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