March 19, 2019

A New Look at Insulin, Glucagon & the Pancreas (a.k.a. ITIS part 9)

“Contrary to popular belief, insulin is not needed for glucose uptake and utilization in man.” (Source)

What? Insulin is not needed for glucose uptake? Did I just blow your mind a little?  If so, hang on to your hat. Lots more of that to come.

As I mentioned in my previous post on the personal fat threshold concept, what I enjoy most about writing my blog is that I get to share with you the fascinating and surprising things I learn. And one thing I can say with certainty is, the more I learn, the less I know. It seems like I barely hit publish on a new blog post before coming across a bunch of papers that teach me even more about the subject in question, or make me rethink what I wrote about it in the past.

One subject I’ve learned more about since I last wrote about it is insulin. If you’re new here, I recommend digging into my 8-part series on insulin. If I do say so myself, it’s some of the most important and educational stuff I’ve written.  But you don’t need to have read that to understand today’s post.

If you’re accustomed to thinking about insulin as a “blood sugar hormone,” you’re about to have your world turned upside downWhat I’ve learned about insulin over the past couple of years makes me think that lowering blood glucose might be one of the least important and impressive things it does.

Another very long post coming your way here, so grab a coffee or some pork rinds, and happy reading!

Before you dive in, though, I recommend scrolling way down to the bottom of this post where it says “End.” You might want to spend a while reading the whole thing, or you might not…that will help you decide. 

February 28, 2019


Good news, everyone!

If you haven’t been able to make it to any of the low carb or keto events where I’ve presented in the past, you’re in luck …

You can watch me speak LIVE at the Durham, North Carolina low carb support group meeting on Tuesday, March 5 at 6:30pm. Tune in by going to the Facebook page for HEAL Clinics – they will broadcast it live right there on the page. Dr. Eric Westman, Durham and Duke University’s king of keto, will kick things off, but then I’ll be giving a presentation on keto for mental & emotional health issues.

If you and/or someone you love deal with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, mood swings, panic attacks, or any other mental, emotional, or psychological issue, you’ll want to watch if you can. (But no worries if you’re not available at that time – you’ll be able to catch it anytime afterward on the HEAL Clinic page.) I’ll be talking about mechanisms behind why and how ketogenic diets can be beneficial for these conditions. I mean, weight loss? Sure. Diabetes? Old news. Tell me something I don’t know, right? How about physiological and biochemical reasons why keto is a stunningly logical and rational thing to try for anyone dealing with these difficult-to-treat issues?  

It will be very similar to the video I did on this topic for my YouTube channel, but this will be the live version, so hopefully there’ll be some fun interaction with the audience, and I’ll know some of you out there will be watching, too, which will keep me even more energetic and enthusiastic.

More on the support group:
If you happen to live in the Raleigh-Durham area, or within a reasonable driving distance, the support group meets on the first Tuesday of every month at the Durham Hilton near Duke University (3800 Hillsborough Road, Durham, NC 27705). I’m not always there, but I’m there fairly often, and will probably be there more now that I’ve relocated to Durham. There’s a low carb buffet dinner for a reasonable price, but you don’t have to eat; you can just come grab a seat and spend an evening with other people on low carb/keto diets, for free! There’s always a bit of education, some Q&A with Dr. Westman, and often some very inspiring success stories of people who are experiencing the wonderful yet darn near predictable benefits of low carb: fat loss, reducing or stopping their meds for T2 diabetes, total resolution of acid reflux/GERD, reductions in chronic pain and fatigue, improved GI function, restoration of menstruation and fertility after PCOS…y’know, just the regular run-of-the mill stuff that happens to people daily on keto. ;-)

Come in person to the support group on March 5 if you can!

More on HEAL Clinics:
Did you have to learn about low carb/keto on your own? Did you have to fight with a doctor, dietitian, or health coach who told you keto was dangerous, and that you should not eat that way? Did you spend years—decades, maybe—overweight or obese, paying astronomical sums for multiple medications, exhausted, in pain, and generally debilitated with physical and emotional malaise because you simply felt BLAH?

Are you tired of inexperienced people spouting all kinds of nonsense about keto on the interwebs—misinformation that, at best, makes it harder for people to lose weight, but at worst, is actively harmful for people on various medications who need proper medical supervision to implement keto safely? (I am! It’s why I started making my own videos, in fact.)

HEAL Clinics wants to help people to not have to overcome the multiple barriers so many of us might have faced on our journey to finding and successfully implementing keto/LCHF. Dr. Westman is the Chief Medical Officer, and his right-hand woman, the Director of Clinical Protocol, is Jackie Eberstein, RN—Jackie was the head nurse at Dr. Atkins’ clinic in NYC for almost 30 years and she was actually one of Dr. Westman’s teachers! (What, you thought he learned keto all on his own?) Lemme tell ya, dear readers, she is low carb royalty. If you want help losing weight, reversing your T2 diabetes, reducing your insulin needs for type 1, reversing fatty liver, improving PCOS, or anything else keto is a slam-dunk for, there’s pretty much no one with more experience to help you than these two long-time keto professionals.  

HEAL Clinics has two options:

1. If you’re taking certain medications for diabetes, you will need to be seen by one of their medical providers in person to get started. (After the initial in-person visit, follow-ups can be done remotely, I think.) Right now, they have clinics in North Carolina and Virginia, but will be expanding into more states over time. (Note: this doesn't mean you have to live in NC or VA to be a HEAL patient, but you would have to travel there for your first visit.)

2. If you have a relatively “uncomplicated” case and are not on certain meds, you can be seen entirely remotely and don’t have to go to one of the clinics in person.

Learn more about the program here: How It Works

Don’t need help with keto? HELP SOMEONE ELSE! You can actually invest in HEAL Clinics. If you want to make trustworthy, safe, reliable, and effective keto-oriented healthcare and coaching available to as many people as possible—so they don’t have to face the criticism, naysaying, and other negativity you might have experienced when you started out—consider investing so that HEAL can keep expanding. The investment is just that: an investment. It’s not a donation, like it is with a Kickstarter or some other form of fundraising. You will actually own stock in the company. And the sad truth is, with 88% of Americans being metabolically unhealthy, reversing illnesses that are entirely or to a great extent driven by diet is a damn wise thing to invest in. We are awash in a tsunami of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, PCOS, Alzheimer’s disease, fatty liver, and other conditions caused or exacerbated by chronic hyperinsulinemia. Keto can go a long way to completely reversing these, or at least having some degree of beneficial impact.

Many of us can do LCHF/keto on our own, but some people need a bit more moral support, and some need professional medical supervision. For those people—and so that Dr. Westman and Jackie can train more doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other medical professionals so that this kind of care can be available to as many people as possible, consider investing if you have the means. And if you’re not in a position to invest, please let your friends and family know about HEAL Clinics, if you think they would benefit from keto, and you want them to do it correctly and safely.

(Full disclosure: I am a HEAL investor, so yes, I’ve put my own money where my mouth is! And no, there's no affiliate link or anything, so I receive no financial compensation whatsoever if any of you happen to invest. I'm just spreading the word about what I hope we can all agree is a good cause.)

See you on March 5!

Disclaimer: Amy Berger, MS, CNS, 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.

February 25, 2019

Keto & ApoE4

Hey All!

If you’ve been around the low carb and keto communities for a while, you might’ve run across the term “ApoE4.” ApoE4 is a gene that increases risk for cardiovascular disease and even more so for Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, if you’re homozygous for ApoE4 (meaning that you have 2 copies of the gene), you have between a 50-90% chance of developing Alzheimer’s. YIKES! That is not something to take lightly, so what’s the deal here? What is ApoE4 and why does it make people so much more susceptible to this frightening form of cognitive decline & impairment? And what are the implications for people following low-carb, high-fat diets? ApoE4 carriers are often cautioned to go lower in dietary saturated fat, but why? Is this truly warranted? Do you have to give up your beloved butter & cheese if you're E4?  

If you’ve heard of the ApoE4 gene and you’re curious about what it is and what it means, or if you know you carry one or two copies of ApoE4, you’ll want to check out my latest video. I cover the basics on what the gene is (it codes for the epsilon-4 [ε4] variant of the apoE protein, short for apolipoprotein E), why this matters, and what to do about it to potentially reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s and the other issues E4s are at greater risk for.

Most of what I know about ApoE4 is in relation to Alzheimer’s, owing to research I did for my book, The Alzheimer’s Antidote, which is about using a ketogenic or LCHF diet as a nutritional intervention for Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive impairment. (Didja know they regularly call Alzheimer's "type 3 diabetes" or "brain insulin resistance?" Now you know why it might be wise to adopt such a dietary approach to support healthy cognitive function.) But I would say that even if you don’t have any ApoE4 genes (the other forms are ApoE2 and ApoE3), or you’re not concerned about Alzheimer’s disease, I encourage you to watch the video anyway, because you might learn something that helps someone you know, and there’s a lot of information in the video that applies to everyone, regardless of your genetics.  

For those of you who prefer to read rather than watch videos, stay tuned. I’ll have a blog post on this in a few weeks. It won’t be a transcript of the video, but it’ll include all the same pertinent information and links to relevant research. But in the meantime, if you can’t wait to learn more and you’d really like to get some clarity on the whole ApoE4 “thing,” hop on over to my YouTube channel and watch the video.

For other videos and podcasts I’ve done on Alzheimer’s, covering issues far beyond ApoE4, you might enjoy these: 

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.

January 15, 2019

The Personal Fat Threshold Concept

Hey Kids!

It’s been ages since I’ve posted what I would call a “real” blog post. Something meaty and educational. Something you can really sink your teeth into. The last one was way back in August, when I wrote about whether protein is bad for the kidneys. (Hint: it’s not.) I’ve posted a few things since then, but nothing all that substantial. I’m glad to say today’s post makes up for lost time, because it is LONG. So grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea (or...*gag*...broth, if you must), put your phone on silent, and dig in.

I’m excited to share this with you. So excited, in fact, that I’ve been procrastinating on writing this for no less than 6 months. In looking at the folder of blog post drafts on my computer, I started jotting down notes for this in July 2018. The reason I kept putting it off is that I knew this was going to be a LONG post—massively long, even for me. But then I gave a talk on this topic at a keto event in Canada in December, so I finally had to organize my thoughts and put them together coherently. Once that was done, I figured it would be easier to get this written, since I could just flesh out the details of what was on the slides. Don’t kid yourselves, though. This still took four days to write and edit. (It’s much faster to talk and show images on slides than it is to type everything out in detail in a blog post!) Nevertheless, I’ve wanted to write this for a long time, so here we finally are. And the benefits a blog post has over a talk is that you can read this at your leisure, click on whatever links you’d like to explore further, and go as deeply down any of those rabbit holes as your heart desires. And to any of you who are happy at such a long post and who prefer reading to watching videos, I’m with you. I started my YouTube channel to bring my message of Keto Without the Crazy™ to a wider audience, but I, myself, prefer reading.    

One of the things I love most about writing my blog is sharing with you, my beloved readers, the fascinating and important things I learn as I deepen my understanding of human metabolism and physiology. The reason they call it “commencement” when you graduate with a degree in something is that it’s the start of your education, rather than the end of it. This has certainly proven true for me since getting my M.S. in nutrition.

One of the most intriguing things I’ve come across recently is the concept of the personal fat threshold. I don’t know who first coined this term, but it appears to have been Roy Taylor and Rury Holman, in their 2015 paper, Normal weight individuals who develop type 2 diabetes: the personal fat threshold. Other researchers wrote about the concept long before this paper, but I think Taylor & Holman were the first to use the phrase personal fat threshold. (Their paper is the first place I ever saw it in print, anyway. A researcher named Keith Frayn wrote some outstanding papers on the same topic years before without using the term. I cite his work liberally throughout this post. If you’d like to read the full text of any of the key papers I cite here, feel free to email me and I’ll send you a copy.)

December 30, 2018

Tuit Nutrition Newsletter!

Hey Everyone,

I am close to helpless when it comes to technology, but after procrastinating out of fear and confusion for over a year, I finally mustered the patience and courage to figure out how to create a mailing list. If you’d like to keep up to date on my upcoming speaking engagements and public appearances (come meet me in person!), and catch up on recent blog posts or videos you might have missed, please sign up here for my newsletter or look at the right sidebar on the homepage of and you’ll see a place to join the list. (What? Videos?! You didn't know I started a YouTube channel? Yep, check it out here.)

What else can you expect in the newsletter? I plan to give thumbs up or thumbs down on nutrition & health books I’m reading, and share about scientific papers Im delving into. (Let me know if you’d like me to keep posting detailed book reviews on the blog, in addition to the quick yays or nays that’ll be in the newsletter.) Maybe I’ll include links to blog posts or other articles I think would be worth your time to read, or recommend someone to follow on Twitter. I might also do product reviews here and there if I’ve come across products or food items I think my audience might like. I don’t have many affiliate links, but if any of these are affiliates—meaning that I would receive a commission from the sale—I will be upfront about that and make that disclosure. If you’ve read my blog or watched my videos, you know I’m a straight-shooter and you can expect honesty from me. What you see is what you get.

The good thing is, I’m not tech-savvy enough to spam you. Wouldnt know how if I wanted to, and I most definitely don’t want to. It took me forever to figure out how to even set up this mailing list! And I have no idea when the first newsletter will go out, or how frequently after that. Right now, the priority is getting back to writing meaty, educational blog posts. But I plan to keep the newsletters relatively short & simple, so I should be able to put something out every few weeks. (“Should” being the key word there, hehheh. I should be able to publish good blog posts more often than I have been the past few months, but alas…)

Thanks for being part of my little corner of the low-carb/keto world, where we aim to keep things simple and sane, and help others learn how to navigate this way of eating without losing their minds or their life savings. Cheers!

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.

December 5, 2018

A Couple More Videos and an Update

Whaddup, y’all?

I am going to get back to writing “real” blog posts soon, I promise!
Just been a bit swamped with travel to speak at a couple of nutrition and health events, plus a move!

First, I spoke at the Weston A. Price Foundation’s annual Wise Traditions Conference. My Alzheimer’s talk was such a hit last year that the president of the foundation asked me to give the same talk again this year. Nice!

I also gave two talks at a keto event in Kingston, Ontario. If you’re in Canada and you’d like to find out when more such events will be taking place in your beautiful country, check out  (They also have a Facebook page where you can get updates.) Videos of both talks will be available soon, and I’ll let you know when they are. One of them was on the concept of the personal fat threshold, and the other was a talk unlike any I’d ever given before. In fact, I think it was unlike any talk anyone has ever given in the keto community. I opened a conversation that is long overdue and brought up some issues I’d love to see us all talking more about. I’ll leave it at that until the video is available to the public and will explain more when the link is live and I can share it. I’m excited to see what you’ll think of it. Like I said, a talk unlike any I’m aware of in 15 years of following a low carb diet.

About the move…
I moved three and a half hours south, from Fredericksburg, VA, to Durham, NC. I’ve been crashing at a friend’s place while I buy furniture and get things settled, because in all the previous places I’d lived in the DC metro area since 2009, I always rented furnished places, so until recently, I owned zero furniture. (Unless a Squatty Potty counts!) Owing to this furniture deficiency and the travel, I’ve been living out of a duffel bag for almost a month. Eek! Even though I was living in Virginia for the past 9 years, now that I’m in North Carolina, I’m definitely in The South™. I’m already a natural at saying “Bless their hearts,” and I look forward to making homemade pimento cheese, because man, that stuff is gooood. (It’s basically keto as is, except if you read labels, many of the prepared ones you can buy at the supermarket have added sugar. It would be delicious without any sweetening at all, but for those who like a hint of sweetness to it, a pinch of Splenda, Swerve, or your low-carb sweetener of choice would mix in just fine. What? Artificial sweeteners? Yes. Yes, I use them. I’ve been using them for 18 years and I’m not dead yet. But maybe tomorrow.)

To pass the time until I post something more substantial, I wanted to share two more videos with you. One was an interview with me about Alzheimer’s recorded at Low Carb Houston. Many of you reading out there have probably already watched some of my other Alz videos (and maybe you’ve even checked out my book). If you’re new to the concept of Alzheimer’s as “type 3 diabetes” or “brain insulin resistance,” this new one is highly recommended. And it’s recommended even if you have already seen some of the other videos. This one is only 25 minutes long, and thanks to the good questions the interviewer asked, we covered a lot of educational information in that time. Here’s the link.

Toward the very end, I buck the keto police and explain that not everyone needs to be on a medically therapeutic ketogenic diet. We can’t deny the millions (billions?) of healthy people around the world who age gracefully and with their cognitive faculties intact who do not follow ketogenic diets. They eat fruit, they eat beans, they even … *gasp!* … eat grains. So no, a strict keto diet is not the only way to be healthy and maintain a body weight you’re happy with. (I have to find a new way to talk about weight, because I’d rather not use the phrases “healthy body weight” or “normal body weight.” I know people who are heavy and healthy, and people who are thin and quite sick. [In fact, this is exactly what the personal fat threshold is all about.] And who the heck gets to decide what a “normal” weight is, anyway? Certainly not me!) Yes, you can stick to 20g of carbs a day for the rest of your life if you enjoy that and it works for you. But many people have a higher carb tolerance than that. And not only can they “tolerate” more carbs, but they might actually feel better, physically and mentally/emotionally, with a bit more carbs in their diet. (Read this old favorite post for more on this. And here’s a video from my new YouTube channel on the topic of keto police in general.)

I’ve gotta say, I think I look pretty good here! I should wear bold makeup more often! (I would like to; the fact is, I’m usually just too lazy to take the time to apply it before grabbing my purse and heading out the door. Plus, I never really learned how to apply makeup correctly. I go into Sephora and I honestly have no idea what half the products are even for, let alone how to put them on my face without making myself look like a clown, or look 30 years older than I am. Anyone know any good YouTube makeup tutorial channels for normal people? I’m open to recommendations.) I should also probably smile more. That’s really the best makeup anyone can wear anyway.

The second video I’d like to share is even shorter (less than 22 minutes), and it’s also about Alzheimer’s. I make a few short cameo appearances, and there are appearances by some of my favorite Alzheimer’s researchers, Stephen Cunnane, PhD, Dale Bredesen, MD, and Mary Newport, MD. I cite and celebrate their work in my book and in every Alz talk I’ve given. The video is extremely well done and provides a fabulous overview of the metabolic aspects of Alzheimer’s, the latest research, and the therapeutic potential of ketogenic diets and exogenous ketones. (Link to the video here.)

About the next “real” post: I plan my next blog post to be on the topic of the personal fat threshold. There’s a sneak peek in this video I did a few months ago, but the blog post will dive a little deeper and will contain links to relevant research for those of you who’d like to learn more. (Or to verify that I’m not making this stuff up out of thin air. I try not to do that unless someone is paying me obscene amounts of money to do so.) I suspect this post will take a while to write, and if time gets away from me and I’d rather not go too long without anything new on the blog, I might post a book review or two. I’ve read several good nutrition books since the last book review post, and those are usually pretty quick to write. (See here for all the book review posts.)

If you’re into videos, don’t forget about my YouTube channel. Half ranting and half information that I hope is educational and helpful. (Kind of like my blog!)  

Back soon to what I love best: writing.

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.