July 13, 2015

Label Madness Monday: Buttery Spreads, Take 2

It’s that time again, kids. The start of another work week, and a new adventure in food label land. A couple posts back, we looked at a buttery spread whose very name implies it is “Simply Delicious,” even though we made mincemeat out of that claim pretty easily. I left off at the end of that post saying we’d come back and take a look at some even wackier imitation butter spreads, and I’m making good on that today.

First up: Smart Balance “dairy free butter” with omega-3s.

July 7, 2015

Stop Saying "Ketogenic" When You Mean Low Carb

I’ve received a spate of inquiries from prospective clients recently that start off something like this:

“Hi, Amy, I’m interested in starting a ketogenic diet. Please let me know when we can set up an appointment.”

My initial response to these inquiries is:

“Hi ______,

Thanks for getting in touch. Do you mind if I ask why you’re interested in a ketogenic diet? Do you have a specific medical condition you’re looking to improve? Or if this is for weight loss, what is your current weight, and how much are you looking to lose?”

Once in a while, it’s someone with an autoimmune condition, and I’ve had a couple of inquiries about cancer, but the majority of people I hear from do not require a ketogenic diet. That is, not a classical ketogenic diet.

June 26, 2015

Alzheimer’s, Ketones, and Kidding Ourselves (Pt.3/3)

I concluded the previous post by introducing the idea that, when it comes to a body and brain being fueled by ketones, the absolute concentration of ketone bodies in the blood might be less important than the body’s ability to use those ketones. I expressed concern that placing the sum total of our faith in high β-OHB levels might take our eyes off the marker we should probably be more interested in: how well an AD patient is functioning. Maybe some AD patients do require ketones at upwards of 4-5mM. But maybe some others would do just great at lower levels.

Heres my thinking on this...

June 24, 2015

Alzheimer’s, Ketones, and Kidding Ourselves (Pt.2/3)

I ended the previous post by introducing the idea of using exogenous ketones for improving the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s, while not requiring the afflicted individual to make any dietary changes. (Recall that, according to researchers, a very low carb diet is “inconvenient” to prepare and consume.) Is there a place for exogenous ketones in AD therapy? Yes. I believe there is. It depends on the person’s age and severity of illness, but I absolutely acknowledge that exogenous ketones can improve quality of life. BUT: with the exception of some very specific cases, which I’ll mention in a bit, I cannot support them being used as the sole intervention. It’s as bad as telling a type-2 diabetic to use insulin and do nothing else to influence the way their body handles glucose, or, really, insulin, itself.  

Please tell me someone out there is on the same page as me here.

“Alzheimer's disease patients frequently undergo changes in food preference toward sweet, carbohydrate-rich foods, which would make compliance to a ketogenic diet difficult.” (Henderson et al., 2009)

Really? Do they undergo changes in food preference toward sweet, carbohydrate-rich foods after they develop Alzheimer’s disease, or are sugar addicts more likely to develop AD? Which is the chicken, and which is the Cadbury Crème Egg?

Now, here’s where things get deep.

June 21, 2015

Alzheimer’s, Ketones, and Kidding Ourselves (Pt.1/3)

The Setup

Picture the following scenario:

You find yourself walking from one room into another and can’t remember why. And it’s been happening more often.

You’ve been misplacing things. Your phone, your keys, your wallet or purse. And it’s been happening more often.

You’ve been forgetting about important appointments, and that’s happening more often, too.

But this isn’t a big deal, right? You’re just getting older. This is normal. “Senior moments.” Happens to everyone.

But what if things are a little worse than that?

What if you’re out running errands and forget how to get back home?

What if you go for a walk by yourself and get lost in your own neighborhood?

What if you set something on the stove to cook, then wander away for a few minutes, and the only reason you remember you had something cooking is because the smoke alarm goes off and acrid smoke fills the house?

What if you start asking people the same simple question—one they’ve already answered—over and over—and over again?

You’re not just having senior moments. You’re having entire senior days. Senior weeks. Senior months.

You are literally losing your mind.

Maybe it’s gotten so bad you’ve had to stop working.

Maybe your family no longer trusts you to be at home by yourself, or cook for yourself, or drive your car.

Scary, huh?

But what if I told you I could fix things for you?

June 15, 2015

Podcast Interview!

Hey folks! If this is your first visit to my blog after hearing me on Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ la Vida Low Carb Podcast, here are some links to past posts I’ve done regarding Alzheimer’s disease:

And here’s a link to a guest post I wrote for Robb Wolf’s site, about carbs, Alzheimer's, and more, after the first interview he did with Dr. Perlmutter, after the release of the book, Grain Brain.

If you’d like to learn more about me, check out the About Me page here on this site. In the podcast, I touched only briefly on how I found low carb, so if you’re interested in all the gory details of how “eating less and moving more” failed me for most of my adolescence and young adult life, you can read about that here.  (You might also want to wait until you have an hour to spare. You will see from today’s post, or by looking through the archives, that brevity is not my strong suit.)

And now, on to the post!