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The LCHF diet triumphs yet again in a UK study of 120000 people. LCHF (low carb high fat) is perhaps the diet that most closely aligns with the most recent, credible research on the causes of obesity and what to do about it with the diet.

The research is overwhelming, but the results are not yet quite mainstream. Thus, a spark of news reports this week in the UK.

The UK newspapers have stories out based on a large volunteer study. This is catch-up news for a lot of people, of course, but it is energizing the health and nutrition debate in Britain.

Here’s a synopsis from the Times, but other UK stories got in on this as well and are more accessible – see below.

The biggest pilot study of a low-carbohydrate diet to treat type 2 diabetes has shown that it may successfully control the condition.

A review of more than 80,000 people who ditched their low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet found that their blood-glucose levels dropped after ten weeks. The results have led doctors to call for an overhaul of official dietary guidelines.

The study came about as a consequence of an online revolt by patients in which 120,000 people signed up to the “low-carb” diet plan launched by the forum diabetes.co.uk in a backlash against official advice.

Source: Low-carb diet helps to control diabetes

The also story got picked up in the Daily Mail (Mail Online) Thousands of diabetics adopt high-protein low-carb diet in backlash against official NHS eating plan.

Their synopsis is excellent:

  • 120,000 type 2 diabetes patients signed up to a low-carb diet plan
  • More than 80,000 saw their blood glucose levels drop after 10 weeks
  • One GP saves £45,000 a year by recommending low carb diet to diabetics
  • Separate study found a crash diet is the best way to slash risk of disease

(Editorial note: We don’t know about that ‘crash diet’ bit – more to come on that. The general thrust of current research is that diet is long term even though results, obviously,  are obtained in the short, medium and long term. The thing to remember is that the results must be long lasting, which is where most diets have failed in the last 40-50 years as the weight always came back in part or in full – sometimes more than what was lost even. But back to our story.)

The grass roots movement drove this change in diet – people asked for it and one organization took them up on it. Medical professionals are now pushing from behinds the scenes to make changes. They advice their patients to do the right thing whether NHS (Britain’s National Health Service) officially agrees or not.

Officially, they do not yet agree. The official dietary guidelines in the Britain go under the name Eat Well. Here’s how Eat Well compares to the basic LCHF (low carb high fat) diet advices.

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It’s hard to make sense of the Eat Well guidelines in the light of recent research into what really causes obesity: undesirable fluctuations in the body’s hormones, primarily insulin with cortisol (caused by stress) also in the mix.

The Telegraph got on the train with this report: Low-carb diet helps control diabetes, new study suggests.

They included some videos with additional information including some recipes, which is helpful for people coming to this for the first time.

However, as we read through these stories, we are struck with how difficult is it for reporters to avoid inserting glib phrases that contradicts the evidence they are reporting on.

Take this sentence from the Telegraph commenting on a recent report from the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration linking carbohydrates to obesity and type 2 diabetes:

Controversially, the document argued that “eating fat does not make you fat”.

 

Why is this controversial? All current evidence supports this.

Then comes the kicker: UK officials from PHE (Public Health England) reject the findings and close rans around the Eat Well guidelines. Their message? “Continue as before”.

This with a diet that has been proven time and again to cause obesity, to cause precisely what it purports to avoid and prevent.

In most other contexts this would be considered negligence and result in legal action from those harmed by the negligent advice.

It boggles the mind, but once again people are smarter than the organizations attempting to control them. They have seen the light (pun intended) and flock to the age old solutions that are now coning back after a 40-50 year unfortunate side track: low carb high (or at least higher) fat diet composition with particular emphasis on eliminating added sugar in any form from the diet.

The food industry does not like this because this means the end of products relying on refined grains and sugars of any kind (and particularly anything with high fructose corn syrup).

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One more time, the secret to weight loss is revealed (yet again) and the answer is – wait for it – a low carb diet. But not just a low carb as in lower than the current average (e.g., about 50% of calories from carbs in america), but really low in the order of 50 g net carbs or 10% or calories from carbs.

A recent study out this month in the Obesity Review journal, did a meta analysis on low carb diet studies (meaning they reviewed qualifying studies done by others.

The results showed that what they called a very low carb diet (50 g/10% of calories from fat) showed constant weight loss. Other, higher versions of low carb did not yield positive results.

Consistent Results

This is consistent with other research that has come out in the last two decades.

The biggest diet fail was the Biggest Loser reality TV show diet (calorie reduction plus exercise) that did not yield lasting results. The long term outcome for the show’s participants probably more than anything else in recent years invalidated the whole traditional food pyramid and calorie based diet approach once and for all.

Calorie counting does not work because it matters where the calories are coming from . The body breaks down carbs, protein and fat in different ways. And what we have relearnt is that callers from carbs are the worst.

Carbs are essentially sugars and it is sugar that makes us fat because sugars are used for immediate energy or stored in muscles and the liver (but we have limited storage capacity) while the rest goes straight to fat. There’s some more detail to it, but that’s the high level process.

See the Full Study

If you want to see the full study and the detailed results, follow the link below after the study synopsis.

The effect of low-carbohydrate diet (LCD) on body composition, especially fat mass, in obese individuals remains to be elucidated.

We performed a meta-analysis to provide quantitative summary estimates of the mean change of body weight (kg) and fat mass (kg) in LCD comparing to those in control diet.

Literature searches were performed using EMBASE, MEDLINE and Cochrane Library until Dec 2014.

Fourteen randomized controlled studies were included in this meta-analysis.

Eight studies including very LCD (50 g carbohydrate or 10% calorie from carbohydrate)and seven studies including mild LCD (about 40% calorie from carbohydrate).

Meta-analysis carried out on data of 1416 obese individuals, showed that LCD was associated with decrease in body weight (0.70 kg [95% CI 1.07/0.33])or fat mass (0.77 kg [1.55/0.32]).

Subgroup meta-analysis of studies in over12 months suggested that LCD was not associated with decrease in body weight(0.44 kg [0.94/0.07]), but LCD was associated with decrease in fat mass(0.57 kg [1.05/0.09]).

In addition, very LCD was associated with decrease in fat mass (0.97 kg [1.50/0.44]), but mild LCD was not associated with decrease in fat mass (0.43 kg [1.15/0.33]).

LCD, especially very LCD, might be effective for decrease in fat mass in obese individuals.

Source: Y. Hashimoto, T. Fukuda, C. Oyabu, M. Tanaka, M. Asano, M. Yamazaki and M. FukuiII, “Impact of low-carbohydrate diet on body composition: meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies”, Obesity Reviews, Volume 17, Issue 6, pages 499–509, June 2016

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Did you catch the 16 chronological tips to improve your sleep? If not, they are well worth your time checking out.

Sleep is important because while you sleep your body slows down and returns itself to fasting insulin levels. Uninterrupted and restful sleep is necessary to prolong the fasting insulin levels because this helps prevent insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is where your body diminishes its capacity to utilize insulin to metabolize sugars in the food you eat. You don’t want that.

Restful sleep is also beneficial because it gives you a reprieve from stress. This is important because stress releases cortisol, which has been shown to increase insulin resistance.

Don’t let this double whammy of undesirable effects hit you when you’re least aware of it – at night, asleep in your own bed.

Now go read the 16 steps, which will help you get that restful sleep you really need. Follow the link at the end of the introduction below.

Sleep is supposed to be a time for your body to recharge. Here are some tips on how you can improve your sleep and get rid of sleepless nights.

Yet, according to the documentary Sleepless in America, 40 percent of Americans are sleep deprived, with many getting less than five hours of sleep per night.

For many, sleep isn’t a respite at all but rather has turned into a source of great frustration and stress. If you’ve ever struggled with insomnia, you know the anxiety that can occur when the clock starts approaching bedtime.

Will you be able to fall asleep? Will you lie in bed, awake, for hours, only to fall asleep shortly before your alarm clock goes off? Though it may seem hopeless, let me assure you that sound sleep can be yours.

Oftentimes it only takes some simple tweaks to your bedtime routine and, ironically, to your habits during the day to make sound sleep a reality.

Lack of Sleep Can Leave You Functionally Drunk

Before I delve into how to improve your sleep, let’s go over why it’s so important to do so. You probably already know that sleep is important — and that you feel lousy after a night with barely any shuteye.

However, you may be surprised by the results of a recent University of Michigan study, which found even six hours of sleep a night is too little and may leave you functionally impaired, similar to being drunk. University of Michigan mathematician and study author Olivia Walch said:1

“It doesn’t take that many days of not getting enough sleep before you’re functionally drunk … Researchers have figured out that being overly tired can have that effect.

And what’s terrifying at the same time is that people think they’re performing tasks way better than they are. Your performance drops off but your perception of your performance doesn’t.”

Source: 16 Chronological Tips to Improve Your Sleep

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Can’t resist sharing the 12 really dumb things said to assist weight loss. (We’re reading the Obesity Code by Jason Fung in case you wonder about where we found the inspiration this morning.

Who says these dumb things? Health professionals and shills for big food companies pushing stupid foods we should not eat.

We can perhaps excuse the food industry for acting as expected and in their narrow self-interest to protect their shareholders. However, health professionals? That’s too much.

But let’s get to the point. Here are 12 really dumb things said to assist weight loss:

  1. Eat 6 times a day.
  2. Eat high protein.
  3. Eat more vegetables.
  4. Eat more omega 3s.
  5. Eat more fibre.
  6. Eat more vitamins.
  7. Eat more snacks.
  8. Eat low fat.
  9. Eat breakfast.
  10. Eat more calcium.
  11. Eat more whole grains.
  12. Eat more fish.

So why are these dumb? Where to begin.

In isolation, you could say that eating more vegetables is probably not a bad thing on the assumption the person receiving the advice is not already eating enough. Same goes for that thing about eating more fish. So, without making a statement about the conditions under which the recommendation makes sense, the advice is useless and perhaps even detrimental to weight loss. That makes it dumb.

Furthermore, just take a look at the underlying logic evident in the direction of the arguments. Eat more to weigh less. How is that logical as a general statement,, We don’t have to get into the finer details of how the metabolism works.

The advice persists because when we eat more, lots of people make more money.

The whole debate has been sidetracked. What we eat is important, but how we eat, and especially how often, is just as important – actually, it may be more important.

Just shoving food into our faces all day will not solve the problem. In 1960 North Americans eat three times per day and were not obese. Today we eat maybe six times per day and obesity is rampant.

What’s going on? Eating six times per day ensures our insulin levels remain elevated for prolonged time periods. The net result is an increase in insulin resistance, a powerful contributor to weight gain.

Quite besides the fact that snacks are almost universally loaded with empty calories in the form of sugar, which the liver pushes straight to fat whenever the body’s glycogen store is full, which it will always be when we eat six times per day, thank you very much.

So, let’s leave you with one universally smart piece if advice: eliminate or at least reduce sugar from your diet wherever possible, Just focusing on that will get you started on making beneficial changes – one thing will lead to another. You’ll be a whole it better for it.