August 9, 2017

Book Review: The Salt Fix (and a look at sodium)

“Modern medicine diverted us from our evolutionary path when it decided that salt was a toxic, addictive, non-essential food additive. The seeds of this destructive myth were sown one hundred years ago, but we are still bearing the costs now.” (p.30)

“As is clear from the medical literature, as well as the population-based studies, low-salt guidelines are not ‘the ideal.’ They are not even innocuous. We may someday discover that the low-salt guidelines created more heart disease than they ever prevented.” (p.89)

Those are some pretty hefty claims, and it would take some pretty hefty research to back them up. Fortunately, James DiNicolantonio, PharmD, has done the heavy lifting for us in his new book, The Salt Fix: Why the Experts Got It All Wrong--and How Eating More Might Save Your Life. That’s an ambitious title, but after reading the book, you might find it hard to refute.

Before I get into the review, in the interest of full disclosure, allow me to declare that I received a courtesy copy of this book. I also collaborated with Dr. DiNicolantonio on my very first peer-reviewed journal article, so obviously, I respect him and his work. That being said, if I thought the book was lackluster, I’d tell you so. Fortunately, that is not the case, so I can give you my honest assessment of the book and still stay in my friend and colleague’s good graces.     

On to the details!

July 26, 2017

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Protein & Gluconeogenesis

My dear readers, the website/blog update has run into some snags. Rather than continuing to keep you waiting, though, I’m going to publish new posts and I’ll worry about transitioning them over later on. And since it’s been a few months since I last posted anything of substance, I’ve decided to drop this enormous, enormous post on you to make up for that lost time—and it might take you equally long to read it. Sorry about that, but hey, I haven’t written anything meaningful since May, so, depending on your point of view, this post is either a gift or a punishment. As I’ve said in the past, if you’re an insomniac or a cubicle dweller with lots of time to kill, you’re welcome. (The rest of you, go get yourself a cup of coffee or tea, come back, and get comfy.)

I’ve been meaning to write this post for over a year, but it’s such a big topic and so much can go wrong that the thought of tackling it all was enough to make me not write it. But it’s gotten to the point that I’m tired enough of seeing the same questions asked and the same myths propagated over and over on various keto and low carb forums that I’ve decided this needs to be done, no matter how painful I might find it. Because seeing nonsense and fearmongering regarding the role of protein in low carb or ketogenic diets is even more painful. So if finally managing to organize my thoughts into some kind of coherent prose means I never have to read the phrase, “too much protein turns into sugar” ever again, it will be worth it.

So that’s what’s on tap today, kids: Gluconeogenesis.

That’s right, friends, it’s time to do some myth-busting surrounding the whacked-out notion that protein—lean protein, in particular (like a skinless chicken breast, or tuna canned in water)—is the metabolic equivalent of chocolate cake. (Or cotton candy, or gummy bears, or any other insanely sugary thing that might raise your blood glucose and insulin far more than protein does.) 

June 12, 2017

I'm Still Alive!

Hello my dears!

I know I said last time that it would be a week or two before the new site was up and running. Well, as you can see, two weeks have come and gone, and then a few more weeks have come and gone.

My apologies for the delay. The transition is basically done, but there are some problems with formatting right now. Basically, for some reason, the spacing in many of the posts has not transferred properly and they look like giant walls of text, with no spaces between paragraphs and sections. Oy! They’re readable, but it’s not pleasant. Once I get that figured out, I’ll make the switch and get back to posting more often. (Yay!) I have so many (so many!) posts bouncing around in my head. It’ll be on me to actually write them, but I have a couple already set to go so I won’t have to keep you waiting even longer.

I guess I’ve been waiting until I have more content for the site. Not just blog posts, but actual content. A low carb & ketogenic FAQ, troubleshooting guide, food lists, etc. All of those and more are in the works, as are the posts I gave previews of last time. What this boils down to is my own laziness. There is truly no other reason this is taking so long, except I was waiting for things to be done for which I, myself, am the only thing standing in the way. Working from home is a great idea if you are a self-starter and are motivated and disciplined. I am none of these three things, so joke’s on me. (The even bigger joke was on me when I thought I could learn to be disciplined and a self-starter by joining the military, but it turns out no one—not even drill instructors—can force you to be something you’re not.)

Okay, enough wallowing in the swamp of self-pity!

TL;DR: New site coming soon-ish. I need to work out the spacing problems and play around with the fonts and colors until I find a look I’m happy with. Sorry to keep you waiting! In the meantime, you can always find me on Twitter, where I post irreverent thoughts of my own as well as links to nutrition & health things that might be of interest to you.

P.S. What I’m reading now: The Salt Fix, by Dr. James DiNicolantonio, with whom I collaborated on my very first peer-reviewed journal article, Added sugars drive nutrient and energy deficit in obesity: a new paradigm. (Yes, I have an article on PubMed! How cool is that?!) The “experts” were wrong about cholesterol, saturated fat, and red meat. Could they be wrong about salt/sodium, too? Signs point to yesRead James’s book to find out why. A physician I follow on Twitter said it’s like “a salty version of The Big Fat Surprise,” which I reviewed here.) I agree!

Disclaimer: Amy Berger, MS, CNS, NTP, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition and is not to be used as a substitute for the care and guidance of a physician. Links in this post and all others may direct you to, where I will receive a small amount of the purchase price of any items you buy through my affiliate links.

May 4, 2017

What's in Store: Changes are a-Comin'!

Hey Everyone,

Sorry for the delay in new blog posts. (But hopefully the cute picture of the eggs on the previous post makes you smile when you see it.)

There’s a reason I haven’t posted anything new in the last couple of weeks. I’m redoing the site and it’s best if I don’t add anything new until the transition is complete. Sometime in the next week or two, the site will look completely different. Don’t be confused! You’ll be in the right place, even if everything is unfamiliar. It’ll take me a while to settle on colors and fonts that I like, so you might continue to see some changes there until I’m happy with the appearance, but since I don’t want to keep you (or me!) waiting on new posts, I’m going to go for it and sort out the details later. As much as I’d like everything to be pretty and shiny and well-organized right away, if the rest of my life is any indication, making things pretty, shiny, and well-organized is not my forte, so if I’m going to wait for that to happen, you all are going to be waiting a looong time for new posts. And since writing is my forte (or so I’m told)—not to mention I like doing it and sharing with you all the cool things I learn—I might as well just jump into the new setup and take you all with me without waiting for things to look perfect.

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store on the site in general, and the blog, specifically. Some of the blog posts will happen sooner rather than later, but they all will happen eventually. (Sadly, it’s looking like another entire year will pass before I crank out another post in the series on the metabolic theory of cancer.)

Coming up:

April 18, 2017

Low Carb Breakfast Ideas for People Who Don't Like (or are Tired of) Eggs

Here’s something I see often on Facebook:

I don’t like eggs. (Or, I’m tired of eggs.)
What can I have for breakfast on low carb?

My knee jerk answer (which I say to myself, but do not write until I calm down a little): Eat something else.

Anything else.

Anything else at all.

Literally any other low carb food.

I’m not sure why breakfast is such an obstacle when there is one food people don’t like. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I don’t like salmon. What can I have for dinner?” Or, “I’m tired of bologna sandwiches. What can I have for lunch?”

There are, like, a zillion other possibilities there. And the same goes for breakfast. 

You see why I’m a bit dumbfounded, right? 

April 10, 2017

Break Nutrition - A New (and GOOD!) Blog & Podcast

Hey Everyone,

To get the word out about the release of my book, The Alzheimer’s Antidote, I’ve been making the rounds on several podcasts. I’ll post something soon with links to all of them in case you’d like to give a few of them a listen. (Yes, it’s true! You can get your fix of me ranting [and occasionally sharing nifty information] even when there’s no new blog post, haha! And you get to hear it all in my real voice! [For better or worse…ugh…])

Before I get to that, though, there’s a particular show I’d like to tell you about. My friend Raphael has started a new podcast and website called Break Nutrition. Raphi is very darn smart. He’s doing graduate work in molecular biology, with a research focus on cancer. (He is quite familiar with all we’ve covered in the cancer series – the Warburg effect, Dr. Thomas Seyfried’s work, the role of damaged mitochondria, etc. Recall that I picked his brain a bit for one of the posts on hypoxia.) If you’re on Twitter, you’ll want to follow him.

Break Nutrition is brand new, but it looks to be a good source for some pretty intense, intelligent, and science-based arguments covering a lot of what you all love: evolutionary theory informing modern diets, how low carb/ketogenic diets might affect nutrient requirements, fat loss mistakes, and more. Raphi is not the only one writing for Break Nutrition. He’s already had guest posts from some low-carb heavy-hitters. If you’re getting a bit bored with your blog or podcast “routine” and are looking to change things up a little—and are especially seeking things that really make you think, question what you think you know, and go hmmm…, then this is for you.

The podcast is pretty advanced sometimes. I’ve listened to a couple episodes and have more to get to. Raphi has had his friend and colleague Gabor Erdosi on a few times, and they’ve talked about some very interesting theories and mechanisms regarding type 2 diabetes and obesity – things you are not learning about anywhere else, including my blog. (I’ve been reading some papers on these ideas, though, and it’s fascinating stuff! I’ll have a post or two on it in the not-too-distant future. Sneak peek: it’s becoming more and more obvious to me why some people do horribly on keto when they focus on the “high fat” part more than the low carb part.) These episodes might be a bit advanced for some people, but others might soak them up like sponges.

One particular episode you will not need a PhD to understand and enjoy is the one I was on. Raphi and I had a great time talking about Alzheimer’s pathology and possible treatments, but the stuff we chatted about after that was even better. We got into gluconeogenesis (LOADS of misinformation on this all over the ketowebs), exogenous ketones, and why the whole calorie “thing” is almost useless in discussions of fat loss, satiety, energy balance, and body weight regulation. Useless! (Details in this post I wrote. One of my favorites!) You will hear me say I’ve lost 14 pounds since starting thyroid medication in December. The crippling depression that had me sidelined for over two years is about 91% gone as well—for real this time! (Post coming soon on that, too, my darlings!)

Raphi and I had a great conversation and I think you’ll enjoy listening. (Bonus: you get to hear what my favorite Chinese food was, back in the day.)  ;-)

So check out Break Nutrition and download the podcast. (And check out the other shows, too! Available on iTunes, too.)

Disclaimer: Amy Berger, MS, CNS, NTP, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition and is not to be used as a substitute for the care and guidance of a physician. Links in this post and all others may direct you to, where I will receive a small amount of the purchase price of any items you buy through my affiliate links.