Carbs, not fats, cause weight gain

A 'healthy' diet increases body weight

Carbs are the only foods that increase body weight. I know this is heresy to the 'healthy eating' dictocrats, but it is demonstrably true. This is how it works:

Carbohydrates – it doesn't matter whether these are in sugar, jam, bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, fruit or vegetables – are all exactly the same as far as your body is concerned: they are all ultimately converted to the blood sugar, glucose.

All carbs are digested very quickly – within a few minutes. This means that within a very short time after a carb-rich 'healthy' meal the level of glucose in your bloodstream will rise rapidly as is demonstrated in the graph at Figure 1. (Note that this shows very clearly that eating fat does not raise blood glucose.

{See the Graph and

Cancers Are Sugar Junkies

It's now more than 70 years since Otto Warburg, Ph.D. won the 1931 Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells. The crux of his Nobel thesis was that malignant tumours frequently exhibit an increase in anaerobic metabolism compared to normal tissues. In other words, they don't like oxygen.

The significance of this is that fat and ketone bodies as a source of energy require oxygen while glucose doesn't. And that in turn which means that cancer cells are dependent on glucose for growth. All cells can use glucose, but cancer cells consume as much as 4 or 5 times more than normal, healthy cells. In fact, cancer cells seem to have great difficulty surviving without glucose. A study carried out by Johns Hopkins researchers found evidence that some cancer cells are such incredible sugar junkies that they'll self-destruct when deprived of glucose.

{Read More...}

Hormone Linked to Stored Fat Could Explain Atkins Diet

BOSTON, June 6 --

Explain to interested patients that this study -- conducted in mice -- appears to show that a single hormone controls the switch from a normal metabolism to one in which stored fat is consumed for energy.

Point out that the research was conducted in experimental animals and that the humans may not respond in exactly the same way.

In a discovery that may explain the successes of the Atkins diet, investigators have found that a single hormone may switch on the use of stored fat for fuel when all else fails. The hormone, fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), is expressed in the liver and drives the production of so-called ketone bodies, which in some circumstances provide up to 70% of the energy required by the brain, according to two studies reported in the June issue of Cell Metabolism.

The findings may explain the fat-burning benefits sometimes seen in high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets, such as the Atkins diet, said Eleftheria Maratos-Flier, M.D., of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center here.

And the discovery may lead to new approaches to obesity, Dr. Maratos-Flier said. "We think these findings would increase the desirability of a drug that (might work through this mechanism) to increase fat oxidation in the liver," she said. Dr. Maratos-Flier and colleagues reported that in order for mice on a carbohydrate-restricted diet -- or simply kept without food -- to switch gears and begin burning fat, they need increased blood levels of FGF21.

The accompanying study, led by Steven Kliewer, Ph.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, also found that the hormone breaks down fat -- both in animals forced to fast, as well as those with chronically elevated concentrations of FGF21. The Dallas researchers also showed that as animals adapt to a food shortage, the hormone leads to energy-conserving behavioral changes. They move less and sleep more.

"It's startling that you can give one hormone and flip the whole metabolic profile," Dr. Kliewer said. What's more, he said, the hormone appears to counteract the effects of too much food.

"What's really exciting is that mice with excess FGF21 -- even when they are fed -- look like they are fasted," Dr. Kliewer said.

Feeding mice a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet -- a ketogenic diet -- leads to the breakdown of fatty tissue and weight loss, accompanied by the production of ketone bodies, which are used by tissues as replacement energy sources, Dr. Maratos-Flier and colleagues said. But the details of the process were not completely understood, so they performed a genetic scan on mice fed such a diet for 30 days, looking for changes in gene activity. "We saw a dramatic increase in FGF21 in the livers of the mice," she said. "We thought, 'Maybe there is something to this.'" In a series of experiments, she and colleagues showed that fasting mice and those fed a ketogenic diet both developed high levels of the hormone in the liver and in the blood. Feeding the mice a normal diet resulted in a rapid decline of the hormone levels. Moreover, they found, feeding the ketogenic diet to mice genetically engineered to lack the hormone led to a fatty liver, high blood lipids, and reduced levels of ketone bodies.

The Dallas group showed that FGF21 is induced by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-alpha), which is known to be involved in the regulation of fat metabolism during starvation. PPAR-alpha is also the target of the fibrate drugs used to treat high cholesterol and triglycerides. "When you step back, the whole thing makes sense," Dr. Kliewer said. "During fasting, the liver hormone communicates with adipose tissue to send fat to the liver. It turns on the metabolism of fat into ketone bodies -- and at the same time, it sensitizes the animals to going into torpor to conserve energy."

"It's clear that FGF21 is a principal component of the fasting or starvation response," he added. Dr. Kliewer said there's an "obvious possibility" that the hormone is responsible for the benefits seen by some people when they follow the high-fat, low-carbohydrate Atkins diet.

But Dr. Maratos-Flier cautioned that it's still not clear that the effect of such a diet in humans is the same as that seen in mice. For instance, she said, "it may be that some people are more likely to turn on FGF21 than others."

To find out, she now plans to study FGF21 levels in people.

The research by the Boston group was supported by the National Institutes of Health and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. The researchers did not report any potential conflicts. The work by the Dallas group was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Robert A. Welch Foundation, the Betty Van Andel Foundation, the Smith Family Foundation Pinnacle Program Project Award from the American Diabetes Association, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Beginner's Guide To Lowcarbing!

Please take the time to check out this link if you have never lowcarbed before!

Even if you have, it's a fantastic refresher course with great links and helpful ideas!

Cheri's Newbie Page

How we eat to lose weight

How we eat to lose weight

The most reliable and straightforward way is a ketogenic diet. Actually every successful weight loss diet is a ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet is one in which we reduce our total calories eaten to below the amount of calories our bodies use in a day, and therefore need to call on the energy stored in our fat cells to provide fuel for our muscles.

How we limit our intake of food, that is the macro-nutrients known as fat, protein and carbohydrate, will have a lot to do with both how we feel while using up this fat, and ultimately our long term success at maintaining fat loss. Therefore, we recommend a ketogenic diet in which you will limit the amount of carbohydrate you eat so that a significant portion of your fuel for the day has to come from fat converted to ketones. You can achieve fat burning on a larger number of calories and with more satisfying food choices when you adjust carbohydrates to protein and fat ratio in this way.

This type of ketogenic diet is not over-eating too large portions of protein. It does not mean over-eating fat or completely eliminating carbohydrates. Some people have abused the idea of lower carbohydrate ketogenic diets, by misinterpreting the intention of the clinicians promoting this method. As a result the media and some medical authorities have seemed to emphasize the ‘dangers’ or failures that followed the extreme behaviors chosen by some consumers.

A lower carbohydrate ketogenic diet is safe and effective for fat loss

Remember, we can only lose fat by reducing our calories from food to less than the amount of calories we use in our daily activities. There are any number of additional details that make this strategy more or less likely to succeed, especially over time. One crucial aspect has to do with how we feel when we reduce calories. If we just eat less, without regard to the composition of our diet—that is, the fat, protein and carbohydrate content, as well as the vitamins, minerals we need – we can have a pretty unpleasant experience, including hunger, fatigue, headaches, muscle spasms, mental fogginess, emotional depression or irritability and insomnia. We can also find ourselves losing weight that includes our muscle mass, and not just the fat we intended to lose.

A lower carbohydrate ketogenic diet, in which we reduce our calories from carbohydrates in particular and nourish our selves with appropriate amounts of water, vegetables, eggs, poultry, fish, meat, nuts and good quality oils, creates fat loss without the usual unpleasant side effects; it also helps identify problem foods, so that when we transition from a fat loss to a healthy weight maintenance way of eating, we can do so without returning to old problems.

Ketosis is not ketoacidosis

Ketones are a product of fat metabolism, and function as a source of energy for the body. Our body can use ketones for fuel instead of glucose. The brain requires glucose for fuel, whereas muscle and other metabolic processes will take up ketones instead. We can make glucose from everything we eat, including by transforming proteins from animal foods. What we make from the carbohydrates of plant food is fat. The excess carbohydrates we eat every day beyond what we use in the exercise of our muscles, is transformed to fat and stored.

There is confusion regarding the ketosis that occurs when we are eating less carbohydrates than we need for daily fuel and begin to burn stored fat instead, and a condition known as ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis occurs when people with blood sugar derangements produce high levels of ketones while also having high levels of blood sugar. People with diabetes do not produce enough insulin from their pancreas, or have a condition called insulin resistance, in which the tissues will no longer respond to the presence of insulin bearing glucose to be delivered into storage. Ketones are formed in response to the tissues need for some fuel other than the glucose, which is collecting in the blood attached to insulin molecules but can’t be delivered any more. Normally our body will adjust the blood pH level to balance this shifting chemistry. In diabetics the imbalance is too great and ketoacidosis, or increased acidity of the blood occurs. Metabolic ketoacidosis in people with diabetes is a dangerous condition and should be avoided with very strict control and attention to diet and blood sugar levels.

When a person with normal blood sugar levels is producing ketones by breaking down fat for fuel, and is not eating excess carbohydrates, the blood glucose is delivered elegantly, primarily to the brain, and the rest of the body happily uses ketones to run the show.

Eating carbohydrate foods in amounts that allow for the release of ketones from stored fat is a safe and effective way to reduce body fat while maintaining an even blood sugar, having plenty of physical energy, mental alertness and restful sleep. Most people can eat this way for the rest of their life and be quite well, and, most people will want to diversify their diet after having lost excess fat. Broadening the diet to include fruits and grains can be accomplished with out regaining fat. This transition has to be done thoughtfully and with close attention to the impact of certain foods. Some people will not be able to eat certain foods, ever, without negative consequences, because of our genetic make up. All of us have to reintroduce foods carefully and maintain exercise levels life long, in order not to regain lost fat.

A ketogenic diet is not appropriate for pregnancy and breastfeeding. People with kidney damage should not use this diet. People with diabetes, epilepsy, and gall bladder problems need special care and support to use a ketogenic diet successfully. Regular exercise is absolutely necessary for everyone’s long term health.

How we transition from fat loss to long term healthy diet determines our success

There is one way we need to eat to lose fat, and then another, more generous and complex way we can eat once our goal is attained. The nature of the transition between these two ways of eating is essential to long term success. The ability to lose weight, change to a less stringent, more varied diet and return as often as needed to the weight loss regime for brief periods until stabilized, is apparently a rare ability. Most people do not seem to discover this behavior spontaneously. A number of studies on weight loss for people with Diabetes Type 2 have clarified that knowledgeable support that helps people remember not only the basic straightforward steps of the diet cha-cha, but also helps with the different stresses that are triggered during the long term effort. This technical, educational and emotional support is crucial lifelong health.

Transformations Weight Loss, Dr. Nancy Dunne © 2005

6 ways to quiet your inner critic

"I can do this."

It's the weary chugging forward, not the giant leaps -- think The Little Engine That Could -- that paves the way to success.

"I choose."

Like it or not, life is not happening to you -- it's happening with you.You call the shots. Reminding yourself of that can make it easier to chose happiness.

"It's not too late."

You feel like you're lagging behind -- reentering the workforce [ getting back on track with your diet] Your greatest success in life could be years down the road, and you don't even know it!

"I am where I'm supposed to be."

Sure, if you'd only made the cheerleading team in junior high, hadn't gotten tongue-tied in that meeting with your boss, taken a right turn at the light instead of a left - your life would be different. But "different" isn't always "better". And that regret you're torturing yourself with isn't doing any good. When we accept where we are right now, then we can grow.

"My best is good enough."

Calling all perfectionists - here's a real mind-bender: You're doing your best, even when you're not. Give yourself a break. Today, you may feel exhausted, fed up - and your all doesn't feel like much. But tomorrow, you may have a brilliant brainstorm, run that 4th mile, or accomplish whatever feat you wish you could realize now. Your best, in the varying degrees thereof, is infinite, not ultimate.


"Stop" is the ultimate redirect for your brain. You're telling yourself, "I'm not going down that road." And once you stop, you have a choice: Get back on the well-worn path of negative chatter, or head in a new direction of positive intention.

The full article is in the April 2007 issue of Redbook, page 74.

Light Bulbs and Low Carb Diets

Researchers from the University of Connecticut and SUNY Downstate recently had one of those rare moments of scientific discovery -- while reviewing the medical literature about low-carb diets, something suddenly became very clear, the list of things carbohydrate restriction improves happens to be the same list of features a patient presents with in the diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome.

It was a classic light bulb moment -- one that is destined to radically alter the clinical management of Metabolic Syndrome, a cluster of metabolic markers that increase the risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease: obesity, high triglycerides, low HDL ("good" cholesterol), high blood sugar, high blood pressure and insulin resistance...

Read More Here.. }

100 Years before Atkins..

Over 100 years before Dr. Robert Atkins penned his hugely successful New Diet Revolution, an Englishman by the name of William Banting described the almost effortless weight loss he experienced after adopting a low carbohydrate regimen. Banting, who was so "corpulent" he had to walk down stairs backwards, had consulted numerous practitioners in a desperate attempt to halt his ever-growing waistline. None of them helped in the slightest.

Lady Luck was smiling on Banting when he eventually met Dr. William Harvey, an ear specialist who placed Banting on a meat-rich, low carbohydrate diet. What followed surpassed Banting's wildest expectations - after unsuccessfully trying everything from rowing to "Turkish baths", Harvey's low carbohydrate regimen helped Banting shed fifty pounds! The newly-trim Englishman was so overjoyed he wrote Letter On Corpulence and distributedthe initial printing for free.

Click Here to Read the Preface }

Letter on Corpulence by William Banting

OF all the parasites that affect humanity I do not know of, nor can I imagine, any more distressing than that of obesity, and, having emerged from a very long probation in this affliction, I am desirous of circulating my humble knowledge and experience for the benefit of other sufferers, with an earnest hope that it may lead to the same comfort and happiness I now feel under the extraordinary change,-which might almost be termed miraculous had it not been accomplished by the most simple common-sense means... {
Read More Here..}

specialty cuisine

Please be sure and check out my Specialty Cuisine Recipes.

I will try to put a little bit about history and culture into these posts when I make them.

Who said Low Carb was boring?