Newsletter 22, September 2009
This issue of the Good Diet Good Health Newsletter includes...
- Confused in Carbsville - Part 1
- Tell us what you think
- Visit our newsletter archive
- Free resources
1) Confused in Carbsville - Part 1
Starting any diet involves a lot of aforethought and organisation, but not all diets require such a steep learning curve as a low carb diet. Sure, when you plan to go low carb you can simply get some low carb diet menus and eat exactly what what they say, avoiding the need to understand the what and the why. But low carbing - proper low carbing, that is - is a way of eating for life, not a crash diet. And it would be very restrictive to eat only according to a pre-set menu plan for the rest of your life. Hence the need to learn about the science behind low carbing and understand what you are doing.
Here at LowCarbisEasy.com we try to help make it easy for beginners to learn the basics and to navigate the mass of information that is out there about low carbing, unfortunately much of it incorrect or misleading. We already have a lot of information on the website, but we are constantly sifting the morass of new information and research for anything that might be of further help to our site visitors.
We also answer a steady stream of individual queries from low carbers and potential low carbers. It's great when we are able to clarify a complicated point for one of our visitors, point them in the right direction for a particular topic, or, as often happens, provide them with clinical study references to reassure them that low carbing will not be a problem for their medical condition. One of our visitors, Derek, asked us a question a while back and this developed into a light-hearted but insightful exchange on the trials and tribulations of a new low carber which we thought subscribers to our Newsletter might like to read. Derek was happy for us to include it in our Newsletter and we are indebted to him for giving us permission to share his 'Confused in Carbsville' humour with our readers. We will be serialising the exchange in the next few Newsletters - here's the first instalment below.
From: Confused in Carbsville
Sent: 11-01-2009 16:14
To: info @ lowcarbiseasy.com
Re: Low Carb is Easy :: General enquiry
Hi, Firstly, you say in your 'blurb' that the annual subscription includes 'free' recipes - how many recipes are sent out 'free' each year? Secondly, I am English but living in Germany - would I get my software in English? I look forward to your reply as I am a recently diagnosed type 2 diabetic (and overweight)!
Sent: 11-01-2009 19:15
To: Confused in Carbsville
Subject: RE: Low Carb is Easy :: General enquiry
Thanks for your enquiry. The Cookbook is a software programme which is resident on our server, which you access online in return for an annual subscription, you don't 'download' it as such. It's all in English.
If you don't particularly need the interactive features after the first year, you just decline to renew the sub. You can print the whole Cookbook out so that you've got a copy for ever. The number of recipes already in the Cookbook is 127, and the number of new ones issued per year varies depending on how much time I get to develop and test them (the Cookbook is a 'spare time' occupation!) but is probably between 6 and 8.
If you haven't already seen it, I have various links to interesting clinical studies supporting the use of low carb diets in diabetes especially type 2 on my website, and in fact I've just blogged about this today as well, see http://gooddietgoodhealth.blogspot.com/2009/01/diabetes-diet-high-carb-or-low-carb.html. Many of the 'alternative' diabetes experts say you can virtually cure type 2 by low carbing.
I'll be interested to know what type 2 diabetics get advised re high carb vs low carb diets in Germany - do let me know!
From: Confused in Carbsville
Sent: 13-01-2009 10:19
To: Jackie Bushell
Subject: Guten Morgen
Many thanks for your very swift reply - it is good to know that good 'old fashioned' service lives on!
The only advice that I have had from my family doctor so far was a handful of contradictory pamphlets, that I should lose weight and that I should make an appointment with a dietitian. But a doctor friend of mine has advised me to look into a low carb diet.
There is also something about the Glycemic index floating about in the back of my mind that I just cannot remember - hence me coming to you. I have since bought the cookbook and am very impressed by your recipes - are they all from your fair hand?
You did say that I can ask any questions (you may well regret making that offer), so here goes: I was in my local health food shop yesterday and found lots of different packs of flax seeds, but the assistant told me that turning them into flour is practically impossible because of the oil content creating blockages in the mill - what method (I rather suspect a mortar and pestle) do you use to render the seeds suitable for making bread?
This morning I replaced my usual fruit and nut muesli (60grm per 100 carb) with these flax seeds in soya milk, which I use instead of milk anyway.
Another Q: I could find no soya flour in this shop but was pointed toward coconut flour, which has only a 4grm per 100 carb content and the advice on the pack was to supplement 10 - 20 per cent of one's normal bread making flour with the coconut flour - do you have any knowledge / thoughts about this? I do, incidentally, make my own bread in a machine anyway.
I look forward to your reply and thank you again.
Best regards from Germany.
Sent: 13-01-2009 22:48
To: Confused in Carbsville
Subject: RE: Guten Morgen
We aim to please!
Well, here's my take on diabetes (but note I'm not a medical person and cannot give advice):
- Most 'authorities' think that losing weight itself improves your diabetes (and there may indeed be an element of the fat cells themselves having a hand in the biochemical changes which increase insulin resistance, of which see more in a sec) but followers of low carb science think that it's more what you do to lose that weight that improves your diabetes. In other words, you stop bombarding your body with carbohydrates, your blood sugar keeps on a more even keel, you stop overproducing insulin, your cells when they are not being constantly bombarded with too much insulin lose some of their insulin resistance, and so your diabetes improves. Most 'authorities' say obesity causes diabetes, whereas we low carbers say that obesity is a risk factor for diabetes but not the cause - it's the hyperinsulinism and insulin resistance that precedes the diagnosis of diabetes that causes the obesity.
- Following on from this, low carb is the best diet for a type 2 diabetic. The 'authorities' used to lambast anyone who suggested this, because they still believe that high fat diets are the cause of heart disease, high protein will thin your bones and is bad for your kidneys etc, but it's getting harder for them now that so many clinical trials are demonstrating that these allegations are false.
- Low GI diets are a sort of watered down version of low carb. They may help you if you're not very sensitive to carbs, but they're still not low enough in carbs for many of us. The Easy Guide to Low Carb, Low GI and Low GL Diets that comes as a free bonus with the Cookbook should explain much of what you need to know about low GI to start of with. Or look at http://www.gidietrecipes.com/aboutlowgi.htm.
- See a dietician by all means, but don't follow blindly everything they say! Speaking personally, I'd only respect what a dietician said if they showed they were aware of the latest research into the safety of low carb diets, and don't keep telling you that the only healthy diet is a high carb, low fat one.
You might also want to get a copy of 'Atkins Diabetes Revolution', see my review of it at http://www.lowcarbiseasy.com/books.htm.
Yes, I've personally developed and tested all the recipes myself!
As for flax seeds - you can tell the shop assistant that they grind very nicely into a fine meal with the right equipment! To make the most successful breads you need to be able to grind the seeds, especially flax, as finely as possible. I'm afraid it's probably a matter of trial and error because there are so many different types and brands of machines. I think the best plan is to try out anything you've already got first, especially anything that calls itself a grinder (eg a coffee grinder) or a liquidiser. Do try a 'blender' and a 'chopper' if you have one, but don't have high hopes that they will work. If they're no good, try out your friends'/relations grinders and mixer attachments. After that, possibly your best bet would be to go on some of the low carber forums and ask the low carbers there which equipment they recommend specifically for grinding flax seeds very finely.
By the way, I haven't found a way of making very low carb bread in my bread machine yet. To use the bread machine you have to be prepared to put some 'real' flour into the mix, possibly extra-high-gluten flour, which is still too carby as far as I'm concerned.
Did you grind your flax seeds at breakfast, by the way? Whole ones exit exactly as they went in (unless you've got the sort that say they're 'split' - they don't look different, so you have to take the packet's word for it!)
You're very lucky finding coconut flour! As far as I know it's not available here in the UK and I'm looking forward to experimenting with it when it does arrive! Not knowing personally how it behaves in a bakemix, I'm just guessing that you can probably use it to substitute the soya flour in most if not all of my recipes. I suggest you substitute by volume, not by weight, and you may need to adjust the liquid content of recipes if it's not as absorbent as soya. Let me know how you get on!
I guess that's enough for now, keep the questions coming, we're always pleased to try to help.
With best low carbing wishes
… To be continued in our next Newsletter
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Founder Director, GoodDietGoodHealth.com
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