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Friday, 24 March 2017

Tuna Steaks Seared : Served With A Pineapple Salsa


This sweet and spicy salsa goes brilliantly with tuna, but is also great with pork chops, too!

Ingredients:
Serves Four
432g tin crushed pineapple in natural juice, drained, 1 tbsp juice reserved
½ green pepper, deseeded and finely diced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
2 tbsp fresh coriander, washed and finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
4 tuna steaks
1 tbsp olive oil
75g watercress, to serve

Method:
1. Chop the pineapple into small pieces. Put in a bowl with the pepper, chilli and coriander. Add the reserved pineapple juice and lime juice and stir well to combine. Set aside.
2. Heat a griddle pan to high. Brush the tuna with the oil and season well. Griddle for 1½ minutes on each side for medium or 3 minutes each side for well-done. You may need to do this in 2 batches.
3. Serve the seared tuna steak with the salsa and the watercress.

Each serving provides:
13.7g carbohydrate 1.8g fibre 25.3g protein 3.9g Fat

Recipe idea from here 


Watercress ... with deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of the strongest-tasting salad leaves available. It has a pungent, slightly bitter, peppery flavour and is highly nutritious, containing significant amounts of iron, calcium, vitamins A, C and E. It's sold in either bunches or bags, and is good combined in a salad with milder leaves, or made into soup.

Availability:
Watercress is available all year round but is at its best from April until September.

Choose the best:
Go for crisp, dark green leaves, with no sign of yellowing or wilting.

Prepare it:
Wash and shake dry just before you're about to use it. Both the leaves and stems are edible - just trim off any tough roots.

Store it:
Watercress is highly perishable, so store it in a perforated bag in the fridge and eat it within a couple of days. Alternatively, treat it like a bunch of flowers and put in a glass of water in the fridge, covering the leaves with a plastic bag - it can last a little longer that way.

Cook it:
In a salad with rocket and orange segments; combine with potatoes in a soup; use in tarts and omelettes; use to make sandwiches or as a garnish for cooked foods such as game.

A variety of recipe ideas are found within 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

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Berries can make a quick and easy low carb dessert




Strawberries 6 grams. Blackberries 5.1 grams. Raspberries 4.6 grams. of carbs per 100 grams.

For a quick and easy low carb dessert
just place a few in a bowl and enjoy them with some double (heavy) cream

All the best Jan


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Sunshine Peppers and Pork Casserole : Low Carb

How about this colourful low carb dish. It's a 'Sunshine Peppers and Pork Casserole' dish  ... with it's bright colours it could well brighten up the cloudiest of days.
This is what I used and how I made it ... I can also tell you it didn't hang around on the plate long either ... delicious was the word used when the meal was complete!


Ingredients
Serves 2/3
450g diced leg (or shoulder) of pork
1/2 large red pepper
1/2 large orange pepper
1/2 large yellow pepper
1 carrot

1 onion (you can use white or red) sliced
mushrooms, a handful 4 - 6
salt and black pepper for seasoning
mixed herbs
gravy / stock (of choice) about 3/4 pint (to cover meat e
tc)


Method
Wipe / wash meat and all vegetables with water before using
Put oven on to warm up. Gas 4, Electric 180
Dice up meat into approx 1 inch 'chunks' and place in oven proof casserole dish
Remove skin from onion and slice, add to casserole dish
De-seed, as appropriate all, peppers and cut into square pieces, add to casserole dish
Peel and slice carrot and add to casserole dish
Slice or quarter mushrooms and add to casserole dish
season with salt and black pepper
add herbs of your choice - I used dried mixed herbs
Make up your stock and pour over meat and vegetables to cover
Put lid on casserole dish, place in warmed oven, cook for approx 1 1/2 hours until meat is tender.

Tip - I usually gently stir all ingredients at least twice during cooking


Whilst casserole is cooking prepare any accompanying vegetables

Serve on warmed plates and enjoy

How about this tip for preparing onions:

First slice off the top of the onion (leave the root on for the moment), then remove the papery skin and any brown outer layers.
To chop the onion, cut in half from top to bottom. Put the cut side down and make a number of horizontal cuts towards, but not quite reaching, the root. Then make as many vertical cuts through the onion, again not quite reaching the root. Holding the onion very firmly and with the knife blade at right angles to the first set of cuts that you made, slice down vertically - the onion will fall away in small pieces as you go. Continue cutting until you reach the root, which you can now discard.
To slice, trim the root off, then cut in slices moving from the root end towards the top. Leave as slices or separate each one out into rings.

All onions are best prepared just before you use them.

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

We Need to Talk About Fat


Are you confused about whether eating fat is good or bad for you? The demonisation of fat has been the cause of more ill health (physical, emotional and mental) than I have room to write about. That’s why I made this video – to cut through the myths and give you the straight up facts on fats.

http://peppermintwellness.co.uk/blog/

Graham

Basque Chicken Fricassee : A Tasty Dish


Did you know that Basque chicken is called Poulet Basquaise in France, and this dish is similar to chicken fricassée, but with tomatoes, green peppers and Bayonne ham. It seems that the recipe was created in a Paris restaurant and has nothing to do with the Basque region!
Now a fricassee is halfway between a sauté and a stew. A true classic, and there are many variations, it relies on humble ingredients and just a single pot. It's the original French comfort food, simmered chicken with hearty vegetables in a rich sauce/stock.

This recipe suggestion for Basque Chicken Fricassee seems to be a merger of the two ideas, it takes about 15 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes to cook. Have a look at the recipe below and see if you think you may give this a try ... indeed perhaps you already have this as a favourite dish!

Ingredients:
Serves Four
50ml olive oil
4 chicken legs
50g ham, chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
2 large plum tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, finely sliced
50g whole green olives
50ml sherry
600ml chicken stock
salt
pepper

Method:
1. In a large heatproof casserole dish, heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat and sear the chicken legs until golden all over. Remove and drain to one side on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Add the onion to the dish and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped pepper and ham and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

2. Deglaze the pan with the sherry, stirring the base and sides well to dissolve any residue. Add the chicken legs back to the dish along with the tomato and olives and cover with the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.

3. Cover the dish and lower to a simmer, cooking the chicken gently for 25-35 minutes until cooked and tender. Cut into a thick chunk of chicken and check that it is cooked through, with no pink showing. Adjust the seasoning once the chicken is cooked, then spoon into serving bowls.

Each serving:
Carbohydrate 9.4g Protein 27.9g Fibre 3.2g Fat 11.7g

Idea from
here

All the best Jan

Monday, 20 March 2017

Exercise, diet better than medicine for treating Type 2 diabetes, says UBC group

Taking medication to tightly control and lower blood glucose levels is the advice frequently given by doctors to the 400,000 B.C. residents with Type 2 diabetes — but it’s a “misguided” approach, according to the University of B.C. Therapeutics Initiative.

More than $1 billion is spent annually on diabetes drugs in this province, but in its latest bulletin to doctors, the TI says a growing body of research casts doubt on the effectiveness of Type 2 diabetes treatment. Doctors should focus instead on prescribing lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, exercise and healthier diets instead of medications to many patients, it says.

Type 2 diabetes, characterized by resistance to insulin, is largely caused by obesity, lack of exercise, high-carbohydrate diets and aging. 

With the exception of a drug called metformin, many glucose-lowering medications like insulin can lead to weight gain or potentially cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can lead to falls, driving accidents or even loss of consciousness, the TI says. More than half of Type 2 diabetes patients take such medications. (Insulin is an essential medication for those with Type 1 diabetes, which accounts for less than 10 per cent of all diabetes cases in B.C.).

The TI, an independent body that provides advice to doctors, said the optimal blood glucose level target is actually unknown in Type 2 diabetics, and there’s still no conclusive evidence that taking medications to lower blood glucose levels will decrease complications of the condition. Such complications include kidney disease, blindness, cardiovascular disease, strokes and amputations.

Dr. Tom Perry, a Vancouver internist and clinical pharmacologist with the TI, said doctors tend to minimize harms when prescribing drugs to patients.

At the same time, he says that he’s had few “star” diabetic patients willing to put in the hard work to shrink waistlines, exercise and change diet patterns.  

“It’s kind of frightening because we don’t really have the right evidence for treating the Type 2 epidemic. What we’ve been doing is not very scientific,” he said, adding that publicly funded (as opposed to pharmaceutical industry-sponsored) research trials are needed to study the best treatment approaches.

Vancouver endocrinologist Dr. Tom Elliott said he’s in general agreement with the TI that some doctors may be over-treating Type 2 diabetics.

“But there are lots of patients we may be under-treating too. The problem is we don’t know how low the glucose levels should go in order to reduce the risk of bad things happening to patients.”

In an article he wrote last fall, Elliott discussed the growing controversy, saying it is true that in borderline patients, there is little high quality evidence regarding glucose lowering drugs for preventing long-term complications.

“What’s clear is that a concerted effort needs to be made to help high-risk groups to achieve better blood sugar control,” Elliott wrote.

Lawrence Leiter, a professor of medicine and nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto and a specialist in the division of endocrinology at the city’s St. Michael’s Hospital, was critical of the TI bulletin. He said the TI group has been overly selective in choosing which studies to base its recommendations upon.

“In the past two years, we have evidence from large, well-conducted, randomized controlled trials that three different medications for the management of diabetes — empagliflozin (Jardiance), liraglutide (Victoza) and semaglutide (not yet approved) — significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with a history of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and that empagliflozin also reduced the risk of kidney problems.

“Canadian Diabetes Association clinical practice guidelines have for many years emphasized that we must not just lower blood glucose levels but also improve all risk factors, including blood pressure and cholesterol (and) the most recent update to our guidelines, published in November 2016, now recommend the use of empagliflozin and liraglutide to reduce the risk of complications in appropriate patients.”

http://vancouversun.com/

Graham

Pepper : Some helpful things to know ...


Also known as capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or by their colours, for example red and yellow peppers.

These are a non-hot member of a large family that varies enormously in size, shape, flavour and heat content and that includes all the chilli peppers.

Green peppers are the unripe state of red peppers and are the most aggressively flavoured, being vegetal, acidic and a little bitter, traits that soften with cooking. Once ripe and red, peppers are gentler and sweeter in flavour and far more use raw or cooked, although it's common to use red and green peppers together.

Yellow and orange peppers are individual varieties rather than stages between green and red peppers, and both of these were specially bred to be sweet and gentle.

Purple peppers have a slightly stronger flavour but will turn green when cooked.


Availability:
One sort or another is usually available fresh year round. Canned and bottled peppers are excellent if preserved in brine or oil but less useful if preserved in vinegar or other acid.


Choose the best:
Peppers have a very long life, particularly when refrigerated. Check for puckering around the stalk end or wrinkling of the skin as early signs of ageing.

Prepare it:
However you want to slice up a pepper, you always need to remove the core, pith and seeds. To skin peppers, lay them on a foil-lined grill pan and turn the grill to high. Turn them now and again until the skin is blackened all over, then put them in a bowl and cover with cling film, or seal in an airtight plastic bag. When they're cool, their skin can be peeled off easily with your fingers.


Store it:
Peppers are best kept chilled and out of the light.


Cook it:
To peel or not to peel. That is a major question. Peppers are unquestionably even nicer to eat when skinned, which can be done by charring over a flame or by pouring on boiling water. Both methods are fiddly and time-consuming, especially when skinned red peppers are so easily and cheaply available in bottles and tins; skinned Spanish piquillo peppers are a great store cupboard addition.

Whether using raw or to cook, peppers should be cut from top to bottom in large slabs and then the pale inner vertical membranes removed, as these are always bitter.

Because they're acceptable eating when raw, pieces of pepper that are only part cooked add colour, juiciness and crunch to stir-fries, when the short heating time will soften them without fully cooking.

Otherwise, whether stuffed and roasted, gently fried in olive oil (with garlic of course) or similarly simmered in (tinned) plum tomatoes as a side dish or added to casseroles, fully cooked peppers add reliable flavour, colour and satisfaction.

Rings of any colour of pepper are something that should remain in the recipes of past decades, because cutting them like this means the bitter inner membranes have not been removed.


Words and picture from article here

The low carb team love red pepper see here

All the best Jan

Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Twelve Most Nutrient Dense Foods in the World

Michael Joseph from Nutrition Advance writes:

"Not all food is made the same. While some foods are incredibly high in nutrients, others are just empty calories and even harmful to our health.

This article takes a look at some of the most nutritious foods available, and if you think that only means fruits and vegetables, then you’d be wrong.

Here are 12 of the most nutrient dense foods in the world.

1. Liver


Key Point: Liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods on earth. It’s high in protein and also extremely rich in vitamins and minerals.

2. Cacao
Key Point: Real chocolate—without all the sugar—is one of the healthiest, most nutritious foods on the planet.

3. Eggs





Key Point: Eggs are rich in minerals, high in vitamins, and full of beneficial compounds. They’re one of the most nutrient dense foods money can buy.

4. Avocado
Key Point: Avocados are the most nutrient dense fruit going, and they’re delicious. Compared to an apple, an avocado per day better keeps the doctor away.

5. Wild Alaskan Salmon


Key Point: Salmon is one of the most nutrient dense foods from the sea, but ideally opt for wild-caught if you can.

6. Oysters
Key Point: Oysters are one of the most nutritious foods in the world. And there are so many creative recipes out there.

7. Steak
Key Point: Despite fear mongering in the media, steak is actually one of the most nutrient dense foods we have. It’s delicious too.

8. Seaweed
Key Point: Seaweed is another excellent example of a high nutrient-density food — and it can play a huge role in a health-protective diet.

9. Spinach
Key Point: Spinach is one of the most nutrient dense foods; it’s extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, and various studies show it plays a role in disease prevention.

10. Sardines




Key Point: Sardines are one of the most nutrient dense foods from the sea, and they’re especially high in calcium, selenium, and vitamin D.

11. Mushrooms
Key Point: Mushrooms are one of the tastiest and most nutrient dense foods. They also improve the taste of almost any dish that uses them.

12. Almonds
Key Point: Rich in micronutrients and antioxidants, almonds are one of the most nutritious foods in the world.

The Most Nutrient Dense Foods
Generally speaking, the most nutrient dense foods come from animals and the sea. Perhaps this is why so many people enjoy success with
the ketogenic style of eating
By the same token, some plant foods such as leafy greens, nuts, and sea vegetables can also be reasonably nutritious.
Given this, we should ask why dietary guidelines emphasize grains and high-sugar fruits so much.
If dietary guidance also focused on nutrient density, maybe we’d all be a little healthier."

Words above from, Nutrition Advance, a website dedicated to providing nutrition and health articles backed by the latest science.

Please read Michael's full article with all information / research links
here

All the best Jan

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Deep Purple "All I Got Is You" Official Music Video from the album "inFinite" OUT April 7th, 2017

Almost fifty years on Deep Purple are still going and releasing a new album
Graham

Michael Kiwanuka - The Final Frame (Live at RAK Studios)

Featured a few times previously on this blog I just love this guys songs 
Graham

Ray Davies (Kinks)Days Glastonbury 2010

Once again it's Saturday Night and that means music night on this blog. One of my all-time favourite songs enjoy. Eddie 

Sicilian-style salmon with garlic mushrooms


Gino D'Acampo says, "bring the flavours of Sicily to your plate with this simple fish supper,"

Ingredients:
For One
For the Sicilian-style salmon

100g/3½oz salmon
fillet, skin removed
1 lime
, juice only
olive oil, for drizzling
½ tsp dried chilli 
flakes
1 tsp ground paprika

salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the mushrooms and broccoli

1 tbsp olive oil

100g/3½oz button mushrooms, sliced
100g/3½oz broccoli, 
chopped
1 garlic
clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
, optional

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
2. Put the salmon fillet on a lightly oiled baking tray. Drizzle over the lime juice and a little olive oil. Sprinkle with the chilli flakes and paprika and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and stir-fry until cooked to your liking. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute, then stir in the parsley. Serve immediately with the salmon

Recipe idea from here


All the best Jan

Friday, 17 March 2017

Type 2 diabetes numbers treble, Cardiff University finds

The number of people in the UK with type 2 diabetes has trebled from 700,000 to about 2.8m over the last 20 years, Cardiff University has found.

The research, based on data collected by GPs between 1991 and 2014, also show an increase in life expectancy for those with the disease.

Between 1993 and 2010, the proportion of obese people across the UK doubled from 13% to 26% for men.

That figure went from 16% to 26% for women.

Wales has the highest prevalence of diabetes in the UK, with 7.1% of people aged 17 and over living with the condition, Diabetes Cymru UK has said.

Rates of the type 2 form of the disease continue to rise, according to Professor Craig Currie from Cardiff University's school of medicine.

He added the increased life expectancy finding could be due to earlier diagnosis of the condition, as well as drugs such as blood pressure tablets and statins for blood cholesterol.

Treatment

The research also revealed the prevalence of type 2 diabetes increased with age, although this increase is lower in people aged 80 years and above.

Prevalence was also generally higher in men than in women above the age of 40.

Around 90% of the 4.5m people who live with diabetes in the UK have type 2 diabetes.

This form of the disease develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly.

It is treated with a healthy diet, increased physical activity, medication and insulin.


Graham

Friday ... let's take five


Landscape Photographer of the Year 2016
Matthew Cattell - Starling Vortex, Brighton, East Sussex
This "intriguing" image of starlings swirling around the remains of Brighton's West Pier
scooped the top prize ... I wonder how many starlings there are!  


The GREAT Britain #OMGB Award Winner
Mark Gilligan - Finding Gold, Wast Water, Cumbria


Youth Urban view - Winner
Henry Memmott - City Lights, Glasgow, Scotland


Youth Classic view - Winner
James Bailey - Hoarfrost over Herringfleet Mill, Suffolk

There were quite a few different categories and many lovely photo's.
I've only shown four, more to see here and here

... and really could it be a Jan post without a recipe!


Provençal Chicken, is a favourite : Especially for low carbers - LCHF 
you can find the recipe here

Did you have a favourite photograph out of this Friday Five?
Did you prefer one that I haven't shown? (Check out the links...)

Happy Friday Wishes, and good wishes for the weekend too
All the best Jan

Type 3 Diabetes: The Alarming Link Between Alzheimer’s and Diet

Michael Joseph at Nutrition Advance writes:

"If you haven’t heard of it, type 3 diabetes is what many specialists are now calling Alzheimer’s disease.
The name covers the belief that Alzheimer’s results from insulin resistance of the brain.

Alzheimer’s is a cruel, degenerative condition that devastates millions of lives around the world.

And unfortunately, it’s only increasing in prevalence; as of 2016, 1 in 9 people over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s.

Surprisingly, the number of individuals aged 65 and over with the condition is expected to triple by the year 2050.

This article takes a look at the metabolic theory of type 3 diabetes, and how we might be able to prevent (or potentially halt) the condition.

What is Type 3 Diabetes?
Type 3 diabetes—or Alzheimer’s disease—is a chronic condition in which brain neurons slowly degenerate and die.
As a result, we see progressive memory loss and rapid declines in cognitive ability.

I’ve personally seen the terrible effects of Alzheimer’s. As a young boy, I remember seeing my great grandfather hospitalized with late-stage Alzheimer’s.
And then from the start of my late teenage years, I saw my granddad—a strong, well-built man—slowly succumb to the disease.

Sadly, the condition can hit anyone.

Someone being physically fit or having an intelligent mind is not relevant; the disease doesn’t discriminate, and it takes no prisoners.

A Cruel Condition
Experiencing a slow deterioration, patients eventually lose the ability to interact with their environment, communicate, and even remember their family.
Ultimately, Alzheimer’s disease is fatal, and patients usually die from a resulting complication such as pneumonia.
Worse still, it’s not only the patient that suffers.
Alzheimer’s caregivers often have to spend all their time and money to look after their family member, and it’s a very emotionally and physically demanding job.

Key Point: Alzheimer’s Disease is a devastating condition that is rapidly increasing in prevalence. It slowly and progressively robs people of their ability to think, move, communicate, and live everyday life.

Why is Alzheimer’s ‘Type 3 Diabetes’?
There are three types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot produce insulin.

When the body cannot produce enough insulin and becomes resistant to insulin’s effects, a type 2 diabetes diagnosis follows.

Type 3 diabetes is now being used to describe Alzheimer’s, due to the brain insulin resistance link. Generally speaking, diagnosis usually occurs in those over the age of 65, but the disease can develop over decades.

More and more researchers are saying that type 3 diabetes is one of the “diseases of civilization.”

This term refers to the fact that how we live our life can significantly impact our health.
For instance, our diet, exercise plan, and sleep can either dramatically increase or reduce our risk of diseases such as:
Alzheimer’s
Cancer (some types)
Cardiovascular Disease
Diabetes
Rheumatoid Arthritis
These ‘diseases of civilization’ are part of the metabolic syndrome, and glucose and insulin dysregulation profoundly influence all of them.

The Harms of the Modern Western Diet

For the most part, these problems stemming from glucose and insulin issues relate to the food we eat.
And unfortunately, the modern Western—perhaps global—diet revolves around industrially processed food.
In fact, a study analyzing consumer purchases shows that 77% of all grocery purchases are either moderately (16%) or highly (61%) processed.
These foodstuffs contain significant amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates, leading to large spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.
Over time, this can lead to worsening insulin resistance and eventually, metabolic disease.

Key Point: What causes Alzheimer’s disease? While there may not be a single answer, the modern Western diet likely plays a huge role.

The Alarming Link Between Type 3 Diabetes and Diet
there is a strong connection between type 3 diabetes and the food we eat.
But what, precisely, does the science say?

Can We Reverse Type 3 Diabetes With Diet?"



Please go and read more, find out more, all with relevant links here

All the best Jan

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Sizzling Lamb Steaks


Lamb can be expensive, but the taste is (usually) delicious...

Now, let me tell you a little story! Talking with a friend recently she was telling me how she is doing her best to reduce the amount of sugar her 17yr old son often consumes. By no means is he overweight, but she feels (and I agree) that having too much sugar in your diet/menu plans is not the most healthiest of choices. She has encouraged him to go shopping with her and lets him choose at least five vegetables or fruits which she then incorporates in the dishes she prepares. Apparently this is working well, he enjoys the challenge of the choice and she appreciates the help in carrying shopping bags home ...

By the way she is allowing him a once a week treat of a donut EEK !!!
I have suggested she try some of these low carb ones here ...

But to get back to the subject of lamb! If you enjoy the taste of lamb do try this recipe, the accompanying salad is so colourful and tasty, and don't you just love the sound of sizzling steaks!

By the way my friends son loves choosing oranges ... so it's a winner in their house too! LOL!

Ingredients:
Serves Four
2tsp ground cumin
2tsp hot chilli sauce
4 lamb steaks

For the salad
3 carrots
1 cucumber 
2 oranges, segmented
2 roasted red peppers, cut into chunks
75g (3oz) olives
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 

Method:
1.  Sprinkle the cumin and chilli sauce on both sides of the steaks, marinate for 15 minutes (if you have time).
2. Preheat the grill then cook the lamb steaks for 8-12 minutes, turning halfway through, until the meat is tender.
3. Meanwhile, make the salad. Using a peeler, cut the carrots and cucumber into long thin strips. Using a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom off each orange, cut away all the peel and pith, then cut out each segment of orange (hold the fruit over a bowl as you do this to catch the juice; use it in the dressing).
4. Mix the carrots, cucumber, oranges and roasted pepper and olives in a salad bowl and drizzle with the orange juice and balsamic vinegar.
5. Allow the meat to rest for 3-4 minutes, then slice and arrange on top of the salad. Serve immediately.

Each serving, as per recipe above:
Carbohydrate 17.9g Protein 32.6g Fibre 5.3g Fat 12.5g


If you are not too keen on cucumber or olives you could perhaps substitute them for fresh mint leaves and juicy pomegranate seeds!

Original recipe idea
here

Enjoy ...

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Why Didn’t Statins Protect Dad from Clogged Coronary Arteries?

The Guidelines:

We can say that the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have concluded that virtually every older person should be on a statin, regardless of risk factors. You could be a vegetarian and a marathon runner and it wouldn’t matter. The guidelines encourage all men over 63 to take a statin and all women over 70 to be on such drugs.

The Cholesterol Hypothesis Under Fire:
Over the last couple of decades we have seen a number of health professionals resist the tidal wave of enthusiasm for a statin in every medicine cabinet. Most of these physicians have been general practitioners or internists. But there is now a cardiologist and lipid specialist who has joined their ranks.

Robert Dubroff, MD, was an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. He is a lipidologist, which means he understands cholesterol and its impact on blood vessels better than most health professionals. Dr. Dubroff recently retired and has written some intriguing articles. His most recent is titled “Cholesterol Paradox: A Correlate Does Not a Surrogate Make” (Evidence Based Medicine, March, 2017).
A Cardiologist Challenges His Colleagues

Dr. Dubroff introduces his article this way:


“The global campaign to lower cholesterol by diet and drugs has failed to thwart the developing pandemic of coronary heart disease around the world. Some experts believe this failure is due to the explosive rise in obesity and diabetes, but it is equally plausible that the cholesterol hypothesis, which posits that lowering cholesterol prevents cardiovascular disease, is incorrect. The recently presented ACCELERATE trial dumbfounded many experts by failing to demonstrate any cardiovascular benefit of evacetrapib despite dramatically lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and raising high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in high-risk patients with coronary disease.”

Dr. Dubroff refers to a randomized clinical trial called ACCELERATE. It undermined the very foundation of the cholesterol hypothesis of heart disease. That’s because the new drug evacetrapib was just about the perfect medicine. It lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol 37% and also raised “good” HDL cholesterol by 130%. No single drug has ever accomplished such impressive changes in the directions most cardiologists strive for.

The trouble was that despite such stellar numbers there was no benefit in terms of things patients care about. The drug did not reduce cardiovascular events or reduce deaths in high-risk patients.
More Bad News for the Cholesterol Theory:

Dr. Dubroff also points out that:


“Many experts cite numerous RCTs [randomized controlled trials] of statins in support of the cholesterol hypothesis, but we should not ignore the dozens of cholesterol-lowering trials that do not…Even when researchers demonstrate a statin mortality benefit, the findings are underwhelming. A recent analysis concluded that statins would only postpone death by a median of 3.1 and 4.2 days for primary and secondary prevention, respectively.”

That was after years of statin use. For example, the famous 4S study produced survival gains of 27 days after 5.8 years of simvastatin therapy (BMJ Open, Sept. 24, 2015). That extra month of life was in very high-risk patients who either had already experienced a heart attack or were suffering severe symptoms of heart disease. In trials where people were at lower risk of a heart attack, the life-extending potential of statins was substantially less than a month. That was even after years of treatment.

Read the full article here: https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/

Graham

Hi! I’m Melissa but you can call me Lissy.

I gained a new friend today.

"Hi! I’m Melissa but you can call me Lissy. I am a food (sugar) addict who currently weighs 197 pounds (at this writing) down 52.4 pounds! -The reality is I really didn’t want to reveal my weight. WHO DOES!!! But if you are reading this, and you are on the same page as me or worse, please keep reading! I’m writing this for YOU!- My weight high was 249 pounds on August 7, 2015. I’m on a journey to reach my goal weight through lifestyle change. I can’t tell you how many times I have given up on diets. I have tried all the fads. Listened to nutritional advice that included low fat, lots of fruit, lots of veggies and that sugar is ok in moderation, keep counting calories…. Guess what? I was a complete failure.

But what I realize was I was not the failure. I counted calories until I became a fat person. The rules to the game of weight loss didn’t work for me. Actually those supposed rules made me fat!!!! On July 11, 2016 after nearly a year of incessantly counting calories I decided to try something my brain didn’t like the thought of. You see for a year I counted calories in the My Fitness Pal app… And I lost a whole 11 pounds. But when you still weigh 238 pounds and can’t seem to budge the scale for months you are frustrated and DONE! Ready to just eat and not care anymore. But something clicked in my brain and I decided to just give myself 30 days to try a detox. No sugar or refined carbs for a month. It’s the type of thing that causes people to shudder when you tell them you don’t eat bread, or pasta, or cookies. So, I did this for 30 days…. And guess what? I became 8 pounds lighter, I had brain clarity, I was no longer hungry all the time. I was able to smell bread baking and not think about eating it. 

So when 30 days came to an end I decided to go another 30 days. And another 30 days. And here I am! A half a year later, no sugar or refined carbs. I’ve researched and tested by blood and tweaked my nutrients. I eat no sugar. I eat lots of delicious food. Real food. And I’ve lost 52 pounds!!!!! I absolutely do not count calories. In fact when I do input my food into the my fitness pal app, it yells at me and says I’m eating too much fat. And the weight keeps dropping. My cholesterol, blood pressure, vitamin levels and blood sugar are perfect! We just passed the holidays and I survived thanksgiving and Christmas without sparing food intake and I continued to lose weight! I want you to know as you read this, if you are someone who has suffered and struggled with weight loss, wanted to fit into your clothes and be a happier healthier human."

Check out Melissa here.

Eddie

Kale and Spinach Soup


Kale and Spinach are very nutritious, and this recipe suggestion is from Anne Aobadia at Diet Doctor site. It is for Vegan Style Kale and Spinach Soup ... she says "Is it possible to combine a vegan and keto life style? In the long run that isn't something we (Diet Doctor) recommend due to the difficulty of getting enough nutrients, like protein and B12. For single meals it works great though, as in this lovely green soup."

I know some of our readers are vegan, some vegetarian, some follow the LCHF lifestyle - some don't - food choices are for the individual. The low carb team do live the LCHF lifestyle.

A variety of recipe ideas are found within 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.

However, I hope you may enjoy this soup soon ... it's especially good if you may still be experiencing cooler and stormy weather, as some parts of the world are currently having.

Here are the ingredients :
Serves Four
(13 carbs per serving)
3¼ oz./ 90 g coconut oil
½ lb / 225 g kale
½ lb / 225 g fresh spinach
2 avocados
3 1⁄3 cups / 800 ml coconut milk or coconut cream
1 cup / 240 ml water
fresh mint or dried mint (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 lime, the juice


Fried kale
3¼ oz. / 90 g kale
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 oz. / 30 g coconut oil
½ teaspoon ground cardamom (green)
salt and pepper

If you don’t like coconut milk you can of course make this soup with heavy (double)  cream or full-fat sour cream, and butter instead of coconut oil. The soup will then be vegetarian, not vegan!

For cooking instructions please use this link here

Kale and Spinach, both full of good nutrients, read more about Kale here and more about Spinach here

All the best Jan

Guide to Carbs in Vegetables

If you’re going low carb, The Ultimate Guide To Carbs In Vegetables will guide you in choosing which vegetables are best to incorporate in your diet. Each value is the net carbs per 100g using chronometer.com  Net carbs is the total carb value, minus the fibre.

Vegetables are definitely the healthier (and better choice) when preparing meals. However, it must be noted that the different types of vegetables have different nutritional values.


Please read lots more, with relevant links, at Ditch The Carbs Site here

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Raspberry 'Sponge' Fingers : Low Carb and Sugar Free



Some may call them a cake, others may call them sponge fingers ... how about a good low carb and sugar free treat!

Libby at Ditch The Carbs site has developed a lovely recipe using coconut flour, and she doesn't disappoint.

Here are the ingredients you will need for 12 servings:
( 3g net carbs per slice )

110g / 1 stick / 4oz butter 
melted
1/2 cup coconut flour

3-5 tbsp granulated sweetener of choice 
or more, to your taste
2 tsp vanilla 
or more
1 tsp baking powder

8 eggs

1 cup frozen raspberries

Please see cooking instructions and more here

If you'd like help with measurement conversion see here

If you would like to know more about cooking with low carb (alternative) flours please see here

Whatever you do - please don't forget to put the kettle on!


All the best Jan

Monday, 13 March 2017

Diet ‘reverses diabetes in just 10 weeks’, claims new study

TYPE 2 diabetes can be reversed in 10 weeks with a high-fat and low carbohydrate diet tailored to the patient, claims a study.

The research, the first of its kind, could pave the way for an overhaul in the management of the condition which is linked to obesity and affects almost three million people in the UK.

Most diabetics are advised to eat a balanced diet, including carbohydrates.

However, scientists, who carried out the study on 238 patients, found that restricting carbohydrates and increasing fat led to dramatic improvements.

Half the patients saw their condition reversed after just 10 weeks and were able to reduce or stop taking diabetes drugs.

Eighty nine per cent of those in the study, who had been reliant on insulin due to the severity of their disease, were able to dramatically reduce or stop taking it.

Professor Sarah Hallberg, an expert in obesity medicine, who led the study at Indiana University, said: “This is the first time we have seen such a drastic change in such a large group of people outside bariatric [weight loss] surgery.

“It is something we would never previously have known was possible. I was so blown over by the results and we should now think about using this approach as a standard of care as it outperforms current treatment.”

She added: “Diabetes is a state of carbohydrate toxicity. Insulin resistance is a state of carbohydrate intolerance.

"Carbohydrate intake is the single biggest factor in blood sugar levels.”

Type 2 diabetes is a serious disorder leading to high blood glucose levels because the body is unable to make proper use of insulin, the hormone which metabolises sugar.

Without insulin, sugar derails the metabolism causing life-threatening conditions such as cancer, heart and liver disease.

Current guidance states there is inconclusive evidence to recommend a specific carbohydrate limit.

Professor Hallberg said this advice needs to be changed because she believes Type 2 can be reversed, in many if not most situations, especially if treated early.

The results of the study, which will be finalised over the next year, have excited experts.

Professor David Haslam, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: “This study is highly significant and suggests carbohydrates are damaging. We urgently need to conduct more studies to confirm this finding and this I hope will lead to a complete overhaul of the management of Type 2 diabetes.”

The charity Diabetes UK is funding another clinical trial to assess the impact of a low-calorie diet.

The study of 280 patients from 30 GP practices will also assess whether the diet could be delivered through routine NHS care.

The results are due in 2018.

http://www.express.co.uk/

Graham

Cauliflower Chicken Alfredo : Swaps Pasta for Cauliflower


When you live the LCHF lifestyle you look for alternatives, or swaps, to foods like pasta and rice, for example take this Chicken in creamy Alfredo sauce. Instead of pasta it has been made with the lower carb alternative vegetable cauliflower, and it tastes good ...
Why not give it a try!

Ingredients:
Serves Four
14g carb per serving

1 oz. / 30 g butter or olive oil
1⁄3 lb / 150 g bacon, diced
11⁄3 lbs / 600 g chicken breasts
4 garlic cloves
7 oz. / 200 g fresh spinach
salt and pepper
2 cups / 475 ml sour cream or heavy whipping cream
1½ lbs / 700 g cauliflower
3½ oz. / 100 g grated parmesan cheese

You will find the cooking instructions on Diet Doctor site 
here


Spinach is believed to be of Persian origin. By the 12th century, it spread across Europe and became a desirable leafy green known for good health; a reputation that stands firm to this day. The name Florentine is often used to describe dishes containing spinach (and a creamy sauce). It is thought that this name dates back to the 16th century and the Italian wife of France's Henry II; Catherine de Medici. The unverified tale states that Catherine introduced spinach to the Court of France and to honour her Italian heritage, she then decided to call any dish containing spinach Florentine.

Spinach belongs to the chenopodiaceae family (also known as goosefoot), a family of nutritional powerhouses including beets, chard and quinoa. It shares a similar taste profile with these two other vegetables; the bitterness of beet greens and the slightly salty flavour of chard. There are three different types of spinach generally available: savoy, semi-savoy and smooth leaf.

The popeye effect:
There is much lore regarding spinach, most famously as the source of Popeye's strength. When faced with the sight of trouble, pipe-smoking sailor-man Popeye would burst open a tin of spinach. Once consumed, his biceps would bulge and his new found strength would see him overcome his enemies. Although there is definitely lots of goodness in those leaves, the legendary statue Popeye bestowed on it is slightly inflated.

Nutritional highlights:
Spinach is available all year round but is in season during the spring (March - June). It is well known for its nutritional qualities and has always been regarded as a plant with remarkable abilities to restore energy, increase vitality and improve the quality of the blood. There are sound reasons why spinach would produce such results, primarily the fact that it is rich in iron. Iron plays a central role in the function of red blood cells which help in transporting oxygen around the body, in energy production and DNA synthesis. Spinach is also an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folic acid as well as being a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2. Vitamin K is important for maintaining bone health and it is difficult to find vegetables richer in vitamin K than spinach. Others include kale, broccoli and green cabbage.

A 100g serving provides:
23 calories 3g protein 0g fat 4g carbohydrates 2g fibre

Read more about Spinach
here
Read more about cauliflower 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.

Hope you may enjoy this dish soon

All the best Jan

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Dr. Zoë Harcombe - 'Should dietary fat guidelines have been introduced?'

 
Graham

Diabetic or Prediabetic : Eleven Foods To Avoid

Franziska Spritzler has a BSc in nutrition and dietetics. She is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with expertise in carbohydrate-restricted diets for diabetes and weight management. She recently published an article on the Authority Nutrition site that you may be interested in reading.

She writes:
"Diabetes is a chronic disease that has reached epidemic proportions among adults and children worldwide.
Uncontrolled diabetes has many serious consequences, including heart disease, kidney disease, blindness and other complications.
Prediabetes has also been linked to these conditions.
Importantly, eating the wrong foods can raise your blood sugar and insulin levels and promote inflammation, which may increase your risk of disease.

This article lists 11 foods that people with diabetes or prediabetes should avoid.


Why Does Carb Intake Matter for People With Diabetes?
Carbs, protein and fat are the macronutrients that provide your body with energy.

Of these three, carbs have the greatest effect on your blood sugar by far. This is because they are broken down into sugar, or glucose, and absorbed into your bloodstream.

Carbs include starches, sugar and fiber. However, fiber isn’t digested and absorbed by your body in the same way other carbs are, so it doesn’t raise your blood sugar.

Subtracting fiber from the total carbs in a food will give you its digestible or “net” carb content. For instance, if a cup of mixed vegetables contains 10 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fiber, its net carb count is 6 grams.

When people with diabetes consume too many carbs at a time, their blood sugar levels can rise to dangerously high levels.
Over time, high levels can damage your body’s nerves and blood vessels, which may set the stage for heart disease, kidney disease and other serious health conditions.

Maintaining a low carb intake can help prevent blood sugar spikes and greatly reduce the risk of diabetes complications.

Therefore, it’s important to avoid the foods listed below.

1. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Summary: Sodas and sweet drinks are high in carbs, which increase blood sugar. Also, their high fructose content has been linked to insulin resistance and an increased risk of obesity, fatty liver and other diseases.

2. Trans Fats
Summary: Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been chemically altered to increase their stability. They have been linked to inflammation, insulin resistance, increased belly fat and heart disease.

3. White Bread, Pasta and Rice
Summary: White bread, pasta and rice are high in carbs yet low in fiber. This combination can result in high blood sugar levels. Alternatively, choosing high-fiber, whole foods may help reduce blood sugar response.

4. Fruit-Flavored Yogurt
Summary: Fruit-flavored yogurts are usually low in fat but high in sugar, which can lead to higher blood sugar and insulin levels. Plain, whole-milk yogurt is a better choice for diabetes control and overall health.

5. Sweetened Breakfast Cereals
Summary: Breakfast cereals are high in carbs but low in protein. A high-protein, low-carb breakfast is the best option for diabetes and appetite control.

6. Flavored Coffee Drinks
Summary: Flavored coffee drinks are very high in liquid carbs, which can raise blood sugar levels and fail to satisfy your hunger.

7. Honey, Agave Nectar and Maple Syrup
Summary: Honey, agave nectar and maple syrup are not as processed as white table sugar, but they may have similar effects on blood sugar, insulin and inflammatory markers.

8. Dried Fruit
Summary: Dried fruits become more concentrated in sugar and may contain more than three times as many carbs as fresh fruits do. Avoid dried fruit and choose fruits low in sugar for optimal blood sugar control.

9. Packaged Snack Foods
Summary: Packaged snacks are typically highly processed foods made from refined flour that can quickly raise your blood sugar levels.

10. Fruit Juice
Summary: Unsweetened fruit juice contains at least as much sugar as sodas do. Its high fructose content can worsen insulin resistance, promote weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease.

11. French Fries
Summary: In addition to being high in carbs that raise blood sugar levels, french fries are fried in unhealthy oils that may promote inflammation and increase the risk of heart disease and cancer.

The Bottom Line
Knowing which foods to avoid when you have diabetes can sometimes seem tough. However, following a few guidelines can make it easier.
Your main goals should include staying away from unhealthy fats, liquid sugars, processed grains and other foods that contain refined carbs.
Avoiding foods that increase your blood sugar levels and drive insulin resistance can help keep you healthy now and reduce your risk of future diabetes complications."

Please read Franziska's full article with all information / research links here

You may also find our 'Introduction To Low Carb For Beginners' post interesting, find it 
here

We try and 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.

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