After considerable number crunching a low carb colleague has come to the very reasonable conclusion that the worst food in the world for weight gain is the fried potato in its several incarnations.
In the USA French Fries are what we in the UK call Chips. In the USA Chips are what we in the UK call Crisps.
These are ubiquitous and difficult to avoid particularly if you eat in fast food restaurants. Even if you order a sandwich you may be given a side order of chips or crisps.
Tucker explains that the vegetable and seed oils that these items are fried in play havoc with the appetite control centres of your brain. This article serves as a reminder, since we are all still at least trying to keep to our New Year’s Resolutions, why it would be better to avoid having them on your plate or hand in the first place. And just the one or two….who are you kidding?
Everyone knows how hard it is to shift body fat after having a baby. A recent study suggests that adopting a low carb diet featuring plentiful meat/poultry/fish and animal fats was more successful than having a low carb diet based mainly around plant foods.
Readers who are keen to shed their post holiday season weight gain may also find this information useful.
Low-carbohydrate diets (LCD) have been considered a popular dietary strategy for weight loss. However, the association of the low-carbohydrate dietary pattern with postpartum weight retention (PPWR) in women remains unknown.
The present study involved 426 women from a prospective mother-infant cohort study.
Overall, animal or plant LCD scores, which represent adherence to different low-carbohydrate dietary patterns, were calculated using diet intake information assessed by three consecutive 24 h dietary surveys.
PPWR was assessed by the difference of weight at 1 year postpartum minus the pre-pregnancy weight. After adjusting for potential confounding variables, women in higher quartiles of total and animal-based LCD scores had a significantly lower body weight and weight retention at 1 year postpartum (P < 0.05). The multivariable-adjusted ORs of substantial PPWR (≥5 kg), comparing the highest with the lowest quartile, were 0.47 (95% confidence interval 0.23–0.96) for the total LCD score (P = 0.021 for trend) and 0.38 (95% confidence interval 0.19–0.77) for the animal-based LCD score (P = 0.019 for trend), while this association was significantly attenuated by rice, glycemic load, fish, poultry, animal fat and animal protein (P for trend <0.05).
A high score for plant-based LCD was not significantly associated with the risk of PPWR (P > 0.05). The findings suggested that a low-carbohydrate dietary pattern, particularly with high protein and fat intake from animal-source foods, is associated with a decreased risk of weight retention at 1 year postpartum. This association was mainly due to low intake of glycemic load and high intake of fish and poultry.
Adapted from: BMJ 3 Sept 22 People need nourishing food that promotes health, not the opposite by Carlos Monteiro et al.
Everybody needs food, but nobody needs ultra- processed food with the exception of infants who are not being breast fed and need infant formula.
The foods that are “ultra- processed” include: soft drinks, packaged snacks, commercial breads, cakes and biscuits, confectionery, sweetened breakfast cereals, sugared milk based and fruit drinks, margarine and pre-processed ready to eat or heat products such as burgers, pastas and pizzas.
These foods are industrial formulations made by deconstructing whole foods into chemical constituents, altering them and recombining them with additives into products that are alternatives to fresh and minimally processed foods and freshly prepared meals.
In low amounts, they wouldn’t necessarily be a problem. But most ultra- processed foods are made, sold and promoted by corporations, typically transnational, that formulate them to be convenient, ready to eat, affordable, due to low -cost ingredients, and hyperpalatable. These foods are liable to displace other foods and also to be overconsumed.
Systemic reviews of large well -designed cohort studies worldwide have shown that consumption of ultra-processed foods increase: obesity, type two diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, depression, and all- cause mortality.
Other prospectively associated conditions include dyslipidaemias, gout, renal function decline, non-alcoholic liver disease, Crohn’s disease, breast cancer and in men colorectal cancer. They also cause multiple nutrient imbalances.
It is calculated that ingestion of these foods compared to fresh ingredients, matched for macronutients, sugar, sodium and fibre adds a typical 500kcal daily, which leads to the inevitable fat accumulation.
US investigators have found that dietary emulsifiers and some artificial sweeteners alter the gut bacteria causing greater inflammatory potential, so replacing sugar with these isn’t a good idea either.
In the UK policies to limit promotion and consumption of ultra-processed food have recently been rejected, mainly because of the belief that in our current economic situation people need access to cheap food. As no one really wants to support foods that cause illness, the obvious solution is to promote foods that are fresh and minimally processed, available, attractive and affordable. Such a strategy would improve family life, public health, the economy and environment.
Adapted from Diabetes in Control Sept 18 2021: Effects of earlier dinner times on glycaemic control by Andy Dao, Pharm D candidate, University of South Florida.
Growing up you may have heard from your family that eating close to bedtime isn’t a good idea. Eating later has indeed been shown to cause weight gain and metabolic dysfunction. Type 2 diabetes develops 10% more commonly in those who work shifts for instance. It is though that hormonal disruption of the circadian rhythm is the problem.
A recent study looked at how blood sugars were affected by eating earlier than 6pm or after 9pm over the whole 24 hour day. Adults over 20 wore blood sugar monitors over three days in this experiment. They were assigned to have their last meal of the day by 6pm or after 9pm. They had to eat or drink nothing but water after this meal. They were given identical meals three times a day. How they felt, what exercise they took and how well they slept were all assessed.
12 subjects completed the tests. Each group were of comparable height, weight and BMI.
There were significant reductions in blood sugar levels in the early diners in mean blood sugars throughout the whole day, night and early morning. Post prandial levels were also better in the evening for the early diners compared to the late diners but not for breakfast and lunch post prandial levels which were the same regardless of the evening mealtime.
The early diners did report more hunger and capacity to eat in the evenings than the later diners. There was no difference in sleep or physical activity.
So, if you do eat earlier, you can expect improved blood sugars all day long, and perhaps less likelihood of getting diabetes. The downside is more evening hunger. This study was done in healthy non-diabetic people and it would be interesting to see what the results in diabetic subjects would show.
Comment: Sitting down at 5 to 5.30 pm just wouldn’t work well for me, yet this is what we did in my childhood, and we didn’t eat snacks in front of the television after this. In my own house we have dinner at 7.30pm. This however is because I didn’t usually get home before 6.30 pm or even 7pm for many years so an earlier mealtime was not possible for me. I also tend to watch television from 8 pm for about 40 minutes or so before bath and bed. I couldn’t abide eating after 9pm as a regular thing, yet this is very common in Italy. I do think that I would be reaching for the oatcakes and cheese or more if I was in front of the television having eaten at 6pm.
Food Insight have published a survey of just over a thousand young adults aged 18 to 34 to question them about their dietary habits over the previous year. The study was published in 2018.
At that time a third were following some sort of diet. 16% were following some sort of low carb diet. The most frequent eating pattern was intermittent fasting coming in at 10% of those questioned.
In order of frequency the dietary patterns were:
Intermittent fasting, Paleo (10%) Gluten free, Low carb, Mediterranean, Whole 30, High protein, Vegetarian or Vegan (about 5%), Weight loss plan, Cleanse, DASH diet, Ketogenic or high fat diet, and other.
My comment: my personal diet is a mixture of Gluten fee, Low carb, Mediterranean, High Protein and High fat so I can see that there is certainly room for difficulty in assigning your diet a category. There seems to be a lot of publicity over Vegan and Vegetarian diets and I was surprised that there were not more young people on these. I would imagine that it would depend where the sample was from and other demographic information.
The above link gives the full paper from Dr Cucuzella about the medication adaptations, including insulin adaptations that need to be done if you are transitioning to a low carb diet. There is a helpful traffic light summary. Some medications do not need altered and these are discussed too.
Diet Doctor video on article “Why deprescription should be your new favorite word”
What your new diet will consist of and how to avoid unnecessary expense or complicated recipes is fully discussed in the following links. They are the same booklet but in different formats.
Our new “Low Carb on any Budget – A Low-carb Shopping and Recipe Starter Begin a Life Free of Dieting and Indulge Yourself in Health” patient guide- Print and share with your patients
These booklets are quite complex and are for doctors who want to know more about low carb diets and fine tuning of medication and insulin. The first is in USA units and the second is the UK format. It does no harm for any diabetic or their carers to read these too but bear in mind that they do go into some depth.
-Guideline Central: Low-Carbohydrate Nutrition Approaches in Patients with Obesity, Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
Adapted from Independent Diabetes Trust Newsletter Dec 2021 and BMJ 29 Jan 2022
In the journal of Clinical Obesity researchers have shown that people who eat faster tend to gain more weight and are at higher risk of obesity than slow eaters. This is because it takes at least 20 minutes for stomach hormones to tell your brain that your hunger is satisfied.
They also found that only children didn’t tend to eat as fast as children who had siblings. The fast eating habit tends to persist in to adulthood and thus weight gain compared to only children.
My comments: I was one of four children and we certainly ate fast. If you didn’t grab the food quick enough it disappeared! This stood me in good stead as a doctor when there was very little time for eating on the job. My husband was one of three and is great at competitive eating too! He said it helped when working off shore when meals were slotted in during less busy periods. I had forgotten most of the childhood meal behaviours till I went to one of my friends houses with her husband and noticed that he carefully guarded his plate with his arm. I recalled that this was common practice in our house but that I had stopped doing it since leaving home. He was one of four children again. He had simply never changed his eating posture since leaving home!
In the American College of Cardiology 2021 they report that teenagers who have high BMIs have a 9% greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes, and an 0.8% greater risk of having a heart attack in their 30s and 40s than normal weight teens. Regardless of their adult BMI, teens who were heavier went on to have a 2.6% greater risk of having poorer overall health in adulthood.
Tim Noakes shot to fame in the low carb community by being accused of malpractice by two South African dieticians for giving dietary advice when he was not a registered dietician. After five long miserable years and the support of international colleagues he won the case. Anna Dahlquist, a Swedish GP had gone through the same thing a few years before this, and not only won her case, but managed to get the Swedish food guidelines for people with diabetes changed.
Professor Noakes has established online training for health professionals covering a variety of useful topics. Participants can be from all over the world and will receive accreditation. The full list of topics can be found by clicking on the homepage in BOLD above.
Sam Feltham has done it again. This year’s conference is now available on you tube right now.
Last weekend there were many contributors from diverse fields including members of the public, doctors, academics, and the scientific journalist Gary Taubes who gave the opening talk about ketogenic diets.
The courses that particularly interested me were about the experiences of type one diabetics who had adopted the low carb approach, how to achieve change, and how to increase your happiness.
There are talks about eating addiction and eating disorders, statins, and vegetable oil consumption.
Much of the material will be familiar to readers of this blog. There are some new speakers and topics which do indicate that a grassroots movement in changing our dietary guidelines is gaining ground.
Adapted from Antvorskov JC et al. Association between maternal gluten intake and type one diabetes in offspring. BMJ 22 September 2018
This research was based on a study of Danish women’s food frequency questionnaires completed 25 weeks after their first pregnancies ended. The incidence of diabetes in the children was then noted from January 1996 till May 2016 from the Danish Registry of Childhood and Adolescent Diabetes. After certain exclusions had been made over 63,500 were analysed.
The mean gluten intake per day was 13g ranging from 7g to more than 20g per day.
The incidence of diabetes in the child increased proportionately according to gluten intake. The women who had 20g or more intake had double the type one diabetes in their offspring compared to those who ate 7g or less.
As type one diabetes has risen seemingly inexplicably over the last few decades, there has been a lot of consideration into possible environmental triggers. Gluten is a storage protein found in wheat, rye and barley. In animal studies, a wheat free diet in the mother has been found to dramatically reduce the incidence of diabetes in the child.
It has been suggested that gluten can affect gut permeability, gut microbiotica and cause low grade inflammation.
Although there is this association between gluten and type one diabetes it could be that other factors, for example the advanced glycation products from the baking process, that are to blame. Unwanted additives to grain could also be a factor eg mycotoxins, heavy metals, pesticides and fertilisers.
Mothers who eat a lot of gluten may similarly feed their children a lot of gluten. They also may pass gliadin from wheat into the breast milk.
Although this research suggests that high amounts of gluten may be problematic in pregnancy, further research will need to be done before dietary recommendations are likely to be changed.