The Sami paradox or how to dismiss a traditional low carb, high protein diet

 

This blog post concerns the Nordic, aboriginal Sami diet and health. The traditional Sami diet can be summarized as a mainly animal based, paleo diet with some fat reindeer milk added to it. I will focus on three recent documents, a dissertation/thesis on Sami diet and health, a document from the Sami Council on traditional Sami cooking and a recently conducted radioisotope analysis of a 500 year old skeleton of a Sami woman.

Recently a Swedish observational study made headlines throughout the world. It claimed that every bite of protein that replaced a carbohydrate bite would kill you off earlier compared to high carb eaters. Denise Minger has dissected that study here. http://rawfoodsos.com/2012/07/01/bad-science-strikes-again/

But here is the funny thing: The aboriginal Swedish Sami population has been eating a low carb and a very protein rich diets for millennia One estimate is about 20 E% carbs, 47 E% protein, 33 E% fat. Even if I consider this specific estimate overestimating the protein content compared to the fat content, the traditional Sami diet was no doubt a high protein diet. Samis have for centuries been renown for their good health, longevity and vitality and by the mid 20th century they had 50 % less frequency of cardiovascular disease/stroke compared to ethnic Swedes.

There are even earlier reports on the exceptional Sami health. This one is from S Rehn in 1671:

And as they are not known to be struck by serious diseases, thus they live to a high age, some to 70, 80, 90 or 100 or more and in their old age they are agile, quick to do their daily tasks and to travel and run in the woods and over land. They seldom get gray hair.”

Another report comes from one of the greatest scientist in Swedish history, Carl Linnaeus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Linnaeus the inventor of Systema Naturae, the system for classifying different species and families of plants and animals, still used to day. In 1732 he made his six month long trip to Lapland in northern Sweden where he studied its biology and its people.

Picture: Linnaeus depicted on the Swedish 100 Crown bill)

 

 

Picture: A much younger Linnaeus on his travel to Lappland in a traditional Sami dress.

In the quote from Linnaeus, he uses the term “Lapp” to describe a Sami. That was the term used in his time and I have kept it in my translation even though the word “lapp” in modern Swedish is about as politically incorrect as describing African Americans with the n-word. Anyway this is what he had to say about Sami diet and health compared to an agriculturalist, South Swedish diet:

 “A Northern Lapp lives only of meat, fish and poultry and hence becomes small, thin, light, nimble. A farmer, however, in Sweden’s southern provinces of the Skåne plains, eating peas, very much buckwheat porridge, and whose diet consists mostly of vegetable flour dishes, becomes tall, well built, stiff, strong and then heavy [meaning overweight/obese] ”

 “The Northern Lapp does not eat bread but is an example of good health. I saw old men about 60 years of age running around in the mountains like children, even able to put their foot on their necks. My conclusion is that it is because the absence of bread. Everyone eating bread has an obstructed stomach.

 Now isn’t that just amazing? About two hundred years before anyone knew about carbohydrates and it’s effect on insulin and IGF-1, Linnaeus correctly observes a correlation between carbohydrates, height and obesity later in life. He also observes a correlation between bread, stiffness and problems with the gastro intestinal tract. I would really like to have Linnaeus with us today, discussing bread on a prime time TV-show together with Dr William Davis or posting on his Wheat Belly Blog. Linnaeus and Rehn described early what is the Sami paradox – a bread free, animal based, low carb diet leading to longevity and good health.

Recently a thorough analysis including isotope analysis was performed on a 500 year old Sami female skeleton from Gransjön, Jämtland. The reserchers conluded that she did not have any sign of dental karies in her teeth or show any signs of iron deficiency, both conditions that was very usual among people in the cities from the same time eating a high carb, grain based diet. The isotope analysis were also consitant with a quite low carb, animal based diet. It showed, by analysing teeth that form during different time in childhood and analysing the skeleton wich renews itself every 15 years, that her diet went more carnivorous as she aged. The findings were also in line with a diet of animal sorces from both land and sea.

So just like the conventional wisdom of dieting has had to deal with the French, the Swiss, the Massai and the Israeli paradox they had to face the Sami paradox – How can a population eating a low carb, high protein diet be so healthy? Well, the answer is of cause that you pick data from an observation study in the 21st century when practically no one is eating a true Sami diet any longer and reach the conclusion that the Sami diet had nothing to do with their good health.

Now before we get started on this subject, let me declare that I am not a proponent of a high protein diet. My current opinion is that people who are overweight or/and have metabolic syndrome/diabetes/pre-diabetes do better on a low carb, high fat diet (LCHF). I do however believe that a high protein diet based on whole foods can be a healthy diet for people without any metabolic condition (and without any condition that impairs kidney function).

Now let´s start. The original Sami diet, what was it? The Sami people are most renown for their reindeers but probably for most Samis, many of which did not keep reindeers at all, hunting and especially fishing, mainly trout and other fatty fish, made up the bulk of the diet. It is also worth noting that reindeer herding changed a lot during the 20th century from small scale focusing on keeping reindeers for milking them to larger herds geared toward meat production.

Reindeers produce small amounts of milk compared to cows but it is a lot fatter.

 

The Sami lives in an area called Sapmí in the North of Sweden, Norway, Finland and parts of the Kola peninsula in Russia.

Many still lives in the Northern part of Sweden but most of the Sami has adopted a western lifestyle and I have anecdotally been told that the Swedish municipality with the largest Sami population at present is Stockholm City, the capitol of Sweden. There is no way of knowing for sure since ethnic registration in public records was outlawed in Sweden after the second world war, for obvious reasons.

Anyway, the Sami people lived far up North in Sweden, from about the latitude of Anchorage, Alaska and further North, somewhat warmer than Alaska thanks to the warmth from the Gulf stream, without many edible vegetables or fruits. Among the few edeible vegetables were Angelica .

Both the green parts and the root were eaten. It was also used as a preservative for storing reindeer milk in buried containers to ferment in the chill mountain ground. The inner bark of the pine tree were processed and eaten as a vitamin C supplement. A lot of different herbs were used for medical purposes and for making tea.

Edible berries included blueberries, buckthorn (very rich in vitamin C), lingonberries (lingonberry jam might be found at your nearest IKEA store) and the amber colored cloud-berries (make sure to try it if you ever visit Sweden, Norway, Finland, Northern Russia, Canada or Alaska). Lingonberries and cloud-berries contains natural, acidic preservatives that makes them easy to store for quite a while.

 

Actually, there is an indigenous Sami word for grain flour so it is possible that some kind of wild grain have been harvested in small amounts even in ancient times. In more recent history Samis traded small amount of grain flour from the surrounding agriculturalist. From the flour they made unleavened bread and some blood dishes. Leavened breads only became popular quite late at the end of the 19th century.

Still, there were not that many carbs around. No Seven Eleven to stop by for a quick snack flushed down with a Big Gulp of sugary soda while herding your reindeers on the mountain. The traditional Sami diet was low carb by default with no need to send out food frequency questionnaires to confirm it.

 Now this lengthy post [Yes, You ain't seen nothing yet!] is mainly based on three documents:

1. “Sami lifestyle and health – epidemiological studies from northern Sweden”a recent dissertation by Lena Maria Nilsson, Umeå university, available in English full text here: http://umu.diva-portal.org/(The abstract is also available translated to Swedish and four Sami languages.)

 2. “Samisk mat” [Sami food], a document in Swedish published by the Swedish Sami Council at http://www.samer.se/3539 documenting traditional, animal based Sami food. Unfortunately it is only available in Swedish but I guess you could read similar descriptions of how the whole animal was used for food, clothes and shelter in documentation of native Americans and Canadians use of the bison and the caribou. Nothing was wasted. (Wikipedia has a page on modern Sami cuisine)

2. The isotope analysis of a 500 year old, female skeleton from Gransjön, Jämtland made by archaeologists Marcus Fjällström and Gunilla Eriksson It is also in Swedish and not online: http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:503244

Any one interested in paleo and low carb diets should read the very informative first parts of Lena Maria Nilssons thesis that describes the background about Sami diet and health. I think she has done some really important job in interviewing a old Sami people about what the Sami diet was like in 1930-1950, information that would have otherwise been lost forever. One of the important findings is that fat fish played a far greater role in the Sami diet than has been assumed for long time. It was assumed to consist mainly of reindeer meat and offal. The rest of the thesis are about recently conducted observational studies that I think are quite meaningless, trying to link Sami dietary patterns to Viagra health in a time when there is almost no one eating a traditional Sami diet any longer.

During the 20th century the Samis were getting more and more integrated/assimilated into the society dominated by “ethnic Swedes”. Their diet gradually became more similar to the standard Swedish diet. Their children went to school and later kindergartens where Swedish high carb foods were served. Consumption of fat fish among the Samis declined as did consumption from offal from reindeer and hunted animals.

he expansion of hydroelectric power plants and dams in most of the major rivers in the north of Sweden probably contributed to making it harder to sustain a diet based on fat fish. The tradition of milking reindeers ended about the mid 20th century. The same changes in diet that happened to the “ethnic” Swedes in general also effected the Sami population. Sugar consumption increased dramatically and so did the quality of grain based products. Highly processed white wheat flour with a higher glycemic index and more starch, milled with steel rolls gradually replaced grains like rye, barley and oats milled with stone-rolls. Leavened bread replaced unleavened bred to a large extent.

Now here is where I think Nilssons thesis comes crashing down. She finds some dietary pattern that are still more frequent in the Sami population compared to other Swedes in general, such as a higher (but not as high as before) consumption of fatty fish and a lower intake of bread, fibre and vegetables (but not as low as before). From this she creates a Sami diet score system similar to the Mediterranean diet score. By the way this score also includes consumption of boiled coffee. For some reason the Samis got the taste for coffee when it was introduced in Sweden in the 18th century and begun consuming it in high quantities. Swedes in general drink brewed coffee but Samis are more likely to drink boiled coffee

But if we leave the coffee aside, the big problem is that you can’t investigate the health potential of a Sami diet when it no longer exists. Studies from the mid 20th century, while most Samis still had eaten a traditional diet for the better part of their lives showed a clear health benefit when it comes to western diseases like cardiovascular disease and most cancers.

More recent studies show that lifespan and health of Samis and “ethnic Swedes” has now converged. In her thesis Nilsson is quick to draw the following conclusion from that fact: “The relatively good health status of the Sami population is therefore probably not attributable to the studied aspects [diet] of the “traditional Sami” lifestyle…”

Here are my major objections to that conclusion. My hypothesis would rather be something like this: As long as the Samis stayed on a diet that could actually be described as a traditional Sami diet, they staid healthy, in fact a lot healthier than “ethnic” Swedes. As their diet deteriorated and became more like the standard Swedish diet with a lot of sugar and grains the Sami health started to deteriorate even faster then when “ethnic Swedes” ate a similar diet.

The thing is that Samis are aboriginal people with a long history of a hunter and gatherer diet kind of living. The scientific debate goes on and the jury is still out on this one, but today it seems more likely that the spread of agriculture to the Nordic countries was not only a spread of memes (ideas) but also a spread of genes… or to put it in another way, the invading agriculturalists from the south, the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East to a large extent replaced the hunter and gatherers that had lived in Northern Europe before.

 According to DNA research “ethnic Swedes” has, just like almost all people in Europe, substantial genetic traits that points to major influence from agriculturalist from the Fertile Crescent (one exception to this is the Finnish people who show relatively low genetic influence from agriculturalists and whose language is related to the different Sami languages). The Sami people does not show genetic influence from the early agriculturalists and DNA research suggest that they are decendents of hunters and gatherers.

The reasons this is important in this discussion is because there is some evidence that the early agriculturalists from the Fertile Crescent seems to have required some genetic adaptations to eating a grain based diet and still stay relatively healthy for most of their lives.

Aboriginal hunters and gatherers on the other hand seem to be less adapted to eating a grain based and sugary Western diet. They are much more prone to get Western diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers earlier in life when they eat a Western diet. Jennie C Brand-Miller, an Australian researcher famous for her research on glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) has put forward her carnivore connection hypothesis to explain this phenomena. The hypothesis postulates that insulin resistance might have provided an evolutionary advantage for hunter and gatherers eating a low carb diet, but today is detrimental to their heath when eating a Western diet.

So even if there still are some vague traces left from the traditional Sami diet in the modern Sami diet such as a somewhat higher consumption of fish and meat, the higher content of easily digestible carbs in the modern Sami diet might very well be more detrimental to Sami health, even though it is still somewhat lower in carbs than the standard Swedish diet. The modern Sami diet has simply hit its carb roof where it is equally detrimental to Sami health as the somewhat higher carb diet is to “etnic Swedes”. If you believe there is some relevance to Brand-Miller’s carnivore connection hypothesis then the Sami health may soon very well be worse than that of ethnic Swedes as traditional Sami food patterns give way for the standard Swedish diet.

The reason this has yet not happened might be that the reindeer herding Samis have had at least some protection in Swedish law making it somewhat easier for them to maintain a more traditional lifestyle and food pattern while many other aboriginal people in different parts of the World have been forced to abandon their traditional lifestyle and diets.

A nomadic, herding lifestyle clashes with the Western, capitalist concept of owning land. (Oops, did I just loose some GOP and libertarian readers there?). Even if the reindeer herding Samis have the basic right to herd their animals where reindeer herding has been practised since ancient times it is often difficult to prove when landowners refute it since the Samis has not kept public records dating back hundreds of years. The efforts to preserve the wolf population in Sweden also effects the reindeer herding.

In 1986 the North of Sweden was hit hard by the radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident in Ukraine. Most of the reindeer meat and berries were declared unsuitable for human consumption for many years. The government provided some basic economical compensation for this disaster but it was a hard blow to the reindeer. (Worth mentioning here is that native American/Canadian tribes in an act of solidarity sent emergency relief to the Samis consisting of meats and berries.)

 The traditional Sami diet and its effect on health deserves a more thorough investigation. We have enough historical records pointing to it beeing a more healthy diet than the currently recommended, grainbased My Plate diet. To simply dismiss the traditional Sami diet as having nothing to do with good health, based on uncertain, observational studies made in a time when practically no one eats it any longer, is both unwise and disrespectful.

The Sami diet deserves to be investigated in a conclusive interventional study. An small intevention study has been made in Australia where aboriginal people that were diabetic and obese was put back to their traditional hunter and gatherer diet. It showed that their health improved. A similar study has been made in Vancouver, Canada among native Canadians and it’s been described in the film ”My Big Fat Diet”.

Sadly Sweden has a long tradition of disrespect and full blown racism towards the Samis. In the Swedish encyclopedia ”Nordisk Familjebok”, present in every Swedish school during the early 20th century, Samis were discribed as greedy, stubborn, suspicious, hunched backed and walking in a silly, wagging way, having protruding ears, unpleasent squeaky voices, ugly, filthy and smelling bad.

So even if nazism never went big in Sweden and we were by pure luck not invaded by Hitler, we still have our share of a dark, racist past. In fact Sweden was the first country in the World to start a governmentally funded institute for racial biology in 1922. They went on to do measurements of head circumference of both living Samis and plundering some Sami graves while at the task of proving white, Caucasian superiority.

 But to finish this long blog post in a positive way, there is hope. The 500 year old female Sami skeleton was tuned back to the local Sami community to be reburied after the isotope analysis that learned us a lot about the traditiona Sami diet and health was concluded. In 2006 a Swedish museum finally decided it was time to return a totem pole stolen from the Haisla tribe in Canada and the Swedish NHL Hall of Fame ice hockey player Börje Salming, a long time player for Montreal Maple Leaves and of Sami decent was chosen as one of the people to return it.

The traditional Sami diet, as well as other aboriginal diets effect on health, deserves to be tested seriously in high quality, interventional, scientific studies head to head with the grain based diet that is today recommended throughout the world by authorities.

/Per Wikholm

PS. OMG… How could I forget I should have ended this post with this amazing cartoon by Jenny Holmlund?

Picture:  Sami mom: “Look children, an ethnic Swede!”

Sami boy: “Is it true you live in over leveraged houses?” [mortgages far over their real value]

Sami girl: “And that all your clothes are made by children on the other side of the Earth?”

Sami boy: “And that you only eat industrial processed foods?”

My LCHF buddy the gorilla


Ever since I was a little kid I have always been fascinated by the great apes; chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas. As a proponent of an animal based Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) living we have an obvious problem here. For a long time the gorilla has been portrait as the ultimate argument for a vegan lifestyle. If you want to grow strong and vibrant as a gorilla, it seems logical that you should eat a plant-based diet just like the gorilla does.

And that is of course very true…provided you were born as a gorilla. So here comes the really bad news for all you vegans hanging around this web site. If you can actually read this blog, the chances that you were born a gorilla are really low. The gorilla grows strong on a mainly vegan diet but a human does not. Just as your pet rabbit might thrive and grow healthy on a plant based diet, that does not mean your pet cat will be healthy on it. And by the way, I strongly advise against putting your rabbit on an animal based LCHF diet even if that might be the healthiest diet for you.

The thing here is this: In different species the input of food in your mouth is not the same as the output of food nutrients to your body. A cow can eat grass and get a lot of nutrients from it but if a human does the same thing it will pass right through with almost no nutrients being absorbed by the body. It is all about how the gastrointestinal tract is constructed in different species. So that is why a gorilla grows muscular, healthy and vibrant on a plant-based diet but vegan humans trying to do the same trick tend to look weak, skinny and pale. Now most of the vegans give up on the diet in a few years. Only a few persists and can be divided into two major categories :

1)Those who eat whole plant food and stay away from highly processed industrial food. They still look weak and pale but can remain reasonably healthy if they take their vitamin B12 supplement.
2)Those who think Coca Colas, donuts, muffins and other highly processed foods are OK as long as they are based on plants. These vegans might actually, over time develop a waistline somewhat resembling that of a gorilla. Unfortunately, this is not a definite proof that you are a gorilla or that your gastrointestinal tract works anyway like a gorilla’s.

So, back to the gorillas. What do they put in their mouths and what nutritional output does it result in after the food have been processed in their gastrointestinal tract? The gorilla mainly eats highly fibrous leafy vegetables and some wild fruits that are not even closely as sugary as the highly bred fruit you will find in your grocery store. The impressive gorilla waistline is due to them having a far bigger gastrointestinal tract and foremost a greater capacity for fermentation of fibers in their colon. So this is the best guess scientist have of the macro nutrients the gorilla gets out of their food measured as per cent of energy intake:

Carbohydrate 15,8 %
Protein 24,3 %
Fat 2,5 %
SCFA 57,3 %

So, lets see here…15,8 % of energy from carbs. Sounds like a decent low carb diet. 24,3 % from protein also sounds like something from a low carb diet. Fat 2,5 % sounds very low but then comes this astonishing figure of 57,3 % of energy coming from SCFA. So what then is SCFA? It stands for Short Chain Fatty Acids. And guess what – it is short chains of the vilified saturated fats. Actually as long as you are in the macronutrient business, there is no reason at all to make a difference between fat and SCFA:s. They are all fats. So actually the gorilla vegan diet, at the end of the day results in digesting about 60 % fat and the bulk of it from saturated fats.
That is why I call the gorilla my LCHF companion!

Objections, anyone? Yes, free, short chain saturated fatty acids are processed somewhat different in our bodies than the long chain triglycerides of saturated fats we get from animal foods. Free, short chain fatty acids can be used directly by our cells as fuel while triglycerides of fat has a tendency to get stored in our fatty tissues first. However, this is not a problem for a human body that is in energy balance and eats a low carb diet that does not result in the blood sugar roller coaster ride that a high carb diet most often results in. With stable blood sugar levels and above all stable insulin levels in your body, the fat deposited in your fat cells will be available to be used as energy. On a diet high in carbs and with a high glycemic index your body fat will be locked in by the insulin and unavailable to the body. Your body experience starvation even though you have a lot of extra energy reserves in your fat tissue.

By the way, the most saturated fat on this planet happens to be coconut oil. It is mostly medium chain fatty acids and takes yet another route in your body. It goes to the liver and is converted to ketones that can be used as fuel to your cells. But all the fat, no matter if it is short chain, medium chain or long chain will end up as fat in your fat tissues if you lock it in by eating a high carb diet.

So let us once again get back to the gorillas. How do they end up getting 57 % of their energy from saturated fats by eating mostly veggies that most government food authorities around the world recommends just because they are low in fats? The answer is that bacteria in the gorilla colon ferments the fiber in the food and turns it into short chain saturated fatty acids. That is great! Only problem is that they have to spend most of the day chewing leaves. But even that is all OK by me. I would happily accept sitting there in the jungle eating leafs all day long instead of my daytime work answering phone calls and e-mails…at least for a Buy Viagra couple or weeks or so. Only problem is that I would not get the same nutritional output of the gorilla diet. Humans can only ferment and retrieve a small fraction of the energy in fibers. I know that the Swedish Food Administration for the next revision of their food database will be counting on that only 1 % of the energy in fibers can be utilized by humans. This is of cause an average number – the amount of fermentation to SCA depends on the type of fiber and the individual gut flora also plays a role. Studies have concluded that the contribution from the human colon is about 2-9 % of our total energy, a lot lower then 57 % of energy suggested for the gorilla.

The reason for this is that our ancestors made an evolutionary trade-off making the gastrointestinal tract shorter in order to afford a bigger brain. Both organs are very expensive in terms of energy consumption so it would be difficult for an animal to have both a big, human-like brain and a big gorilla-like gastrointestinal tract. During the evolution our ancestors went out on the African savannah but gorillas remained in the jungle. For a bipedal creature out on the savannah it is an obvious advantage to have a smaller belly, which makes running and walking long distances a lot easier. To be able to do this evolutionary trade-off our ancestors had to change their diet and make their food intake more nutrient-dense. The first apparent adaption was to increase consumption of animal based food. The next was the invention of cooked food which made nutrients from both animal and plant based food more accessible for digestion.

So the gorilla diet and the human diet has diverged for about 7 million years or so. Still, before the event of agriculture about 10 000 years ago there was still some similarities between gorilla food and human food.

Neither gorillas nor humans ate grains (grass seeds) on a regular basis or in any amount worth mentioning from a nutritional standpoint.
Neither gorillas nor humans ate refined sugar at all. Yes, if we got hold of honey we surely ate it but that did not happen very often. And yes, we ate fruits seasonally but fruits and berries found in nature tend to be a lot less sweet than the fruits you find at the grocery store.

So what happens to human health if you introduce processed grains and sugary food on a massive scale into the diet? We suffer poor health. We get cavities in our teeth. There is a lot of archeological evidence showing that hunter gatherers had better dental health than did populations of early agriculturalists. Recently there was a story of Egyptian mummies showing signs of heart disease. Now it was not the ordinary guy that got mummified. It was the upper class who could hope for this procedure, guaranteeing eternal life with the goods. They had access to the finest milled wheat flour and a lot of honey. And honey, by the way, is from a nutritional standpoint very similar to table sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup. You could say that the Egyptian upper class was the first ones to eat a western diet and the first ones to suffer from established heart disease.

In the early 20th century finely, steel-milled wheat flour and refined sugar were beginning to be economically accessible to the majority of people in the Western world. Sugar consumption sky rocketed. Some decades later an unprecedented rise in cardiovascular disease happened.

So what then happens to gorilla health if you introduce a lot of finely milled grains and sugar to their diet? This very unethical experiment has actually been carried out in zoo’s around the world. It results in gorillas getting obese. In 2005 a 21-year-old gorilla died of heart failure at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. And the people at the zoo found signs of heart disease in other gorillas as well. So the first response to this was obvious: Put the gorillas on medications! But later on someone came up with the brilliant idea to actually change their very unnatural diet. Animal Planet reports on the story here.

Instead of the high-sugar and high-starch food that zoos have fed gorillas for years, the Cleveland zoo now serves wheelbarrows full of romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, endive, alfalfa and bananas stuffed with multivitamins. And guess what – the gorillas lost weight.

Before that the zoo probably feed the gorillas something called primate chow, dominated by ingredients a gorilla would never or very rarely eat in the wild. Just look at the list of major ingredients in Zupreems brand of primate chow:

Ground corn, Soybean meal, Cracked wheat, Sucrose,Wheat germ meal, Animal fat, Dried whole egg

The list goes on with added vitamins and minerals. Gorillas in the wild never eat corn, soybeans, wheat or sucrose. If they occasionally stumble on an egg they will probably eat it, though. This formula is dominated by starchy foods gorillas never eat. Probably the guy who composed this formula reasoned somewhat like this: Primates eat a lot of carbs in the form of fibrous vegetables and fruit in the wild…and since starch and sucrose are also carbs we might as well use that in our formula. But as we learned fibers are digested in a completely other way then other carbs.

So this food probably effects the gorillas the very same way it would effect humans. The easily accessible carbs in the starchy and sugary food will send their blood sugar on a roller coaster ride making them to get hungry and overeat. The insulin spikes will stop fat from being used as fuel and promote lipogenesis (the making of fat from carbohydrates). Still, according to conventional wisdom the gorillas where given a healthy diet, mainly based on grains and legumes, low in fat and salt.

So based on all this, what would you regard to be the most likely dietary factors responsible for heart disease in humans? I will give you three alternatives:
1.Saturated fat and cholesterol
2.Salt
3.Easily digestible starch and sugars

Did you answer alternative 1 or 2? Congratulations, You are qualified to be a member of the expert committee that will do the revision of the USDA dietary guidelines 2015!

/Per Wikholm

Don’t feed the keto-stix pusher!

For control-freaks like me, beginning with LCHF brought an unexpected pleasure. You could buy little strips and dip them in your urine and get a color-coded answer how many keton-bodies were in there. A dark red meant you were doing well, a pale pink meant something in your diet needed tweaking. I went through more packs of keto-sticks in my first LCHF-year than I am comfortable admitting.

But gradually the dark red went away, and I was stuck on the little-or-no-ketons pink. No matter how much I tweaked my way of eating, lived on steak, egg and butter, nothing. Pretty in pink all the way.

In this situation, there are three ways of reacting: worry yourself sick, keep tweaking or simply not give a damn. So, of course, I found a fourth way – research and check the facts.

It so happens that what the ketosticks measure is not whether you’re in ketosis or not. They only measure the amount of keto-bodies in your urine. Which in turn means that if you’re so adapted to running your metabolism on fat, you’ll use up your ketons and nothing spills over into the urine. Which means little or no result from your stick, no matter how many times you bring however many sticks into the bathroom…

Every single person, even inveterate carb-browsers, will be Buy Cialis in ketosis during the night. This is how your body keeps your blood sugar level up when you’re between eating food that raises your blood sugar. The trick isn’t to enter ketosis, it is staying there. Ketosis isn’t an absolute science. It depends not just on how many carbs you eat per day, it also depends on how many carbs you eat at any one time. Dr Gregory Ellis suggests that there’s a break-off at 25% carbs of your daily energy intake.

As a rule of thumb: eating less than 100g of carbohydrates spread out through the day will likely keep you in ketosis. Eating less than 20-30g of carbohydrates (which is where I tend to end up in my everyday life) it’ll be difficult not to be in ketosis. If you eat even less carbs than that… Regardless of the color of your keto-stick.

So, if you’re a long-term low-carber you might decide not to fork over more cash to your keto-stick supplier. Use them if you need to change or tweak your diet, if you are getting back after being derailed into the carb swamp. By all means use them if you’re getting a kick out of urinating on a stick. But, really, do you need proof that your body is up and running on optimal fuel?

/Katarina Wikholm