Friday, 16 June 2017

Understanding Type Two Diabetes

Dr Jason Fung is a Canadian nephrologist, a specialist in kidney disease. I've written about him as an expert here. This issue concerns us all. Although we might not have yet developed type two diabetes, most of us are on track to do that. One in five of us will become diabetic, unless we take corrective action. The best time to take corrective action is 20 years before diabetes develops in your body. For many of us; too late for that. Act NOW, understand the issue, it's not too hard.

With regards to type two diabetes, Dr Fung says that if we have a disease where given the best treatment, patients continue tho decline and eventually die of the disease. Perhaps we should reconsider what we are doing. Maybe the "treatment is wrong." This is exactly the position Dr Tim Noakes takes too. Dr Noakes' father was diagnosed with type two diabetes, and treated in the same way most diabetes is still treated today, and died of complications caused by diabetes 18 years later.

Dr Noakes himself, having run marathons for much of his life, having eaten a high-energy high-carbohydrate diet, as recommended for athletes for 30 years, was also diagnosed with type two diabetes. This got Dr Noakes rethinking everything he thought he knew about healthy diets. Professional colleagues in the USA pointed him in the right direction. Noakes discovered a very-low-carbohydrate diet. He now has no symptoms of type two diabetes.

With his new knowledge, Dr Noakes became involved in a new initiative to improve the diet of South African's. They started a company called "The Real Meal Revolution" and produced a book of that name and an online training programme, both for people who wanted to learn how to eat better food, and for people who want to be nutritional consultants based on the principles of "The Real Meal Revolution." The success of this venture caused conflict between the traditional establishment which supported the Dietary Guidelines for South Africa, and the very outspoken and popular Dr Tim Noakes.

In the following video, Dr Jason Fung, explains that if there is excess glucose in the blood, taking medication to remove the glucose from the blood doesn't cure the problem it merely shifts the problem elsewhere. It's the same problem a city has in disposal of sewerage, we can put it into a river or into the sea, but it doesn't go away, and wherever we put it, a new problem is created. As ecologists tell us, "there is no such place as 'away'."

In this video Dr Fung is talking to the public, so his focus is on blood glucose management. It's simple; don't eat and your glucose levels will go down.

When talking to medical doctors Dr Fung doesn't talk about blood glucose control. For a medical practitioner, blood sugar control in the patient is the wrong target. The right target is to reduce, minimise and eliminate insulin resistance. Since a doctors time is limited, Dr Fung doesn't recommend a very-low-carbohydrate diet. (Training people to understand nutrition and to choose food wisely, simply takes up too much time.) Dr Fung recommends intermittent fasting.

Type two diabetes is not a chronic irreversible disease. You can cure yourself, but you need to understand the problem. First, all carbohydrates become sugar in the body. Diabetes is a problem of too much sugar in the body, so shifting it from the blood into glycogen stores, or into adipose tissue, isn't a solution. You must find a way to get it out of the body, or stop it from getting into the body. So your diet is critical.

Try to understand the issue. If you eat excessive carbohydrates for a long time, slowly your body becomes insulin resistant, and eventually you become fat and diabetic. That "disease" cannot be cured by taking medication. The only solution is to change your diet. Intermittent fasting, is a quick and dirty solution that works. A better solution is to understand nutrition and to improve your diet, but that takes time and effort. Until you've done that, perhaps you should fast, or use the "Take Out Diet" as I've recommended for two years.

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Thursday, 1 June 2017

Better Quality Food

In the previous post I wrote about the debate, as to which foods were truly nutrient dense. Perhaps we should also think about a second food group, foods that are anti-inflammatory. I think in meat and fish we can have both.

For a couple of years now we've been buying a lot of bacon in our household. We're slow learners. We tried to buy the cheapest bacon we could find. Streaky bacon is cheaper than middle bacon. And since we're not lipo-phobic (We don't fear saturated fats.) we're happy about buying that. From the Supermarket here in New Zealand we were paying $16.00 a kg.

About eight months ago I went to Euro Gourmet Meats, and purchased some aged middle bacon, $29.00 a kg. Seems expensive. (New Christchurch shop: Address: 2/303 Colombo St, Sydenham, Christchurch 8023) That was enlightening. Cooking supermarket bacon takes a long time, and white foam develops on top of the meat as it cooks. That's caused by the water and additives they pump into the bacon, coming out as the bacon cooks. The bacon pieces shrivel up to half their size. In contrast the Euro Gourmet Meats bacon produces no white foam, and cooks in half the time, and shrinks hardly at all.

Book Cover
Excellent descriptions of meat cuts and more than 77 recipes.
Beautiful photographs.

On their web site, Euro Gourmet Meats say; "We have top quality meat cut by experienced butchers. While our specialty is Cressy Farm pork we also have aged beef, prime lamb and hogget and some approved wild game. All our meat is free-range and we try our best to source direct from the farm."

I need to know more. So in the last few months we've been talking more to our local butcher. We've been buying kidneys and liver there, rather than from the supermarket. Once again there is a marked improvement in the quality of the product. (Peter Timbs Meats Ltd, in Bishopdale this time.)

So I went to Traiteur of Merivale (European butchery on the corner of Aikmans and Papanui Roads, Christchurch.) I couldn't find any prepacked bacon. But they sliced some for me. $26.00 a kg, but once again well worth the price. Beautiful bacon. We will shop there again.

The local butcher (Peter Timbs Meats Ltd) doesn't carry chicken on the counter. But he will order it for you. So Carolyn placed an order. She got two packs of chicken breasts, $10.00 each, enough for six meals for the two of us. Another success, that just required us to talk to the butcher.

Following up on that, I determined to learn more about quality meats. I purchased "Lidgate's The Meat Cookbook; Buy and cook meat for every occasion" from the Book Depository. I think I paid $21.00 for the hardback edition (Including delivery.). I see Amazon have even cheaper options, plus delivery.

Muscles for lunch - Three days.

I've mentioned previously in this blog my ignorance about buying whole fish. Yes I need to learn more about fish too. But that's another exercise.

In the meantime; whenever muscles are on special at the supermarket I buy a little more than 2 kg. I steam them for 6-7 minutes half a kg at a time. (About 12 muscles) I use a liquid 50% the salted water from the steam pot, and 50% cider vinegar to cover them. Any extra salty water makes a delicious drink hot or cold. Or add it to a soup or gravy.

A quick easy lunch is two or three muscles and a lump of cheese. You can eat it on the run. You can drink the water the muscles were kept in too. With saturated coffee; 17g carbs, 74g protein and 114g fat.

Another tiny lunch, of a similar type is to eat canned sardines. Zoe Harcombe gives sardines a special place as a "superfood" if such a thing exists. Sardines (half a can) and cheese make an excellent quick lunch. With saturated coffee; 7g carbs, 73g protein and 124g fat.

Once a week at least we buy filleted fish. Usually from the supermarket. I note though that Theo's in Riccarton, appears to be an excellent fishmonger. Given what we've been learning about meat, maybe we should go there more often.

Ten Years of Nutritional Guidance

Dr Marion Nestle has been writing a blog on food for 10 years. Over 3000 posts. A remarkable effort. Dr Nestle, is a professor of nutrition. She believes that a calorie is a calorie, and that eating less is good, and that minimising sugar and eating more plants is always the right choice. She's against carbohydrate restricting.

On the other hand, she says that eating a Paleo Diet could be healthy, but she sees no need to restrict dairy foods. Her comments on low-carbohydrate high-fat diets are dismissive. "Why would anyone want to give up those delicious carbohydrate foods," she asks?

While she would not agree with Dr Tim Noakes, or Dr Eric Westman, about the best way to control obesity, the position she does take is always moderate and sensible. Here she writes about why she's kept writing for 10 years.

Please feel free to talk about your own buying experience in the comments below.

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