RUTH MARCUS ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS
‘I really enjoy cappuccinos. How many can I drink in a day?’
Q: Since I started eating LCHF, I’ve been struggling with indigestion. What can I do to fix this?
A: To begin with, always remember that you don’t need to be eating an excessive amount of fat. A lot of people feel the need to gorge on copious amounts of fatty meats, dollops of butter and cream and to drench salads and veggies in olive oil. Too much of anything is not good for you – this applies to fats too! Ensure that your fat consumption is appropriate and allow your body to slowly adjust to this new way of eating. If you haven’t cooked with much fat in the past, try using coconut oil, which is easily digested by the body.
Taking a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar mixed in warm water can also aid indigestion. Drink it before meals and first thing in the morning.
Lastly, avoid creamy and cheesy sauces and see if your symptoms improve. Focus on getting your fats from other sources such as avocados, olive oil, nuts and olives at first. Then gradually add other fats such as butter and see how your body responds.
Q: I haven’t been getting much sleep. Could this be causing my weight loss to stall?
A: Quite simply, yes! Good quality sleep is so important – and it affects our weight both directly and indirectly. The direct effect is linked to insulin. Sleep deprivation inhibits your body’s ability to efficiently utilise insulin and therefore halts the fat-burning process. Lack of sleep also interferes with your body’s satiety and hunger hormones: leptin and ghrelin. Minimal sleep results in ghrelin being stimulated, leaving you hungry and metabolically compromised.
The indirect effect of sleep deprivation is the impact it has on your cognitive ability and decision-making. Bad decision-making is unfortunately very common when you are in a sleepdeprived state. (That doughnut you got at the garage at 2am, the Uber Eats you ordered at 11pm … you get the picture!). Prioritise sleep. Your mind will thank you, as will your waistline.
Q: I really enjoy cappuccinos. How many can I drink in a day?
A: One regular-sized cappuccino contains around 7g of carbs, almost all of which is contained in the milk added. If you are severely insulin resistant and have a lot of weight to lose, I recommend avoiding dairy in your hot drinks until you are closer to your ideal body weight and your blood markers have improved.
For those who are healthy, or relatively healthy, and not heavily overweight, one cappuccino a day should not be detrimental to your health or weight loss goals.
Pouring cream has a much lower carb and sugar content than milk. Try a splash of cream in your black coffee instead. Just remember not to go overboard as cream is very calorie dense.
Q: I am a diabetic and would like to try LCHF, but I am anxious about my glucose levels dropping too low. Please advise.
A: If you have diabetes and have been prescribed a type of medication called sulphonylureas, or you’re injecting insulin, it’s imperative you discuss a reduction in your medication with your doctor and nutritionist before starting LCHF. They will guide you accordingly.
Sulphonylureas such as Gliclazide, Glimepiride and Tolbutamide work by stimulating the cells in the pancreas to make more insulin. Taking this medication on top of severely reducing your carb intake could result in a hypoglycaemic episode. We do not want this to happen! An LCHF way of eating naturally reduces blood sugar levels, which is one of the reasons why it can be beneficial for diabetics.
Reducing medication appropriately, in conjunction with an LCHF diet, can greatly improve your HbA1c levels and give you better blood sugar control. Keep a glucose meter with you at all times when transitioning to LCHF so you can keep track of your glucose levels throughout the day and prevent any hypo- or hyperglycaemic episodes from occurring.
If you are severely insulin resistant and have a lot of weight to lose, I recommend avoiding dairy in your hot drinks until you are closer to your ideal body weight.