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New book about low-carb dieting - by respected diabetes author Jenny Ruhl
Old 05-10-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
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New book about low-carb dieting - by respected diabetes author Jenny Ruhl

Because I had e-mailed Jenny in the past, I received an early notice about her brand new book "Diet 101: The Truth About Low Carb Diets". Here is the page on her website describing it:

Jenny's New Book, Available Now!


I have not read the book, but will very soon. For those not familiar with Jenny, she is, in many people's opinion, the most knowledgeable layperson on the subject of diabetes. She has a talent for cutting through the bull on any info. about the disease. Her previous book "Blood Sugar 101" is a must-have for any diabetic.

I have no commercial connection with her, I just have tremendous respect for her knowledge.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by gindie View Post
Because I had e-mailed Jenny in the past, I received an early notice about her brand new book "Diet 101: The Truth About Low Carb Diets". Here is the page on her website describing it:

Jenny's New Book, Available Now!


I have not read the book, but will very soon. For those not familiar with Jenny, she is, in many people's opinion, the most knowledgeable layperson on the subject of diabetes. She has a talent for cutting through the bull on any info. about the disease. Her previous book "Blood Sugar 101" is a must-have for any diabetic.

I have no commercial connection with her, I just have tremendous respect for her knowledge.
Gindie, I hope you will report on this book once you have had a chance to look it over. It should be very helpful.

Ha
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:23 AM   #3
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There are two "teaser" points that she has that I'm curious about:
The facts about how low carb diets compared to others in the large studies you heard about in the media and why they uncovered some serious problems with low carb diets you need to be aware of if you are not going to damage your health.

...prepare you in advance for the known problems most low carb dieters encounter so that you don't become one of the many who do brilliantly on the diet for a few months or even years, only to end up weighing more than you did before you started your diet.
I can't figure out what she might be referring to, but I'm not curious enough to spend $9.99 for the book.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:58 AM   #4
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There are two "teaser" points that she has that I'm curious about:
...prepare you in advance for the known problems most low carb dieters encounter so that you don't become one of the many who do brilliantly on the diet for a few months or even years, only to end up weighing more than you did before you started your diet.
I can't figure out what she might be referring to, but I'm not curious enough to spend $9.99 for the book.
From reading her blog, I think point # 2 is likely to be compliance problems that she has heard from many people, and that she herself sometimes struggles with, especially at the very low carbhydrate level. She has written about this before, and she follows a solid lowcarb reginme but does not seem to be as gung-ho as many authors. It may only be because she is more honest, (something that has been missing from a lot of "non-fiction" over the last few decades),or because this has been her experience and therefor people who have these experiences tend to write her, and she tends to be sympathetic to these experiences.

I have 2 main issues with low carb. At 71, I look good, feel good, and have very good strength and endurance. I enjoy my meals very much, they are not too difficult to prepare (and towad this end I have recently starting saving time and money and improving food quality by using my French pressure cooker). But my cholesterol and LDL sure did not go down, as the gurus often say it will. They also did not go up very much, but during the 15 years on the diet Docs have gotten much more rabid about these levels and stricter about the cut-offs. all in all, I am in reasonably good health but teh improvements at least wrt numbers have not been accross the board mind-blowing. It is however a pleasant way to eat and live

My other issue is that in reading many, many scientific papers, I find that they are all over the map and so particularly wrt going heavy on the butter and cream and fat meat, which let's face it is so, so good, I do not feel really secure. After all one can eat low carb mostly on olive oil, low carb veggies and fish. But that fish will cost dearly, and without some rich sauces can get a bit boring.

Ha
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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I have 2 main issues with low carb. At 71, I look good, feel good, and have very good strength and endurance. I enjoy my meals very much, they are not too difficult to prepare (and towad this end I have recently starting saving time and money and improving food quality by using my French pressure cooker).
May be a bit of a hijack but I am interested in the French pressure cooker. What do you use it for and how does it improve quality?
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:46 PM   #6
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May be a bit of a hijack but I am interested in the French pressure cooker. What do you use it for and how does it improve quality?
I am not sure if it still available in the US. It is T-Fal brand, 6L heavy stainless with no coatings of any kind. I bought mine about 15 years ago. Compared to making a pot roast in the oven, it is likely no better although the absence of air may have some influence. But I have much better results, and of course much more quickly, than when using a slow cooker. On Monday I browned a 3.3# beef rump roast in the cooker. Took out the meat, and then sautéed chopped onion, garlic, jalepeño, celery, and carrot, plus a lot of herbs. Put back the meat, and added roughly 1/2 cup red wine & 1/2 cup cold water, put on the pressure top with high medium heat. I watched it until the pressure plug popped up signaling that the air was gone and the pot was up to pressure, with I think is 15 psi. I backed down the heat until only a slight amount of steam was escaping. After one hour I removed it from the heat, and let it fall to atmospheric pressure. Opened the pot, took out the meat, added a bit more olive oil and boiled it uncovered vigorously (a fair amount of extra liquid had come out of the meat) until I had a much reduced thick gravy, without any added flour or thickener.

I have been eating it in one form or another all week-finally froze the remaining reduction and sliced and froze what was left of the meat.

I can't say why it works better as to taste, but for me, it seems to. And of course when you are rushed but have a little time, there is no need to run out and buy a steak, or make do with an omelette.

This T-Fal model has been trouble free under heavy use for many years. Amazon sells another high end stainless brand called Kuhn-Rikon,
Amazon.com: Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker 7.4-Quart: Kitchen & Dining,
and a much less expensive anodized aluminum one very popular in India, where apparently every home has one.
Amazon.com: Futura by Hawkins Hard Anodized 5.0 Litre Pressure Cooker from Hawkins: Kitchen & Dining

Ha
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:20 PM   #7
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Gindie, I hope you will report on this book once you have had a chance to look it over. It should be very helpful.

Ha
I just finished it, and I must admit it was everything I expected.

Jenny has done her usual thorough job digging into all the research and pulling out gems from the studies that didn't get reported by the media.

A few points:

1) The low carb diet is effective because it limits the blood sugar fluctuations that cause hunger.

2) Most low carb dieters' weight loss starts off fast and slows to a crawl around the 6-month mark

3) The real harm with low carb diets is not the diets themselves, but is when you stray from them. If you raise your carbs without simultaneously reducing your fat intake you will be doing real harm to your health.

And one that surprised me a little:

4) The strongest predictor of heart disease isn't cholesterol levels, but rather A1C and blood sugar levels right after eating. Presumably, this is because blood sugar levels influence triglyceride levels. She confirms the research that cholesterol levels as they are normally reported during routine blood tests are not good predictors.

The statement she made that most surprised me was that the incidence of diabetes is staying constant at around 8% of the population. While obesity and insulin resistance is increasing dramatically, this isn't necessarily translating into higher percentages of diabetes. Most of any of the modest recent increases in diabetes diagnoses are due to the tightening of the standards and the fact that we are living longer, so there's more of an opportunity for an individual to get the disease.

I highly recommend this book.
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:55 PM   #8
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I highly recommend this book.
Thanks Gindie, great report. I'll likely be getting this book also.

Ha
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:33 PM   #9
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Thanks for the review!

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Originally Posted by gindie View Post
3) The real harm with low carb diets is not the diets themselves, but is when you stray from them. If you raise your carbs without simultaneously reducing your fat intake you will be doing real harm to your health.
This view is very prevalent among low-carbers; does she cite any articles that support it? I have looked and never seen any scientific stuff on this idea -- it would be a hard study to do.

Quote:
The statement she made that most surprised me was that the incidence of diabetes is staying constant at around 8% of the population...Most of any of the modest recent increases in diabetes diagnoses are due to the tightening of the standards and the fact that we are living longer, so there's more of an opportunity for an individual to get the disease.
Interesting. I know in the past she's talked about the increase in diabetes and said that she thinks it's due to an increase in pesticides and other factors. She does not believe that you can "eat your way to diabetes."

It's really at odds with these kinds of articles:

Rate of Diabetes Cases Doubles in 10 Years: CDC - US News and World Report

OTOH, increased age, awareness, and changes in the definition could have a huge effect.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:13 PM   #10
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If you raise your carbs without simultaneously reducing your fat intake you will be doing real harm to your health.
What is her basis/evidence for this claim? I'm pretty familiar with low-carb/paleo/primal diets, and this is the first I have heard of this. My understanding is that, as long as you are consuming good fats (i.e., coconut oil, pastured butter, olive oil), you should be fine, whether your carb intake is very low or not. I personally follow a primal-type diet (mostly unprocessed foods, which ends up being fairly low-carb also), but I do consume some rice, along with plenty of the good fats mentioned above. My blood test numbers are just fine.....much better, actually than when I was eating more grains, and much less fat. So, my experience is the opposite of what she is warning about.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:50 PM   #11
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This view is very prevalent among low-carbers; does she cite any articles that support it? I have looked and never seen any scientific stuff on this idea -- it would be a hard study to do.
She makes these statements in her discussion of the hunger hormone leptin. Leptin is an interesting substance. It is bad for heart health at high levels. LC diets significantly reduce leptin levels. However, at low levels, leptin triggers hunger. So, it's a Catch-22.

When LC/high fat dieters switch to a diet that's higher in carbs, but still high in fat, leptin levels rise dramatically, even if the dieter is still eating fewer calories than they were before going to LC in the first place. This is bad. She cites the study entitled "The effects of a low-carbohydrate versus low-fat diet on adipocytokines in severely obese adults: three-year follow-up of a randomized trial.”
http://www.europeanreview.org/pdf/375.pdf



Quote:
Interesting. I know in the past she's talked about the increase in diabetes and said that she thinks it's due to an increase in pesticides and other factors. She does not believe that you can "eat your way to diabetes."

It's really at odds with these kinds of articles:

Rate of Diabetes Cases Doubles in 10 Years: CDC - US News and World Report

OTOH, increased age, awareness, and changes in the definition could have a huge effect.
She specifically calls out the CDC for past wild claims. In 2004, the head of the organization claimed that obesity caused 400,000 deaths a year, but just a year later the CDC published a paper saying that the number was actually 26,000.

She still thinks you cannot eat your way to diabetes, but also thinks that a LC diet won't prevent it either. It will, however, keep blood sugars down so that complications won't occur.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:40 AM   #12
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When LC/high fat dieters switch to a diet that's higher in carbs, but still high in fat, leptin levels rise dramatically, even if the dieter is still eating fewer calories than they were before going to LC in the first place. This is bad. She cites the study entitled "The effects of a low-carbohydrate versus low-fat diet on adipocytokines in severely obese adults: three-year follow-up of a randomized trial.”
http://www.europeanreview.org/pdf/375.pdf
I read the study and couldn't make much sense of it. It doesn't actually show a rebound in leptin due to a switch back to a higher carb diet (although maybe that is what happened). The study seems to say that an initial decrease in leptin (at six months) is not sustained going forward toward 36 months even though the subjects remain on a LC diet. The study doesn't say the subjects slowly fell off their diets but it does say both LF and LC subjects regained some weight.

Nevertheless, I will take this as a potential indicator that I need to be vigilant to changes in appetite after six months.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:21 PM   #13
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Gindie, are there many charts and diagrams in the book? THe kindle is quite a bit cheaper, but I find it hard to use with figures and charts.

Ha
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:40 PM   #14
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I counted only around around 16-17, sprinkled throughout.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trombone Al
There are two "teaser" points that she has that I'm curious about:

The facts about how low carb diets compared to others in the large studies you heard about in the media and why they uncovered some serious problems with low carb diets you need to be aware of if you are not going to damage your health.

...prepare you in advance for the known problems most low carb dieters encounter so that you don't become one of the many who do brilliantly on the diet for a few months or even years, only to end up weighing more than you did before you started your diet.
just marketing. Phrases like "serious problems", "damage your health", "end up weighing more" makes you worry and want to know more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haha
...But my cholesterol and LDL sure did not go down, as the gurus often say it will...
as long as your triglyceride / HDL ratio has come down (to ~ 1 to 2) you are on the right track. That is a good indicator for pattern A LDL and lower cardiac risk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gindie
4) The strongest predictor of heart disease isn't cholesterol levels, but rather A1C and blood sugar levels right after eating. Presumably, this is because blood sugar levels influence triglyceride levels. She confirms the research that cholesterol levels as they are normally reported during routine blood tests are not good predictors.
high blood sugar does cause damage. When you eat, blood sugar rises rapidly to a peak within about 1 hour. A healthy metabolism can limit blood sugar excursions to about 150 and bring them down to about 90 within a couple of hours. If your metabolism is losing control, the peak will be higher and it will take much longer to return to normal. This condition would result in higher A1C and post-prandial blood sugar values, which tells you something bad is going on; however, the triglyceride/HDL ratio is probably a better predictor for heart disease.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trombone Al
...Interesting. I know in the past she's talked about the increase in diabetes and said that she thinks it's due to an increase in pesticides and other factors. She does not believe that you can "eat your way to diabetes."...
She has a large collection of great information on her site; however, she is most likely wrong about this. It is very likely that a large segment of the population can induce diabetes by excessive carbohydrate consumption. That is the most straight-forward explanation for what the US has experienced over the past 30 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RAE
Quote:
Originally Posted by gindie
If you raise your carbs without simultaneously reducing your fat intake you will be doing real harm to your health.
What is her basis/evidence for this claim? I'm pretty familiar with low-carb/paleo/primal diets, and this is the first I have heard of this. My understanding is that, as long as you are consuming good fats (i.e., coconut oil, pastured butter, olive oil), you should be fine, whether your carb intake is very low or not. I personally follow a primal-type diet (mostly unprocessed foods, which ends up being fairly low-carb also), but I do consume some rice, along with plenty of the good fats mentioned above. My blood test numbers are just fine.....much better, actually than when I was eating more grains, and much less fat. So, my experience is the opposite of what she is warning about.
I think this is one of those sound-bite marketing statements. Assuming you are at a stable weight, if you increase your carbs without changing anything else, you are now overeating to the extent that you increased carb intake. Overeating is hard on your metabolism and should result in elevated insulin and increased fat storage, which is not a healthy state to maintain.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:18 AM   #16
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I counted only around around 16-17, sprinkled throughout.
Thanks. That is over my Kindle hurdle, so I'll buy the book, unless I can get the library to get it.

Ha
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:41 PM   #17
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Jenny has just done another wonderful interview with low carb advocate Jimmy Moore at:

582: Jenny Ruhl Gets Real Sharing ‘The Truth About Low Carb Diets’ | The Livin La Vida Low-Carb Show
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:38 PM   #18
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I bought this book, and I felt it was very helpful. I plan to listen to that podcast on my Ipod tomorrow while I row. I subscribe to his I-tunes feed. He has a lot of duds on, but also lots of careful professionals too.

Ha
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:30 AM   #19
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Gindie,

When espousing low carb, does Jenny speak much about the difference between carbs coming out of a box vs those healthy ones from vegetables, fruits, etc. I saw a small segment that PBS recently aired with Dr Hyman and his "Blood Sugar Solution". While I haven't read his book or seen the entire show, it seems like his thrust is focused on getting people to eat more nutrient dense natural foods, and getting away from all the processed stuff coming out of boxes which he feels causes "diabesity" (not sure I am recalling the exact term he used). Nevertheless, he made a lot of sense to me. I am wait listed at the library to read that book.

Also, Jenny seems to be indicating A1C and numbers after eating are important with respect to heart disease risk, but what does she say about fasting numbers. My A1Cs are pretty good ~5.5 and post meals as well, but fasting numbers not so much.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:48 AM   #20
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I could never do a low carb diet anyway, since my 3 favorite foods are white rice, noodles (not the whole wheat kind either), and bread. I am blessed with never having to worry about weight, but I do exercise a lot because I like exercising, not so much to keep weight down. I do try and eat at least a little meat, more fish, and a lot of veggies to go with my high carb diet. For those who are trying to lose weight, there is only one rule you need to know: calories burned must be less than calories taken.
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