Sunday, July 24, 2011

Back on line

OK, BT have set up a string and two tin cans to our village and Virgin Media are providing copper wire broadband, which is reasonably fast. So we're back on line.

It's time to start vegetables in excess of the onions and tomatoes in the beef mince on to which our daughter is rapidly weaning herself. After a false start with simple vegicide (Q. How much broccoli can a 7 month old baby hold in her mouth before spitting the whole lot out in disgust? A. Quite a lot) we tried the cocoa bean.

This has been somewhat more successful at 74% of solids plus a little sucrose:

And this is her big brother, end result of feeding as much saturated fat as practical to someone who, embarrassingly, actually loves fruit and broccoli!


BTW, we have also unpacked the scales. I haven't weighed myself for nearly a year and appear to have dropped from around 64kg to just below 63kg. That BMI is below 20. Time for some overeating methinks!


Anonymous said...

Thrifty cocoa bean tip.
Aldi do 125 gms of 85% cocoa fat for 99 pence.

David Isaak said...

Not surprised someone raised on large dollops of sat fat loves fruits and broccoli.

It's my observation that many people who take up an Atkins-style diet here in the US eat more veggies than at any time in their lives.

It's partly a case of salad greens and cruciferous veggies pushing out huge volumes of prepared snack foods. And it's partly the fact that broccoli and cauliflower make such great substrates for conveying cheese and butter.

Anna said...

That's quite a 5 o'clock shadow! Lovely pics.

Christine & Cole said...

Hi! as a future Mom and a convert to a hypoglycemic, hyperlipid way of life, (technically a induction type of diet currently though still learning how to tweak this!) I was interested to see your two little ones here.

I struggle with the idea of trying to raise kids here in the west surrounded by fat haters and carb do you manage? I would love to read a blog about your kids' diets, how they thrive, how you manage, and perhaps your wife's pregnancy diet.

Peter said...

Hi all,

Christine, my wife had severe hyperemesis in both pregnancies, so I would not give anyone a guarantee of a problem free pregnancy on LC. But then she still has migraines too and is a continuous reminder to me that no one has all of the answers!

My basic approach for the children is ad lib fat with generous protein, only very small amounts of sucrose and minimal processed foods, no vegetable oils but starches when they are available are fine (never a huge amount in out house). Fruit is a regular treat and we are all as gluten free as we can make it.

My son has tried sweets on several occasions and doesn't like them, they get chewed for a minute then spat out in to a tissue... He eats plenty of 70-74% cocoa chocolate.

They have both been very healthy, no asthma or eczema and neither has ever needed antibiotics for anything


pablo DLS said...

headaches? ray peat would say: more cheese,milk... and sugar! btw im doing great following that advice.

blogblog said...

Pharmacogenet Genomics. 2009 Jun;19(6):422-8.

The effects of vitamin supplementation and MTHFR (C677T) genotype on homocysteine-lowering and migraine disability.

Lea R, Colson N, Quinlan S, Macmillan J, Griffiths L.


Vitamin supplementation reduced homocysteine by 39% (approximately 4 mumol/l) compared with baseline, a reduction that was greater then placebo (P=0.001). Vitamin supplementation also reduced the prevalence of migraine disability from 60% at baseline to 30% after 6 months (P=0.01), whereas no reduction was observed for the placebo group (P>0.1). Headache frequency and pain severity were also reduced (P<0.05), whereas there was no reduction in the placebo group (P>0.1). In this patient group the treatment effect on both homocysteine levels and migraine disability was associated with MTHFRC677T genotype whereby carriers of the C allele experienced a greater response compared with TT genotypes (P<0.05).

Christine & Cole said...

Thanks Peter, nice to see such a calm and cool approach with the kids......I have nightmares of turning into psychoMom trying to keep them healthy....I guess they would eat 90% of their meals at home for the first 5 years, so I should have full control....and like you said, if it's not in the house, they won't come across it.


blogblog said...

AFAIK the best (perhaps only way) to gain some weight on VLC is to do a bit of resistance exercise to encourage muscular hypertrophy. Simply eating more tends to increase activity levels with no weight gain.

Ellen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ellen said...

Peter, your kids are beautiful. They both look so vibrant and healthy. Congratulations!

I thought you might find this blog post an interesting subject for a post of your own:

They provide a few biochemical reasons for getting about 600 calories of starchy carbs each day, and some interesting information on the dangers of "glucose deficiency".

Would love to read your thoughts on this.

blogblog said...

the whole appears pretty nonsensical to me. Basically a whole lot of unrelated ideas have been connected into some sort of dubious hypothesis.

Stipetic said...

Ellen, you may want to check out these two blog posts to get a different biochemical view to these claims.

blogblog said...

Likely constipation causes on VLC diet:
- dehydration
- excess calcium (from dairy foods)
- insufficient magnesium

Lea said...

Hello Peter,

Just thought I'd make a quick comment regarding my experience with VLC. I love your blog and have been a long time reader, and I largely agree with the theories, and am convinced by the evidence presented. However, on a personal front, a VLC diet (with c. 20-30g carb/day) and the rest coming from fat and some protein, did not work very well for me.

After a 4-week honeymoon period, I started experiencing the worse insomnia and palpitations, and although reluctant to attribute these symptoms to my new dietary habits, as soon as I added some starch to my diet these symptoms disappeared. I kept pushing my carbs down, though, wanting to stick to what I believed was the 'correct' diet, and the insomnia would hit back with a vengeance. My experiment lasted 1 year. I also put on 6kilos of fat for the first time in 10 years of being weight-stable.

The last 5-6 months I hover at about 50-150, usually c.100 carbs per day, and try and stay as gluten free as possible. I have lowered fat intake somewhat (no cream sipping for me I'm afraid) and maintained a decent protein intake, and have managed to lose almost all the weight I gained while doing VLC.

I still read your blog and like it, but wanted to put my experience out there, in case there are other readers who have struggled when trying to follow a Dr. K type diet.

Thanks again for all the bloggage! :)


blogblog said...

the anxiety symptoms you describe are very common in the early stage of VLC. They are due to hypoglycaemia. The body produces catecholamines ("fight or flight" hormones) to increase the mobilisation of glycogen to raise blood glucose.

The treatment for these symptoms is very simple. A very small amount of sugars eg 1-2 jelly beans will stop the symptoms in a few minutes.

It takes 12-18 months to fully adapt to a VLC diet

nancan said...

Loved the yummy noises from baby. Clear sign life is good.
I've my grandchildren this week who eat far too much sugar, though in general much less than most kids, and are lean and fit. I'm down with a migraine after indulging in a slice of rhubarb pie with them. I don't do well off cvlc!

nancan said...

Loved the yummy noises from baby. Clear sign life is good.
I've my grandchildren this week who eat far too much sugar, though in general much less than most kids, and are lean and fit. I'm down with a migraine after indulging in a slice of rhubarb pie with them. I don't do well off cvlc!

L said...

Gorgeous kids. And what a privilege to see someone taking their first ever taste of chocolate!

Peter, if you ever get round to posting any thoughts you have on migraines it would make interesting reading I'm sure. Have your wife's attacks changed *at all* (frequency? severity?) in response to diet? I get two distinct kinds, classical aura-only, and headache-only. The latter seem to be triggered only by artificial sweeteners, sucralose especially, so is pretty easy to avoid. The former, after 18months lowish carb gluten free, are becoming less frequent but do still happen occasionally (as in, one or two this year). Too infrequently to identify any trigger, and as I'm fortunate in that they are mild as well as infrequent it's more of an intellectual curiosity than a pressing need in my own case.

Random thoughts I have are artificial sweeteners causing an inappropriate insulin response and consequent hypoglycemia. Magnesium supplementation is supposed to help; it's also recommended for muscle cramps, which if you look at migraine as a vascular spasm or cramp makes sense I suppose. Although why migraineurs should be particularly susceptible to magnesium deficiency is another matter!

blogblog said...

there is considerable evidence that migraines are due to genetic homocysteinemia. The treatment is supplementation with B group vitamins.

See my first posting.

Helen said...

@Lea -

I had a similar experience, and the symptoms persisted until I went off the diet seven months later. I would say at that point I was moderately low-carb, not ketogenic. I don't think it was just an "induction" thing. Nor was it hypoglycemia. I was checking my blood glucose compulsively and never got near that. Au contraire.

I think some people just aren't suited to that kind of diet, and there may be different reasons it doesn't work for different people. For me, I don't think I deal with lots of fat in my system very well.

It seems to agree with Peter and his kids, though!

blogblog said...

Nor was it hypoglycemia. I was checking my blood glucose compulsively and never got near that. Au contraire.

Checking your blood glucose won't detect hypoglycaemia in this case. This is because cathecholamines (stress hormones) are forcing your body to mobilise glycogen from your liver to maintain a normal blood glucose level. The normalisation in blood glucose occurs almost instantly and wouldn't be detected by normal blood glucose testing. However the "stress" continues long after glucose levels are normal because the cathecholmines are still circulating in the bloodstream.

Anxiety attacks due to low blood glucose are well understood in the exercise physiology community because it is common in athletes. However the medical profession generally seem unaware of this idea and see anxiety as a pyschiatric problem to be treated with medication.

Helen said...

Okay, blogblog. I think that's possible. I think I may actually be particularly susceptible to that kind of stress, which is part of why my fasting sugars tend to be high. Still, my heart palpitations went away with the end of low-carb and my insomnia (always a menace) improved.

Ellen said...

Lea and Helen, I've believe that reactive hypoglycemia is one of the main reasons that people quit a low carb diet. None of the low carb books I own (and I own many) talk about this, and I think that is a huge issue. I talk about hypoglycemia on both my websites, ( and because when I first started a low carb diet, I had some seriously scary reactive hypoglycemia episodes. After the first one, I shook for about 4 hours, even after eating more than 100 carbs.

The solution for me was to "slide" into low carb slowly.. I ate about 80 carbs a day for a few weeks, then 70 for a few weeks, etc. It took me about 3 months to adapt to lower carb intake, but once I did, the hypoglycemia completely went away.

As I think back, I was having hypoglycemic reactions way before I started low carb, I just didn't know what they were. I'd wake up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding, nausea, etc.. That never happens anymore, even if I get down to below 20 carbs a day.

Ellen said...

Stipetic, thanks for those links..

blogblog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blogblog said...

reactive hypoglycaemia is huge problem.

Very early in my VLC days I had a severe stress attack after drinking two cans of Coke a couple of hours earlier. I was stuck on an express train for over an hour with no way to get off. I got off at the first stop and walked 8km home to relax.

The simplest treatment for hypoglycaemic stress is to eat a tiny amount of carbohydrate (eg 2-3 Tic Tacs). There is no need to go off a VLC diet.

5:04 AM

karl said...

My father was an OBY-Gyn - and noted that women with hyperemesis tended to have less problems in pregnancy... Might be a good sign - not fun, but good for the baby.

Helen said...

Off-topic question for Peter, if you have time/interest.

What do you know about the SREBP-1 transcription factor? What if you underproduced it rather than overproduced it - particularly regarding its effect on insulin action, lipogenesis, and risk of fatty liver?

john said...


If you haven't seen it already, Nephropal posted on it about a year ago and had some refs that were good for follow-up.

Helen said...

Thanks, John!

Dim Tim said...

Questions Raised by Wikipedia’s ‘Diabetes Mellitus Type 2’ Article

I believe you may disagree with statement 1 in regard to saturated and unsaturated fats. A reference is given in support of the statement. Could you explain why the reference is incorrect?

1. Under Lifestyle: “decreasing consumption of saturated fats and trans fatty acids while replacing them with unsaturated fats may decrease the risk.[6]”

Reference 6: “^ a b Risérus U, Willett WC, Hu FB (January 2009). "Dietary fats and prevention of type 2 diabetes".Progress in Lipid Research 48 (1): 44–51. doi:10.1016/j.plipres.2008.10.002. PMC 2654180.PMID 19032965.”

In statement 2 you may disagree with the inclusion of the words ‘high-fat diets’. A reference is given in support of the statement. Could you explain why the reference is incorrect?

2. Under Medical Conditions: “Additional factors found to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes include aging,[13] high-fat diets[14] and a less active lifestyle.[15]”

Reference 14: “^ Lovejoy JC (October 2002). "The influence of dietary fat on insulin resistance". Curr. Diab. Rep. 2 (5): 435–40. doi:10.1007/s11892-002-0098-y. PMID 12643169.”

In statement 3 you may disagree with the inclusion the word ‘fat’. The reference given in support of the statement is an article referring to specific research. Could you explain why the research does not support the conclusion?

3. Under Genetics: “Gene expression promoted by a diet of fat and glucose, as well as high levels of inflammation related cytokines found in the obese, results in cells that "produce fewer and smaller mitochondria than is normal," and are thus prone to insulin resistance.[33]

Reference 33: “^ "The origin of diabetes Don't blame your genes They may simply be getting bad instructions—from you". Economist. 3 September 2009.”

In statement 4 I’m not sure if you disagree with the inclusion of ‘high cholesterol’ (what is ‘high’?) as a risk factor for T2D. If you do, could you explain why the reference is incorrect?

4. Under Management: “Managing other cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension, high cholesterol, and microalbuminuria improves a person's life expectancy.[7]

Reference 7: “^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Ripsin CM, Kang H, Urban RJ (January 2009). "Management of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes mellitus". Am Fam Physician 79 (1): 29–36. PMID 19145963.”


Vanesa said...

Hi, what beautiful babies you have, and most important a chef growing up )))