Monday, December 30, 2019

Retrospective #317: Patient, heal thyself!

“Physician, heal thyself” is a familiar proverb attributed to Luke the Evangelist (4:23). It was made famous, and is often quoted from the Latin translation of the Bible, as Cura te ipsum, or simply “cure thyself.” According to a citation in Wikipedia,The moral of the proverb is counsel to attend to one's own defects rather than criticizing defects in others.” I prefer to think of it in a more positive and proactive way; I say: Take control of your own life.
In other words, don’t feel sorry for yourself and tempted to blame your condition in life on others. Or, for that matter, don’t be tempted even to look back at one’s own mistakes, except to avoid repeating them. Instead, think of your life in the present and make wise choices going forward. Someone once referred to this attitude as Jungian. I trace its origin in me to a program I took many years ago called “the est Training.” It was, as they promised, transformational.
A knowledgeable reader of this blog, whose views I respect, related this philosophical view to the current Dietary Guidelines debate. In a recent comment he said, “It's been pretty well documented…that T2D is a self-inflicted malady. You might not have been pointing the gun (the ‘guidelines’), but you pulled the trigger.” I replied, “I like that. You have to accept responsibility first, and then, do something about it.” Right?
The relevance to Type 2 Diabetes, which I have coined “a dietary disease,” is that YOU control pretty much everything you put into your mouth…and thus you could control your Type 2 Diabetes from your next bite forward. Thus, you CANcure thyself.” You just have to believe in this Way of Eating and then follow it diligently. It’s not easy to “give up” so many foods to which you have become habituated, but this much I can tell you: You won’t have to wait for the hereafter to see the results. You will see results almost overnight. You will have to take fewer meds and you will lose weight without hunger, and your doctor will be astounded (as will you) at your improved health markers and labs.
Luckily, for me, I started eating Very Low Carb on the advice of my doctor. I weighed 375 pounds, and my doctor had been trying to get me to lose weight for years. It was summer of 2002, and he had just read the New York Times Sunday Magazine cover story, “What If It's All Been a Big Fat Lie,” by Gary Taubes, an award-winning science writer.  When my doctor next saw me, he said, “Have I got a diet for you!” I tried it, strictly following the original Atkins Induction plan (just 20 grams of carbs a day), and over the course of time, I lost 170 pounds.
My doctor’s heresy in recommending such an “extreme” diet in 2002 wasn’t as irresponsible as the mainstream medical establishment would have you believe. Low Carb – even Very Low Carb (like mine) – has been around for a long time. It just went out of fashion about the time older doctors practicing today got their training. Saturated fat and cholesterol were declared verboten for heart health, and all fats were targeted for reduction in the diet. AS A RESULT, CARBOHYDRATES WERE ASCENDANT, achieving and maintaining to this day their 60% (300g/day) Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of total calories on a 2,000kcal diet. As a result, we as a nation have gotten fatter and sicker.
Now, in the face of advancements in the science of healthy eating, and in the absence of good science to support the dangers of saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, and salt, the worm is turning. The 2015 “Guidelines” have totally banned trans fats and ELIMINATED THE LIMIT ON TOTAL FAT and DROPPED THE LIMITATION ON DIETARY CHOLESTEROL. The DGA Advisory Committee told the USDA/HHS: “cholesterol is no longer…of concern for overconsumption.”
And in the opinion of many who follow these developments, as the multitude of dangers from highly processed, oxidized and rancid polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils, such as corn and soybean oil, are exposed, we will eventually return to eating healthy, natural, saturated fats like butter, coconut oil, lard and tallow.
I was lucky. My doctor suggested Very Low Carb to me. But if your doctor doesn’t suggest you try eating Low Carb, I hope he/she will at least support your decision to try it, at least to lose weight. Let him/her see you at frequent intervals, if they want to, to check on your progress. I benefitted from my doctor’s monitoring of key blood markers monthly for the first year, and he learned a lot too. Why don’t you suggest yours do the same? I warrant it will work…

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