Latest from the American Heart Association

It’s been a few weeks since I last blogged, so my apologies for that. I am hoping to fix that now that my schedule is starting to even out. I did want to make sure that I posted about this, however, as it is BIG NEWS. I first heard about it from Dr. Ken Berry and his YouTube channel. If you would like to see his video on it, you can click here. So, let’s start on going through the gist of this 38 page paper, shall we?

First, you can find the PDF article here:

Abstract of article

Starting with the abstract:

ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in patients with diabetes. Cardiovascular disease in diabetes is multifactorial, and control of the cardiovascular risk factors leads to substantial reductions in cardiovascular events. The 2015 American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association scientific statement, “Update on Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Light of Recent Evidence,” highlighted the importance of modifying various risk factors responsible for cardiovascular disease in diabetes. At the time, there was limited evidence to suggest that glucose-lowering medications reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. At present, several large randomized controlled trials with newer antihyperglycemic agents have been completed, demonstrating cardiovascular safety and reduction in cardiovascular outcomes, including cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart failure. This AHA scientific statement update focuses on (1) the evidence and clinical utility of newer antihyperglycemic agents in improving glycemic control and reducing cardiovascular events in diabetes; (2) the impact of blood pressure control on cardiovascular events in diabetes; and (3) the role of newer lipid-lowering therapies in comprehensive cardiovascular risk management in adults with diabetes. This scientific statement addresses the continued importance of lifestyle interventions, pharmacological therapy, and surgical interventions to curb the epidemic of obesity and metabolic syndrome, important precursors of prediabetes, diabetes, and comorbid cardiovascular disease. Last, this scientific statement explores the critical importance of the social determinants of health and health equity in the continuum of care in diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Ok, that’s a lot, so let me break it down for you. Obviously, there is a concern regarding the link between Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease. The study looked at 3 things: the use of antihyperglycemic agents (aka prescriptions drugs for diabetes), Impact of blood pressure control on cardiovascular events, and the role of new lipid-lowering therapies. So the next question is, what were the findings?

T2D indicators

First, let’s go over some indicators. We know that T2Ds have a higher blood sugar level, but what causes that? Surprise: it’s not just eating too much sugar. According to the article:

progression to T2D includes metabolic syndrome and prediabetes with glucose dysregulation attributable to liver, skeletal muscle, and adipocyte insulin resistance, along with proinflammatory cytokines

This means that to get to T2D, you suffer from metabolic syndrome, inability to manage glucose (aka sugar), which can be attributed to liver, skeletal muscle, and adipocyte (cells that store fat) insulin resistance, and proinflammatory cytokines, aka small proteins that are crucial in controlling the growth and activity of other immune system cells and blood cells.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, metabolic syndrome is defined as having 3 or more of the following:

  • a waist circumference ≥35 inches for women or 40 inches for men
  • elevated triglycerides (≥150 mg/dL)
  • a high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) <40 mg/dL in men or <50 mg/dL in women
  • hypertension (≥130/85 mm Hg)
  • elevated fasting plasma glucose (FPG; ≥100 mg/dL)

At one point in time, I suffered 4 of these 5.

The article then moves in to Lifestyle Management.

LIfe Management

In adults with T2D, greater adherence to an overall healthy lifestyle is associated with a substantially lower risk of incident CVD and CVD mortality (Table 1). The table is on page 4 of the study posted above. But what does that mean? In a nutshell, it advises that an overall healthy lifestyle will likely put you at a lower risk of CVD and CVD mortality.

What the study showed is through an intensive life management change (calorie goal of 1200 to 1800 kcal per day (with <30% from fat and >15% from protein)), the patients lost more weight then just calorie deficit and lowered their A1C faster. In addition,

intensive lifestyle intervention yielded improvements in other cardiovascular risk factors, sleep apnea, fitness, renal disease, peripheral neuropathy, and depressive symptoms.

There was not enough research on this study to confirm that it definitively will remove cardiovascular disease, but it is definitely in the right direction.

You know that I am a proponent of movement. This study found that

Physical activity

Increased physical activity and exercise have been shown to improve glycemic control, lipids, BP, insulin sensitivity, and inflammatory biomarkers in T2D

This indicates that physical exercise (minimum of 3 times a week) also helps to lessen cardiovascular disease.


Here is where it starts to get interesting. To quote the article (again):

The Mediterranean, Paleolithic, low-carbohydrate, high-protein, vegetarian, and nut-enriched diets have demonstrated benefits on glycemic control and weight loss in T2D, with the Mediterranean diet producing the greatest improvements in glycemic control and a 29% CVD reduction over 4.8 years.

Keto is low-carbohydrate, high-protein. Obviously, this statement does not limit to only Keto, but this is the first study from AHA that includes Keto, so that is quite exciting.

Very low–carbohydrate versus moderate carbohydrate diets yield a greater decrease in A1c, more weight loss and use of fewer diabetes medications in individuals with diabetes. For those who are unable to adhere to a calorie-restricted diet, a low-carbohydrate diet reduces A1c and triglycerides. Very low-carbohydrate diets were effective in reducing A1c over shorter time periods (<6 months) with less differences in interventions ≥12 months

The study showed that very low-carb decreases A1C more than a moderate carbohydrate, as well as more weight loss and less medications. It also showed to reduce triglycerides (which are well known for being higher on a diet of pasta and rice). Note that the very low-carb diet was more effective in reducing A1C over a shorter amount of time. THIS is very exciting.


So, this is the first study that the AHA has published where they are acknowledging the benefits of a Ketogenic way of life. Eating ‘Keto’ will reduce your A1C faster then the previous recommended diets and will improve overall health. So, let’s get started on your road to health with a Ketogenic, keto-vore, or carnivore way of life.

Happy New Year

happy birthday to you wall decor
Photo by Anna Tarazevich on

Are you ready for a change? I can help you with that.

I watch several YouTube channels, and one of them, 2KrazyKetos, released their January challenge today and Rachel was rather adamant that it is not New Year, New You, but New Year, New Do. I understand her thoughts on this. So, I am going to go with it.

the challenge

Now, before I go further, my husband had decided to participate in the BBBE (Beef, Butter, Bacon, Eggs) challenge, a challenge put out there by Dr. Ken Berry, before we knew that the 2KrazyKetos were going to do this challenge again. They did the challenge for 46 days this past fall. So, two days ago, we went and had our labs done, and a DEXA scan. We will have the same done after 3 months of just eating BBBE. This is not a requirement for anyone and I would never tell you that you have to do this, so please don’t think that I am. This is strictly for my husband and I to see what happens. He will go back to Keto and I to Ketovore at the end of the 3 months.

motivational simple inscription against doubts
Photo by Olya Kobruseva on

Why are we doing this?

We are doing this as a reset, to retrain our thinking on food. Beef and butter happen to be excellent ways to heal your body, so why not give it a try. Dr. Berry promises that our body fat will not go up and our blood work should improve. Please note that I didn’t say our overall cholesterol will go down. For some, it will. I do not expect that for us, as for most, it will go up. I will do a blog about why that does not bother me, in the near future. We are hoping that this will remove some of the inflammation that has built up in my body by unknowingly eating soy. As I type this, my arthritis in my fingers is truly flaring, and we believe it to be the pork and chicken I’ve been eating. Hence, the challenge.

What is BBBE?

Dr. Berry and the 2KrazyKetos go over this, so I’ll make it brief.

  • Beef – Any beef or ruminant animal. This includes Bison, Elk, Sheep, etc. If you can incorporate liver and heart in some way, even better, as they have a ton of nutrients
  • Butter – Butter, or Ghee. The 2KrazyKetos are incorporating tallow, which I would classify under Beef.
  • Bacon – Bacon, or pork belly. There is debate over whether Dr. Berry means all pork or just bacon or pork belly. We are looking at it as, what is the fat content and is it high enough.
  • Eggs – Eggs are one of the more perfect foods. 1-to-1 ratio of protein to fat. This part is actually going to be a challenge for me, as I do not like eggs. So, my egg intake will be lower than most during this time.

New ‘Do’

Therefore, taking the phrase from Rachel at 2KrazyKetos, a new ‘Do’ is in order. Are you ready to start a new ‘Do’ for your life? Let me help you with that. As a certified Keto and Carnivore Health Coach, I can and will help you with that. Coach Bronson (affiliate link) would say: Get after it. 2022, here we come. We can do this, together.

Food tracking

There are many different apps that can be used to track food. The most popular ones that are used in the Keto community are Cronometer, My Fitness Pal, Net Diary, Noom, and Carb Manager. There are others as well, but these are the 5 that I have used. But which one is best? That will depend on you and what you want to accomplish.

The two most popular in the keto community are Cronometer and Carb Manager. Both have a free and pay version. The biggest difference I’ve found, and the reason I prefer Cronometer over Carb Manager, is that the nutrition values for Cronometer are more accurate. Allow me to explain. You enter the food that you are eating into the app, and it brings up the calorie count, carb count, protein and fat count, and so on. It pulls from a common database that all users have access to (unless you add your own recipe). Here is where the two apps differ. If the item is not in the database, the users are able to add it. With Carb Manager, you add the information and then save it and everyone has access to it. With Cronometer, the information is submitted, and they have a team that reviews the information for accuracy. Once it is verified, then it is added to the database. So, I found many of the entries in Carb Manager did not have the accurate nutrition listed. So, if you use Carb Manager, be aware, and use at your own risk.

So, how do you use Chronometer? It’s easier then most think. The following directions are for if you are using a desktop computer. Once I set it up via a regular computer, I installed the app on my phone and opened it there, all set up.

First, go to and create an account. When you go to create an account. It will ask you some basic information:

Fill out your email, password, and your current body type information. Agree to the Terms of Service and then click Create Account.

It will let you know that you need to confirm your email:

Click the Validate button:

Once validated, click Continue:

This will take you to the basic diary dashboard. This is where you will add your food each time you eat, or each day.

To finish setting this up, you’ll want to go to Settings first. You’ll want to go to Profile + Targets:

The top part will be the information you entered when you activated your account. You can make adjustments to those numbers now if you like. Scroll down and you’ll see the calorie count that they recommend to maintain your weight:

You can adjust your Activity level on the right. Then scroll down further and add your goal weight.

Scroll further to set your macros.

They do have a Keto Calculator, that you can use. It will then ask the following:

Rigorous will put your daily carbs at 20g and your proteing at 1.0:

Scroll down and it will let you choose to track net carbs or total carbs. It is highly recommended to track total carbs. More on that in a separate post.

Scroll down and you can choose which nutrients are visible when you tracking your food. You can view the categories of General, Vitamins, Minerals, Carbohydrates, Lipids, and Protein. Choose which ones you feel will be most beneficial. Or during one of our meetings, we can discuss.

That is the basic to set it up. Real quick, I’ll show you how to enter food. Let me add what I had for lunch today, 2 burger patties, with some mayonnaise, and mustard. From the diary screen, click “Add Food”:

You’ll see options. If you have common foods that you use, they will show up in Favorites. Since this is a new account, I will just start typing in the search field at the top:

You can see when I select the brand name and item, the macros for that food populates at the bottom:

You can note the number of servings as well. Since I had 2, I’ll up the servings to 2. If you like, you can add time of day:

It will then take you back to your diary dashboard, which will show everything you have done for that day:

and that is it. It will track and will let you see your progress as you add you food. You can also add you Exercise that you participate in every day, which will adjust your calories allotted. However. if you don’t use those extra calories that are offered when you exercise, you may lose weight faster, if that is your goal.

I will also do a blog on customizing your targets, instead of choosing the basic Keto one, as I typically use my own macros. Stay tuned for that one.

The importance of movement

Why is movement important? Well, we can speak to the obvious, movement keeps your muscles and joints strong. This is logical, right? By keeping your body moving through daily exercise (even just walking), you keep your muscles from weakening, and helps your joints stay strong.

So, what else does it do. Well, according to the CDC, improving your brain health, weight management, reducing disease, and strengthening your bones. Let’s look at why, shall we?

Brain health: Studies show:

Some of the benefits of physical activity on brain health occur immediately after a session of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (acute effect), such as reduced feelings of state anxiety (short-term anxiety), improved sleep, and improved aspects of cognitive function. With regular physical activity (habitual effect), improvements are seen in trait anxiety (long-term anxiety), deep sleep, and components of executive function (including the ability to plan and organize; monitor, inhibit, or facilitate behaviors; initiate tasks; and control emotions).

So, this leads to improved cognition, quality of life, anxiety and depression, and sleep. When you exercise, even a little, you help improve these things. When you exercise a little more, the improvement is greater.

Weight Management: This is another obvious result, but does bear worth stating. Obviously, when you exercise, you have a better chance of maintaining your weight, and even losing some weight. More importantly, you are able to change your body shape. Remember that muscle does weigh more than fat, so you will gain muscle and lose fat, which allows for a change to your body definition.

Reducing disease: Studies show that exercising helps reduce the risks of certain cancers, including Bladder, Breast, Colon, Endometrium, Esophagus (adenocarcinoma), Kidney, Lung, and Stomach. Please note that exercise will not prevent or cure cancer, the studies show that they help reduce the risks of certain cancers.

Strengthening bone: According to NIH,

bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. Young women and men who exercise regularly generally achieve greater peak bone mass (maximum bone density and strength) than those who do not. For most people, bone mass peaks during the third decade of life. After that time, we can begin to lose bone. Women and men older than age 20 can help prevent bone loss with regular exercise. Exercising can also help us maintain muscle strength, coordination, and balance, which in turn helps to prevent falls and related fractures. This is especially important for older adults and people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

All these are excellent reasons to keep your body moving and to exercise. Not sure where to begin? If you have not exercised in awhile, start by walking. Just a walk around the block can do so much good. Then, when you are ready, join a gym or a fitness program.

I’ve mentioned before that my favorite is APEX Health & Fitness. I am an affiliate with APEX because I have seen what wonderful things Bronson has done for myself and others. And if you want some inspiration, you should see his mom, Claire. She is my inspiration when I do my workouts. If you are interested, here are the links to his beginner and Functional Fitness programs (affiliate links):

At Home Beginner Program

At Home Functional Fitness Program

You will not be disappointed if you keep moving, even just a little bit. Because the more consistent you are, the stronger you’ll become.