Monday, December 28, 2015

Resolutions Are Not Results

It's that time of year once again for "the New Years resolution". Have you come up with one? Are you mulling it over? Do you even remember last years resolution at all? Perhaps you are only reminded by the monthly gym membership that you are still paying? Do you remember what the gym looked like 9 months ago?
If you have a resolution do you have a plan? Remember that a resolution does not equal success or results. A resolution is a decision based on determination. If you lack determination then you will not be able to follow through with your New Year's resolution. You are just going through the motions.

To make a true change you have to recognize that you have to change a habit or habits. In something like quitting smoking most past smokers will tell you that the hardest part of quitting smoking was not the withdrawal. Yes that is definitely very difficult. Most who successfully have quit will remember that it was the habits that went along with the cigarette that was the hardest to overcome. The first cigarette in the bathroom after the alarm goes off, the one in the car on the way to work, the one on your 10 minute break, the after dinner cigarette. What do you do now on that 10 minute break?   How do you change your habits during these times so you don't break down and ask a co-worker for a cigarette which is the beginning of the failure once again?

Habits are so hard to change! That is why it seems to be harder to change something in your life that consists of multiple habits. Changing one small habit is fairly easy. An example of this might be a resolution to go to bed 45 minutes earlier each night or wake up 45 minutes earlier.  This is one habit that done over about a full week will most likely be very successful. Also, deciding to walk one extra mile when you already walk four miles will be easily achieved.

So, lets take this idea and apply it to a difficult resolution that involves a lot of habits. Apply it to a resolution to change to a LCHF Ketogenic diet. This year you resolve that you want to be really committed and make it your lifestyle and you are going to stop eating the wrong snacks. What habits will need to be changed? Each eating habit you have can be a stumbling block so they each need to be addressed seriously and separately. Here are some examples you may want to consider:

Eating on the run or in the car
Eating too late because you have to get the kids ready first
Munching on the kids or spouses foods while you prepare their meals
Taking bars or shakes to work for breaks
Eating fast food lunches
Eating while watching TV
Eating based on your emotions
Keeping high carb foods in the house for the family that you seem unable to avoid yourself.

There are many more food "habits" that could be listed but you get the idea. Do you see from this list why changing eating habits may be just as difficult as quitting smoking?

Once you identify your habits you have to find a solution. Will you be successful if all of these habits are changed at once? That certainly looks like a fail when you look at the entire list! You have to create a solution for each one of these habits. The first two on the above list may be solved first by changing a small habit first; that habit would be to change the time that you wake up. Change that habit and perhaps you can find time to prepare a healthy food rather than grab an unhealthy food. Let's face it, you are not eating scrambled eggs in the car.

Another habit that can be changed that is a more simple habit would be to set aside a day and a time once or twice a week to prepare take along foods for breaks and lunches. Changing this habit helps to solve the problem of eating at fast food joints and instead of shakes or protein bars you will enjoy turkey cheese roll-ups, hard boiled or deviled eggs, chicken or tuna salads and the like. Resolve that Sunday afternoon for one hour is going to be a food prep time and make that a habit.

Emotional eating or eating while watching TV are difficult habits to break. Recognizing it is a key to working on the reasons. In the mean time make sure that you make a habit to make better snack choices while at the grocery store and use some of your prep time to give yourself these extra snacks for these emotional eating times.

 Instead of grabbing your kids bag of chips, have some turkey and cream cheese roll-ups waiting in the refrigerator or have some of your home made "cheese nachos" and sour cream ready to munch on. Have some "salami jalapeno roll-ups" during your usual TV watching snack time. All of these things can be made and placed into containers or zip lock bags.

So, here are two basic changes that can potentually solve the 8 eating habit issues that are going to be quite hard to change all at once. It is much easier to make the two new habits work than to try to change the others.

Don't make the mistake of making a resolution that creates even more chaos in your habit filled life! If you resolve to both diet and exercise to change your couch potato lifestyle you have doubled the number of habits that will need to be addressed! Think about that! Is it any wonder that the gym membership card has been gathering dust on your dresser?

Again, we want results not just resolutions. Of course make your resolution but also resolve to get results; not in the way you tried to get results in the past but by trying a new way! Think it through. What can you do to create NEW habits that will bring the results you want to achieve?

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Failed Food Policy Experiment

When I was a kid growing up in the 1950's-1970's I remember being told not to eat snacks because it would "spoil" my next meal. This was a pretty universal thought from what I remember.
In the late 70's and early 80's this all changed right along side the newly released dietary guidelines that had not existed before that era.

Now anybody here who grew up in the 80's or later "knows" that we are supposed to eat three meals and 2-3 snacks a day to keep our blood sugar "stable" and keep our brain and body from experiencing low energy. That is what just about every dietitian, physician or dietary aide will tell you. They will also tell you that skipping a meal or not eating breakfast will "slow your metabolism and make you gain more weight". Well how has this all worked out for the last 35 years? It seems that is has worked out poorly indeed!  Because these guidelines to eat all the time came along at about the same time as the published dietary guidelines and the war on saturated fat it is difficult to know which dietary change is the worst culprit here. I'm going to focus here on the 5 meals a day idea only at this time.

Why would eating five or six "small" meals a day be a problem? The first thing seems obvious and that is that most people aren't following the "small" meal part of the advice. That in itself is a fail!

Next, Let’s look at the process of what happens when you eat a meal. I'm not going to go into great detail as I am not a biochemist. At the start of the meal, in the mouth, digestion begins.  Enzymes are release to begin the breakdown of starches and sugars.  At the same time a signal is sent to the brain. The brain signals that you are eating and the hormones and enzymes are released to process the meal.

Let’s just focus here on insulin and let’s assume that the person eating is not a diabetic.  Insulin levels rise and fall in with food consumption.  In the standard diet the meal is normally a high carb meal.   The hormone insulin is known as the energy storing hormone.   This means that the meal causes your body to release insulin.   If it is a really high carb meal and blood sugar is still rising after a half hour or so, a second round of insulin is needed and your body will continue to release insulin until the blood sugar is back to normal levels.  

In a non-diabetic person this should happen in less than an 1 1/2 hours or so.   Insulin then comes back down to baseline and some new insulin is stored for the next meal.   In two hours you are now eating again at your morning coffee break.  This process begins again.  So this is normal right?  Why is this a problem and why does it contribute to obesity?

Insulin has several jobs.  Number one is to store excess carbs and sugar as fat and secondly to tell the cells not to release any fat.  Blood sugar management is not it's primary job.   Insulin has several jobs.  Number one is to store excess carbs and sugar as fat and secondly to tell the cells not to release any fat.  Blood sugar management is not it's primary job.  Your body will NOT release fatty acids from your fat cells, and will instead encourage your body to store fat.

This will happen at each meal and snack you eat.  It means that you are storing fat all day long. Even eating a low calorie, low fat diet isn't going to do much good for weight loss as long as meals are going to be eaten every few hours. The only time insulin is going to stabilize is when you are sleeping.   Most people have noticed that dieting this way just doesn't seem to work out very well.

Now if we go back to the old idea that snacking between meals is not a good idea we should be better off as far as insulin goes.  We may have some fat loss between meals once insulin levels are low.   This works even better if we eat a low carb diet because insulin levels come down even faster and we don't need as much to deal with the meal.

What if we go to eating only twice a day with 6-7 hours between eating low carb meals; something no mainstream dietician is ever going to recommend?   Would this be a fat burning scenario?   It should be!   It may not be the same once a person has metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance. Things get more complicated and weight loss may still be difficult for a person in this situation.

Here is the problem we face with the dietary guidelines that we have learned to follow.  Most adults do become insulin resistant because of the standard American diet and the pounds begin to add up.   This is even more reason to leave longer periods between meals.   Insulin will have to stay high longer to deal with the insulin resistance and blood sugar problem.  It will take much longer to go back to base line.  All of this time you are storing fat and not losing it.

So the next time that your dietician, diabetes educator, or doctor tells you to eat several high carb meals throughout the day to keep your blood sugar stable remember that you don't have to be part of the failed 35 year dietary experiment any longer!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

How To Handle The Holidays With Confidence

We are coming to the time of year that causes the greatest food temptations and the potential for overeating for everyone!   For diabetics though giving in to those temptations doesn't only mean some weight gain to shake off after the holidays but it can lead to high blood sugars, guilt, shame, self pity and even depression.   Not only that but "well meaning" relatives and friends tell you to relax and enjoy the holidays by eating the stuffing and pumpkin pie.   This can also cause you to feel anger because they seem to be unconcerned about your health or are not listening to you.

Most of us have experienced this.  I know that I certainly have.   Here are some tips to help you survive the holiday parties.  

Bring a favorite dish and make it low carb.  Don't ask if you can bring a dish.  Just bring it!  An example would be a low carb version of  Green Been Casserole, Cheesy Loaded Cauliflower, a Seven Layer Salad or a Cobb Salad.   Fill your plate with the meat and your sides and whatever else you can find that fit's in your eating plan.  If you are the one cooking the main meal you will have much more control over the meal and snacks and can choose to make things like a  Low Carb Stuffing and serve both a cauliflower mash and mashed potatoes.

For parties where snacks will be served bring a platter of assorted cheeses and bite sized beef sticks, Deviled Eggs or a veggies platter with a Cream Cheese Dip  or a Spinach Dip are other ideas.   While everyone is filling their snack plates with crackers and nachos you will fit right in by adding the cheese, beef bites and veggies and dip to your plate.  You will not feel at all left out this way and you won't feel hungry either.

Make a Low Carb Pumpkin Custard or a low carb Raspberry Parfait to eat when you get home and remind yourself that it is going to be there when you get home.

As for dealing with the pressure of dessert time someone gave me a really great tip and she swears it works perfectly!   Take a small piece of pie and chop a small piece from it with your fork and move it to the side of the plate.  During conversation stab at the pie a few times and put your fork down in between.  If you have a partner then finally just push the plate over to him/her and say that you are just "stuffed" and can't eat another bite.  If there is no one to pass it to then just get up from the table and stab at the dessert while walking into the kitchen. Set the dessert down and leave it there.   This only will work if you really can "walk away" from the pie!  Remind yourself that your low carb dessert is at home!

Alcoholic beverages are also part of this time of year so if you do choose to indulge choose wisely!   A vodka or gin with club soda or seltzer and a lime slice would be a good choice or a dry red wine if you like the taste.  A glass of dry white sparkling Champagne is also a low carb choice.   Alcohol can lower blood sugar so do keep that in mind.   See more about alcohol choices here.

So you see that you can survive the holiday parties with just a few low carb tricks up your sleeves and friends and family will barely notice.   You will be full and happy and you will be able to enjoy family and friends without feeling shame, guilt or anger.  You will instead feel very very proud of yourself!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Low Blood Sugar Protection for Insulin Dependent Diabetics - Ellen Davis of the Ketogenic Diet Resource

I want to thank my friend Ellen Davis for addressing the ketogenic diet for use in insulin dependant diabetics.   This is not an area of expertise for me so I am thankful that she has agreed to post here!

I use her wonderful websites often.  She does fantastic work and is extremely knowledgeable.  She has written a book for type 2 diabetics and just finished another one for the type 1 diabetic.

On to Ellen's post!

The Ketogenic Diet: Low Blood Sugar Protection for Insulin Dependent Diabetics

Diabetes, as the readers of this blog probably know, is a group of diseases in which high levels of glucose or sugar build up in a person’s bloodstream because insulin, a pancreatic hormone which manages blood sugar, is either not available (type 1 diabetes), or is not working correctly (type 2 diabetes).  

Some people tend to underestimate the implications of a diabetes diagnosis, but make no mistake, diabetes is a deadly disease.  When high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) goes uncontrolled, diabetics can suffer from a range of serious complications including loss of eyesight, limb amputations, kidney failure, heart disease and death.  And while high blood sugar is damaging, there’s an even more immediate health risk associated with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). 

For those with type 1 diabetes and insulin reliant type 2 diabetes, the lack of sufficient internal insulin requires injecting insulin from outside.  Since this external process is much less efficient than normal pancreatic function, diabetics on insulin must engage in a moment-to-moment guessing game of judging how much insulin to inject to offset food intake, while taking into account the sugar burning effect of normal activity and exercise.

The scary part is that a wrong guess can have serious consequences.  Injecting too little insulin to compensate for food intake allows blood sugar to climb high enough to cause body damage. But injecting too much insulin can cause blood sugar to plummet to levels low enough to be lethal.  In fact, the issue of dangerously low blood sugar is the greater danger for diabetics who inject insulin.  About 10 % of type 1 diabetics die each year from hypoglycemia, and many of those are children who perish when their blood sugar crashes while they are asleep.[1]

While imprecise insulin dosing is the major factor, food choices also play a large role in the frequency of diabetic hypoglycemic episodes. This is because each of the three food macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) have very different effects on blood sugar and compensating insulin needs. 

[1] Cryer, PE. Death during intensive glycemic therapy of diabetes: mechanisms and implications. Am J Med. 2011 Nov;124(11):993-6.  Accessed August 8, 2015 at

In particular, carbohydrates, which are found in all sweet and starchy foods, have the greatest effect on blood sugar.  Ingested carbohydrates in any form or amount will raise blood sugar swiftly and require insulin to counteract the rapid blood sugar elevations.

More importantly, the relationship between carbohydrate intake and compensatory insulin is not a linear one, but is instead an exponential one[1].  In other words, if 15 grams of carbohydrate is consumed in one meal, it will require a certain amount of insulin, say one unit, to counteract the blood sugar rise. But if 5 times that amount (75 grams of carbohydrates) is consumed at one sitting, more than 5 times the amount of insulin will be needed to lower blood sugar back to a baseline level.  These larger doses of insulin increase the likelihood of driving blood sugar down below baseline and causing a dangerous low blood sugar episode.

In addition, protein, which is found in foods such as meats, eggs, poultry, and fish has a moderate effect on blood sugar. Whereas carbohydrate raises blood sugar immediately, protein tends to raise blood sugar several hours after a meal, and extra insulin may be needed then.  This “protein effect” is not usually discussed by the American Diabetes Association because their guidelines direct people with diabetes to eat large amounts of carbohydrate at each meal.  The amount of insulin needed to counteract this high carbohydrate intake tends to mask the associated blood sugar rise from protein. This is an important point to remember for any diabetic who decides to lower carbohydrate intake.

In contrast, dietary fats have little to NO stimulatory effect on blood sugar, so the need for compensatory insulin is low, and blood sugar stays steady. As you can now understand, meals which are low in carbohydrate and higher in fat are less likely to result in hypoglycemia.

Furthermore, macronutrient choices also determine what type of fuel will be predominantly used by the body.  If one eats a diet high in carbohydrates, then the body cells will utilize the large amounts of sugar or glucose created as the primary fuel.  If one eats a diet low in carbohydrates and higher in fat and protein, the body will generate and utilize fuels created from stored and dietary fat.  (Protein is mainly used a construction and repair material, rather than a fuel source.) 

[1] Marran KJ, Davey B, Lang A, Segal DG. Exponential increase in postprandial blood-glucose exposure with increasing carbohydrate loads using a linear carbohydrate-to-insulin ratio. S Afr Med J. 2013 Apr 10;103(7):461-3.

This is why a low carb, high fat ketogenic diet can help people with diabetes take control of their disease.  Over time, when carbohydrate intake is restricted and fat intake is increased, the liver adapts to the dietary change by breaking down stored and dietary fat into substances called ketone bodies and releasing them into the bloodstream. This is called being “in ketosis” and when blood ketone levels get into a certain range, the brain, heart and other body systems can use them as an alternate fuel source when blood glucose levels are low.

However, while our brains can run on both glucose and ketone fuels, there’s a balancing act involved. This issue of balanced fuel sources for brain function is crucial to understanding the positive effect of a ketogenic diet on diabetic hypoglycemia and overall health. The difference is whether carbohydrates or ketones are being used as a primary fuel.  In other words, is one’s brain “carb-adapted” or “keto-adapted?”[1]

Carb-Adapted or Keto-Adapted Brain?

Our brain cells MUST have a constant fuel source to stay alive. Any interruption in fuel availability is a critical emergency for the brain, and it doesn’t take long for our brains to shut down permanently when brain cells don’t get enough fuel.  Having a carbohydrate-adapted brain versus a keto-adapted brain highlights this weakness because there are differences in fuel availability while in these various states. Let’s explore these differences.

We’ll discuss the carb-adapted brain first, because that’s the typical state for someone consuming a standard American diet.

When a person consumes a high-carbohydrate diet, ketone production in the liver is essentially shut off due to the presence of large amounts of stored and circulating glucose and insulin. Since ketones are unavailable, the brain becomes dependent on glucose as its primary fuel source. We call this a carb-adapted brain since it relies greatly on glucose from carbohydrate intake to function and thrive.  The problem will bring carb-adapted is that the human body can’t store a lot of glucose for future use, so unless food is ingested every 3-4 hours, it quickly runs out of fuel, and blood sugar begins to drop.

[1] (Keto-adaptation is a term coined by Drs. Jeff Volek and Steve Phinney, authors of the Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living.) 

When a carb-adapted brain senses that blood glucose is becoming scarce (such as  when food is scarce, or too much insulin is injected) it takes counter measures and frantically signals the liver to break down stored energy to glucose and dump it into the bloodstream. An adrenalin rush ensues, and is experienced by the brain’s owner as the symptoms of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

The signal is frantic because at this point, glucose MUST be made available to the brain. Otherwise, very bad things happen. For example, the liver may not be able to break down enough stored carbohydrate to counteract an excessive insulin dose. As blood glucose levels continue to drop, the carb-adapted brain starts losing consciousness. Without an intervention of sugar (juice, glucose tablets or candy) from outside, blood sugar can drop to a level which results in a coma or death. As you now understand, going on high alert when blood sugar drops is definitely warranted for a carb-adapted brain.

Now consider a person consuming a ketogenic diet. Carbohydrates are restricted and ketone production in the liver increases over time as this person enters a state of “nutritional ketosis.”  Blood ketone levels are in a range of 0.5 – 3 mmol/L (mM), and at this level, the ketones act as an alternate fuel source for the brain. This brain is keto-adapted and low blood sugar becomes less of an emergency since the brain cells now have an alternate fuel source.  For the diabetic in a state of nutritional ketosis, this is not to say that lower blood sugars shouldn’t be corrected if discovered, but it is logical and there is experiential and researched based evidence[1] that the brain is afforded an extra measure of protection from symptomatic hypoglycemia when blood ketones are available.

In the overall evolutionary design of the human body, the ability of the liver to produce ketones is an elegant solution for providing an alternate body fuel when food is unavailable. Fasting and starvation cause the same elevation in ketone production, and in fact, most people wake up each morning in mild ketosis because they haven’t eaten for the past 8-12 hours. If dietary carbohydrate is restricted to 20 – 50 grams per day over several weeks and dietary protein is not excessive, the liver will produce ketones, and blood ketone levels will rise moderately. However, it’s important to note that blood ketone levels don’t typically rise as high during nutritional ketosis (0.5 – 3  mM) as they do during prolonged fasting (5 – 8 mM) so this protective effect may be more pronounced during times of total food fasts.

[1] Cahill GF Jr. Fuel metabolism in starvation. Annu Rev Nutr. 2006;26:1-22. Review.

This alternate fuel effect is a great reason for people with diabetes to eat less carbohydrate and more fat, but being in ketosis also brings other significant benefits.  Not only does ketosis provide an alternative fuel for the brain and heart, blood sugar normalizes, and the spikes and crashes associated with a high carbohydrate diet and compensatory insulin are minimized.  This translates into a much lower risk for diabetic complications down the road, a reduction in dangerous hypoglycemic episodes and better overall health. 

The ketogenic diet is arguably the best diet for diabetics, and if you have diabetes and are not on a ketogenic diet, I hope this post has given you some compelling reasons to change your diet in that direction. 

Ellen Davis is the creator and owner of, a website devoted to sharing information on the health benefits of ketogenic diets for diabetes and other health conditions.
She also has a wealth of free information at her other website

Ellen has a Master’s degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College.  She recently wrote and released two books detailing how to treat diabetics with a ketogenic diet. Both books were co-authored with Dr. Keith Runyan, a physician who successfully treats his own type 1 diabetes with a ketogenic diet, and both books are available on her website.  Ellen lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming and can be contacted at

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Glucagon, The Forgotten Hormone In Diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes is almost always thought of as a disease of simple blood sugar management.  In reality there is nothing simple about diabetes.   There are multiple factors involved on many levels.

In my experience with many Diabetics in my group settings there are always reports of crazy blood sugar swings when the person claims that they have not had any carbs or sugar,   Many report high blood sugar either at wake up or after wake up before eating.   It is not uncommon to see raised blood sugar after exercising, gardening, or fasting.  An argument or bad news can raise blood sugar.  What's going on here?

It isn't the most recognized hormone insulin that is the culprit behind these issues.  Insulin is the hormone that is supposed to lower blood sugar.   People often say "Your blood sugar went up due to an adrenaline response or a cortisol response".   But why and how?

I am no scientist but I spend a lot of time teaching others about managing blood sugar so I manage to learn from a lot of sciency people around me.   I pick up on a few things along the way.

There is the forgotten hormone Glucagon.   It seems that nobody talks about it.  Your doctor or diabetes educator won't.   They may know of it's use in patients who are passed out in a diabetic coma but that is the only time that they are going to think about it.

Glucagon is a major player in diabetes and blood sugar control.  One of the problems is that no one is able to figure out how to manage it.  Certainly drug companies would love to find a way to add an additional medication to control the over production of glucagon.   Many so-called Brittle Diabetics are thought to have a dis-regulation of glucagon.   

Glucagon is secreted into the bloodstream by the alpha cells, insulin is secreted by the Beta cells.  When insulin is produced, glucagon is suppressed.  (after a meal).  When glucagon is released it suppresses insulin.

In diabetics many of the beta cells are gone or are overworked so insulin is not working so well.  On the other hand the alpha cells are just fine and releasing lots of glucagon when signaled to do so.  Your insulin is not responding normally so your blood sugar does not come back down quickly like it would in a normal person.

Glucagon tells the liver to start churning out glucose and the next thing you know, for seemingly no reason that you can think of, you have an unexpected blood sugar high even while fasting!  What the heck. 


What are some reasons why glucagon is released?  Here are some:

Low Blood Glucose, even in a normal range when insulin levels are also low: Good normal blood sugar is great and that is what you want.  For many who are new to eating a low carb diet you may see some rises in blood sugar as glucagon is released to compensate.  Just keep going and things will level off.

Fasting:  Again while fasting insulin levels are low so the brain signals the pancreas to release glucagon. This is a normal response so don't panic.  This is why many see higher blood sugar in the morning. 

Protein-rich meals: stimulate both insulin and glucagon.  Too much protein will have to be stored as glycogen (sugar) in the liver and the hormone glucagon stimulates this process.  This is the reason that I always advise against large protein portions.   Your blood sugar goes up from both the carbohydrates and the protein you just ate.  Your body only needs an adequate amount of protein for the use of essential amino acids.  Glucagon, Dietary Protein, and Low-Carbohydrate Diets

Stress, Exercise, Bad News, an Argument or Injury:   Your body perceives all stress the same way. physical or mental stress cause the same release of various "fight or flight" hormones.   Beyond that, a person with chronic and long lasting fear or anxiety is in a constant state of stress.  Glucagon is stimulated by these various stress hormones.  As long as you are under the stressful condition the liver will receive it's instructions to provide more glucose to give you the energy you need to fight off the dangers around you, perceived or real doesn't matter.    This is all a good reason to try to discover what may be causing your stress and anxiety on a daily basis and try to find ways to combat it for your blood sugar health.
There isn't much you can do about illness and injuries but at least you will be aware of why it is affecting your blood sugar and you won't make matters worse by panicking and then adding to the stress!   In some cases there may be some natural remedies that will reduce pain and inflammation or you may have to rely on some medical help.

From: Minireview: Glucagon in Stress and Energy Homeostasis   Nov. 2011

"Evidence for glucagon release in a wide variety of stressful situations began to accumulate after improvements in glucagon assays made accurate measurement possible in the early 1970s. In animal models, large elevations in plasma glucagon are observed immediately after acutely stressful stimuli. Hyperglucagonemia is also well recognized in patients under a range of physiological stress states, including trauma , burns , surgery,  sepsis ), hemorrhage, acute myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest, and hypoxia including in neonates Very high plasma glucagon concentrations are seen in diabetic ketoacidosis and contribute to hyperglycemia in this setting."

While I have barely scratched the surface of this issue it is important to understand that glucagon may be affecting your blood sugar negatively and some changes may be in order in your life. Try to reduce stress, arguments, negative work environments, etc. 

My final word on this is that I hope you will remember not to beat yourself up over things that you can't control. Don't assume that every blood sugar rise must be due to something you ate or drank. Don't blame yourself and assume you must have "cheated" or eaten some forbidden food.  Give yourself a break! 

I will end by saying what I said when I started.  Diabetes is not a simple disease.  It is complicated and involves many hormones and various other factors.  Some you can control and others you may not be able to.   I am not an expert on diabetes.   I am growing and learning as I continue to discover how to manage diabetes with a ketogenic lifestyle. 

A good book to read that goes into these factors and hormones is one written by Dr. Richard David Feinman called
  "The World Turned Upside Down. The Second Low Carbohydrate Revolution".   

Please do not take anything you read here as medical advice or make changes to medications based on what you read on my blog. 


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Protein and Dawn Phenomenon- My Experience.

What role does protein play in Dawn Phenomenon?  DP is that higher blood sugar number that many wake up to.   It is frustrating and one of the most questionable topics that diabetics discuss.  

In just a few days I was able to create a condition where I went from a state of completely controlled morning blood sugar to DP.  I did not to this on purpose and please don't try this at home!  (wink  wink!)  ;)

My usual morning fasting blood sugar averages around 74 (4.1 mmol/l).   In a few days time I have experienced a nasty return to Dawn Phenomenon and I quickly saw my fasting blood sugars skyrocket!   I actually created a situation where DP would return to my life after three years without having it.  This was an unwitting vacation experiment on my part and a teachable moment that I feel I can pass on to others.

I just spent the past eight days across the country with family members in a food environment that was difficult to control.  Many of you may have experienced this for yourselves.   It is a tough situation to be in.   Our relatives took us out to eat a lot.   They love carbs and sugars.   I worked very hard to control my own food choices and often left a lot of included carbs on my plate.  I did pretty well in that regard.

What I found more difficult to control was my protein and fat portions.   Although I was able to request "no bun" it was hard to find fat choices to add to my proteins and the protein portions were all quite large no matter what I ordered. 
One of my meals was a burger with a fried egg on top.  The burger was 1/2 pound.  A fajita meal contained enough protein for 3 of my usual meals.  Several meals were from local food trucks and so it was not an option to ask for side items like additional butter, sour cream, mayo, etc.  I was also not able to find my usual heavy cream at any establishment or in any of the hotels we stayed in.  I am always trying to point out to others that fat grams should be about twice the amount of protein grams.  I was not able to follow my own advice.  

I took a lot of leftover boxed food back to the hotel fridge but at some point I was eating it. In general I was eating way too much food, too much protein and not nearly enough fat.  I was very successful at keeping to my daily carb limit though.

Each day I saw an increase in after meal and pre-meal blood sugar despite my attempts at control.   For the first few days my morning blood sugar was in the 80's, (4.5)  then crept up to the 90's (5's), then 105 (5.8).

The family members that we were visiting proudly refer to themselves as "foodies" who eat three meals a day and numerous snacks in between.   On our final night, after figuring out that I was a "meat and vegetables" eater the family treated us to a Brazilian Churrascaria (meat BBQ) restaurant.   This is a type of buffet where you can go and get your salad items and then the Gauchos (servers) slice the meats table side.    Eleven types of meat were served!   Just imagine the protein overload!  The restaurant was an expensive treat and I certainly did not want to offend our hosts who were paying the pricey check.  I knew what I was in for and it wasn't going to be pretty. 

Sure enough, my last morning reading there was a 128 (7.1)  It was higher than my bedtime reading. After nearly 3 years on a diabetic ketogenic diet I managed to put myself in the position of reverting back to a state of higher blood sugars in general and brought DP back into my life!  It took so little time to do this!   Think about the significance of this!   

I wanted to make this a teaching moment for those in my groups and for those who follow my blog.  My vacation mistakes were not mistakes of eating extra carbs, potatoes, french fries etc. The mistake was a mistake of extra protein over and above what my body needs.  This reprogrammed my liver in a way that made it store more glycogen (glucose) for use between meals and overnight.  There is a more scientific explanation of this that there is not time for in this post. 

The take away from this is that I hope that some of you will have a better understanding of how too much protein can keep you from experiencing the blood sugar levels that you aim to achieve.   The DP that doesn't seem to ever go away could be tied to protein portions.  This is assuming that you really have been limiting your carbs to the suggested 25 grams a day or less. Eating LCHF has normalized my blood sugars and brought me to an A1c of 5.1.  

Look how quickly I was able to mess with that!  The Ketogenic LCHF diet for diabetes truly is an art and a science as Volek and Phinney point out in my favorite book "The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Living".

My fasting blood sugar this morning was 105 (5.8).  I still have a long way to go to get back to my usual average of 74 (4.1) and this is going to take several days as my liver and pancreas have to readjust to my lowered protein servings again.   It is sad to see blood sugars in this range again after 3 years of great control.   I will get my normal numbers back in a few days.   I hope that my experience has inspired you.   Sometimes my mistakes can keep you from making one or can point you in the right direction.  

Here is a link to an earlier post where I discussed the over eating of protein as well.

Monday, June 29, 2015

My Approach To LCHF

Over the past several years I have found that I have taken several different approaches to the low carb high fat (LCHF) diet and kind of put them all together to create what ended up being a complete and perfect plan for me and one that also seems to work best for many.  

In my "Revering Diabetes" facebook group we direct most new members to Dr. Eric Westman's "No Starch, No Sugar" plan because he has a great video and a food list that goes along with it.  It is an easy place to start and is very understandable to most.   He does not recommend limiting protein for diabetics which is something that I think is hindering the fine tuning of blood sugar control for some.  I think that protein does need to be limited.

I also point people to Dr. Richard Bernstein's plan which is a bit higher carb and focuses more on blood sugar control with "the law of small numbers" for glucose control.  His books and lectures are more directed to the type 1 diabetic.

Rosedale, Volek & Phinney fine tune the ketogenic diet at a more scientific level where fat, protein and carb ratios are more regulated and fine tuned for better blood sugar control and lower insulin levels.  Lower insulin levels have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, lessen free radical damage, slow the aging process and reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimers disease's

I have spent over 4 years of N=1 experimentation on myself.  In the process I have shared this in my three facebook groups of over 10,000 other diabetics.   I believe wholeheartedly in the plan of attack against diabetes that I have chosen to use and to teach.   A scientifically formulated ketogenic diet works if you DO the work.   It is not exactly the same for everyone.  We all have different levels of insulin resistance and so the diet should be tailored to each person.  It is still very basically the same for most.   5% carbs, 15-20% protein and the remaining 70-75% fat is what works for most.  It is proven over and over again to do so.  I do agree that there are exceptions.  In some cases gut health, enzymes, hormones and nutritional deficiencies may be hindering the process or a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes may have been an incorrect diagnosis.   You then need to get more testing for LADA (type 1.5).   All of these things have to be addressed for those who are not successful after doing LCHF correctly.

Fasting seems to have come in to vogue now with the popularity of Dr. Jason Fung and his protocol as well a the lesser known Roy Taylor's very low calorie diet that mimics gastric bypass surgery. Both of these can be useful for the diabetic for blood sugar and insulin control.  Some seem to prefer these methods instead of working out the ratios of the ketogenic diet for themselves.  Others find that it is the final step to getting optimal control of diabetes where they are looking to be in a completely non-diabetic A1c range of under 5.0

I wanted to address this mainly so that those following in my facebook groups could understand that my approach is not simply that of Westman or of Volek and Phinney or Rosedale.   I lean towards Volek and Phinney's "The Art & Science Of Low Carbohydrate Living" because it brought me to a new place in my level of blood sugar control and it did so in a matter of days.   It is a book that I recommend for any who want to understand the science of how and why the ketogenic diet works and what mistakes keep it from working.

I suggest the following websites for more information on the science of the LCHF Ketogenic diet.

Ellen Davis's Ketogenic Diet Resource is a great place to start.

Here are some others:

Ruled Me
Cave Man Keto,
Second Opinions, UK
Ron Rosedale , MD

Keep fighting the good fight!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Is The Key To Diabetes In The Gut?

 A famous quote by Hippocrates (460 – c. 370 BC"  is “All disease begins in the gut.”  Ongoing medical research is now showing how true that statement really may be. Is it possible that many of our medical issues can be at least partially solved by focusing on ways to heal our gut health rather than trusting in allopathic medicine and drugs? 

New studies and research are re-exploring how our gut flora is linked to diseases ranging from autism and depression to autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s, inflammatory bowel disease and type 1 diabetes.   Dr. David Perlmutter has written a new book on this called Brain Maker.    Dr. Nicholaus Gonzalez of New York says that "The gut has it's own active nervous system and also has an active immune system.  Scientists never used to think of the gut as an immune organ, but now we know that it is."  If this is the case then we had better think about what we are feeding our gut on a daily basis!  

This article from Feb. 2015 suggests that the lack of a gut microbe, Lactobacillus gasseri is tied to type 1 diabetes and possibly type 2 as well.
Dr Mercola addressed gut microbiota in his article:  "Gut Bacteria Differs Between Diabetics and Non-Diabetics"

We are living in a time where drugs are now our medicine instead of food.   For thousands and thousands of years people relied on foods, herbs, Chinese medicine and other natural therapies for healing.  Now, since about the 1940's we have been taught to rely on drugs and eat junk food.  We have been duped into believing that food is not medicine for our bodies but only a emotional comforting and social thing.   The quality of our food and our gut health is no longer considered.  

I am currently reading a new book by Suzanne Somers called TOX-SICK: From Toxic to Not Sick.  It is a great book that discusses how our modern environment full of toxins in our air, our foods, and in our water are causing a whole host of modern epidemics.  Even our children's DNA is being altered by these toxins while they are forming in the womb.   This generation of children is expected to have the diseases of the elderly in their 30's and 40's.  Toxins and GMO's are affecting our gut heath, our immune systems and  our brains.  

I have experienced a change in myself in the past year since I started to make my own fermented vegetables and Ginger Kombucha.   Although I had been on the LCHF ketogenic diet for a year or more I still found my fasting blood sugar to be in the 90's (5-5.5 mmol/l) and after meal daily blood sugars always hovering around the 100 (5.5) mark even 4-5 hours after eating a meal.   I really had no idea why this was continuing to occur but I wanted better results.

I started the fermented foods more for the purpose of general overall health rather than to help correct a blood sugar issue.  I never really thought about the potential effects that it would have on blood sugar.   I still can't "prove" that a change in my gut bacteria had anything to do with it but if not then it is a coincidence that I can't explain. 

When I started eating my homemade Kimchi I had a rumbling taking place in my tummy. It was a feeling like little mice were doing somersaults in there.  It was a bit weird but I knew that it meant something good was happening.   
I added the kombucha to my diet a few months later to introduce a different type of bacteria to my gut.  I had some new and even more aggressive tummy rumbling going on and had to go very slowly with it. 

I began to get morning blood sugar readings from 69-79 (3.8-4.4) at that time.  I also began to lose some weight again which was an added benefit.  See this article from Chris Kresser:  A healthy gut is the hidden key to weight loss. 
My daily between meal blood sugars began to drop.  I was seeing blood sugar readings in the 80's four hours after a meal.  Mostly 90's but some nice surprises.   It seemed to be a new level of normal and I liked it!    In 6 months my A1c went from 5.6 to 5.1 which is closer to my goal of being in the 4.8 range.

I am only skimming the surface of this vast topic.  There is so much more and I wish I had the time to learn it all.   I am very intrigued by it and will continue to study it.   I hope to post more on gut health and it's numerous benefits in the future.  It may well be the key to both our physical and mental heath!  

More Resources: 
GT's Kombucha-  A good store bought brand

Probiotics on Amazon

Studies and articles on Gut health

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Yearly Wellness Exam With Some Surprises- The good and the bad!

Every year my husband's insurance does a wellness program.   This year they offered some additional tests that I decided to take advantage of.  There were some good results and some surprises too.

My HDL is 10 points higher than it was in Jan. of this year.   My total cholesterol remains the same as in Jan at 221 even though my LDL is about the same as Jan and my triglycerides are lower at 110 now vs. 120 in January.  So the great news is that my LCHF diet continues to affect my lipids in a positive manner.

My A1c  (3 month indicator of average blood sugar) went from 5.3 in Jan to 5.1 at the end of April. That indicates an average blood sugar of  97  (5.4 mmol/l) per the ADA's ADAG formula of measuring and 101 (5.6 mmol/l) according to Dr. Bernsteins preferred DCCT formula.

Due to one of the "surprises" in my blood tests I discovered that my A1C runs high which I have always suspected.   I will explain more a bit further down on the page.

Another test result was for that of kidney function.  For as long as I can remember, going back to at least my pre-diabetic days,  my e-GFR (estimate of kidney function) has always been at the lowest level of normal.   I never knew why but my score was always right at 59 or 60.   e-GFR levels below 59 are indicative of a low kidney filtration rate and early stage renal malfunction.  I was never told that I had any kidney issue by my doctor but I was always concerned about my lower test numbers.

My new e-GFR test came in at 88!  That's great!   It means that I am no longer borderline and my kidneys are working better than they have in years!

Now for the not so happy surprises!   I had vitamin and mineral testing done.   I have been taking a B vitamin formulation with all of the B vitamins and folate for about 7 months.  Even so, the tests showed that I am still borderline deficient in both B-12 and Folate, more so in the B-12.  This probably explains my morning fatigue.   I have been taking the active forms of the vitamins so I was surprised at this result.  My B-12 formula contains 1667% of the active methylcobalamin B-12.  I actually was concerned that I was getting too much!  I guess I need more than I thought!

My magnesium level is borderline even though I take it daily so I need to up that too.  I didn't expect to see that after a few years of supplementation.    

The final surprise was that I have more red blood cells than most people and they are larger than normal in size.  This wasn't a big surprise to me as I have suspected this for a few years.  This could be due to the B-12 levels being low (anemia) or my ancestry as I have some Indian in my DNA.   These larger RBC's affect the A1c test because more total hemoglobin is in my body.    I have always known that my A1c test was higher than it should be based on my meter averages and my fasting numbers in the 70's (4 mmol/l)  I was correct in my suspicions.  I am going to try to learn more about this.

Read about A1c issues here and here.

The last important test was an RA Factor test for Rheumatoid Arthritis or other autoimmune conditions.   It did show a fairly high level of RA or autoimmune issues.  I guess that would account for my degenerative disk disease and my "bad" knees although it doesn't seem to slow me down at all.  I guess I will need to address this with some additional anti-inflammatory nutrition and supplements and also look into what else I can do for this.

Overall I am pleased.  Besides good lipid results and a reduced A1c, I learned more about my body and can address the deficiencies.  I never feel depressed by any negative test results.  Instead I always feel empowered!  You can't fix something if you don't know it's broken!

If it were not for the Wellness exam I would have never had these tests.  It was nice that they were done at no cost to me.   Now I think that it may be worth the cost in the future to be able to address any deficiencies.

I hope this blog post is helpful to you.  Feel free to comment!


Saturday, April 18, 2015

It's All About You!

There seems to be a tendency among human beings in general to follow the successful ideas of others.   We know that because there are so many successful "do as I do" courses, classes, get rich quick seminars, etc.   Look at the way that product sales soar if Dr Oz recommends it on his TV show!   An unknown herb or supplement can become high in demand overnight!

Of course it is also this way in the diabetic community.   A new diabetes drug is approved and advertised on TV, marketed to your doctor and the next thing you know either your doctor is giving you a sample or you are asking him about it yourself.    When somebody posts a cinnamon "cure"or an okra in water "cure" on facebook every one lines up for it.  When someone else posts on a blog that their blood sugar goes down by 40 points when they walk a mile or pull weeds for 30 minutes you may think that you should try it yourself.  Another diabetic may post that their morning blood sugar is always lower when they eat peanut butter before bed.   You want to try that too!

Disappointingly you may have found that you've tried many of these things that are working for others and instead of lowering your blood sugar it raises it or does nothing for you at all.   That bottle of Bitter Melon capsules is now sitting unused in your cupboard because it raised your blood sugar even though Dr Oz told you how successful it would be at lowering it!    It can be so frustrating!

Why isn't this working!

We are all individuals!  Let's not forget that!   Your body is not Bob's body or Sue's body.    Your liver function is not the same as Bob's and your cortisol (stress) hormones don't respond like Sue's.

Sue can eat peanut butter and you can't.   Bitter Melon worked wonders for Bob but it worked like a placebo for you.   Someone posted a perfect blood sugar reading on facebook after eating a 10 oz steak with a heap of onions on top.  At the same time you're upset because you just had a 30 point rise from your 3 oz piece of "plain Jane"chicken thigh!   It's no wonder you are ready to throw in the towel!

Well, don't do that!   Instead take some time to focus on learning how YOUR body works!

How do YOU respond to stress?  How does YOUR body respond to a one mile walk or raking the leaves?

What is the meat or vegetable portion size that YOU can tolerate for steady blood sugar control?   Maybe you can eat a tomato or perhaps you can't.   So how do you know?

"Nothing worth while is ever easy and nothing easy is ever worthwhile" as the saying goes.   This is true or it wouldn't be quoted often.   You are your own N=1 experiment.  (N meaning the number of people in the experiment).

You may want to stock up on an extra inexpensive meter and additional strips like the Reli-On meter and strips from Walmart.  It costs about $16.00 for the meter and only $9.00 for 50 strips.  You will need to use these for your experiments.

Here is a helpful article to get you started in checking your personal responses to exercise, stress and carbs or other foods.   Believe it or not, some people get a high blood sugar from beef but not from chicken so you may even want to do testing of various proteins on your N=1.

Click on the link below to see some examples of how to run some personal tests on yourself.  These are examples but you can think of more.

What You Can Do to Stop the Blood Sugar Rollercoaster -  By Sheri Colberg, PhD 

Dr. Brian Mowll of Sweetlife Diabetes Center has a short 9 minute video above on how to test your own responses.  He also explains some common terms.   

To finish this up I want to encourage you to make this a journey of discovery of yourself.   In the case of blood sugar control, that is, YOUR personal blood sugar control; it is all about you!   It is not about the other guy!

Do not follow the leader!  Become the leader of your own journey!  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bye Bye Meter!

A few days ago I made a change in my daily routine that has given me a feeling of freedom from bondage.

I have stopped checking my blood sugar!  Yup!  You heard that right!   Let me clarify though.   I am randomly checking once a day or once every other day to make sure that I am remaining on track.
A few weeks ago I posted a nice chart of my steady blood sugar readings.   It was only a two week snapshot.  I looked back over the last 5 months and realized that I had met some major goals in my nearly non-diabetic life.   The goal met is to have basically normal blood sugar from 65-110.  The 110 a post meal goal.

For five months I have mainly met that goal.  That is not to say that I haven't had a few higher numbers.  I do when I am ill or when I do strenuous exercise or I have a very high amount of stress.  Those highs are short lived and not very often.  Perhaps once or twice a month at best and an occasional 120 isn't really even a "high" sugar.

After 27 months of a ketogenic diet, (The Art & Science Of Ketogenic Living, Volek & Phinney)
I have learned what to eat for my own personal body.  I no longer need to test post meal spikes because I don't eat foods that are questionable.  I no longer need to adjust portion size because I have learned MY OWN personal portion size.   I have learned what kind of snacks are best for my metabolism.  Along the way my liver and pancreas have begun to dance well together again.

So I have a new found freedom to not have to think about my meter at every meal and not to think of myself as a diabetic every time I see my meter laying on my bathroom counter.  I have put it in a drawer now.  It waits for my random test and I go happily about my days not focusing on what was nearly an attachment for me.  Happy Day!

What is in this post for you, my readers?    Don't think that your body is someone else's body.  Do not mistake your insulin resistance for someone else's insulin resistance.   Do not think that someone elses portion size should be your portion size.   You are unique.  Your Diabetes management is unique.  Learn your own body.  Eat to YOUR meter.   You will get there!  This all takes time and effort but your day to put the meter in the drawer may also come!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Art And Science Of Using Food Logging Apps For Eating LCHF

Many who begin the Ketogenic LCHF way of eating find that in the beginning they need to use a food logging app. It is a helpful tool to keep you on track and it aids in the learning process of how to do the Ketogenic diet correctly especially when the main goal is to reverse high blood sugar and insulin resistance.

 It may be helpful to weigh your protein portion sizes in the beginning so that you learn what 3 ounces of chicken or a 3 ounce hamburger looks like. As a general rule, meat that is 3 oz raw will be about 2 ¼ to 2 ½ ounces ounce cooked and a lot depends on the amount of fat in the meat. The more fat, the more it will shrink. Keep this in mind as you log cooked foods too!

 In the past few years I have often offered my help for those who have struggled to understand why the diet doesn’t seem to be working as well as they had hoped. I find that in many cases the ratios of fat to protein to carbs is off and a few simple changes make a huge difference for many people. In helping others I have also seen a lot of food diaries from various food tracking apps like FitDay or My Fitness Pal. I have noticed that many of these food logs are not really what the person is actually eating and a lot of things are missing or short cuts are made for time sake. It leaves a lot of questions about whether or not the food portions and ratios are correct.

The question on how to log foods seems to come up regularly in my groups so I thought that a bit of a tutorial might be helpful. I will provide some sample daily food logs to show that it makes a difference when you take short cuts in logging your food items and meals.

Tips for logging your food items:

 1.  If you eat something often like a ham & cheese omelet and you always make it the same way then use the recipes tab. Create your recipe and then save it. You can quickly enter it.

 2. Enter all of your ingredients separately rather than pick an item that seems close to what you have eaten. For example, don’t pick ground beef patty-1 patty from the list. What does this tell you? Is it a 3 oz patty? 1/3 pound? Does it have fillers? If you are making it yourself at home you need to know the portion size so look for something like ground beef patty, homemade and make sure that you can enter ounces or grams. Don’t pick “scrambled eggs”. The carb count may include milk when you didn’t use any. Choose the actual items you used.

 3. Don't pick restaurant items unless that is what you are actually eating. If you made a BLT salad from scratch don’t pick “Applebees BLT Salad”. You have no idea what they put in it!

 4. Don’t skip items due to time constraints. It is okay to skip a spice or a sprinkle of lemon juice but don’t skip added items like sauces, condiments or fats. Yes this takes time but you may not see your total carb count or fat content.

 5. Pick the right portion sizes. You can be easily led astray here! If you ate ½ of an avocado make sure that is what you enter. You may have to change it to 0.5 of 1 Avocado.

 6. If you ate at Subway and bought a sub but ate it without the bread you can’t just enter “6 inch Subway Turkey & bacon Sub”. This is going to completely ruin your food diary and there is no way that you will know what your true carb count is for the day. Try to calculate how much meat, lettuce, condiments etc. were on the sub and enter them separately as best you can.

I have made up two sets of examples here. In each set of examples the first one shows how to log correctly and the second one shows the incorrect logging of food. I hope these examples are helpful.

Example 1



Example 2



I do hope that this is helpful. I have had many requests for this type of help. Thanks for reading! Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Issues With The New Proposed Dietary Guidelines

The media is touting the positive changes made in the "new" dietary guidelines for Americans.  They have not really recognized what the real goals of these new dietary guidelines are.  

The new proposed guidelines have a few good changes.  They suggest that we can eat more cholesterol from eggs, and they suggest limitations on sugar and sugary drinks suggesting that water be offered more often in school cafeterias and vending machines. 

Here is one of those mainly positive reviews that I have read:

If you look into the new dietary guidelines further however; you will find that they have have also doubled down on their recommendations to increase polyunsaturated fats and reduce saturated fats and even reduce red meat consumption or to avoid it altogether. 

The new guidelines lean towards vegetarianism and the DGAC has suggested the reduction or elimination of red meat consumption for mostly environmental reasons.  This has been ignored by many of the writers reporting on the new recommendations. 

Here are a few articles that explain:

I find that the consideration of the environment (green house gases) in determining our consumption of meat to be suspect.   In the same recommendations there is no mention of the effect of GMO crops or ingredients or the use of pesticides, round-up (glyphosate) and other poisons on our fruits and vegetables.  There is also no recommendations to label GMO foods products.  

The recommendation that 50% of the American diet continue to be made up of whole grains will remain as the core of the diet.   They suggest increasing fruit and vegetable portions even higher than previous guidelines have suggested.  As for dairy, low fat and skim will continue to be recommended to the masses.  They continue to suggest very little use of fats, oils or butter on vegetables. 

Although the new guidelines will now list sugar as empty calories they have lumped sugar together with saturated fat from meats and tropical oils like coconut oil.  It's new recommendations now state that sugar and saturated fats are both "empty calories" providing NO nutritional value.

I beg to differ! Saturated fats from meat and coconut oil,etc. provide essential nutrients called fatty acids that are needed for the continuation of life and for brain function!   

The continued suggestion for low fat high carb whole grain diets while suggesting that meat and saturated fat needs to continue to be curtailed even seems almost to be criminal to me!

In my opinion the proposed dietary guidelines do not properly address the health crisis that we are facing in this country. They suggest the same song and dance as before.   Beyond that, they are suggesting food policies that will continue to make our children fatter and sicker.

Their report acknowledges major vitamin and mineral deficiencies in our population.

From the report:

"DGAC determined that vitamin D, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C were shortfall nutrients and that there may be a high prevalence of inadequate dietary intake of these nutrients. Of the nutrients with an AI (vitamin K, choline, dietary fiber, and potassium), the DGAC determined that a low proportion of the population had fiber and potassium intakes above the AI and so potassium and fiber were therefore considered to be under-consumed."

The dietary suggestions to address these deficiencies is to eat more "healthy" fortified whole grain breads and cereals in place of non-whole grain breads and cereals.  They will be suggesting that the food companies put more effort into making more fortified whole grain products and put more money and effort into marketing them.
They propose that food companies, stores and other vendors change to lower sugar and higher healthy grain products and that our schools cafeteria's increase fruits & vegetables while decreasing meat and fat.  It's no wonder that our children's little brains can no longer function and we are facing an epidemic of ADHD and other brain problems that affect a child's ability to focus!  
I have read these new guidelines in depth.  I realize that most don't want to go through pages and pages of dogma so here is an overview of the proposed guidelines:

Comments are being taken on the guidelines and will be considered.  I find this comment from a physician to be a good one:

Comments will be taken through April 8th, 2015.  Comments from health providers with proven benefits of diets including meat and saturated fats may sway the committee although that seems doubtful.

Once these new guidelines are approved and implemented we will have 5 more years of the continuing failed experiment of high carb low fat diets on our children and grandchildren. We will also have five more years to continue our fight to restore dietary sanity to our world!  

You may submit or read comments in regard to the proposed guidelines here: