Dr Suzie Edge on 21st century nutrition and health

Tag: ketogenicdiet

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

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 […]

Dealing with cramps – Part I

Dealing with cramps – Part I

Leg cramps are a common complaint for those starting out on a low carb or ketogenic diet. I was a bit worried, if I’m honest, because I have a grizzly history with cramps. I was afflicted from an early age (long before keto) and my […]

Navigating Keto and lchf with sugar-filled kids

Navigating Keto and lchf with sugar-filled kids

Navigating the food pyramid with the next generation is really hard, especially when you are trying to turn it upside down. The next generation, and by that, I mean my kids, are going to need a lot of help. My children are already being taught the wrong ideas about healthy eating at their school. The education is certainly well meaning, but it is just wrong. When my youngest presented me with the “healthy food plate” template recently, I started to wonder how I can navigate the bad dietary advice that the kids still get, versus what I believe. I have two children (10 and 9 years old) and over the last decade we have eaten breakfast cereals (often choosing those with less sugar but certainly not zero sugar), we have drunk fruit juice (often choosing this as a better drink than fizzy ‘junk’), we have eaten hundreds of low-fat yogurts (ignoring the sugar content), and we have eaten many pasta meals and sandwiches. In essence, we have been looking after ourselves by following the low-fat diet that we have been advised to follow. What’s wrong with that?

Absolutely everything.

Putting starchy carbohydrates as the basis for the diet and being afraid of fat is the wrong way around and upside down, for us and for our children.

My daughter and I looked at her breakfast this morning. She asked for a bacon sandwich and I made her one. Then, looking at the labels on the bread packet she asked me if the bread was OK to eat (as she knows I don’t eat it). I didn’t want to contradict myself (I do think it is a bad choice, yet I am giving it to her – ouch).

I needed to show her that it was about the choices we make, and I poured a bowl of her favourite breakfast cereal onto the scales to show her. Ignoring sugar for a moment (never ignore sugar folks) – the bread ‘thin’ had 18g carbs in it. Her usual portion of breakfast cereal contained 50g (with half of that being sugar). My daughter was genuinely surprised. “I’ll take the bacon sandwich” she said, “and one day I will not have the bread”.

So, one day she will choose not to have the bread. But which day? When she has reached a point where she feels sick and overweight or when she wants to lose a belly? When she is told she has diabetes? That’s what we’re dealing with if we continue with this idea that kids need the sugar for energy, we are leading them down this path and telling them it is healthy.

There is no requirement for sugar in the diet, for adults or children. How on earth do our teachers control and teach a class of thirty kids who had a standard breakfast full of sugar and who will crash and be craving more sugar by mid-morning? I really don’t envy them their job.

A massive problem in tackling this is a potential backlash in talking about healthy eating with children. It is a concern that they will all start counting calories and become anorexic. So, don’t mention fat to girls or they might become anorexic. I am not belittling this very difficult and sometimes devastating illness, but do you know how many teens with anorexia there are, compared to those who are obese or heading for obesity and the complications that come with obesity? I would suggest giving them the right advice in the first place rather than sweeping this important issue under the carpet. Handy hint: stop telling them to count calories.

For me, it was a big step to change my diet overnight, but that was after years of believing that only the opposite of my dietary-guideline diet would help me and yet doing nothing about it. For the kids, it is a bit harder to get them onside. What I say at home contradicts the dietary advice that the children are getting in school. That’s a tricky situation and how I can deal with it is for another blog post.

I wrote about this briefly on an Instagram post and had some interesting and useful suggestions. These included using full-fat yogurts with home made granola of nuts, seeds and raspberries for days when bacon and eggs aren’t on the menu. I plan to pull together a collection of useful ideas and thoughts about how we prevent the next generation from heading towards the medical issues of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and the burden of these chronic diseases that are affecting their parents and grandparents. We can’t lead them off the cliff when we know how to prevent it. Please help and contribute, if you can.

Suzie

The wrong path

The wrong path

A few years ago I was a junior doctor at the end of the a long line of medics on a ward round. We came to an eighty year old lady who told the boss that she had been having trouble sleeping, that she felt […]

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