Natural Ketosis Blog Archive

March' 2014

Juicing Diets - Friend or Foe?

With summer just around the corner, the majority of us will be taking a hard look at our routine and thinking - “Am I doing enough? Do I need to do more gym classes or do more cardio?”. Whilst exercise is definitely an important aspect of a healthy and balanced lifestyle, a key component that often gets missed out is the quality of the food you are eating. Juicing diets can be tempting as they seem to offer a quick answer - cleanse your body on the inside and see the results on the outside. However is it ever that simple?

 

Juicing diets are commonly seen as an excellent solution to cleanse one’s body. Whether it’s because swimsuit season is around the corner, or maybe you’ve attended a bit too many parties resulting in your clothes feeling a bit tighter. Whilst it is quite tempting to think that sustaining your body for a couple of days through juice makes nutritional sense - after all you are meeting your 5-a-day allowance - the truth however may be quite different.

 

What does “Detox” actually mean?

 

Detox is a very popular and commonly used word to describe the effectiveness of various dietary regimens aimed at helping you kickstart your weight loss. However the majority of us may be confused as to what an actual detox phase involves.

 

By Detox, what is usually meant is that we are removing any unnecessary food items and going back to basics. In practical terms, alcohol, confectionary, caffeine and take-outs are off the menu for the next couple of days. In health terms, your body will definitely thank you for doing this. However if you are thinking of shunning real food for juice, you might want to re-think it.

 

Juicing Diets

 

Juicing Diets consist of fuelling your body through liquidised fruit and vegetables. Healthy in theory, not so much in reality. Liquidising vegetables will compromise the structural integrity of the dietary fibre content, not to mention it will make the natural sugars and starch components easier to absorb. This in turn will cause your blood sugar levels to rise quite quickly after ingesting the juice as there is no need for further digestion in the gut. These major swings in blood sugar levels will not cause insulin spikes that will inhibit your body’s natural ability to burning fat. It is also not advisable to undertake juicing diets if you suffer from diabetes or are insulin resistant.

 

Juicing Diets can sometimes be accompanied by the claim that they are beneficial for colon health. There are no clinical studies to back this claim. In fact, studies continually show the benefits of dietary fibre not only for colon health, but also for overall health. Another common claim is that they are a good method to ‘cleanse’ your liver - without adequate fat intake, your liver is placed under stress as it has to produce cholesterol itself to meet your body’s needs. Our bodies also need a constant supply of protein as the body not only is unable to store protein, but is unable to produce half the amino acids (essential amino acids) required for muscle mass upkeep. Hence the reason why humans required a daily intake of protein.

 

Quick Fix or Long Term Success?

 

Whether in the end you decide to go for a juicing diet, it all depends on what your end goal is. If you are looking for a quick fix, then a juicing diet will certainly help as your body will in all likelihood enter into a starvation mode as your body turns to muscle and stored body fat to meet its energy demands. However if you are looking for long-term weight loss and wanting to keep the weight off, then an approach using real food is certainly the way to go and your body will be grateful for it.   

 

A programme such as Natural Ketosis is a well formulated low sugar, low starch diet. To fully get the benefits of this way of eating, we ensure that you are also consuming the right amount of protein and the right amount of beneficial fats. It is also important to ensure that you are consuming the right vegetables and fruits in order to get the full benefits of such an approach.

 

The Natural Ketosis way is not only about being healthy and making the food right choices, but it is also about an education to help you be slimmer forever.

 

Can Diet Affect Your Mood?

This morning one of the main health news stories is about how following a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet can help manage certain mental health conditions. Here is some more information on the biological workings of how this happens.

 

Optimum Nutrition is the medicine of tomorrow - Linus Pauling


Research continually keeps showing the link between our diet and our overall health. Whether it is to feel more comfortable in our own skin or to prevent/manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, etc. these conditions are all affected by what we eat. With so much media hype out there it can sometimes prove difficult to differentiate between hype and fact.


Research


Current research suggests that individuals following a well formulated low sugar, low starch, ketogenic diet not only helps to manage weight, but also helps manage our overall health. At the heart of a well formulated ketogenic diet such as beneficial fats (omega 3 & 6), protein, fruit and non-starchy vegetables, REAL FOOD; it all contributes to ensuring the body’s nutritional needs are wholly met. Our health is directly linked to our gut flora, unfortunately this important link is not always recognised within mainstream care. As for the news about this form of eating and its effect on mood, this is partly due to decreased blood sugar spikes throughout the day, but also due to an increased protein consumption.


Natural Ketosis - how will this help?


The Natural Ketosis way of doing things is quite simple. We promote a low-sugar, low-starch, high-protein, moderate-fat ketogenic diet. Although we are in the same school of thought as Atkins, our approach to diet and lifestyle is different.


On our program we embrace those carbohydrates that are based on dietary fibre rather than simple and/or complex carbohydrates. The difference between these carbohydrates is the way they are digested within the body. By choosing these vegetables and fruits, the essential micronutrient requirements are met whilst ensuring no blood sugar spikes in the progress.


The importance of fat in the diet is often taken for granted as fat has been on the receiving end of bad press for years. Fat needs to form part of a healthy diet as it is an important carrier of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. Once fat is removed from the diet, deficiencies of these vitamins start to become apparent. Having said that, it is important to differentiate the good fats i.e. those found in full-fat dairy items full of essential micronutrients from bad-fats i.e. those found in deep-fried products, and mass-produced confectionary.

 

Protein in the diet is also critical as our bodies cannot store protein. Hence, we need a constant supply each day. Our bodies require protein to build muscle and repair any internal damage. A constant stream of amino acids, especially tryptophan, has been shown to help manage a variety of mental health conditions such as:


1. Helps to regulate mood swings [1]

2. Helps to manage premenstrual symptoms [2-4]

3. Helps to reduce anxiety and stress [5-7]

4. Helps to manage conditions such as depression [8-10]

5. Helps to improve sleep quality [11-14]

 

We at Natural Ketosis are happy to help. So if you have any further questions or would like to know if switching your diet may help then please do get in touch with us and we’ll be more than happy to help.



References:

 

 

  1. Moskowitz DS, Pinard G, Zuroff DC, Annable L, Young SN. Tryptophan, serotonin and human social behavior. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2003;527:215-24.

  2. Menkes DB, Coates DC, Fawcett JP. Acute tryptophan depletion aggravates premenstrual syndrome. J Affect Disord. 1994 Sep;32(1):37-44.

  3. Steinberg S, Annable L, Young SN, Liyanage N. A placebo-controlled clinical trial of L-tryptophan in premenstrual dysphoria. Biol Psychiatry. 1999 Feb 1;45(3):313-20.

  4. Bond AJ, Wingrove J, Critchlow DG. Tryptophan depletion increases aggression in women during the premenstrual phase. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2001 Aug;156(4):477-80.

  5. Corchs F, Nutt DJ, Hood S, Bernik M. Serotonin and sensitivity to trauma-related exposure in selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors-recovered posttraumatic stress disorder. Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Jul 1;66(1):17-24.

  6. van Veen JF, van Vliet IM, de Rijk RH, et al. Tryptophan depletion affects the autonomic stress response in generalized social anxiety disorder. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2009 Nov;34(10):1590-4.

  7. Robinson OJ, Overstreet C, Allen PS, Pine DS, Grillon C. Acute tryptophan depletion increases translational indices of anxiety but not fear: serotonergic modulation of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis? Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012 Jul;37(8):1963-71.

  8. Sa M, Ying L, Tang AG, Xiao LD, Ren YP. Simultaneous determination of tyrosine, tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptamine in serum of MDD patients by high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. Clin Chim Acta. 2012 Jun 14;413(11-12):973-7.

  9. Feder A, Skipper J, Blair JR, et al. Tryptophan depletion and emotional processing in healthy volunteers at high risk for depression. Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Apr 15;69(8):804-7.

  10. Murphy SE, Longhitano C, Ayres RE, Cowen PJ, Harmer CJ. Tryptophan supplementation induces a positive bias in the processing of emotional material in healthy female volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2006 Jul;187(1):121-30.

  11. Mishima K. Melatonin as a regulator of human sleep and circadian systems. Nihon Rinsho. 2012 Jul;70(7):1139-44.

  12. Hartmann E. Effects of L-tryptophan on sleepiness and on sleep. J Psychiatr Res. 1982;17(2):107-13.

  13. Korner E, Bertha G, Flooh E, Reinhart B, Wolf R, Lechner H. Sleep-inducing effect of L-tryptophane. Eur Neurol. 1986;25 Suppl 2:75-81.

  14. Hartmann E, Lindsley JG, Spinweber C. Chronic insomnia: effects of tryptophan, flurazepam, secobarbital, and placebo. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1983;80(2):138-42.

The Importance of Fibre

A common health theme covered by health agencies is the importance of dietary fibre in our diet. Whilst this is a good message all around, some individuals still do not manage to meet their daily requirement of an average 18g of dietary fibre a day (as set out by UK guidelines). Yet what is fibre and what does it do?

 

Fibre, or dietary fibre (also referred to as roughage), are substances that are food within the plant kingdom. Humans are unable to digest dietary fibre as we do not have the necessary enzymes in our gut to break it down to be able to absorb any energy from it. This was the prevailing theory, however new research has shed light on the importance of consuming dietary fibre in one’s diet for a variety of reasons .

 

What is Dietary Fibre?

 

Dietary fibre is a subdivision of the larger macronutrient group carbohydrates. Examples of dietary Fibre include most green vegetables. Nuts can also be classified as fibre but due to their high protein and fat content are frequently not listed in this food group. Naturally some starches (complex carbohydrates ) do contain a degree of dietary fibre too.

 

Dietary Fibre can be further divided into two groups:

 

1). Soluble Dietary Fibre - is water soluble and readily fermented in the gut through the action of gut bacteria.

 

2). Insoluble Dietary Fibre - is insoluble in water. For the most part, insoluble dietary fibre passes intact through our gut, however these can still be fermented by gut bacteria. They also help to provide bulk thereby helping the movement of food through the system [2].

 

Digestion

Simple carbohydrates and starch are digested and absorbed through the same mechanism. Starch is broken down into its simple sugar molecules. These simple carbohydrates are then taken up into the bloodstream causing the blood sugar levels to rise and in turn causing an insulin spike.

The difference in digestion for dietary fibre is that due to its chemical structure, we are unable to digest it into its smaller components for absorption. Hence dietary fibre does not cause a blood sugar and insulin spike. Studies have shown it is able to change the way nutrients and chemicals are absorbed through our gut [2, 3]. Due to our inability to digest dietary fibre into its smaller components for absorption, it does not cause a blood sugar and insulin spike.

Contribution to Health

Dietary Fibre’s role in our health is often taken for granted. Foods rich in dietary fibre are not only full of other micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins, but are also less energy dense and help with management of conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes [1]. Once digested, dietary fibre interacts with our satiety hormones with studies showing that dietary fibre regularises food cravings by helping us to feel fuller [4]. Studies have also shown that by consuming a diet sufficient in dietary fibre is beneficial for heart health [5].

The Natural Ketosis way of doing things is quite simple. We promote a low-carb, high-protein, moderate-fat diet. Although we are in the same school of thought as Atkins, our approach to diet and lifestyle is different.

On our program we embrace those carbohydrates that are based on dietary fibre rather than simple and/or complex carbohydrates. The difference between these carbohydrates is the way they are digested within the body. By choosing these vegetables and fruits, the essential micronutrient requirements are met whilst ensuring no blood sugar spikes in the process. On our programme you will be consuming sufficient dietary fibre from the fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts that we recommend.

Therefore the Natural Ketosis way is not only about making the right choices, it is also about keeping healthy long-term.


 

References:

  1. Manisha Chandalia, M.D., Abhimanyu Garg, M.D., Dieter Lutjohann, Ph.D., Klaus von Bergmann, M.D., Scott M. Grundy, M.D., Ph.D., and Linda J. Brinkley, R.D. (2000) Beneficial Effects of High Dietary Fiber Intake in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. N Engl J Med, 342, p1392-1398

  2. Judith A Marlett, Michael I McBurney, Joanne L Slavin (2002) Position of the American Dietetic Association: Health Implications of Dietary Fiber. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 102 (7), p993-1000.

  3. R Puupponen-Pimiä, A.-M Aura, K.-M Oksman-Caldentey, P Myllärinen, M Saarela, T Mattila-Sandholm, K Poutanen (2002) Development of functional ingredients for gut health. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 13 (1),  p3-11.

  4. Joanne L. Slavin (2005) Dietary fiber and body weight. Nutrition, 21 (3), p411-418

  5. Threapleton DE ,Greenwood DC ,Evans CEL ,Cleghorn CL ,Nykjaer C ,Woodhead C ,et al. (2013) Dietary fibre intake and risk of cardiovascular disease: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 347:f6879

Is Starch Another Form of Sugar?

With the media’s attention on the amount of ‘added sugar’ in our food, the amount of starch consumed daily by the average Briton is not commonly discussed. A paper published late last year showed that a major contributory factor to obesity in the UK are potatoes and bread [1]. If you are looking to cut sugar out of your diet, it is also worth taking a look at the types of vegetables and fruits you eat, as these may also be contributing to high blood sugar levels.

 

A common mistake that people make when trying to decrease the amount of sugar in their diet, they overlook items such as starchy vegetables, legumes and grains. While these items look very different to simple sugars such as granulated sugar, honey, etc, they are themselves another form of sugar.

 

Sugar in all its forms

 

Simple sugars and starch are digested through the same mechanism within the human body. In the gut, starch is broken down into its simple sugar molecules. These simple sugar molecules (irrelevant of origin before being eaten) are then taken up into the bloodstream causing blood sugar levels to rise. This in turn will cause an insulin spike turning excess sugar into the bloodstream as fat as well as preventing the body’s fat burning capabilities.

 

Items such as wholemeal bread, legumes and potatoes - so-called white starch - are sometimes deemed to be a good source of sugars as well as vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately this is not the case. Starchy foods will still be turned into simple sugars in the human gut. Ever wondered why you might be struggling to lose those extra few pounds even though you are eating “healthy”? It’s because you are still supplying your body with sugar.

 

What about Dietary Fibre?

 

The difference in digestion for dietary fibre is that due to its chemical structure it acts as a bulking agent in the gut helping to promote bowel health as well as promoting healthy gut bacteria.  

 

 

What is a Low Sugar Diet?

 

A well formulated low sugar diet is one which is not only low in sugar, but also low in starch. To fully get the benefits of this way of eating, you need to ensure that you are also consuming the right amount of protein but also the right amount of beneficial fats. It is also important to ensure that you are consuming the right vegetables and fruits in order to get the full benefits of a low sugar, low starch diet approach.

 

The Natural Ketosis way is not only about being healthy and making the food right choices, but it is also about an education to help you be slimmer forever.


 

References:

 

1. Kentaro Murakami, Tracy A. McCaffrey and M. Barbara E. Livingstone (2013). Associations of dietary glycaemic index and glycaemic load with food and nutrient intake and general and central obesity in British adults. British Journal of Nutrition, 110, pp 2047-2057.

 

Are there any Low Sugar Food items?

Not a day goes by that a story covering research into new ways to prevent or manage the current obesity and diabetes epidemic. Fruits, vegetables or extracts are constantly being paraded as the new ‘superfood’ or the magic cure we have all been waiting for. One of the latest trends to help put a dent in the obesity statistics are to reduce the amount of ‘added sugar’ products in our diet. However what makes an item low sugar? And will a simple swap do the trick?

 

Switching to more natural, less processed food is always a plus and your body will definitely be grateful to you for that. Processed food is full of artificial colouring, flavour enhancers and artificial preservatives. Have you ever looked at the ingredients list on the back of packet and wondered if all those items are actually required? In our previous post we discussed the various names under which sugar can disguise itself as in food. However, how can you tell the amount of sugar found in fresh fruit and vegetables?

Confused?

It is very easy to get confused with all the mixed messages we keep getting regarding healthy food. There are some who will say that even though granulated white sugar is bad, honey is an excellent healthy substitute to sweeten your beverages. With the current focus on sugar we are forgetting about grains and starches that turn to sugar in the body through digestion.

Hence, whilst some will say that white rice and pasta are bad, you can substitute these for brown rice and whole wheat pasta. Unfortuantely this method is not solving the problem of too much sugar in one's diet. In terms of carbohydrate content of there is not much difference between the two versions. White rice contains 77g of carbohydrates per 100g of product, brown rice contains 74g of carbohydrates per 100g of product. As for pasta, ‘normal’ pasta contains 72.0g of carbohydrates per 100g of product whilst whole wheat pasta contains 62.2g of carbohydrates per 100g of product.

Natural Sugar - as bad as white granulated sugar?

The idea of substituting refined granulated white sugar for honey, agave, or even simply drinking a fruit smoothie (from real fruit) may not be the healthiest thing that you can do as in actual fact you have not removed ANY sugar from your diet.

Another important fact to mention is that if your vegetable intake is mostly made up of tubers such as potatoes or parsnips, then the amount of sugar in your diet is still high. Unfortunately, rice pasta and noodles are also a no-go area, even if they are wholewheat. The reason being that all these items, when ingested, will raise blood sugar levels and in turn cause an insulin spike. Too much insulin in the body will automatically turn off the body’s natural ability to burn fat for energy.

 

What is a Low Sugar food Source?

 

What makes a food item low in natural sugar is the amount of dietary fibre in contains. Fruits that are low in natural sugars but high in dietary fibre content are berries such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. These berries also contain beneficial antioxidants that research keeps showing are good for overall health.

 

With regards to the vegetables, the general rule of thumb is that the greener it is, the less sugar it has. So vegetables that are naturally low in sugar and high in dietary fibre and other micronutrients include cauliflower, spinach, brussel sprouts, curly kale, etc. Dietary fibre is an important component of a healthy diet as it helps to maintain a healthy gut and a healthy gut bacterial environment.

 

The Natural Ketosis way of doing things is quite simple. We promote a low-sugar, low-starch, high-protein, moderate-fat diet. On our program we embrace those carbohydrates that are based on dietary fibre rather than simple and/or complex carbohydrates. The difference between these carbohydrates is the way they are digested within the body. By choosing these vegetables and fruits, the essential micronutrient requirements are met whilst ensuring no blood sugar spikes in the progress.

 

Therefore the Natural Ketosis way is not only about being healthy and making the right choices, but it is also about being slimmer forever.

 

Are Polyols the Next Best Thing in Reducing Sugar consumption?

With the debate on the ill-health effects of sugar still on-going, many of us have had a hard look at our shopping basket to try and minimise our sugar consumption. In light of our new-found skepticism on the amount of hidden sugars in our diet, many products have tried to clean up their ingredient lists by removing sugar and substituting it for non-sugar ingredients such as polyols. However, are these sugar-substitutes as good as the food industry say they are?

 

The amount of sugars and hidden sugars in our diet is currently a hot topic in the media. With the detrimental effects of excess sugar consumption on our health becoming ever more apparent, those of us with a sweet tooth have had to make tough decisions on what to put in our shopping basket. However, with a sweet tooth still to satisfy, items labelled sugar-free are steadily becoming a firm favourite.


What are Hidden Sugars?


Hidden sugars are ingredients that have been added to a pre-prepared product to add flavour and texture it. Whilst we are familiar with white granulated sugar as being sugar, we are still unfamiliar with the other names that sugar presents itself in our food.


Here is a list of names that sugar presents itself as in pre-prepared food:

 

  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Fructose
  • Sucrose
  • Dextrose
  • Anhydrous Dextrose
  • Honey
  • Inverted Sugar
  • Raw Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Confectioner’s powdered sugar
  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Corn Syrup
  • Corn Syrup Solids
  • Malt Syrup
  • Maple Syrup
  • Pancake Syrup
  • White granulated sugar
  • Molasses
  • Nectars (eg peach nectar, agave nectar, pear nectar, etc)

 

Sugar-Free Yet Still Sweet


Polyols are becoming a popular ingredient in foods labelled as ‘sugar-free’. Polyols are a group of low digestible carbohydrates. They are easily recognisable in ingredients list due to the suffix ‘-ol’ eg: lactitol, mannitol, etc, the only exception to this rule is the polyol isomalt.  With regards to polyol digestion, humans to do not contain the enzymes necessary to break these down and so are not absorbed into the bloodstream. Due to this, they do not cause a rise in blood sugars and a subsequent insulin response. Hence, on the surface, polyols appear to be low carb friendly.


Published research into the health benefits and effects of polyols are in favour of substituting them for added sugars as they cause less dental caries and are seen as a good method to help tackle the obesity and diabetes epidemic [1].


However, having said this, research has shown that consuming more than 10g of polyols a day can have a laxative effect as well as aggravate irritable bowel syndrome symptoms [2].


Oligofructose - a better option all round


Oligofructose (also known as Fructooligosaccharide [FOS]) is a naturally occurring alternative sweetener. A growing body of evidence continues to show the importance of a healthy gut environment is not only helpful for bowel health but also to enable full absorption of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, through our gut [3]. Studies into the health benefits of oligofructose show that it stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria in the human gut and hence termed as prebiotics [4].


The use of oligofructose as a natural sweetener offers satisfaction to one’s sweet tooth whilst also avoiding blood sugar spikes and unwanted laxative side effects. It is for this reason that here at Natural Ketosis we use only oligofructose in our food, thereby ensuring that the quality of our food is second to none.


Ok, but what about honey and coconut sugar?


Coconut sugar and honey are sometimes seen as ‘healthy’ alternatives to granulated white sugar as they come from natural sources and due to this contain nutrients beneficial to health. Whilst honey and coconut sugar do contain traces of antioxidants, B vitamins, etc, these account for only 5% of total content. The other 95% is made up of a variety of carbohydrates, the main one being fructose. Hence the idea of substituting sugar for honey, may not be the healthiest thing that you can do as in actual fact you have not removed any sugar from your diet.


References:


1.  Geoffrey Livesey (2003). Health potential of polyols as sugar replacers, with emphasis on low glycaemic properties. Nutrition Research Reviews, 16, pp 163-191

 

2. de Roest, R. H., Dobbs, B. R., Chapman, B. A., Batman, B., O'Brien, L. A., Leeper, J. A., Hebblethwaite, C. R. and Gearry, R. B. (2013), The low FODMAP diet improves gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: a prospective study. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 67: 895–903


3. Legette, L. L., Lee, W., Martin, B. R., Story, J. A., Campbell, J. K. and Weaver, C. M. (2012), Prebiotics Enhance Magnesium Absorption and Inulin-based Fibers Exert Chronic Effects on Calcium Utilization in a Postmenopausal Rodent Model. Journal of Food Science, 77: 88–94.


4. Niness K.R. (1999), Inulin and Oligofrucotse: What are They? The Journal of Nutrition, 129:7 1402S-1406S

 

Does Eating Meat Cause Cancer?

With recent headlines stating that eating animal protein are as bad for your health as smoking, does the data in the research paper in question back this claim?

 

There are quite a few leaps in this paper that have been taken on by the press to apply to the population’s nutrition.

The main issue with this paper is that it is talking about an association between higher protein intake and ill health. An association is not causation, a term that has been skimmed over by the media.

This is an epidemiological observational study which is based on a single 24hr recall diet history. Whilst the authors list a series of papers that validates this approach, the ‘gold standard’ way to get a full picture of an individual’s diet is a 3-day food diary which weighs food consumed and food wasted.

Data Collection

In summary, the paper presents two sets of data and how protein affects health in two sub-groups of the population:

1.       People aged between 50-65 years

2.       People aged 66 years +

From the data collected, the authors keep to their hypothesis that low levels of growth hormone receptor deficiency (GHRD) and/or growth hormone deficiency (GHD) are linked with a longer life-span and reduced risk of cancer and insulin resistance/diabetes.

Protein is Bad

Whilst the paper goes on describing the negative impact that a high animal protein diet has on health (animal protein on average makes up 11% of nutrient intake), the authors fail to try and understand why protein seems detrimental to health in the 50-65years group and why the opposite is true in the older generation. In fact, both the epidemiological and cellular biology data from the mouse studies, show that increasing protein consumption has overall beneficial effects in this section of the population. In fact, a high protein diet appeared to promote weight maintenance and overall health in ‘old’ mice. The data from the survey in fact showed that:

“…those who consumed high amounts of protein had a 28% reduction in all-cause mortality.”

“Subjects with high protein consumption also had a 60% reduction in cancer mortality […] compared to those with low protein diets, which was also not affected when controlling for other nutrient intake or protein source.”

So where is the data that shows that animal protein is worse than smoking for health?

Generation Gap?

From the data presented by the authors, what emerges is an interesting pattern indicating that serum IGF-1 on the low, moderate and high protein diet did not confer any advantages in the 66years + individuals. The only statistical significant difference is for the individuals aged 50-65 years. Could this difference be due to the fact that the older generation were not as heavily exposed to Government advice to lower the amount of fat in their diet and to increase the amount of carbohydrates instead?

Another possible conclusion from this study is that the current eating pattern of providing over 50% of total energy from carbohydrates and only 16% of energy from protein is causing more harm than good to our health.

Plant Protein vs Animal Protein

The authors go on to mention that human risk is minimised when the protein is plant based. Funnily enough the data is not shown, not even in the supplementing material.

The authors of this study conclude that diets based on plant proteins are better for overall health as evidenced by the studies they carried out in mice. The cancers investigated in this study were melanomas and breast cancers.  The authors show that decreasing the amount of the soy protein given to the mice is proof that low protein diets (especially plant protein) are required to stop the cancer’s growth rate. However this same observation can also be interpreted to say that less soy protein in the diet confers advantages to halting the spread of these cancers.

Soy isoflavones are biologically active compounds that are able to bind to the human body’s oestrogen receptors in the same way that human oestrogens can (Mortio et al. 2001). In doing so, they can disrupt the body’s normal endocrine system.

Due to their ability to mimic the human oestrogen hormone it is often used as an alternative therapy to relieve symptoms of menopause in women. It has also been shown that it interferes with normal thyroid function, however more studies are required to confirm this (Rao et al. 1997).

Conclusion

The headlines that have been gripping the media about the unhealthy aspects of animal protein cannot even be traced back to the original paper itself. The only positive aspect to come out of this bit of research is that a moderate to high protein diet is beneficial for individuals over the age of 66+ years.

 

References:

1.        Levine ME, et al. Low Protein Intake Is Associated with a Major Reduction in IGF-1, Cancer, and Overall Mortality in the 65 and Younger but Not Older Population. Cell Metabolism. 2014;19(3):407-417

2.       Mortio K. et al. Interaction of Phytoestrogens with Estrogen Receptors α and β. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 2001; 24 (4): 351-356

3.       Rao L. Divi, Hebron C. Chang, Daniel R. Doerge. Anti-Thyroid Isoflavones from Soybean: Isolation, Characterization, and Mechanisms of Action. Biochemical Pharmacology.1997; 54 (10): 1087-1096

 

Will Eating Make You Gain Weight?

When you are following a Natural Ketosis programme, you will be told that snacking is ok. You can snack on eggs, cheese, and other items that are frowned upon by conventional eating. So if you are consuming all these items, how is it that you will still be losing weight and inches?

 

 

We are constantly being told that we need to decrease the amount we are eating if we are to see any weight loss and maintenance. However how much of this is substantiated by science? Studies continue to show that the hormonal chaos that our bodies are placed under when we eat less to try and lose weight is a big contributing reason to individuals experiencing ‘yo-yo’ dieting [1] throughout their life.


The Importance of Hormones


Following a typical ‘Western’ diet i.e. consuming bread, pasta, rice and confectionary will lead to insulin spikes throughout the day. Insulin is the hormone responsible to maintaining stable blood sugar levels but also ensuring that any extra sugar in the blood is disposed of. Our bodies are extremely well formulated to store any extra energy. Hence, any excess sugar in the blood that has not been used to provide energy to the body will be stored as glycogen and subsequently as fat through the action of insulin.


Insulin is extremely good at instructing our fat cells to store energy and to not release it. So how do you get your body to use its fat stores for energy?


The answer to this is keep insulin spikes to a minimum. Low levels of insulin in the blood will allow other metabolic hormones such as glucagon to instruct the fat cells to release stored fat for energy.  In doing so, your body will switch to using mainly the energy being released from your fat stores. This process is known as ketosis, and it is via ketosis that you are ensuring that your body is using stored body fat for fuel whilst preserving muscle mass.


The Natural Ketosis way of doing things is quite simple. We promote a low-sugar, low-starch, high-protein, moderate-fat diet. Although we are in the same school of thought as Atkins, our approach to diet and lifestyle is different.


On our program we embrace those carbohydrates that are based on dietary fibre rather than simple and/or complex carbohydrates. The difference between these carbohydrates is the way they are digested within the body. By choosing these vegetables and fruits, the essential micronutrient requirements are met whilst ensuring no blood sugar and insulin spikes in the progress.


Therefore the Natural Ketosis way is not only about being healthy and making the right choices, but it is also about being slimmer forever.


Reference


1. Sumithran P & Proietto J (2013) The defence of body weight: a physiological basis for weight regain after weight loss. Clinical Science, 124, pp231-241