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Surprising advice from cardiologist

(84 Posts)
romina Tue 15-Oct-13 08:12:55

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...

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 15-Oct-13 21:32:22

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).

MissBeehiving Tue 15-Oct-13 21:45:48

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 smile

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 15-Oct-13 23:04:23

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 smile.

Eating this way can prevent, improve or cure many metabolic issues... Basically everything that comes under the umbrella of "metabolic syndrome.

noddyholder Tue 15-Oct-13 23:09:06

I have cardiomyopathy and low carb transformed me

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 00:08:57

Low carb also helps to prevent cancer.

BelaLug0si Wed 16-Oct-13 00:31:12

Millymilkyme - please can you give a reference of studies (proper scientific studies) to evidence that claim.

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 01:38:47

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?

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 01:40:03

You could have just looked for yourself on the internet though Bela.

halfthesize Wed 16-Oct-13 08:13:29

I also have early stage Cardiomyopathy with Left branch bundle block, Low carbing has transformed me also and was recomended by my Cardiologist smile that and regular exercise.

ILoveMakeUp Wed 16-Oct-13 08:16:44

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.

captainmummy Wed 16-Oct-13 08:19:03

Get ot the Bootcamp threads, anyone who wants more proof. And to do it themselves...

MarshaBrady Wed 16-Oct-13 08:19:15

Am a big fan of low carb. Which is really no sugar.

RawCoconutMacaroon Wed 16-Oct-13 08:54:00

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 sad.

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.

classifiedinformation Wed 16-Oct-13 09:17:35

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?

classifiedinformation Wed 16-Oct-13 09:27:11

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.

ILoveMakeUp Wed 16-Oct-13 09:29:41

Here is a deliciously healthy carb-free recipe for all the family:

Burgers & Chips (aka Bean Burgers & Carrot Fries).

I cooked this for my junk food-loving family at the weekend and they loved it!

snakeweave Wed 16-Oct-13 10:16:07

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.

snakeweave Wed 16-Oct-13 10:18:02

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.

classifiedinformation Wed 16-Oct-13 13:25:00

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!

Talkinpeace Wed 16-Oct-13 13:46:19

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.

RawCoconutMacaroon Wed 16-Oct-13 13:47:26

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.

RawCoconutMacaroon Wed 16-Oct-13 13:50:49

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 grin!

ILoveMakeUp Wed 16-Oct-13 14:07:49

No to home baking. Sorry, but just because homemade is healthier, it does not make it healthy.

Carb-free all the way.

choceyes Wed 16-Oct-13 14:13:34

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.

choceyes Wed 16-Oct-13 14:14:12

not cards...carbs!!

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