Tag Archives: Summer Tomato

Healthy Eating Guide from Darya Pino

Darya Pino is a scientist, San Francisco foodie and advocate of local, seasonal foods

Darya Pino, founder of Summer Tomato, has generously offered her new guide, “How to Get Started Eating Healthy,” to anyone who wants it, gratis.

I’ve not read the guide yet, but I’m very familiar with Darya’s work at Summer Tomato.  I’m sure her guide is well done and her suggestions would be a vast improvement over the standard American diet (SAD). 

Steve Parker, M.D.


Filed under Uncategorized

Are Fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup Bad for Us?

Table sugar (sucrose) is a combination of glucose and fructose

Darya Pino earlier this month posted at her Summer Tomato blog a video regarding high fructose corn syrup.  The speaker in the video is pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig, M.D., of the University of California—San Francisco.
In the U.S. between 1970 and 1990, consumption of high fructose corn syrup increased over 1000%.  During those two decades, the incidence of overweight and obesity nearly doubled.  Many wonder if this is more than just coincidental. Most of this fructose is in soft drinks.  Soft drink consumption per person in 1942 was two servings per week.  In 2000, consumption was two servings per day.  Of course, these drinks typically have few nutrients other than sugars.

Dr. Lustig is convinced that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a chronic toxin, at least in the amounts many of us eat, and the cause of our current epidemic of childhood and adult obesity and overweight.  Even if this idea is not new to you, you may be interested to hear the biochemistry and physiology behind his position.  If you didn’t enjoy college lectures or are not a food science geek, you probably won’t be able to sit through this 1.5-hour video. 

I enjoyed the heck out of it!  Made me feel like I was back in college again.  Few of my professors were as good as Dr. Lustig at lecturing. 

Here are a few of his other major points:

  • HFCS was invented in Japan in the 1960s, then introduced to U.S. markets in 1975
  • sucrose and fructose are both poisons
  • in the U.S. we eat 63 pounds (28.6 kg) of HFCS and 141 pounds (64.1 kg) of sugar per year [he didn’t define “sugar” in this context]
  • he praises Yudkins book, Pure, White, and Deadly [I’ve written about the Cleave-Yudkin carbohydrate theory of chronic disease]
  • the triglyceride/HDL ratio predicts heart disease much better than does LDL cholesterol
  • chronic high fructose intake causes the metabolic syndrome [does he think it’s the only cause?]
  • only the liver can metabolize fructose, in contrast to every other tissue and organ that can use glucose as an energy supply
  • high fructose consumption increases the risk of gout and high blood pressure
  • fructose interferes with production of our body’s production of nitrous oxide—a natural circulatory dilator—leading to higher blood pressures
  • fructose increases de novo lipogenesis—in other words, it creates body fat
  • fructose interferes with natural chemical messengers that tell your brain you’ve had enough food and it’s time to stop eating
  • high fructose intake reduces LDL particle size, potentially increasing the future risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks [small, dense LDL cholesterol is more damaging to your arteries that large, fluffy LDL]

So What? 

You don’t need polititians to reduce your consumption of sugary soft drinks and high fructose corn syrup—do it yourself starting today.  Read food labels—HFCS is everywhere.  I’ve found it in sausage! 

The food industry greatly reduced use of trans fats in response to consumer concerns, before the polititians ever dabbled in it.  HFCS can go the same route.  Consumption of soft drinks, sports drinks, and other sugary beverages—the major sources of HFCS—is up to you.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: The Advanced Mediterranean Diet and Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet are naturally low in fructose.


Filed under Carbohydrate, Causes of Diabetes, Overweight and Obesity, Shameless Self-Promotion

My Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet: Day 60 + Zucchini

MPj01779580000[1]Weight: 153 lb (69.5 kg)

Transgressions: blew it big time!

Exercise: 60 minutes horse grooming and trail riding



In an effort to add variety to my diet, I ate zucchini with my breakfast eggs.  Sautéd this summer squash in 50:50 butter and extra virgin olive oil.  A small serving of raw zucchini—100 g—provides 1 g fiber, 2 g digestible carbs, 7% of the Daily Value for vitamin K and folate, 8% of riboflavin, 9% of manganese, 11% of B6, and 28% of vitamin C.  Many very low-carb diets by themselves don’t provide enought vitamin C to satisfy most dietitians.  28% is a good start on reaching 100% naturally. 

You can look at various individual foods in detail and find some that are high in this, low in that.  Eating a great variety of foods will make it easier to get all the nutrients you need for optimal health.  The food database at NutritionData will give you a breakdown of 30-40 nutrients in most foods.   

Darya Pino at Summer Tomato has great ideas on choosing and preparing fresh vegetables.

Today’s Transgressions

We had another family celebration today.  I had mentioned to my wife four months ago that I wanted an ice cream/cake combo from Baskin-Robbins: chocolate cake on the bottom, mint chocolate chip ice cream on top.  My son also remembered that I love candy corn, so he got me a bag.  Overall today I ate 2,970 calories, including 240 g of digestible carbs.  I’m not proud of my behavior, but I’m not going to beat myself up over only my second major “cheat” in 60 days of very low-carb eating.  Tomorrow’s a new day!

I may have someone hide the candy corn.

Going Forward . . .

I’ll not be reporting in this fashion daily anymore.  I plan on sticking with very low-carb eating for a while longer, partially to encourage someone I love to stay with it.  I don’t expect to lose any more weight.  The question is, what will happen now that I’m stopping my compulsive record-keeping?   


Update October 31, 2009

Weight today is 155.5 lb, up 2.5 lb after my carb overdose yesterday.  There’s a lesson here.

Update November 1, 2009

Weight: 155 lb


Filed under My KMD Experience