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?

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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.

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Diabetes: The Basics Part Three – Gestational Diabetes

This is Part Three of a series of three Posts. Part One and Part Two covered questions about Type 2 Diabetes. Part Three covers Gestational Diabetes.

What is gestational diabetes?

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Gestational diabetes is high blood glucose (sugar) in a pregnant woman who has never had diabetes before, and it only occurs when a woman is pregnant.

The cause of this condition is not completely understood. It is thought that the hormones that are normally present during pregnancy block the effects of insulin in the mother’s body. This leads to a build up of high blood glucose levels. This condition goes away after the baby is delivered and the pregnancy hormones return to normal levels.

Gestational diabetes that is not treated during the pregnancy can cause certain problems for the baby. One of these problems is a condition called macrosomia, which means the baby is born overweight. Babies with macrosomia can suffer from shoulder damage during birth, and they can have problems with their blood sugar and ability to breathe at birth as well. Protecting the baby from these problems is the main reason why diagnosing and treating gestational diabetes during the pregnancy is so important.

Mothers who have gestational diabetes are at risk for developing high blood pressure during the pregnancy. This leads to a higher likelihood of having to undergo a C-section when the baby is born. In addition, the mother is at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on after the baby is born.

What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes?

These symptoms can include feeling thirsty, feeling hungry, having a dry mouth, urinating often, and being tired. Because these symptoms typically occur with pregnancy anyways, the diagnosis of gestational diabetes is usually made by lab work that is routinely performed during pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes usually develops during the sixth month of pregnancy or later, and this is usually when the mother will be tested for this condition. Mothers who are at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes may be tested sooner than that. Typically, a glucose screening test is performed, which consists of drinking a liquid that contains glucose (sugar), and blood is drawn one hour afterwards to assess the blood glucose level. Depending on the results of the blood glucose level, a glucose tolerance test may be performed.

A glucose tolerance test can consist of several steps. First, the mother will be asked to fast (not eat) the night before the test. Then, blood is drawn the next morning while the mother is still fasting. The mother will then drink the liquid glucose again and have labs drawn one hour, two hours, and three hours afterward. The lab measures the blood glucose levels at each of these intervals. The diagnosis of gestational diabetes is confirmed based on the results of these tests.

How do you prevent gestational diabetes?

The best prevention for gestational diabetes is a healthy lifestyle and a normal weight, normal blood pressure, and normal blood glucose levels before becoming pregnant.

Women who are more likely to develop gestational diabetes while pregnant have high blood pressure, high blood glucose levels (but not high enough to be diabetes), and were overweight before becoming pregnant. Also, women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy are more likely to develop it if they become pregnant again.

How do you treat gestational diabetes?

Lifestyle changes are always recommended to the mother when gestational diabetes is diagnosed, and these include physical activity and dietary changes that are specifically directed by the mother’s physician. The mother’s weight and blood sugar levels will also be closely watched by her physician during the pregnancy as well. The baby’s weight and growth will be carefully watched by ultrasound studies during the pregnancy. In many cases, lifestyle changes are the only treatment needed for gestational diabetes.

If a medication is needed, then insulin is typically used, as it is the safest medication for the baby. Other pill medications can be added to the insulin if the physician feels they are necessary. The medications are usually stopped once the baby is born.

The source of this information is the Virta Health website. Here is the link, please copy and paste it into your address bar

https://blog.virtahealth.com/diabetes-faq/?fbclid=IwAR2moJQwFn_V-SZbYAbxBGoWfnL-cS42Hj2ShZk7wwNWbjKl19wPgkoYzc0

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.

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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.

Why We Don’t Need Carbohydrates

Myth 1:  The human brain burns 600 kcal per day glucose to meet its energy needs.

Myth 2:  No one can follow a ketogenic diet long term.

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The need for dietary carbohydrates is often a topic of misunderstanding and misinformation. Although some specific tissues in the body do have certain glucose requirements, these requirements are easily met by gluconeogenic sources within the body without the need for dietary carbohydrate intake. The fatigue, stress, impaired cognition and reduced performance that are often used to argue for the need for carbohydrate are more aptly attributable to improper implementation of a well-formulated ketogenic diet (WFKD), inadequate electrolyte replacement, and/or insufficient time for keto-adaptation. When used correctly, a ketogenic diet can be a safe and sustainable therapeutic tool as well as a means to help promote wellness and performance.

The specific topic that we want to address here is how both the brain and body can function as well – or even better – on a diet with little or no dietary carbohydrate compared to the typically promoted low fat, high carbohydrate ‘healthy diet.’

Published science has shown that ketones that are produced from either dietary fats or triglycerides stored in our adipose (fat) tissue reserves are an excellent fuel for the brain. Further, we now know that these ketones produced by the liver also have multiple beneficial effects on the heart, kidneys, and other organs that appear to translate into improved longevity.

Additionally, new research has highlighted that skeletal muscles, even those of competitive athletes, are not solely dependent on high dietary carbohydrate intake for glycogen replenishment and performance.

Ketones are a cleaner-burning fuel (i.e., producing fewer free-radicals) than glucose when used by the brain and other organs. The primary ketone beta-hydroxybutyrate (BOHB) can also function as a signal to activate genes that regulate our defenses against oxidative stress and inflammation.

The shifting they body’s energy source from carbohydrates to fats, which we have named ‘keto-adaptation,’ starts within days but takes a considerable period of time to fully develop. The result is maintenance of normal blood glucose and muscle glycogen levels that can be sustained without the need for dietary carbohydrate intake.

Physiologic Role of Carbohydrates

The presumed requirement for glucose by the brain is a conditional need that is based on the fuel sources dictated by one’s choice of diet. A ketone-suppressing diet (i.e., any diet supplying >30% of energy from the combined intakes of carbohydrate and protein) essentially forces the brain to rely on glucose for fuel.

It is true that some cells within the body do require glucose. But in all of these cases where glucose is broken down to lactate, the body can recycle that lactate back to glucose.

Evidence That the Brain Can Function on Ketones

The simplest experiment that demonstrates the brain’s ability to function on ketones is the observation that humans can tolerate total fasting with normal mental function for durations of 30-60 days. Elegantly done studies that measured glucose and ketone levels in arterial blood going into the brain compared to these fuels in the jugular vein coming out of the brain, indicated that ketones are in fact able to supply the great majority of the brain’s energy.

See the original Virta post for the studies.

What these studies demonstrated is clear evidence of normal brain function in the virtual absence of glucose when sufficient ketones are available. This offers us the unique perspective that when consuming a carbohydrate-rich diet the predominate source of fuel for the brain is glucose; not because it is needed but because the other natural and highly effective brain energy source has been shut off.Butunder conditions of consistent nutritional ketosis, the brain adapts to the presence of ketones by enhancing their uptake and oxidation, thus protecting cognitive and CNS (central nervous system) function.

Essentials of Keto-Adaptation – Glucose Conservation and Salvage

Just because one doesn’t consume dietary carbohydrate does not mean the body is completely lacking in glucose. Whether fasting or on a meat-and-fat-only ketogenic diet, blood glucose values remain in the normal range both at rest and during exercise. This occurs because the body is quite capable of synthesizing all of the glucose it needs from various gluconeogenic precursors, while at the same time strictly limiting its rate of carbohydrate oxidation.

There are at least five sources of these glucose precursors:

  1. breakdown of muscle to supply amino acids for gluconeogenesis;
  2. breakdown of dietary protein to supply amino acids for gluconeogenesis,
  3. glycerol released from the hydrolysis of adipose tissue triglyceride or dietary triglyceride;
  4. recycling lactate and pyruvate from glycolysis; and
  5. acetone produced by the spontaneous breakdown of acetoacetate to acetone that can be used for gluconeogenesis.

The conditions for and the amounts provided by these various sources of gluconeogenesis are shown in the following table.

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What this table clearly demonstrates is that whether during a total fast or a ketogenic diet without carbohydrate containing foods, new or recycled gluconeogenic substrates provide for the generation of anywhere from 100-200 g/d of glucose. Add to this up to 50 g/d of dietary carbohydrate as part of a WFKD, and it becomes clear why nutritional ketosis is well tolerated under a variety of challenging conditions.

Lessons from Low Carbohydrate Athletes

Dr. Volek’s group recruited 20 competitive ultra-runners, 10 of whom followed a traditional high carbohydrate diet and the other 10 had been following a ketogenic diet for at least 6 months.

After baseline testing, these runners were asked to do a 3-hour run at race-pace on a treadmill. Surprisingly, both groups had similar muscle glycogen levels before the run, and they also both mobilized similar amounts (about 80%) of their glycogen during 3 hours on the treadmill.

But almost 90% of ketogenic runner’s net energy use was from fat. This is an astonishing example of being able to maintain normal muscle glycogen while consuming very little carbohydrate.

Please refer to the original Virta post for 2 more in depth studies.

Why Some Experts Still Claim that We Need Dietary Carbohydrates

There are some other arguments used to support the idea that we need to consume carbohydrates above levels that facilitate nutritional ketosis.

Thyroid dysfunction:The blood level of the active thyroid hormone T3 typically falls by 30-40% in the first few weeks of a WFKD, but this is not accompanied by any signs or symptoms of clinical hypothyroidism. This change is due to a marked reduction in thyroid hormone resistance during nutritional ketosis, which can be eased with adequate electrolytes intake. Therefore, this is a healthy response and not a sign of endocrine dysfunction.

Sleep patterns are disturbed by a ketogenic diet. In our study we found that global sleep quality, sleep disturbances, and daytime dysfunction parameters all were significantly improved. In addition, the proportion of patients reporting poor sleep was significantly reduced after 1 year.

We need more dietary fiber than is possible on a ketogenic diet.What we point out in our blog post on fiber is that the production of BOHB can provide many-fold more SCFAs to the brain than a very high fiber diet combined with an optimized microbiome. Thus, the moderate level of fiber that one can achieve with a real-food WFKD should be more than adequate to maintain health.

To learn more, please see my Blog Post, Fiber and Colon Health On A Well-Formulated Ketogenic Diet https://2healthyhabits.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/fiber-and-colon-health-on-a-well-formulated-ketogenic-diet-new-insights-question-its-role-as-an-unconditional-requirement/

This Post has been condensed from the original Virta Post: Why Humans Don’t Need Dietary Carbohydrates to Thrive By Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD, Brooke Bailey, Ph.D Jeff Volek, PhD, RD https://blog.virtahealth.com/why-dont-need-dietary-carbohydrates/?fbclid=IwAR0gDnfRCWEimOQgsK8sCEY7-Rh5R6E5TyyISAOd3VbSj71OsKOEekmTTO0

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 using this form.

May you Live Long Healthy.

Yours truly,

Lydia Polstra

416-428-5285

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.