greens and veggies, very limited fruit and I mean very. Of course zero grains and that includes even grasses (rice) too.
I am though not in ketosis at this present time.
I felt really awful there for awhile when I was eating over or around 70% F, 10%C and 20%P. Now that I have lowered fat into the 50% and added back the greens and veggies(no tubers at all or starchies) I bounced back after a week and feel the best I have felt in a very long time...carbs 30% protein 20% give or take a point one way or the other. Holding my breath, hoping it last.

Birgit, do you believe that individual circumstances and conditions, whether it be damage or generics can determine our own level of fat, carbs and proteins that each of us require for our own optimal health, (include in this; size, age, history blah, blah, blah)?

My fear would be conversion from; fat burning to sugar burning as well as not benefiting from a ketone state for mental clarity and brain health. So what are the damages doing this and what does one do if they can not drop the carbs lower without adverse affects? Or are there even any? Dr. Wahls protocol is very similar with what I am doing , gosh I wish her new book was out.
Dr. Perlmutter in his book doesn't talk about this exactly or toss out %.
I truly can not eat and feel well like Jimmy and so many others. I tried for many weeks and at first felt great and then trying hard to get the fat higher I started feeling terrible. My numbers went south and in a real bad way. I am good today. Numbers are back being good for me and in fact some are even better.

I would love your opinion.
Sorry I got so wordy and have taken up your time. But I trust you and as well your opinion. I would think maybe others would like to know your opinion on all of this as well. Blog away as I know I will be watching, thinking and learning. I love it when people take their health so serious that they look at all the options and find out what is best for them. We are all different and to see modern medicine opening them selves up, to all of these realization of truth unblemished, is really amazing. Thanks Birgit!

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NOWYOUDIDIT 10/25/2013 12:22PM

    Amen! emoticon emoticon

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DRTOVAH 10/25/2013 12:21PM

  good luck, hope your health improves.

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DDT may be a factor in obesity - Epigenetics at work

Friday, October 25, 2013

This is an article published in the LA Times:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOVESEYES 10/25/2013 10:47PM

    Thanks for this.

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WOUBBIE 10/25/2013 2:27PM


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NKING1982 10/25/2013 9:53AM

    Thanks for sharing

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Beans and other legumes - are they healthy?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Legumes come in different forms. There are many kinds of beans, peas, peanuts, soybeans and lentils and for a long time all of them were known for being high in protein, minerals and fiber and therefore healthy while fairly low-priced. But legumes may indeed have a number of disadvantages and may be downright dangerous for some people to consume.
Rather than writing a very long blog on this topic I decided to provide some links of people who have done their research:




Comments welcome

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SKATER787 10/27/2013 2:27AM

    Great discussion. I think some will do great with beans while others won't. A lot of vegetarians live on beans, so you won't be able to take that away from them.

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KAPELAKIN 10/25/2013 8:18AM

    I'd given up beans for the most part, but decided to use some of the dried beans we had on hand while I was laid off during the government shutdown - trying to save some money. We had green French lentils as a side dish with no ill effects, but small red beans, thoroughly soaked and rinsed caused major bloating and well... gas. I do get away with having some black beans on my salad from Chipotle with little to no side-effect. Overall, lentils seem to be OK for me, so I'll be choosing them over most types of beans in the future. I may throw out the rest of those red beans though!

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MLB570 10/25/2013 12:19AM

    Thank you for the blog and links to more info. I will be doing more research into low-carb and paleo diets.

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HOUNDLOVER1 10/24/2013 10:26PM

    I linked several articles with somewhat different viewpoints intentionally because I think they are all legitimate. I guess whether legumes should be part of one's diet depends a lot on the individual. I personally can not have any because they raise my blood sugar far too much, just like grain. I also would have trouble with leaky gut. I suspect that a significant percentage of the population (at least a 1/3rd) may fall ino that category. I could tolerate homemade legumes, especially lentils, much better than store-bought canned, but still, if I do eat carbs I enjoy leafy greens much more.
Rosewand, thanks for linking the article. I will take a look at it. For vegetarians it would be possible to avoid all legumes by eating a lot of dairy and eggs but of course it may not be necessary for everyone to avoid them.
For vegans I suspect it would be very hard to get enough protein without beans.
I also know that fermented beans are much better tolerated by many people.

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PASTAFARIAN 10/24/2013 4:45PM

    Rosewand, Interesting comments and thanks for the link! Very interesting article. I have some questions about both. But maybe there's a better place to discuss it than here?

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ROSEWAND 10/24/2013 3:22PM

    As a vegetarian, beans contribute significantly to my
diet. And there is amble research to show that are
they are healthy for most people to consume. They
contain resistant starch which can be very helpful in
maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and helping
with weight loss. They also go along way to help
your food budget.

Having said this, it should be noted that there is a
major difference between home-cooked beans and
canned beans. The carbs in home-cooked beans
will breakdown far more slowly than those in
highly processed canned varieties and will have a
smaller glycemic impact.

And finally, beans are absolutely delicious! emoticon
Edited to add link that offers a good discussion of
the pros and cons:


Comment edited on: 10/24/2013 3:32:56 PM

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PASTAFARIAN 10/24/2013 2:47PM

    I found those articles somewhat confusing. (Let's assume for the moment that we're not the part of the population for whom legumes are deadly.) For example, in the conclusion of the first article, the author admits to eating legumes.

So do you avoid all legumes? If no, how much do you eat?

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JSTETSER 10/24/2013 10:27AM

    I also have problems with beans. Thanks for the post.

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RUSSELL_40 10/24/2013 9:44AM

    I eat chili beans 2 X a week with my chili on Wednesday, and Sunday with not much problem. I only use 1/4 of a can because of the high carb content, but it makes the dish. Otherwise I would just have tomatoes, and beef.

I treat them like a limited food, just like cheese. I doubt that I will cut them out of my diet, but I was never a huge fan of beans, so they stay a very small part of it. They haven't hurt my weight loss, so I don't have a problem with them.

As always, I love the discussion.

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ERIN1957 10/24/2013 7:34AM

    I do not eat legumes at all! I am one of those people who get so ill from them that it tears me up. I have tried them every which way and preparing them every which way and I react each and every time. Oh I love the taste and how I can make them so very yummy, but they truly are not for me.
My family has little issues with lentils when used in a mild modest way, but will not buy them in the future. I will use up the 3 pounds of organic ones I was convinced were good and healthy and would not react on me...yah right!

One clue for me was not only how I reacted, but acted when eating them. I wish I could place my hands on the article that cleared this up for me, because it agreed exactly with what I had known; every single time I ate them, I became obsessed and craved more and more. I use to think I was nuts. But after reading an article on food allergies it all came together and became very clear that I have a food allergy to them. My gut is still healing from the damages I have done to my body eating foods I should never have be eating, all of these years. I am actually finally relaxing in diet and accepting what I was meant to eat, healing and looking forward to living free from food allergies.
I am a true paleo person and so much healthier and happier because of it.

Thanks Birgit for placing this here today, it came at a good threshold for me, reinforcing what I have been working toward!

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SKIRNIR 10/24/2013 7:20AM

    I think you are reaffirming for me why I won't go paleo, even though I do prefer making my own homemade foods, as I control the ingredients and they just taste better.

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NOWYOUDIDIT 10/24/2013 5:46AM

    Great info links! Thanx! emoticon

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SUNSET09 10/24/2013 3:02AM

  I enjoy lentils and recently started including them daily with my lunch! It's always something! Everything in moderation, thanx. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NASFKAB 10/24/2013 2:52AM

  do eat lentils but occasionally enjoy them also beans as a snack thanks for posting this

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CINDYTW 10/24/2013 2:33AM

  I do miss beans on occasion and I really go by my response to them. I do best with dry beans, organic that I soak myself. I rinse them several times throughout the 24 + hour soaking process and then cook them. If i just eat whatever refired beans or canned beans I have a bad GI reaction. I don't if they are my own, and I have also never felt bad from peanut butter. I do go by what makes sense to me in science, but also by how I feel when I eat things. I feel once in a while is OK, they are not aprt of a daily diet. I won't give up legumes entirely until they affect how I feel. I have already given up too much!

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Low-carb and Natural - the basics for better health

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

There are many people who eat low-carb and there are many people who eat natural foods but not that many who put these together, although the number is growing daily, very much to the dismay of giant food processing companies.
Most people realize at this point that most of the inside aisles of a grocery store should be avoided as they contain mostly processed food (apart from toilet paper and toothpaste).
But on the outside of the store there is much wrong as well.
Unlike the preaching that we have heard for the last 30-40 years from various health organizations and governmental agencies low-fat and fat-free foods are, apart from fruit and vegetables, not natural foods.
God, in his wisdom, put protein and lots of fat in milk, eggs, meat and fish as well as in nuts and some fruit (olives, avocados). If we take this fat out we are not only changing macronutrient ratios but also affecting the availability of fat-soluble vitamins.
Fat in the form it occurs in natural foods is not harmful to our health but a great source of energy for our body IF OUR BODY IS USED TO USING IT.
If our body is getting mostly carbohydrate offers (including grains, sugars, legumes) it will be good at burning sugars, and the calories our body can store in that form are very limited to a few thousand calories. This makes us very dependent on frequent meals before and after exercise and sometimes during.
The more we shift our body from eating high-carb and low-fat to low-carb and high-fat the better our body becomes at using fat as fuel. The real gain for people who want to lose weight is that once our bodies become efficient fat-burning machines (nutritional ketosis) they don't distinguish between fat in the diet and fat stored in our fat deposits.
Being able to use fat (in the form of ketones) for energy allows ideal brain function and exercising without having to eat before and after, it makes snacking unnecessary and it keeps hunger away because the body always has a great fuel source of at least 40,000 calories (for a normal weight person, more if you are overweight).
Once we can shift our body to fat-burning (it's own) the only food that we need to add is enough protein to sustain us and grow muscle and enough fat as well as micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.
The other benefit of a high-fat/low-carb natural foods diet is that none of these foods are addictive like grains and sugar are for so many of us. Eating becomes a pleasant and pleasurable experience again without the temptation of binging eating, constant obsessions about food and other consequences of calorie-restriction that so often lead to eating disorders and gaining/losing cycles.
Low-carb and ketogenic diets are at this point considered to prevent, cure or improve many diseases including, heart disease, Alzheimer's, many auto-immune diseases like MS, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, neurological disorders, hormone disorders, dental health, diabetes and fatty liver.
They are safe to use for the rest of your life as a life-style diet.
For most people even emotional eating now becomes much easier to manage as the physical cravings are mostly gone.
For anyone who would like to learn more I recommend this video or any of the books mentioned in the first minute of it:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOUNDLOVER1 10/23/2013 12:33PM

love your comments. My favorite has to be the one about reducing the grocery bill by burning up the fat on the waistline. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUSSELL_40 10/23/2013 7:56AM

    I have been doing low carb now for 53 months, and lost 159 lbs, despite straying way too often..lol. I eat a lot of canned foods, and have to pay extra for No Salt, which is funny, since they aren't salted to begin with. Finding natural foods is hard, and I am not sure I trust others to not just say it is "natural " so they can charge me more.

I get organic, brown eggs, and Amish chicken, which isn't frozen, but I just think they taste better. Eating natural isn't my goal, tasty food is..lol.

I am still 38 above my goal weight, and I thought it was great to point out that while we all think of a pound as 3,500 calories in terms of exercise, and calorie restriction, we never think of the fat on our midsection as calories to be consumed. My 38 extra lbs. is 133,000 calories. I don't need to eat as many calories when in ketosis, because I have a portable fat pantry on my waistline. We want to burn off that fat, but just using it to make up calorie shortfalls is just as good. That is why we have fat storage, to get us through the lean times.

All low carb is doing for me, is creating an artificial lean time. I don't get cravings, so I eat less than I burn, and my body responds by turning my own fat to energy. It saves on groceries, and I weigh less every day. As I near goal weight, I will need to start buying more groceries probably..lol. For now, my body isn't starving because I eat 1800 calories. It is supplementing the calories I need with the calories I ate to pack on an extra 200 lbs.

I find that carbs make me hungry. This is probably due to releasing Insulin, and low blood sugar, which causes hunger. At this point, we have to eat. The idea that I might eat nuts does not mean that nuts can be addictive, but just that they are available. At this point I would probably eat eggs, since I can buy them cheap, and have dozens in my fridge. This does not mean eggs are addictive.

While I am not sure if these foods are addictive, I do believe that carbs cause cravings. Also, that if sugary treats were available after I ate something sugary ( ex. ice cream ), I would eat more of the sugary foods, before eating eggs, or nuts.

What we need to ask, is what did your mom eat BEFORE she ate " pounds of nuts "? Also, after she finished the nuts, was she eating " pounds " of food 2-4 hours later, or did that solve her cravings? If she ate carbs, and then was hungry, and those nuts were available, she might binge on them, and 2-4 hours later have a stable blood sugar, since nuts don't spike them as much. Once that happened she resumed normal eating. Cutting out the original meal of carby foods would prevent this mindless snacking, and what you should really be happy about is that when she went crazy with cravings, that nuts were available, not ice cream, or she could have started a continuous cycle of eating, which caused carvings, which caused eating more ice cream, etc.etc., until she ran out of ice cream.

We tend to focus on what we cheat on, and less on what we ate to cause those cheats. The food trigger was the cause, the binge was only the result. The food you ate on the binge may ALSO be bad, but it is usually what you have available, or within driving/delivery distance. The original food however, is always bad for you.

If I eat some of my brother's corn, and that triggers cravings, and I eat 7 ozs. of macadamia nuts I have, the problem is not the macadamia nuts, but the corn. Low carb requires you to pay attention more to what food does to your body. For too long we have said '' To fat, cut fat ", or " high cholesterol, cut cholesterol.. eggs are bad ". We need to stop treating nutrition as unimportant. It is the solution to our obesity, and illness epidemic.

Personally, I have gotten off my cholesterol, and diabetes meds, and halved my heart medications. I have a leaky heart valve, and CHF since I was 27 years old, and that is why I started Atkins ( who was a cardiologist ). I am days away from hitting Onederland, and without low carb, I am positive I would be dead by now. I had sleep apnea, and was on oxygen, and now walk 45 minutes daily.

Natural is something I will have to work on.

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HOUNDLOVER1 10/22/2013 10:14PM

    This makes me wonder why I am not tempted to go overboard on nuts. I like them a lot and I like the crunch but they don't cause a high like sugar or grain for me. On the other hand I have to admit that I've never overeaten potato chips, either. It's only the sweet stuff for me. Maybe just individual differences.

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WOUBBIE 10/22/2013 7:28PM

    I've been low carb for several years and I will sometimes (often?) overindulge in nuts because of the texture and the crunch. Not much that is low carb has that crunch factor. Nuts are great, but you can really go overboard quickly.

I don't think that fats in and of themselves activate any of the known addiction pathways, so no, I don't think it's the fat they're attracted to. Neither cheese nor nuts are zero carb, so there might be something else going on.

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HOUNDLOVER1 10/22/2013 5:48PM

    Pastafarian, I would say that there may not necessarily be prior problems but there may be other factors to consider. That would a be a more neutral term anyhow.
For instance with the nuts I am wondering if it is actually the fat that makes people want to eat a lot or the fact that most nuts are salted. Many people crave salt and what their body really needs is mineral salts, which is what natural salt contains. But table salt is only sodium chloride and the craving for salt never goes away. I'm just speculating of course, although there may be research on this issue.

Comment edited on: 10/22/2013 10:10:57 PM

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DRTOVAH 10/22/2013 3:31PM

  I am trying to eat more natural foods, just gradually incorporating more as budget as exhausting the pantry allows.

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LUANN7 10/22/2013 3:25PM

    I eat low-carb but not necessarily natural but more natural cuz I eat a lot more vegetables that are fresh than before and less processed foods so it kind of goes hand in hand with it.!!! Nice blog!

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PASTAFARIAN 10/22/2013 2:22PM

    You raise good questions although it's unfair to use them to imply that fat can only be addictive if there are prior problems. I realize you didn't explicitly say that but it's implicit.

Similarly, one may raise a whole host of issues that predispose one to carb-addiction. But not everyone finds carbs addicting.

Don't get me wrong. I agree with much of what you say. I just don't want to get so caught up that I start accepting statements without scientific support.

Comment edited on: 10/22/2013 4:17:33 PM

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HOUNDLOVER1 10/22/2013 1:43PM

You raise a very legitimate question about whether some high-fat foods are addictive. I suspect that it may depend on several factors:
- Is the person eating an overall very low-carb/ketogenic diet with no more than 50 grams of carbs/day, for some people as low as 20 grams? This keeps insulin levels low and most cravings away.
- Does the person have a long-standing history of disordered eating patterns like binge eating, anorexia, bulimia or extreme dieting for many years that have done a lot of damage to normal metabolism? If that is the case low-carb may not work as well, but will still work better than anything else in my opinion as it still maintains lower insulin levels and therefore more balaned blood sugars.
- Does the person occasional carb binges (once a week or even once a month)? It can take up to several weeks to switch the body back to ideal fat-burning and some people will have carb-flu symptoms (carb withdrawal) every time they return to low-carb eating. Skipping high-carb foods for life is the only answer.
- Does the person overeat on high-fat foods that also have some carbs to where the total carb count is still too high? This can happen with some types of nuts, especially cashews and also with some seeds like sunflower seeds.
There are other possible problems and mistakes people can make when they switch to low-carb, most are addressed in the book by Phinney and Volek "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living".

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PASTAFARIAN 10/22/2013 12:42PM

    Are you sure about your statement that high-fat / low-carb foods are not addictive? My mom eats pounds of nuts every day! We'll finish dinner and she'll pull out another huge bag of nuts and eat more. Thankfully, she is very active so she is not overweight. Nonetheless, she sure seems addicted to me!

My dad is the same way with cheese, another high-fat / low-carb food. I swear both my parents are addicted!

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NASFKAB 10/22/2013 12:21PM

  great blog so true thanks for posting

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EXOTEC 10/22/2013 12:09PM

    Great blog! You're absolutely on-point.

I wish we could get this info out to the masses who are still struggling to apply the commonly recommended diet in their lives. Well -- one person at a time, we can make a difference! I'm always happily surprised when someone responds positively or at least with interest when I'm asked about my nutritional habits.

I will add to other commentary about health conditions responsive to diet (are there any which aren't?): autoimmune conditions, which are typically management and not curable, frequently are improved by switching to this lifestyle. It helps the body help itself, insofar as it's able. I promote it avidly on the disease-specific forums where I'm a member.

Too bad we can't post this sort of thing on the open forums here. But I know where that would get us!
Thanks for your words of wisdom as counterpoint to all the ubiquitous mythinformation!

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-CHERYL 10/22/2013 12:06PM

    I switched to a no grain diet (Primal) back in August, which kind of naturally puts me low carb due to the foods. My highest carb is the banana that goes in my protein smoothie.

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NOWYOUDIDIT 10/22/2013 11:38AM

    It is a process. Education first, then trying it and find out it actually works! :o) And then realizing it's o.k. to stumble until you get on your feet.
We are worth it!'
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ERIN1957 10/22/2013 10:30AM

    I could not agree more. It does take a little work retraining ones mind and as well medical care provider's as well.
Low carb alone doesn't always mean healthy. Especially when using processed foods as our source of foods. Nature provides all we need to live very healthy and to be out in nature sure helps for health as well.
I find it sad, that even our world famous clinics still don't always get it...or maybe don't want to.
Thanks Birgit!
I am working toward this and know it is the only way.

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TRIXIETEXAS 10/22/2013 10:19AM


I keep trying to tell people all this stuff. This has certainly been my experience. Never in my life have I been able to sustain a "diet" for more than about 3 months. I'm too hungry!

Now I have tons of energy, no more cravings, I feel satisfied after a meal. It's amazing. I was able to go off my medications for triglycerides and cholesterol and my doctor was virtually speechless after the last time he reviewed my blood work.

One other illness that is very positively affected by switching to low carb is PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome). PCOS causes acne, insulin resistance, weight gain, fertility problems. Since I have been eating low carb/natural, my acne has cleared up, I have lost 91 pounds to date, my insulin resistance is gone. The one time in my life that I was able to get pregnant, I was on low carb (which I quit when I got pregnant because I was afraid it might be unhealthy for the baby. Now I know better).

Keep spreading the word! Everything we have been taught about low fat and healthy grains is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

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JSTETSER 10/22/2013 10:13AM

    I also eat low carb & natural. I am aiming at organic. Too.

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Barefoot Running - Dangerous or Superior?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I don't often link to Mark Sisson's blog, just because I don't always have time to read it. But with this post I could not resist because he addressed a topic that is commonly misunderstood, in particular by competitive runners and I think he included all the important points.
I've been running completely injury-free for over 3 years now after starting at 47 years of age. I will never, NEVER run in traditional running shoes because my health comes before anything else.




  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUSSELL_40 10/24/2013 10:02AM

    As a child, I never wore shoes. We developed huge calluses on our feet, which protected them from most things. Not a nail, but if I stepped on broken glass, it wouldn't pierce the calluses. So, this danger of foot injury, is mostly from something dropping on the foot, like another person stepping on it, while I played basketball.

My brother and I used to run barefoot a lot. When my brother joined track, we would run laps together. He ran 2 miles in just under 9 minutes, but my best time was 12:44. That was because of shoes. It changed the way I ran. My brother still ran on his toes, but I ran with my heel striking first. Admittedly, he ran a lot more at 170 lbs, and he had better technique. I remember the first time seeing Michael Johnson running in the Sydney Olympics, and noting his strange running style looked like my brother used to run. The body was more upright, and the feet barely touched the ground.

Within a year, I injured myself running, and have never taken it up again. Striking the ground with your heels at 235 lbs messes up everything below the waist. It became too painful to run. If I do run again, it would be cross-country, and barefoot. We have some races like that in our parks around here.

Many people note that Kenyans do not use shoes( as children ), and there is a theory that this is why they run faster. Not sure if this has been proven, but we were not meant to run with our heels striking first, and running barefoot allows us to run properly.

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BOPPY_ 10/19/2013 10:22PM

    Barefoot running sounds like a good idea until you step on something that hurts the bottom of your foot.

Still, if you can run on golf course fairways (when the golfers aren't there, of course, it's great).

However, my running days are gone. Alas.

slowLee emoticon

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SIMONEKP 10/17/2013 8:13PM

    I'm not a fan of barefeet running

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DOVESEYES 10/17/2013 8:04PM

    Thanks for this.

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KAPELAKIN 10/17/2013 12:28PM

    Thanks for the link! I agree that it takes time, and I think it takes more time than often is cited, for feet to adapt to barefoot or minimalist running if they've been cramped up in shoes forever. I got my first pair of minimalist shoes last summer, and was still doing my long training runs in a neutral shoe up until this fall (this spring I started racing my HMs in the minmalist shoes). I took over a year of consistent running before I did a full 30K distance in minimalist shoes, and my feet felt great afterwards. They have gotten wider at the forefoot over the last year, and are definitely stronger. I might start doing some of my shorter runs in VFFs now that my feet have changed.

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ERIN1957 10/17/2013 11:14AM

    I have changed so much after reading MDA and his book a few years back. I have always gone bare foot and hate wearing shoes indoors and do, do grounding in our yards. But never got into special shoes for outdoor walking. I am not a runner, always wanted to be, but have never got well enough to do it. So I did go get the critters and use them for walking and as well rowing as I need a good grip. I had to go to the boys department to get a good fit as I have really short toes. My body thanks me time and time again. Less back, hip, leg and foot issue. Day and night differences. So much less fatigue as well. I will miss them this winter when I am out doors freezing to death. Now to find a good warm solution for this cold ars winter. Thanks Birgit for bring this conversation here!

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CINDYTW 10/17/2013 10:54AM

  I liked this article too. I was one of the people who just went right out the day I bought my Five Fingers and ran 3 miles. I did hurt myself, but it was all muscular, probably because I did it on a dirt trail and not on pavement. I learned my lesson and do advise people who ask about my shoes to break them in like I DIDN'T!

I have actually stopped having to go to the podiatrist, wear orthotics, have cortisone shots, etc. since I switched to minimalist. My feet and ankles used to be a constant issue and they have never felt better! I actually hurt my knee and hip running one time BECAUSE of my custom orthotics and thick heeled running shoes! I had to take them off and walk back barefoot to stop the pain, and then head right to the chiropractor!

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SILVERWITCH59 10/17/2013 9:41AM

    I used to love to go barefoot. Here there are way too many thing to hurt my feet. :/

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WOUBBIE 10/17/2013 8:33AM

    Read this yesterday, and he makes great points. So do most of his commenters.

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JAHINTZY 10/17/2013 8:31AM

    Excellent article, thank you for linking to it! I agree that the devil is in the details and there should be a focus on the care taken in transition. I run in converse shoes, which is a tiny step away from barefoot, because when I first tried to take up running and was given a pair of new crosstrainer style new balance shoes I ended up developing shin splints - the large heel was encouraging me to lift my toes too high which strained the shin muscles. I'm not going for competition or speed - I'm going for comfort and ease of motion, and I found it in having less shoe underfoot.

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JSTETSER 10/17/2013 7:32AM

    I protect me feet with good running shoes

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NASFKAB 10/17/2013 5:23AM

  thanks Birgit

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WEARINGTHIN 10/17/2013 1:40AM

    I could see running barefoot on sand, but pavement and asphalt? I think one needs to use his or her head about this. Best wishes, Glenn

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NOWYOUDIDIT 10/17/2013 1:17AM

    Thank You!!
I walk barefoot. I don't tell many people. But I've always walked barefoot! When my MS became worse I could tell people I needed to "feel" the ground in order not to fall. Which remains true. I was excited when some of those really skimpy flat, soft, athletic shoes were made. I use those in a pinch when I have to wear something on my feet. Heck I don't even wear or own socks! LOL!

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CHIBIKARATE 10/17/2013 1:15AM

    I agree sometines I RUN BAREFOOT TO BUILD UP MY FEET BEFORE SPECIAL TRAINING I agree with you enjoy your day hugz

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