Someone In the Medical Establishment Gets it Right

Saturday, December 18, 2010
Posted in category Food & Nutrition

Someone call 911 (okay, don’t send me 911 jokes): I am in shock. News flash: some truth from the medical establishment. This comes from the Harvard School of Public Health: “If Americans could eliminate sugary beverages, potatoes, white bread, pasta, white rice and sugary snacks, we would wipe out almost all the problems we have with weight and diabetes and other metabolic diseases.” Now tell me something I haven’t known for the last 15+ years.

This article from the LA Times just knocked my low-carb socks off: A Reversal on Carbs. Here are some snippets:

“The country’s big low-fat message backfired,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. “The overemphasis on reducing fat caused the consumption of carbohydrates and sugar in our diets to soar. That shift may be linked to the biggest health problems in America today.”

…Americans, on average, eat 250 to 300 grams of carbs a day, accounting for about 55% of their caloric intake. The most conservative recommendations say they should eat half that amount. Consumption of carbohydrates has increased over the years with the help of a 30-year-old, government-mandated message to cut fat.

I eat 10 -50 grams of carbs per day (unless, for some “special” reason, I partake of more), and I engage in intense endurance athletics. Oh but that is impossible! The medical establishment has long told me I need Big Agra’s processed carbs “for energy.” Ahem. Dr. Phinney, a nutritional biochemist and an emeritus professor of UC Davis, explains:

“Carbohydrates are a metabolic bully,” Phinney says. “They cut in front of fat as a fuel source and insist on being burned first. What isn’t burned gets stored as fat, and doesn’t come out of storage as long as carbs are available. And in the average American diet, they always are.”

Here’s how Phinney explains it: When you cut carbs, your body first uses available glycogen as fuel. When that’s gone, the body turns to fat and the pancreas gets a break. Blood sugar stabilizes, insulin levels drop, fat burns. That’s why the diet works for diabetics and for weight loss.

As Kevin said on my Facebook page: “Never let the facts get in the way of a good subsidy.” See my interview with Mark Sisson where we discuss the massively important groundwork laid by Dr. Atkins in his fight against the medical-food establishment. Remember – the medical-governmental-food corporatist complex benefits from the deception, and as Americans just get sicker and fatter, they become so conditioned to the myths and lies that anything to the contrary seems like a fairy tale to them. Well, this “fairy tale” in the LA Times is the kind of thing that may eventually wake up Sleeping Boobus.

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9 Responses to Someone In the Medical Establishment Gets it Right

  1. Iluvatar says:

    December 19th, 2010 at 4:28 pm


    And to spread some credit, here is a choice one from Dr Mercola:

    Please pay attention to Dr Ancel Keys (of k-ration fame). His lipid hypothesis has caused a 60-year error.

    (get the 80-20 burger guys not the 93-7)

    Thanks for the good news!!!

    And, oh btw, I am doing the equiv of about 3-4 slices of bread a week, get my carbs from peas and legumes like kidney & garbanzo beans(???).

    One last thing, if you think saturated fats are dangerous, try out Alpha Lipoic (not Linolenic) Acid. This saturated fat is one the most potent anti-oxidants known to man. It is now starting to be used to treat neuropathy in Type 2 diabetes patients. But be careful taking it! Too much and you metabolism goes thru the roof.

    Fat don’t make you fat.

  2. Karen De Coster says:

    December 20th, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Illuv: Legumes aren’t the best food, and here’s why:

    My question has been, for years: why bread? Why does every meat and/or vegetable, nowadays, have to be put in, or on, or in between bread? Americans are so easily hooked on these ridiculous habits.

  3. Deb S. says:

    December 20th, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Bread: I think it’s the sugar. Not to mention the lifetime of drilling on ‘the bread of life’. The stuff is harder to walk away from than cocaine. Even when you know it’s making you ill. At least that’s my personal observations. Painful lessons, but lessons all the same.

    I still haven’t found my comfort-healthy zone. Damn these doctors and the USDA and their triangular brainwashing. I’m just coming out of the low-fat fog I slid into a couple weeks ago… because ten plus years of pain was insufficient, obviously. I think I just need more hours in the day, more time for meal planning/shopping as well as everything else that needs tending. Or, I need a clone. Or, fewer people to tend to. Or, a vacation. lol Decisions, decisions. xoxo

  4. Iluvatar says:

    December 20th, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    2 things & a small amplification:
    1) On legumes – you are correct – they are carbo-loaded
    2) (My kids roll their eyes every time when I gripe & complain about this):
    Our society is such a “bread-centric” one. And that is very true – and sad. Some sort of bread product MUST ALWAYS accompany your meal – actually take a look at your standard fast food diet: a burger (that has had the life cooked out of it, plus a MONGO bun, and oooooh some more carbs from the fries as a side, and then even more sugar from that fake drink of High Fructose Corn Syrup – or – if you go for it the “diet” soda (cripes!!?!!?, why do you even bother? You eat all that sh*t and then select a “diet” drink, WTF????) (An aside – I here the “diet” stuff is almost as toxic as the full-sugared drinks!)
    A small amplification (actually, this a lie, but by the time I got everything together – it was LONG – my apologies!!):
    Thanks for adding some balance to that (prior message). And thanks to the link as well – it was informative. I get Mark’s site e-mailed to me, but this was dated in 2008.
    I also admit to not being very clear either. I predominately get my carb loading from legumes, which is equivalent to about 3-5 slices of bread a week. I don’t even count the carbs from vegetables I eat (since legumes outweigh them in the carb category by a factor of about 10:1). My vegetable/legume loading is about 4:1 or better (total dry mass).
    I pretty much steer clear of bread (and other cereals and grains). The 15-grain Pepperidge Farm whole wheat loaf of bread in the fridge has been in there going on 10 months now. Still have over ½ of it left. Eat rice on occasion about once every 2 months or so.
    Here are some relevant snippets from Mark’s link regarding legumes (keep in mind I don’t agree w/ him on everything):
    “…but they don’t make the ideal meal either. In my estimation, legumes fall into the “O.K.” category with wine, chocolate, cheese and other dairy, etc.”
    (Did you notice that cheese was listed in the “O.K.” category? He goes on to say that they offer protein but way LESS than what you could get from other foods like cottage cheese – that is correct)
    “Because legumes generally contain so much soluble fiber, they won’t result in sudden blood sugar spikes. However, as I said a while back in the whole grain post, at the end of the day carbs are carbs.”
    (He is correct there! But notice the benefit of the uptake on carbs from legumes – no sugar spike)
    “Yet, the Primal Blueprint philosophy allows for some carbohydrate content. I’ve suggested in the past 150 grams as a daily ceiling. There’s certainly reason to shoot for less (100 is even better), but 150 grams can be a reasonable goal for many of us. The key is to make as much of that carb “allowance” vegetable-based as possible.”
    That last sentence is important – if you’re gonna uptake carbs, then you might as well get them from a vegetable (not necessarily a legume – but! If you do, it wasn’t your worst choice).
    “The ultimate point on “O.K.” foods is this: if you can make the majority of your diet “best source” foods (meat for protein, vegetables for carbs, etc.), you’ll meet your daily nutrient goals and have room to include a few “lesser benefit but high enjoyment” foods such as dairy and legumes.”
    Hey? I never said I was primal – I have my deviations (grin).

    I guess we all pick our death path.
    I love my green peas (soaked in Kerry Gold butter) for dinner. I like the fact that they are loaded with Vitamin K and C along with some important minerals. I love my olives (wrecking the omega 6/3 ratio). And I love my cheese (anything French + vitamin K2)! And I love my hamburger (80-20) (protein, BUT the saturated fats are too die for@)!!!
    Finally, I love my skin-on peanuts (aka Spanish peanuts).
    And this is where Mark and I disagree. He hates peanuts (another legume!). But the skin-on peanut has resveratrol in it, which is an anti-aging antioxidant (and NO! I did not misspell that! It is not reservatrol or reversatrol). Hey, I did not even have to drink red wine (another resveratrol source from the grape skin)!
    But combined with my daily raw vegetable salad (broc/cuc/bells/radishes/toms/carrots), I seem to be doing OK. In other words my “nutritional” type seems to be OK w/ it. Numbers are pretty good and I am only about 3-6 lbs overweight. I certainly cannot speak for everyone.

    Again, I want to emphasize that it is a good thing to get the information out there so that we can make informed choices on how we want to kill ourselves. For me, legumes are part of an informed choice on how I am killing myself.
    At least, it is not the only thing I am eating.
    Now back to my 3 bean – 4 layer Mexican “special” salad for dinner this week…(oh dear! it is loaded to the gills w/ sour cream & Guacamole!!.. “good bacteria”, I hear you calling…)

    P.S.: For a good list of legumes, this site seems to be a reasonable start (peanuts aren’t there???):

  5. Karen De Coster says:

    December 21st, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I like Kerrygold, too. I also don’t shun dairy. I drink latte each morning (heavy on expresso, light on milk), and I eat cheese.

  6. Karen De Coster says:

    December 21st, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Ha – Deb. Funny. You, like me, need a Butler! It’s far easier eating crap (less time consuming), but I find that you can always take the time from something else to find the time for food that = great health. The benefits of a great diet is that you always feel great and happy. I go back 15 years, when I didn’t eat that way (and I wasn’t a junk food eater), and I wasn’t the same person I am now. The pasta and bread did bad things to my body, brain, etc. Once you give yourself the gift of perfect health and experience the benefits, it’s a territory you defend with ferocity.

  7. Iluvatar says:

    December 21st, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    @ All:

    you do food “prep” over the weekends and make it a “party”.

    I go for it usually on Sunday afternoons when the chores are done and fix the weekly salad and the weekly “heat & eats” (have HS kids that eat very irregularly) – usually a boat-load of a hamburger-based option.

    Several choices exist (Mexican!, Fajitas!, and yes a pasta-based entry for the week).

    But it can be done! It takes a lot of discipline, BUT! you make it a party; put some music on! Dance! Sing! Put a football game on!

    It’s all good…


    My new Doc just got my #’s in: (OK haven’t seen a doctor for the past 15 frickin’ years – but! this dood is coolio! – he knows Mark Sisson, Egoscue and all that stuff! I am psyched!!!!@!)

    I had to correct him on the proper pronunciation of “resveratrol” `cause he called it “reservatrol” – but we’re cool! And on top of that he is totally into knowing the issues of Sisson’s “chronic cardio” from which I have suffered (although as a +6-sigma long distance runner who was almost going to the Olympics – this dude blew me COMPLETELY away!).

    But anyway – it looks like I have finally found a doctor who makes some frickin’ sense!

    Now here are the #’s – read `em & weep:

    (boy this is gonna be difficult given your web page format):

    Tryglycerides: 44 (below the level of 150)
    LDL-P: 923 20.5 (pass – but not by much)

    LP-IR test (insulin resistance & Type II diabetes score): 7 <= 45.

    But I flunked the Vit-B12 test! And also, I failed the the BMD (bone-mass density) test (but in L1/L2 of the spinal column only, L3/L4 are good (stenosis) and the femur neck is solid).

    So I am working on those issues – most likely thru diet and promoted core strength work-outs (I am sh*t f*ck when it comes to doing my planks!!@!@!)

    So Karen?

    How do your #'s add up?


  8. Deb S. says:

    December 22nd, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Karen, I’ve had all manner of gastric distress and other ‘minor’ illness and pain as far back as I have capacity to remember. Cutting gluten out has made such a huge difference… I don’t know that I’ve ever felt this well before. Before I regained my brain, I had it stuck in my head that I *needed* a diagnosis… took a symptom survey sheet to my doctor to encourage him to run tests for celiac sprue or intolerance – he looked at the sheet and his only question was where the sheet was from. I’ll never know for sure what my problem is exactly, because my doctor has Internet allergies. But, I’ve finally realized it doesn’t matter. Whether it’s wheat allergy or sprue or gluten intolerance – something in wheat is poison to me. It affects my whole body and continuing to eat it is, in my mind, suicidal. The really hard part is not being preachy to family members who just aren’t ready to look at their own illness. xoxo

  9. Iluvatar says:

    December 22nd, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    @ Deb S:

    Dr Mercola points out that we all have separate “nutritional” types – and to put it into a sense that Mark Sisson phrases it: “we need to find the best way to let our genes express themselves”.

    We are all different, and finding the best (or at least, a really good) food path is a matter of experimentation.

    But with that said, generalities also apply, here they are:

    1) cereals and grain have been basically shown to cause inflammatory results inside the body (carbs from cereals & grains) – try to diminish your ingestion of them (doesn’t have to be zero – just a lot less)

    2) avoid foods that come out of a BOX (take the time to make them yourself)

    Once you have done that, know that you are about 80% of the way there. Then find foods you like (like me, my body seems to be quite friendly to legumes which aren’t that good for you, but my nutritional “type” seems to deal well w/ the carbo-loading from these guys (I have the #’s to prove it!!)).

    Here is the only caveat emptor that I find I must add (and, I have read recent articles on this as well):

    When you start to eat real food and knock off the carbs from cereal & grains, you need to make sure you are getting enough SALT (+ electrolytes).

    This is where I hit a wall recently! I wasn’t getting enough salt-related stuff in my diet b/c I was eating just real food (processed food is loaded w/ NaCl)!

    Isn’t that interesting?

    Bon Nuit!@

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