A Recent Study Against Carbs Is Misleading

There are news today (USA Today, MinnPost) about a Mayo Clinic study pointing at a link between consuming carbs and developing Alzheimer’s disease. “A high-carbohydrate intake could be bad for you because carbohydrates impact your glucose and insulin metabolism,” says Roberts, the lead author of the study. Proponents of low-carbs diets jumped on this study to promote the benefits of their diets. However, this study is inconclusive in several aspects.

Firstly, This study only correlates the consumption of carbs and the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and its conclusions are not cause-and-effect. This means that the increased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease was observed with consuming more carbs, but it could have been caused by other factors. One of which being the quality of carbs.

Secondly, it has long been recognized that the over-consumption of simple carbs, such as high fructose corn syrup, commonly found in sweets, pastries, cereals, and countless processed food, is detrimental to health. A prime example is type 2 diabetes, a condition where body cells and tissues can’t absorb enough essential glucose (digested sugars) due to an abnormal insulin resistance condition (insulin is an essential pancreas hormone required for cells to absorb glucose). It’s a largely agreed that type 2 diabetes is triggered by a poor diet high in simple carbs and fat, and low in complex carbs and nutrients.

This is a sharp contrast to consuming complex carbs, as found in unprocessed (or minimally processed) food, such as grains, beans, vegetables and fruits, which are known to promote health. Studies are clear that a diet rich in such complex carbs, with little or no added fat, meat and diaries significantly help prevent type 2 diabetes and improve health.

Type 3 diabetes is now the expression used to identify the same condition – insulin resistance – when it applies to brain cells. By becoming insulin-resistant, brain cells can’t absorb glucose – their main source of energy – and starve to death, resulting in brain damage over time.

The Mayo Clinic study does not specify which carbs were predominantly consumed.

Thirdly, there are many other factors that influence the absorption of glucose, such as exercising which promotes it. The study does not mention the level of activity of the patients.

For these reasons, this study cannot be the basis for promoting low-carb diets of any kind, such as Atkins, Paleo, etc. Those diets are very popular in publicity and the news, being promoted by a powerful and greedy diet industry that is specifically targeting everyone concerned with their weight (that’s about all of us). But independent long-term studies are consistently denying their benefits.


Peanut Butter Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA announces that, on October 12, Sunland Inc. expanded its ongoing recall to include raw and roasted shelled and in-shell peanuts sold in quantities from 2 ounces to 50 pounds which are within their current shelf life or have no stated expiration date.

More than 200 peanut products have now been recalled because they may contain Salmonella bacteria, U.S. health officials say.

Find more about this announcement and the recall list.


Sitting May Be Hazardous to Your Health

A new analysis links prolonged sitting to greater odds of diabetes, heart disease, and death — even in people who exercise regularly.

People who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to have diabetes or heart disease than those who sat the least. That was even true of people who did moderate to vigorous physical activity on a regular basis.

Read more on WebMD…


Fast Walking May Slash at Heart Disease, Diabetes

Fast walking, jogging, and other forms of more vigorous exercise may slash your risk for heart disease and diabetes, new research suggests.


Cancinogens Confirmed in Apple and Grape Juice

A recent study from Consumer Reports found out that out of 88 apple juice samples from various brands purchased in different states, 10% had levels of arsenic and 25% (that’s one in four samples) had levels of lead exceeding those set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding drinking water. This study supports Dr. Mehmet Oz who reported dangerous levels of arsenic in apple juice in September 2011.

Back then, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rebutted him on the ground that most of the arsenic was organic and harmless. Juice manufacturers responded to Dr. Oz news using the same argument, and also that their products were all below the FDA’s “levels of concern”. They (FDA and manufacturers) unanimously disputed Dr. OZ’ methodology and analysis and called the media irresponsible to report presence of arsenic in their products.

Consumer Reports found that the arsenic is instead mostly inorganic (as found in soils contaminated by now-banned pesticides) which is a known human carcinogen.

The FDA has set formal limits for bottled water, but not for juices. The FDA maintains that its own studies show that the majority of their own samples are below their “levels of concerns”, yet it has never taken action to seize products exceeding those levels, despite the authority to do so. The FDA’s “levels of concern” for juices allow significantly higher levels of toxins than the EPA’s drinking water regulations.

Consumer Reports further says that those “levels of concern” do not even take into account prolonged exposure to arsenic that can lead to skin, lung and bladder cancers, immune problems, type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Various studies have found toxic levels of inorganic arsenic in name-brand jars of baby food and US-grown rice.

Consumer Reports is urging the FDA to regulate those toxins in juices to very low levels, lower in fact than those set by the EPA for drinking water.




Another Food Recall

J.M. Smuckers recently announced a food recall on some of its peanut butter products. Food recalls seem to happen all the times. Read more about this on our new Food Contamination page.


More Confusion About Food

Today, US News mentions a report that consuming diets rich is unsaturated fat (e.g. olive oil, avocados) may help the body to use insulin. It’s the preliminary result of a study comparing 1) a high-carb diet (rich in pasta and white bread), 2) a protein-rich diet and 3) a diet high in unsaturated fat. The latter improved the bodily use of insulin the most, and therefore should be preferred over the two others.

Does that mean people with diabetes should go for such a diet? Not at all.

First, a diet mainly consisting of simple sugars (as found in white pasta and white bread) will have detrimental effects on anyone with diabetes. Studies have shown that people following a high-carb diet rich in complex carbs (whole wheat food) experience must better control over their insulin.

Second, diets containing high amounts of fats are clearly related to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

Third, olive oil is made of ~14% of saturated fat, itself very aggressive at promoting heart diseases, and there’s no study that shows that monounsaturated fat can stop or reverse artery diseases. Since diabetic people are at a higher risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases, it’s better to keep the arteries clean by avoiding fats. Diets that avoid fats of any kind fare much better results regarding cardiovascular outcomes.

A report like this simply adds more confusion to the choices diabetic people face daily because it is flawed from the beginning and its conclusion may lead to other complications in the long term.


Pancreum: a Name You Will Hear Often

Pancreum (pancreum.com) is currently developing a small, flexible medical device that you’ll wear on your skin that monitors your glucose and delivers insulin or glucagon to regulate the level of glucose in your bloodstream throughout the day and night. It’s what is called an artificial pancreas, to mimic the pancreatic beta cells (which have been destroyed in people with Type 1 diabetes) that release insulin.

Artificial pancreas is the most important advancement for the treatment of diabetes since insulin started to be administered to patients a century ago. It is also considered pivotal for the research leading toward the development of a cure.


New Diabetes Device Tests Tears Instead of Blood

As an alternative method of measuring glucose from blood, researchers are trying to measure it in the tears, a pain-free method.

Read more http://www.myhealthnewsdaily.com/diabetes-device-checks-tears-not-blood-for-glucose–2109/


Have Wheels, Will Lobby

Marcus Grimm, an American diabetes Association volunteer, rode his bicycle to to the office of 10 of his nearby state representatives to lobby for a bill to provide better care in schools for children with diabetes, and successfully influenced them to support the bill.

Read more

Marcus Grimm leaves state Rep. John C. Bear’s office in Lancaster County, Pa.