Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Retrospective #150: Another Milestone, Amid Ramblings and Ruminations

Seven and a half years ago, as this blog reached the 3k page-view mark, my hometown weekly newspaper advised me that they “had had done enuf on carbs and fat.” So, we both moved on. Since then I have published almost 500 more columns online and just passed the 365k page-view threshold. The newspaper has ceased operations.
In a parallel universe, Gary Taubes’s Alternative Hypothesis of eating Low-Carb High-Fat (LCHF) has also grown steadily. This is very gratifying. I see LCHF everywhere, on the radio, on TV, in print, and especially in the plethora of web-based resources…and of course in my readership. I am especially gladdened to see so many readers from overseas – from China, the Ukraine, Canada, Germany, the UK, Russia, France, Singapore, Australia, and Sweden.

One of the basic premises of The Nutrition Debate is that we as individuals are in charge of our own health because diet is a large part of health. The conditions that we have always associated with aging are increasingly being seen as instead being associated with diet. “Let food be thy medicine,” Hippocrates told us.  It should be no surprise then that we are interested in getting the best dietary advice. Unfortunately, the medical professions are not trained in nutrition. They are trained in diagnosing and treating disease, not in preventing it.

Equally unfortunate, the dietetics profession and the diabetes educators (CDE’s), while trained in nutrition, are, to be kind, misinformed. They (in general) are the last persons whose advice I would seek, and I do not see this changing soon. They hone to the AHA and the ADA conventional wisdom. And large organizations like them can be very slow to change. It is a shame, and so illogical, that these professions – medicine and dietetics – who should be interested in science and who should be open minded about unproven and disproven hypotheses like the diet/heart hypothesis, are ignoring the increasing body of irrefutable evidence that eating a low-fat, high-carb diet is what is making us sick. So, if you care about your health, you must seek your own dietary advice.
If you think this is a daunting prospect, just remind yourself that your doctor just monitors your health but is very results-oriented. He or she is interested in healthy outcomes: a good weigh-in and good lab tests. These are things that YOU can make happen. Will he care about how you did it?  Maybe. If he is surprised at your stellar results and asks you how you did it, don’t you be surprised if he’s supportive. But more likely he will be skeptical and offer another explanation for the turnaround. An open-minded doctor will be interested in and follow your progress.
You should be pleased if he just quietly accepts your explanation, even with a wry grin, an upturned corner of the mouth and a glint in his eye, as mine was. He was always glad to see me because he knew it was going to be a “happy” consultation, because with my treatment plan, I lost a lot of weight and put my diabetes in remission.
If your doctor is pleased with your health outcomes, but not favorably disposed towards how you did it, consider the fact that if he is stuck in his ways, that is not your problem. YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR PROBLEM. He’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. He needs to follow the Standards of Medical Care to protect his practice and get paid for his services from your insurance. And, there are other factors at play besides the “best interests” of the patient.
Big Pharma, Agribusiness and the Public Health Establishment are all engaged in this giant corrupt bargain. The “Alternative Hypothesis” movement is made up of serious health care researchers and clinicians who think otherwise, so we should all be grateful for the small but important changes we are seeing. The trend and the rate are accelerating. The only dragon we have left to slay is the saturated fat/dietary cholesterol demon, and that one is down on one knee. We just need to keep hammering out the mantra: “Dietary Cholesterol has nothing to do with Serum Cholesterol.” And we need to get more doctors to care more about how to get lower triglycerides and higher HDL by diet alone than care about lowering high Total Cholesterol and LDL-C with statin drugs.
Remember: The TG/HDL ratio, NOT the TC/HDL ratio, is the important metric for minimum cardiovascular risk. So is A1c. Heart attack risk falls by half as the A1c drops to 5.5% and below. You can set these targets as your goals and reach them with LCHF. And lose weight. And lower your blood pressure. And reduce inflammation…

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