I''m going try to start doing a more informal update on the blog combining what I've been up to with hard nutritional and fitness science.
This keeps it easier to write more frequently and it's something I just like to do.
What a week it's been. There was a buzz around the office because we were preparing for our free diabetes screening programme at Southampton Football Club before the Saints Cardiff game. This was the first of its kind nationwide and received a lot of media attention. We met some fantastic people and luckily my table didn't actually pick up any active diabetes.
Yours truly even made the news.
There were some however who were not so lucky. We managed to detect undiagnosed diabetes in a number of patients. Such people without such an initiative may not have had it picked up for many more years.
I always try to stress when it comes to your health, ignorance certainly is not bliss. The longer conditions remain undiagnosed the more damage they can inflict. Diabetes can eff...
Ketogenic (or keto diet) diets are one of the latest dietary trends to sweep the diet market. The idea is you reduce your carbohydrate intake to below 50g per day allowing your body to shift mostly to fat as it’s primary energy source.
During usual metabolism the muscles and organs use a combination of glucose and fat as it’s main energy sources. The central nervous system on the other hand uses only glucose as it’s fuel source.
During periods of very low carbohydrate intake glucose is unavailable meaning our body’s need to think fast. Luckily it has an answer. Our body’s begin metabolising more fatty acids for energy.
Usually fat metabolism follows a sequence of events which ultimately provides energy. During periods of low glucose availability this sequence is disrupted. Some of the fat is converted to glucose in the liver to help with glucose supply. With the usual process of fat breakdown disrupted the liver needs to find an alternative way of meeting...
My blog ideas seem to start with some form of education session during the day job. Particularly in type 2 education. We get quite a mixture of patients from the rather ambivalent to highly engaged. Some are so engaged they look into various diets to help them manage their condition. Sometimes with tremendous success.
One of the more popular diets I encounter is the intermittent fasting diet. This is likely common because it gets so much media attention. Michael Mosley in particular has made such diets extremely popular and specifically positions them for type 2 diabetes management.
A very quick google is abundant with websites on intermittent fasting and it’s benefits. But does it actually work?
Today I am going to look at the evidence behind intermittent fasting and whether it’s a diet you should be following.
What is intermittent fasting?
There is no true system of intermittent fasting. The principles is based on two systems. Either reducing the amount of calories you eat on some day...
The effect of saturated fat on CVD outcomes. The debate put to bed
What’s the truth about dietary saturated fat intake and cardiovascular disease risk (CVD) risk? This is a topic we cover during my frequent diabetes education sessions. This is because diabetes significantly increases your risk of developing cardiovascular complications.
Usually I go through the spill of reducing saturated fat and increasing the ‘good unsaturated fatty acids to improve heart health. However, something has never sat right with me. This is because there has been conflicting messages in the media and amongst my fellow healthcare professionals about the role of diet and CVD risk.
Therefore, I found myself presenting on topics in good faith. Good faith the talks I have inherited from my healthcare services are up to date and reflect the best evidence. The problem is I hadn’t looked this up for myself. So when questions arise in my sessions challenging the information I felt somewhat uncomfortable....
Type 1 diabetes is a tricky condition to manage. Improving blood glucose levels can be difficult. It truly is a 24 hour condition that requires attention every single day. This makes it difficult for some patients to manage, particularly if their glucose levels aren't where they would like them to be.
Unlike other conditions, type 1 diabetes is mostly patient led. They are in charge of testing glucose levels, calculating insulin doses, identifying trends and ultimately making conditions about their condition. As healthcare professionals, we are there to help and advise but at the end of the day the patient will be the expert in their condition. Together we can go about improving blood glucose levels.
However, something I regularly see in my practice is type 1 diabetes patients struggling to get their glucose levels consistent. Many patients I see experience large variability and erratic glucose control whereby their levels swing from high to low on a regular basis. Alternatively, they ca...
High intensity interval training (HIIT) has been the buzz in the fitness industry for a number of years now. The principle is simple. High intensity exercise pushes you out of your comfort zone for short periods of time.
In turn, your body releases stress hormones conducive to fat burn and improving overall fitness. Great for the time pressed individual who needs quick yet effective exercise. And I agree with all of this. It's a good training tool.
But here's my gripe with HIIT. Many professionals demonise other training methods like cardio saying it is ineffective. Moreover, they will compare athletes like cross fit athletes with endurance athletes like Mo Farrah and say which do you think is better for you.
The problem is, Mo Farrah isn't trying to build muscle. In fact, he's trying to do the opposite. Mo Farrah would whip almost anyone else on the planets butt in a flat out endurance event. An elite athlete. A cardiovascular system off the scale. So to suggest this...
Here's my latest blog in video format. If you have been newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes now is the time to act. Countless times I come across patients told nothing more than they have diabetes. No further emphasis was placed on the changes they can make to manage the condition. In my opinion, we as healthcare professionals need to be having these conversions with people. Stressing the importance of lifestyle change rather than presenting it in an implied manner.
Yes, patients after diagnosis get a referral to community services for education. However, type 2 diabetes seems to be something that people just accept is their fate. It doesn't have to be this way. With making lifestyle adjustments you can make significant improvements in your condition and some can even push it into remission. We need to be stressing this to people. Like any good sales pitch, for someone to buy into what you are saying you have to make the point compelling.
I'm in a very lovely waiting room reading the latest addition of Vogue magazine seeing what the latest is with Beyonce when my name is called and I'm led through for my appointment. Welcomed to the room, it dawns on me, I need to think about my lifestyle choices.
See, the last few weeks have been crazy for me. Usually I'm very consistent with my diet, my exercise and my general lifestyle but recently a few things have changed which have presented some barriers to living the life I am accustomed to.
It all started back in August, when following a long standing pelvis, hip and back pain issue, the GP referred me for some scans and an appointment with one of the surgeons at my local hospital.
So as I'm led through from the waiting room to see the surgeon, I was expecting the usual "nothing to see here speech".
You can imagine my surprise when the surgeon diagnosed me with arthritis of the hip and explained possible surgery is required.
I'm sat in my kitchen, coffee brewing, trying to decide what to write about this afternoon when my girlfriend kindly serves me my pasta and chicken lunch. Then it hits me, CARBS! Lets talk about carbohydrates.
In my day to day job as a diabetes dietitian carbohydrates are key for optimal glycaemic control for my patients. So I've come to learn a thing or two about carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates get bad press. Typically, they are associated with weight gain with seemingly every celebrity endorsing cutting them out to achieve that celeb body. But what is it about carbohydrates which predisposes them to weight gain?
The truth is, carbohydrates aren't necessarily the bad guy or associated with weight gain. Instead, it is the portions of carbohydrates that people choose to eat which cause an excess calorie intake which consequently leads to weight gain.
Carbohydrate is umbrella term for several sub categories of food. The first of is known as starchy carbohydrates. Classic examples of...