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  • Does increasing fiber improve the health of patients with diabetes? 2020-04-28T07:53:00.000-05:00
    frog on a bike by a broccoli tree
    This study examined if increasing dietary fiber could improve health in diabetic patients. In the authors' conclusion, high-fiber diets improve blood glucose, cholesterol, and survival rates.

    Patients with diabetes or prediabetes have high blood glucose levels. An HbA1c test measures blood glucose levels for the previous three months.

    Patients with high HbA1c have an increased risk for other diseases, including heart disease. Factors like high cholesterol and being overweight increase heart disease risk.

    Fiber is a carbohydrate contained in fruits, vegetables, and grains. Fiber can also come in a supplement form. Past studies show that fiber reduces blood glucose and improves heart health.

    It is unclear if this benefit applies to patients with diabetes or prediabetes.

    Methods and findings

    44 past studies that examined how fiber affects the health of patients with diabetes. Two studies looked at 8300 diabetes patients over an 8.8-year average. The other studies looked at 1789 diabetes patients for 6 to 12 weeks.

    Over the 8.8 years, a high fiber intake reduced the risk of death by 45%. The risk of death for heart disease had a 39% reduction with high fiber consumption. There was a 35% lower risk of death in patients consuming 35g of fiber compared to 19g per day.

    Following a high-fiber diet reduced patients fasting glucose. A high-fiber diet reduced cholesterol and triglycerides (fats in the blood) levels. High-fiber diets reduced weight and belly fat with no change in calorie intake.

    The bottom line

    Increasing fiber intake up to 35 g per day could improve patient health and reduce death risk.


    This information is not a substitute for personal medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Use the information provided at your own risk. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult a physician.

    Published By: Plos Medicine
    Date: Mar 01, 2020

    Have a great keto day,
    Tommy Douglas
  • COVID-19; To mask or Not to mask 2020-04-02T05:47:00.000-05:00

    Should we wear masks or not? An expert sorts through the confusion

    The guidance on masks appears to be shifting, but social distancing is still the key step people can take. Muhammad Fayyaz Rub/
    Thomas Perls, Boston University

    As a professor at Boston University’s School of Medicine and a geriatrician at Boston Medical Center caring for the most vulnerable in this pandemic, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about COVID-19.

    It turns out there is good science out there that helps us know what masks we need to wear and when to wear them. That being said, some of the following advice could change as scientists learn more about why some people get a bad or even lethal case of this virus while many more get through it OK. One of the areas of greatest confusion seems to be about masks.

    Much of the decision about wearing masks depends on what the essential businesses that remain open are doing to ensure social distancing and therefore, our safety.

    Knowledge will protect you

    Guidance about wearing a mask has to do with the different ways viruses like COVID-19 spread from person to person: through contact, droplets and as airborne, also called aerosolized, particles.

    People get infected with COVID-19 when they touch a contaminated surface like a subway handle, or shake hands and then touch their face. Steel and plastic surfaces can harbor the live virus for three days. On average, people touch their faces every two-and-a-half minutes, so it is easy to see how this virus can spread so easily from one person to the next by touching surfaces.

    Another way to get the virus is by droplets that people produce by coughing and sneezing. Droplets are relatively large and contain mostly water plus the virus, so they usually fall from the air within six feet (one of the reasons for the six-foot social distancing rule).

    That said, vigorous coughs can go farther, and a strong sneeze – they’ve been clocked at 50-100 meters per second – can spread a droplet 18 feet away. This is why people who aren’t already wearing a mask because they are sick should cough or sneeze into their elbow.

    Coughs and sneezes also produce aerosolized viruses, smaller particles that float in the air far longer than droplets and that can also travel farther. Aerosols are also produced by talking, yelling and just normal breathing. A big problem is that in small, poorly ventilated rooms, COVID-19 can hang in the air and stay infectious for three hours.

    Another thing to know is that common medical devices, like nebulizer machines for people with asthma and CPAP machines for those with sleep apnea, are good at aerosolizing the virus.

    Two different types of masks to choose from

    A surgical mask, left, and an N95 mask, right.

    There are two basic kinds of masks – surgical masks and N95 respirator masks.

    Surgical masks are worn to protect patients from infectious droplets should the health care provider sneeze or cough. Someone who is suspected of being sick or is actually sick with COVID-19 should also wear a surgical mask to protect anyone around them from their sneeze or cough.

    As far as protection for the user, surgical masks can protect the nose and mouth against splashes of bodily fluids, as a surgeon might encounter during surgery. But don’t wear a surgical mask or a do-it-yourself mask if you think it’s going to protect you from COVID-19 that’s suspended in the air, say in a closed, poorly ventilated space. Aerosolized COVID-19 is so tiny that it can get in through gaps between the mask and face and breathed in through the material of the mask.

    Some countries are requiring everyone to wear a surgical mask at least in potentially high people density, closed spaces. For example, the Austrian government now requires supermarkets and pharmacies to hand out surgical masks to all customers who must wear them when in the store. The purpose of the masks is to prevent the wearer from spreading the virus to others by coughing and sneezing.

    If markets and other businesses and our means of transportation can’t enforce good social distancing and even just some people who are coughing or sneezing don’t wear masks when they venture out, then the United States and other countries might have to follow suit.

    Several U.S. government officials have suggested that widespread public use of masks will help. FDA Commissioner Gottlieb argued that a mask can be “an additional layer of protection for those who have to go out.” To be clear though, surgical or DIY masks and scarves are used primarily to protect others by preventing the spread of droplets.

    People should not be lulled into a false sense of security in thinking that these types of masks will protect them from airborne, aerosolized viruses in, for example, poorly ventilated spaces frequented by others. The best thing to do is to avoid such spaces and stay at home as much as possible.

    An N95 respirator mask (in Europe, it’s called an FFP2) does protect the wearer from breathing in COVID-19 if it’s worn properly so that there is a really good seal around the face. If you’re a home care provider caring for someone who has or might have COVID-19, you should wear the N95 to protect yourself.

    That is, assuming there are enough of these masks to go around beyond those needed by care providers on the front lines at the hospitals. If you don’t have an N95, open a window in the patient’s room and maybe even use a fan if you have one to decrease the amount of virus floating around. Of course, provide plenty of blankets to keep them warm!

    The bottom line

    In my opinion, you don’t need a mask with really good social distancing (staying at least six feet away from others) when you are outdoors. Even in a well-ventilated, large room where businesses are doing a good job of keeping the density of people small and you are there for as short a time as possible, I would not feel the need for a mask.

    But if those who are sneezing or coughing are not wearing masks and if social distancing doesn’t seem to be slowing the spread of COVID-19 fast enough, Americans and others will likely need to follow in Austria’s footsteps with mandatory masks inside buildings and go further to include any public transportation, taxis, and ride-sharing services.

    If you are coughing or sneezing and therefore producing droplets that can contaminate other people or surfaces, wear a surgical mask to protect others. Even if you think it’s just a cold, wear a mask, or if you don’t have one, then a scarf. Pretty soon we may all be asked to wear these when we go to public places even if we aren’t coughing or sneezing if some people don’t take this responsibility very seriously.

    An N95 mask should be worn by people caring for COVID-19-suspected or infected people which, when worn properly, can protect against the airborne virus. Because health care professionals are caring for many COVID-19 patients, they must have N95 masks. If there are enough, then asymptomatic caregivers of COVID-19 patients at home should also wear them.

    [You need to understand the coronavirus pandemic, and we can help. Read our newsletter.]The Conversation

    Thomas Perls,

    Professor of Medicine, Boston University
    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
  • Why public health officials sound more worried about the coronavirus than the seasonal flu 2020-03-10T23:44:00.000-05:00

    A county executive in Washington state addresses the media after death from COVID-19, which results from the coronavirus. Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images
    Tom Duszynski, IUPUI

    The spread of the new coronavirus, which has infected over 80,000 people worldwide and resulted in the death of more than 3,000, has raised alarms around the world.

    At the same time, seasonal influenza, known as the flu, causes severe illness in between 3 million and 5 million people, with hundreds of thousands of deaths every year worldwide.

    With so many fewer cases than the flu, what explains the dramatic response to COVID-19 and worry around the globe? And how would a person know whether seasonal influenza-like symptoms are COVID-19?

    As an epidemiologist, here’s how I look at these questions.

    Difficult to distinguish

    The first thing to realize is that the emergence of the novel coronavirus isn’t a rare “black swan” event. Rather, this is a product of evolution; there have been about 40 new, infectious diseases discovered globally since the 1970s, with pathogens often jumping from animals to humans.

    Detecting who has this new virus becomes a key public health challenge, which is made harder because it’s the season for another virus – influenza. And in the U.S., there is a shortage of local laboratories able to test for the coronavirus virus in humans.

    Advice from a public health official in New Jersey on how to avoid emerging diseases as well as seasonal illnesses, such as the flu.

    Influenza, by contrast, is far more familiar to public health researchers and doctors, and thus more predictable. It can occur anytime during the year in the U.S., but it typically begins in September and can go into May of the following year. While the peak of cases in the U.S. fluctuates, it typically occurs in February when the disease is widespread across the country.

    If a new disease emerges during the influenza season and has different signs and symptoms than influenza, then it is easier to detect and track in the human population. However, if the signs and symptoms overlap, as they do with flu and COVID-19, detection is much more difficult for the public health, medical and the lay population.

    COVID-19 produces signs and symptoms that are similar to influenza, which makes it difficult to distinguish between the two. COVID-19 can cause fever, cough, body aches, fatigue and, occasionally, vomiting and diarrhea; both can cause pneumonia as well.

    Speed of spread

    Currently one of the biggest differences between seasonal influenza and COVID-19 is the incubation period – that is, the time from exposure to development of signs and symptoms. For seasonal influenza, the incubation period ranges from one to four days, but in some instances, people may be contagious a day before symptoms appear and as long as five to seven days after symptoms start. COVID-19’s incubation period ranges from 2-14 days, which is up to three times longer than influenza.

    Also, COVID-19 is more contagious than seasonal influenza. The average person, even with mild symptoms, is likely to spread the disease to more than two people. By contrast, the seasonal flu’s rate is roughly half.

    Another significant challenge with influenza and COVID-19 is that they both can have mild infections. People with more mild disease are less likely to seek diagnosis and care but are still considered infectious and able to transmit the disease person to person.

    The death rate of the seasonal flu varies year to year but is about 0.1%, compared to about 2% for COVID-19. The disastrous 1918 influenza epidemic, known as the “Spanish flu,” had a death rate of about 2.5%.

    Finally, one of the biggest concerns for COVID-19 is asymptomatic infections. People who are infected with the virus may be able to transmit the infection, and yet they themselves don’t have any signs or symptoms of the disease. This represents a challenge because it would be difficult to identify persons that need to be tested for the disease since they have no signs or symptoms, but their ability to transmit the disease would allow for amplification in a naive, or uninfected, population.

    No vaccine available for COVID-19

    Unlike influenza, COVID-19 does not have a vaccine or medication people can take to protect themselves and it is believed that everyone is susceptible.

    There are a number of efforts to develop treatments for COVID-19, but nothing is yet approved. Vaccines are also being pursued, but a vaccine for COVID-19 will not be ready for several months.

    Getting the vaccine for seasonal flu can actually be helpful for medical professionals. Since the signs and symptoms are similar, if everyone were to be vaccinated against the flu, fewer people would have the flu, thus making it easier to detect another disease with similar symptoms. The faster it is identified, the faster public health and the medical community can respond to minimize the spread of disease.

    [Insight, in your inbox each day. You can get it with The Conversation’s email newsletter./]The Conversation
    Tom Duszynski, Director Epidemiology Education, IUPUI
    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
  • What's the difference between pandemic, epidemic and outbreak? 2020-03-10T23:37:00.000-05:00
    It’s a matter of scale. (Edward A. "Doc" Rogers/Library of Congress via AP
    Rebecca S.B. Fischer, Texas A&M University
    The coronavirus is on everyone’s minds. As an epidemiologist, I find it interesting to hear people using technical terms – like quarantine or super spreader or reproductive number – that my colleagues and I use in our work every day.

    But I’m also hearing newscasters and neighbors alike mixing up three important words: outbreak, epidemic, and pandemic.

    Simply put, the difference between these three scenarios of disease spread is a matter of scale.


    Small, but unusual.

    By tracking diseases over time and geography, epidemiologists learn to predict how many cases of illness should normally happen within a defined period of time, place and population. An outbreak is a noticeable, often small, increase over the expected number of cases.

    Imagine an unusual spike in the number of children with diarrhea at a daycare. One or two sick kids might be normal in a typical week, but if 15 children in daycare come down with diarrhea all at once, that is an outbreak.

    When a new disease emerges, outbreaks are more noticeable since the anticipated number of illnesses caused by that disease was zero. An example is the cluster of pneumonia cases that sprung up unexpectedly among market-goers in Wuhan, China. Public health officials now know the spike in pneumonia cases there constituted an outbreak of a new type of coronavirus, now named SARS-CoV-2.

    As soon as local health authorities detect an outbreak, they start an investigation to determine exactly who is affected and how many have the disease. They use that information to figure out how best to contain the outbreak and prevent additional illnesses.


    Bigger and spreading.

    An epidemic is an outbreak over a larger geographic area. When people in places outside of Wuhan began testing positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 (which causes the disease known as COVID-19), epidemiologists knew the outbreak was spreading, a likely sign that containment efforts were insufficient or came too late. This was not unexpected, given that no treatment or vaccine is yet available. But widespread cases of COVID-19 across China meant that the Wuhan outbreak had grown to an epidemic.

    COVID-19 was first noticed in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 but quickly spread across the globe. This map shows all countries with confirmed cases on March 5, 2020. CDC


    International and out of control.

    In the most classical sense, once an epidemic spreads to multiple countries or regions of the world, it is considered a pandemic. However, some epidemiologists classify a situation as a pandemic only once the disease is sustained in some of the newly affected regions through the local transmission.

    To illustrate, a sick traveler with COVID-19 who returns to the U.S. from China doesn’t make a pandemic, but once they infect a few family members or friends, there’s some debate. If new local outbreaks ensue, epidemiologists will agree that efforts to control global spread have failed and refer to the emerging situation as a pandemic.

    Terms are political, not just medical

    Epidemiologists are principally concerned with preventing disease, which may be fundamentally different than the broader concerns of governments or international health organizations.

    As of this writing, the World Health Organization classifies the risk of global COVID-19 spread as “very high,” the highest level in their risk classification scheme and one step below an official pandemic declaration. This means that the WHO remains hopeful that, by taking aggressive steps now, containment of localized outbreaks may still be possible.

    But I and other scientists and public health officials are already calling this a pandemic. The official numbers count excess of 100,000 cases in almost 100 countries, and community spread has been documented in the U.S. and elsewhere. By the classical definition, it’s a pandemic.

    A formal declaration of COVID-19 or any other infectious disease as pandemic tells governments, agencies and aid organizations worldwide to shift efforts from containment to mitigation. It has economic, political and societal impacts on a global scale.

    The formal declaration need not incite fear or cause you to stockpile surgical masks. It does not mean the virus has become more infectious or more deadly, nor that your personal risk of getting the disease is greater. But it will be a historical event.

    [Expertise in your inbox. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter and get a digest of academic takes on today’s news, every day.]The Conversation

    Rebecca S.B. Fischer, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Texas A&M University
    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
  • Hate exercise? Small increases in physical activity can make a big difference 2020-03-01T01:04:00.000-06:00
    You don’t have to run a marathon to get into better shape. Make walking a part of your routine every day. Rawpixel/
    Libby Richards, Purdue University

    A new year typically brings new resolutions. While making resolutions is easy, sticking with them is not. Exercise-related resolutions consistently make the top 10 list, but up to 80% of resolutions to be healthier, including promises to exercise more, are tossed aside by February.

    You know physical activity is good for you. But, that isn’t always enough to get or keep you moving. You’re not alone. Fewer than half of American adults are as active as they should be.

    How active should you be? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week.

    So, let’s think about physical activity in a different way. As a nurse who researches exercise, I can tell you that it is likely the closest thing to a fountain of youth or a magic pill that you will have in your lifetime.

    Exercise improves mood and sleep in addition to lowering your risk for many diseases. Jacob Lund/

    Benefits to all parts of your body

    Research shows that every single system in the body benefits when you are more active. You sleep better. You have more energy. You find yourself in a better mood. You think more clearly and remember better. Your bones become stronger. Your body also responds better to insulin, which lowers your risk of diabetes. And you significantly reduce your risk for many cancers. All of that is in addition to the better-known weight and heart benefits of physical activity.

    Bottom line: If you want to live a long and healthy life, you need to be active.

    But “that’s easier said than done,” you might be saying to yourself. In fact, increasing your physical activity is probably easier than you think. You don’t need to buy expensive equipment or join a gym. And you will begin to reap the rewards of physical activity almost as soon as you start. Adding small amounts of movement to your daily routine goes a long way.

    Brisk walking, at a pace of at least a 20-minute mile, provides health benefits similar to running, and probably more social benefits. Plus, your risk of injury is much lower. And you can walk – for free with nothing more than comfortable shoes – from almost anywhere: your neighborhood, your office, or in lieu of waiting behind the wheel of your car in the pickup line at your kid’s school. A 22-minute walk every day, or two 11-minute ones, would put you just over 150 minutes every week.

    It isn’t cheating to break your 150 minutes a week into small increments. In fact, even for people who are physically fit and exercise every day, breaking up periods of sitting is critically important. Even if you are getting enough exercise, sitting for the rest of the day can undo the health benefits of your workout. If you aren’t yet ready to aim for 2.5 hours of brisk walking each week, reducing the time you spend sitting would be a great starting goal.

    Setting other goals

    Many experts who work with clients or patients to set goals using the acronym SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based) to guide goal-setting. This simple method could help you achieve a goal to sit less and move more in the new year:
    • Be specific. Rather than just “sit less, move more,” including when you will start and how will you do it. Specify what actions you will take to meet your goal. For example, make a list of how you can get more steps in each day by doing specific things, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
    • Make it measurable. Again, “less” and “more” are hard to measure. Instead, try “Walk for 5 minutes after every hour of sitting.” Without a way to measure your goal, it becomes hard to know when you have achieved it.
    • Make it attainable. If you currently don’t exercise at all, 150 minutes a week may not be realistic. How about three 20-minute walks per week? You can slowly increase after you achieve that first goal. And choose an activity you might enjoy. If you already know you hate running, a goal to do it every day would be less attainable.
    • Set realistic goals. Your new activity goal should work for you and fit within your lifestyle. It’s great to challenge yourself, but break up challenging goals into smaller, more realistic, goals to help keep on track.
    • Set a time by which you will meet your goal. For example, will you take a certain number of steps by noon each day? Or, will you build up to 150 minutes a week by mid-April? You’re more likely to achieve short-term goals that lead to a long-term one.
    One of the best ways to keep up with your efforts is to track your progress. You can do it with pen and paper, in a journal, or in one of many smartphone apps. As you see yourself making progress, it can be easier to keep up the routine.

    Making exercise a family affair is a fun and easy way to get moving. Monkey Business Images/

    Expand your view of exercise

    Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to go a gym to get moving. There are ways to make exercise part of your lifestyle, without too much inconvenience.
    • Get the family involved. Play tag, go on a scavenger hunt at a local park or walk to your favorite hangout.
    • Park farther away from your workplace, the store, the library, etc.
    • Walk during your breaks at work and over your lunch period.
    • Instead of having coffee with friends, take a walk with them.
    • Whenever you are on the phone, stand up and walk around.
    • If you are at your kid’s or grandkid’s sporting event, walk the sidelines instead of sitting on the bleachers.
    • Try to find ways to make walking more meaningful. For example, try walking your own dog or a shelter dog. Dogs make great exercise companions that will never turn down an opportunity to walk.
    As you undertake the big change from being inactive to becoming active, understand that setbacks happen. Don’t let one slip-up derail your whole goal. When possible, have a backup plan to deal with barriers like weather or time constraints. And celebrate the small victories you make toward reaching longer-term goals.

    Looking for more tips on how to get started? Check out this guide.
    [ Like what you’ve read? Want more? Sign up for The Conversation’s daily newsletter. ]The Conversation
    Libby Richards, Associate Professor of Nursing, Purdue University
    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
  • Keto Diet, Net Carbs, And Food Labels 2020-02-29T11:57:00.000-06:00
    three sugar cubes with skull and cross bone danger signs

    Carbohydrates include starches, sugars, fiber, and sugar alcohols. The Nutrition Facts Label lists the four types as Total Carbohydrates.

    The body converts carbs into glucose for a slew of metabolic processes. A rapid or slow conversion takes place controlled by carbohydrates involved.

    The Glycemic Index.

    The Glycemic Index rates the speed that carbs convert to glucose. A high number indicates a rapid conversion, while a low number a slow conversion.

    Table sugar with a glycemic number 61 converts faster than pinto beans 39. The slower conversion to glucose has better benefits for fat loss.

    The faster conversion into glucose, the higher the blood sugar spike. High blood sugar increases insulin, causing the body to store protein and fat. The body needs to burn fat for fat loss.

    Consistent high insulin spikes may create many health problems like diabetes and heart disease.

    By controlling insulin, you improve the body's ability to extract fat from fat cells. Fat removed from the cells burns easier for energy, the principle for most low-carb diets.

    Non-Impact Carbs.

    The non-impact carbs include fiber and sugar alcohols.

    Fiber is indigestible passes through the body without impacting blood sugar. Sugar alcohols are digestible and taste sweet, but have little effect on blood sugar levels.

    Effective Carbs:

    An effective carb raises blood sugar levels. So, most low-carb diets limit an effective carb, for keeping glucose and insulin levels under control. While on a ketogenic diet, the carb limit may only be 20 grams per day.

    An effective carb will classify as either simple or complex carbs. Simple carbs have rapid conversions into glucose, but complex carbs take longer resulting from fiber content.

    Net Carbs And Sugar Alcohols

    The net carb is the total carbs in the food, minus the fiber. Foods having 30 grams total carbs, subtract 10 grams fiber carbs, leaves 20 grams of net carbs. Some dieters subtract the sugar alcohols however, they contain calories.

    The sugar alcohol maltitol can spike blood sugar enough that diabetics and keto dieters should steer clear.

    Eating sugar alcohols may cause diarrhea. Sugar alcohols are not abundant in natural foods and may lead to digestive problems like gas, cramps and bloating.

    The keto diet by design enters ketosis, the state of burning ketones instead of glucose. The consumption of carbs pushes the body from ketosis, defeating the purpose of the ketogenic diet.

    Glycemic Index For Sugar Alcohols Worst To Best

    Maltitol 35
    Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates 35
    Xylitol 12
    Glycerol 5
    Sorbitol 4
    Lactitol 3
    Isomalt 2
    Mannitol 2
    Erythritol 1

    Erythritol has the lowest glycemic index and the lowest chance of digestive problems.

    Food Label Tips:

    • New food label guidelines have changed the servings per container.
    • A serving size is not a health recommendation.
    • New regulations standardize servings to what studies show people eat rather than should.
    • The new food labels have adjustments for the large portions people eat today. However, this does not mean you should eat larger servings.
    • Every 100 calories will take 25 minutes of walking to burn.
    • Daily value percent is from healthy population studies and does not reflect individual requirements.
    Other Things That Cause Blood Sugar Spikes

    1. Lack of proper sleep lowers the ability to break down sugar.
    2. A lack of exercise may keep blood sugar high, for you are not using it, but that isn't surprising.
    3. Intense exercise may raise blood sugar. Relax, it's temporary. During exercise, the body will use stored glucose and breakdown protein for extra glucose. Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health.
    4. Stress may cause blood sugar spikes.
    5. Some medications will raise blood sugar.
    6. Gum disease and other infections may cause a rise in glucose.
    7. Smoking.
    8. An effect referred to as the cephalic phase insulin release. Taste receptors trigger an insulin release from taste or anticipation of something sweet. The studies on the effect have mixed results, and sucralose appears as the biggest culprit.
    Life can be keto and fun,
    Tommy Douglas
  • Keto Diet Garlic and Chive Cauliflower Mash 2020-02-26T11:52:00.001-06:00
    Keto Diet Garlic and Chive Cauliflower Mash great mashed potato substitute
    This appetizing ketogenic cauliflower mash couples well with a wide range of beef, pork, chicken, and plant-based entrees. Plus, it comes together in less 30 minutes, so it is perfect for those busy weeknights when you want to get a healthful nourishing dinner on the table without a lot of elbow grease.

    Preparation time: 10 minutes

    Cook time: 15 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Tip: Steaming the garlic along with the cauliflower will remove the raw edge and make it more tender.

    • 1 medium cauliflower head, florets only
    • 2-3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
    • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1 tsp. onion powder
    • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
    • 3 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
    * Cauliflower facts and healful benefits from WebMD:
    • Cauliflower is very keto with only 3 net carbs per 3.5-ounce serving.  
    • 100% of your daily allowance of Vitamin C. 
    • 25% of Vitamin K
    • Good source of fiber
    • It contains glucosinolates which are anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial. They may help prevent cancer and protect against cell damage.
     WebMD does warn about certain medical conditions where you should avoid cauliflower.

    1. Place the cauliflower florets and the garlic cloves into a steamer basket set over a pot of lightly boiling water.
    2. Cover and steam until the cauliflower is fork-tender, around 15 minutes.
    3. Transfer the cauliflower and garlic to a food processor or blender and add the olive oil, almond milk, garlic powder, and onion powder.
    4. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and process until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasonings, as desired.
    5. Transition to a serving bowl and top with fresh chives before serving. Enjoy!
    Keto Diet Garlic and Chive Cauliflower Mash Nutrition Facts Calories 105 Total Carbohydrate 9.3 g,
    Stay keto and live long,
    Tommy Douglas
  • Helping Spread The NIH Message About Physical Activity! 2020-02-26T09:38:00.000-06:00
    Exercise and be active every day so you can keep doing what's most important to you. Practice all 4 types of exercise for the most benefits.
    • Endurance so you can climb steps and dance the night away.
    • Strength so you can lift groceries and carry grandchildren.
    • Balance so you can prevent falls and related injuries. Tip: Use a chair or the wall for support.
    • Flexibility so you can drive and get dressed.
    Visit Go4Life and be #Fit4Function. Get exercise ideas, motivational tips, and more from Go4Life, an exercise and physical activity campaign for older adults from the National Institute on Aging at NIH.
    Be #Fit4Function with Go4Life. Full transcript below.

    Share on Social Media

    Copy and paste these messages into social media to help spread the word about being Fit4Function:
    • Exercise helps you keep doing what's most important to you! Learn more #Fit4Function
    • Want to stay independent and doing activities important to you? Spread the word about how exercise can help #Fit4Function
    • Learn about how exercise can keep you #Fit4Function! Share this infographic from @NIAGo4Life

    #exercise #tip #institute #visit #use #chair #wall #support #flexibility #dressed #strength #tough #power #might #body #firm #active #force #energy #solid
  • Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Dessert 2020-02-21T14:21:00.000-06:00
    Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Desserts by Tommy Douglas

    I have been trying to perfect a cookie recipe that tastes good and remains Keto. Baking isn't my forte but I am learning. This my last attempt and it delivers an apparent great healthful alternative to sugary store-bought cookies.

    Makes 20 Cookies 

    Dry Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients

    • 1.5 Cups Almond Flour
    • .5 tsp Ground Cinnamon
    • .5 tsp Baking Soda
    • .5 tsp Sea Salt
    • .5 tsp Nutmeg
    • .5 tsp Ground Ginger
    • 4 Tbsp Granulated Sweetener (Swerve)
    • 3 Tbsp Brown Sugar Substitute (Swerve)
    • 3 Tbsp Coconut Flour

    Wet Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients

    1 Large Egg
    4 Tbsp Coconut Oil
    4 Tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream
    .5 tsp Vanilla Extract
    5 Drops Liquid Stevia
    2 Tbsp Jordan’s Skinny Syrups (I used salted caramel}
    80 Lily’s Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips (4 per cookie)

    Directions for Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie 

    1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
    2. Combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
    3. Melt coconut oil if needed and let cool a bit.
    4. Add egg, vanilla, Stevia, syrup, and cream mix together then add to dry ingredients.
    5. Mix well to form cookie dough. Add extra cream or oil if too dry.
    6. Line a large enough pan or pans with parchment paper.
    7. Scoop out 20 portions.
    8. Flatten cookies to desired thickness. I used the backside of spoon wetting it down as needed to keep the dough from sticking.
    9. Add 4 chocolate chips to each flattened portion.
    10. Bake for about 25 minutes and allow 30 minutes or more to cool.

    * For some reason using different types of sweeteners helps food to taste better.

    Nutrition Facts for Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie 

    20 Servings

    Amount Per Serving

    • Calories 95.0
    • Total Fat 8.8 g
    • Saturated Fat 3.7 g
    • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
    • Monounsaturated Fat 0.5 g
    • Cholesterol 14.7 mg
    • Sodium 10.1 mg
    • Potassium 16.7 mg
    • Total Carbohydrate 4.5 g
    • Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
    • Sugars 0.5 g
    • Protein 2.4 g
    • Vitamin A 0.9 %
    • Vitamin C 0.1 %
    • Vitamin D 0.4 %
    • Iron 2.6 %
    Calculated with SparkPeople recipe analyzer

    Try to avoid snacking and use this ketogenic cookie recipe as a dessert.

    Live Keto and prosper,
    Tommy Douglas
    The healthcare guy

    #keto chocolate, # coconut,keto #cookie recipe
  • The 9 Top Harmful Foods You Need To Avoid 2020-01-31T23:47:00.001-06:00

    - if you want to live a long and healthy life.

    picture of a sugar laden donut diisplay

    Some people think since you put in the mouth and swallow, it must be food. We have all these habits of eating things considered food but aren’t.

    Let us first discuss what food is.

    Food provides fuel and nutrients. It should contain the building blocks to build new tissue. Food needs to contain vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that help your body function. That's what whole food is.

    Whole food has all those different things, but when we process the food, we destroy it. We make it non-food.

    Health is the ability to turn the fuel in the building blocks and the catalysts into energy and tissue.

    The brain receives a billion bits of information every second. The body sends information from your intestines, tissues, joints, and muscles. It comes from the environment, temperature, air pressure, and gravity.

    All those things generate signals that your body has to use energy to process and regulate.

    Health is the ability to produce and manage the signals. The better your body is at this the healthier you are.

    A poison interferes with regulating signals. By interfering with the production of energy. Or by interfering with the transport and regulation of signals.

    Keep this in mind.

    Nine foods to avoid for your health.

    1. Duck Out On Nonfat Products. 

    Anything labeled nonfat, low-fat, or reduced-fat. If labeled as low-fat or nonfat, that means they removed the fat. The food was complete, but now it isn't.

    The fat provided flavor and texture. It had satisfying properties. When they take the fat out, we lose that satiating property of the food.

    They will have to add sugar, artificial flavors, artificial stabilizers, and chemicals. Trying to give it the same texture, flavor and feel that the product used to have. It’s made nonfood. Unprocessed foods have good quality fats.

    When we remove good fats and put something else in it becomes a chemical concoction.

    2. Deflect And Shirk Deli Meats.

    Deli meats are one of those things that could be good or it could be bad.

    Understanding why it would or wouldn't. If they use wholesome meat without lots of chemicals or nitrates. If the animal ate organic natural food that meat is an excellent product. But if they add extra sugar, nitrites, and preservatives, it’s no longer good food.

    It became more poison than meat.

    For instance, take hot dogs who may know what is in those things. Many times there’s little meat and excess filler. Good hot dogs can be excellent snacks, I like Nathan’ s Famous. Those loaded with junk you should avoid.

    3. Say No To GMO's

    Genetically modified organisms, the primary ones to avoid are corn, soy, and sugar beets. They're others, so pay attention to labels and find foods labeled non-GMO. Organic is supposed to equal non-GMO.  You can't trust that 100% but you will be safer.

    GMOs may combine with bacterial DNA strains in your gut to create new species. They may produce or alcohol that you don’t want in your body.

    4. Recoil From Vegetable Oils.

    Vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, and corn oil are sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen. So, they are quick to oxidize, and then go rancid. To make them shelf-stable, they process them with chemical enhancers. So, they are far from food, and you do not want them in your diet.

    They’re high in pro-inflammatory omega 6’s and trans fats. You should use stable butter, olive oil or coconut oil. When restaurant dining your deep-fried food cooks in the same oil many times. That makes it toxic because of the heat and the repetition, but it was toxic from the start.

    5. Bypass The White Flour.

    Food processors bleach processed white flour with chemicals. Manufacturers remove the nutrients to make it shelf-stable. Nutrients react with oxygen, heat, and light. Taking the nutrients leaves only the starch. The white flour comes from modern wheat.

    Modern wheat is nothing like the wheat that we had on the planet thousands of years ago. Perhaps humans had grain ten thousand years ago, but it isn't the same.

    They’ve gone through thousands of different wheat strains to find something with a high yield and resistant to weather. The aim in modern wheat was not health, but it was to increase the yield, a noble intention, but along the way they lost what wheat was. Read the book Wheat Belly to learn what they did to modern wheat and what it does to you.

    Wheat is in lots of foods. You will find wheat in cereal, bread, and many other foods. You wouldn't expect wheat in imitation crabmeat, but it's there.

    6. Run Flee The MSG

    MSG (monosodium glutamate) a chemical to make non-food taste better. There's zero nutritional value. MSG is a flavor enhancer and a neurotransmitter excitotoxin. MSG signals and tricks your taste buds to excite activity in the body. MSG tricks the brain into thinking food tastes better and you want more. A dream come true for processed food manufacturers.

    It’s a drug effect. It overstimulates and overexcites your brain.

    7. Steer Clear Of Sugar.

    Sugar(glucose, fructose) comes to us as refined and processed food. While it provides fuel, it doesn’t provide building blocks or catalysts. It converts into energy, though it depletes the body because it doesn’t have any nutrients.

    That makes it poison consumed in large enough quantities. The problem is sugar is in most processed foods to add taste and flavor. Sugar use is addictive and may lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

    8. Abstain From Margarine and trans fats.

    Margarine is a synthetic man-made non-food. It is a toxic chemical. Now, the mainstream government guidelines say to limit trans fats. They made it mandatory to put trans fat on the food labels.

    Margarine is a manufactured saturated fat synthetic made with processed plant oil. Food makers process margarine using high heat, high pressure and lots of chemicals. It’s a toxic product high in omega-6's.

    They bombard this with hydrogen protons. The process turns polyunsaturated oil into a partially saturated fat. Creating a molecule that doesn’t exist in nature.

    The body doesn't well use or metabolize this product.

    You use fats in the body for fuel, but you also use them for cell membranes. The structure of these fatty acids determines the properties of your cell membranes.

    Your cell membranes are the barriers that decide the inside and outside the cell. They determine what enters the cell and doesn't.

    If you have unmetabolized margarine in your body, you're deficient in essential fatty acids. The body will start substituting whatever fat it has.

    The body puts margarine and trans fats into the cell membrane. This will and disrupt, destroy, and alter the signaling properties of that membrane.

    A process implicated in many diseases, including cancer.

    9. Evade And Escape Artificial sweeteners.

    Artificial sweeteners aren't food or nutrients. Artificial sweeteners are poisons and neurotoxins. Some are worse than others.

    Artificial sweeteners to avoid.

    • Aspartame
    • Sucralose
    • Saccharin

    They are neurotoxins, chemicals, and man-made they have no function or place in the body!

    References Dr. Sten Ekberg

    Image by OshDesign from Pixabay

    Thanks for reading,
    Tommy Douglas

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