If you’re recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (T2D), you may feel like you’re lost at sea with one foot in two lifeboats, each pointing in opposite directions. It’s time to make a decision: Which lifeboat do you take?
One lifeboat is occupied by others like yourself and is led by the ship’s captain, who brought you to this point. The other lifeboat has survivors as well…and just a boatswain’s mate to guide you safely to shore. But you can only take one lifeboat. Will it be the captain’s lifeboat or the boatswain’s mate’s lifeboat? How do you decide?
The captain has a lot of education and experience. He’s a commissioned officer and the ship’s master. He is “ultimately responsible for aspects of operation such as the safe navigation of the ship, its cleanliness and seaworthiness, safe handling of all cargo, management of all personnel, inventory of ship's cash and stores, and maintaining the ship's certificates…,” according to Wikipedia. We have confidence in our captain, right?
A boatswain’s mate has the rate of petty officer and also has acquired lots of knowledge and experience, but of a more practical nature. “Boatswain’s mates take charge of working parties; perform seamanship tasks; act as petty officer-in-charge of picket boats, self-propelled barges, tugs, and other yard and district craft,” Wiki says. In other words, a boatswain’s mate has the experience and navigational skill to coxswain a lifeboat.
Which “lifeboat” should you take? Well, the “ship” that brought you here…has sunk. It failed you and all those who followed the McGovern Committee’s Dietary Goals for Americans, published in 1977, and the first Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 1980. The “Titanic” (see my #12 here) first set sail in the 50’s with Ancel Keys’s infamous “Seven Country Study,” bolstered in 1961 when Keys joined the AHA board and was on Time’s cover.
You could get into the “captain’s” lifeboat. He will utilize all the skills he learned in medical school to diagnose and treat your symptom, an elevated blood sugar. He will counsel you to lose weight; he will suggest “diet and exercise” and his “healthy fats.” And he will tell you to do what you have always done on this ill-fated “cruise,” just “eat less and move more.” And if that doesn’t work in a few months, (s)he will start writing prescriptions.
This “boatswain’s mate” will steer you in a completely different direction – one that deals not with a symptom (high blood sugar) but the cause of type 2 diabetes, a dysfunctional metabolism. Instead of encouraging you to eat a “balanced,” “mostly plant-based” diet, high in refined carbs, sugars and “vegetable” (seed) oils, you will eat a Low Carb diet, with moderate protein and high fat, including saturated, to guide you safely to shore.
But as you can see, I have a bias. I lived the “high life” on the Titanic for 61 years. But I am among the lucky survivors who chose the “boatswain’s lifeboat.” After I made my decision 16 years ago in 2002, I lost 187 pounds) and recently had an A1c of 5.0%. I started my journey to remission and reversal of T2D by strictly eating just 20g of carbs a day. Within a week(!), I got off most of the anti-diabetic medications I was on.
My “coxswains” were mostly on onOf course, I’d like it if you decided to read my blog regularly. I publish once a week on Sunday mornings. I have a great editor who helps me make it readable and keeps me honest. She’s so much more qualified than I am, and in so many areas of health and wellness. I am so lucky to have had her help for all these years. As you can see, we do this without advertising. We don’t want or need ad revenues so we don’t sell or promote anything except an idea. After the disastrous voyage you’ve been on, we know that all YOU have to do now, to make it to shore safely, is to be in the right lifeboat and make smart, informed decisions about what to eat and when.
forums; I owe so much to them for their support. Today there are lots of
special online support groups. I think the
best is DietDoctor.com (subscription: $9/mo.); they get more visitors in 1 day
than I’ve had on my blog in 8 years. My favorite books are "The
Obesity Code," by Jason Fung, "The
Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living," by Volek and Phinney, and
101," by Jenny Ruhl.