Are YOU Addicted To Sugar?

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What’s the first thing you need to do if you are going to adopt a Ketogenic or Low Carb Diet?  Ditch The Carbs!!  To be a bit more specific, you need to ditch the sugar first and then set about removing the rest of the unwanted carbohydrates from your diet.  But that’s easier said than done, right?!

Some of us have a serious problem giving up the sweet stuff and that is often why some of us ultimately fail to succeed at getting back to health.  What most of us don’t realise is that Sugar Cravings are a very real and powerful addiction and many of us suffer from it to one degree or another.  If we don’t adopt a sound plan to beat this addiction, we are doomed to fail.

Dr. Nicole Avena is a research psychologist and neuroscientist who is an expert in the fields of nutrition, diet and addiction.  She received a Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton University in 2006, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Rockefeller University and presently holds a faculty position at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.   Her resume is beyond stellar (you should read it on our event page here) including over 70 published journal articles, appearances on TV shows like The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors.  She has also written 2 books, one of which, Why Diets Fail (2014, Ten Speed Press) reviews the research on food addiction and provides a way in which people can remove added sugars and carbohydrates from their diet.

Watch this short interview and make a decision to come and join us, and many other great speakers, in West Palm Beach, January 19 – 221,2018 and make sure she signs a book for you!!

[Doug Reynolds:  Founder – LowCarbUSA®] FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Angst About Confronting Family?

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‘Tis the Season, the holidays are coming!  Time for family feasts, holiday parties and friends to get together.  What is everyone going to think about your new (or not so new) eating habits?  How do you feel about the Holiday Diet and confronting some of those traditional foods that are filled with nostalgia?

First of all, feasting usually means MEAT!  Grab that dark meat turkey and you just might shock skinny sister Christine who is hanging onto the vestiges of fat free eating with her small slice of breast meat.  Have the skin that has been baking in butter and herbs and she will surely faint!  A nice slice of roast beast will cover up enough of your plate that Grandma June won’t even notice you are skipping the sweet potato casserole.

When invited to a friend’s or a relative’s, bring a dish that you can enjoy.  A huge salad or a side dish of steamed broccoli will not look out of place at anyone’s holiday table.  Worried about the mashed potatoes?  Make a bowl of creamy mashed cauliflower and you won’t even miss the gravy.  Say no to food pushers who want you to try, “just a spoonful” of the stuffing.  Instead of trying to explain your way of eating, just tell mom that you couldn’t possibly fit another bite. When it comes to leftovers, pack up the protein for yourself and leave the rest for the others.

Dreading the dessert table?  Now’s the time to check out some of those recipes you have been seeing on your Facebook page.  While I don’t advocate fat bombs or sugar substitutes for daily meals, they would be really appropriate for these special occasions.

Cocktails and wine are always present during this time of year.  Try vodka and club soda (or even on the rocks) with a squeeze of fresh lime as a festive holiday drink.  Share a bottle of low sugar wine and no one will be the wiser.  Dry Farm Wines are a favorite here at LowCarbUSA®.  Be extra fancy at dinner with sparkling water like Pellegrino.  Anything in a beautiful wine glass will be festive.  A few bites of cheese, a shrimp cocktail and you have a party.  You might want to try a new recipe for mushroom caps stuffed with sausage or minced curried chicken on endive leaves and your friends will think you are going all out to entertain.  Mingle and dance.  Sing songs by the piano.  Being with your friends and family is what it’s all about.  But, with all the delicious foods we low-carbers can eat, we will do just fine during the holidays.

[New Contributing Blog Author: Nancy Scheuermann] FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Do You Worry About Low Brain Cholesterol Levels?

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Cholesterol Levels

Source: Suzi Smith, used with permission

Who would have thought?!  Although the brain represents only 2% of total body weight, it contains 20% of the body’s cholesterol.  The brain is cholesterol-rich on purpose—because it needs large amounts of cholesterol to function properly.  Just the mere mention of the word cholesterol elicits feelings of fear and angst in most everyone today, yet it is fundamental to our existence.  Cholesterol forms a part of the membrane of every cell in our body and these highly intelligent structures participate in cellular signaling and the transport of substances into and out of cells.

Our fears emanate from national dietary guidelines, put in place by the McGovern Commission in 1977, that claim that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol, are responsible for Cardiovascular Disease.   But when we look into it, these USDA Guidelines were based on non-existent, bad, and even forged data (look up Ancel Keyes and the Seven Countries Study).  The years following 1977 have seen a meteoric rise in not only CVD but also many other chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Morbid Obesity, Alzheimer’s and Cancer.

That’s why we started Low Carb USA®.  We felt we needed to provide a platform for scientists and medical professionals to present all the latest research that shows it is, in fact, sugar and excessive carbohydrates that cause the inflammation that leads to plaque buildup and heart disease and that saturated fat and cholesterol are not the demons.  We also wanted to start creating a community where people could feel safe from the ostracism and hostility from friends and family for taking action to improve their health or even to save their own lives.  As you read these words and recognise the fears and even possibly identify with one of these situations, you can’t make the decision not to get to one of our events.

Suzi Smith, used with permission

Source: Suzi Smith, used with permission

One of the most popular speakers at many of our conferences is Georgia Ede, MD.  Dr. Ede is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and nutrition consultant practising at Smith College who is a regular contributor to Psychology Today with articles about food and mental health.  In fact it was her article about Low Brain Cholesterol that inspired this post.  She does a great job of explaining what cholesterol is and why it is so important to our bodies and our brains.  She also looks into whether or not vegans and statin users need to concern themselves with Low Brain Cholesterol.

It turns out that although people on a Vegan Diet have many other nutrients that they need to worry about, Cholesterol is not one of them.  Cholesterol cannot cross the blood-brain barrier and so the brain makes it’s own and is not affected by dietary cholesterol consumption (or lack of it in this case).  However, people who take Statins should be very concerned.  Statins DO cross the blood-brain barrier and  and enter brain cells, where they reduce the brain’s natural ability to make the cholesterol molecules the brain needs to do its important work.

Dr. Ede goes into great detail about these mechanisms and the terrible side effects of Statins in her article, but  what caught my eye was how succinctly she captured the rebuttal we are all looking for when we are confronted by people who try to tell us that our way of life is going to cause us to drop dead of a heart attack.  I LOVE her quote that “All animal foods (meat, seafood, poultry, dairy, and eggs) contain cholesterol because all animal cells need cholesterol“.

In her article, she states, “Statins are a bad idea —not just because they can gum up your brain, slow your hormone production, reduce your coenzyme Q10 levels, cause muscle pain, and put you at risk for other potential side effects, but also because they may not even reduce your risk for heart attacks.  Prominent UK cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra agrees: heart disease is NOT about cholesterol or saturated fat.  It is about insulin resistance (aka pre-diabetes) and inflammation within your blood vessels.  Diets high in refined carbohydrates (like sugar, flour, cereals and fruit juice) can lead to abnormally high insulin levels.  It just so happens that insulin boosts the activity of your cholesterol-building enzyme, HMG-CoA-reductase—the very same enzyme that statin drugs suppress! [Nelson DL, Cox MM. Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry. 5th ed. New York, NY: W.H. Freeman; 2008:842].

That’s right—eating too much processed carbohydrate is most likely what’s raising your “bad” cholesterol in the first place.  The call is coming from inside the house.  Turn down the refined carbs in your diet and you will naturally turn down your internal cholesterol production—all without drugs, side effects or co-pays.  Chances are, if you have “high cholesterol,” you don’t have a cholesterol problem; you have a sugar problem.  Cholesterol is just an innocent bystander, corrupted by too much sugar—guilt by association”.

WerbeFabrik/Pixabay (modified)

Source: WerbeFabrik/Pixabay (modified)

How much cholesterol should we eat?

Dr. Ede says, “This is a fascinating question and difficult to answer with certainty.  Our cells can make cholesterol from scratch out of foods that don’t contain any cholesterol, so technically, we don’t need to eat any cholesterol.  However, making cholesterol is hard work; it takes 30 chemical reactions to build a single cholesterol molecule.  For all we know, the body may prefer that we obtain ready-made cholesterol from food so it doesn’t have to bend over backwards to keep us in stock.

So, theoretically anyway, it’s possible to get by without eating any cholesterol, but the question still remains, is it dangerous to eat too much cholesterol?  Apparently not.  Although the change was introduced very quietly and not publicised in any way, even the latest USDA guidelines finally dropped their case against dietary cholesterol: “available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol….Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.

Why don’t we need to worry about dietary cholesterol?  The body has elegant mechanisms in place to regulate how much cholesterol we absorb from food.  More importantly, the vast majority of the cholesterol in your blood doesn’t come from foods you eat; it is made by your own body.  “High cholesterol” occurs when we eat too many of the wrong carbohydrates too often, not when we overeat steak and eggs”.

The tide is turning, so come in from beyond the breakers where you might be battling with Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes or Heart Disease and catch the wave into the beach and enjoy amazing health for the rest of your life?  Take the opportunity to Join Our Community in West Palm Beach Jan 19 – 21, 2018 and learn from some of the best scientists in the world how to preserve your health AND that of your loved ones as well.

[Doug Reynolds:  Founder – LowCarbUSA®] FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Dealing with Dietary Differences During the Holidays

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Traditional holiday dinners used to be so simple.  People would gather from near and far, enjoy each other’s company, feast on secret family recipes, rub their bellies with satisfaction, and fall asleep on the couch.  That was until your sister became a vegan, dad went paleo, your little brother developed a life-threatening nut allergy, and your uncle who lives off the grid in the woods adopted an insect-based diet for the sake of the planet.  What’s a good-hearted host to do?  What’s a guest with a special diet to do?  You can Read the Entire Article by Dr. Georgia Ede in Psychology Today.

Georgia Ede MDGeorgia Ede, MD, is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and nutrition consultant practicing at Smith College.  She writes about food and health on her website DiagnosisDiet.com and she also writes numerous articles for Psychology Today.   She became interested in nutrition after discovering a new way of eating that completely reversed a number of perplexing health problems she had developed in her early 40′s, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and IBS.  This experience led her on a quest to understand why the unorthodox diet that restored her own health is so different from the low-fat, high-fibre, plant-based diet we are taught is healthy.  It turns out, she says, that nutrition is not rocket science; if you understand how food works, it all makes sense.

Dr. Ede has been a popular speaker at two of our Low Carb Conferences already and is scheduled to speak again at our West Palm Beach Event, January 19 – 21, 2018 and at our San Diego Conference, July 26 – 29, 2018

“The good news is that the recent trend towards special diets doesn’t need to be a recipe for disaster”, says Dr. Ede.  She says she has many food sensitivities and she eats a special diet.  Many of her family members and friends eat special diets, some of which are very different from her own.  She hopes to help you maintain holiday harmony this season by sharing some of the things she has learned as a host, guest, psychiatrist, and nutrition consultant.  Read More

You should jump at the chance to catch her and many other renowned speakers by Registering NOW for the event in West Palm Beach, January 19 – 21, 2018 or in San Diego, July 26 – 29, 2018

[Doug Reynolds:  Founder – LowCarbUSA®] FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Low Carb Diet For Type 1 Diabetes, A Personal Story

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[Admin: Yassine came all the way from Belgium to attend our San Diego event in August 2017 and submitted this story about his daughter to us afterwards.  We felt we had to share it with you]

 

 our 11-year-old daughterOn August 19th 2016, our 11-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  The care team at the hospital did a phenomenal job at nursing her back to health and training us in the main aspects of diabetes management, namely diet and insulin regimen.

One week later we were back home and implementing the diet we were taught, structured around specific amounts of carbs for each meal and snack and corresponding insulin doses.  We were using 4 daily injections of a fast-acting insulin (NovoRapid, similar to NovoLog, typically 22 units per day) and slow acting insulin (Lantus, typically 11 units at bed time).

During our training at the hospital the educators were very clear that the long-term complications of diabetes (retinopathy, nephropathy, micro and macro-vascular disease, etc.) were due to high blood sugars (>160mg/dL, aka “hyperglycemia”, or “hypers”) inflicting progressive damage to specific cells over years of poor glycemic control.

Low blood sugars (<60mg/dL, aka “hypoglycemia” or “hypos”), in comparison, can create significant discomfort (dizziness, sweating, trembling, etc.) but our care team explained that they were not dangerous per se (unless a severe hypo happens while the diabetic is driving for example).

We were also taught that the key health metric used to track glycemic control was glycated hemoglobin (aka “HbA1c”).  It is a good estimation of the average blood sugar levels over approximately the last 3 months.  Healthy non-diabetic people typically have A1c values between 4.5 and 5.5%. diabetics are typically higher than 6.5%.  Most diabetes care official guidelines try to keep patients’ HbA1c levels below 7.5% for kids and 7% for adults.

All the complications of diabetes are associated with high A1c level.  According to the studies on diabetic cohorts, higher risks of serious complications  appear for A1c higher than 5.5%

(data from DCCT (1996) (1), Stratton et al. (2000) (2), Khaw et al. (2004) (3), Feinman et al. (2015) (4)).

Dependence of risk for myocardial infarction and microvascular end points on hemoglobin A1c.  Data adjusted for age at diagnosis of diabetes, sex, ethnic group, smoking, presence of albuminuria, systolic blood pressure, high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides. UKPDS

The absolute risk of sustained retinopathy progression (hazard rate per 100 patient-years) in the combined treatment groups as a function of the updated mean HbA1c during follow-up in the DCCT estimated from a Poisson regression model with 95% confidence band.  C: rate vs. values of HbA1C 58%. D: cumulative incidence (probability) over 9 years of treatment vs. HbA1c

This was very surprising to us. If the odds of extremely serious complications started from A1c levels higher than 5.5%, why would the objective be to be at 7%? Why not shoot for normal blood sugar levels for diabetics?

The answer we were given was that it was very hard to control blood sugars in general, and that it was not realistic to aim for normal blood sugars and A1c levels, so if we were below 7%, we were already “reducing” the risk for long term complications. The curves above represent instantaneous (C) or 9-year cumulative risk levels (D). My daughter will hopefully live way beyond 9 more years, and over her full expected lifetime, the cumulative risk corresponding to a 7% A1C is dramatically higher than that of an A1C of 5.5%.  Conclusion:  @ 7% A1C, we are definitely NOT reducing the risk for long term complications to an acceptable level, only normal A1C levels (as in healthy non-diabetic subjects) would do.

We thought that we should investigate ways that we can improve glycemic control and test the hypothesis from our diabetes care team that it is “impossible to have normal blood sugars” in our daughter’s case.

We are lucky to be able to use a continuous blood glucose monitor (Abbot’s Freestyle Libre), which provides us with a continuous curve of blood glucose measurements throughout the day (technically, the sensor captures sugar concentration in the skin interstitial tissue and extrapolates blood sugar, but in our case, the estimate we get from that are very close to a 20-minute time-shifted curve of actual blood glucose as measured by a standard finger-prick glucometer method).  Here is how a day of our daughter’s blood glucose levels looked like on the recommended diet and insulin regimen (on a good day…).


After each meal (containing typically 30-70g of carbs), blood glucose would go up, then the insulin we had injected 5 to 15 minutes before the meal would kick in and bring it back down.  These significant variations are due to the recommended high carb diet.  We were taught to count the carbs and inject a corresponding dose of fast-acting insulin.

We found it extremely hard to reduce or remove the variations in the curve above.  We experimented by slightly changing the insulin doses, the timing of the injections with respect to meal times, etc. But we learnt that the speed at which carbs impact blood sugar depends on many things (what you eat with the carbs, in what order, etc.).  The absorption speed of injected insulin is also variable.  Bottom line, we found that, in perfect agreement with what we were told at the hospital, we could not maintain a low variation of the blood sugar curve, at least with the recommended diet.

So, to recap, in order to avoid long term diabetic complications, we want to maintain low A1c levels.  To do so, we need to maintain low average blood sugars.  Since the curve varies significantly due to high carb meals, low average blood sugars mean very frequent hypos.  Although we understand hypos are not serious issues per se, they have a significant impact on our daughter’s daily life, including relatively severe discomfort multiple times a day that affect her classroom focus and overall morale.

In other words, as long as the blood sugar curves have such levels of variance, we have to choose between the 2 undesirable outcomes of higher either A1c (long term risks) or many hypos (short term issue).

We therefore started thinking about how we could lower the variance of the glycaemia curve.  Given that dietary carbs have by far the highest impact on blood sugar levels, we started considering lower carb diets and, accordingly, lower fast-acting insulin doses.

When we lowered the number of carbs per day from 160-200g per day to 35-40g a day, the results were spectacular (right hand curve is for low carb).

 

 

 

 

Switching to a low carb diet was a very effective way to normalize our daughter’s blood sugars.

Using large doses of carbs and insulin makes any tiny variation in absorption rates or timing result in a hyper or a hypo. Using lower doses of carbs and insulin mean the unavoidable variations in timings and absorption rates result in tiny peaks or valleys instead.  Smaller inputs lead to smaller errors from unavoidable mistakes.  As the peaks and variance become much smaller, it becomes possible to have a normal average blood sugar levels without the crippling hypos she used to undergo.  She has been on this diet for a couple of months now, her blood sugars typically vary between 60 and 130mg/dL in the day with averages between 80 and 90, her A1c 3 months after diagnosis was 5.2%, the hypos went from more than 10 to less than 3 per week and the hypers went from 2 per week to 0.  This outcome is actually consistent with the rare academic studies we have been able to dig up on the use of lower carb diets for type 1 diabetics (Nielsen et al. (2005) (5)).  We were by the way surprised to find so few studies on this topic.  The sample sizes are quite low and the long term impacts poorly known as few studies go beyond a couple of years.

We wondered how our daughter would take to a low carb diet.  I guess we are lucky that she does not have a sweet tooth.  We compiled a list of recipes from websites like dietdoctor.com or ditchthecarbs.com.  We created weekly meal and snack plans from these recipes.  Then we tested them and asked our daughter for rate each recipe.  To this day we keep testing new recipes and replacing the ones she does not approve of. Giving her control of the meal plan is our way of making her part of it and making sure we are not subjecting her to meals she does not like.  She says she is reassured by her blood sugar curves and likes her meals so far.  We do no hesitate to make exceptions (e.g. birthday parties, when she asks for sushi, etc.), we just give her the corresponding dose of fast-acting insulin.  We are also experimenting with many low carb sweetened recipes so she does not feel deprived of cakes, sweets and deserts.  The online resources for this are abundant and the recipes fairly easy to follow.

This low carb approach to stabilize blood sugars is still an exception among diabetics.  Very few doctors recommend this diet for multiple reasons, most of which are still unclear to us.  The 27 co-authors of Feinman et al. (2015) are strongly advocating for the use of low carb diets for diabetics, claiming that the available evidence for the upsides is compelling enough while that of the alleged risks is not.  Davis & Runyan’s book  (6),and Dr. Bernstein’s (7) Diabetes Solution are 2 very useful sources on this topic.

At the same time, most doctors, including our original endocrinologist, do not recommend low carb diets.  They mention many long-term risks (growth, liver metabolism, oxidative stress, microvascular issues, etc.).  The problem is, we have found many research papers tying all these problems to high blood sugars, not low carb diets.  The pattern we have seen is that most situations where we see these problems also involve high A1c levels, which normal blood sugars specifically help avoiding.

The bottom line is: we are in charge of our daughter’s health, and to the best of our knowledge a low carb diet tackles the biggest long term risk for her health.  We are perfectly happy changing our mind and diet if

  1. She does not like it
  2. The demonstrated downsides of low cab diets are more problematic than the increased risk of diabetic complications associated with A1c levels higher than 5%

For now, the former is not true and we have not been able to find compelling evidence for the latter.

The Facebook group Type1grit was a tremendous help during this whole process.  It is a extremely active and helpful community of type 1 diabetics and their parents following the low carb diet described in Dr. Bernstein’s diabetes solution book.  The members are very supportive and combine a wide variety of expertise areas and experience levels.  I have still to ask a question in that group’s page that was not followed within hours, sometimes minutes, by a useful and supportive reply.  This community is wonderful and an invaluable help in the emotional rollercoaster following the diagnosis.

Now let’s take a look at some of the common warnings we got from different doctors or dietitians about low carb diets:

1. You mean you eat more Fats?

Reducing carbs means increasing at least one of the other two macronutrients. We follow the protein guidelines for her age and weight (and appetite).  The main change in her diet is a significant increase in the quantity and variety of vegetables, as well as a significant increase in protein (about 2g/kg/day, she weighs about 40kg) and natural fats (1.5g/kg/day – by “natural” we mean no prepared industrial dishes, trans-fats, etc., but the fats naturally present in meats, fish, dairy products, etc.).  We have naturally looked into the recent literature on dietary fat, focusing on RCTs and systematic meta- analyses, and our conclusion is that dietary fat (especially saturated fat) is not convincingly associated with heart disease (see Harcombe et al. (2016) (8), Santos et al. (2012) (9), Kuipers et al. (2011) (10), among others).  We are aware this is complex and extensively researched, that different types of fats play different roles, that long term studies tend to be observational cohort ones while RCTs testing for causality tend to be relatively short term (less than 2 years).  That being said, we have found no compelling evidence to discourage us from using a low carb diet to stabilize blood sugars.  Gary Taubes’s book, Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007), proposes an in depth literature review on this topic and helped us tremendously in navigating this research field.

2.  It may work, but it is not sustainable!

It is working for us for now, and our daughter loves the recipes.  We understand that this might change dramatically as she grows up, hits teen age rebellious years, etc., but in the meantime we will have gained as many years as we can with normal blood sugars and we will have trained ourselves and her to makes delicious low carb meals.  We allow exceptions (friend’s birthday cakes for example) and our daughter is in full control of the meal plan.

3.  It is not possible to control blood sugars!

We are aware that blood sugar can be influenced by a myriad of factors (diet, exercise, weather, hormones, puberty, infection, etc.). We have already observed wild variations during an infection (a cold) and expect significant ones during puberty etc. We understand there are many factors we do not control, we just want to fix the one we do control.

4.  It will interfere with her growth!

This was a surprise to us, as we could not find out why sufficient protein, sufficient energy (from fat) and a wide variety of healthy vegetables would impair growth. We have found a few articles (Bonfig et al. (2012) (11)) about growth curves for type 1 diabetics and they show an association between high A1c and stunted growth. Our low carb diet allows us precisely to keep A1c low, so we are still looking for evidence. We are checking regularly her height and weight. 5 months from diagnosis, she is still tracking nicely with her pre-diabetes growth curves (75th percentile for height and 50th for weight), time will tell us if she is drifting away from them.

We are still looking for all the evidence we can find to help us understand the risks we may be increasing, but so far we have found nothing compelling to lead us to change what we are doing.

Both my wife and I are engineers and profound believers in science.  We usually follow to the letter the doctor’s recommendations.  In this specific case, we are for now convinced that the nutrition research does not support the alleged evils of a properly formulated low carb diet.  We are actively in search of evidence either way and are fully ready to change our approach in the face of compelling evidence.  We are not certain of our approach, especially in the face of so much push back from most doctors, but in our honest opinion the available evidence is not consistent with this pushback, and the alternative would be to submit our daughter to higher A1c levels, and there is ample compelling evidence that that is not a favorable outcome.

[Make sure you get to one the LowCarbUSA® events and see people who are changing lives and meet others whose loves have been changed forever!]

References

  1. Control, T. D., Trial, C., & Control, T. D. (1996). The absence of a glycemic threshold for the development of long-term complications: The perspective of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial. Diabetes, 45(10), 1289–1298. https://doi.org/10.2337/diabetes.45.10.1289
  2. Stratton, I. M., Adler, A. I., Neil, A. W., Matthews, D. R., Manley, S. E., Cull, C. A., … Holman, R. R. (n.d.). Association of glycaemia with macrovascular and microvascular complications of type 2 diabetes (UKPDS 35): prospective observational
  3. Khaw, K.-T., Wareham, N., Bingham, S., Luben, R., Welch, A., & Day, N. (2004). Association of Hemoglobin A 1c with Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality in Adults: The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer in Norfolk . Annals Of Internal Medicine, (141), 413– 420.
  4. Feinman, R. D., Pogozelski, W. K., Astrup, A., Bernstein, R. K., Fine, E. J., Westman, E. C., … Worm, N. (2015). Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and evidence base. Nutrition, 31(1), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2014.06.011
  5. Nielsen, V., Jönsson, E., & Ivarsson, A. (2005). A Low Carbohydrate Diet in Type 1 Diabetes: Clinical Experience – A Brief Report.   Upsala J Med Sci, 110(3), 267–273.
  6. The Ketogenic Diet for Type 1 Diabetes, Ellen Davis, M.S. and Keith Runyan, M.D. (2015)
  7. Bernstein RK. Dr. Bernstein’s diabetes solution: the complete guide to achieving normal blood sugars. 4th ed. New York: Little, Brown and Co; 2011
  8. Harcombe, Z., Baker, J. S., DiNicolantonio, J. J., Grace, F., & Davies, B. (2016). Evidence from randomised controlled trials does not support current dietary fat guidelines: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Open Heart, 3(2), e000409. https://doi.org/10.1136/openhrt- 2016-000409
  9. Santos, F. L., Esteves, S. S., da Costa Pereira, A., Yancy, W. S., & Nunes, J. P. L. (2012). Systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials of the effects of low carbohydrate diets on cardiovascular risk factors. Obesity Reviews, 13(11), 1048–1066. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-789X.2012.01021.x
  10. Kuipers, R. S., de Graaf, D. J., Luxwolda, M. F., Muskiet, M. H. A., Dijck-Brouwer, D. A. J., & Muskiet, F. A. J. (2011). Saturated fat, carbohydrates and cardiovascular Netherlands Journal of Medicine. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.2008.26285
  11. Bonfig, , Kapellen, T., Dost, A., Fritsch, M., Rohrer, T., Wolf, J., & Holl, R. W. (2012). Growth in children and adolescen ts with type 1 diabetes. The Journal of Pediatrics, 160(6), 900–3.e2. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.12.007
  12. Flotats Bastardas, M., Miserachs Barba, M., Ricart Cumeras, A., Clemente Leon, M., Gussinyer Canadell, M., Yeste Fernandez, D., … Carrascosa Lezcano, A. (2007). Hepatomegalia por deposito de glucogeno hepatico y diabetes mellitus tipo 1. Hepatomegaly due to Glycogen Storage Disease and Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, 67(2), 157–160. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1695-4033(07)70577-5
  13. Jain, S. K., McVie, R., & Bocchini, J. A. (2006). Hyperketonemia (ketosis), oxidative stress and type 1 diabetes. Pathophysiology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pathophys.2006.05.005
  14. Roh, H.-T., Rhyu, H.-S., & Cho, S.-Y. (2014). The effects of ketogenic diet on oxidative stress and antioxidative capacity markers of Taekwondo athletes. Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, 10(6), 362–366. https://doi.org/10.12965/jer.140178
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Holiday alert: You can drink wine and stay healthy

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New Years ResolutionThe holidays have a funny way of encouraging over-indulgence.  We eat more, travel more, drink more, party more; everything seems to be in excess.  Our health takes a hit.  We sacrifice our bodies for a few months in the name of celebration and good cheer.  Then, we make the New Year’s Resolution to get back to our best health.

We’ve been going through this cycle for years now, and one of the main ways we overindulge is with alcohol.  Hard liquor, sugary cocktails, beer, shots, high alcohol wines – the world consumes them all.  In England, for example, one study found the country consumes 12 million more bottles of wine per week during this festive time of year.

That’s a lot of headaches and hangovers.  Plus, it feels like we’re cheating our healthy diets.   The holidays shouldn’t be a time for guilt or sacrifice. They’re a time for love and celebration! Alcohol can be a vibrant part of this celebration, but you have to drink the right stuff…

Low Alcohol Natural Wines

Low Alcohol Natural WinesResearch shows that low alcohol Natural Wines are the ideal alcohol choice to maximize the health benefits (like all those polyphenols!) and minimize the negatives.  Dry Farm Wines curates the world’s best natural wines – all organic, sugar-free, natural, and low alcohol wines. They lab test every wine they import to make sure the alcohol content is 12.5% or less.  Your first reaction is probably like ours: why low alcohol?  I need the buzz…

Low alcohol doesn’t mean “no buzz”; it’s a different buzz completely.  The wine industry markets high alcohol wines as more valuable and desirable.  In reality, you can still get pleasantly inebriated from low alcohol wines, but you’ll feel fresh and euphoric.  Here’s the best way we can explain it:

  1. Creative expression.  Low alcohol doesn’t impact your cognition the same way liquor does.  And wine doesn’t cause the inflammation from gluten in beer.  Low alcohol wines keep your mind active. They soften your anxieties and your barriers, so you feel more creative and expressive.
  2. Euphoric buzz. When you drink low alcohol wines, you don’t get “drunk”; instead, you get a social, euphoric buzz.  You feel really good – energetic, smooth, joyful – without feeling sluggish or sloppy.

Low alcohol wines provide the perfect balance between enjoyment and health, and they get us feeling the pleasurable buzz of wine without seriously damaging our bodies.  

Sugar Free Sparkling

sugar-free sparkling wineAnother great part of Dry Farm’s philosophy is their health promise.  They only offer wines free of sugar and carbs (less than 1 g/L, so statistically sugar free).  It’s amazing they’re able to find reds and whites for regular drinkers.  We enjoy their Pinot Noirs, Merlots, Chardonnays, and more, all while staying on our healthy diets.

What really caught our attention this year was their sugar-free sparkling wine.  Bubbles are a staple of holiday celebrations, but they’re usually full of sugar. In fact, sparkling wine can have up to 50 g/L, which is like eating 2 teaspoons of sugar with each glass of wine (it’s because of the winemaking process, where many winemakers add sugar into the wine to trigger fermentation so bubbles form).

Without the sugar or carbs, you can feel good about clinking those bubbly flutes.  You won’t sacrifice your health, and you won’t get negative wine reactions like headaches or energy crashes.

Food + Wine

Let’s talk about food and wine pairings for a second.  We’ll be eating a lot during the holidays: homemade meals with family, dinner at your favorite restaurant with friends, and take out for those nights you need a break.  Natural Wine is the best wine to pair with food. It’s made without any additives or industrial processing, so it tastes vibrant and fresh.

Most industrial wine contains colorings, flavorings, preservatives, and other additives – there are actually 76 chemicals approved for use in US winemaking.  And, wine labels aren’t required to post an ingredients list or nutrient facts, so we’ll never really know which ones we’re drinking.

Have you ever enjoyed wine without any of this stuff?  It tastes different to commercial wine: it’s clean and crisp.  It goes better with food because none of the additives (or high alcohol) conflict with the taste and subtle flavors of your meal.  Natural wine complements your food perfectly.

Holiday Offers

Holiday OffersDry Farm Wines offers membership in their health community, where you can get access to their lab-tested Natural Wine as often as you’d like.  Sign up here, and they’ll add an extra bottle to your first order courtesy of our awesome partnership.

They’ll also be running a few seasonal offers during Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays, like a 3-pack of sparkling wine. Sign up for their newsletter and stay connected with their great family.

And, their wine makes the perfect gift. They have a strong gift lineup for the holidays; they’ll handle all logistics of shipping wine and even hand-write a personalized note for your gift.  

Give their wines a try over the holidays.  With their unique Happiness Guarantee, they’ll either replace or refund any bottle you don’t enjoy.  As soon as you take a sip, you’ll taste and feel the difference with these wines.  And trust us, your body and mind will thank you.

[Doug Reynolds:  Founder – LowCarbUSA®] FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest