Surprising advice from cardiologist(84 Posts)
Just posting this as it really surprised me and thought I'd share in case anyone else is interested.
I've recently been seeing a cardiologist, who is on Tatler's top doctors list. I am overweight, with high blood pressure and basically said "I know I should eat less and lower fat, but I do find it really tough to stick to".
She told me that the 2 diets with the best clinically-reviewed, robust evidence of effectiveness and health benefits are firstly the Mediterranean diet and secondly, surprise surprise, low carb. I almost fell of my chair.
I've done low carb in the past, got disheartened by being told that is unhealthy, over and over again, by my GP, stopped and piled the weight back on.
Apparently the whole "a calorie is a calorie" thing is rubbish - some foods (nuts I think were one of them) don't appear to have any impact on weight even if 500 cals or so are simple added to the same person's diet daily, but sugar is usually the biggest problem for most people - and can have an effect on the brain similar (as seen in a functional MRI scan) to hard drugs.
I'm sure lots of people will disagree - but I thought it was really interesting...
Why the surprise?! This is not new news - most people who actually know what they are talking about have been saying this for around 10-15 years now, and Dr Robert Atkins, he of the much maligned, much ridiculed Atkins diet was a cardiologist himself.
Almost every current trendy diet now pushed as being the way to go, from Dukan to 5:2 fasting has its roots in low carb, low GI, paleo etc, and they can pretty much all be traced back to Atkins, even though they may differ slightly on their attitude to high fat intakes.
Carbs are the work of the devil.
And lots of people will agree! Not just those living a low-carb lifestyle, but also those who have read the studies that show, more and more clearly, that dietary fat is not the cause of obesity and the related health problems. The newly-recognised villain is insulin. High insulin and wildly-fluctuating insulin cause all sorts of health problems. Cut out simple carbs, cut down severely on complex carbs, insulin stops fluctuating, body can get on with repairing itself and being a healthy body.
Get yourself over to the Boot Camp threads!
And many people with problems such as PCOS are advised to go on low carb, high fat diets as a way of controlling their condition and they weight they gain because of it.
Also a very low carb (pretty much zero carb) and very high fat diet is often used to successfully control the symptoms of very serious epilepsy.
No carbs are not the work of the devil. Our attitude to them is the work of the devil.
Secretly mainlining a family-sized block of Dairy Milk
Slowly nibbling a square of Lindt 70% on the sofa with your OH.
Congratulations on having a Dr whose finger is on the pulse (pun fully intended!), when it comes to new evidence that's piling up regarding the high carb, low fat diet recommended for the past few decades is damaging and wrong - and at odds to the diet we evolved to eat.
The "establishment" is very resistant, but interestingly there are some medical Doctors who a "gurus" trying to get the message across (paleo/primal/lchf).
Lower carb yes, at least compared with a standard diet, lots of healthy fats (animal fats!), and no grain food... No processed fructose, low additives.
Check out these Doctors - all the blogs are free. Wheatbelly blog (dr Davis, a cariologist), theeatingacademy (dr Peter attia), dietdoctor lchf (a Swedish dr).
Sorry no idea how to live linky from phone.
Also, robb wolf blog (the paleo solution) and Marks Daily Apple blog are excellent.
If you chose to change the way you eat - those blogs have all the info you need to answer back anyone who tells you it not healthy to eat real, natural foods! Plenty of links to the science too, for anyone interested in reading about how carbs and fake fats screw up our metabolisms.
Iloveafullfridge, no! I think carbs are actually the work of the devil for a lot of people!
For people like me who simple can't cope with high glycemic carbs without going out of control (a physical not physiological response),
And I think a LOT of people are like that!
Yes yes to the Lindt - 85%, a cocoa hit, not a sugar hit, fabulous stuff . I eat it every day (2 squares). I get many shocked looks and comments when I say I eat chocolate every day, and have double cream in my coffee every morning, a
And fry my veg in butter or coconut oil... When asked how I've lost 6+ stone, people literally do not believe its possible to do this (with no calorie counting either!)
I love carbs and could never do a low carb diet
but I do 5:2 and eating carbs on fast days is not possible without feeling rotten
so my carb intake has roughly halved
Half the carbs? Well Talkingpeace, I guess on average over the course of the week that's low(ish) carb !
but tonight is spag bol with bread sticks !
so the carbs are restricted by the choice of meals rather than the thought of low carb IYSWIM
Yes... But I do think you've got it right wrt why 5.2 works - because you very much have to restrict carbs for 2 days, that has a very positive effect on insulin resistance and other metabolic markers, compared with 7 days a week of high carb... And the weight loss of course.
Lower carb all the time just does it better - especially for people like me who could not cope with the on/off carbs days without going carb crazy...
Enjoy your spag bolls
And I really do go carb crazy!!!
I restrict everything on fast days ....
from Sunday lunch till Monday evening nothing but tea, then a pot of soup or an omelette then nothing till Tuesday lunch
same again Wednesday night till Friday lunch
then at the weekend eat what I like
Is it possible to do low carb if you're not that fond of meat? I like chicken and fish but thats about it unfortunately.
What does a typical days food consist of? I dont really have a sweet tooth but i do like bready stuff and wine- I assume they are a big no on low carb
So lentils and fruit are ok then? I thought they would be off the ment if low carb, so thats good.
Am on my phone so cant search properly, but will try and find bootcamp thread later. I am currently eating a chip butty though
I don't eat red meat or poultry, Wossname.
I eat plenty of fish: salmon, mackerel, trout and and tuna. For other protein I eat nuts (almonds v good), eggs, cheese and full-fat yoghurts.
And I have a couple of 'fat days' (days of chips and wine, I call them) to keep the metabolism ticking over. I've lost over two stone in 14 months (I'm going for the slowly slowly approach) and my energy and stamina have gone through the roof on low carb.
My consultant said that she believes she'll see sugar/snack companies being sued in the same way that tobacco companies have in her lifetime!
They have carbs in the med diet though, don't they?
(Who are they?)
So is that a good diet because of the abundance of fruit and veg and lack of processed food?
Reading stuff like this panics me, I couldn't live without sugar or carbs (especially as I love baking). But I feel terrible that I am probably poisoning my family.
I know without a doubt my kids and dp would not agree to give up carbs, both children are extremely fussy eaters and dp has a very hard physical job.
then do not give them up
but eat them with awareness and mindfulness
fussy eaters are generally cured by hunger
and your DP needs protein not carbs to give him long lasting energy
I agree- simply being more aware high carb diets (and especially diets with a lot of added simple sugars), can cause a lot of damage over time, and making relatively small changes will make a huge difference to health long term.
IMO, if you were to chose to do one thing, I make it "don't eat anything with added fructose (fructose, corn syrup, corn sugar, HFCS, glucose-fructose syrup, it has many names). Fruit juice too, is high fructose - eat the fruit, don't drink the juice.
That one simple move would put a lot of junk food and ready meals on the "no" pile! It's amazing what they put sugar into, and how much they add.
I started with small changes and it took about 7 years to evolve into full on batshit-crazy paleo/primal .
Pete, it depends on what you mean - straight forward restriction of carbohydrates, or adopting a whole philosophy of eating? Certainly paleo/primal/ancestral woe is very much based on minimal processing, cook it yourself, eat what would have been available to "grok" (grok is your caveman ancestor). Eggs, fish, meat, lots of leaves and veg form the foundations of it.
That includes no grain foods (or at least, no grains unless prepared in certain ways (sprouting for example).
I low carb but also have familial hypercholesterolemia so have a predisposition to high levels of bad cholesterol and I have blood tests regularly to check. Despite eating low fat my levels were such that I needed statins, but since low carbing my levels have plummeted and I no longer need statins. So for me, it's a really healthy diet
That's great missbee, and not an unusual story on the "success" pages of the blogs I mentioned up thread (marks daily apple, etc). As you probably know already .
Eating this way can prevent, improve or cure many metabolic issues... Basically everything that comes under the umbrella of "metabolic syndrome.
I have cardiomyopathy and low carb transformed me
Low carb also helps to prevent cancer.
Millymilkyme - please can you give a reference of studies (proper scientific studies) to evidence that claim.
There are some proper ones but it is all over the news over the last few years and many many papers have been written about the benefits to the whole body with regard to low carb diets....Why?
You could have just looked for yourself on the internet though Bela.
I also have early stage Cardiomyopathy with Left branch bundle block, Low carbing has transformed me also and was recomended by my Cardiologist that and regular exercise.
My hairdresser was obese when I last saw her in May. Then when I went back last week (5 months later) she is a size 14. She said all she has done is give up carbs and walk on the treadmill for 30 mins a day. She looks great and really healthy.
No Carbs + 30 mins power walk = massive weight loss.
Get ot the Bootcamp threads, anyone who wants more proof. And to do it themselves...
Am a big fan of low carb. Which is really no sugar.
Yes, the cancer reduction thing is interesting, there are plenty of proper studies, but in my opinion not always coming to the right conclusion!
IMO, (and some of the studies say this, others don't, even if the results support this idea), vitamin D metabolism is at the root of many cancers. We don't get enough sun exposure and our diets are stopping the correct absorption of it anyway.
On a carb heavy, high grain diet, a lot of vit d, magnesium, calcium, other minerals are being used up firstly because the liver needs to process the (natural) toxins in the grains, and that can lead to loss of bone density as in the short term it's more important to remove those toxins from the body than to maintain bone strength.
Secondly, metabolic syndrome screws up the way many organ systems are working, it might start with insulin, but there are knock on effects all over the body. Metabolic syndrome is not rare these days, it is shockingly common. A recent study of American teens (thousands), found that a quarter of them were already "pre diabetic", here in the uk I think it's less, but we are catching up .
Low vit d is associated with cancer, but that does not mean cancer is caused but vit d levels being low - more likely it that the CAUSE of those low levels is what triggers cancer. Ie supplements probably won't help as its a sticking plaster over the symptoms.
We don't drink fruit juice or fizzy at all (more for dental reasons) and the kids only eat cake that I've made, usually with spelt flour and unrefined sugar.
I want to wean the kids off cereals as they are so sugary although I only eat sugar free ceral with a bit of agave syrup (still not overly fond of coconut palm sugar).
We don't eat a huge amount of potatoes as DD only likes them roasted or as chips. I am trying to change from white pasta and rice to brown, but it's a bit hit and miss at the mo. I love veg rather than fruit and would eat loads if I could, but too much triggers my ibs which is really annoying.
I also intend to start making my own bread as I know shop bread is full of awful chemicals (even the wholemeal), it's just finding the flipping time. Does anyone here bake their own bread every day?
I have to admit, I would struggle without cereal, I don't have time to cook breakfast in the morning and I couldn't really face eggs and bacon etc.
I have also read the low carb recipe thread and alot of it seems really fiddly, I am not great with that sort of thing with a 2yr old hanging off me constantly.
classified i bake bread most days in my bread maker. only takes 5 mins to throw the ingredients in and 3 hours later you have lovely fresh bread without the junk.
not very low carb-friendly though! does mean you can use less sugar than in most bought bread though so it's a stem in the right direction i suppose.
Yes, yes I know it's the DM, but there are alternative articles if you can't bear to read it lol.
It's not about low carbs, the article I read was really enlightening, the horrible stuff that goes into mass produced bread is just disgusting. That's what I want to avoid!
My cure for your situation is that I do not eat breakfast on week days. Just a mug of tea and sometimes a glass of fruit juice.
Home baking - yes, anything you bake at home will have less sugar than the factory made equivalent, and you can usually cut down the sugar by a half without noticing too much. All good steps in the right direction.
Agave syrup - not good, it's a great marketing con. It's got more fructose than HFCS! Honestly, raw honey or unrefined cane sugar would be a better and cheaper, choice. Just use it sparingly.
Whole grains- not a better choice IMO, read Marks Daily Apple, or Wheatbelly blogs for the reasons why. Basically, most of the natural toxins are in the husk of the grain seed. Whole grain versions are giving your liver more toxins to get rid of and that process uses a lot of vital minerals.
For breakfast - large coffee with double cream or sometimes coconut milk, and meat (I cook it ahead, or use left overs), and a handful of berries... Just as fast as pouring a bowl of sugary wheat things, and a lot tastier !
No to home baking. Sorry, but just because homemade is healthier, it does not make it healthy.
Carb-free all the way.
Those burgers are not carb free at all! The carrot fries I'm going to give them a try.
I'm really interested in low carbing, although I am reluctant to give up wholegrain rice. Pasta/noodles/bread I can live without.
Do those that low carb - do all your family eat the same way? Including kids? I don't serve refined carbs at all at home (sometimes the occasional biscuit/cake, although most of my cakes are made with wholemeal flour), but I would really struggle not to give complex cards to the DCs. Also my DH is very active/ cycles over 100miles a week, and skinny, so he needs cards. If he were to only have veg and meat/fish to full himself up, we would be spending an enormous amount of money on food! We eat a lot of nuts, avocados etc but carbs are still a required staple in our house.
Those burgers are not carb free at all!
Oh, you're right
Folks, ignore my last Burger and try a Greek Style Cheeseburger. Delicious. You can make them with veggie mince if you are vegetarian. Leave out the bun. If you really need a 'proper' looking burger, then wrap the burger in a lettuce leaf from a floppy lettuce. Then you can eat it with your hands like a proper burger.
I have either eggs/bacon for breakfast or yoghurt and berries - obv berries aren't no carb but they're lower than most fruit.
Sorry for being really thick here but was is the difference between the med diet and low carb?
Also is the med diet that I see in various magazines not the med diet that we are talking about here?
Basically, most of the natural toxins are in the husk of the grain seed. Whole grain versions are giving your liver more toxins to get rid of and that process uses a lot of vital minerals
Rawcoconutmacaroon are you saying that for my one mid-morning slice of toast I would be better eating white bread (home made), I usually make wholemeal as it's said to be healthier?
Ilove- I agree with you (I'm completely grain free, the only baking I do is with coconut and almond flour), but, a lot of people are just not going to hop on the ancestral eating bandwagon.
Home baking and reducing carb (and by default, grain intake), can I think give real Health benefits, and it's well worth someone doing that.
Pete- I'm taking about the paleo/primal/lchf movement (you might say ancestral eating), others may be talking about just carb reduction.
The med diet is neither, tho shares some common themes (eat better fat, eat fresh food, eat seafood, eat lots of veg), but it is I think still quite anti-animal fats.
Venus - "it is said to be healthy" (with respect to wholegrain), yes is is said, but that doesn't mean it's true!
You would be better off not eating the bread at all, but actually, the white bread has fewer (natural) toxins. The white bread will raise your blood sugar higher than the brown, but the brown will probably keep it high for longer (which is not a good thing). And that's before I even mention gluten which is whole other reason not to eat wheat in particular.
Google wheatbelly or Marks Daily Apple if you want to know more...
What's the difference between primal diet and low carb? Is it mainly fruit?
Primal- meat, eggs,fish, veg, leaves, some nuts and seed, some raw cheese, cream and raw milk if the person can take dairy with no ill effects. Some fruit. Plenty of animal fat.
No grains, no potato (usually) no sugar (maybe a little raw honey.
No processed food, cook it yourself, no additives. Paleo is similar but no milk (usually).
It can be medium carb, can be low carb.
"Low carb" could range from the above, to a standard processed diet, without the carbs iykwim.
Ok thanks Raw.
I do low carb, but cook everything as you say. No fruit, milk or honey etc
I'm afraid I'm in a minority here, no-one will stop me baking I'm afraid. I may give my coconut palm sugar another go instead of the agave.
I think that I'll eat my carbs and die years earlier when they poison me and I'll be happy with that. Because, to be honest, if I lived until I was 90 knowing I could never bake a cake, eat a bowl of cereal or have a lovely plate of pesto pasta ever again, I'd probably wish I was dead anyway!
I shall now go and burn in MN hell.
I do bake! I also often make things like pancakes for the DC (coconut milk, almond flour and egg). The chocolate cake I made last week was fabulous and rich (almond flour, coconut oil, egg, real vanilla, raw cocoa and a small amount of raw honey). It was a real treat .
A rich cake like that, I might make every week or two, its low carb despite the honey, and the coconut oil is great brain food.
Food should be pleasurable, I'm not disagreeing with you there!
I think it's important to distinguish between carbs.
In Australia, where the research in thus field is top notch, no one does low carb anymore - it's all about Low GI.
That's much more sensible than lumping all carbs as "work of the devil"
RawCoconut - recipe, please? (drool!)
I have very little desire to bake, or even eat it, so that helps quite a bit. I much prefer cooking to baking.
I do help the dc make cakes sometimes because they like it.
Poppy what does a low GI diet look like, usually. What can you have that you don't on low carb?
Although didn't know you could put together a low carb cake. Will look into that Raw.
For recipes - no need to shell out for a cook book (although there are plenty), most paleo or primal blogs have recipes. All are low-med carb. All are grain free.
The one I used for my most recent choc cake was from "grass fed girl", or "marks daily apple", PaleoHacks has lots of good recipes too. Just google paleo desert or similar...
Thanks. Just did a quick google of almond flour (had no idea!) and coconut flours seems to be a good way to go too. I won't bake often, stil, maybe once month but good to know.
Marsha GI ranks carbs according to their effect on blood glucose levels.
The lower the GI, the slower the rise in blood glucose levels will be when the food is consumed.
The ranking can be fairly surprising - for instance, honey and most cereals (including some "healthy" ones like Weetabix) are killers in terms of GI whilst spaghetti and milk chocolate are low GI.
Here's a very brief list but you can find loads online.
And here's a list of books from some of the most respected researching teams in the field.
In Australia, you actually get GI Stickers on foods at the supermarket and they developed tasty low gi breads too.
When we came back to the UK a couple of years ago, we were really surprised to see people were still doing low cal / low fat diets.
Thanks will check it out. Might be going back to Aus at Christmas so will check it out there too.
Completely agree on low fat / low cal. At least all these ways of eating get away from high sugar/low fat diet food, the worst kind of dieting.
I am a bit worried about using almond flour because my son has just been diagnosed with a peanut allergy. As a precaution I am keeping him away from all nuts at the moment.
Almond flour is nice though, but I cannot abide honey (the smell makes me queasy let alone the taste) and I am not a great coconut lover either, I don't like the texture. So I am a difficult customer.
I like the idea but thinking about it might be a tad too rich for me.
I love cake, and I love baking, but I'm trying not to find substitutes because I need to get my mindset and my tastes away from carbs and sweetness. (Last night I dreamed that I was eating the contents of a piñata! God, but it was vivid - I could feel the Dairy Milk melting in my mouth.)
OTOH, I love cake, and I love baking.
Glycemic index and glycemic load - one big problem is the listed values don't correspond well to actual blood sugar readings in real people (recent studies show).
Fructose has a very low glycemic index, and as such, a lot of manufactured junk food (chocolate milk for example), might have "low fat, low gi" on the bottle, any yet it's stuffed with a killer dose of fructose syrups and sugars...
There might be some use to gi if you understand the limitations, but I think the food manufacturers are (as usual!) counting on the fact that most people won't understand, and won't look any further than the "buy me I'm healthy!" Stickers
Low carb, grain free, low sugars, otoh IS low gi of course!
Obviously there are many factors such as the individual insulin response, but that's the case when you ingest any carbohydrate.
"Fructose has a very low glycemic index, and as such, a lot of manufactured junk food (chocolate milk for example), might have "low fat, low gi" on the bottle, any yet it's stuffed with a killer dose of fructose syrups and sugars..."
I believe the GI Foundation in Australia is required to lab test both the GI and GL of each product before issuing a sticker as it's highly regulated.
It's also important to understand that products change GI/GL values depending on how they're cooked/processed (usually, the less process the better), i.e. a potato can have a very High GI or a Medium to Low.
I think it's such an important breakthrough on how we look at nutrition and diets and it's definitely the chosen weapon against conditions such as Diabetes and PCOS if you need to lose weight and control your blood sugar.
Peanuts are a legume : related to peas and broad beans
not a tree nut.
Almonds are to peanuts as apricots are to beetroot
Yes talkingpeace, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Also I have read some pretty worrying things that happened to people whilst doing a low carb/high fat woe.
You need to have very regular cholesterol checks as although low carbing reduces cholesterol initially, but it raises again especially if you are doing this woe long term.
Also the liver has to work extremely hard to process
the high amounts of protein consumed and many people have had problems with this. I have read alot of pro and con articles and experiences about low carbing, it doesn't work for everyone unfortunately and I'm still not entirely convinced about it's health benefits.
Halfthesize Cardiomyopathy with Left branch bundle block -can you explain to me what this is and how is occurs?
thank you in advance
I don't do low carb. I do 5:2 and high fat was always a gimmick.
Golly, I didn't think anyone would be interested!
I also have a partial left bundle branch block - it's an electrical dysfunction I think. I get palpitations (very Victorian), raging sweats and big BP drops (from scarily high down to high). Apparently the closest definitions so far is inappropriate sinus tachycardia - but that doesn't t quite fit. I do like the idea of being inappropriate though.
Med diet is lots of veg, fruit, olive oil, nuts, fish, meat and a reasonably amount of dairy. Think Spanish, Italian, Greek food.... Natural, unprocessed as much as possible and very colourful. Some carbs but not troughing chocolate, cakes, crisps etc....
I do find that when I eat no sugar I can not have it happily - if I have a bit, the craving becomes unbearable very fast - and I do have more energy without it too - and no "hangover" symptoms after a big night (on the carbs).
I shall be joining bootcamp methinks!
Ivy As OP said its a electrical problem that means my left side does not pump properly. The LBBB is an indication of cardiomyopathy and mine is has been passed down through my dads side of the family.
I take medication and will have to for the rest of my life, they can not cure it but the hope is that the meds slow the process.
MissBeehivin - can you tell me more about your cholesterol? I have FH too, started low carb boot camp in Sept but my yearly review with the consultant was coming up and I was getting nervous eating so much fat.
How long have you been low carbing and what were/are your lipids like? Tell me to bugger off if you like!
what about so called good carbs like sweet potatoes and brown rice?are they okay in a small amount?
5:2 , 16:8 , 14:10 are all gimmicks too and loaded if reports already on this diet causing bingeing in people. Is not a good way for women to eat hormonally. This too will die a death and be replaced by another way of starving yourself and causing disordered eating.
GI has been around for years and years. I remember it years ago.
its the no grains thing i think i would miss.
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