This Week in Low Carb News: The US Interferes with Breast Feeding Policy and Juice Isn’t Healthy

Every week I come across a bunch of articles I want to tweet about and comment on and every week I run out of time to do it.  This is my attempt to clear out the open tabs on my browser by putting them all in one place.  Enjoy!

Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution by U.S. Stuns World Health Officials – I read this article several times and got sicker every time.  An absolutely unconscionable intrusion of private corporate money on public policy.

Seriously, Juice is Not Healthy – Whoa.  NY Times swinging for the fences!  WTG!

Top oncologist to study effect of diet on cancer drugs – Great!  Let’s take a look at how taking sugar out of the diet improves cancer outcomes!

Nearly 75% of people over age 65 have Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes – What?  Are you kidding me?  3/4 of the retirement age population has at least pre-diabetes?  That is nuts!

In Town With Little Water, Coca-Cola Is Everywhere. So Is Diabetes. – Wow “Residents of San Cristóbal and the lush highlands that envelop the city drink on average more than two liters, or more than half a gallon, of soda a day.”

Dr Diamond, if you ever see this, I want you on my podcast!

I’ve traveled the world and the seven seas, everybody’s looking for Stilton

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Who Can Benefit From a Ketogenic Diet?

This is a question I get asked A LOT.  People want to know if they can benefit from a ketogenic diet and my answer is usually some variation of, try it for 60 days and see what happens.  I really believe that if they can get through the transitional phase of the Ketogenic diet and see some of the benefits, they will stick with it or at the very least remove all the sugar and grains from their diet.

Having said that, I thought it would be helpful to create a quick list of issues the ketogenic diet has either been proven to cure or at the very least help.  If you suffer from something on the list, try it out and see what happens.  Here is a beginner’s tutorial on the diet and if you need help getting started, please join the FaceBook support group.

Morbid Obesity

I’m going to start off listing the diseases I have personal experience with because of the amazing benefits I saw when I started eating this way.  You can read my full story here but the cliff notes version is I used to be 400 lbs and now I’m not.  A ketogenic diet lowers insulin levels by removing sugar and starches and the increased saturated fat keeps you satiated.  It’s not a cure all as after a few years of doing this, I have to actually watch my calories but it got me 90% of where I wanted to go.

Metabolic Syndrome

This was the other issue I dealt with.  The technical definition of Metabolic Syndrome is having 3 of 5 symptoms; abdominal obesityhigh blood pressurehigh blood sugarhigh serum triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein. However the way I usually explain is it means you are so fat that your body no longer has new places to put fat.  In this study there was a measurable improvement in all factors on the ketogenic diet.

Type 2 Diabetes

Virta Health has done some incredible work on this and in my experience, if you have this issue it is the first thing the Ketogenic Diet fixes.  I have personally seen insulin dependent Type 2 Diabetics that have been on insulin for over 20 years be able to throw away their insulin after less than 6 months on the diet.  If you have T2D, you really owe it to yourself to start eating this way.


Epilepsy was the first disease ever treated by the Ketogenic diet and has been shown to be powerful for the control of seizures.  Before starting the diet with this condition, I would recommend doing some research at The Charlie Foundation.

High Blood Pressure

This is another issue that I unfortunately have experience with as I have stupid crazy high BP and it runs in my family, having killed both maternal grandparents and my father.  In a study comparing multiple diet types, participants in the Adkins diet dropped their BP by about double the rate of the other diet types.  While the Adkins diet wasn’t fully keto, it at least dropped the carbs enough that we can see the effect of a low carb diet on BP.

There are a host of other diseases that the Ketogenic Diet has been shown to be effective for including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and more but the above are the “big ones” where I believe there is enough evidence in the scientific literature to at least give someone the idea that it would be helpful.  Again, from my own experience, the dramatic difference in my weight and other metabolic issues has been enough to convince me that this is the optimal diet for human beings.

Having said all that, I would like to hear from you.  Those of you who have been on the diet for a while, what issues have you seen clear up?  Those of you that are new, what are you trying to fix?  Let me know in the comments below!

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The My Sugar Free Journey Podcast – Episode 91: Dr Howard Peiper on Nitric Oxide

In this week’s My Sugar Free Journey Podcast, we are talking to Dr Howard Peiper about Nitric Oxide.

Remember that you can follow us on iTunes and I would really appreciate a review there on iTunes.  Thanks!

Podcast Shownotes

You can find more from Dr Howard Peiper from his website here.  You can find all of his books on Amazon here and find the Fitline Munogen he mentioned in the podcast here.

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This Week in Low Carb News: Iron Deficiency on the Rise and the Difference Between Keto and Paleo

Every week I come across a bunch of articles I want to tweet about and comment on and every week I run out of time to do it.  This is my attempt to clear out the open tabs on my browser by putting them all in one place.  Enjoy!

Bacon Causes Cancer? – I’m a fan of anyone who tries to explain the difference between absolute and relative risk and if they do it in a way that explains why eating bacon is ok?  So much the better.

Iron Deficiency Among Young Aussie Women Is On The Rise – If you tell people (especially young women) that Veganism is the healthiest way to eat, you should expect bad things to happen to their health.

How intermittent fasting helped this man with his 125-pound weight loss – I love reading other people’s weight loss stories.  This guy just intuitively stopped eating sugar and processed carbs and saw the weight come off.  You don’t have to be fully keto to do this, just cut out the processed foods!

The Difference Between Keto and Paleo – Great article and one I’ve been meaning to write for this site for a while.

Diabetes defeated by diet: How new fresh-food prescriptions are beating pricey drugs – Another great article about VirtaHealth!

Evidence that Refined Carbs with Vegetable Oils Cause Weight Gain – Would it surprise you to learn that there used to be a product that was essentially sugar sweetened transfats marketed specifically to help people GAIN weight?  It certainly surprised me.

Self magazine features plus-size model Tess Holliday on first digital cover – I’m all for plus sized models but this is a little much.  This is a woman that clearly has endangered her health with her size and needs to drop a few.  It reminds me of when the head of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance died from Pneumonia at 46.  Obesity kills!

CrossFit, Inc. Exposes Conflicts of Interest at Foundations for the NIH and CDC – These links between soda companies and the makers of our public policies really need to be shouted from the rooftops!

The Connection Between Heart Health And Brain Health: Study shows fitness protects against depression and heart disease death in later life – Wanna be healthy late in life?  Start exercising now!


10 Causes of Weight Gain on the Ketogenic Diet

Can you gain weight on a ketogenic diet?  Believe it or not, you absolutely can.  You can be doing everything right and still see the numbers on the scale creep up.  This usually only happens after a fairly substantial amount of weight has been lost or you just have a little more to lose.

So what is happening?  There are several things we can look at to try to tweak to see if we can make a change but the main thing we need to keep in mind is that the scale isn’t the be-all-end-all when it comes to health.  There are many things the ketogenic diet is doing for your health beyond weight loss so sometimes, you just have to trust the process and let your body do what it wants when it wants to do it.  Believe me, I know how tough that is to hear because I just wanted the numbers on the scale to go down while I was losing but it’s important to be reminded that improving your health and losing weight are two different things.

Having said all that, there are some things you need to look at that might be causing your weight to creep up that you need to at least look at.  You might just be one small change away from getting back to losing weight.  Here is a list of things you might want to consider tweaking.

#1 You Aren’t in Ketosis

There is a difference between being Low Carb and actually being in Ketosis.  If you aren’t making ketones, you aren’t in ketosis no matter how much bacon you are eating.

Solution: Measure Your Ketones

You don’t really know if you are in Ketosis unless you test.  You can use urine strips or grab a breath meter but either way, if you want to know you need to test.

#2 Too Many Sweeteners

The problem with sweeteners is that we have a hard time knowing how different sweeteners affect our body.  One sweetener in particular, Ace K, has been shown to not raise blood sugar but stimulate insulin secretion.  That means you could have a Diet Coke and test your blood sugar and not see a problem but you are raising your insulin levels independent of blood sugar levels.  As more science is done on this, we might find out that many sweeteners we think are benign are causing insulin secretion just because they are sweet to the taste.

Solution: Reduce or Eliminate Sweeteners

I know, this one is tough.  All I can tell you is that for me personally I have started drinking my coffee black, reducing the number of “keto desserts” I eat to maybe one every few weeks and limiting the sweetener I put in my tea for dinner.  I wish I could eliminate sweeteners entirely but not drinking sweet tea for dinner strikes me as unbelievably Un-Southern and as a Good Ole Boy, I really need to stay true to my roots here.  I will say that after quite a bit of experimentation, I’ve learned that Sweet N Low and Liquid Stevia have very little effect on my weight if any at all.

#3 You Are Eating Too Much Protein

This is a common problem.  I’ve seen people eat 4-6 eggs for breakfast or eat a big sirloin steak for dinner and see their blood sugar levels go up. Fortunately, it’s got 2 possible solutions and they are both pretty easy to do.

Solution: Eat Less Protein or Grow More Muscle

The first solution is just to eat less protein.  If you eat steak, make sure it’s a fatty steak like a Ribeye.  If you are eating eggs, cook them in butter, etc.  The second solution is even better though.  If all the protein you eat has a job to do, less of it will be converted to glucose through Gluconeogenesis so give that protein a job!  What does protein do?  A lot of things but the one you can most directly control is build muscle when you do weight bearing exercises.  In short, lift heavy things.

#4 You Are Eating Too Many Calories

I don’t think the number of calories has a lot to do with losing weight in the beginning but it seems clear to me that there is a point where your body kind of naturally “settles” at a weight and the only way to get below that is to begin to restrict calories.  To be clear, I think this is a long time coming and took me about 3 years to get there.  Now when I want to lose weight, I primarily do it through fasting and portion control but I still eat a ketogenic diet

Solution: Remove Calorically Dense Foods from your Diet and/or Fast

The #1 food you should remove from your diet is nuts.  From what I’ve seen, they tend to really cause weight gain.  Remember that our ancestors didn’t eat nuts out of a can by the handful.  When they had access to them, they first had to shell them to eat them.  Have you ever collected a bushel of pecans and shelled them?  I have and let me tell you, it is a labor intensive process.  If you want to keep nuts in your diet, consider buying them in the shell and cracking them as you eat them.  You will be eating them much more slowly if you do that.  Barring that, don’t be afraid to play with fasting.  I recommend reading Fung and Moore’s book on fasting first, then skipping breakfast or going to one meal a day.

#5 You are Eating Too Many Processed Foods

As the Ketogenic Diet grows in popularity, you are going to find more and more “keto friendly” products that have questionable ingredients.  Have you see your average Adkins bar at the supermarket?  I wouldn’t eat those things if you paid me.  I have seen all manner of shakes and bars and chips and what not (Although I have to say that Epic’s Pork Rinds are pretty freaking awesome) and most of it is suspect.

Solution: Eat Real Food

I know, I know.  You’ve heard this before but it bears repeating.  Just eat real food.  Pack your lunch. Make your own jerky.  Take charge of your food scene and stop letting circumstance determine what you put into your body.  Plan ahead and follow through.

#6 You are Still Very Insulin Resistant

This is especially true for the formally morbidly obese.  Your body was so used to pumping out massive amounts of insulin every time you ate, it has trouble adjusting to this new way of eating.  Just walking by a donut causes your pancreas to go to work just out of habit.

Solution: Don’t Cheat

I know that the concept of a cheat day or a cheat meal can be attractive but you might not ever be able to that.  You might be one of the people that is so metabolically broken that you will never be able to eat bread again without gaining weight.  I feel your pain because I’m one of those people.  So don’t eat the bread.  Your long term health is more important than short term mouth-pleasure.

#7 Your Medications Might Be Causing Weight Gain

There are a BUNCH of medications that list weight gain has a side effect, the most common ones being anti-inflammatory steroids like Cortizone.

Solution:  Talk to Your Doctor

The only thing you can do here is to talk to your doctor and see if the two of you together can come up with a solution that won’t drive weight gain.  You might just have to deal with the weight gain until you heal and then get back on the horse.

#8 To Much Stress/Too Little Sleep

Stress and sleep levels can absolutely affect stress levels and high levels of the stress hormone cortisol can force your body to put on weight.

Solution:  Get More Sleep and Less Stress

The How-To for this is more detailed than I want to go into for this post but for sleep, I highly recommend Shawn Stevenson’s book, Sleep Smarter.  As for stress, you can try exercise, yoga, deep breathing or just have less things to do.

#9 You Might Have a Thyroid Issue

This is something my wife has struggled with over the years and was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s.  Your weight loss is driven by hormones and if your hormones are off, weight loss can be difficult

Solution: Talk To Your Doctor

Probably the only thing you can do here is to talk to an endocrinologist.  You might also read the Paleo Thyroid Solution by Elle Russ to inform yourself about the issue at hand and possible solutions.

#10 You are Trading Fat for Muscle

Finally, a good problem to have!  If you are doing a lot of weight bearing exercises, you might be putting on muscle faster than you are losing fat.

Solution: This isn’t a problem!

Don’t do anything differently!  Keep exercising and let your body figure out for itself what it needs to do.  Remember to measure your waist, hips, chest, and arms to keep track of how your body is changing.

Did I miss anything?  Do you have anything to add?  Let me know in the comments below!

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