Category: LCHF

Naiman weighs in on low-carb versus low-fat wars

Dr Ted Naiman

By Marika Sboros

Among the plethora of diet books weighing down virtual shelves, I came across a quirky one: The P:E Diet by US physician Ted Naiman.

It puts protein back on a pedestal as the prince, if not the king, of foods for health in body and mind.  It elevates high-intensity exercise to brave new heights. And it weighs in on low-carbohydrate versus low-fat diet wars.

He and co-author William Shewfelt come down on both sides of those wars. They also hammer solid nails into the coffin of perennial fear-mongering around high-protein diets. Still, many experts see potential harm in an “unnaturally high intake of protein” long-term.

The P:E in the title stands for an intriguing protein-to-energy ratio in foods. The book’s subtitle is Leverage Your Biology To Achieve Optimal Health. Naiman and Shewfelt might have added: Buffest Body And Optimum Sports Performance Safely, Effectively, Sustainably.



Bikman on the hidden epidemic, why we get sick, how we heal

Photo: Jamie Matociños, Unsplash

By Marika Sboros

Every now and then comes a book that all physicians, scientists, researchers and lesser mortals should read. Why We Get Sick is one.

Many books out there have the same title but don’t let that distract you, even for a second, from this one. Its sub-title sets it apart from the rest: The Hidden Epidemic At The Root Of Most Chronic Disease – And How To Fight It.

The author is Dr Benjamin Bikman, a biomedical scientist, an associate professor of physiology and developmental biology at Brigham Young University in the US and director of its Diabetes Research Lab. The hidden epidemic Bikman writes about is insulin resistance. He believes that insulin resistance is “the most common health disorder worldwide” in adults and children, that you’ve probably never heard of.



Muecke eyes sugar and type 2 diabetes: the ‘real pandemic’?

Dr James Muecke. Picture: Matt Turner

By Marika Sboros

Australian ophthalmologist Dr James Muecke has clear vision. He wakes each day and sees in graphic, gory detail a threat hanging over the lives of fellow Australians.

It is not the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is that each day, 250 people will develop type 2 diabetes. They do so “unnecessarily”, Muecke says, because type 2 diabetes is a preventable disease. It also makes people “more susceptible to pandemics”, he says. That claim is controversial but evidence-based and many MDs and researchers internationally endorse it.

Muecke is more than halfway through his time as 2020 Australian of the Year. He won the award for three decades preventing and treating blindness in some of the world’s poorest countries. His focus now is fighting a leading cause of adult blindness worldwide: type 2 diabetes.



COVID-19: diet best weapon for protection, survival?

Photo: Adam Nieścioruk, Unsplash

Revised*

By Marika Sboros

You could wait around hoping for a vaccine to fight COVID-19 or you could use a weapon already here, close at hand, in your kitchen.

It is diet – but not just any diet. It is a low-carbohydrate diet.

Compelling research shows that low-carb diets treat and prevent the serious underlying conditions that significantly up your risk of dying from the virus. (*Editor’s note: It has been pointed out that it is more accurate to say that the evidence suggests improved outcomes from rather than prevention of infection. Noted.) Chief among these: obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD), in particular, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart attack and stroke that fall under the medical umbrella of metabolic syndrome.

Doctors call them “diseases of lifestyle”. They define lifestyle disease as a “medical condition or disorder resulting from lifestyle habits”. Diet is a major habit contributing to lifestyle disease.

Globally, expert voices for low-carb diets for protection (from the worst effects of the virus) have grown louder since the pandemic began. So loud, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s a no-brainer by now. You would be wrong. The claim remains extraordinarily controversial.

The latest authoritative voice raised in support of low-carb is Australian researcher Dr Maryanne Demasi in an editorial in the BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine.



COVID-19 SPAWNS ANCIENT PATH TO BEAT NEW VIRAL PANDEMICS?

Photo:  visuals on Unsplash

By Marika Sboros

Is there a simple, scientific way to protect us all from the latest coronavirus pandemic and similar viral pandemics in future? Are governments around the world ignoring it?

Yes on both counts, says US nutrition science researcher and author Nina Teicholz.

In an editorial in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently, Teicholz gives the first step on that way. And it has nothing to do with social distancing. Or washing hands. Or face masks – important though all those elements are in these troubled times.

“We need to talk about not only the masks that go over our mouths but the food that goes into them,” says Teicholz.



FASTING: LIFE IN THE LONG AND SHORT LANE

By Marika Sboros

Life In The Fasting Lane (Harper Wave) is a brave, new book on one of the oldest, traditional healing modalities. The three authors – a doctor, a researcher and a layperson – promise the “absolute, unfiltered truth” about fasting.

That’s a big, brave promise. In this case, Dr Jason Fung, Eve Mayer and Megan Ramos are uniquely placed to deliver on it.

But their book is about more than just the “F” word – “Fasting”. The word still strikes fear into hearts and minds of MDs and dietitians who equate it, wrongly, with hunger, starvation, deprivation, even premature death.

The book’s subtitle speaks volumes: How to Make Intermittent Fasting a Lifestyle —and Reap the Benefits of Weight Loss and Better Health.



Infertility: ‘miracle’ foods beat drugs to fight PCOS?

Picture: Luma Pimentel on Unsplash

By Marika Sboros

Canadian naturopathic physician Nadia Pateguana has an enviable reputation for getting people pregnant. How did Pateguana acquire that unusual reputation? It’s in a remarkable new book that she has written.

Her co-author is Canadian physician, nephrologist (kidney specialist) and fasting expert Dr Jason Fung.

It is The PCOS Plan (Greystone), a ground-breaking book covering polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS, for short) and infertility from all angles. Never was it more needed as PCOS is growing. It’s the single most common endocrine disorder globally affecting women of reproductive age. Estimates are that it affects between 8-20% of women.



Dr Mariela Glandt: sweet medicine to beat diabetes in Israel

By Marika Sboros

A century ago, doctors looked on in awe as patients with type-1 diabetes responded to life-saving insulin therapy. These days, Israeli endocrinologist Dr Mariela Glandt feels “the same awe” watching her type-2 diabetes patients get off insulin.

Glandt, who trained at Harvard Medical School and Columbia University in the US, lives and practises in Israel. She is on a mission. Glandt has started a revolution in Israel against mainstream medical treatment for type-2 diabetes (T2D). She hopes it will spread more widely through orthodox medicine globally.



Dietitians: health hazards or mainstream LCHF healers in 2020?

Picture: Stuart Dawes

By Marika Sboros

Will 2020 be the year that low-carb finally goes medical mainstream to treat and prevent a wide range of life-threatening diseases? Will dietitians be the main movers and shakers who achieve that magic by dispensing cutting-edge, 21st Century, evidence-based dietary advice?

Is 2020 the year they become healers who use food as medicine?  Or will many of them just carry on dishing up unscientific, industry-led dietary dogma that researchers say makes them dinosaurs – and a public-health hazard?

The signs are auspicious for positive change. One sign is the recent launch of the Cape-based Nutrition Network’s world-first, internationally curated, low-carb, high-healthy-fat (LCHF) online training course for dietitians and Certified Nutrition Specialists (CNS).



Harcombe v Harvard: top holiday health, weightloss tips

By Marika Sboros

For many people, end-of-year holiday season is a time of excess, indulgence and expanding waistlines and waste. Not forgetting unscientific tips on how best to keep all those in check.

Fortunately for many, it is also a time of mindful, healthy eating and top tips based on robust scientific evidence. Which side of the weighty fence you’ll be on this holiday season depends on your favourite sources of diet and nutrition advice.

Take, for example, top tips from Harvard researchers in the US on one hand and British public health researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe on the other.

Scientific chalk and cheese doesn’t even begin to describe their different approaches.



Cholesterol fears, fake news and the age game: who plays?

By Marika Sboros

Many people have asked Scottish GP Malcolm Kendrick to comment on a controversial new study about cholesterol that is making headlines around the world.

Or rather, as Kendrick says, making the wrong headlines.

He has written a blog that isn’t so much a commentary on the study as an evisceration of it.  For robust scientific reason.

The authors of the study, published in the Lancet journal, say that doctors should start checking cholesterol levels in people in their mid-20s. And if certain levels are high, get them to make dietary changes and take drugs to lower their cholesterol.

In other words, they push for more use of statins from age 25 upwards.



REAL FOOD ON TRIAL: SIT BACK, HEAR THE FULL STORY!

By Marika Sboros

Real Food On Trial is now available on audio from US-based Tantor Media. The sub-title speaks volumes: How The Diet Dictators Tried To Destroy A Distinguished Scientist

I’m the book’s co-author with South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes. Real Food On Trial (Columbus 2018) is an update of the original, Lore Of Nutrition, Challenging Conventional Dietary Beliefs (Penguin 2017) with new content.

That  includes the resolution of a remarkable journey: One man’s victory over powerful, entrenched, vested interests in medical and dietetic establishments and food and drug industries.

It is the multi-million trial and academic mobbing in South Africa of Noakes, a University of Cape Town (UCT) emeritus professor and medical doctor.



ISRAEL WAKES UP TO LOW-CARB AND KETO!

By Marika Sboros

Dr Mariela Glandt is the brains behind Israel’s first keto, low-carb, high-healthy-fat (LCHF) conference. The event draws leading LCHF and nutrition experts from around the world.

It takes place at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv on November 7 and 8, 2019. There’s still time to book a place.

Glandt hopes it will bring LCHF and keto into the medical mainstream. She is founder and director of the Glandt Center for Diabetes Care in Tel Aviv. The clinic specializes in optimization of diabetes care through very low-carb (ketogenic) diets.

Glandt trained as an internist at Harvard and an endocrinologist at Columbia University. She has more than two decades of experience in treating diabetes. She also has clinical experience in the many related conditions that significantly increase the risk of life-threatening diseases.



Ketosis for kids: is mother’s milk really a danger?

By Marika Sboros

Mention the “k” word (ketosis) for kids and many, if not most, paediatricians and paediatric dietitians recoil.

Ketogenic diets are very low in carbs and very high in healthy fats (VLCHF). The very idea of putting kids on keto diets scares paediatricians and dietitians.  Especially for infants.

It’s as if paediatricians and dietitians consider it close child abuse, not far from infanticide. They pass on those fears to parents.

Yet babies are born in ketosis and mother’s milk is very high-fat – and low-carb, relatively. This keeps newborns in ketosis all through nursing, says US neuroscientist Dr Angela Stanton.



Heikkilä: Finland’s Noakes, Fettke, Baker, Dahlqvist or Bourdua-Roy?

By Marika Sboros

Is it most correct to call Dr Antti Heikkilä Finland’s Tim Noakes, Gary Fettke, Shawn Baker, Annika Dahlqvist or Èvelyne Bourdua-Roy?

You’d be most correct to say he’s a mix of all five medical doctors from around the globe. Or even a precursor of most of them.

He has much in common with Noakes in South Africa, Fettke in Australia, Baker in the US, Dahlqvist in Sweden and Bourdua-Roy in Canada. Like them all, Heikkilä has incurred establishment wrath. And for the same “crime”:  for daring to challenge medical and dietary orthodoxy for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses.



Noakes celebrates anniversary: victory over diet mobsters

Prof Tim Noakes receives a  standing ovation in London in 2018, with Dr Aseem Malhotra (centre) and Dr Peter Brukner (right)

By Marika Sboros

Prof Tim Noakes celebrated a remarkable anniversary recently. It was June 8, 2018, a year since he became a free man, legally speaking.

On that day, the legal sword of Damocles that the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) had dangled over his head for more than four years, disappeared.

Given its behaviour so far, the HPCSA did what many thought it wouldn’t do on that day. It dismissed its prosecution lawyers’ appeal against its comprehensive not-guilty verdict for Noakes in April 2017.

The HPCSA’s own appeal committee confirmed the not-guilty ruling in its entirety. It found Noakes not guilty on all 10 aspects of a charge of unprofessional conduct. Click here to read a report and the full decision. That decision reverberates to this day through medical, dietetic and scientific fraternities globally.

Noakes and I have included a chapter on the appeal in our new book, Real Food On Trial. The subtitle says it all: How the diet dictators tried to destroy a top scientist (Columbus, 2019). It’s an update of Lore of Nutrition, Challenging Conventional Dietary Beliefs (Penguin 2017).



Facebook: real reason for take-down of top low-carb group?

By Marika Sboros

What’s really behind Facebook’s deletion of one of its biggest low-carb groups, the Banting 7 Day Meal Plans? The social media titan’s responses leave more questions than answers.

Did interests opposed to low-carb therapies sabotage the group? Did Facebook assist that agenda without checking for conflicts of interest?

Facebook claims that a “user” hacked and deleted the group. That made the deletion “voluntary” from within, it says. If so, what does that mean for the personal data of the group’s more than 1,6million users?

There are 1.1 million South African “Banters” – as supporters of low-carb, high-healthy-fat (LCHF) therapies are known in that country. The rest are scattered across the planet. Could the hack have compromised their data? Could the user have hacked Facebook as well?

Facebook has gone to great lengths to suggest otherwise. It reinstated the group on May 17 but not before its sudden removal on May 14 went viral. That precipitated a tsunami of protest from users and supporters around the world on Facebook and Twitter.



Why won’t UCT just say sorry to Noakes for academic ‘mobbing’?

UPDATED with UCT response received after publication today. Scroll down below.

By Marika Sboros

Extensive, uncontested evidence on public record shows that staff of the University of Cape Town and its Faculty of Health Science participated in what many see as the academic bullying of Prof Tim Noakes.

Will UCT and the Faculty ever apologise for that academic bullying – or “mobbing” as it is now popularly known? The signs are not auspicious, says Noakes.

Academic mobbing is a global phenomenon. In South Africa, the uncontested evidence suggests that it’s a scourge. It has affected not just UCT but also other top universities: Stellenbosch, North-West (formerly Potchefstroom) and my alma mater, the University of the Witwatersrand.

Don’t mistake academic mobbing for academic politics.



Fasting: quick ways to get rid of unwanted side effects

By Marika Sboros

Fasting really is as old as the hills of ancient Greece. It’s a bedrock that sages created for ancient traditional healing systems across the globe. Those sages intuitively saw fasting as a natural way to boost and protect health.

Yet many doctors and dietitians dismiss fasting as “dangerous”. They call it “trendy” and a “fad”, even in its “intermittent fasting” (IF) incarnation. Fortunately, growing numbers of doctors and dietitians disagree. Even formerly diehard foes of fasting now see it in a new and positive light. But even staunch supporters of fasting don’t promote it as a panacea for all ills. They also acknowledge that fasts may cause unwanted, short-term side effects.

Canadian clinical nutrition researcher Megan Ramos says it’s easy enough to resolve these side effects.

Ramos is a specialist in therapeutic fasting and co-founder of the Intensive Dietary Management (IDM) program with nephrologist Dr Jason Fung. Fung is author of, among others, The Complete Guide to Fasting. Ramos has worked alongside Fung since 2003. She helped to co-found IDM in 2012 after doctors diagnosed her with type 2 diabetes. She was the program’s first guinea pig.



FIBRE: WHOLEGRAIN STAFF OF LIFE TO HALT EARLY DEATH?

By Marika Sboros

A large New Zealand-led study on health benefits of dietary fibre is making waves in scientific circles.

The authors of a meta-analysis in The Lancet claim “enormous protective effects” from eating more fibre found in wholegrain bread, cereals, pasta, nuts and pulses. They say it significantly cuts  risk of heart disease and premature death.

They say that a high-carb, high-fibre diet also protects against type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. And that we should all eat between 25-29g of fibre a day, preferably more. They call their study “good news” for high-carb, high-fibre diets and “bad news” for “fashionable” (ie “faddish”) low-carb diets. They say it’s a “defining moment” that should be “written in stone” in public health policy.

Such scientific certainty has raised eyebrows among other experts. They say it’s a “false message to the public”.