Natural Ketosis Blog Archive

May' 2014

More Evidence Shows the Optimal Benefits of a Low Carb Lifestyle & Diabetes

The month of May has been an interesting month with regards to new research shedding light on the beneficial health impacts of following a low carbohydrate lifestyle.

 

Diabetes


Over the last few weeks, two separate studies have reported that a low carbohydrate diet offers overall better health improvements to individuals suffering from Type 2 diabetes.


The first study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [1], followed over 3 million participants in three major nutrition studies. The outcome from these individuals’ lifestyles showed that those who limited their intake of sugars and starches had better overall blood glucose levels.  Those individuals who consumed a diet high in sugar and starches were found to be 55% more at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes thereby showing the importance of limiting items that have a direct impact on blood sugar levels.


The other study, published in the Annals of Medicine [2], compared health outcomes for individuals who either followed a low fat traditional diet or a low carbohydrate diet. The focus of this study was not only beneficial health outcomes such as weight loss and blood sugar maintenance but also to observe if a dietary intervention in individuals diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes would see their subclinical inflammation levels improve.  The importance of improving Type 2 diabetes inflammation levels is to reduce the possibility of further complications brought about the condition such as cardiovascular disease and nephropathy. After only 6 months of following a low carbohydrate lifestyle , individuals following this lifestyle saw their level of inflammation improve.


Comparison with other nutrition interventions


A systematic review published in the British Journal of Nutrition [3] looked at the long-term effects of a low fat versus a high fat diet. The review looked at a total of 14 different studies which have compared the two lifestyles. By carrying out statistical analysis and comparing the data from these studies, the review concluded that these two dietary approaches do indeed exert a difference on the management of pre-  and type 2 diabetes with a high fat dietary approach offering a better overall health outcome not only for weight loss but also helps to improve cardiometabolic markers such as HDL-C levels (good cholesterol) and an improvement in triglyceride levels.


These studies once again show the importance of following a low-carb, high-protein and moderate-fat approach to daily health – the Natural Ketosis way.






References:


1. Bhupathiraju, S.N. et al., 2014. Glycemic index, glycemic load, and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from 3 large US cohorts and an updated meta-analysis. The American journal of clinical nutrition.


2. Jonasson, L. et al., 2014. Advice to follow a low-carbohydrate diet has a favourable impact on low-grade inflammation in type 2 diabetes compared with advice to follow a low-fat diet. Annals of medicine, 46(3), pp.182–187.


3. Schwingshackl, L. & Hoffmann, G., 2014. Comparison of the long-term effects of high-fat v. low-fat diet consumption on cardiometabolic risk factors in subjects with abnormal glucose metabolism: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The British journal of nutrition, 111(12), pp.2047–2058.

 

Action Plan to Deal with a Slip

Trying to lose weight is not always a smooth road. There will always be bumps and potholes that unfortunately may force you to deviate from your original plan. So what happens? Does one meal (or two) going to undo all your hard work up till then?

 

Life happens. The important thing is not to be so hard on yourself.


Having a slip is a normal part of making a lifestyle change and it can be expected. However just because you know it can happen, that doesn’t mean being passive about it when it happens.  It is rather about taking a pro-active approach and trying to understand any possible triggers or situations and learning from them.


Do not take a slip to mean failure, but rather see it as a learning opportunity.


Take it from us here at Natural Ketosis HQ, we have all had our own weight loss journeys and here are our tips to help you make the most out of this learning opportunity.


Step 1: Think Back


Thinking back to times when you have slipped before, try answering the questions below so you can begin to see what your learned behaviours for a “slip” would generally be:


->What causes you to slip from trying to change your dietary habits?

->What feelings do you have after you slip?

->How would you normally deal with a slip?


No matter what you have done, it will not completely ruin everything as long as you respond in the  correct way. The only way that your whole progress can be ruined is if you do not get back on track and keep going forward toward your goal.


Step 2: Action Plan


Do not let yourself think negatively about the slip as this will only encourage you to see the situation in a more negative light than it needs be. Replace these thoughts with good thoughts. Tell yourself that you are only human, you can only learn from this situation. Rather than thinking that you have already gone off the rails and so might as well give up,  regain control as quickly as you can by planning your next meal or snack in advance to ensure that it is in line with the programme principles.


And most importantly, remember to stay focused on the bigger picture. Look at all the good you have done up until now and the positive changes which you have already put into effect. Pro-actively making a lifestyle change is a steep learning curve - however it is one that can be overcome.

 

Diabetes and a Low Carbohydrate Lifestyle

Not a day goes by without a news piece covering the UK diabetes epidemic or coverage regarding new and exciting research that focuses on new interventions to either prevent or manage diabetes. Yet what is diabetes, and can dietary interventions make a difference?

 

Diabetes is not a new medical phenomenon. The first reference to this condition can be traced back to an Egyptian papyrus dating back to c1550BC. Yet, if this condition has been present since early human civilisations, what has changed over the past decade that has lead to it becoming an epidemic? Statistics published in February 2014 by Diabetes UK [1] reveal that the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK totals 3.2 million (6% of the population).

 

Minimising Sugar and Starches

 

Individuals suffering from diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) have elevated blood sugar levels due to metabolic insulin dysfunctions. Due to this diabetic individuals struggle to manage their insulin secretion thereby requiring pharmaceutical interventions (either orally or intravenously) to help manage their condition.

 

By consuming a lower amount of carbohydrates in the diet, this will help to manage the majority of insulin metabolic dysfunctions as:

  1. There will be less sugar in the blood
  2. Due to lower levels of blood sugar, insulin levels will be decreased
  3. Lower levels of insulin means that a lower dosage of diabetic drugs will be required to manage the body’s blood sugar homeostasis feedback loop.

 

What does the Science say?

 

A number of dietary intervention studies have compared the effect of carbohydrate restriction (minimising the amount of sugars and starches in one's diet) and its effect on blood sugar levels when compared to a low fat low calorie diet - the standard dietary prescription for diabetic individuals. In all these studies, carbohydrate restriction came out as the clear winner showing it to be the more effective dietary treatment for the management of diabetes.

 

In the UK, the SIGN (2010) [2] guidelines have now acknowledged the safe use of low carbohydrate diets for the treatment of diabetes in the short term. Whilst in 2013 the American Diabetes Association (ADA) [3] recognised that carbohydrate restriction is indeed a viable therapy for the management of diabetes

 

The key points of these studies include [4-13]:

 

  1. A low carbohydrate lifestyle dramatically lowers both fasting blood glucose levels and glycosylated haemoglobin levels (HbA1c).

  2. A low carbohydrate lifestyle can offer a reduction in, or complete elimination of, all types of anti-diabetic medications.

  3. Individuals with diabetes experienced a greater overall improvement in Quality of Life (QOL) following a low carbohydrate lifestyle.

  4. It lowers inflammation levels in individuals suffering from diabetes.

Natural Ketosis

 

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 progress.

 

The Natural Ketosis way is not only about being healthy and making the right choices. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any further questions. We’ll answer any questions you have and help you make an informed decision.



 

References:

 

1. Diabetes UK. 2014. Diabetes Prevalence 2013. [online] http://ow.ly/wPqUR

 

2. SIGN, 2010. Management of Diabetes: A National Clinical Guideline. [online] http://ow.ly/wPrfQ

 

3. Evert, A.B. et al., 2013. Nutrition therapy recommendations for the management of adults with diabetes. Diabetes care, 36(11), pp.3821–3842.

 

4. Rossi M, Turati F, Lagiou P, Trichopoulos D, Augustin LS, La Vecchia C, Trichopoulou A .2013. Mediterranean diet and glycaemic load in relation to incidence of type 2 diabetes: results from the Greek cohort of the population-based European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Diabetologia.56(11):2405-13

 

5. Gardner CD, Kiazand A, Alhassan S, Kim S, Stafford RS, Balise RR, Kraemer HC, King AC: Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: the A TO Z Weight Loss Study: a randomized trial. JAMA 2007, 297(9):969-977.

 

6. Jenkins, D.J.A. et al., 2008. Effect of a low-glycemic index or a high-cereal fiber diet on type 2 diabetes: a randomized trial. JAMA: the journal of the American Medical Association, 300(23), pp.2742–2753.

 

7. Guldbrand, H. et al., 2012. In type 2 diabetes, randomisation to advice to follow a low-carbohydrate diet transiently improves glycaemic control compared with advice to follow a low-fat diet producing a similar weight loss. Diabetologia, 55(8), pp.2118–2127.

 

8. Yamada, Y. et al., 2014. A non-calorie-restricted low-carbohydrate diet is effective as an alternative therapy for patients with type 2 diabetes. Internal medicine , 53(1), pp.13–19.

 

9. Saslow, L.R. et al., 2014. A randomized pilot trial of a moderate carbohydrate diet compared to a very low carbohydrate diet in overweight or obese individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus or prediabetes. PloS one, 9(4), p.e91027.

 

10. Daly M.E, Paisey R, Millward B.A et al. Short-term effects of severe dietary carbohydrate-restriction advice in type 2 diabetes-a randomized controlled trial. Diabetic Medicine, 2006, 23: 15-20.

 

11. Dyson P.A., Beatty S., & Matthews D.R. A low-carbohydrate diet is more effective in reducing body weight than healthy eating in both diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. Diabetic Medicine, 2007, 24: 1430-1435.

 

12. Boden G, Sargrad K, Homko C, Mozzoli M, Stein TP. Effect of a low-carbohydrate diet on appetite, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2005, 142: 403–411

 

13. Jonasson, L. et al., 2014. Advice to follow a low-carbohydrate diet has a favourable impact on low-grade inflammation in type 2 diabetes compared with advice to follow a low-fat diet. Annals of medicine, 46(3), pp.182–187.


 


Is Sugar Addictive?

With the recent media attention on the population’s sugar consumption, studies that have previously been neglected for their claims on the psychological effects of sugar consumption are now gaining more recognition.

 

 

There have been claims, and even urban myths, that have stated that consuming too much sugar is addictive. So to answer our initial question - is sugar addictive?


 

The Science So Far


Due to the nature and implications of this theory, the number of studies looking at the effects of sugar on human subjects are few and far in between. Hence the data that we have on the psychological implications of sugar consumption are all based on animal studies. A scientific literature review of all the research that has been done on this topic concluded that under certain circumstances these animals did become addicted to sugar and that more research needs to be done to fully assess the extent of this of in humans [1].


Of the studies conducted on this issue, revealed that when these animals were offered a choice of cocaine, morphine or sugar (in the form of oreo biscuits), these animals always went for the biscuit [2]. What does this say about sugar’s effect on the brain reward systems?


Another study showed that excessive sugar consumption led to the animals experiencing a state similar to that shown to morphine and nicotine dependence [3]. Yet another study showed that after a period of abstinence from sugar, these animals exhibited a greater intake of sugar, due to their previous deprived state [4].


Current Eating Advice


The current healthy eating guidelines advise that to get the best nutrition, one needs to ensure that 50% of each meal is made up of a variety of carbohydrates. However, whilst these items are not usually associated with being sugary, the biological digestion of these items turns them into sugar and are recognised as such by the brain. An interesting study showed that the brain’s liking and wanting mechanisms were higher after consuming a meal consisting of mostly carbohydrates compared to consuming a high protein meal [5]. This want/liking mechanism operated independently of total energy intake. In other terms, although subjects ate a big meal consisting of carbohydrates, they were still hungry afterwards and wanted more, unlike the subjects that ate a protein-based meal.


Whilst reducing the amount of sugary items consumed in the form of biscuits, confectionary, fizzy drinks etc may help to reduce your cravings, this is not enough if you are going to get rid of those constant hunger feelings and the need for a quick energy fix in the afternoon (usually in the form of a biscuit or a chocolate bar). If you really want to get rid of those sugar cravings, then a rearranging of the macronutrient intake in one’s diet is required to lessen not only the cravings for sugar -  but also the feeling of still feeling hungry even if a meal has just been consumed.



Sugar - Kicking the Habit


So how are you expected to make an informed decision that is going to benefit your health?


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 progress which will in turn help reduce cravings in between meals for sugary items.


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. Studies keep showing that a high protein diet helps to reduce hunger and control cravings as you feel satiated for longer [5].


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





References:


1. Avena, N.M., Rada, P. & Hoebel, B.G., 2007. Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews, 32(1), pp.20–39.

2. Student-faculty research suggests Oreos can be compared to drugs of abuse in lab rats. 2013. http://ow.ly/wpARN


3. Colantuoni, C. et al., 2002. Evidence that intermittent, excessive sugar intake causes endogenous opioid dependence.Obesity research, 10(6), pp.478–488.


4. Avena, N.M., Long, K.A. & Hoebel, B.G., 2005. Sugar-dependent rats show enhanced responding for sugar after abstinence: evidence of a sugar deprivation effect. Physiology & behavior, 84(3), pp.359–362.


5. Born, J., Martens, M. & Lemmens, S., 2013. Protein v. carbohydrate intake differentially affects liking-and wanting-related brain signalling. British Journal of. Available at: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0007114512001092.