Dr Suzie Edge on 21st century nutrition and health

Author: Suzie

We treat the NHS the way we treat Type II Diabetes. Really badly.

We treat the NHS the way we treat Type II Diabetes. Really badly.

We treat the NHS the way we treat Type II Diabetes and our priorities are all wrong. With T2DM, a condition brought on by years of sugar and carbohydrate loading, we continue to shovel in more refined carbohydrates, starches and sugars. We hope it will […]

You need to make a choice.

You need to make a choice.

Newspaper headlines can be confusing with what’s good for you one minute being bad for you the next. It’s understandable that you feel confused, that is after all what the headlines are designed to do, to unsettle you. The difference between relative risk and absolute […]

Getting started with your ketogenic diet : Part II

Getting started with your ketogenic diet : Part II

After I received a few questions about how to get started with losing weight on a ketogenic or low carbohydrate diet, I wrote Getting started with your ketogenic diet : Part I,  giving my thoughts on which foods to eat and avoid.

Now for a ten point action plan, or what to do next:

  1. Take a start weight and write it down and record the date.
  2. Measure: waist, chest, hips, mid-thigh and write it down.
  3. Make a shopping list using the “which foods to eat and avoid” list here, thinking about breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the next week.
  4. Go shopping.
  5. Download a food tracker app.
  6. Start tomorrow with eggs for breakfast (with butter and cream) maybe even some bacon.
  7. Only come back for lunch when you are actually hungry.
  8. Start an Instagram account, follow some low carb/keto people for ideas, inspiration and community
  9. Tag me on IG (@keto.edges) or on Twitter (@edgesuz) and let me know that you’re giving it a go, because support is important.
  10. Understand that ditching sugar, like any addiction, can be tough at first but it can be very worth it.

Some more places to go…

  1. I always suggest visiting dietdoctor.com because it is great, in fact much much better than my offerings. There are more getting started tips and videos and there are recipes also.
  2. Instagram – I have already mentioned IG because for me it has been a useful community for support and ideas and despite it being IG, they are not coming from skinny teens who don’t get the problem, there are many normal people like us, trying to lose weight. Find me @keto.edges.
  3. Pinterest can be inspiring. Of course, it is all the beautiful pictures in one place but there are some recipes and inspiration. On Pinterest you can find more and more complicated recipes for things like fatbombs and fake breads, these aren’t necessary but can be fun if you are a foody.
  4. Ketogenicforums.com is a forum all about keto diets where lots and lots of questions can be answered.
  5. Podcasts can be really informative and inspiring. Search within the music store for keto or low carb podcasts but I would suggest 2 Keto Dudes and Keto Woman podcast are good places to start.

Let me know how you are getting on.

Suzie

 

Getting started with your ketogenic diet : Part I

Getting started with your ketogenic diet : Part I

I am frequently asked for tips on how to get started on a ketogenic diet for weight loss. There are many reasons as well as weight loss to eat this way, so for weight loss or for health, here are some ideas. As with everything, […]

Low carb diets set up your environment to cope

Low carb diets set up your environment to cope

When it comes to weight loss advice we are often told to stop and think about what we are about to do, when we reach for food and snacks. This is supposed to stop us from overindulging through mindfullness. Mindfullness is a big buzzword of […]

…but you “just can’t cut out a whole food group”.

…but you “just can’t cut out a whole food group”.

Every day I hear the scoffing phrase “you just can’t cut out a whole food group” or “you just can’t demonise a food group”. It is an inbuilt, long-ago-learned phrase that you will often hear said against those improving their health by reducing their carbohydrate intake. I have heard it a lot recently in response to the recent BBC documentary “The Truth about Carbs”.

At first it makes me laugh and then it makes me so frustrated. What do you think you/we/all of us have been doing to FAT for decades? Exactly that, cutting out a whole food group, demonizing a whole food group. And how did that go for us? 435 million people with diabetes and one third of the world’s population obese or overweight. That’s not to mention those suffering with hypertension and stroke, heart disease, gout, PCOS, metabolic syndrome and maybe even some cancers and Alzheimer’s (blog on that to come).

And you never hear yourself saying these words to vegetarians or vegans, who for their own reasons have chosen to improve their health by cutting out whole food groups and probably not, only because these are more socially acceptable.

Here’s the thing though. Fat is an essential nutrient. We need fat in our diet (proper fat, not the processed seed oil crap). What we don’t need, and what you might not have heard before, is that there is NO essential requirement for carbohydrate. There is no disease of carbohydrate deficiency. Our bodies can and do make the tiny amount of glucose required from fat and protein.

I’m not saying I never eat any of it. I’m not a carnivore and I eat plenty of broccoli and green beans, but I don’t subscribe to the “but the children need the sugar for energy” bollocks.

We SHOULD be demonizing the processed, sugary, starchy food group – or we will remain fat and sick.

Eat the bacon.

Suzie

Is the UK leading the way in a grass roots LCHF public health solution?

Is the UK leading the way in a grass roots LCHF public health solution?

This week has been a very positive one. Could the UK be leading the way in a grass roots low-carb public health solution? Listening to the KetoWoman Podcast at the end of last week was a treat. Daisy and Louise had been at the Public […]

We need to talk about breakfast.

We need to talk about breakfast.

We need to talk about breakfast. The most common question I am asked when it comes to diet is what to eat for breakfast, especially by those seeking a low-carb option. When you’ve got a whole family to sort out before school and work, breakfast […]

Why you won’t lose weight trying to balance with will power.

Why you won’t lose weight trying to balance with will power.

Go find yourself a beam, a branch or one of those slack-lines and try balancing for a bit. How long can you last? Probably not as long as you’d like because chance are, like me, you are not an Olympic gymnast. Sure, you can engage your core and last a bit longer but you’re going to fall off. Do you think your falling off is due to your lack of will power or could there be other factors at play?

The concept of trying to balance anything will set you up for failure. No more so than the concept of a balanced diet, where you want to lose weight. Take a look at the “eat well” plate. I am reluctantly calling it by it’s name here but I don’t think it represents eating well at all.

If you follow this “eat well” plan, with its huge proportion of carbohydrates, by trying the balance macros, no matter how much you restrict calories, you will struggle to lose weight in the long term. Sure, calorie restriction and moderation of all these foods can lead to short term weight loss and you can quote the names of many CICO friends to me if you like but have we not grown out of the miserable self-loathing calorie restriction by now?

Look at the beige block of carbohydrates on that plate (the breads, cereals, pastas and biscuits). That’s a big chunk of stuff that there is actually no essential requirement for in our bodies. There is no disease of carbohydrate deficiency. The tiny amount of glucose that the body does need (in the blood represented by the blood sugar measurement) is used only by mitochondria-free red blood cells and can be manufactured by the body from other nutrients when it is needed. You don’t need to add extra, you don’t need this stuff, yet you keep coming back for more. Why is that?

Every food item that you choose to eat will set off a hormonal response within your body. So when you start your day with Special K, or dare I say it, “healthy” low-fat yogurt with bananas and raisins you will stimulate a big insulin response. Increases in insulin will, amongst other functions, signal to the fat cells around your body to keep hold of their fat. There’s no need to give up ANY precious fat stores when there’s carbohydrates about and winter is just around the corner when fruit might be scarce! When the job is done and the insulin levels drop and you run out of high levels of glucose (and all those carbs become glucose, even the whole grains) the response from your body is to find yourself some more of that feel-good stuff. Your body will make you need more of the feel-good stuff. If you ignore or fight those signals, you’ll feel hungry and miserable. Does this sound familiar?

What I am trying to say, is that this is not about any lack of will power. It is not a lack of will power that leads to your mid morning cheeky snack, it is your hormonal response to what you ate for breakfast and what you always eat, if you are following the recommended “healthy eat well plate”. That snack, even if it is a bunch of fruit (especially if it is a bunch of fruit) will set off the whole process again.

Finding a balance is hard and miserable and if you want to lose weight, it is nonsensical. Doing so by trying to moderate a carbohydrate-heavy insulin-inducing “eat-well” plate is nuts. You should eat more nuts.

If you are shaking your head and telling me that you couldn’t possibly give up bread or pasta (or those sugar filled bananas and raisins) then maybe you just don’t want to lose weight? Then again, maybe that’s not will power, maybe that’s a reliance on a food stuff that has no essential requirement by our bodies but we really like how it makes us feel. If this conversation was about cocaine, you’d be shocked.

Suzie

Some resources:

Low Carb diets lower insulin from Diet Doctor.com

Jason Fung on physiology, satiety and hormones.

Some more on insulin in this video by Dr Eric Berg:

 

Crap Nutrition School 101

Crap Nutrition School 101

I was just flicking through a book that I used as a junior doctor when I first started working. Oxford Handbooks are the pocket sized bibles for anyone starting in medicine. Page 87 got me thinking – the page of nutritional requirements. At the top […]

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