Dr Suzie Edge on 21st century nutrition and health

Tag: obesity

Please help me write the book – a new Patreon page.

Please help me write the book – a new Patreon page.

Let’s do this! Please help me write the book. I’ve launched a Patreon page to help enable my research and writing. Against The Grain – a lifestyle manifesto for the future of the NHS. You can follow this link to become a patron here. Thank […]

Beanz means more than they care to tell you about…

Beanz means more than they care to tell you about…

I adore baked beans, I always have done. Whenever I went home from University my Mum would make a special  effort to stock up on lots of tins just for me. It wasn’t just Heinz that I liked, any variety would do. I love them […]

I don’t have time to wait for your precious trials.

I don’t have time to wait for your precious trials.

We go to conferences for a lot of reasons, education, CPD, a day out of the office, networking. Networking means meeting up with like minded people but it also means stepping out of your bubble and meeting face to face with those who may not share your song-sheet. This latter scenario is more than likely to happen at a conference for medics about nutrition and public health, especially if you have a slightly controversial way of eating.

If I had known, I wouldn’t have chosen to sit next to the excitable judging vegan at dinner but the opportunity to talk did lead to some interesting discussion.

I don’t attack anyone who chooses a lifestyle that is different to mine, there are of course good vegan diets and there are highly processed, sugary breakfast cereal and Dorito diets. In my opinion if any diet requires supplementation then there is something fundamentally wrong with that diet. As I said, I don’t make personal attacks but I do get them, in social media land, for eating meat. That aside, and back to dinner…

As my prawn in garlic butter starter arrived I was informed that I really needed to consider a plant based diet for my health.

My dinner companion was staunchly against a low carbohydrate diet, her main argument being that “there is no existing data about low carb diets that tells us they are safe in the long term”. It is a line that I have heard before, to the letter, so I concluded that this was not her own conclusion. That aside, she went on to acknowledge my recent weight loss, that I no longer need to take a PPI or an inhaler, or regular pain killers, or any antidepressants that I had taken in the past. She acknowledged that it was great I could now ski with my children and that I enjoy martial arts training with them also, but she remained concerned about my future because “there’s no data”.

Well, here’s my data.

Right now I’m sitting on a high speed train heading home. There are no double blind randomised controlled trials by some eminent Harvard epidemiologist to tell me that not sticking my head out of the door is better for my long term health. Without that paper, I just don’t know what decision to make! My point is this. It is not a good enough academic argument to tell me that there are no high-evidence-level papers. If a student said that to me I would say “well done for your literature search, now let me hear what YOU think, what’s your best educated guess? Let’s formulate some ideas and thoughts. What do you think my future might have looked like without a change.”

I will tell you what my future looked like, as I told her. It looked like more and more physical inability, not being able to play with my children, it looked like diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, perhaps chronic kidney disease and hypertension. It looked like more medication, more PPI, more painkillers, diabetes medication, antihypertensives. It looked like more issues with PCOS and more depressive episodes.  It looked like an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and some cancers. With this going on I can tell you that my risk of dying younger is increased. It looked sad. That’s what we can say my future looked like, before I ditched the sugar and the grains, the breakfast cereals and the low fat yoghurts. So you might not have a paper, but I’m not waiting for you to catch up. I’m hedging my bets right now.

The conversation then turned to our views on intermittent fasting or time restricted eating but that’s for the next blog post…

As my main course arrived, a steak with a few more prawns, she looked longingly at my plate. “I love prawns in garlic butter” she muttered.

Yes, so do I.

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

 

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 […]

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 Health Collaboration meeting in London and recorded a special episode at the conference. It is well worth a listen as they talk to doctors, nurses, personal trainers and dietitians, all coming together to try and solve the current public health problems. It certainly feels like there is a bit of momentum in health and public health promotion. In other parts of the world it is still proving tricky for clinicians to recommend a low-carb diet without a backlash. Gary Fettke, the ortho surgeon from Tasmania, is still fighting.

Tim Noakes today received his second acquittal after an appeal brought by the group of dietitians keen to shut down his low-carb advice in South Africa. What a fantastic result for this amazing man and what a relief. Now is the time to move forward.

At prime time on the BBC a programme called The Truth about Carbs was aired. For some it didn’t quite go far enough but it really did lead to the conversation some of us need to have. I had friends who contacted me after this show aired suggesting that I might not be quite so mad after all. One thing it did highlight was David and Jen Unwin‘s work (and that of their surgery) in treating patients with diabetes and reducing their medication spend with a low-carbohydrate solution.

For me it has been really positive. I posted a blog post and a link to a BBC news report on Facebook and have loved the discussion and responses, especially the reports from friends who have lost weight and lowered their HbA1c with a low carbohydrate way of eating. If you’re interested then do some reading. My blog is light on research results just now though I intend to start posting interesting research. For now, check out dietdoctor.com

It’s not all great news. Another message from a friend was telling me of the terrible experience she had at an NHS funded eat-well event where she felt patronised, demoralised and wondering where to turn. I feel for her and those who are struggling. But amazingly, as I was writing this I received another message from a friend who was embracing low-carb and who is also a GP now suggesting it to patients. Happy days.

Whilst there are barriers and whilst there is still influence from sources we would rather not have influence (I’m still flabbergasted that the last Conservative Party Conference was sponsored by Tate and Lyle) it will not be easy to turn around this public health disaster of obesity, Type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, PCOS and perhaps depression and Alzheimer’s. If needs be, change will have to come from the grass roots, rejecting the authority that has fed this crisis – because you can be pretty sure it isn’t coming from above. In the UK, it feels like this may be happening.

Suzie

If you’re liking this and want to see more, please subscribe via email. There’s more interesting day-to-day chat on Instagram: @keto.edges – please come and say hi.

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 […]

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