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How beans can change your life

A revolutionary approach to health, weight and blood sugar.

Like the famous English physician and author Michael Mosley, the man behind the 5:2 diet, among other things, the authors of this book experimented on themselves. Sometimes you must do that because of lack of research … One made it by 14 years ago start eating contrary to the advice for diabetics and the other by eating more and differently than you really should by standard dietary advice.

Today every eleventh adult on Earth is living with diabetes. That’s about 415 million people and it can also be several unrecorded cases. Globally, a person dies every five seconds because of complications of the disease. Healthcare costs amount to more than 600 billion USD per year.

The quantity in the world who suffer from obesity is around 500 million. In the United States, approximately every third adult is obese. On top of that there are approximately as many with overweight. We therefore have serious problems.
For about a decade, it’s become increasingly common by those with diabetes and obesity to eat less carbs and more fat. The method finally got a name, LCHF, Low Carb High Fat. It has helped many to lose fat and to bring down high blood sugar levels. Despite attempts to disprove the health benefits of the method, it has coped. LCHF is good but over the years it has generated ideas on how to improve health and weight further and now we are facing a major step.

Lars-Erik Litsfeldt has written several books about diabetes and weight problems, of which the book Fettskrämd (Fear of fat) was the first in 2005. His books are now published in six languages. He has several TV appearances behind him and is well known in LCHF circles. His books have been sold in well over 150,000 copies.

Patrik Olsson has a background as a type 1 diabetic and has had the disease since he was a child. During his youth, he ate according to the advice given to diabetic patients. He learned to eat low fat products, whole meal bread, lean meat. His eyes became increasingly damaged by blood sugar spikes, with the result that he is now completely and irreversibly blind. He started the Facebook group Smart diabetics which has about 12 000 followers and has advocated low carbohydrate diets and have helped countless diabetics to a better life. In early 2017, he was also featured in the nationwide TV 4’s News Morning as the Sunshine of the Week. His enthusiastic work in the Facebook group had been noticed. Patrik is a real character with a strong story and has been doing very well in his numerous tv performances linked to the book. When he has held talks the audience has been both laughing and crying.

The method is about eating what gives good gut bacteria. It may be sauerkraut or yogurt. Additionally, the food for the bacteria is provided by resistant starch, often in the form of beans. As an example of how different blood sugar can be influenced, this test with bread is an illustrative example. In one case, only the bread is eaten and in the second case it is eaten with half a cup of beans. Once a day, the subject has eaten a tablespoon of unpasteurized sauerkraut. The subject (Patrik’s girlfriend Maria), is insulin resistant, which normally implies that it is easy to put on the weight.
When Maria ate bread without beans the blood sugar level increased by as much as 3-4 units. It is a lot for a nondiabetic and it’s clearly unhealthy. If the same amount of bread instead was joined by beans the blood sugar was raised with less than 1 unit. When the blood sugar increases less, there will be less insulin secretion. Insulin locks the fat to the body and it becomes almost impossible to lose fat. In addition insulin stops fat from being used as energy. The result from insulin secretion is a body with more fat.
But if Maria ate less carbohydrates and eating sauerkraut and beans, then she must surely have lost weight? Yes, she has! About 100 pounds since she started adding beans and probiotics in the form of sauerkraut. These pounds were also helped to disappear by going to the gym where she started doing few heavy repetitions instead of the usual many light repetitions.

Patrik has been working out and is lean and has today a HbA1c (so called long-term sugar level) at 27. This is considered a healthy value. Had he known then what he knows now, he still would have had his vision. He now sees as his mission to spread the word about the gut bacteria’s effects on blood sugar. Likewise, if his former girlfriend Marie Nehagen had known about this, she might have been alive today. She died from complications from a kidney transplant. The kidney failure was related to her diabetes.

What is happening in the body when the blood sugar is held at a low healthy level? Research is ongoing, but no one knows exactly yet, more than that it works. Theories of stomach bacteria’s effects on the body, however, is something that comes more and more. A healthy gut flora is also affecting the brain so it works better and can for example influence problems with depression.

A large part of the book is taken up by recipes, tips and instructions on how to, for example, make your own sauerkraut. It also includes tips and advice on the training that helps to maximize the outcome.

The foreword is written by associate professor, Ralf Sundberg, M.D. The Swedish edition of the book was last year the 15th most sold book on the biggest internet bookstore (Adlibris.com).

The follow up book , the cookbook, was nominated as one out of six cookbooks in Sweden for the Publishing Prize. It was also shortlisted as one of 17 books for the “world championships” for cookbooks, Gourmand Awards (Single subject class).