This was our second Low Carb Down Under conference and our third low carb/keto conference in total. We are definitely now addicted to going to low carb conferences. Being around like minded people is always exciting, getting to meet online friends in real life and all the learning that goes with these great conferences.
We were lucky enough to attend Low Carb Down Under Gold Coast 2018 this year and wanted to give you our top 10 take aways from this event.
Our top 10 takeaways from Low Carb Down Under Gold Coast 2018
Dan’s 5 takeaways
1. Low FODMAP diet
Nicole Moore – LCHF Challenges –LCHF Vegan, LCHF Irritable Bowel, LCHF Cant Drop Weight…
My takeaway from Nicole’s presentation was regarding irritable bowel syndrome and FODMAPS. According to Monash University “FODMAPs are a collection of short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that aren’t absorbed properly in the gut, which can trigger symptoms in people with IBS”. FODMAPs are found naturally in many foods and food additives.
As part of the presentation Nicole explained the different types of foods that are classed as FODMAP’s. The keto FODMAP’s include onion, garlic, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, blackberries, raspberries, soft cheese, cottage cheese, some nuts and sweeteners including sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol and mannitol.
This was a light bulb for me. I have had gut issues for as long as I can remember and despite trying a few different things never finding any relief. I had a particularly bad time with my gut last Christmas and was able to pin point an over indulgence in raspberries as the culprit. When Nicole highlighted raspberries as an issue, I knew immediately I was going to have to look at introducing a low FODMAP diet.
So, the next thing I will need to try is reducing my FODMAP’s. I am happy to skip most of the vegetables listed, but will miss some of the sweeteners and the cheeses.
2. Don’t be afraid
This takeaway was not directly related to a particular speaker, but related to my fear of talking to strangers in groups like this conference. Sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone. We met some wonderful people at this conference including Aaron from Fat for Weight Loss, Lucy from Epiphany Weightloss, Jo from Wellness on Wellington, Kimberley from Breathe Move Relax and we even had Prof Stephen Phinney, the low carb god himself, from Virta Health, sit with us for lunch one day.
We also got to meet some people that had even made some of our recipes, which was super exciting. A shout out to Susan and Kath.
3. Type 1 Diabetes must be really hard
Dr Jake Kushner – Low Carb Nutrition for those who live with Type 1 Diabetes
Dr Sheila Cook – Back to the Future: Low Carbohydrate Diets in Type 1 Diabetes
Tracey Kimberley – Her experience as a mother of a type 1 diabetic.
When I saw the list of presentations, I was least interested in the talks around type 1 diabetes. Neither of us have been touched personally by type 1 and I didn’t think we would have a takeaway about type 1 diabetes.
Prior to these talks, I thought type 1 diabetics just took insulin and it was that easy. Wow, I couldn’t be more wrong. I was completely unaware they took a long acting insulin, called basal insulin, and then took insulin with every meal and those doses depended on what they ate and it’s usually based on their carb intake. It also seems the actual dosage of insulin they give themselves is based on approximation a lot of the time.
I was deeply moved by Tracey’s presentation about her daughter, Ashley. I was shocked at the lack of support the family received and the lack of support around the family’s decision to manage her diabetes with a low carb lifestyle.
4. Joint pain
Dr Doron Sher – Weight loss to avoid knee replacement – a case study
I have a family history of joint problems. My Grandmother has had multiple joint replacements and my mother is now in line for her first one. I have always been slightly concerned that joint pain is inevitable in my future.
Dr Sher, presented a case study of a patient that was preparing for a knee replacement and was recommended to attempt a low carb diet first to see it would help relieve any of his pain. Not long after beginning a low carb lifestyle, his pain had reduced enough for him to no longer feel he needed the surgery. This occurred prior to a large weight loss, purely based on the reduction in inflammation from the dietary changes.
It reassured to me, that I am on the right track to avoid this future by following a low carb lifestyle which is anti-inflammatory and resistance training to build strength in my joints.
5. Scientific evidence – How to identify the truth from the BS
Dr Maryanne Demasi – Evidence based scientific research
We have seen Dr Demasi’s presentation on statins before and I was happy to see she had changed her programmed presentation to one about scientific research. It’s very easy to be easily confused by all the science out there and after seeing this presentation I am now more confident in being able to identify a good study versus a bad one. I feel we are all so easily misled by bad research and equally bad reporting by the media. We have all seen that one day chocolate is good for us and the next day it is bad headlines on the news before.
Erika’s 5 takeaways
Dave Feldman – Interpreting Common Low Carb Lipid Profiles
Dr Paul Mason – LDL cholesterol
My health has improved so much over the two years that I have been following a low carb diet, but my LDL cholesterol has increased slightly, which my doctor commented on. It was great to have an explanation around LDL cholesterol and the increase some people on a keto diet may see.
Both Dr Mason and Dave Feldman explained that LDL cholesterol on its own is not necessarily an indicator of your risk for heart disease. A more accurate indicator is your ratio of triglycerides to HDL, as well as your blood glucose level. From my most recent blood tests my HDL is a good level and my triglycerides are low.
With both my HDL and triglycerides readings being within a good range, in conjunction with not having high blood glucose levels, it is a strong indication that I am not at risk of cardiovascular disease. Having high blood glucose levels is really more of a concern for heart disease than the cholesterol, so keep calm and keto on!
2. Disordered eating not an eating disorder
Jessica Turton – Low-Carbohydrate Diets and Disordered Eating
When I first saw on the program that Jessica was speaking about disordered eating, I didn’t think this talk would be relevant to me as I have not suffered with bulimia or anorexia. Well, little did I know that I am pretty much the poster girl for disordered eating, which is different to the eating disorders I have mentioned!
Some of the behaviours associated with disordered eating include; guilt or fear around eating, excessiveness in either restriction or obsession around food, emotional eating and avoiding social circumstances where food is involved. I can definitely relate to all these behaviours in my lifetime journey with food.
Jessica spoke about her success with resolving her disordered eating behaviours through a low carb high fat diet. As a dietician, she also uses this in her practice as a treatment for patients with disordered eating. For myself, the satiation aspect of a low carbohydrate high fat diet has certainly helped me manage my disordered eating behaviours, but it is something that continues to be a challenge for me.
Dr Peter Brukner – Inflammation
I was interested to hear what Dr Brukner had to say about inflammation as it was something that is so important to minimise if you want to maintain good health. Chronic inflammation in the body contributes to so many health conditions including, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental health, autoimmune diseases and irritable bowel syndrome.
What promotes inflammation in the body?
- Sugar and refined carbohydrates
- Lectins – found in grains, legumes and starches
- Omega 6 fatty acids – found in highly processed seed and vegetable oils
- Adipose tissue – your own fat cells!
What are anti inflammatory for the body?
- Fruits and vegetables
- Olive oil
- Dairy products
- Low carbohydrate high fat diet
- Being in ketosis (using ketones as fuel in your body)
4. Sodium & Potassium
Dr Steve Phinney – Troubleshooting the Ketogenic Diet for Optimal Weight and Health
One of the best parts of the weekend was a ‘workshop’ that Dr Phinney ran on Sunday afternoon. It was a great opportunity for everyone to ask their questions to this keto expert. He spoke about the specific sodium and potassium intakes that you need to maintain health on a ketogenic diet.
Sodium – 5-8g per day, dependant on your exertion level. Remember this is based on sodium alone. When monitoring salt intake (which is sodium chloride) you would need to double this amount 10g-16g per day.
Potassium – 2-3g per day. The best dietary sources of potassium are bone broth, leafy green vegetables, avocado and lite salt.
5. Ketones Levels
Dr Steve Phinney – Troubleshooting the Ketogenic Diet for Optimal Weight and Health
Another question that was asked in Dr Phinney’s workshop at the end of the day was about ketone levels. In particular, why are some people’s ketone levels higher in general and some people’s lower in general. As an example Dan’s ketones are usually higher than mine and I have always wondered why.
Well, Dr Phinney explained that insulin resistance and acute inflammation both impact on the ketone levels in your blood. If you are insulin resistant, then your ketone levels will be on the lower side. Also if you have acute inflammation, such as an infection or a wound, this will impact your ketone levels.
Other speakers mentioned the effect of exercise on blood ketone levels, and that generally your ketone levels will be higher after exercise. So given Dan does crossfit and is more metabolically healthy than me in general, that would explain why her ketone levels are usually higher than mine.
Interestingly when we first started with keto over 2 years ago and were testing our ketones I found it disheartening as my levels were always low. It is now clear to me how much my body was struggling at that time with insulin resistance and inflammation and this was reflected in my ketone levels. Now I am able to get higher levels much more regularly, so it is great to see that my health is improving.
We really enjoyed our two days at the Low Carb Down Under Gold Coast 2018. We are interested in attending further events held by Low Carb Down Under. Dr Rod Taylor does a great job, with his team, in organising this event.
We would recommend these events to the following:
- Health professionals interested in a low carb protocol for their patients
- People who are living a low carb lifestyle and are keen to learn more about the science behind the low carb lifestyle
- Anyone suffering from a health condition that you would like to treat by using a low carb lifestyle, in particular type 2 diabetes.
Check out reviews of other low carb events we have attended.
If you attended this event, let us know in the comments what your takeaways from the conference were. If you are considering attending one of these events in the future, let us know.