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Sugar Addiction: the sweet truth

“Sugar addiction” appears to be the latest honey pot target for the sweet and innocent. We felt it necessary to have a look at the evidence – both recent and passed – and give objective commentary for those who wish to be better informed. Just in case you were worried, this blog won’t sugar-coat the facts (oh! For the pun of it). At the beginning of March 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed a new set of potential guidelines that maintained the previous recommendation that no more than 10% of one’s daily caloric intake should come from sugars. However what the WHO’s new guidelines also introduced, was recommendation that further reducing sugar consumption to less than 5% of the daily caloric intake is advised...

Load shedding

The greater South African population heaves a united sigh and with trepidation, anticipates the deflating ‘click’ that renders the office/home/shop/school, as dark as chocolate. The dreaded load shedding is back.Ooh, did someone say chocolate? Yum! Which brings me to the primary focus of this particular post: the other load shedding phenomenon (AKA weight loss, AKA comfortably fitting into that summer outfit - if the jolly rain will ever clear!) Load shedding doesn’t have to refer only to sudden and unexpected power losses; it can also refer to one’s health goals and plans to lose those last few, stubborn, holiday kilos. Below are a few things we can learn from the current state of South African electricity when we apply ourselves to getting and staying in...

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LCHF diets continued: are they safe for pregnant and/or breastfeeding mothers?

Marlene Ellmer, BSc Diet, M Nutr, RD (SA,UK)Aside from the factors already discussed above, it is imperative that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers maintain a healthy diet throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. Although they should not “eat for two”, they need to provide “nutrients for two” and be very selective about the type of food eaten. One “advantage” of the LCHF diet is the effect it has on appetite, namely that it can reduce it. This is known as a state of ketosis where the body’s glucose stores are depleted and as a result fat stores are broken down which produces ketones for energy. Typically, this happens when dietary intake of carbohydrate is ≤60g/day, although it does vary between individuals. No human studies have been done in this...

Is the LCHF diet suitable and safe for infants?

Marlene Ellmer, BSc Diet, M Nutr, RD (SA,UK)From a nutritional perspective, pregnancy, breastfeeding and infancy are a critical and vulnerable time period. The nutritional requirements are very different at this stage, from the average healthy adult and as a result it should not be assumed that LCHF diets are safe and suitable.Maternal nutritional excesses and deficiencies during pregnancy are associated with increased risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as T2DM, hypertension and heart disease. Faster infant weight gain in the first 2 years of life is also associated with higher NCD occurrence in adulthood. The first 1,000 days of life i.e. from conception until 2 years, is a very vulnerable period for programming of NCD risk and as such is a key target stage for prevention of adult disease1. Those...

LCHF and the “Clarens Beer Festival” conundrum: an opinion piece

I have just come back from a gathering at the Clarens Beer Festival with a bunch of twenty-something’s. One would think that the hot topic with this group of guys and girls would be sport, work, gossip with perhaps a little relevant news or common sense thrown in too. But surprisingly, the “Tim Noakes Diet” was tip of the tongue, the whole weekend long. Imagine my surprise when, sitting around the fire, beer in hand, I was accosted at length from a number of my friends to shed light on the Tim Noakes diet and what I thought of it. In the end, I counted 6 of the 18 of us, “on the diet”, constituting pretty much one third of the group!The predominant concerns, questions...

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Ins-and-outs of Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance seems to be the new “buzz word” and is a hot topic of conversation. It is widely blamed for higher incidence of overweight and obesity and yet the general understanding of the concept appears slightly hazy. Staying true to the topic of our blog series, let’s clarify the current controversy…So what is insulin resistance? Before we delve into the ins and outs of insulin resistance, let us first clarify the concept of insulin itself. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. Its role is to help glucose being transported in the blood, to successfully enter the cells of the body. Glucose is necessary for energy release and can either be used immediately or stored, for later use, in the liver or muscle...