How Much Is Typical Holiday Weight Gain?

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I originally published this last September, but few of you were concerned about holiday weight gain then.

MNT has the details:

“Around the world, weight gained from holiday feasting takes months to lose, a study found.

Christmas Day in particular is a holiday that appears to pack on the pounds: in a study of some 3,000 individuals in three countries, Americans showed an average 0.4% weight gain from 10 days before Christmas to 10 days after; Germans gained 0.6% more weight; and the Japanese 0.5%.

U.S. participants packed on 0.7% more weight in total during the full Christmas-New Year holiday season, but the Germans had us beat with a 1.0% weight gain, according to Brian Wansink, PhD, of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. and colleagues.”

Source: Holiday Feasts Take Months-Long Weight Toll | Medpage Today

Those percentages aren’t very helpful, are they? In real life, if you weigh 180 lb (81.8 kg) and gain an extra 0.7%, you’re all the way up to a whopping 181.26 lb (82.4 kg). But if you do that—1.26 lb—every year for 20 years and fail to lose the weight, you’re up to 205 lb (93.2 kg) and now you’ve got diabetes and high blood pressure.

Here are a few tips to avoid the weight gain:

  • On the day of the major feast, just eat two meals, and make one of them small
  • Don’t  snack or graze; just eat at mealtimes
  • Work in some extra exercise
  • Minimize the alcohol that weakens your discipline
  • Click for more weight loss tips, many of which help you avoid weight gain

Steve Parker, M.D.

Pro Tip: Read one of my books before you make your annual New Year’s weight-loss resolutions.

PPS: Click for the research report in NEJM.

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QOTD: E.E. Blaak on the Ideal Diet

Full-fat cheese

Full-fat cheese

Overall, energy restriction is the primary factor producing weight loss, and it is increasingly understood that distinct macronutrients may vary in energy yield and effects on satiety, also based on individuals’ phenotype and genotype. Although an overall healthy diet, either Mediterranean or a low-fat, high-complex CHO [carbohydrate] diet may be effective in diabetes and cardiovascular prevention, insight is increasing that dietary prevention or treatment may require more personalized approaches to become most effective.

     —E.E. Blaak, in a review of effects of dietary carbohydrate in body weight control, glucose homeostasis and cardiovascular risk

In plain English, Blaak is saying:

  • weight loss depends on calorie restriction
  • proteins, fats, and carbs provide different amounts of energy and have different effects on hunger
  • your response to proteins, fats, and carbs depends on your genes and how you look
  • the healthiest diet for you probably isn’t the best for everyone else

 

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Control Blood Sugar With Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean DIet

Naturally low-glycemic index Caprese salad: mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil

Italian researchers found that extra-virgin olive oil taken with meals helps to reduce blood sugar elevations after meals in type 1 diabetics. This may help explain the lower observed incidence of diabetes seen in those eating a traditional Mediterranean diet, which is rich in olive oil.

Before going further into the weeds, remember that glycemic index refers to how high and quickly a particular food elevates blood sugar. High-glycemic index foods raise blood sugar quicker and higher compared to low-glycemic index foods.

The study at hand is a small one: 18 patients. They were given both high- and low-glycemic meals with varying amounts and types of fat. Meals were either low-fat, high in saturated fat (from butter), or high in monounsaturated fat from olive oil. Meals that were high-glycemic index resulted in lower after-meal glucose levels if the meal had high olive oil content, compared to low-fat and butter-rich meals.

If meals were low in glycemic index, blood sugar levels were about the same whether the diet was low-fat, high in saturated fat, or rich in olive oil.

Action Plan

If you have type 1 diabetes and plan on eating high on the glycemic index scale, reduce your blood sugar excursions by incorporating extra-virgin olive oil into your meals.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Reference: Bozzetto, Luigarda, et al. Extra-virgin olive oil reduces glycemic response to a high-glycemic index meal in patients with type 1 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care, online before print, February 9, 2016. doi: 10.2337/dc15-2189

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Does Type 2 Diabetes Cause Alzheimer’s Dementia?

dementia, memory loss, Mediterranean diet, low-carb diet, glycemic index, dementia memory loss

“More basic research is critical.”

Several scientific studies, but not all, link type 2 diabetes with Alzheimer’s disease. Some go so far as to say Alzheimer’s is type 3 diabetes.

My Twitter feed brought to my attention a scientific article I thought would clarify the relationships between diabetes, carbohydrate consumption, and Alzheimer’s dementia (full text).

It didn’t.

Click the full text link to read all about insulin, amylin, insulin degrading enzyme, amyloid–β, and other factors that might explain the relationship between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s dementia. You’ll also find a comprehensive annotated list of the scientific studies investigating the link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Bottom line: We still don’t know the fundamental cause of Alzheimer’s disease. A cure and highly effective preventive measures are far in the future.

Action Plan For You

You may be able to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by:

  • avoiding type 2 diabetes
  • preventing progression of prediabetes to diabetes
  • avoiding obesity
  • exercising regularly
  • eating a Mediterranean-style diet

Carbohydrate restriction helps many folks prevent or resolve obesity, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Reference: Schilling, Melissa. Unraveling Alzheimer’s: Making Sense of the Relationship Between Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 51 (2016): 961-977.

LCHF Mediterranean diet

LCHF Mediterranean diet

 

 

 

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David Mendosa Loves Chana Dal

Indian woman cooking chapati

Indian woman cooking chapati, a type of wheat-based bread

Chana’s not a woman’s name.

Chana dal is a particular legume popular in India. It seems to be a variety of chickpea. Dal is an Indian term for legumes: beans and peas. A serving of most legumes has a relatively high carbohydrate count, which could spike blood sugar too high if you have diabetes.

David Mendosa has type 2 diabetes. As far as I know, he’s still a vegetarian, but somehow manages to restrict dietary carbohydrates. He notes that regardless of carb grams, chana dal has very little effect on his blood sugar. Maybe that’s because of relatively high fiber content. Chana dal’s glycemic index is only eight, which is very low, especially for a legume.

You may be aware that a third or so of Indians in India are vegetarian of one stripe or another. Dals (legumes) are a very important source of protein for them. Dals are usually consumed with meals that include bread or rice.

Chana dal is a Hindi word. The British English equivalent is Bengal gram dal. In Bengali, it’s chholar dal. BTW, over 50 languages are spoken in India.

The nutritional analysis of chana dal is a matter of some debate. Here’s one that David found. In 100 g of dry chana dal:

  • 3.7 g fat
  • 25.4 g protein
  • 47.4 g carbohydrate3.2 g ash (inorganic material, such as minerals)
  • 11.2 g crude fiber
  • 327 calories

See David’s post for much more detail, including recipes and sources of chana dal. I think he’s been working on this post since 2001 and has revised it several times. He notes that in recipes calling for garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), chana dal can be substituted. (I assume garbanzo beans have a much higher glycemic index.)

If you’ve had chana dal or try it in the future, I’d love to hear your comments on it, especially how it affected your serum glucose levels.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If this post is closed for comments, you can reach me at steveparkermd (at) gmail (dot) com.

 

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Does LCHF Eating Help Indians With Diabetes?

Surfing the net, I ran across an Indian lady named Tina who is successfully treating her T2 diabetes with LCHF eating (low-carb, high-fat). Both she and her husband lost excess weight, too. Click for her website.

In turn, she directed my attention to a YouTube channel by Dr. S. Vijayaraghavan, who is also a LCHF advocate for people with diabetes, type 2 anyway. Check out Goodbye Diabetes.

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FDA Says Jardiance Can Claim Cardiovascular Death Prevention 

Jardiance is a diabetes drug in the class called SGLT2 inhibitors.

How do they work? Our kidneys filter glucose (sugar) out of our bloodstream, then reabsorb that glucose back into the bloodstream. SGLT2 inhibitors impair that reabsorption process, allowing some glucose to be excreted in our urine. You could call it a diuretic effect. For example, an SGLT 2 inhibitor called dapagliflozin, at a dose of 10 mg/day, causes the urinary loss of 70 grams of glucose daily.

How drugs like this could prevent cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetics is a mystery to me.

From MPT:

“The diabetes drug empagliflozin (Jardiance) may be marketed for prevention of cardiovascular death in patients with type 2 diabetes and co-existing cardiovascular disease, the FDA said Friday.

It’s the first such claim ever allowed for a diabetes drug.

Empagliflozin, first approved in 2014, is an inhibitor of the sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) pathway, reducing blood glucose by causing it to be excreted in urine.Its benefit for cardiovascular risk reduction was demonstrated in the so-called EMPA-REG trial, results of which were reported in 2015.”

Source: Jardiance Wins CV Prevention Indication | Medpage Today

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