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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...

ringaringarosy Wed 06-Nov-13 10:29:44

its the no grains thing i think i would miss.

MillyRules Wed 06-Nov-13 09:58:31

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.

ringaringarosy Wed 06-Nov-13 09:43:28

what about so called good carbs like sweet potatoes and brown rice?are they okay in a small amount?

Cocoaone Tue 29-Oct-13 19:55:24

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!

halfthesize Mon 21-Oct-13 21:44:28

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.

romina Sat 19-Oct-13 23:43:23

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!

Talkinpeace Thu 17-Oct-13 15:42:46

I don't do low carb. I do 5:2 and high fat was always a gimmick.

ivykaty44 Thu 17-Oct-13 15:37:24

Halfthesize Cardiomyopathy with Left branch bundle block -can you explain to me what this is and how is occurs?
thank you in advance

classifiedinformation Thu 17-Oct-13 14:01:03

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.

Talkinpeace Thu 17-Oct-13 12:49:20

Peanuts are a legume : related to peas and broad beans
not a tree nut.

Almonds are to peanuts as apricots are to beetroot

PoppyAmex Thu 17-Oct-13 12:29:04

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.

RawCoconutMacaroon Thu 17-Oct-13 10:31:08

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 sad

Low carb, grain free, low sugars, otoh IS low gi of course!

ILoveAFullFridge Thu 17-Oct-13 09:39:20


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. grin

MarshaBrady Thu 17-Oct-13 09:35:15

I like the idea but thinking about it might be a tad too rich for me.

classifiedinformation Thu 17-Oct-13 09:32:21

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. blush

MarshaBrady Thu 17-Oct-13 09:24:24

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.

PoppyAmex Thu 17-Oct-13 09:01:46

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.

MarshaBrady Thu 17-Oct-13 09:00:34

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.

RawCoconutMacaroon Thu 17-Oct-13 08:53:07

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...

MarshaBrady Thu 17-Oct-13 08:34:47

Although didn't know you could put together a low carb cake. Will look into that Raw.

MarshaBrady Thu 17-Oct-13 08:33:30

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?

ILoveAFullFridge Thu 17-Oct-13 08:31:21

RawCoconut - recipe, please? (drool!) thanks

PoppyAmex Thu 17-Oct-13 07:45:21

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"

RawCoconutMacaroon Thu 17-Oct-13 07:41:12

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 grin.

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!

classifiedinformation Thu 17-Oct-13 00:08:09

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. grin

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