Saturday, July 17, 2010

Food . . .

First off, I'd like to thank all of you for your concern for Terry. I'm happy to report that he is fine and dandy once again, Huzzah!!

Several of you have written with dietary suggestions, and not a few of you have pointed out that low carb eating is often listed as non advisable for those with gout, so I wanted to address that.

I think there are lots of misconceptions about low carb eating. Many people think that all low carbers eat is meat and fat, but that just isn't the case.

Our dietary changes have centered more around what we've eliminated from our diets rather than what we have added or increased. Here's a few examples of what we have cut out as completely as possible.

An easy way to describe a lot of it is we try to avoid white food (except for dairy). This means most wheat (including bread, but we've found an excellent substitute, recipe upon request), sugar (very difficult if you eat any prepared food, good thing I cook), potatoes, rice, and most starches.

We have greatly increased the amount of vegetables we eat, staying within the list of low carb, high fiber veggies. We also eat fruit, but again, try to stay within certain limits (berry season is a real blessing). We also avoid all low fat dairy, as the processes involved in making dairy low fat seem to increase the lactose sugars. So while we eat yogurt (plain, natural and whole milk), butter and cream in our coffee, we do avoid all non fat foods.

This has certainly changed our food shopping habits, as we usually only visit the produce, meat and dairy cases. Our food bill has also gone down, an added bonus. This pre-made foods are expensive!

In reading up on this, I have to say I believe the low fat foods are a "product" that have been marketed to the American public. If you start reading labels, the sugars in these products are often higher than the whole fat products. Fats are essential to providing out bodies with many needed nutrients and promote a variety of essential brain functions. They are also beneficial to your eyesight, hair, skin and nails.

Recent research has indicated that saturated fat is not the heart disease culprit the media would have you believe. More info is available here, here and here . Or you can just Google saturated fat, heart disease and low carb to read more.

In the mid 1970s, low fat, calorie counting became the norm for those who wished to lose weight and eat healthy. That said, since that time, the number of overweight Americans has more than tripled. Is there a correlation?

Often, when we go to look for yogurt, we can't even find the full milk variety, but find two or more dairy cases filled with tiny, expensive flavored yogurts, all low or non fat. If you read the labels, the sugar content in these "health foods" is ridiculously high when you look at the amount of food you are ingesting.

None of this is to say that we are eating a ton of fat.

We completely stay away from hydrogenated fats (and partially hydrogenated fats, and also high fructose corn syrup). We eat eggs, cottage cheese, chicken (with the skin when called for) fish, lean pork, roasts of beef and the occasional steak. This is along with a nice healthy salad (full blue cheese dressing, thank you, I have a GREAT recipe) and usually a nice helping of a fiber rich vegetable (we love broccoli and roasted Brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc.).

Desert is fruit or yogurt with fruit, or one of the many low carb desserts I've discovered thanks to the internet.

Both our blood numbers are down into the low healthy range and we are both losing at the rate of 1-2 pounds a week, never starving ourselves.

We did discuss diet with the Doctor when Terry's gout appeared and looking at his blood numbers, our food choices and Terry's medical history, he felt this really wasn't a dietary problem and would most likely not re-occur. Taking into account his excellent blood work and the minor spike in Uric acid, we're hoping this will be the case. If it does re-occur, we'll consult further.

If this topic interests you at all, I can fully recommend the book Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. It's a fascinating read.

I didn't mean to get on my soapbox here, but I just wanted to reply to the many of you who have emailed us.

We are still in Santa Fe, and may stay longer because we find the town is agreeing with us (and we do love the bead stores).

I promise to get some pictures of the jewelry we're creating and hope to share them with you in a future post.


Barb A said...

Glad to hear Terry's on the mend. Interesting post today, thanks - will have to start reading labels. I also love yogurt and fruit, often mixing with a bit of brown sugar in my Donvier hand crank ice cream maker (make the real stuff too). Via rummaging, garages sales and ebay, have found a 1/2 pint, pint and quart. Pint stays in LD for shares on the road. No reply necessary, just passing on thoughts.

Barb and Gypsy
'92 TK

photowannabe said...

Happy to hear Terry is so much better.
Your new way of eating seems to be working for you. Keep it up. Its great.