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Friday, 23 February 2018

Mobile health, ketogenic diet reverse type 2 diabetes after one year

Researchers from Purdue University, Indiana University Health Arnett and Virta Health have found the combination of nutritional ketosis and a mobile health application can safely reverse type 2 diabetes. Findings are published in Diabetes Therapy.

As Americans continue facing the obesity epidemic, rates of type 2 diabetes are on the rise. In this study, researcher examined the effects of remote mobile health patient monitoring paired with a high-fat, low-carb, moderate protein diet in preventing or reversing type 2 diabetes.

“We feel that it is really important to support a patient in many different ways,” said the study’s principal investigator, Dr. Sarah Hallberg. “Due to the unique structure of the trial and use of telemedicine, we helped prevent any significant hypoglycemic events. Instead of patients scheduling an office visit, they could log their blood sugar and ketone levels in the app. Then, both the patient and I could track their levels and make adjustments accordingly.”

A total of 349 patients were enrolled in the five-year study, 87 of whom were put in the control group and received usual care while 262 followed the ketogenic diet and were provided connection to a health coach and physician through a mobile app.

In the first year of the study, 83 percent of the original enrollees remained in the study. First-year outcomes showed an average decrease of 1.3 percent in three-month hemoglobin levels and a 12 percent weight loss in the intervention group. Additionally, 94 percent of patients using insulin decreased or eliminated their need for the medication and 60 percent showed three-month hemoglobin levels below the diabetes threshold without the need for medication.

“Our results push against the accepted norm that A1C cannot be improved while taking patients off medication,” Hallberg said. “Our trial shows we did both—sometimes in a matter of weeks—and sustained and even improved results at one year. Establishing the right intervention and remote support resources is critical for our treatment approach.”


Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Lemon 'Sponge' Cake Bars : Low Carb and Sugar Free

These sugar free lemon bars from Libby at 'Ditch The Carbs' are so light, tasty and fluffy. They take about ten minutes to prepare, and twenty minutes to cook ... then drizzled with a sweetened lemon glaze just makes them extra special and zesty.
Why not try them and see! 

Makes 10 Bars
Sugar free lemon bars
110 g butter softened
4 tbsp. granulated sweetener of choice or more, to taste
4 eggs - medium
24 g coconut flour
50 g almond meal/flour
80 ml natural yoghurt unsweetened
pinch salt to taste
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
Lemon drizzle
3 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. powdered sweetener or more, to taste

Please see Libby's cooking instructions here

... just getting my tea cup and plate!

All the best Jan

Monday, 19 February 2018

Chinese Pork with Brussels Sprouts : Take-Away this Low Carb Dish

I'm sure you will find there's no need for a Chinese Take-Away, because this meal delivers all of the flavour of Chinese food, the home cooked low carb way ...
And you will have dinner on the table in no time:-

Serves Four
7g carbs per serving

1 1⁄3 lbs / 600g pork belly
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves
3 oz. / 75g butter or coconut oil
1 lb / 450g Brussels sprouts
½ leek
salt and ground black pepper

If you are looking for a gluten-free and soy-free alternative to soy sauce, try coconut aminos; check the label, but expect about one gram net carbs per teaspoon, so go easy.

About five minutes to prepare (allow time to marinade) and fifteen minutes to cook ...

I hope you may find time to 'Take-Away this Low Carb Dish' to your own recipe lists, please see cooking instructions here

Pork Belly is a boneless cut of fatty meat from the belly of a pig. This dish is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. Pork belly is immensely popular in Chinese, Korean and Philippine cuisine.


kuài lè yǐn shí

Happy Eating
(with thanks to google translate)

All the best Jan

Friday, 16 February 2018

Study reveals how carbohydrate-restricted diet improves metabolism

New details about how a carbohydrate-restricted diet improves metabolism were revealed in a study published today, which could lead to improved treatments for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

A research team in Sweden examined the effects of reduced carbohydrate consumption - without an accompanying reduction in calorie intake - by putting 10 subjects with obesity and high liver fat on a two-week diet. The study, which involved KTH Royal Institute of Technology's SciLifeLab research center, combined clinical and big data analysis to determine the subsequent changes in metabolism and gut bacteria.

By doing so, they identified why the subjects showed "rapid and dramatic" reductions of liver fat and other cardiometabolic risk factors, along with marked decreases in synthesis of hepatic fat. Published today in Cell Metabolism, the work was authored by researchers from KTH, University of Gothenburg and other international collaborators.

Adil Mardinoglu, a systems biology researcher at KTH, says that the subjects were restricted to an isocaloric, low-carbohydrate diet with increased protein content. The researchers found that the metabolism of dangerous hepatic lipids was "strongly linked" to rapid increases in B vitamins and the bacteria that produce folic acid.

This benefit was coupled by a reduction in the expression of genes that are involved in fatty acid synthesis, and an increase in the expression of genes involved in folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism and fatty acid oxidation.

"A carbohydrate-restricted dietary intervention such as the one we used can be an efficient treatment strategy for a severe health problem, as medical science continues the development of new drugs," Mardinoglu says.

The study relied upon a combination of systems medicine and advanced clinical studies, with close interaction between experts in systems medicine, basic scientists, nutritionists and clinicians. Combining forces enabled the team to apply a "multi-omics" approach, which means integrating multiple data sets from the body's omes (genome, proteome, transcriptome, etc.) to identify biomarkers.

"We've moved from an era where scientists could work individually and command - in one laboratory - everything they needed, to a world that's much more interactive," Mardinoglu says.

Lead author Jan Boren, a professor at University of Gothenburg, says: "We found that the diet, independently of weight-loss, induced rapid and dramatic reductions of liver fat and other cardiometabolic risk factors, and revealed hitherto unknown underlying molecular mechanisms.

"It's important, however, to clarify that diets are complicated and that one type of diet does not fit everyone. For example, subjects with hypercholesterolemia should be careful."
Liver fat is the earliest abnormality in the pathogenesis of both NAFLD and alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) due to metabolic risk factors associated with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in the presence or absence of alcohol consumption.

Therefore, the strategies the research team identified could be used also for the treatment of AFLD patients, Boren says.


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Fruit and Almond Clafoutis : Low in Carbs and Delicious

This is one of our favourites. A fruit and almond clafoutis, very low carb.

It really fits into the LCHF menu plans very well.

50 grams of ground almonds
1 tablespoon of plain flour
250ml of double cream
2 egg yolks
100 grams of raspberries
100 grams of blueberries
Serves 4-6

Mix the almond flour, plain flour, egg yolks and cream in a bowl or Pyrex jug.
Pour into a non stick baking dish 8" x 1.5" and place the fruit.
Place into a pre heated oven at 190c and cook for twenty-five minutes.
Remove, cover with foil and cook for further twenty minutes.
Allow to stand for 1 hour.

This gorgeous French pudding is sublime. Low-carb and so easy to make.
Serve with double (heavy) cream.

All the best Jan

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Cholesterol – is it really a killer ?

Words by Ross Walker

For many years, there has been this unproven suggestion from the medical profession that high cholesterol, especially in older people, is always a major risk factor for heart disease and needs to be treated. The reality is that the evidence is just not there. 

In the British Medical Journal in 2016, a large study of 68,000 people followed for 10 years, showed clearly that there is no link between LDL cholesterol (the so called bad cholesterol) and cardiovascular disease but interestingly, those with the higher LDLs tended to live longer, have less cancer, gastrointestinal disease and infectious disease.

A recent study from the US showed that people without a prior history of existing heart disease, who are treated with statins had a higher death rate than those who were left alone.

So, what is the suggested answer for this seeming paradox? Why is cholesterol probably not the big killer we thought it was, especially in older people? The answer is that not all cholesterol is equal and LDL cholesterol is not bad and HDL cholesterol is not good. Both LDL and HDL are divided into small and large components. Here is where size is important! The larger your LDL and HDL, the more protective this is, not just against heart disease, but also cancer and other common illnesses. The reason that large LDL is protective is that it is clearly linked to building better cell membranes; cell to cell communication; a healthier blood brain barrier; is the basic ring for steroid metabolism and is vitally important for bile salt metabolism along with vitamin D metabolism. Large HDL-cholesterol is involved in what is known as reverse cholesterol transport, removing cholesterol from fatty plaques in the walls of arteries. Therefore, both large LDL and large HDL are protective.

It is, in fact, small, dense LDL cholesterol which is pro-atherogenic and small HDL which is pro-inflammatory i.e. small, dense LDL cholesterol puts fat in the walls of your arteries and small HDL cholesterol inflames your arteries, contributing to the generation of atherosclerosis.

Why then is high cholesterol a lesser risk factor in people over the age of 60? The answer is rather straightforward. If your cholesterol is going to get you in the first place, it is typically small LDL and HDL and it will typically affect you before age 60. Both the small components are major factors in the generation of premature vascular disease. Statin therapy has proven benefits in people with existing vascular disease below the age of 75, but has no place in the management of cholesterol issues if you do not have significant atherosclerosis manifested by you having had a vascular event such as an heart attack, stent or a coronary bypass or one of the vascular equivalents such as a stroke or peripheral vascular disease. The only other circumstance where treating cholesterol is important is if someone has an elevated coronary calcium score that places them in the 25th percentile of risk. As an example, if a 50-year-old male has a coronary calcium score above 50, this is already significant atherosclerosis for such a young age. If a 70 year-old has a coronary calcium score of 150, this is below the normal average for that age and should be ignored.

The bottom line here is that doctors should not be treating cholesterol but rather assessing vascular risk by either establishing a history of existing vascular disease or detecting an elevated coronary calcium. I must stress my usual point that the intravenous CT coronary angiogram is not a screening test for heart disease and has never been proven in any studies of asymptomatic people to have any benefit whatsoever over the less expensive, typically less radiation and totally non-invasive (not requiring any injections) coronary calcium score (despite using the same technology).

Simply put, you don’t treat cholesterol, you treat cardiovascular risk.


Saturday, 10 February 2018

Hoseah Partsch - Paper Planes

This is by the runner up on The Voice Australia 2017 good song and a nice vocal

Kovacs - 'I've Seen That Face Before' Live

It's music night again first up a band that's been featured on the blog before, enjoy

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon Yogurt : Vegetarian

This vegetarian recipe, is not just for vegetarians, it can be enjoyed by many! A thick, spicy red lentil soup cooled by zesty lemon yogurt ... quite yummy! Read on and see what you think ...

Serves Six

16g carb per serving

2 medium garlic cloves
1 medium onion
3 medium tomatoes
1 red hot chili pepper
2 medium carrots
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp mustard seed
1/4 cup dried red lentils
5 cups no-salt vegetable broth
4 tbsp. plain whole-milk yogurt
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest

1. Peel and chop garlic and onions.
2. Dice tomatoes into 1" cubes.
3. Remove stem, seeds, and membranes from hot pepper. Mince.
4. Peel and cut carrots into 1" pieces.
5. In large pan, heat oil over medium. Sauté onion, thyme, and carrots for approximately 3-4 minutes (until vegetables begin to soften).
6. Add garlic, hot pepper, and mustard seeds. Cook for additional 3-4 minutes.
7. Stir in tomatoes, lentils, and broth, and bring to boil.
8. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer gently for 40 minutes, until lentils are tender.
9. Mix together yogurt and half of lemon zest. Set aside.
10. Add lemon juice to soup and season with salt and pepper to taste.
11. Ladle soup into warmed serving bowls, and serve with small spoonful of lemon yogurt and remaining lemon zest.

Original recipe from here
If you need help with weight/measurement conversion use this link here

We bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Monday, 5 February 2018

Pork Casserole Rustic Style ... it's a favourite recipe !

This recipe/meal is in my top five favourite pork casserole recipes.

Serves two
2/3 pork chops (optional remove fat) and cut into small pieces
2 large leeks chopped
a hand-full of button mushrooms
1 large sliced carrot
1 table spoon of dried mixed herbs
Approx. 1 pint of gravy stock
Salt and pepper to taste.

Clean, cut and place all ingredients in a casserole dish or earthenware oven proof pot with lid.

Pour over the stock and cook at 190º C /375º F / Gas Mark 5 for 90 minutes

( I usually stir the casserole every 30 minutes or so ... )

Check food is cooked through, then serve and enjoy

What could be easier, very low-carb, real food and tastes great.

All the best Jan

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Jacob Banks - Chainsmoking

Not heard of this guy before enjoy 

Moby - Everloving

Something a bit different for tonight, sit back and enjoy a ride through a snow covered Scandinavian  landscape 

Friday, 2 February 2018

Red Peppers : Good Nutrients

There's something cheerful about a red pepper, perhaps that's why it's this blogs logo! Or maybe it's because one cup equals close to 300% of your daily Vitamin C requirement! Why not include red peppers on your shopping list ... or are you already?

All the best Jan

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Halle Berry reverses diabetes with a ketogenic diet

From Pilates to plank pulls, Halle Berry has spoken openly about some of the workouts that keep her body in fantastic shape after all of these years. But Berry knows, as the experts have stated, that diet is the biggest part of a good health and wellness regimen. The 51-year-old shared in a new #FitnessFriday post that sticking to a ketogenic diet has helped her reverse her diabetes diagnosis and age backwards.

“Being diabetic most of my life, I have always had to take food very seriously,” the Oscar winner wrote. “So for years, I have been following the keto or ketogenic diet. I hate the word ‘diet’ so while you’ll see the word diet, just know I encourage you to think of it as a lifestyle change NOT A DIET! Keto is a very low-carb food plan which actually forces your body to burn fat like crazy. I also believe it’s been largely responsible for slowing down my aging process.”

“The keto lifestyle offers so many benefits such as weight loss, (moms that’s how we get rid of our baby bellies), appetite control, more energy and better mental performance,” she continued. “If you’re like me, you can possibly reverse type 2 diabetes, you’ll experience better physical endurance, better skin and also less acne if that’s an issue. And it even helps control migraines!”

The diet is a low-carb option that is high in fats and moderate in protein. Instead of burning carbs for energy, when in ketosis, your liver produces ketones, a byproduct of your body breaking down fats for energy, which end up being the main energy source. Ketogenic diets are known for their medical benefits, and have been used for many years to help treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children. There have also been studies that suggest a ketogenic diet can help with neurological disorders and have benefits in the fight against cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, as Berry mentioned.

More than 10 years ago, Berry reportedly said that she’d gone from a Type 1 diagnosis to classifying herself as Type 2 after she claims she had moved away from insulin usage. She cited her diet and exercise for helping her control her illness.

“I’ve managed to wean myself off insulin,” she said, “so now I’d like to put myself in the type 2 category.”

The mom of two has spoken in the past about her love for this diet, saying she’s sworn by it for years.

“I swear by the ketogenic diet,” Berry said during a chat with Mamarazzi. “It’s simple. It’s no sugar, no carbs. And what you force your body to do is instead of burning sugar for fuel, you start burning healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, eggs. You start eating healthy fats. Butter can be a part of your diet. You just eat protein, nuts, legumes. You start teaching your body. Your body begins to burn fat instead of sugar and when you start burning fat, all the fat starts to melt away.”


Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Just letting you know ...

I will be offline for a few weeks ...

You will see a few posts from me, but they will be ones that have been pre-programmed.

In the meantime do please keep reading the blog. You will find a wealth of posts with some great recipes, studies, information and of course our Saturday Night Music spot!

I look forward to visiting all of my friends, and fellow bloggers,  blogs on my return.

All the best Jan

Monday, 29 January 2018

The Startling Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer's

A high-carb diet, and the attendant high blood sugar, are associated with cognitive decline.

In recent years, Alzheimer’s disease has occasionally been referred to as “type 3” diabetes, though that moniker doesn’t make much sense. After all, though they share a problem with insulin, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, and type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease caused by diet. Instead of another type of diabetes, it’s increasingly looking like Alzheimer’s is another potential side effect of a sugary, Western-style diet.

In some cases, the path from sugar to Alzheimer’s leads through type 2 diabetes, but as a new study and others show, that’s not always the case.

A longitudinal study, published Thursday in the journal Diabetologia, followed 5,189 people over 10 years and found that people with high blood sugar had a faster rate of cognitive decline than those with normal blood sugar—whether or not their blood-sugar level technically made them diabetic. In other words, the higher the blood sugar, the faster the cognitive decline.

“Dementia is one of the most prevalent psychiatric conditions strongly associated with poor quality of later life,” said the lead author, Wuxiang Xie at Imperial College London, via email. “Currently, dementia is not curable, which makes it very important to study risk factors.”

Melissa Schilling, a professor at New York University, performed her own reviewof studies connecting diabetes to Alzheimer’s in 2016. She sought to reconcile two confusing trends. People who have type 2 diabetes are about twice as likely to get Alzheimer’s, and people who have diabetes and are treated with insulin are also more likely to get Alzheimer’s, suggesting elevated insulin plays a role in Alzheimer’s. In fact, many studies have found that elevated insulin, or “hyperinsulinemia,” significantly increases your risk of Alzheimer’s. On the other hand, people with type 1 diabetes, who don’t make insulin at all, are also thought to have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s. How could these both be true?

Schilling posits this happens because of the insulin-degrading enzyme, a product of insulin that breaks down both insulin and amyloid proteins in the brain—the same proteins that clump up and lead to Alzheimer’s disease. People who don’t have enough insulin, like those whose bodies’ ability to produce insulin has been tapped out by diabetes, aren’t going to make enough of this enzyme to break up those brain clumps. Meanwhile, in people who use insulin to treat their diabetes and end up with a surplus of insulin, most of this enzyme gets used up breaking that insulin down, leaving not enough enzyme to address those amyloid brain clumps.

According to Schilling, this can happen even in people who don’t have diabetes yet—who are in a state known as “prediabetes.” It simply means your blood sugar is higher than normal, and it’s something that affects roughly 86 million Americans.

Schilling is not primarily a medical researcher; she’s just interested in the topic. But Rosebud Roberts, a professor of epidemiology and neurology at the Mayo Clinic, agreed with her interpretation.

In a 2012 study, Roberts broke nearly 1,000 people down into four groups based on how much of their diet came from carbohydrates. The group that ate the most carbs had an 80 percent higher chance of developing mild cognitive impairment—a pit stop on the way to dementia—than those who ate the smallest amount of carbs. People with mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, can dress and feed themselves, but they have trouble with more complex tasks. Intervening in MCI can help prevent dementia.

Rebecca Gottesman, a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins, cautions that the findings on carbs aren’t as well-established as those on diabetes. “It’s hard to be sure at this stage, what an ‘ideal’ diet would look like,” she said. “There’s a suggestion that a Mediterranean diet, for example, may be good for brain health.”

But she says there are several theories out there to explain the connection between high blood sugar and dementia. Diabetes can also weaken the blood vessels, which increases the likelihood that you’ll have ministrokes in the brain, causing various forms of dementia. A high intake of simple sugars can make cells, including those in the brain, insulin resistant, which could cause the brain cells to die. Meanwhile, eating too much in general can cause obesity. The extra fat in obese people releases cytokines, or inflammatory proteins that can also contribute to cognitive deterioration, Roberts said. In one study by Gottesman, obesity doubled a person’s risk of having elevated amyloid proteins in their brains later in life.

Roberts said that people with type 1 diabetes are mainly only at risk if their insulin is so poorly controlled that they have hypoglycemic episodes. But even people who don’t have any kind of diabetes should watch their sugar intake, she said.

“Just because you don’t have type 2 diabetes doesn’t mean you can eat whatever carbs you want,” she said. “Especially if you’re not active.” What we eat, she added, is “a big factor in maintaining control of our destiny.” Roberts said this new study by Xie is interesting because it also shows an association between prediabetes and cognitive decline.

That’s an important point that often gets forgotten in discussions of Alzheimer’s. It’s such a horrible disease that it can be tempting to dismiss it as inevitable. And, of course, there are genetic and other, non-nutritional factors that contribute to its progression. But, as these and other researchers point out, decisions we make about food are one risk factor we can control. And it’s starting to look like decisions we make while we’re still relatively young can affect our future cognitive health.

“Alzheimer’s is like a slow-burning fire that you don’t see when it starts,” Schilling said. It takes time for clumps to form and for cognition to begin to deteriorate. “By the time you see the signs, it’s way too late to put out the fire.”


Have A Nice Monday !

Well the weekend came ... and zoom ... it went! 
Now it's Monday again, and the last Monday of January 2018. 
Whatever you are doing, wherever you are, I hope you have a nice Monday. 
Why not sit down and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.

and one of these cookie biscuits will go well with it
only 2 net carbs per cookie biscuit for this low carb version of chocolate chip cookies,
you may like to give this recipe a try, more details here

Happy Monday Wishes
All the best Jan

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Cheese Is Good For You ... Some Reasons Why !

Michael Joseph MSc writes:
"Despite almost universal popularity, cheese often has its nutritional value questioned. The reason for this is due to the high-fat content. However, recent research shows that dairy is an incredibly beneficial food group — especially the high-fat variety.

This article will present nine science-backed reasons why cheese is good for you.

Cheese is Good For Heart Health
While cheese — and saturated fat in particular — have been demonized for their high saturated fat content, recent research shows a different story. You may have heard that cheese is bad for your heart and arteries, but the truth is that cheese is a heart-healthy food. In fact, higher consumption of high-fat dairy such as cheese and sour cream appears to actually lower heart disease risk, as well as improve blood sugar control.
Key Point: Despite widespread belief that cheese is one of the worst foods for your heart, the opposite is true.

Cheese Helps Improve Blood Sugar Control in Diabetes
Cheese is convenient and easy to take to work or school, making it a good snack for diabetics. At the end of the day; cheese is good for you, improves blood sugar regulation, and is not a food diabetics should avoid.
Key Point: Despite traditional thoughts viewing high-fat as bad for diabetics, the research shows the complete opposite. Cheese reduces negative risk factors and helps improve blood sugar control.

Cheese Improves Your Dental Health
As you may know, cheese is one of the best dietary sources of calcium. Just one slice of cheddar cheese provides 201mg — 20% of the RDA for calcium. Calcium

is important because it helps strengthen our teeth.
Key Point: Overall, cheese is a ‘superfood’ for dental health. Including cheese as part of your diet may help prevent tooth decay.

Cheese May Help With Weight Loss

While it may sound like a crazy idea to some, cheese can be good for weight loss. The simple fact is: fat doesn’t make you fat. Nutrition is a lot more complicated than that, and the overall macronutrient profile of our diet is also important. Several recent studies also show beneficial impacts of cheese on weight loss. In dietary intervention research, those eating the most cheese also lost the most weight – likely due to improved satiety levels.
Key Point: While it might sound crazy to some, it actually isn’t. Cheese can help you lose weight.

Cheese May Be Suitable For People With Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance is a condition that affects a large percentage of people. While this figure can be as low as 5-15% of the population in Britain, it reaches 85-95% in East Asia. Of course, the degree of lactose intolerance varies wildly in every individual; some people cannot tolerate dairy at all. However, some people may be less sensitive and can consume certain dairy without ill effect.
Key Point: While cheese does contain some lactose, the amounts are very small and lactose intolerant people may be okay with aged cheese.

Cheese is a Good Source of Calcium

Dairy products are one of the best sources of calcium. Calcium is important for protecting against osteoporosis — a disease of the skeletal system in which bones become fragile. Especially, deficiencies in vitamin D and calcium significantly increase the risk of osteoporosis. As discussed earlier, one of the benefits of cheese is that it’s among the best sources of calcium. In studies, cheese shows application for improving bone strength and encouraging optimal bone health. This research shows that cheese intake three times a week is strongly protective against fracture. Also important to realize is that calcium loss is just as important as consuming enough calcium-rich foods. Refined carbohydrate and grains inhibit the proper absorption of calcium, which may cause deficiency problems if you eat these foods in excess.
Key Point: Cheese is an excellent source of calcium. While dairy is good for bone health, we also need to ensure we are correctly absorbing calcium.

Grass-Fed Cheese Contains the Essential Vitamin K2
If you haven’t heard about vitamin K2, then here are just a few of the benefits;
Prevention of calcified plaque in the arteries
Lower risk of heart disease
Promotion of apoptosis (death of cancer cells)
This vitamin is one of the most important for our overall health, but it’s relatively unknown to the general public.
Key Point: Deficiency in vitamin K2 is a leading contributor to cardiovascular disease. Generally speaking, the best place to get vitamin K2 is from grass-fed animal products — just another reason why cheese is good for you.

Cheese is a Great Source of Protein and Overall Nutrition
Animal foods as a whole are high in protein. The nutritional value of cheese is impressive for many nutrients — and protein is no exception. The protein content in cheese is usually around 25g per 100g. Another great thing about cheese is how adaptable it is; cheese can be used for cooking, as part of a platter to serve with wine or just alone. It’s highly nutritious and tastes great.
Key Point: Cheese is a good source of protein and contains 25g per 100g.

Cheese Contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a kind of naturally occurring trans fat — but don’t panic — it’s extremely healthy. The benefits of a diet high in CLA include cancer protection, weight loss, increased immunity and reduced inflammation.
Fortunately, grass-fed cheese is high in conjugated linoleic acid. For this purpose, try to choose cheese from cows raised on pasture whenever possible. Cheese from grass-fed cows is much higher in CLA than cheese from grain-fed cows. If you have access to a local farm that produces grass-fed cheese, then this would be the best option. For those of you who live in the United States, there’s an excellent resource here which lists all the grass-fed cheese brands by location.
Key Point: The high CLA content is just another reason why cheese is good for you. However, make sure you buy grass-fed cheese for the full benefits.

Final Word: Cheese is Good For You
To sum up, cheese is an incredible tasting food that offers a wealth of health benefits. It is high in essential nutrients and also helps reduce the risk of a variety of health conditions. As with most natural products, don’t fear the fat content — naturally occurring fat is no problem. In short, dairy fat is not bad for you — and cheese is good for you."

The above is only a snippet of Michael's article.
Please read it in full, with related research links etc. here 

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. But please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Jack Savoretti - Only You (Live At Hammersmith Apollo)

It's Saturday night again time for some music

Paprika Pork in a Pan !

Take three P's, Paprika Pork in a Pan! This delicious and simple paprika pork dish, is easy to make, and great for home freezing.

Serves Four
3, thinly sliced
600g pork fillet
2 tbsp. paprika
300ml/½ pint chicken or vegetable stock
100ml crème fraîche (about half a tub)

1. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan add the onions and fry for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened and lightly coloured.
2. Cut the pork into sizeable chunks, then add to the pan and stir over a fairly high heat to seal and brown them all over. Stir in the paprika, cook briefly, then add the stock and bring to the boil.
3. Cover and cook for 30-35 minutes, until the pork is tender. Stir in the crème fraîche and simmer for a further 2 minutes. (You can prepare the dish to this point up to 2 days ahead or freeze for up to 3 months.) If you have a few chives or a bit of parsley handy, snip this over the pork before serving with cauliflower rice and perhaps a green vegetable – broccoli or stir-fried cabbage make the perfect accompaniment to this simple but delicious dish.

Nutrition Per Serving:
Fat 18.7g Protein 36.5g Carbs 11.3g
Recipe from here

Paprika is the ground bright red powder from sweet and hot dried peppers. It is much milder than cayenne pepper with a characteristic sweetness, and it is a favourite ingredient in European cookery. Hungarian or Spanish, hot or sweet, smoked or un-smoked, these clay-red powders all bring a distinct flavour to the dishes they are added to.

We bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

New study: Can a keto diet result in birth defects?

"Can a keto low-carb diet result in birth defects? Well, that’s what you may think, reading this article from the Daily Mail 25/01/18, based on a new observational study:

Daily Mail: Low carb diets like Atkins, Paleo or Keto linked to risk of birth defects including spina bifida, study claims

The argument is that lower carb diets can lead to a lower intake of folic acid, if people eat less bread. White bread normally has close to zero vitamins and minerals, which is why it’s fortified with some added vitamins, like folic acid.

A new observational study found that pregnant women who reported eating few carbs also ate less folic acid (likely for this reason) and their babies had a borderline significant 30% increase in the risk of some birth defects, like spina bifada, that may be caused by a lack of folic acid:

Birth Defects Research: Low carbohydrate diets may increase risk of neural tube defects


There are plenty of weaknesses with the study, primarily that it’s observational, meaning it’s just based on statistical correlations (weak ones, in this case). This means the study simply can’t prove whether the defects were caused by folic acid deficiency, or the diet of the mothers, or something else.

The mothers who reported a lower carb intake were also older, more obese, smoked more and drank more alcohol, all things that may be connected to an increased risk of birth defects, so it’s perhaps not a fair comparison.

However, even if the study is hardly the final word on the topic, it can still be a good idea to make sure to eat enough folic acid if you may be about to become pregnant. Just to be safe.
How to eat plenty of folate on low carb and keto

Fortunately, it’s not necessary to eat flour (clearly not great for anyone’s health) with artificially added vitamins just to get enough folic acid. You could also just eat vitamins as a supplement, negating the need to eat flour+vitamins. Or, you could eat real low-carb foods.

Some of the most folic acid-rich foods in the world happen to be low in carbs, including vegetables (particularly dark green leafy vegetables). Avocado, spinach, liver, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts are among the foods with the highest levels of folic acid, and it’s also found in dairy products, poultry and meat, eggs and seafood.

Sounds like a low-carb diet to me."

All words and picture above from Diet Doctor site here

All the best Jan

Friday, 26 January 2018

Salmon in a creamy rosé sauce with tarragon and pink peppercorns : Low Carb

This really makes a delicious low carb meal. I don't always think to use a rosé wine for cooking, yes, I may enjoy a glass of it with a meal, but don't often add it to the ingredients - until now that is! This dish uses a Rosé’s pretty colour and is perfect with pale-pink fish and rosy peppercorns! Have a look and see!

Serves Four 

1 x 20g pack tarragon
½ tsp fine sea salt
3 tsp pink peppercorns
750g side of salmon, skin on
1 tbsp. butter
2 echalion shallots, finely chopped
150ml dry rosé wine
150ml double (heavy) cream

Tip - Part-prepare the sauce a few hours ahead by softening the shallots, adding the wine and reducing by half. Set aside in the pan.

Chop the woody bases from the tarragon stalks and put these in a wide pan with the salt and ½ tsp of the peppercorns. Add the salmon, skin-side down, plus just enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat, then turn the heat right down and poach gently until the salmon is just cooked through (about 8 minutes). Use a small lid or upturned plate to weight the salmon down if it keeps bobbing up. Turn off the heat and leave to sit for 5 minutes, then carefully lift out the fish and set aside on a serving dish somewhere warm.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan and soften the shallots over a low heat. Lightly crush most of the remaining peppercorns and stir them in. Cook for a couple of minutes.

Stir in the wine, then bubble to reduce it by about half.

Finely chop the tarragon leaves. Stir the cream into the pan with the reduced wine, then add the tarragon and season the sauce to taste.

Pour the sauce over the salmon and scatter the reserved pink peppercorns over the top to garnish. Serve any excess sauce at the table.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Fat 51g Carbs 2g Protein 39g

From an original recipe here
If you should need help with measurement and conversion please see here

image from here

All the best Jan

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Non-Dairy Substitutes for Milk

Daisy Coyle writes:
"Cow’s milk is considered a staple in many people’s diets. It is consumed as a beverage, poured on cereal and added to smoothies, tea or coffee. While it is a popular choice for many, some people can’t or choose not to drink milk due to personal preferences, dietary restrictions, allergies or intolerances. Fortunately, if you’re looking to avoid cow’s milk, there are plenty of non-dairy alternatives available. This article lists nine of the best substitutes for cow’s milk.

Why You Might Want a Substitute
Cow’s milk boasts an impressive nutrient profile. It’s rich in high-quality protein and important vitamins and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus and B vitamins. In fact, 1 cup (240 ml) of whole milk provides 146 calories, 8 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein and 13 grams of carbohydrates. However, cow’s milk is not a suitable option for everyone. There are several reasons you might be looking for an alternative, including:
Milk allergy: 2–3% of kids under the age of three are allergic to cow’s milk. This can cause a range of symptoms, including rashes, vomiting, diarrhoea and severe anaphylaxis. Around 80% of kids outgrow this allergy by age 16.
Lactose intolerance: An estimated 75% of the world's population is intolerant to lactose, the sugar found in milk. This condition happens when people have a deficiency in lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose.
Dietary restrictions: Some people choose to exclude animal products from their diets for ethical or health reasons. For example, vegans exclude all products that come from animals, including cow’s milk.
Potential health risks: Some people choose to avoid cow’s milk due to concerns over potential contaminants, including antibiotics, pesticides and hormones.

The good news is that there are many non-dairy options available if you want or need to avoid cow’s milk. Read on for a few great recommendations.

Soy Milk
Soy milk is made with either soybeans or soy protein isolate, and often contains thickeners and vegetable oils to improve taste and consistency. It typically has a mild and creamy flavour. However, the taste can vary between brands. It works best as a substitute for cow’s milk in savoury dishes, with coffee or on top of cereal.
Summary Soy milk is made from whole soybeans or soy protein isolate. It has a creamy, mild taste and is the most similar in nutrition to cow’s milk. Soy milk is often seen as controversial, though drinking soy milk in moderation is unlikely to cause harm.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is made with either whole almonds or almond butter and water.
It has a light texture and a slightly sweet and nutty flavour. It can be added to coffee and tea, mixed in smoothies and used as a substitute for cow’s milk in desserts and baked goods.
Summary Almond milk has a light, sweet, nutty flavour and is low in calories, fat and carbohydrates. On the downside, it is low in protein and contains phytic acid, a substance that limits the absorption of iron, zinc and calcium.

Coconut Milk 

Coconut milk is made from water and the white flesh of brown coconuts. It is sold in cartons alongside milk and is a more diluted version of the type of coconut milk commonly used in Southeast Asian and Indian cuisines, which is usually sold in cans.
Summary Coconut milk has a creamy, milk-like consistency and a sweet, coconut taste. It contains no protein, little to no carbohydrates and is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fat.

Oat Milk

In its simplest form, oat milk is made from a mixture of oats and water. Nevertheless, manufacturers often add extra ingredients such as gums, oils and salt to produce a desirable taste and texture. Oat milk is naturally sweet and mild in flavour. It can be used in cooking in the same way as cow’s milk, and tastes great with cereal or in smoothies.
Summary Oat milk has a mild, sweet flavour. It is high in protein and fibre, but also high in calories and carbohydrates. Oat milk contains beta-glucan, which can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Rice Milk

Rice milk is made from milled white or brown rice and water. As with other non-dairy milks, it often contains thickeners to improve texture and taste. Rice milk is the least allergenic of the non-dairy milks. This makes it a safe option for those with allergies or intolerances to dairy, gluten, soy or nuts. Rice milk is mild in taste and naturally sweet in flavour. It has a slightly watery consistency and is great to drink on its own as well as in smoothies, in desserts and with oatmeal. Rice milk has a high glycaemic index (GI) of 79–92, which means it is absorbed quickly in the gut and rapidly raises blood sugar levels. For this reason, it may not be the best option for people with diabetes. Due to its low protein content, rice milk may also not be the best option for growing children, athletes and the elderly.
Summary Rice milk is the most hypoallergenic non-dairy milk. It is low in fat and protein yet high in carbohydrates. Rice milk contains high levels of inorganic arsenic, which may cause some potential health problems in those who consume rice as a main food source.

Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is made from a mixture of cashew nuts or cashew butter and water. It is rich and creamy and has a sweet and subtle nutty flavour. It’s great for thickening smoothies, as a creamer in coffee and as a substitute for cow’s milk in desserts.
Summary Cashew milk has a rich and creamy taste and is low in calories, carbohydrates and sugar. On the downside, it contains very little protein, and may not be the best option for those with higher protein requirements.

Macadamia Milk
Macadamia milk is made mostly of water and about 3% macadamia nuts. It’s fairly new to the market, and most brands are made in Australia using Australian macadamias. It has a richer, smoother and creamier flavour than most non-dairy milks, and tastes great on its own or in coffee and smoothies.
Summary Macadamia milk is a relatively new milk to the market. It’s made from macadamia nuts and has a rich, creamy taste. Macadamia milk is high in monounsaturated fats and low in calories and carbohydrates.

Hemp Milk

Hemp milk is made from the seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. This is the same species used to make the drug cannabis, also known as marijuana. Unlike marijuana, hemp seeds contain only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for marijuana’s mind-altering effects. Hemp milk has a slightly sweet, nutty taste and a thin, watery texture. It works best as a substitute for lighter milks such as skim milk.
Summary Hemp milk has a thin, watery texture and a sweet and nutty flavour. It is low in calories and contains little to no carbs. Hemp milk is a great option for vegetarians and vegans because it is a source of high-quality protein and two essential fatty acids.

Quinoa Milk

Quinoa milk is made from water and quinoa, an edible seed that is commonly prepared and consumed as a grain. The whole quinoa grain is very nutritious, gluten-free and rich in high-quality protein. While quinoa has become a very popular “superfood” over recent years, quinoa milk is fairly new to the market. For this reason, it is slightly more expensive than other non-dairy milks and can be a little harder to find on supermarket shelves.
Summary Quinoa milk has a distinct flavour and is slightly sweet and nutty. It contains a moderate number of calories, protein and carbs compared to other non-dairy milks. It’s a good option for vegetarians and vegans since it contains high-quality protein.

What to Consider When Substituting
With a wide range of non-dairy milks available on supermarket shelves, it can be difficult to know which one is best for you.
Here are a few important things to consider:
Added sugar: Sugar is often added to enhance flavour and texture. Stick with unsweetened varieties over flavoured ones, and try to avoid brands that list sugar as one of the first three ingredients.
Calcium content: Cow’s milk is rich in calcium, which is vital for healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis. Most non-dairy milks are fortified with it, so choose one that contains at least 120 mg of calcium per 3.4 ounces (100 ml).
Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products and is essential for a healthy brain and immune system. People who limit or avoid animal products from their diets should choose milk that is fortified with B12.
Cost: Non-dairy milks are often more expensive than cow’s milk. To cut costs, try making plant-based milk at home. However, one downside of making your own milk is that it will not be fortified with calcium and vitamin B12.
Additives: Some non-dairy milks may contain additives such as carrageenan and vegetable gums to achieve a thick and smooth texture. While these additives aren't necessarily unhealthy, some people prefer to avoid them.
Dietary needs: Some people have allergies or intolerances to certain ingredients used in plant-based milks, such as gluten, nuts and soy. Be sure to check labels if you have an allergy or intolerance.
Summary There are a few things to consider when choosing a cow’s milk alternative, including nutrient content, added sugars and additives. Reading food labels will help you understand what’s in the milk you are buying.

The Bottom Line
For many people, cow’s milk is a dietary staple. However, there are a number of reasons you may need or choose to forgo cow’s milk, including allergies, ethical reasons and concerns over potential health risks. Fortunately, there are many great alternatives available, including the nine in this list. When making your choice, be sure to stick with unsweetened varieties and avoid added sugars. In addition, make sure your non-dairy milk is fortified with calcium and vitamin B12. There is no one milk that’s ideal for everyone. The taste, nutrition and cost of these alternatives can vary considerably, so it might take a while to find the one that’s best for you."

The above is only a snippet of Daisy's article.
Please read it in full, with related research links etc. here 

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. But please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter. 

All the best Jan