Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Nutrition Debate #96: The Pregnant Bachelor’s Diet

If you are a “beer belly bachelor,” or have just noticed you can’t see your toes anymore, and have been told that you are “prediabetic” or have “high cholesterol” or borderline “elevated blood pressure,” and “need to take a pill(s),” then this diet will work for you. By the way, when your doctor says you are “prediabetic,” he is just following a misguided protocol which has become the “standard of practice” today. It means that your fasting blood glucose was between 100 and 125 and you have other risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. For this he may prescribe Metformin and tell you to lose weight.

What he should be telling you is that you are (i.e., have already become), to a lesser or greater (probably greater) degree, carbohydrate intolerant. That means that, through a progressive worsening over many years, you have developed insulin resistance. Your cells can no longer “take up” the circulating glucose from all the carbs you have been eating on your ill-advised, medically-prescribed low-fat (and thus high-carbohydrate) diet. As a consequence, you now have either impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or worse, impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Although your doctor is not likely to test for it, you also probably have high circulating insulin, which means you will have difficulty losing weight even on a “starvation” diet. You will be hungry all the time and likely will gain back very quickly any weight you do manage to lose.

In addition, as you ate the diet you were told to eat, you will have probably also acquired elevated triglycerides, low HDL, “high (total and LDL) cholesterol,” and hypertension (high blood pressure). And omental adiposity or “truncal obesity” (the beer belly or “pregnant” look in middle-aged and older males) and possibly gynecomastia, the dreaded “man boobs.” All these things are actually part of a common condition known as Metabolic Syndrome. Has your doctor ever mentioned Metabolic Syndrome to you? I have yet to hear of one who has. You can confirm your own diagnosis of this condition by reading the first paragraph of this link. Then, come back here to learn what you can do about it.

In order to lose weight, you need to eliminate most carbs from your diet. This will drop your insulin levels. Your body expects that insulin is present because you have a glucose supply either circulating or in storage to use for energy. When insulin drops, your body gets the message, through hormonal signaling, that your body fat is needed for energy and will burn its own fat reserves for fuel. Again, you need to lower the carbs you eat, and then store, in your body’s muscles and liver. All carbs digest into simple sugars (glucose, etc), and so as long as they are “available,” insulin will block those fat reserves from breaking down and being used. It’s a beautifully regulated system that maintains homeostasis (harmonic balance) so long as we allow it to work as designed. But if we eat too many carbs (to avoid those terrible saturated fats and dietary cholesterol, as we’ve been all told to do), then, for many of us who are pre-disposed and  susceptible to this metabolic disregulation, the system breaks down and we get fat, and “prediabetic.”

I put prediabetic in quotes because the medical establishment is hopelessly behind in recognizing this disease. Only recently did it recommend routine use of the Hb A1c test which measures your blood sugar “continuously” over about 3 months by a test of the glucose on the surface of your red blood cells. And they only lowered the goal for diagnosis (and blood sugar control!) from 7.0% to 6.5% for diabetics, and to 6.0% for prediabetes. But Richard K. Bernstein, M. D., a pioneer in home self-monitoring, and eating-to-meter t, and the author of the seminal “Diabetes Solution,” believes an A1c of 5.8% is fully diabetic. Ask your doctor to test your A1c to see what he says, if you don’t believe me.

Ralph DeFronzo, M.D., winner of the prestigious Banting Award and keynote speaker at the 2008 American Diabetes Association dinner in San Francisco, said, “In summary, individuals with IGT [impaired glucose tolerance] are maximally or near-maximally insulin resistant, they have lost 80% of their β-cell function, and they have an approximate 10% incidence of diabetic retinopathy. By both pathophysiological and clinical standpoints, these pre-diabetic individuals with IGT should be considered to have Type 2 diabetes.” His concluding sentence in the Prediabetes section of the full paper later published here, is, “The clinical implications of these findings for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes are that the physician must intervene early, at the stage of IGT [impaired glucose tolerance] or IFG [impaired fasting glucose], with interventions that target pathogenic mechanisms known to promote β-cell function.” Gobbledygook, I know, but…

The Pregnant Bachelor Diet for “Pre-Diabetics” is not. It’s as simple and easy as 1-2-3. No, not that diet (#90). This one:

·         Breakfast: 1 big cup of coffee with H&H or full cream and Splenda or Truvia, 2 fried eggs and 2 strips of bacon.

·         Lunch: 1-3.75 oz can of King Oscar Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (no soy oil!) w/1 Tbs of coconut oil on top.

·         Dinner 1-3.75 oz can of Trident Royal Red Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon with 1 Tbs of coconut oil on top and, to wash it down, 2-7oz glasses of your favorite red wine (which, with the sardines and salmon, will raise your HDL!

This diet is 1,500kcal/day: 100g of very good fats, 55g protein & 13g of carbs (10 in wine). A VLC ketogenic diet for sure.
Okay, it’s not a palatable diet. The point is: To get your doctor off your back, improve all your risk factors for heart disease, stroke, etc., and lose your beer belly, eat low carb. But don’t tell him how you did it. He’ll have a heart attack.

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