Tuesday, November 13, 2012
So, looking back at Fun with Food - NOT from July 2011 - that wasn't a food sensitivity - I had h. pilori in my gut and that causes horrible stomach pains. I had to take a combination of 3 different antibiotics to get rid of it and that of course caused a horrible yeast infection. I'm sorry - probably TMI.
On with it.
I've gained back most of the weight I lost. Mostly due to reduced exercise and not tracking what I eat. I tend to eat a lot more calories when I'm not counting. So, I'm starting again. Track everything. Try to stay in my goal range. Get my exercise to combat life stress. Remember that even if I gain a few pounds, I'm still more fit now than I was in 2009.
Monday, July 04, 2011
Evidently it is very difficult to stay on any diet and very expensive to run diet studies. I found only one study that compared multiple diet plans. The A TO Z (Atkins, Traditional, Ornish, Zone) Weight Loss Study was the only one I could find with real data collected from multiple diets. I found nothing that compared sodium intake across diet plans.
“In the A TO Z (Atkins, Traditional, Ornish, Zone) Weight Loss Study, investigators randomized 311 women (age range, 25–50) to one of four diets: Atkins (very low carbohydrate); Zone (low carbohydrate); Traditional (lifestyle, exercise, attitudes, relationships, nutrition [LEARN]; low fat, high carbohydrate); and Ornish (very high carbohydrate)” (Biggs, 2007).
“One-year retention was >75% for all diets. Women lost a mean of 4.7 kg on Atkins, 2.6 kg on Ornish, 2.2 kg on LEARN, and 1.6 kg on Zone, with a significant difference between the Atkins and Zone diets” (Biggs, 2007). So it seems that we have a hard time sticking to any diet plan. This is probably the main reason diets fail.
“Interestingly, the decrease in blood pressure seen in these women [Atkins] is comparable to that attained with the low-sodium Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet” (Biggs, 2007). If this is true then following a very low carb diet is good for reducing both insulin resistance and hypertension. It should also prove to be a preventative measure for people who have not yet been diagnosed with either condition, but who have risk factors for one or both.
Wendy S. Biggs, MD
Published in Journal Watch Women's Health April 12, 2007
Citation(s):Gardner CD et al. Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN Diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: The A to Z Weight Loss Study: A randomized trial. JAMA 2007 Mar 7; 297:969-77.
See the full study report here: http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/297/9/969
Disclaimer: Nothing here should be taken as medical advice. I am not a doctor. Do your own research. Make up your own mind. Consult your doctor or dietician.
Friday, July 01, 2011
I'm almost 30 days into my new low carb way of eating. I'd like to tell you that I've had great results, but that wouldn't be true. I've struggled with constipation and when I tried to treat that, I struggled with water retention. My average weight was definitely down, but only by about a pound. Early on, I had a major energy lull. I was so fatigued that by 3pm I really couldn't function any more. That only lasted a couple of days, until I upped my carbs a little bit.
I've done a LOT of reading and research in the past month. I discovered belatedly that people with autoimmune disorders like MS shouldn't lower their carbs too much too fast. They suggest somewhere between 72 and 108 grams instead of the insanely low 10-20 grams suggested by most of the low carb diet plans. Once adjusted to this level, then it's ok to reduce if needed.
The reasoning behind this - well it seems that elevated levels of insulin eventually damage the brain's ability to use ketones for energy.
"The brain, heart, skeletal muscle, and liver depend on ketone bodies or on glucose for energy and for carbon chains to synthesize cellular proteins. Ketones are the preferred fuel and source of carbon chains. Nervous and muscle tissues preferentially oxidize ketones over fatty acids, glucose, or amino acids under normal conditions. The brains of adults who live on a high-carbohydrate diet lose the ability to synthesize the key enzymes needed to metabolize ketones." (source: Medscape: Disorders of Carbohydrate Metabolism by Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, FRCP(C), FACP, Chief Editor: AmyKao, MD)
It takes a while to reboot the system and get it to start using the ketones for energy again. This damage may be worse (just my opinion now) in persons with neurological disorders. I have damaged areas in my brain. MRIs have shown it. It’s possible that those damaged areas also make it harder for me to properly metabolize ketones and so I suffer from odd sensations, numbness, muscle weakness, etc. --- And low energy when trying to switch from glucose to ketones.
I found a single study done with epilepsy patients who were put on a very low carb diet. These patients had success reducing seizures, plus those who had behavioral issues, acted with more control when carbs were restricted.
Other neurological studies looked at how carbohydrates will link with proteins to mimic certain cell types - like myelin. I didn't find anything that directly blamed carbohydrates for myelin damage, but several of the studies showed that high insulin from diabetes can damage the brain and cause blindness by damaging the nerves to the eyes.
I found a study published in the early 80's that found an 80% likelihood of colon cancer and MS in the same patients. But this same study promotes the ultra low fat diet as therapy, so I can't be sure how much of the data is pure and how much is a result of the belief of the times.
I found one post on Wikipedia suggesting that low carb diets help with autism and a host of other issues.
So, yes, there's a lot of evidence to support stepping away from the bread basket.
For me personally, cutting out the bread allowed me to discover (rather painfully) that I am likely glucose intolerant. I had a high fiber whole wheat wrap the other day with lunch. Within an hour I was feeling ill. In two hours I had to go home early from work. I had a head ache and felt extremely queasy in my stomach. So much so that I couldn't even drink water. I had to lay down with a towel over my eyes until it passed.
After this I found something in the book Life Without Bread that suggests I cut out all grains. This applies to people who have immune disorders, but also to those who have suffered chronic constipation. It seems that these grains irritate the lining of the colon. For some people, it's no big deal, but for some of us, it’s debilitating.
So, no more grains for me. Even the oat bran has a similar (bloat, but not cripple) effect on me. Flax meal has become my new best friend because it’s high in fiber, but doesn't trigger an inflammatory reaction when I eat it.
Hoping the next 30 days are better as I work out how to live low carb.
Next time: Low Carb and Low Sodium? Or does sodium intake matter on a low carb diet? Has any research been done in this realm?
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