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.
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT REMINDER THAT IT IS VERY POSSIBLE TO HAVE PRE-DIABETES OR DIABETES AND BE AT A HEALTHY WEIGHT AND BODY FAT PERCENTAGE.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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