Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What The....

I have seen some pretty stupid descriptions of ketosis in regards to a low carbohydrate diet over the years but this one beats them all...


If the body doesn't receive sufficient carbohydrate, it breaks down muscle and other tissue to produce glucose.

This causes a build-up of waste products called 'ketones'. This is, known as 'ketosis' and is common in people who are starving, suffering from anorexia nervosa or who have insulin-dependent diabetes.

Ketones makes the blood acidic, in severe cases Ketosis can be fatal, particularly for pregnant women, unborn babies, and for people who have diabetes.

Finally, the heart may not be able to function to its full ability as ketone bodies are its main source of fuel.

So, not eating carbohydrates is bad for you.


Sigh...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Organic Food *updated*

One of the best things that low carb has taught me is about fresh, local and organic foods... Since then, I try really hard to replace foods with organic and local foods whenever possible. It can be very expensive though, in Australia, meat for example is very expensive, and organic meat much, more expensive again. This is such a shame as meat and dairy are probably one of the first foods you should watch out for, being higher up in the food chain.

One of the best ways I have found to source local foods, is by going to local farmers markets in the Adelaide hills. I have also found some sources just by driving around, some farms will have an un-manned stall out the front of the farm where they rely on your honesty or you may find a farmer pulled up at the side of the road selling produce in their ute. We bought some great home-made olive oil and passata this way!

Farmers markets are starting to become popular, this has a good and a bad side. The good side is you get to find some really good fresh and local produce as well as get to speak to the farmer directly. The bad side is some may try to take advantage of the fact people are willing to pay more for such produce. Mind you, the quality is usually very good, it's just that the price can make it more unobtainable for the people who probably need it the most. To get around this, you need to shop around and compare.

This month, we had a big farmers market open up at the Adelaide Showgrounds. I went there for the first time yesterday and there was lots there, but it was also very busy so I am sure I missed a lot.

I did spot this stall named Limestone Coast Lamb it is not organic but looks quite good. They sell 1/2 or whole lambs in a box for $10 per kg. I read up on them on their website and they sounded good, so I dropped them an email to find out a little bit more.

Because I like farmers markets so much, I have been collecting information on them, and putting it up to share with others in the organic and whole food resources section in our forums, as well as in a thread on the forums called Australian Farmer Markets. Naturally, because I am in South Australia most of the information so far is South Australian related, though I do plan on putting up information for all places in Australia. If you know of any farmers markets in your state I would love to hear about them so please feel free to share them in our thread on the forums and I will be happy to put the information up in the resources section.

Also I want to note I am happy to have a thread etc going for international visitors as well, so please feel free to share information there for other international visitors.

The main point of this is to spread the word on the value of and encourage interest in local, fresh food and even when applicable growing/raising your own. Eventually Garry and I plan to be self sufficient.

*update* Just added a little to this as I forgot some of what I planned to say yesterday after being interrupted way too many times... Ahhh the joys of motherhood! :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Flinders Ranges

Last weekend, we went away for a few days to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia which is situated just before the desert. Its quite remote and very dry but very interesting. It was very dry and warm and we were only one month into spring, couldn't imagine what it will be like this summer!
We were quite suprised to see many herds of cattle and sheep, lots of sheep actually, feeding from salt bushes. Some were in quite barren paddocks and looked quite scrawny, alot were allowed to roam accross the road, it was very cool.

There were numerous ruins and I guarantee tons yet for us to discover next time we visit. It really was a fascinating place to visit, we quite enoyed it.

In Wilpena Pound, we really wanted to do the walk up St Mary's Peak but Maya had other ideas. I have a really good carrier to do hikes with that allow front, back and hip positions but Maya just didn't want to have a bar of it. I guess she just wanted to run around and explore. There were many Kangaroos and Euros there which suprised us as they would get quite close. We even saw the odd goat which was a bit strange.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Low Fat Diets & Very Low Calorie Diets

Okay rant coming on....

This is really bothering me lately, why?

Most low carbers are aware by now that low carb isn't politically correct. A lot will say it is because people don't want to give up carbs and while I think that is partly true, I do believe lowering carbohydrates like starches and sugars is becoming more trendy as time goes on. What I think is the biggest problem is fat and calories...

Yes, you're right, you won't lose fat without burning more calories then you take in but by golly that does not mean starving yourself and it does not mean eating no fat. I don't care how many carbs you are eating, severely restricting your fat intake is not healthy.

I don't know how it is in other countries, but over here in Australia we have a bunch of what I like to call fad low carb diets gaining huge popularity. Not only are these diets getting on the low carb bandwagon which in itself is not a bad thing, they are also very low in fat and calories. This is not good!

Firstly there were diets like cohens, that while low carb are almost no fat and limited protein. I have not been a big fan of this diet but this is peanuts to what is coming out now...

Now we have protein shake diets, that are really becoming popular. These diets consist of protein shakes that you buy for a pretty penny but not only that they are very low calorie, hardly any fat and replace 2 meals a day!

Are these even monitored under medical supervision? No, the closest they come to that is a particular protein shake diet (there's a few!) is sold over the counter of a particular chemist. The most popular and heavily advertised one out at the moment is known as The Tony Ferguson Diet or Tony Ferguson Shakes sold online at their website and over the counter at Terry White Chemists. We have a thread going on it here: The Tony Ferguson Diet

The most appealing thing about them seems to be that the shakes mean that there is very little preparation involved. Whilst I can understand the appeal in that, keep in mind it is this 'convenience' factor that everybody craves that got us into all this mess in the first place AKA the processed foods we know of today!

These shake diets do nothing to teach us healthy eating habits over the long term. Even if they are low carb they still keep this whole fat phobia and the belief that you need to eat very little to lose weight and this whole reliance on processed foods alive.

The worst thing is every Australian parenting forum I go to I see long threads on this diet. It seems to be very popular amongst mums who have recently had a baby and that worries me. Not only that quite a few times I have seen them talk about their husband doing it as well.

This diet is very low calorie, originally when I first looked into this diet on their website they stated:

" The program is a combination of VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) and the ketogenic principle. VLCDs include prepared food formulas and a carbohydrate and calorie reduced diet, of approximately 800 calories per day"

Since then they have changed their wording to say 1000-1200 calories a day but other then that still being way too low I did the maths myself and I couldn't get it up to 1000 calories per day. This leads me to think, if I can't, then what calories for the day is a typical dieter who thinks less is better going to reach?

On the thread I linked to above we discussed the details of the diet as in what you can eat, what's in the shakes etc. This week I am planning on collecting up some research on this to add to the thread to back me up.

THIS IS NOT A HEALTHY LOW CARB DIET IT IS A VERY LOW CALORIE DIET

If your on this diet please don't think I am having a shot at you because of this post or what I post on my forum. It is nothing personal, I just can't sit here and not say anything in order to be politically correct or popular and not offend anyone. I don't want to offend you and I am most certainly not trying to insult you, all I want is for you to be aware of not only the pros but the cons. If after researching and weighing up the pros and cons you decide to go down this path then so be it, it is your body and if you need me for anything I'm more then happy to help.

This is just something that I cannot encourage and by not saying anything that's what I feel I'm doing. This is not a diet that should be used without caution if at all.

UPDATE:

I have put up a page on research of the risks of very low calorie diets: Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) Research

Also due to the kimkins controversy which is also a VLCD diet I have put up a few more posts discussing the dangers of VLCDs as well, you can find all these by doing a search for kimkins on my blog: kimkins

In particular check out my two latest blog posts:

Gallstones

Rabbit Starvation, Sudden Death and Resting Metabolism.