The Ketogenic Disadvantage

Several studies have been published comparing low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets with low-fat diets, mostly regarding the treatment of diabetes in overweight and obese participants. Prominent researchers in this field are Richard Feinman, Stephen Phinney, Mary Vernon, Jeff Volek, Eric Westman, and William Yancy—all supporters of low-carbohydrate dietary regimes.

Ketosis occurs during starvation. It is not a normal, healthy condition. No animal species or human society normally lives in a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when fat in the body is utilized to obtain energy in the absence of glucose. Glucose is normally obtained from the digestion of carbohydrates. Ketosis results in the production of ketones—acetone being one of the three types of ketones produced during ketosis. Blood acidity rises with an increase in ketones.

During pregnancy, ketosis has been linked to adverse outcomes for the unborn child.

Ketogenic diet trials almost invariably compare a ketogenic diet with a mislabeled “low-fat, high-carbohydrate” diet. Both the control diet and the ketogenic diet are not healthy diets—the participants are far from healthy at the start of the trial or at the conclusion.

The ketogenic trials appear to assume that the only criteria for a healthy diet is the ratio of fat, carbohydrate, and protein. Many other components are important for health such as fiber, refined sugars, phytonutrients, and protein sources.

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Everything in Moderation

The most common response to the idea that a whole-food, plant-based diet is an optimal diet for people is —“everything in moderation.” This response is almost universal.

It is a philosophical debate – and I am not convinced it is a great life principle.

The same argument was used in in the 1950s and 1960s to convince people to reduce smoking. After all, you would not want to deprive people of the “solace, relaxation and enjoyment to mankind” that smoking has provided for more than 300 years. These days, doctors do not suggest that people reduce smoking but to stop.

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What is the natural diet for humans?

What is the natural diet for humans?  This is a common question but — we evolve based on behaviour and our behaviour may have a number of consequences, some beneficial and others not so much.

Giraffes have long necks, not to enable them to reach leaves high in a tree, but because males fight using the necks.  Males with the longest, strongest neck wins. It does make life more awkward when eating grass or drinking from a water-hole in the evening.

Evolution is based on changes that enable us to pass on genes for future generations.  If a genetic change affects cholesterol metabolism and causes an increase in heart disease this may not be relevant in evolutionary terms because heart disease usually affects people later in life.

It still may have an impact on human society because of the important influence of grandparents involved in child-minding and their importance as a repository of knowledge.

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Macadamia and Cashew Dukhah with Australian Bush Spices

Dukkah (pronounce the u as in duke, dū’ka) originated in Egypt.  It is made a mixture of seeds, nuts various roasted nuts and spices. It can be used as a topping over salads, pasta or anything else that takes your fancy.

The recipe below uses Australian spices but you can try any spice, herb or nuts that takes your fancy.

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Diet and Blood Pressure

The concept that diet and blood pressure are linked has been discussed since at least the 1920s.  In 1926, Donaldson noted that “vegetarians, we believe, run a consistently lower blood pressure than those who use flesh foods."

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What are the Benefits of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet in Treating Cancer?

The view that sugar causes cancer is prevalent in the popular press and on the internet and it should be avoided.

A number of doctors and naturopaths hold this view. Since starches are digested as simple sugars then it is recommended that starches should also be avoided.

As a result, a low-carbohydrate diet is endorsed. Some ketogenic diets recommend high levels of vegetables which are high in nutrients but low in the amount of energy that is provided. The absence of starch from these diets results in a calorie restricted diet which is possibly ketogenic. If a diet is restricted in carbohydrates, it will be high in fat and protein.

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What is the best oil to fry foods?

Whilst watching the news, I saw a banner stating New study shows saturated fats are healthy.  Intrigued, I found the source of this information - an article titled Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic cancer-causing chemicals, say experts, which appeared in the London Telegraph. The article actually stated that frying food in vegetable oils creates more aldehydes (a cancer causing chemical) than frying food in saturated fats.  According to the article,
Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases, according to leading scientists, who are now recommending food be fried in olive oil, coconut oil, butter or even lard. The results of a series of experiments threaten to turn on its head official advice that oils rich in polyunsaturated fats – such as corn oil and sunflower oil – are better for the health than the saturated fats in animal products.
The research did not indicate that saturated fats are better for your health than vegetable oils.  It stated that if you fry foods in oils then you are better off if you use saturated fats as they are less reactive.

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Quotes Relating to Health

Authors including Plato, Plutarch, Charles Darwin, George Bernard Shaw and Albert Einstein had a say about health.  Given that the state of our health has such an impact on our lives it is really not a surprise.

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Liver Cleansing with Olive Oil

The internet has numerous pages advocating an Olive Oil – Lemon Juice Liver Cleanse or Detox. The purpose of the exercise is eliminate gallstones from your gall bladder. The instructions vary but lemon juice and olive oil are featured. Apple juice and Epsom salts are sometimes involved.

This procedure results in numerous green stones passed in the faeces in the following morning.

Unfortunately, the exercise does not remove gallstones and has the potential to cause nausea, severe abdominal pain and may even lead to surgery to remove your gall bladder. It also leads to a false sense of security, giving rise to the belief that you have solved your gallstone problem.

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