Low Carb Guide to Understanding Nutrition Labels.

Have you ever looked on the back of a food package, only to find ingredients you can’t pronounce and hidden sugars you didn’t expect? For success on your path to better health through a low carbohydrate, high fat nutrition plan, it’s important that you learn what to look for on packaged food labels.

First and foremost: the Ketogenic diet is not a low calorie or low fat way of eating. It is a low carbohydrate, high fat and moderate protein nutrition plan, so while there are many things to be aware of when reading labels, total carbohydrate content is the most important.

Let’s walk through reading a Nutrition Facts label, from top to bottom.

Here’s a label for some roasted almonds.

Blog - Food Label
  1. Serving Size and Servings Per Container

The first thing you’ll see is the serving size. This is the portion of that particular food that all the other numbers – grams of fat, protein, carb, etc. – are based on.

The servings per container is the number of servings contained in the entire bag, box, can, bottle, or jar. It’s important to know the serving size and how many servings there are per container so you don’t inadvertently go over your carb limit for the day. For example, for most nuts, a typical serving is one ounce.

For sliced deli meats, a serving might be 3–4 slices. Salad dressings are usually 2 Tbsp.; other condiments are just 1 Tbsp. per serving. Even if the carb count for one serving is low, the carbs can add up quickly if you eat multiple servings.

  1. Calories

A ketogenic diet is not a low calorie plan. There’s no calorie counting. Instead, it’s far more important to keep track of carbohydrates.

Learn more about the low carb Ketogenic diet https://www.virtahealth.com/faq/ketosis-ketogenic-diet-faq

  1. Total Fat

When you’re in nutritional ketosis, fat is fuel and with this high fat nutrition plan you need not fear fat or worry about counting fat grams – not even saturated fat. The amount of fat varies for individuals, but instead of counting grams of fat, it should be consumed to satiety. 

 Also, the type of fat matters; most should come from monounsaturated and saturated fat sources. Some labels break the fat down into different types of fat. Food sources of fat contain a mix of different fats, but here’s a general overview:

Saturated: found predominantly in dairy products (butter, cheese, cream) and other animal sources (beef, pork). Some plant oils, such as coconut and palm, are also rich in saturated fat. Read more on saturated fat here. To learn more please read The Sad Saga of Saturated Fat https://2healthyhabits.wordpress.com/2019/02/01/the-sad-saga-of-saturated-fat/

Monounsaturated: found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, and also in animal sources (beef, pork, poultry)

Polyunsaturated: found in nuts and seeds, fatty fish, and vegetable oils (soybean, corn, safflower, cottonseed, sunflower)

Trans: found in vegetable shortening (Crisco), margarine, and mass-produced processed foods (cookies, crackers, muffins).

By eating a wide variety of foods, you will naturally consume a blend of all three natural fats: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. You should aim to get most of your fats as monounsaturated and saturated.

Despite consuming a higher percentage of your dietary intake from fat during a well-formulated ketogenic diet, the total amount of polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) that your body needs each day does not change. So consuming sources high in omega-6 PUFA like corn and soybean oils can result in an imbalance in the body and cause poor gastrointestinal tolerance. 

It’s fine to get PUFA from natural sources, such as fish, and nuts, and small amounts of vegetable oils in the form of dressings, mayonnaise, etc., are okay on occasion, like when dining out. (Alternatively, you may decide to take a small container of olive oil with you when you plan to eat out.)

At home be sure to stock up on dressings and mayos made with olive oil. Artificial trans fats should be limited as much as possible or eliminated altogether. They are not natural fats and are linked to an increase in the risk of heart disease. Learn more at https://www.heartandstroke.ca/get-healthy/healthy-eating/the-facts-on-trans-fats

Since they are mostly found in foods that do not fit into a ketogenic diet (packaged high-carb snack foods) your intake of trans fats will automatically decrease, but be sure to still pay attention to the amount on the label.

  1. Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance found only in animal products. Vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruit contain no cholesterol. You do not need to count cholesterol. Research shows that, for most people, the amount of cholesterol in the foods you eat does not affect the amount of cholesterol in your blood.Egg yolks are welcome at the table again!

  1. Sodium

We get sodium from some of the foods we eat and salt we put on our food. (This Blogger prefers unprocessed sea salt). Sodium is an essential nutrient, and very low-carb diets change the way the body holds onto sodium, so if anything, it’s important that you eat enough sodium, rather than worrying about too much.

Aim for 5g per day: 3g from food and salting your food to taste and an additional 2g from boullion. (Do not limit sodium unless you’re taking medication for high blood pressure or are told to do so by your doctor.)

To learn more about sodium go to

https://2healthyhabits.wordpress.com/2019/09/20/managing-potassium-and-sodium-on-a-ketogenic-diet/

  1. Total Carbohydrate

The carbohydrate count is given as total grams, and then broken down into carbs from fiber and sugar. Focus on total carbohydrate.

Sugar should be zero as often as possible (1–2g at most).

‍Fiber is a carb and should be included in your total for the day (initially 30g or less).

‍Again, pay attention to the serving size. Something might be low in carbs, but if you eat 3 or 4 servings, you can easily go over your daily limit.

  1. Protein

Protein comes from both animal and plant foods and is very important for overall health to preserve critical structures and functions – like muscles, heart, liver, and practically every other part of the body.  Additionally, it helps keep you satisfied and is the building block that powers important chemical reactions in the body. Consuming enough protein every day is critical, but eating too much can interfere with nutritional ketosis. Read about how much protein you need in nutritional ketosis in this Blog Post https://2healthyhabits.wordpress.com/2018/11/09/how-much-protein-do-you-need-in-nutritional-ketosis/

  1. Vitamins and Minerals

Your individual needs are unique; you need not pay attention to the percentages given here. To make sure you consume enough vitamins and minerals, aim for 5 servings of non-starchy vegetables daily.

  1. % Daily Value

These are percentages of nutrients based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. Because this is not a calorie-restricted diet, and you may be eating more or less than 2,000 calories, you need not pay attention to these percentages.

  1. Ingredients

On food labels, ingredients are listed in order by weight – the first few ingredients are the main ones in the product, while the ones toward the end of the list are used in smaller amounts. Here are some key things to look out for:

Trans fats: These are chemically modified fats that come from vegetable oils and should be avoided as much as possible. According to labeling laws in the U.S., if a food contains less than 0.5g of trans fat per serving, the label can say 0g, so be sure to read the list of ingredients. You can spot trans fats by the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” with oils.

Sugar-free or Low-carb: Don’t be fooled by clever packaging and slick marketing. Packages that say, “low carb” or “sugar free” may have hidden sugars and many of these that calculate net carbs (the subtraction of fiber and sugar alcohols) are likely high in total carbs. Pay attention to the ingredients and the total carb content, even when the front of the package shows “low carb.”

Vegetable oils: Try to avoid or limit as much as possible foods that list corn, soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, or safflower oil among the first ingredients. Opt for condiments and marinades made from olive oil. (Canola oil may contain small amounts of trans fats, which is harmful to health. Source: Is Canola Oil Healthy? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-canola-oil-healthy)

Hidden sugars: Sugar goes by many different names, which helps manufacturers disguise the true amount of sugars and sweeteners in their products.

The many names of sugar include:

Blog - Feb. 7 sugar chart

If you see any of these listed in the ingredients on a label, look to see if the total carbohydrate count is suitable. For example, many brands of bacon and cold cuts are cured with brown sugar or honey, but the amount of sugar remaining in the final product is very low.

As long as the total carbs per serving are 1–2g, that’s okay.The same goes for salad dressings – many perfectly good low-carb choices, such as ranch or bleu cheese, may have sugar listed in the ingredients, but the total carbs per serving will be just 1–2g.

Bottom line: Carefully read nutrition labels to limit your total carbohydrates and identify the right ingredients to help you successfully navigate your low carb, high fat lifestyle.

To learn more about how food affects blood sugar, watch Dr. Sarah Hallberg’s video here:

Dr. Hallberg on Carbs, Protein and Fat, and Their Surprising Impact on Blood Sugar (Ch 1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESL3_7sdCwU

This Post has been condensed from: Low Carb Guide to Understanding Nutrition Labels https://www.virtahealth.com/blog/low-carb-guide-to-understanding-nutrition-labels

I invite you to Follow my Blog, Facebook or be added to my email distribution list. My focus is to maximize my physical performance and mental clarity, body composition, and most importantly overall health with a wholesome diet and exercise.

I will bring you compelling articles on Ketogenic and GAPS diets, the Super Slow High-Intensity Exercise Program and supplements.

To follow my Blog, please click the Follow button to receive an email when the next posting is available. Hint: You may have to click the Accept and Close button before follow is available.

I thrive on feedback. Please let me know you are interested in the content by clicking Like, Commenting or sending me a message or email about the Post.

If you wish to contact me by Email, please email lpolstra@bell.net

Live Long Healthy.

Regards,

Lydia Polstra

Loosing Weight Part Two: Is a Calorie a Calorie?

Do Calories Matter? Is a Calorie a Calorie? (Science of Weight Gain)

This Post is part two of the Transcript. It starts at the 8:38 minute mark.Here is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcMBm-UVdII

Please see the original for the Footnotes and Citations for the scientific studies.

This brings us to the next point: Is a calorie a calorie?

Blog calorie

For a calorie to be a calorie, we would expect all foods to be processed in similar ways in the body without having unique effects on our hormones or other biochemical processes.

But in the case of alcohol a calorie is clearly not a calorie as it has some interesting peripheral effects due to the fact that 10% of the alcohol you ingest is metabolized in the brain, making you drunk and 80% of it is metabolized in the liver, leading to liver disease and other problems.

Another one is trans-fats, which are very different from other fats. The synthetic nature of trans-fats doesn’t allow them to be broken down in your mitochondria and they contribute to metabolic disease and atherosclerosis.

Proteins, get broken down into amino acids in the body, and the liver will use these for either protein synthesis, i.e. muscle growth or convert them into either glucose or fatty acids.

These processes though depend on your insulin levels, whether you have broken down muscle tissue through exercise and how much glucose is stored in the form of glycogen in your body.

And there are all kinds of amino acids, some that are essential and can only come from the diet and some that are non-essential.

Fats on the other hand get broken down into free fatty acids and they will be processed by your mitochondria for energy or stored in the muscle or stored in your fat tissue.

And there are several different types of fat, some good, some bad. For example you have bad ones like trans fats we just talked about and you have fatty-acids like DHA, which is theorized to be what allowed humans to evolve their big brains.

Glucose, the carbohydrate found in things like rice or starchy vegetables passes into the bloodstream and then stimulates the pancreas to make insulin, allowing it to get into the cell so that it can be burned up for energy or it may be stored as glycogen.

Depending on how much glycogen is already stored in the body and how quickly and how much glucose is entering your system at one time, glucose may be stored as fat through a process called de novo lipogenesis.

Keep in mind that fiber in vegetables is going to slow down the rate at which glucose is processed. So your body will react very differently to say 50g of glucose from white bread and 50g of glucose from broccoli.

Now there’s another carbohydrate called fructose (or “frooooctose”) found in sweet things like fruit, juice, honey or table sugar.

The tricky thing about table sugar, or sucrose, is it’s comprised of one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose, yet glucose by itself is sometimes called sugar. For example, blood sugar is synonymous with blood glucose. However what I’m discussing is fructose, a molecule very different and much sweeter than glucose.

Fructose is technically a carbohydrate but it is not necessary for any biochemical reaction in the body, so almost all of it is processed in the liver. The interesting thing about fructose is, among other negative effects like promoting the development of fatty liver disease, is it causes insulin resistance, meaning the more you eat sweet things, the more your pancreas will have to secrete insulin to get its job done, leading to higher and higher insulin levels.

Fructose, by the way, is in 74% of all packaged foods in the form of added sugars.

If you’re trying to lose body fat, you’ll want to keep an eye on insulin. When you have high levels of insulin, hormone sensitive lipase, which breaks down fat for energy, is much less active. In this case, if you haven’t eaten for a couple hours you start to get really hungry because you can’t actually use any of that fat on your body for energy.

So your body fat continues to stick around and you feel pretty crappy. Another reason behind the hunger is that high levels of insulin block your brain from seeing the leptin signal – you become resistant to leptin. Leptin again, is the satiety hormone.

This how eating too many things, like packaged foods or refined carbohydrates, that spike insulin levels can cause people to be hungry and lethargic despite having so much energy stored on their body as fat. So yes Pete is fat because he ate too much clearly, “I’m not fat!” but the reason he ate too much has to do with his hormones.

A calorie is a calorie in the way a gram of money is a gram of money. A kilogram of one hundred dollar bills is going to affect your bank account much differently than a kilogram of 1 yen Japanese coins.

For some people, calories have worked as a decent rule of thumb for them, but tracking the macronutrient composition of your food is going to give you much more insight into how your food is affecting your body than just calories.

There’s still a lot more to be said about macronutrients, but you can notice their effects pretty quickly if you pay attention.

  • Does a breakfast high in fructose and glucose like orange juice and a big bowl of cereal with flavored yogurt leave you feeling hungry and tired by the time you get to work?
  • And does a meal high in good fat, protein and fiber like salmon, eggs and vegetables make you feel any different?

May you Live Long Healthy.

Yours truly,

Lydia Polstra

Email: lpolstra@sympatico.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/2healthyhabits/

Blog: https://2healthyhabits.wordpress.com

Disclaimer: The content of this email or Post is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader.

I invite you to Follow my Blog, Facebook or be added to my email distribution list. My focus is to maximize my physical performance and mental clarity, body composition, and most importantly overall health with a wholesome diet and exercise.

 I will bring you compelling articles on Ketogenic and GAPS diets, the Super Slow High-Intensity Exercise Program and supplements.

 To follow my Blog, please click the Follow button to receive an email when the next posting is available. Hint: You may have to click the Accept and Close button before follow is available.

I thrive on feedback. Please let me know you are interested in the content by clicking Like, Commenting or sending me a message or email about the Post.

If you wish to contact me by Email, please email lpolstra@bell.net

Saturated Fats Part One: Great Britain’s Most Outspoken Cardiologist Sets the Record Straight.

Blog - S. Fat Picture.png
  • Saturated fat and cholesterol have little to do with the development of heart disease. Data shows two-thirds of people admitted to hospitals with acute myocardial infarction have completely normal cholesterol levels.
  • Fats that contribute to heart disease are primarily trans fats and highly refined and/or heated polyunsaturated vegetable oils (PUFAs), which are high in damaged omega-6.
  • For optimal health, seek to get 75 to 85 percent of your total calories as healthy fat, primarily monosaturated and saturated. Limit PUFAs to 10 percent and omega-6 fats to 5 percent.

Is saturated fat dangerous to your health?  Dr. Aseem Malhotra an interventional cardiologist consultant in London, U.K. seriously challenges the conventional view on saturated fats, and reviews how recent studies have failed to find any significant association between saturated fat and cardiovascular risk.

Malhotra reports that two-thirds of people admitted to hospitals with acute myocardial infarction have completely normal cholesterol levels.

“As an interventional cardiologist, we can do life-saving procedures with people who have heart attacks through heart surgery. What we can do in medicine is really quite limited at the treatment end and actually the whole ‘prevention is better than cure’ phrase is very true.”

Hospitals and Medical Personnel Are Far From Paragons of Health

Malhotra’s epiphany that something was wrong with the system came rather early. While working as a resident in cardiology, he performed an emergency stenting procedure on a man in his 50s who’d recently suffered a heart attack.

“Just when I was telling about healthy diet, how important that was, he was actually served burger and fries by the hospital. He said to me, ‘Doctor, how do you expect me to change my lifestyle when you’re serving me the same crap that brought me in here in the first place?’”

Looking around, he realized that a lot of healthcare professionals are overweight or obese, and hospitals serve sick patients junk food.

“The hospital environment should be one that promotes good health, not exacerbates bad health,” he says.

Diet and lifestyle changes are particularly important in light of the fact that medical errors and properly prescribed medications are the third most common cause of death after heart disease and cancer. Overmedication is a particularly serious problem among the elderly, who tend to suffer more side effects.

“Part of that is because there are very powerful vested interests that push drugs,” Malhotra says. “They even coax academic institutions and guideline bodies. People aren’t getting all the information to make decisions, whether or not they should take medications…

For Past 60 Years, the Wrong Fats Have Been Vilified

For the past 60 years, the conventional wisdom has dictated that saturated fat is dangerous and should be avoided. This flawed notion was originally promoted by Dr. Ancel Keys, whose Seven Countries Study laid the groundwork for the myth that saturated fat caused heart disease.

It’s true that heart disease rates began spiking in the beginning of the 20th century, and for the last 50 years, heart disease has been progressively increasing. It really wasn’t an issue prior to the 20th century. Saturated fat wasn’t the problem. It was all the other harmful fats people were eating.

In the 20th century, the average person probably had less than 1 pound a year of refined, processed omega-6 vegetable oils. By the 1950s, probably about 50 pounds a year, and by year 2000, it increased at about 75 pounds a year. It seems “fat” in itself isn’t the issue; it’s the type of fat that’s crucial.

This massive amount of highly refined polyunsaturated fat is far in excess of what we were designed to eat for optimal health.

In the United States, between 1961 and 2011, 90 percent of the calorie intake has been carbohydrates and refined industrial vegetable oils.

The heart disease epidemic peaked between 1960 and 1970. When we look at our data, it’s quite clear that the so-called fats responsible for that are trans fats and very likely polyunsaturated vegetable oils high in omega-6 fatty acids. We know now that they oxidize LDL and are pro-inflammatory.

What Are the Real Risk Factors for Heart Disease?

By failing to differentiate between trans fats and saturated fats, massive confusion has arisen. There’s also confusion about the relationship between saturated fat and cholesterol. Adding to the complexity, there are also different types of saturated fats, which may have different biological effects.

Many saturated fats will raise LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol. But LDLs come in various sizes. Large type A particles arelessatherogenic (form fatty plaques in the arteries) and are influenced by saturated fat. Saturated fat also increases HDL, the “good” cholesterol.

“What’s interesting is the saturated fat, even though it may raise LDL, your lipid profile may actually improve [when you eat more saturated fat], especially when you cut the carbs. On top of that, LDL has been grossly exaggerated as a risk factor for heart disease, with the exception of people who have a genetic abnormality (familial hypercholesterolemia),” Malhotra says.

So what is the major issue when you look at heart disease and heart attacks? Insulin resistance. The reason it’s being neglected is partly this flawed science on cholesterol. But, also because there’s never been any effective drugs that target insulin resistance.

Therefore, because [there isn’t a] big market around something to sell, there aren’t many people that know about it. As you and I know, if you target insulin resistance through the right kind of diet and lifestyle changes, stress reduction, right kind of exercise, that’s going to have the biggest impacts on your health.”

Check back next week for –

Saturated Fat Part Two: Gauging Your Heart Disease Risk:

  • Gauging Your Heart Disease Risk
  • The Connection Between Saturated Fats and Diabetes
  • Healthy Fat Tips
  • Why Statins Are a Bad Idea for Most People
  • Statins Are Associated With Serious Side Effects

Today’s Post has been condensed from: Great Britain’s Most Outspoken Cardiologist Sets the Record Straight on Saturated Fats

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/06/05/saturated-fat-heart-disease-risk.aspx

Please see the original for the Footnotes and Citations for the scientific studies.

May you Live Long Healthy.

Yours truly,

Lydia Polstra

Email: lpolstra@bell.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/2healthyhabits/

Blog: https://2healthyhabits.wordpress.com

Disclaimer: The content of this email or Post is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader.

I invite you to Follow my Blog, Facebook or be added to my email distribution list. My focus is to maximize my physical performance and mental clarity, body composition, and most importantly overall health with a wholesome diet and exercise.

I will bring you compelling articles on Ketogenic and GAPS diets, the Super Slow High-Intensity Exercise Program and supplements.

To follow my Blog, please click the Follow button to receive an email when the next posting is available. Hint: You may have to click the Accept and Close button before follow is available.

I thrive on feedback. Please let me know you are interested in the content by clicking Like, Commenting or sending me a message or email about the Post.

If you wish to contact me by Email, please email lpolstra@bell.net