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The Great Modern Glucose Poisoning Epidemic

By localroger in Science
Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 07:01:42 PM EST
Tags: health, localroger bloviates (all tags)

There is about a one in three chance that you are seriously ill and don't even know it. It's not a disease caused by a pathogen but a chronic long-term poisoning that starts with your pancreas and nervous system. In the first decade or so you aren't even aware that you are ill, but your nervous, endocrine, and circulatory systems are decaying. Eventually random symptoms start to appear, the kind of things we tend to blow off as "just getting old."


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Not everyone is affected but if you are you will eventually get diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or severe systemic infections that will make you miserable and kill you years before your time.

If you go to the doctor you will probably be misdiagnosed. Only a small percentage of doctors know about what is currently coming to be known as "metabolic syndrome." Chances are your high blood pressure will be treated (with drugs that make the impotence you're already experiencing from the syndrome even worse) but your moderately high resting blood glucose will be declared a watch-list problem for the future.

Your doctor probably will not order a glucose tolerance test, which might reveal your hidden condition, because it costs more than a resting glucose test. And if your doctor is one of the rare progressive ones who knows about the "syndrome" and its ultimate effects, odds are he will put you on a diabetes drug like Metformin, or even insulin, that won't really fix the problem -- even though a total and complete fix for the problem has been known for almost 100 years.

1. Glucose

There is only one organ in your body that absolutely needs glucose, but that organ is your brain. Just as a lack of oxygen will quickly cause irreversible damage, a lack of glucose in your bloodstream will quickly kill you. American doctors use milligrams per deciliter, mg/dl, as the yardstick for blood glucose and in that unit a measurement of 80 is considered healthy and normal. A measurement of 60 is likely to mean you are feeling weak and light-headed. A measurement of 40 is grounds for an immediate trip to the hospital.

But the reactivity that makes glucose such a good fuel for those cells that want it also makes it corrosive. Your body has defences that allow it to deal with moderate amounts of glucose sufficient to fulfill its energy needs, but it's possible for your body to lose its ability to control the glucose level in your bloodstream. Once your glucose levels are measured at 200 mg/dl you will be diagnosed with diabetes. At 400 mg/dl you will actually start to feel bad. At 800 mg/dl you are in imminent danger of a hell of a lot of lethal complications.

The regulation of glucose in your blood is a bit complicated and strange. The glucose in your blood it isn't automatically used by your body; the enzyme insulin is necessary to tell your cells that it's OK to take what's there. Insulin is produced by your pancreas, normally in response to high blood sugar levels. And those high blood sugar levels generally result because you've eaten something that contains sugars or other carbohydrates that can easily be broken down into glucose.

At night, when you haven't eaten for awhile, you generally run out of blood glucose because your nervous system does use it on a constant basis. At this point your liver wakes up and starts making the stuff. Your liver and pancreas don't cooperate very closely, and your liver tends to set a level that might be called "kind of a running average for the last few days" regardless of whether such an average is healthy or not. This is why your doctor will order a "resting" blood glucose test if you show early symptoms of diabetes; it's a simple, cheap test involving only one blood sample, that isn't affected too much by what you're doing at the instant it's taken.

But your blood glucose level varies over the course of a day, according to what you eat and what you're doing. If you're healthy, it will shoot up to 120 after you eat a meal full of sugars and fast-release carbs, and then it will settle back to 80 within an hour or so. If you're not healthy, it might spike to 200 or more, or it might settle at 160 and take hours to return to normal.

If your resting glucose is over 100 you should be very wary, because levels over 140 are chronically toxic -- every minute of your life that your glucose is over 140 you are being poisoned. Your nervous system, circulatory system, and pancreas are particularly vulnerable. And the poisoning of your pancreas is the start of a very nasty positive feedback loop, because it reduces your ability to control your blood sugar even more, causing more and longer spiking of levels. Eventually your body can't keep up at all, and you'll finally be diagnosed as a diabetic.

2. How Do I Find Out if I Have a Problem?

There are three tests your doctor can order to investigate your blood sugar control situation. I've already talked about the resting test, a simple test of your instantaneous blood glucose level in the morning before you've eaten anything. Odds are your doctor won't get very worried about it unless it's over 110 mg/dl. And you can be very sick indeed and have it come in under 100.

A much better test is the glucose tolerance test. This still requires you to report to the doctor in the morning before you eat, and have a resting test done; but then you drink a standard shot of glucose, and at intervals of 30 minutes, 1 hour, and 2 hours further blood tests are taken. This reveals how your body reacts to a sudden jolt of glucose. Very often it reacts badly. My own body will let my glucose fly above 200 for an hour or so before yanking it back down below 100. Other people will see it drift up to 160 or 170 and hang there for hours. There are two sets of pancreatic beta cells that react to keep your blood sugar under control. One set acts quickly, based loosely according to the levels required by your last few big meals, but is intended to slightly under-react. This "first phase" response is meant to keep your sugar level from soaring over 120. The second set acts more slowly but brings your sugar level back to 80 over the next couple of hours.

In my case, the first phase response is inadequate, so that if I eat one candy bar my blood sugar soars over 200. But the second phase is there, and within a couple of hours my levels will be more or less normal. For most people who have this kind of problem it's the other way around; the first phase response might keep them to 160, but then it stays at 160 for hours.

Another test which is usually prescribed for people who have been solidly diagnosed with diabetes is the A1c. This measures the amount of glucose stuck to your hemoglobin. This tends to reflect the average level of your blood glucose over the life of a red blood cell, or several months, and many doctors regard it as the gold standard. It's more expensive than a simple resting glucose test, though. An A1c level of about 4% corresponds to 80 mg/dl, although most doctors will consider levels as high as 8% "good" for a diabetic.

The problem is that A1c tests don't show after-meal spiking, which might be making your blood toxic to your most sensitive organs for much of the day but not driving up the long-term average all that much.

My gold standard for blood sugar control would be multiple tolerance tests, carried out with various kinds of foods. No doctor would ever prescribe this, but fortunately it's now possible to buy pretty reliable glucose meters over the counter for under USD$100 and do it yourself. Your results won't be as accurate as the lab your doctor would hire, but you don't need accuracy for a tolerance test; if your levels ever go over 140 for any reason you have a serious problem. If the meter from Wal-Mart says 200 after you eat a Snickers bar, as mine did, you don't need three decimal places to confirm it.

3. So What's the Big Deal?

  • Obesity that doesn't respond to diet or exercise
  • Lethargy
  • Skin rashes
  • Gout
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Infertility
  • Slow wound healing
  • Neuropathy (loss of feeling or control in extremeties)
  • Retinopathy (blindness)
  • Kidney failure
  • High triglicerides ("bad cholesterol")
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
You may or may not get any of the particular symptoms on that list (or a whole slew of others); odds are one of them will kill you before you develop some of the others. But if your blood sugar is spiking over 140 after meals, even if you feel relatively healthy today you will eventually get Type II diabetes. Once you're a full-on diabetic it only gets more fun; you can have limbs amputated and go insane. Or you can screw up your insulin therapy and die of an accidental hypo.

It's very likely your doctor will confuse some of these symptoms with causes of your misery. WebMD.com still cites "an unhealthy lifestyle that includes eating too many high-calorie foods" as the first and most prominent causative factor for metabolic syndrome. This isn't really so; your sugar levels can be spiking after meals even if you eat a reasonable number of calories, and if that's the case you may gain weight even if you exercise all you can and eat like a bird. Exercise helps, because it can reduce glucose tolerance. But by the time you even realize something is wrong you might not be able to exercise enough to make a difference.

The fat that lines your arteries to lay the groundwork for that heart attack in your future also isn't the fat you eat; triglicerides are the fat your body makes from the sugars and complex carbohydrates you eat. Normally your body wouldn't line your arteries with this stored energy, but normally your blood glucose levels aren't over 140 either.

And while the link to cancer is less obvious, it's now known that most cancers rely heavily on glucose. Normal cells are killed by their own mitochondria when they turn cancerous; cells that grow into tumors have malfunctioning mitochondria. But the mitochondria are also responsible for burning glucose to power the cell's metabolism. Cancer cells must bypass their malfunctioning mitochondria by burning the glucose anaerobically, a process that's only about five percent as efficient as the normal combination of glucose with oxygen. So while it's not known at all whether high glucose levels cause cells to turn renegade, it seems quite reasonable that they have an easier time survivinging and working their mayhem when high glucose levels are available.

4. You, Insulin, and Certain Banned Performance Enhancers

Some people become diabetic because their pancreatic beta cells are destroyed by an automimmune reaction when they're young; this means their cells would listen if the insulin was there but they can't make the stuff. This is Type I diabetes.

Sugar control problems that arise in adulthood usually involve insulin resistance. This means your pancreas is capable of putting out a normal amount of insulin but your cells aren't listening, so it's having to produce more and more to keep your blood sugar under control. Eventually your body will need so much insulin to function normally that your pancreas just can't supply it. This is Type II diabetes.

If you're among the estimated one in three afflicted with "metabolic syndrome" you're most likely insulin resistant. That means your body is pumping ever larger amounts of insulin into your bloodstream in order to try and keep your sugar levels normal.

Insulin is an anabolic steroid. It's just as unhealthy to have lots of insulin running around in your bloodstream as it is to be shooting up other anabolic steroids to build up your muscles.

The reason is that your body maintains a delicate balance between anabolic processes (which build up flesh out of simple compounds) and catabolic processes (which break down tissue into its components). With all that extra anabolic activity going on, some other anabolic activity might be curtailed -- such as your sex drive or wound healing. Or your body might compensate by piling on some more catabolic activity to maintain the balance, generally building excess fat that makes you overweight and lines your arteries.

5. The Epidemic

Even though it's not a communicable disease, diabetes and its associated effects are regarded as an epidemic by most health organizations.

5.1 WTF?

Yeah, that was my reaction too.

6. How I Diagnosed and Treated Myself

In November of 2005, not long after a big round weather phenomenon I've written way too much about, my mother was diagnosed with Type II diabetes and I got a little lecture about how this was another thing I needed to watch for, like the heart disease on my Dad's side of the family and the colon cancer on hers. Great.

I got to thinking about it and a lot of the things that had happened in my thirties, a generally miserable decade when my body insisted on falling apart no matter what kind of diet or exercise I tried. As a New Year's resolution for 2006 I bought a blood glucose meter and bood pressure meter.

A doctor would have been most alarmed at my blood pressure, 167/119. Ouch. The fasting glucose was a bit more tentative at 110 mg/dl. After a bit of Googling I decided to eat a Snickers bar and see what happened. What happened was it went up to 200.

I knew that wasn't right.

Starting in January of 2006 I stopped eating anything that made my blood glucose go over 140. I'll get to what that required shortly, but let me just say I didn't starve myself, I ate quite well, and didn't exercise in any new ways or do anything else outside of my old routine.

By mid-February my blood pressure was down to 125/85, I had lost 40 pounds, and my resting blood sugar was 85. I haven't bothered having my cholesterol checked but I'm confident thanks to thousands of anecdotal reporters before me that it's probably gone from horrible to OK. I also have more energy and stamina than I've had since my late 20's, and have been kind of scarce lately because I decided to devote that energy to the previously unthinkable project of building a house -- with my own hands.

My mother had been promised that she would need insulin, but when she and Dad saw my weight loss and I explained to them what I was doing, she took up my habits. Her doctor initially told her she was wasting her time with all those measurements on different foods but then, later, was astonished at the improvement in her numbers. She is now weaning herself from the diabetes medication he'd prescribed.

A coworker was diagnosed several years ago with hypertension, and he was also curious. I loaned him my glucose meter and noted that his numbers were almost the same as mine were in January 2006. He's not as diligent as I am but has started trying to eat more to the meter, and his doctor has been astonished at the improvement in his bloodwork too. It's now obvious he was misdiagnosed and he is trying to wean himself from the blood pressure medication; unfortunately, that's tricky. Trust me, it's better to never go on that stuff in the first place if you don't have to.

7. So what can I eat, you're asking?

Well, the news is bad in some ways. I found out I couldn't eat a lot of things, even in relatively small amounts -- not just sugar, but pasta, bread, rice, potatoes and corn, or any of the huge number of things mostly made from those things.

On the other hand I'm not starving myself, and I can eat some fine things. I eat meat of all kinds, eggs, dairy products, and green vegetables. A fine meal is a steak with sauteed mushrooms substituted for the baked potato every restaurant wants to serve, or a hamburger with no bun (they usually put it on a bed of lettuce) and side salad instead of fries. Ranch and Bleu Cheese dressings are safe for the salads.

I'm not limiting calories. If I'm hungry, I eat. I find I eat a lot less on this diet; when I've had enough, I'm FULL and can't eat any more.

In the first few weeks it seemed really hard, but then it got easier. I'm so much healthier now, and I don't have the cravings that seem to be triggered by the availability of those high-carbohydrate foods, and it's very easy for me to imagine living like this for the rest of my life. I'll probably have to.

Everyone asks about fruit. I could probably eat fruit, in season and in reasonable quantity, if my metabolism wasn't already broken. But one of my mentors, Dr. Lutz, calls fruit "vitamin enriched sugar water" and is kind of down on it.

Q1. Where do you get your vitamins?

One source is green leafy vegetables; I tend to eat a lot more of them now that I'm not eating so much other junk. But I don't think that alone is enough.

I think the real key is animal fat. If you're not eating carbohydrates, which I'm pretty much not, then you have to eat fat or you'll get a really bad nutritional deficiency. (If you're eating fat, your body will make the carbs it needs for your nervous system to function. It can't do that if you're just eating protein.) And nobody knows exactly how, but it's clear from numerous anecdotal experiences that people who are eating animal fat also don't get vitamin deficiencies, including scurvy.

Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson wasn't believed when he reported in the early 1900's that the Canadian Eskimos maintained their health eating nothing but meat for months at a time. In 1928 he volunteered to spend a year under hospital observation to prove his claim. His observers expected him to quickly acquire a range of deficiency diseases, but he actually left the hospital in better health than he entered it.

Q2. But isn't fat bad for you?

All of the studies that have ever purported to show that have shown it in conjunction with a high carbohydrate intake. There have been hardly any formal studies of the kind of radical low-carb diet I am following.

The anecdotal evidence, though, from literally thousands of people, suggests that a low-carb high-fat diet is healthier than a high-carb diet.

Q3. You're kidding, right?

I wish I was. But people like the Inuit who live almost entirely on meat don't get scurvy or diabetes -- until they're introduced to a typical Western diet. That's a pattern all over the world when aboriginal populations are introduced to our eating habits. And I can't help but notice that I've been doing this for 16 months now and I'm healthier than I've been since 1990 or so.

People whose ancestors have been farming the longest have the fewest problems with diabetes and related complications. But modern transportation has made it possible for previously isolated populations to mix, and now all those nasty recessive traits evolution has been trying to eliminate for 10,000 years are coming back out. That's why it's an epidemic.

8. The Tinfoil Hat Story

It sounds ripped from the pages of a modern thriller. A new technology is created promising undreamed-of abundance. It makes all kinds of new modalities possible, such that very soon after its introduction it can't ever be given up. But there's a catch; it's booby-trapped. It makes you sick and kills you young, and it will do the same to your children and friends.

Nuclear radiation? Chemical toxins?

Nope -- Farming.

The problem is that farming was a great thing for Homo Sapiens. Farming put us at the top of the food chain and made it possible for us to have a high population and engage in specialized occupations, so that we might learn about things like glucose metabolism and insulin. Farming is also great for your civilization, because with that vastly increased population you can raise armies, feed armorers, and generally walk all over your non-farming neighbors.

But it wasn't such a great thing for us as individuals.

Those foods we farm don't exist in nature; we have selectively bred all of the foods we farm to make them much more fecund than their natural ancestors. If we lived as hunter-gatherers we'd mostly eat meat, nuts, and berries unless we happened upon some temporary high-carb bonanza such as a grove of ripe fruit trees. And in such a limited temporary circumstance, the most sensible thing to do would be to gorge on all that storable energy before it rotted or some other animal got there to store it instead of you.

So in that light, our reaction to high carb foods -- to eat too much of them even when our health is in jeapordy -- makes sense; our ancestors never had a reason to regulate their intake of such foods, and the cravings we have inherited from them reflect the desirability of such foods during periods of temporary bounty. Nature never prepared us to be confronted with a limitless supply of this stuff.

Some of us have adapted to the new circumstance. Some of us, like myself, adapted only partially, and a bit of a trauma -- like an operation in our late 20's -- can make us vulnerable. And a lot of us just can't handle these foods at all.

9. Oh Yeah I Was on That Diet Once

Usually heard from waitresses -- closely followed by "and I lost 30 pounds, but then I went off of it and gained it all back."

I spent several months wondering if I would ever write about this, and then nearly a year wondering what I would write about it that wouldn't sound just plain crazy. For the last 16 months I feel as if I have been aging in reverse; I am healthier now at the age of 43 than I was when I was 33. I am still not doing any exercise or regulating my calorie intake any more than I ever did; I just eat different stuff and watch the meter. I've gotten a few nasty surprises, things I thought were OK that made the reading go up. It's surprising where you find sugar and starch, especially in fast foods.

I've mentioned what I was doing here a couple of times, and one commenter memorably said "I'd give up sex before I'd give up complex carbohydrates!" A dramatic comparison to be sure, but how reasonable does that choice sound when I mention that you might actually literally be faced with it?

10. Well why not just go on insulin? Technology wins!

Most people don't use reactive insulin therapy; they take a "basal" dose that doesn't respond to foods they eat. It's not unusual at all for diabetics taking insulin to see glucose levels of 300 mg/dl after a meal. Their doctors don't think it's a problem because their average as tested via A1c is relatively benign. But those spikes are progressing and worsening their condition even though they're under "therapy." This is why most diabetics see their health continue to deteriorate even though they are told by their doctors that their diabetes is "under control."

Sugar levels most doctors consider "good enough for a diabetic" aren't really all that good. It's possible to keep them to normal levels, even if you are fully diabetic. Drugs alone cannot do it though. Drugs, including insulin, can reduce your blood sugar levels but they can only normalize your levels if you control your diet too.

And insulin therapy is much more dangerous than all but the most advanced cases of diabetes itself. The problem with taking insulin is that you are overriding all of your body's natural feedback mechanisms, and if you take too much and don't eat enough carbohydrates to justify it, your sugar levels can drop to levels never seen in a healthy person, 40 mg/dl and even lower. Too low and you'll lose consciousness.

The same thing is true of non-insulin diabetes drugs that work by triggering insulin release. And those others like metformin that work in other ways are less dangerous, but are also even less capable of normalizing your insulin levels if you're eating a high carbohydrate diet.

11. My Occasional Friend Carl

A long time ago (or so it seems) I mentioned a guy C who I'd occasionally see at the local Applebees when I'd go in and eat at the bar. When last I mentioned him he was complaining about the invasion of Chalmatians into St. Tammany Parish. When he saw what I was eating late that January he asked what I was up to and when I explained he enthusiastically started talking about his own adventure. "Yeah, my sugar was 800 when I finally went to the doctor," he laughed. "Damn near died."

C encouraged me and congratulated me for catching it while I could still regulate it by diet. He'd been in the Marines his entire adult life, running 7 miles a day. He retired when he was 40, and by the time he was 41 he was being checked into the hospital with full-on diabetes and 800 mg/dl blood glucose. Exercise can keep it at bay, but if you stop exercising ... well, then it stops keeping it at bay.

Sometime around August of 2006 I happened to be in the restaurant and realized I hadn't seen C in awhile. I asked the bartender about him, and she turned about the color of bleached paper. "Carl died," L kinda choked. "He lived alone you know, and he went into insulin shock and nobody was there to help him."

In those rare times when I'm tempted to say "screw the meter, I'm in the mood for a donut" I think of Carl.

---

Resources

If you have any suspicion at all that you might have metabolic syndrome or diabetes, please refer to Jenny:

What They Don't Tell You About Diabetes

She's no doctor, just a gal using her formidable researching skills to try and deal with her own diabetes. If what you read on her page interests you in something more authoritative, get this book:

Life Without Bread

Dr. Wolfgang Lutz has treated literally thousands of patients with the low-carbohydrate diet. The book was originally published (in German) in 1967 and translated into English and updated in 2000. It's extensively footnoted with references to actual scientific articles for those who don't just want to take his word for it all.

I'd love to refer you to well-respected establishment resources like WebMD or the American Diabetes Association, but my personal experience -- crass anecdote that it is -- suggests that their advice is not just a little wrong, but disastrously wrong. And I'm not the only one.

I leave it as an exercise for the diligent reader to determine whether that's because I have hallucinated the improvement in my health in the last 16 months, or our medical peoples is stupid, or maybe because nobody stands to make a pile of money from advising you to order an omelette instead of pancakes for breakfast.

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Related Links
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Display: Sort:
The Great Modern Glucose Poisoning Epidemic | 225 comments (213 topical, 12 editorial, 1 hidden)
That was actually really good (none / 1) (#3)
by Kariik on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 12:57:32 PM EST

Got kind of long-winded though. At about 7 pages long, I admit I just skimmed through parts of it. Sections 2-4 just didnt sound interesting. Try coming up with catchier names.

Suggestion Taken Thanks $ (none / 0) (#5)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 01:11:59 PM EST



I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Summary for short attention spans (2.66 / 3) (#6)
by FattMattP on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 01:19:13 PM EST

If you don't want to read the whole thing this entire story can be summarized as, "I switched to the Atkins diet and improved my health." The diet is dead-on Atkins and everything else is a paraphrase of what is in all of the Atkins books. Excellent write up, localroger.

Not quite Atkins (none / 0) (#7)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 01:21:21 PM EST

Atkins also advises calorie restriction and a more severe "induction phase" to force your body into ketosis (fat rather than glucose based metabolism). Atkins was designed as a short term weight loss diet; what I'm doing is a lifestyle.

Of course a lot of people who are just informally low-carbing say they're on Atkins; it's a convenient shorthand to use at the restaurant. But there's more to Atkins than just avoiding carbs, and I'm not doing any of those other things.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

zerg (none / 1) (#8)
by FattMattP on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 02:02:22 PM EST

Atkins was designed as a short term weight loss diet; what I'm doing is a lifestyle.
FWIW, The Atkins book stresses that it's not a short term wright loss diet and that it is a lifestyle change.

[ Parent ]
Atkins phases (3.00 / 3) (#10)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 02:19:48 PM EST

If you follow Atkins' advice, and if your metabolism is normal, after you lose the weight you will "add rungs" until you are eating starches again. The extremely low-carbohydrate phase is only entered when you are overweight. So yes, the Atkins diet is a lifestyle diet, the extremely low-carbohydrate phase is a temporary weight loss diet. And Atkins advises against fatty foods, which is the opposite of what I'm doing. That makes sense, since as I mention in the article if you cut out both fats and carbs from your diet on a long-term basis you'll die.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
fatty foods? (none / 0) (#67)
by dougmc on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 12:21:28 PM EST

And Atkins advises against fatty foods
No, it doesn't. Really, what the Atkins diet says is that fat isn't particularly bad for you, so you're free to eat it if you want. Only trans fats have to be avoided.

(Sorry, the link I gave doesn't really say that `fat is ok' in some many words, but if you search it for `fat' you'll get that general idea.)

[ Parent ]

I suspect that's a recent mod (none / 1) (#120)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 11:01:46 PM EST

As you say, it's not prominently said that FAT IS OK. Problem is, people are so skittish about fat because of the fat phobia propaganda that if you DON'T say "fat is OK" in so many words, you have to assume a lot of the people who listen to you still won't eat any fat. And if they're also not eating any carbs on your advice, that's a problem.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
They never advised against fatty foods (none / 0) (#200)
by dougmc on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 04:29:43 PM EST

Failing to explicitly say `FAT IS OK' is not the same thing as explicitly advising against fatty foods.

Atkins never advised against fatty foods.  In fact, they generally said that eating fatty foods was OK, though maybe they didn't phrase it like `FAT IS OK'.


[ Parent ]

Begs for Glycemic Index reference (none / 0) (#52)
by asolipsist on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:46:19 AM EST

This is a great article, and I commend you for measuring your own glucose levels and using reasoning skills to figure out what was going on with your body. All this atkins, (or paleolithic) etc etc talk are missing the point though.

I think you left out one very important concept though, that of the glycemic index. Almost everyone knows what that is nowadays, it's essential to your thesis which I think is better stated as: "eat foods with a low glycemic index so you don't spike your blood sugar."

[ Parent ]

Reason I left it out (3.00 / 2) (#56)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:12:51 AM EST

Low GI foods spike my glucose level almost as badly as high GI foods. I'm sure that's because my metabolism is already pretty broken. I'm sure low GI is better than high GI, but I'd check the meter and be aware that low carb is the ultimate solution.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
GI vs GL (3.00 / 3) (#90)
by hokie99cpe on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:05:09 PM EST

What's more important than the glycemic index is the glycemic load.

Glycemic index compares equal amounts of carb content, while glycemic load compares serving sizes.

For example, looking at GI, whats better for you: 120 grams of strawberries with a GI at 40 or 111 grams of chocolate cake that is around 38? What about when you realize that the glycemic load of strawberries is 1 whereas the chocolate cake is around 20? The GI might be very close, but the insulin response will be much more subdued when eating strawberries.


[ Parent ]

Clarification (none / 1) (#194)
by irrevenant on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 09:18:37 PM EST

GL = GI x Qty of Carbohydrate (in grams) / 100. The reason the GL isstrawberry's GL is so much lower than chocolate cake is that chocolate cake is 50% carb and strawberry is 4% carb. What this means is that, by eating low carb, you are automatically eating low-GL. It also means that maybe you're eating more restrictively than you need to.

[ Parent ]
Vitamins (none / 1) (#9)
by FattMattP on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 02:15:15 PM EST

Are you taking any vitamin supplements or are you relying only on your food intake? I didn't see anything about supplements so I assume it is the latter.

No supplements (none / 0) (#11)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 02:21:04 PM EST

I am relying entirely on my food supply for my nutritional needs.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Selected points. (2.66 / 3) (#12)
by sudogeek on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 03:15:14 PM EST

  1. The brain can metabolize glucose and so-called ketone bodies which are derived from short-chain fatty acids (acetoacetate and beta-hydroxy butyrate). Under conditions of starvation or insulin lack (such as diabetic ketoacidosis), these may be the predominant fuel.

  2. I'll leave alone the telegraphic description of glucose level regulation and control of insulin secretion but it is a lot more complicated. The role of so-called counterregulatory hormones such as cortisol is clearly important in "Syndrome X" or metabolic syndrome.

  3. You properly point out insulin resistance but this deserves to be emphasized. Persons with this metabolic syndrome have elevated insulin levels, like those with adult-onset (so-called type 2) diabetes. Insulin resistance is not a pancreatic problem.  Indeed, the pancreatic islet cells are behaving just as they should - higher glucose demands more insulin release. The problem is a reduced response to insulin by the target cells, particularly the liver. The mechanisms of insulin resistance are still not fully elucidated. Other hormones such as cortisol, adipin, glucagon, and some we don't know about yet play a role.

  4. The early lesion of arteriosclerosis is indeed the "fatty streak" but the mechanism is not related to elevated triglycerides in the blood. Atherosclerosis, the more proper term, begins as an inflammatory response in the arterial wall. Certain inflammatory cells called macrophages tend to accumulate fat.

  5. The relation of high fat diets to increased rates of certain cancers like breast cancer is clear. The relation to high carbohydrate diets or obesity to any increase in cancer in weak  or absent. There is no evidence that diabetics have more rapidly growing or more aggressive cancers.

  6. Insulin is not an anabolic hormone. Anabolic hormones are defined as those which cause positive nitrogen balance and increased protein mass. Muscle weight does increase in diabetics because glucose entry into muscle cells in not dependent on insulin. In the setting of high glucose levels, muscles take up glucose and store it as glycogen. This does not increase muscle strength; indeed, contraction strength per unit weight is decreased.

  7. A correct dietary prescription is reduced carbohydrates but also reduced refined carbohydrates - whole vegetables and starches instead of white bread and high fructose corn syrup. The total number of calories is reduced as carbohydrate intake is reduced. A compensatory increase in fat or protein intake is counter productive. More meat and saturated fat substitutes hyperlipidemia and coronary disease for diabetes. If you look at societies or cultures where longevity is common, or even at long-lived individuals, the common thread in calorie restriction.

There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
Counterpoints (none / 0) (#23)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 05:05:28 PM EST

1. I've never heard anyone claim before that your nervous system can survive with blood glucose levels before 40 mg/dl for any reason, under any circumstances, for any length of time. Both of the conditions you describe (starvation and ketoacidosis) are not exactly indicators of good long-term health prospects.

2. Thank you, I realize it's more complicated. People are complaining it's a long article as it is. This is what Joe on the street needs to know to keep a condition from getting him.

3. There is some confusion between the possibility of insulin resistance leading to pancreating islet cell death, and MODY. It may be that undiagnosed MODY is what is really going on. That said, if you have MODY you are pretty much screwed because there are very few doctors in the world prepared to diagnose it properly.

4. The exact mechanism by which your cholesterol sticks to your blood vessels doesn't really matter; Dr. Lutz of Live Without Bread actually funded a study using chickens as a model animal that showed conclusive evidence that a low carb high fat diet reduces atherosclerosis, at least in chickens. Their relation to modern vs. natural feeds and their incidence of artery hardening are both very similar to ours.

5. IMO only because the studies haven't been done that woudl show it. Time will tell.

6. Dr. Lutz spends a whole chapter disagreeing with you; please take it up with him. The health effects observed in vitro are consistent with the theory he puts forward (as wone would expect, since he worked his methods out empirically).

7. The distinction between refined and natural carbs, and between high and low GI carbs, may be useful when you are still healthy. But my glucose meter tells me that, for me at least, at this point it doesn't matter. Maye had I exercised more care when I was younger I could be less careful now. In fact I'm sure that's the case; it's one reason I wrote the article.

But one thing the last 16 months have made abundantly clear to me is that the diet I was told was healthy, and which I stuck to pretty well at times, is not healthy; and the diet I have always been told was decadent and unhealthy, has restored my health. You're welcome to find a better explanation for that than the one I've given, but the facts speak for themselves.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Here's an alternative explanation (none / 1) (#143)
by Old Ben Benzoate on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 06:42:23 PM EST

You're happy, so your blood is no longer full of cortisol. That would also explain why your blood pressure has dropped.

Good luck with your house, by the way.

[ Parent ]

Well, that might be part of it now (none / 0) (#146)
by localroger on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 08:09:49 PM EST

When I first started doing this I was actually pretty freaked out though. I do agree that high cortisol is another big problem, and the slight euphoria that accompanied my unexpected sudden health reversal didn't hurt anything. But a lot of my stress sources are from work and such, and while it's probably better now I don't think my stress level is enough better to explain the massive changes I've observed since last January.

Come to think of it I'm not sure I'd admit that I spend much of my life at all in a state you could describe as happy. Probably about as much of it as my fictional characters do :-)

And thanks for the encouragement on the house. I'm planning to do something different, and if I pull this off I tell ya it's gonna be bitchin.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Only one slight problem here (2.66 / 3) (#15)
by tetsuwan on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 03:29:47 PM EST

Six (or even two) billion people can not eat your diet. But I will certainly keep your advice in mind.

Can you eat beans?

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance

You are unfortunately correct (none / 0) (#19)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 04:50:04 PM EST

Actually, it might be possible with factory farm techniques to feed a billion or two, but we wouldn't be making any friends at PETA :-)

I can eat a small portion of beans, but I have to be careful because they're often prepared (as in red beans & rice) with carbohydrate thickeners. I try to stick to the Life Without Bread plan of about 72 grams of carb a day, and that as low GI as I can manage to find.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

nanotechnology to the rescue: (none / 1) (#37)
by skyknight on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 09:38:28 PM EST

Soon we'll be able to manufacture animal protein en-masse without animals and do so absurdly cheaply.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Sign me up! $ (none / 0) (#38)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 09:50:53 PM EST



I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Factory farming (none / 0) (#150)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 05:25:20 AM EST

Something you might want to look into is the health aspects (or lack thereof) of factory-farmed meats - or really, any animal-byproduct produced in a factory-like setting.

In short: in order to get those high yields, the health of the animal is not regarded in the least bit due to the need (desire?) to produce as much as they can, as quickly as they can, for as small a financial investment as possible. This results in weird and frankly, fucked-up practices such as feeding chicken shit to cattle, excessive levels of artificial hormones, feeding the cattle and chickens unnatural foods to fatten them up (such as corn - they're not made to eat the stuff either, ya know), and generally doing all they can to get more, bigger animals. They do it to the point (but not beyond - the FDA wouldn't like that) just before where the animals (in the case of cattle) dies of sickness and/or cancer around the 2-year mark, which is when they ship them off to slaughter.

Take a look at natural (and as unmolested as possible) meats, dairy, and eggs. We try to find as much as we can of each. The eggs are tastier and are a dark orange instead of dull yellow; the meat tastes simply better, and I can't even begin to tell you the difference between 100% un-homogenized and unpasteurized whole milk from a Jersey cow compared to "whole milk" as found in the stores (even the 'natural' stuff found in the 'health food' section of the store) - never mind the comparison between fortified 2%, 1%, or slim. (Why do you think they have to fortify it, anyway?  Could it have something to due with the fact that the enzymes, nutrients, and other things which make it 'food' are destroyed during the pasteurizing and homogenization?)

We buy as much of our meat from the local farmer's market (and similar venues) as we can, and pick up  3 gallons of milk and two dozen eggs from a local farmer who produces small-scale. I'd highly recommend looking into your local options. Being as you're building your own house - a fairly self-reliant act - and there are a lot of people who like to "get back to basics" amongst those who eat whole foods, I'd not doubt you might find a friend or two. (I'm envious that you've got the freedom to build your own house; it's a dream of mine and currently years off the radar due to various financial restraints. I need a damn job...)

But maybe you're already doing all this, and I'm wasting my time. :P
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

environment-friendliness (none / 0) (#50)
by sesquiped on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:34:38 AM EST

This occured to me also. I'm a casual environmentalist, by which I mean I try to do as much as I can without putting that much time or effort into it. I don't own a car, though that's pretty easy when living in a city. I've read that eating vegetarian may do as much good for the environment as giving up a car, and though I haven't fully made that move yet, I do try to limit my meat consumption. Supposing that I do discover I need to give up carbs and eat lots of fat to stay healthy, is there any way to do it without eating lots of meat?

[ Parent ]
Beans (none / 0) (#51)
by tetsuwan on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:38:31 AM EST

Beans have carbs, but they will not give nearly as bad glucose level spikes as other carb sources. If you eat cheese, cheese is also free from carbs.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Environmental unfriendliness of meat (none / 1) (#151)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 05:37:14 AM EST

Meat isn't inherently unfriendly to the environment. It's actually a part of "the environment" in a healthy one, and the destruction of animals in the environment is necessary to maintain said environment.

Provided you're not one of those people who are against eating meat simply because it's part of an animal and deem it immoral to kill them, then there are quite a few alternatives.

For starters, you could go for free-range cattle. Free range cattle are usually grazed on fields in rotation, and not to the point of the field's destruction. This is necessary to maintain a healthy habitat for field-dwelling animals.

Even though you're an urbanite, you could try and take up hunting. A large buck will conservatively feed a family for a number of months (though I only have the perspective of the meat being one part of a multi-course meal with grains in the mix to go on, so I'm guessing 5 deer a year for a small family of 3.) Deer meat, while generally low in fat (about the same as chicken), is quite a bit more nutritious than store-bought beef and poultry. Because we've mostly eliminated the other natural predators to deer (wolves, coyotes, cougars), most deer now end up dying of old age, even where deer populations are not "dense". As a conservationist (which is what I like to describe myself as, as 'environmentalist' has too many negative crazy associations), I see it as my moral obligation to try and thin the herds of the older animals, thereby preventing their over-eating of areas and to reduce the amount of disease introduced through high population levels (you can see a lot of this around NY/NJ, where the deer population levels are crazy high).

Also, there are nuts and seeds, which, while they will not provide you with everything, will provide a level of fat intake. As far as I know, it is still impossible to be healthy (and not ultimately die of a nutritional deficiency) without the intake of at least some animal proteins and nutrients found exclusively in meats (my memory fails me on specifically what they are right now, however).
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

absurd (none / 1) (#163)
by thankyougustad on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 11:10:08 AM EST

As far as I know, it is still impossible to be healthy (and not ultimately die of a nutritional deficiency) without the intake of at least some animal proteins and nutrients found exclusively in meats (my memory fails me on specifically what they are right now, however).


No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Vitamin B12 (none / 1) (#164)
by localroger on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 01:30:32 PM EST

There are some others that you can get from vegetable sources but only with great effort, but B12 is the biggest problem for vegans. There basically are no plant sources, so you have to take supplements. If you don't you get pernicious anemia in 5-10 years.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
he said meat (none / 1) (#166)
by thankyougustad on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 01:40:25 PM EST

a diet that excludes animal protein in the form of meat, but that allows it in the form of eggs and other diary is perfectly nutritious.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
B12 is not a problem. (none / 0) (#226)
by wolfie on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:15:01 PM EST

Hardly a great effort; B12 is only a big problem for ignorant vegans.

Red Star T-6635+ yeast easily supplies the RDA.
The biggest problem is from ignorant people that believe any yeast provides adequate B12; when only certain ones such as T-6635+ can.

Given the radical nature of your diet, introducing certain types of yeast or other B12-fortified foods is not hard.

[ Parent ]

Well written and very informative. +FP from me. (none / 1) (#16)
by dakini on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 03:51:05 PM EST

Glucose tolerance tests are done quite regular here. They are done in the lab. Diabetes is quite a common ailment with our first nations people and it is on the rise. I think more people should be more aware of the testing that is available and encourage them to speak to their doctors.

" May your vision be clear, your heart strong, and may you always follow your dreams."
+1 FP (1.50 / 2) (#17)
by balsamic vinigga on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 04:22:59 PM EST

Though you may want to consider making a series out of it since there's so much more to all this. I notice that asian people seem to handle carbs fairly well and I wonder if that has to do with their genetics adapted to a long history of farming combined with their (compared to westerners) genetic isolation...

I myself am mid twenties now with low side of normal fasting blood glucose and high side of normal blood pressure (though it gets concerningly high when i'm stressed).. I'm also the sort that seems to be able to overeat carbs all day without putting on weight.  As such, I continue to..  but I do begin to feel guilty about that and wondering if I'm destroying my health.

Do you think it's best to wait for a candybar to spike our blood sugar to 200 before taking action, or should we all work to lower our carb intake to a more hunter-gatherer level? It would be nice if the USDA food pyramid were altered with all this new evidence in mind, but the food pyramid continues to insist we gorge ourselves with grain and minimize fat...

---
Please help fund a Filipino Horror Movie. It's been in limbo since 2007 due to lack of funding. Please donate today!

That was me, until I was 28 (none / 1) (#18)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 04:48:21 PM EST

A bit more detail: I weighed 145 lb and could eat anything. When I was 28 I had an inguinal hernia repair, and after the period of inactivity (even after I recovered I was shy about stressing myself) I began to gain about 5 lb a year. Exercise and diet didn't help. I believe that's when my sugar metabolism went kaka.

I think everyone should do an informal glucose response test at least once a year. Before it's spiking to 200 you'll probably notice it spiking to 140, then 160 ... the earlier you take proactive action, the more of your health you can preserve.

I just wish I'd known 15 years ago what I found out last year *sigh*

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

More likely... (none / 1) (#92)
by hokie99cpe on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:16:35 PM EST

I notice that asian people seem to handle carbs fairly well and I wonder if that has to do with their genetics adapted to a long history of farming combined with their (compared to westerners) genetic isolation...

Without worrying too much about the type of carbs, it is more likely that the typical asian eats more fish and lean meat than the typical westerner... and less McDonalds too. (http://www.gicare.com/pated/edtot36.htm)

Now, compare the typical westernized asian and we see the same obesity and related health effects beginning to emerge.

[ Parent ]

Asians and carbs (none / 1) (#141)
by derfla8 on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 06:02:42 PM EST

I'm not sure about the asians and "a lot of carbs" deal. I'm Chinese and have plenty of Chinese friends. Although it would appear that asians in gerenal are less prone to obesity, they are still prone to the issues with the difficulties of not being able to deal with the elevated levels of glucose in their bodies. Plenty of the think chinese/japanese/korean girls I know that love to eat carbs and sweets suffer from what I call sugar crankiness. When they don't have sugar or food in them, they get super cranky. They're is something wrong still.

[ Parent ]
that's me - but I'm not asian (none / 1) (#152)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 05:44:13 AM EST

That's me to a letter, except I'm 1/4th Sicilian and the rest of my lineage hails from Northern and maybe a little Central Europe. I'm 6'2" and 160lb, and I've got the crankiness, as well as lethargy and maybe a little light-headedness if I've been active, when I'm hungry. And the hunger comes on with a vengeance when it does.

My father experiences the same things I do (1/2 Northern Irish, 1/2 Sicilian), and has for as long as he can remember. He's turning 48 this year and is otherwise healthy, but it seems that there's something wrong with the picture just the same.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

Didnt notice.... (none / 1) (#20)
by The Amazing Idiot on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 04:52:21 PM EST

I drink alcohol.

I dont get drunk, because I dont like it, and I weigh about 300 lbs (so it takes a lot).

How does alcohol affect your glucose levels?

I'm very close to "that" point, and some diet like this could work well for me. Well, it'll work better than the crap I eat already.

Thanks for the wonderful article. +1 FP from me.

The best thing about it all (none / 1) (#24)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 05:09:35 PM EST

...alcohol doesn't affect my glucose levels at all. In fact, one of the clues that got me onto this is that alcohol actually reduces your glucose levels slightly, because it inhibits your liver from producing as much glucose in the morning. Thus, some diabetic symptoms might get worse when you stop drinking.

The bother is that you have to avoid carbs in your booze. I can drink low-carb beers like Michelob Ultra and Bud Select, but a six pack of Budweiser (much less Newcastle) has my whole day's allotment of carbs in it. Similarly, I can put away a fair amount of Jack Daniel's if I mix it with water, but even the small amount of coke in a cocktail causes trouble.

It's a weird thing because technically alcohol is a carbohydrate. But the way it's metabolized appears to be closer to the fat burning pathway. Anyway, I quit drinking for a few months when I started this experiment, and was quite gratified to find that when I tried it it didn't mess anything up.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

I suppose this diet's not for me, then (none / 1) (#69)
by Delirium on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 12:46:22 PM EST

I'll take diabetes over giving up quality beer!

[ Parent ]
Well that's a -real- downer. (none / 0) (#153)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 05:50:13 AM EST

Well, that's a real downer: I just looked up the carbs in the various beers I like, and they're all over 14 grams per 12 oz. I guess I need to figure out what my blood level is like currently, though, before I can make any harsh assessments. I don't typically drink daily, either - maybe a 6-pack a week, two or three nights a week, at the most. And there are weeks (or months, even - generally in the winter) when I don't feel like drinking at all.

Question: do you know about the carbohydrate levels of honey, if there are any? Or, I should say, meade or wine? A good wine or meade will do me just as well as a good beer, but I can not abide a watery domestic commercial 'brew' like Coors or Bud Lite/Select (though Select is tolerable), because most of them give me the most satanic of hangovers even when only consuming one.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

Honey is pure sugar (none / 0) (#161)
by localroger on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:21:34 AM EST

Which is a shame, because I would have loved to buy some of xC000005's honey. It's one of the things I miss.

Some wines are relatively low carb, especially dry white wines, but it's hard to figure out which ones. I can have a glass or two of wine without dramatically screwing up my numbers.

If you find Bud Select tolerable it's probably your best bet at 3 carbs/can. (Although it's not marketed so much like Michelob Ultra, it's apparently brewed the same way.)

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Alcohol isn't a carbohydrate. (none / 1) (#217)
by Insoc on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:36:22 AM EST

It's an alcohol (since we're referring to ethanol here). The basic units for carbs are glucose, galactose, and fructose; ethanol is smaller by a large margin than all 3.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, but it's muddy (none / 0) (#218)
by localroger on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 10:03:34 PM EST

Nowadays there are complaints about "sugar alcohols" being added to foods which drive up you blood glucose but aren't technically "carbs." That kind of thing is the LAST thing I need.

It's really not about the dictionary definition, it's about whether it drives up your glucose. Maybe since "carbohydrate" has a good solid definition we shouldn't mess with we need a new word or category for those foods, for whatever reason, are poisonous to us.

And it would also let us "excuse" those technical carbs like flatbreads that seem to not affect us so much.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

I have also had success with a low-carb diet (none / 1) (#22)
by curien on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 05:03:12 PM EST

I was only on it for a short time, but I lost 30 pounds. After I got off it, I put 10 back on immediately (which left me at an extremely healthy weight -- 22.5 BMI). After a couple of years of maintaining that weight on a normal diet, I started to get stressed and overworked; I put all that weight back on in a one year period. With a little bit of attention, I've lost ten pounds of that (I'm now hovering just over 25 BMI). I'm considering going back on a low-carb diet again.

I'm still quite young, so when I went on the low-carb diet, I didn't really feel better or "younger" than I do normally. It was easy, though, and my body seemed to take to it like a fish to water (my wife is another story -- her bowels were a wreck the entire time).

There are a lot of things about human nutrition that I think modern medical conventional wisdom has completely wrong. Milk is one, and this is another. Hopefully, the emerging evidence will point folks in the right direction.

--
Murder your babies. -- R Mutt

Hard Transitions (none / 0) (#26)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 05:17:22 PM EST

Jeez, this is the fourth comment in a row where I mention the book, but Life Without Bread and Jenny's website are where I got most of the information that has guided me. Dr. Lutz has a whole chapter in there on the possible difficulties of switching to the diet, and ways of smoothing them over. (When all else fails gradualizing the transition seems to do the trick.)

Jenny also mentions that some people feel sick and hypoglycemic when their sugar levels return to normal, presumably because their bodies are habituated to the higher levels. Again, in those cases a gradual transition seems to help.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Knew there was a reason I hated french fries (1.00 / 2) (#29)
by LilDebbie on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 06:48:11 PM EST

besides the association to France, that is. Why I order from the dollar menu. Give me a burger with a side of nuggets, plz kthnx!

Too late now for the article, but it's important to mention the importance of a low-carb diet as opposed to a no-carb diet as is fashionable these days. Ketosis can kill you faster than glucose spikes.

Regarding conspiracy theories, it's simple really: grains and starchy foods are cheap, meat is expensive. As for those morons who intentionally divest themselves of wholesome, nutritious meat, well, they'll get what they deserve.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Ketosis, a common point of confusion (none / 0) (#32)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 06:59:47 PM EST

Ketosis is not dangerous. I'm in ketosis now, and have been for months; I can feel the transition between fat and sugar metabolism, and this has warned me about a couple of foods I hadn't thought worth testing.

What is dangerous is the condition of ketoacidosis, which is the result of a runaway feedback loop in your glucose metabolism. In ketoacidosis your body is burning fat instead of glucose despite the presence of huge and growing amounts of glucose in your blood.

You will not progress from ketosis to ketoacidosis unless you are very heavily diabetic and eat too much carbohydrate and fail to control it, and if you did get there the last thing you'd want to do is, as a diabetic coworker solemnly and mistakenly advised me, "get some carbs in you."

And you're right, it's a bit expensive to eat this way. But it's cheaper than medical bills.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Right (none / 0) (#34)
by LilDebbie on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 07:09:41 PM EST

Ketosis leads to ketoacidosis when out of whack. However, it does not solely occur in diabetics and can occur in people who are on no-carb diets. Mind, a slice of bread every other day is a sufficient number of carbs to prevent it, but it's still a concern for people who take these things too far.

And if you think that's a silly concern, may I remind you of the Darwin laureate who managed to die by hyponatremia after poison control told her to "drink a lot of water" (she ended up pounding down 15 gal IIRC).

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

Good point (none / 0) (#35)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 07:13:32 PM EST

I try to keep my carbs below 72 grams per day, but keeping it much lower than that is hard especially if you ever eat out. If your metabolism isn't already out of whack the difference between high and low GI carbs can also be important (but alas, in my case, even the lowest GI carbs spike the meter).

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
LOL @ nationalism. £ (none / 0) (#54)
by stuaart on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 05:56:00 AM EST


Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective


[ Parent ]
the irony is (none / 0) (#137)
by rhiannon on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 02:01:08 PM EST

The basis of almost all western food is from french cuisine.

-----------------------------------------
I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
[ Parent ]
What? Explain. (none / 0) (#154)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 05:56:02 AM EST

What? How do you figure that?

Granted, I'm not familiar with French foods, but I highly doubt (say) the foods of Germanic extraction come from the French.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

it's simple really (none / 0) (#184)
by rhiannon on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:07:57 PM EST

So when you eat out, by default you are going to be eating food based on french techniques. Even the foods of germanic extraction are going to have been fairly heavily influenced by the french. French cooking is the foundation most other foods are built upon.

I'm sure if you look it up in the wikipedia they'll have some carefully worded neutral phrasing about the situation.

I thought it was pretty weird when I found out, but that's how it is...

-----------------------------------------
I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
[ Parent ]

Good & Bad Carbs (none / 1) (#36)
by mike3k on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 09:34:32 PM EST

That's basically the South Beach Diet. I did it about 3 years ago and lost 50 pounds. I've kept that weight off, staying near my ideal weight of 150 pounds ever since then. At this point I basically avoid non-diet soft drinks and eat lots of whole grain & high fiber foods.

The important thing is to avoid foods that spike your glucose level (high glycemic index).

What about "little roger"? (none / 1) (#39)
by xC0000005 on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 10:06:22 PM EST

Did the new diet help with Impotence/ED? I'm not into Bob Dole territory yet (knock on wood) but I'd like to avoid it it should ever rear its ugly head.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
Some (none / 0) (#41)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 10:42:25 PM EST

It's better, but not as better as I'd like. Fortunately, things seem to be continuing to improve, and I'm hopeful that will stay in the set of improving things.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
It's not an enzyme (2.50 / 2) (#40)
by a boy and his bike on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 10:30:59 PM EST

Insulin is a hormone. Stopped reading there. Sorry!

I didn't say it is an enzyme (none / 0) (#42)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 10:47:16 PM EST

I said it's a steroid, which is a type of hormone, but not apparently the type of hormone insulin is. Insulin does have a lot of the same kind of effects as the class of hormones called "anabolic steroids" and I misremembered it as actually being a member of that class.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Yes you did, right here (none / 0) (#44)
by a boy and his bike on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 10:56:34 PM EST

"The glucose in your blood it isn't automatically used by your body; the enzyme insulin is necessary to tell your cells"

[ Parent ]
Proofread failure (none / 0) (#46)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 11:10:20 PM EST

I meant for that to say "steroid" which would also have been wrong. Alas the humanity.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
How do these poll numbers add up to 287 %? (2.00 / 1) (#43)
by ClaimJumper on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 10:54:13 PM EST

To much blood sugar sex majic?


Multiple select enabled $ (none / 0) (#45)
by localroger on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 11:09:31 PM EST



I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
good job k5 (1.50 / 2) (#47)
by SCORCHED zombie Private Papers on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 11:37:09 PM EST

vote up a story by a wanna be scifi author that tells people their doctor is wrong and will misdiagnose them.

truth be told the medical industry is just out there to fuck you over. doctors don't care. listen to localroger.


If I wanted to trash the medical profession... (3.00 / 5) (#61)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:37:19 AM EST

...I'd have related what happened when I actually took this problem to a doctor.

A few years ago I got a bit worried that one of the symptoms associated with all this would get noticeably worse when I stopped drinking alcohol. This was a pretty specific and weird symptom so I figured some tests would probably be in order. After waiting three weeks for an appointment (yay HMO's) I had to wait four more weeks for an appointment with a urologist, who told me to my face that I must be lying about my symptoms because what I was claiming was backward and impossible.

Now, I did get some of the background details wrong in the story; I've never cared very much about biology and generally find it boring and uninteresting. (I prefer to work with machines that were intelligently designed, you might say.) I'm sure if I had written this a year ago I'd have got it a lot better, but then you'd be saying "Yeah, a year from now you'll have scurvy."

Anyway, I now know that I was having those "backward and impossible" symptoms because alcohol reduces blood sugar levels. The presenting symptom was a perfect clue, a simple and cheap glucose test would have probably revealed the problem, and two doctors in a row completely failed it.

Meanwhile, my coworker DB presented himself with a hypertensive crisis and resting blood glucose of 110. They put him on medication for the blood pressure which made him completely impotent, and told him they'd check the blood glucose next year. When he saw what I was doing he modified his own habits, and had pretty much the same results I did -- except that he's still on the BP meds that make him impotent, and has been told that getting off of them might be a very bad idea for reasons you probably understand.

So yes, I'm a kook but I'm a healthy kook now TYVM. And while I'm no expert I managed to find and fix the problem, while the medical profession did not exactly cover itself in glory.

Thanks for asking.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Not at all. It was once conventional wisdom (2.50 / 2) (#186)
by walk on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 04:17:10 AM EST

that certain (now known to be) high glucose levels were 'under control'. Now it's known that excess glucose over a lifetime is what causes the damage. 'Known' meaning, the new conventional wisdom. And this shift in understanding was in the last 10 years (I'm pretty sure). Diabetes is a very active area of research, and the whole medical profession isn't uniformly informed about all the latest developments - I don't doubt at all that people who follow the research and self experiment will know things that doctors trained long ago won't.
-
"Walker, there is no road, the road is made by walking"
- Spanish poet Machado exiled by General Franco
[ Parent ]
Sounds like the glycemic index. (2.50 / 1) (#48)
by Pentashagon on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 11:44:34 PM EST

Glycemic index.

Since you mention you are lacking the first phase of insulin production, you might benefit from snacking on some low GI foods an hour or so before eating, and then having any medium or high GI foods you like after your insulin response is up. I guess it all depends on how high you can boost your secondary response, and how long you want to spend building it up. I imagine with small enough portions you could probably get your response high enough to eat just about anything, but then you'd have to do the reverse and keep snacking on medium and then low GI foods to keep your blood sugar from crashing.

Have you looked into the long term heart risks of a high(er) fat diet? Do you just eat fish or seafood to keep your HDL/LDL ratio high?

Hmm. (2.50 / 2) (#53)
by creature on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 05:28:37 AM EST

I know that an anecdote is not data, but:

And nobody knows exactly how, but it's clear from numerous anecdotal experiences that people who are eating animal fat also don't get vitamin deficiencies, including scurvy.
I have a friend who managed to give herself scurvy in university because her diet was so horrid. It was mostly meat-based, with very very few vegetables. She got it twice, in fact - admitted herself to hospital and told them she had scurvy. They didn't believe her at first but they tested her and she did indeed have it.

And now, a question. If I've had something quite sugary (and to a lesser extent, carby) then about an hour afterwards if I can I'll end up falling asleep/passing out. I had a couple of large chocolates while I was in Adelaide before going and lying in a park and reading; I came to with an old man in a wheelchair asking me if I was alright. This has happened before and I've mentioned it to my doctor and she basically said not to worry, but I'm not sure it's normal. It's not like I'm gorging on 400g of chocolate or anything like that; I guess 100g would be enough to do it. Any ideas?

Only lean meat is very bad (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:20:28 AM EST

I'll say it again, if you're totally avoiding carbs you must eat fat. I eat quite a bit of eggs and dairy in addition to meat that I don't select for leanness.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Absolutely! The natives... (none / 1) (#155)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:05:57 AM EST

Absolutely! The natives of North America would, largely due to the leanness of the red meat animals (ie fatty) they had available to them, eat everything of a fatty nature in the animals they would kill, and indeed specifically select for it by killing the older animals if at all possible. They would kill a fatted calf on rare occasion for a sickly mother (for the fat) or a cow with calf, because they were particularly high in nutrients and fat as well.

There are ways to prepare and cook the fat of an animal so that it is not only not disgusting, but tastes good. However, I'd not recommend this with typical store-bought meat: as fat is where the pollutants are stored, it is going to be very high in hormones, pesticides, and what have you.

Also, part of the reason she probably got scurvy is because most feed lot animals are fed a diet which does not allow them to be healthy. Most feed lot animals themselves tend to have scurvy: the corn-based diets they eat to fatten up don't have the requisite C to allow them to then provide you with the vitamin C.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

Rabbit Starvation, Fat, and Organ Meats (none / 0) (#62)
by hokie99cpe on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:39:18 AM EST

Not saying that your friend was following a particular diet such as Atkins, but most folks that "follow" Atkins don't do it right. They either overload on meats with way too much saturated fat (bacon, sausage, etc) or they cut too many fat and carb calories and eat too much protein. Excessive protein leads to rabbit starvation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_starvation)... not a good thing.

Also, in a diet lacking fruits and vegetables, organ meats are needed to provide the missing vitamins. I haven't checked the USDA database (http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/) myself, but here's a page with vitamin & mineral contents of various organs: http://www.serve.com/BatonRouge/vit_min_content_organmeat.htm Yes, the site is about feeding a raw diet to animals, but our dietary requirements are not far removed from our four-legged friends especially dogs.

[ Parent ]

She wasn't on Atkins. (none / 1) (#63)
by creature on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 09:07:11 AM EST

She just ate horribly. Kebabs were a core food group for her. I'm not sure what else, but she was fond of other takeaway and I'd imagine the ready meals too.

[ Parent ]
Kebabs w/vegetables? (none / 0) (#79)
by grargrargrar on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:12:04 PM EST

I think not. I think it was pure meat, right?

[ Parent ]
Pretty much. (none / 0) (#124)
by creature on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 04:35:26 AM EST

I don't know the exact details, but she was fond of the meaty cheeseburgers so I imagine the kebabs were similar.

It was kind of a shame, really - she was a willowy sex-kitten when I first met her but she'd rounded out a bit by the end of her first year of Uni.

[ Parent ]

Interesting you should mention dogs... (3.00 / 2) (#156)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:10:59 AM EST

Dogs are unique in the animal kingdom in that they are, for lack of a better phrase, co-evolved with us  due to our symbiotic relationship throughout history as we domesticated them. Left to their own devices, dogs will eat a lot of grass and herbs and various other plants that an animal like a deer would eat, and bugs and grubs - but they'll also not pass up fatty meats if they can get their paws and teeth on them.

As such, it's pretty evident while reading the ingredients on a bag of dog food - principle ingredients starting off with "corn" - that dogs don't typically eat well as pets.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

Re; chocolate knockouts (3.00 / 2) (#110)
by Wen Jian on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 05:16:32 PM EST

My sister has the same problem, when she drinks alcohol sometimes (read on, not a troll) and also coca-cola in moderate quantities. Since it's triggered by soft drinks and alcopops, we think it's a sugar thing.
It was an experiment in lulz. - Rusty
[ Parent ]
How has your tolerance been affected? (none / 1) (#55)
by skyknight on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 07:29:53 AM EST

I would be curious to know how this diet has affected your capacity for processing large amounts of glucose when necessary. If you go to a birthday party and eat a piece of cake, are you even worse effected than you were back in your carbivorous days?

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
Hasn't changed (none / 0) (#60)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:25:10 AM EST

My tolerance for carbs was terrible when I started, and it's about the same. All of the (mostly anecdotal) advice I've gotten suggests that it might improve but might not, and that it will probably not deteriorate any more as long as I'm low carbing and will definitely deteriorate if I resume a normal diet and allow my levels to keep spiking.

Another comment pointed out that Type II is more about insulin resistance than beta cell die-off, but what happens to a lot of people is more consistent with a long term glucose toxicity causing some kind of damage. Insulin resistance doesn't explain why my first phase response is off but my second phase response is adequate. So it may be that a lot of us have some other condition like MODY, or there's something else going on that just hasn't been discovered yet.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

localroger, 2 sites/articles (none / 0) (#212)
by walk on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 04:46:39 AM EST

If you haven't seen these links I thought you might find them interesting. They all (except the Bernstein) came from alt.support.diabetes.

Here's a list of studies (summarized) of when exactly beta cells die (one says, at 100!),

and the just-out ADA's recommendations (and progression stats) for pre-diabetes - note that it mentions 2 types, IGT and IFG, with different causes, which might explain what you describe above.

Also, there's a guy Dr Richard K Bernstein, who's even stricter than Lutz. He aims at 83bg always (or as close as possible), allowing 40g carbs daily instead of 75g, trying to be indistinguishable from normal. I couldn't give you advise, but the way numbers keep going down (eg the 100 number above), trying for that is what seems safest to me.
-
"Walker, there is no road, the road is made by walking"
- Spanish poet Machado exiled by General Franco
[ Parent ]

s/40g/30g/ nt (none / 0) (#213)
by walk on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 03:05:49 PM EST


-
"Walker, there is no road, the road is made by walking"
- Spanish poet Machado exiled by General Franco
[ Parent ]
Wow (none / 1) (#214)
by localroger on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 11:46:36 PM EST

100 mg/dl. Even normal people hit that after a dessert. We are probably screwed.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Great success (2.00 / 1) (#57)
by hokie99cpe on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:15:01 AM EST

I also found great success following this sort of natural diet (paleo, neanderthin, caveman, whatever folks are calling it these days... ). I do have to admit though, that I fell a bit of the wagon following a move and the birth of a new youngin'. However, while I was living the life, I found that I could "hear" what my body was saying and feed it appropriately. At times, I craved high-fat meats and little else. At others, I wanted very little to do with meat, but seriously craved for fruits and veggies. The rest of the time it was a balance. But in any case, my body new better than I what it wanted and/or needed. Once I removed the junk - the noise - it became much easier to hear.

One thing you mention, studies showing the negative effects of fat when combined with high-carb diets, is something I think about often... latitude-based diets. At the northern and southern extremes, the animals are fattier and the plant-based carbs are virually non-existant. As you move toward the equator, the fat content of the animals tends toward lean while the availability of quality (i.e., natural and non-processed) carbs increases. Once in the tropical zone, the animals tend to be very lean and the tropical plants and fruits available offer a high-carb fare.

The important thing, more so than macronutrient ratios, is that you are eating a natural diet. Once you do that, the rest sort of falls into place. At least in my experience...

Almost forgot... (none / 0) (#59)
by hokie99cpe on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:23:43 AM EST

Forgot to mention that I am working now to get my eating back under control and putting in some quality time at the local YMCA.

[ Parent ]
Applebees? Sugar in fast food? (2.00 / 2) (#64)
by thankyougustad on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 10:47:53 AM EST

No wonder your health sucked. At least now you can get your frozen grade D beef patties on a bed of romaine lettuce and still enjoy moderate health.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

So your saying (1.66 / 3) (#65)
by emohiphop on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 10:59:59 AM EST

That Baldrson is right ? Damn those race mixers

"People whose ancestors have been farming the longest have the fewest problems with diabetes and related complications. But modern transportation has made it possible for previously isolated populations to mix, and now all those nasty recessive traits evolution has been trying to eliminate for 10,000 years are coming back out. That's why it's an epidemic."

Funny how that works out (3.00 / 2) (#66)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 11:08:43 AM EST

Not that I agree with any of Baldrson's politics, but there is at least a thin factual basis at the core of most brands of kookiness.

Animal breeders will often do this deliberately, separating their stock into small populations and applying stressors to encourage particular traits to develop. Then when those traits appear they'll mix up the populations, hoping to see individuals emerge that are more robust.

The problem is that you get a lot of culls in the mixing stage, as all the suppressed recessive traits come back out.

I'd say the problem is not the race mixing which produces the unhealthy individuals that can't be culled, but the stressor that was applied in the first place -- the modern diet -- that requires adaptation. Remove the stressor (like removing the requirement that your budgies have perfect color), and the need to cull the undesirables goes away.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

it doesn't work (1.33 / 3) (#171)
by SCORCHED zombie Private Papers on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:17:37 PM EST

you're playing chess against yourself in your little thought experiment because you have no clue how it works.


[ Parent ]
O RLY? (none / 0) (#173)
by localroger on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:33:54 PM EST

That's a nice claim, except that it would be nice if you explained why it doesn't work. Or are you just the ghost of RobotSlave pestering me just to stir shit?

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
explain? (none / 1) (#174)
by SCORCHED zombie Private Papers on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:43:06 PM EST

that's like arguing with a scientologist. look buddy, you're not Heinlein or one of his characters. know your limitations.


[ Parent ]
*plonk* (none / 0) (#175)
by localroger on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 04:53:40 PM EST

I guess that answers that. Nice knowing you.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
haha plonk? (none / 0) (#182)
by SCORCHED zombie Private Papers on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 07:23:28 PM EST

there is no killfile for k5 you moron.


[ Parent ]
*metaplonk* (none / 1) (#183)
by localroger on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 07:49:26 PM EST

Yeah, well, while this isn't a very good way of demonstrating the capability, I could just *ignore* you.

Although I don't know why I even ever responded to someone who has to use a $modifier2 $modifer $username. That speaks volumes about your history here.

For reference, the reason you fail it in demonstrating your superiority is that while I admittedly failed a lot of details you pointed out, you pointed them out in an insulting and condescending way designed to score points instead of correct the situation. For a lesson in how to do that right observe the thread started by Sgt York, who unlike you I totally respect and would like to hear from again. Because he's not only more knowledgeable than me, he's also not an asshole.

In the end, Sgt York informed K5 that some of my points were in error but also that some of it was OK, and we had a civil discussion about a major point of disagreement. By contrast, you just proclaimed your superiority over me and everybody here while laughing like Spiderman's Green Goblin. Way to win hearts and minds there, $modifier2 $modifier1 $anonymized_dork.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

1998 called (1.50 / 1) (#185)
by SCORCHED zombie Private Papers on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 09:36:37 PM EST

they'd like their comp.unix.idiot talk back.


[ Parent ]
Sorry about that (3.00 / 4) (#192)
by Sgt York on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 02:25:17 PM EST

I didn't mean to be civil. I realize that is an egregious breach of K5 conduct.

*ahem*

"you clueless fucking asshat."

How was that?

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Like coming home $ (3.00 / 2) (#193)
by localroger on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 03:05:30 PM EST



I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Much Better ... (none / 0) (#197)
by Peahippo on Sun Apr 29, 2007 at 07:58:31 PM EST

... you dingleberry.


[ Parent ]
priv papers triest to establish superiority (none / 0) (#179)
by kromagg on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:49:34 PM EST

And fails.

[ Parent ]
superiority? (none / 0) (#181)
by SCORCHED zombie Private Papers on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 07:22:55 PM EST

the guy writes a horrible "novel" no one wants to publish and now this voodoo crap.


[ Parent ]
A few things (2.92 / 14) (#68)
by Sgt York on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 12:24:38 PM EST

To summarize, despite some gross generalizations, a few inaccuracies, and an excusable degree of hyperbole, you are on the right track.

if your levels ever go over 140 for any reason you have a serious problem
This is an example of hyperbole. You are not screwed if it ever goes this high. If someone does a real glucose tolerance test, it is not unlikely that it will go this high. However, your glucose should not get this high on a regular or even semi-regular basis. If this happens once a week, you have a problem. If it happens annually when you eat 3 helpings of pecan pie at Thanksgiving, it's not a big deal.
High triglicerides ("bad cholesterol")
Triacylglyercides are not cholesterol. I know this is how the medical profession presents it, but it is so wildly wrong that it irks me whenever I see it. Hell, it's not even wrong; they're called triacylglycerides.
The fat that lines your arteries to lay the groundwork for that heart attack in your future also isn't the fat you eat; triglicerides are the fat your body makes from the sugars and complex carbohydrates you eat. Normally your body wouldn't line your arteries with this stored energy, but normally your blood glucose levels aren't over 140 either.
This makes it sound like fat is made on the spot from carbohydrates. Vascular endothelium does not make fatty acids for export; the source is mobilization from stores (adipose), absorbtion and transportation from the gut and liver, and some synthesis in the liver and adipose tissue. The stuff lining your arteries actually gets there as the result of a very complex and not fully understood set of processes, and it's not just metabolic fats.
Normal cells are killed by their own mitochondria when they turn cancerous; cells that grow into tumors have malfunctioning mitochondria.
No, that is one part of one mechanism by which you can get cancer. Cancer is always the result of genetic changes. Some of those changes impact the mitochondria, some of those changes even take place in mitochondrial DNA, but the malfunctioning mitochondria are not sole the cause, or even part of the cause in many cases.
So while it's not known at all whether high glucose levels cause cells to turn renegade, it seems quite reasonable that they have an easier time survivinging and working their mayhem when high glucose levels are available.
High glucose most likely does not cause cells to go renegade. It may be possible, but it's very, very unlikely. However, you are correct when you say that high glucose makes it easier on them once they do go renegade. This is the most probable mechanism by which high glucose leads to cancer. Cancer is a disease of threshold. There are several mechanisms in place that keep cells from going rogue, and once enough of those mechanisms have been broken, the cells break free. One of the mechanisms is regulating how much food each cell gets; if there is infinite food (i.e., high glucose), one more barrier is down.
Some people become diabetic because their pancreatic beta cells are destroyed by an automimmune reaction when they're young
Maybe. This is debated. I'm sure you can find a dozen papers that say this is the case, but you can also find a dozen papers that say it's not the case or not necessarily the case. Nitpick, yah.
Insulin is an anabolic steroid.
grumblegrumblegrumble. Insulin is a growth factor. "Steroid" is a chemical classification. It is a small molecule with a certain arrangement of carbon rings, -OH, and -COOH groups. Insulin is protein, a gene product. It is one hell of a lot bigger than a steroid, and it operates in a completely different manner. Yes, insulin can have some of the same effects as some anabolic steroids in some tissues under some circumstances, but it is NOT an anabolic steroid. Not even close. Insulin has nowhere near the broad spectrum of effects at dose seen with anabolic steroids.
The reason is that your body maintains a delicate balance between anabolic processes (which build up flesh out of simple compounds) and catabolic processes (which break down tissue into its components). With all that extra anabolic activity going on, some other anabolic activity might be curtailed -- such as your sex drive or wound healing. Or your body might compensate by piling on some more catabolic activity to maintain the balance, generally building excess fat that makes you overweight and lines your arteries.
You've actually got the whole system screwed up, but you wind up OK. Insulin is VERY bad for you. Insulin therapy is a crude, last ditch effort to essentially save the life of the diabetic. Yes, it helps, but it helps in much the same way cardiac shock treatment helps a guy in ventricular tachycardia.

As for the overall, the problem is that people have overstressed their systems with an unhealthy lifestyle. The WebMD article is oversimplifying in the same manner you are; no, it's not high-calorie foods, it's high fast carbohydrate foods. Fast carbohydrates being anything that is almost immediately glucose after you eat it. Starch, refined sugar, etc. This causes a glucose bolus, which your pancreas has to deal with. Other systems in your body keep kind of a running tab of what is going on, measuring average and ranging glucose levels; the best understood of these systems is leptin; it would be a good starting point. Won the Nobel a while back IIRC, shouldn't be too hard to find.

In an oversimplified nutshell, what happens is that your pancreas looks at the absolute value of glucose in the blood and responds accordingly. Things like the leptin system compare that to the running average, and try to normalize the pancreas response in order to maintain the running average. They fight, and the pancreas loses. Now your internal meter is broken, like a scale tared to 100g instead of zero. Because many of these systems don't differentiate the source of the calories (much), there is crosstalk. Hence the failure of bacon/fried chicken/pork chop/hamburger diabetes prevention diet.

What you are now having to do is make your meter external to compensate for the busted internal one. You can reset the zero value on your meter with the touch of a button, and control your glucose by diet.

Someday, we might have the same kind of re-zeroing thing for the pancreas. We're getting there.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.

Thanks for the clarifications (3.00 / 2) (#71)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 01:12:37 PM EST

Several others have pointed out the errors, which are mostly due to misremembering things I was pretty much finished reading about over a year ago. I don't pretend to be a doctor or biochemist, just a schmuck who stumbled onto something that works.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
The problem is (3.00 / 2) (#73)
by Sgt York on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 01:24:44 PM EST

That you didn't look at the thing in enough of a long-term way. The WebMD article is correct enough; metabolic syndrome is caused by high calorie diets. It's lacking in detail, but that's the way it is with public consumption science.

Although it is the cause, you can't treat metabolic syndrome by switching to a low-cal diet, just like you can't treat AIDS by using condoms. Your proposal may work for people that already have the problem, but most people here (due to their ages) are simply on their way to having the problem; they don't have it yet. For them, switching to an Inuit diet isn't the answer; switching to a healthy diet and lifestyle is.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Well, my sources specifically disagree with that (none / 0) (#75)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 01:52:57 PM EST

I would be very interested in your critique of the arguments put forth in Life Without Bread, as unlike me Dr. Lutz is a doctor. He lays out a case (I'm probably not qualified to say he "makes" it) that the low carb diet does in fact prevent the syndrome (and other unrelated problems) from arising in people who do not yet have sugar metabolism defects. Both he and the American doctor profiled in the last link MSNBC article have treated thousands of patients on that assumption.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
The fact (2.66 / 3) (#83)
by Sgt York on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:17:24 PM EST

that he makes his point in a book and not a journal is a major strike against him in the first place, IMHO. I'd take a look at the data, but pubmed only gives a dozen hits for "(Lutz, Wolfgang[Auth])", and they are all population growth/sustainability studies or psychotherapy. With no data, I am reluctant to listen to any iconoclastic things he has to say. If he's successfully treated thousands, he needs to publish in a real journal. Putting this in a book is the least effective way to make the medical profession agree with you, yet the most effective way to make money. Therefore, I mistrust books written about unreviewed findings.

Also note the word "treated", as in "already have the disease." I'm saying that although your technique may be useful in treating the disease once acquired, it is probably not as good at preventing it; hence my AIDS/condoms analogy.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Focus (none / 1) (#97)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:38:41 PM EST

Lutz is a general practitioner, not a research scientist. His focus is on getting effective treatment options to patients. The fact that someone in his career path has ever published any peer-reviewed papers at all is quite remarkable. It's like expecting the doc at the local walk-in clinic to have published papers.

I think if his sole goal was to make money, he wouldn't have waited almost 30 years to get it translated into English. And I haven't heard of any sustained marketing push such as Atkins and South Beach launched; everything I've heard about LWB has been word of mouth from other readers.

One does also get the impression that he doesn't think much of the research establishment in general, no doubt because its conclusions are so at odds with his experience. He has an absolutely devastating chapter about the "7 nations" study, which is the linchpin of the entire "dietary fat is bad for you" argument, making the case that it was terribly designed, clues that emerged despite its bad design pointing in the right direction were ignored, and that the conclusions widely drawn from it are worthless.

Also, the tone of the book is markedly different from most diet books; it's not focused on how to lose weight at all. I think the primary focus was not so much to make a pile of money as to get the information to the people it will help with a minimum of bullshit, because as he saw it the people who were supposed to be doing that were failing it.

Of course, bullshit artists all say the same thing about themselves. I'm not a doctor but I did grow up in a lab, and I like to think my bullshit detector is pretty well calibrated. I found Dr. Lutz's arguments persuasive, and the book is footnoted much more heavily than most popular books with references to real scientific articles.

So like I said, your point has some validity, but I'd really like to hear what you think about his actual arguments.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Not really (3.00 / 2) (#102)
by Sgt York on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 04:01:40 PM EST

I know lots of MD's, straight clinicians, who have dozens of papers under their belts; he has none and one book. Not a good ratio. I've worked with several MD's trying to get some idea of theirs fleshed out and published. It's not hard to do; find a researcher that's interested and collaborate. We love hooking up with MD's, it means we get human data. If nothing else, he can publish a case study; this is very, very common. And comparing him to the doc at the walk-in clinic does not inspire confidence.

As for his arguments, I'm not going to wade through his book if I know beforehand that there is no data in it. What he has here is an interesting idea; I already grant that. If he has no data, his book won't convince me of anything beyond that, so there is no point.

Science is full of wonderfully wrong ideas; it's kind of the point of science. We get them all the time. For every mechanism that I have proposed and proven, there are at least three that I have proposed and proven completely wrong. A dozen that were off by a good bit, and the final mechanism is tweaked beyond recognition by the end of it all. They make perfect sense on paper. The pathways link up, it is all very logical. But when I put fluorophore to protein, it turns out that I'm completely wrong. If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be science (quote stolen from somebody famous).

I get very suspicious of people who rail against the establishment of science. Governments, politics, big pharma; yes, those guys will interfere and screw things up. If someone is just looking for an excuse, they'll target one of those. But when you start saying that the peer review system is some kind of conspiracy, and only you know the Real Truth....well. It's a stretch.

This doesn't mean he's wrong. It also doesn't mean he's right. All I'm saying is he's got a good idea, and he needs to follow up on it; do the experiments, prove his point. It's the same thing I said to Chris (mindpixel) a few years ago.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

One experiment he did was mentioned in the book (none / 1) (#109)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 04:41:38 PM EST

When I get home tonight I'll post the cite; it was the one he did with chickens to refute the idea that fat causes atherosclerosis. There is quite a bit of data in the book for a popularization, which I know isn't saying much compared to a peer-reviewed journal.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Fat => Atherocslerosis (none / 1) (#111)
by Sgt York on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 05:31:37 PM EST

was knocked down a while back anyway. It's mostly an inflammatory process, although high fat can exacerbate it.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Then why... (2.33 / 3) (#114)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 06:41:20 PM EST

...does everybody still recommend a low fat diet? The very common experience of people who can't lose weight on a low fat diet without starving themselves into nutritional deficiency is ignored (I'm one of them BTW). The very common experience of people whose health dramatically improves on low-carb diets is ignored. You say the link between fat and atherosclerosis is "knocked down" SO WHY do doctors continue to prescribe this difficult to follow diet that is hard to follow, often doesn't produce weight loss, and now you say isn't all that much on the number one cause of heart disease? This is the kind of thing Lutz's book is filled with; dots that exist, but aren't connected. Here's his article:

W. Lutz, G. Andresen, and E. Buddecke. "Ubber den Einfluss kohlenhydratarmer Diaten auf de Artierosklerose des Huhnes." Zeitschr. 2. Enhrungswissensch 9 (1969): 22.

Note the date. This was at the beginning of the fat-is-bad-for-you craze. BTW I assume the search you did goes back that far, and covers foreign language publications?

Chapter six, the heart disease chapter, has 28 footnotes, nearly all of which are from scientific journals. Here's one picked at random:

20. McCully, K. "Atherosclerosis, serum cholesterol, and the homocysteine theory; a study of 194 consecutive autopsies," American Journal of Medical Science, 299 (1990): 217-221

There are 8 pages of similar footnotes, admittedly not much for a 200 page scientific monograph but much more than you usually find in a 200 page popularization.

So harbor your suspicions, but realize that I have actually read the book and I am asserting that it is quite different in tone than the kind of books you are describing; the ball is now in your court to provide some evidence that I have misjudged it, such as a specific argument that does not add up.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Several reasons (2.50 / 2) (#128)
by Sgt York on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 10:16:33 AM EST

Fat is high energy density; it's easy to eat too much of it. Too much fat will disrupt the body's ability to absorb things in the gut and screw up the satiety regulatory systems (that's with way too much fat, not just any amount of fat). When you eat animal fat, there will be a certain quantity of cholesterol along with it, and it is bad (due to its ability to stabilize plaques). If you eat a lot of saturated fats, they will predominate in the bloodstream and cause the layering effect seen in plaques. Although atherosclerosis is an inflammatory process, it is exacerbated and accelerated by high levels of lipoprotein in the blood.

But really, that's only if you're eating a LOT of fat. The problem with most foods is not that a certain food is absolutely bad for you, but that food x is bad for you if you eat too much of it. Fat is not necessarily bad, starch is not necessarily bad, sugar is not necessarily bad. Too much fat, too much starch, or too much sugar is what's bad for you.

The reason that a low fat diet is still suggested is twofold: The first is what I describe in the opening paragraph. the second is historical. Many docs haven't caught on to it yet, for whatever reason. This is why I said the guy's book would be better as a series of journal publications. The MD's aren't going to read his book, but they will read the paper.

My whole point is this: The guy has some very interesting ideas. I think he's on to something, but it's not a sure thing yet. It needs to be fleshed out. I say this as a scientist; you never know where this stuff is going to lead, especially in something as amazingly complicated as human nutrition. There are questions that need to be addressed before the scientific or medical communities takes him seriously. Without data, it's just a pile of observations. A great starting point, but it's only step 1 of the scientific process.

Did he look at his 1000s of patients as a longitudinal study? Did he see if there were new risk factors that cropped up as a result of this diet? Does it prevent, cure, or both? Does it actually reduce morbidity and mortality? How does it compare to other nutritional plans? Control for age, personal history, family history, initial state, etc.

Let me reiterate: I AM NOT SAYING THE GUY IS FULL OF SHIT. I never said the guy is full of shit. I just said that he has chosen the worst possible way to try to convince the medical and scientific community (points to self). The first sentence in my first post says that this is "on the right track."

All I am saying that he has only completed step 1 of the scientific method. He has observed, now it is time to test and refine. It irks me when scientific minded people don't recognize this. This is to the scientific method what drawing a flowchart is to writing code *. It is step one, and it's best to not to get too attached to it because it's probably going to fall apart when you start actually doing things.

*This analogy may suck. My knowledge of writing code could fill 3x5 index card, using only the lined side.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Answers (none / 1) (#132)
by localroger on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 11:17:26 AM EST

To these questions...

Did he look at his 1000s of patients as a longitudinal study? Did he see if there were new risk factors that cropped up as a result of this diet? Does it prevent, cure, or both? Does it actually reduce morbidity and mortality? How does it compare to other nutritional plans?

...are all in the book (short answer is "yes" to all of them).

Control for age, personal history, family history, initial state, etc.

I would say this is iffier. He did control for initial state, but he doesn't document in the book exactly how he controlled for other factors. Obviously LWB isn't a monograph, so it is lighter on documentation than a scientific paper. But Lutz does directly address these issues.

He very clearly says that he did not wake up one day and go "Wow! Low carb cures everything!" It was a years-long process of discovery, gradually and carefully applying the diet to new situations as its success in previous situations became ever more apparent.

To reiterate, I really would like to hear you opinion of his actual ideas, not of the fact that he chose to publish them in the popular press instead of JAMA. I'm not saying that rhetorically either; I appreciate your candor and that you stated your objections (unlike pasted zombie whatsisface) while acknowledging the things you think I got right.

As someone who was raised by and trained as a scientist, and who works regularly with engineers and scientists, I consider LWB a very unusually persuasive book. I would contrast it starkly with for example Paleodiet which is full of totally subjective New Agey pronouncements about the importance of fresh and raw food. I would be very interested if someone who shares more of the author's training could verify that conclusion -- or not.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

If he has data (3.00 / 2) (#133)
by Sgt York on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 11:41:32 AM EST

that changes things significantly. I will want to read it. I'll put it on the list and keep an eye out for it.

I thought I had made it clear early on that his ideas have merit. I think he's on the right track, and very well could be correct. I would be surprised if there isn't at least some truth to his claims; they make sense. My fear is that they (like most nutritional studies) are focused too narrowly in development and scattered too broadly in application.

I really don't like reading popular press science books; they tend to be too watered down, take too long to say what they mean, and speak in too certain and general terms. And in the end, I always get frustrated because I want controls, methods, measurement techniques, etc and those things just don't sell books. It's annoying.

But it sounds interesting, I'll give it a look.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

If you get a chance, please let me know (none / 1) (#136)
by localroger on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 12:38:02 PM EST

I think you will be pleasantly surprised, but I'm eager to hear what you think of it.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Will that really matter ?? (none / 1) (#76)
by emohiphop on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 01:59:30 PM EST

I'm not sure that the complete etiology of type II diabetes is known. The environmental factors that may lead to the development of diabetes  include physical inactivity, drugs and toxic agents, obesity, viral infection, and location. (ref) - There is a even a great deal of speculation on what causes obesity. one unexpected factor that may effect Obesity - a virus.

While it is easy to blame glutony and sloth, it ain't necessarily so. One factor that may be important is the adrenalin response. Now they say that stress alone does not cause diabetes, but it is interesting to note that those groups that are genetically predisposed to diabetes also have a higher stress/adrenal response. Interestingly, this effects tameness in animals, and when animals are breed for tameness, there is a marked change in the apprearance as well. For example the infamous Balayev experiments

[ Parent ]

Specific to general (none / 1) (#77)
by Sgt York on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:04:43 PM EST

Yes, there are potentially dozens of causes for obesity, ranging from genetics to viruses. However, the single most common cause (by far) is lifestyle. It is also the easiest to control. If it's in your genes, you are screwed (for now). If it is a virus, you are screwed (again, for now). You can't even test for it reliably. So you hit the one thing that (1) you know you can hit and (2) is the most common cause

Yes, there are other causes, but they are fairly rare, by most accounts. However, regardless of the cause, the cure is even more universal.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

How do you know for sure ? (none / 1) (#100)
by emohiphop on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:51:40 PM EST

Other than the parsimmony of eat to much - and get fat ? I mean, if you can't test for a virus, or other non-behavioral factors easily?

The idea of a healthy diet has changed radically since the sixties, along with the amount of obesity and diabetes. In the sixties, when I grew up, things like good whole milk, wonder bread, meat, potatoes and a vegatable were still considered Healthy. Homemade lard based desserts were commonplace, yet look at a picture or film from the US in the 1950's and 1960's  - no fat people.  

  It may be that lifestyle is less of a factor than we currently believe.  I think there is so much predjudice against the Obese, particularly since they tend to be poor (and since the problem is just now hitting the white community), that there will be less effort to explore alternative causes - it just that bad American trailer park lifestyle. And since Non-whites seem more predisposed to Obesity, and Diabetes, there will be less effort to explore genetic causes.

[ Parent ]

Because (none / 1) (#104)
by Sgt York on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 04:07:55 PM EST

For most people, if you are fat, then change your diet and start to exercise, you lose weight. If there was a virus, it's most likely still there. If there was a gene, it's certainly still there. But there are tens of millions of people that have lost weight and kept it off through the old-fashioned diet and exercise. People that maintain low calorie intake and regular exercise and cannot lose weight represent a relatively small percentage of the population.

BTW, I'm pretty sure you're either trolling or stupid now: No fat people in movies in the 1950's? Are you fucking kidding me?

Because, as we all know, Brad Pitt, Angelna Jolie, and Mark Wahlberg are damn near carbon copies of every other person I see on the street.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

I meant news reels, and home movies (none / 1) (#107)
by emohiphop on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 04:27:23 PM EST

Sorry, I was thinking faster than I was typing. I meant Artifacts from the  50's and 60's , news reels, home movies, photographs, show many many fewer Fat people.

I don't know if it is really true that diet and exercise will work for most people, and here's the kicker, at levels that are consistent with the diet and exercise people had say 40 years ago. The discipline required for a diet and exercise plan that will actually work these days seems very rigorous - to the point that it can't be explained by lifestyle differences from the last century. Look at the prevalence of stomach stapling, and the use of diet medications.  

[ Parent ]

If you doubt (none / 1) (#113)
by Sgt York on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 05:51:04 PM EST

the statistics, look them up. Yes, the fact that there was less obesity 3-4 decades ago is the whole thing behind the "current obesity epidemic".

The diet and exercise plan to maintain a healthy weight is not all that tough. I go a bit above and beyond on it, but I only spend 1-2 hours a day on physical fitness, and most of that is my commute (I bike to work).

As for the rest, it sounds like you're assuming that. If you have a statistical analysis, show it. Otherwise, it just falls under the "interesting idea" category. you can't really compare stomach stapling and diet meds, there's a bit of a time/technology gap.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Then & now (none / 1) (#105)
by hokie99cpe on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 04:15:40 PM EST

The biggest difference between then and now is HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and other processed sweetners. Add onto that the fact that most foods people eat these days are of the overly processed variety (compared to meat and potatoes), you can see where obesity and its related diseases would be more prevalent today. Oh, by the way, how much TV did you watch growing up? How much time spent on the computer... oh wait.

And yeah, "no fat people", ok...

I've seen more fat people in the ranks of upper and middle classes than I ever have seen in the lower classes. No socioeconomic group holds the prize for being the fattest or thinnest... unless anorexics are their own group.

[ Parent ]

Lots of factors in the change... (none / 1) (#157)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:29:47 AM EST

There are a lot of factors in the change over the last 50-odd years that have contributed to our increased obesity.

  • Exercise. People used to do it, not as a matter of necessity in and of itself or as a chore but as a matter of life: doing your daily household duties, fixing the yard, working at the factory or on the farm, etc. They also didn't have air conditioning, television (compared to today, at least), computers, and all that many office jobs.
  • The nutritional content of their meat and various other foods was higher because there was less processing which went into it, and the animals were raised in a healthier environment, so they had to eat less to remain healthy.
  • America (and the West in general) had not yet adopted a culture of immediacy and laziness. A person who sat around and wasn't energetic was known as a layabout and generally as someone with no moral fiber. Likewise for obese, fat people, likely because they were associated (who had the time to eat enough to get fat, anyway?)

--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

One in the same? (none / 0) (#85)
by hokie99cpe on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:32:08 PM EST

For them, switching to an Inuit diet isn't the answer; switching to a healthy diet and lifestyle is.

You imply that the Inuit diet isn't healthy... Also, he wasn't suggesting a switch to an Inuit diet per se, but a switch to a healthy diet using (mostly) natural foods. He still does the dairy and I don't recall anything being said about legumes, but if you make the other changes, those two can be easily ignored.

[ Parent ]

Sorry (none / 1) (#87)
by Sgt York on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:37:59 PM EST

Didn't mean to imply that. The Inuit diet is a subset of the much larger set, "healthy diets". That statement was intended to open up a large number of options, possibly including [$your_pet_diet], provided it is or can accommodate a healthy diet and and a healthy lifestyle.

Yes, the "natural diet" probably is another of those, but I'm not terribly familiar with it, so I can't say. There is a wide variety of healthy diets out there, some that include no meat at all, small quantities of meat, or strictly meat. Once you get to the extremes, a healthy diet is more difficult to manage, but it still can be done.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

I can't feel my extremities... (none / 0) (#88)
by hokie99cpe on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:49:34 PM EST

When I say natural diet, I'm not referring to a particular diet plant, but instead to a diet consisting of natural food choices: unprocessed meats, fresh fruits and veggies, etc.

I wouldn't say that it's necessarily more difficult to manage a health diet at an extreme, but for most who try it, there is a lack of knowledge and understanding of what is involved. Take the Inuit diet... do most folks know that following an eskimo eating plan would include organ meats, bone marrow, glands, etc? Looking back, I would've assumed that it meant you could eat nothing but meat (fatty steak) and fish and be perfectly healthy. It is easy enough to eat healthy on that diet once you know that you have to eat more than just the flesh of the animal.

[ Parent ]

That may be the sign of a poor diet (2.50 / 2) (#99)
by Sgt York on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:44:41 PM EST

Like I said, I know next to nothing about the natural diet. The first sentence of your post increased my knowledge of the subject by at least an order of magnitude.

Any exclusive type of diet (all meat, no meat) adds a level of complexity to the dietary plan. This is what I meant by extreme diets; those that take you out of our native omnivore physiology. Your diet, for example, would appear to not be extreme. It contains a variety of both plant and animal foods, and therefore falls into the omnivore dogma : "Eat lots of different things, mostly plants."

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Cancer, glucose and malfunctioning mitochondria (none / 0) (#121)
by hamingja on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 12:21:03 AM EST

It would be great if we could reduce the mechanisms of cancer to a couple of paragraphs, but I guess we all agree that a whole library wouldn't suffice. Having said that, I think the importace of glucose metabolism for cancer progression has not been understood well enough.

For example, the significance of the Warburg effect, a shift in energy production observed in most cancer cells, from oxidative phosphorylation (respiration) to aerobic glycolysis is still controversial. The mainstream viewpoint have been for long time that the Warburg effect is a consequence of the cancer process (secondary events due to hypoxic tumor conditions), rather than a cause, or necesary condition for its progress. However, it has been recently shown that dichloroacetate (a cheap, not patented small-molecule) induces a reversion from glycolysis (cytoplasm-based) to glucose oxidation (in mitochondria) and effectively inhibits tumor growth, supporting the idea that the glycolytic shift is a fundamental requirement for progression of most cancers.
--
p(3)=0.3405373296... => even in an infinite universe, not everything is possible...
[ Parent ]
Of course it is (none / 0) (#129)
by Sgt York on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 10:24:05 AM EST

You need energy to grow. This fact is very well appreciated in the scientific community.

I run into it all the time; I work on angiogenesis, and angiogenesis is very closely linked to the things you are talking about. Tumors induce the formation of new blood vessels to bring them nutrients; it's part of oncogenesis. It's always a pain in my ass because I'm not looking at cancer, and 75% of the angiogenesis papers out there are. Cancer does weird things, so what they see doesn't always apply to what I'm doing.

This shift is a necessary link in the chain, and if you can selectively break it, you're golden. The problem is the selective breaking. You need to slow glycolysis in cancer cells, but not gut epithelium, parts of the kidney, etc. Cool paper on the DCA, though. I saved it down for later reading.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

I'd be interested in learning... (none / 1) (#70)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 01:02:25 PM EST

Just what foods you find you can eat safely?

I feel like I constantly need to be eating sometimes, for days at end. I do my best to stay away from some carbs, but I do tend to eat alot of fruit. Strawberries are in season, for instance... and I'll eat a pound of the damn things at a time. I always figured this was better for me than eating potato chips and worse... but it makes it tough to keep the weight off just the same.

I've been trying to break that up lately, but celery and carrots starts to get really damn boring. And I'd go broke eating beef jerky ($20+ a pound?!?!).

Any suggestions?

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

The short list (2.00 / 2) (#72)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 01:21:13 PM EST

  • All types of meat, prepared any way including fried (as long as the breading isn't ridiculous)
  • Eggs any way
  • Dairy products not made with sugar, especially cheese (no ice cream!)
  • Green leafy vegetables (lettuce, celery, asparagus, broccoli, etc.)
  • Mushrooms
  • Ranch and Bleu Cheese salad dressings
Also, I do deliberately try to eat about 40g carbs per meal / 70g per day, of relatively natural and low-GI stuff.

I found that the urge to eat all the time seems to be triggered by eating high-carb foods; if you can bull it out for a couple of weeks it gets a lot easier.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

My short list (2.00 / 2) (#86)
by hokie99cpe on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:36:41 PM EST

From paleofood.com: meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and berries. Aim to go grain-free, bean-free, potato-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free.

Before my diet got derailed (temporarily), I did not count calories or macronutrient ratios, etc, but allowed myself to eat what I wanted when I wanted according to the list above. It didn't take long before my body craved what it needed rather than what my mind wanted. Weight loss was essentially a side-effect.

[ Parent ]

Yeh... (none / 0) (#178)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:13:25 PM EST

But what counts as a vegetable, exactly?

Celery and carrots are ok, I think. Any leafy green (I tend to prefer green leaf lettuce, romaine and spinach more than iceberg, and it's funny... I can't stand to even smell cooked spinach, but raw is ok) of course. What about cucumbers? I'd almost try radishes, but there isn't really a variety that I can stand... need something really mild. (Besides, aren't the damn things related to beets anyway, which are used to make sugar?)

I know I should be putting other things in there too, but I've always hated asparagus, still do. Broccoli as a kid was a no-go... but I've discovered I can like it in a stir-fry. Steamed though, or worse... frozen and then microwaved, it tastes like dog vomit.

What about tomatoes? I know squash is probably totally off limits (and hell, if I want to eat starches, I'll pick something better than that). Mushrooms and onions are favorites of mine, but only cooked really. (which is ok, but not anything I can snack on).

And when you say berries, are these things practically pure sugar? I could eat raspberries by the bushel, but then, what's the difference between that and other fruit? And just how much fruit should I be limiting myself to?

I think I may just go and get one of the testers, if they're as cheap as LR says they are, but in the meantime I am curious about the generalities. I tend to not be able to eat much candy or anything else artificially supersweet, but I'd go nuts if I had to give up a slab of watermelon every day come summer, or all the strawberries I eat now.

Oh, and completely off topic: is it just me, or do they put sugar in damn near all processed foods anymore? And for that matter, it's usually high fructose corn syrup, rather than some other kind...

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

In general... (none / 0) (#189)
by hokie99cpe on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 11:13:41 AM EST

The "paleo" or "neanderthin" style of the natural diet uses a simple test: if you can eat a food item raw with no processing, it's generally OK on the diet. So, no potatoes (glycoalkaloids), no legumes (various toxins), no grains (various toxins, especially to celiacs), and so on. I never overly concern myself with how much of an allowed food I eat. When I'm not eating crap (processed foods, etc), my body tends to self-regulate intake. I might overeat one day but my body will make up for it by eating lightly the next.

Also, berries have too many antioxidants to ever dream of giving up or limiting too much. And, as I stated in a reply to an earlier comment, glycemic load is more important than glycemic index and/or sugar content. Berries are typically very low in glycemic load.

Concerning HFCS, I would like to see a graph of obesity, heart disease, etc against the increased usage of HFCS in processed products.

[ Parent ]

Pardon the Pun (none / 0) (#74)
by MarisPiper on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 01:47:18 PM EST

But it's truly food for thought for me as last time I saw my consultant, he decided he was gonna test me for diabetes and did the resting glucose blood test, mentioned above. Apparently I came up as being clear this time but what you say makes me think I should try to cut back my carbohydrates. I'd find it very difficult to cut them out entirely, though.

Thanks.
~~ A mostly lurking potato...

Is this the South Beach diet? (none / 0) (#78)
by nlscb on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:09:05 PM EST

Not that you lifted it, just that they probably go to the same conclusion via a different way.

A good article. I have been making a point in the last few years on keeping my carb intake to a minimum, though not cold turkey like you (I have to have a good Italian sub at least once in a while). One little surprise that I found was that the amount of rice served with asian and indian food is just ridiculous. I realized that I only needed about 1/4 of a cup mixed with my greasy fried meat vegetable dish to feel full. I get the feeling that even poor asians eat much smaller portions of rice, and have no trouble feeling full.

Are you still able to drink good scotch? I could give up booze, and I drink much less than I used to, but I wouldn't want to give it up completely.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

Not quite SB or Atkins (none / 0) (#82)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:16:12 PM EST

Although as you say the low-carb family of diets all are designed to encourage fat rather than sugar metabolism, the more mainstream diets are focused more on getting your weight down and then easing you back into a more normal diet. I'm anticipating that I will have to eat like this for years, if not the rest of my life.

At least I can still drink Scotch. Pure alcohol is fine; I just have to watch the mixers and cofactors (no more dark beer, alas).

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Are vegetarian hippies trying to kill us, then? (none / 1) (#80)
by nlscb on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:15:10 PM EST

Do they secretly represent the nazis trying to wipe us out?

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

Na, they're just... (none / 1) (#158)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:38:41 AM EST

Na, they're just deficient in vitamin B and other nutrients and are, therefore, suffering from rabbit starvation and are verging on insanity. They can't help their delusional propensity; it truly is a sickness.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

I tried a low-carb diet today (2.50 / 2) (#81)
by 4343 on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:15:57 PM EST

And despite not having an empty stomach, I feel fucking starved. Is this normal?

K5: Yawn in 60 seconds --Liar
It took me a couple of weeks to adapt (none / 1) (#93)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:20:39 PM EST

Most likely if you are otherwise healthy (or overweight without other complications) you will have to give it a week or two for your cravings to kick out.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
I'm not even overweight (none / 1) (#103)
by 4343 on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 04:02:27 PM EST

I have no idea why I wasted my time on this (except I didn't waste time at all, of course). I'm almost spot on my "ideal weight", overshooting it by perhaps two kilograms, mostly muscle. But I suspect I have high blood pressure, so I wanted to try something.

Since I eat mostly healthy and get some exercise, I shouldn't really be at risk for diabetes or anything. It's just that I don't feel like seeing my doctor.

K5: Yawn in 60 seconds --Liar
[ Parent ]

A hard transition (none / 0) (#108)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 04:39:28 PM EST

In LWB Dr. Lutz warns that if you start out normal or underweight you may have a harder time; it's easiest if you start out with weight to lose. He claims that you will go through a period of adjustment when you might lose a bit, but then you will gain it back and establish a more normal equilibrium.

He does have a whole chapter about the difficulties of transitioning, just as Jenny has a page about it on her website.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Maybe I should do something about my carb intake (none / 0) (#170)
by 4343 on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 01:58:02 PM EST

Although I'm probably not suffering from glucose poisoning. I notice that I crave carbs in the evening, but my body reacts negatively from it if I get too much for breakfast. Also, an all protein breakfast does me no good at all. I think I need to experiment a bit.

K5: Yawn in 60 seconds --Liar
[ Parent ]
STOP EATING BULLSHIT (none / 0) (#84)
by kbudha on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:20:16 PM EST

The short and sweet summary of your lengthy and oft times incorrect article.

Define... (none / 1) (#89)
by hokie99cpe on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:50:27 PM EST

The problem is that modern man needs to have "bullshit" defined for him.

[ Parent ]
dr. localroger (none / 0) (#91)
by SCORCHED zombie Private Papers on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:11:40 PM EST

i heal very fast. even my doctors think so. a wound, within days goes completely away.

however if i don't eat enough i get a migraine and have to have some sugar.

what is my prognosis?


I'd say that you're not eating enough (none / 0) (#94)
by hokie99cpe on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:22:16 PM EST

But that's not the root of your problems.

For the rest of you who are truly interested, the switch from a diet where most calories come from carbs to one where most calories come from (healthy) fats is not instant. Your body will take some time to adapt to higher rate of fat burning. After a few (2-3) weeks, energy levels return to normal if they don't surpass you carbcentric energy levels.

When you do bonk like that, eat an apple rather than drinking a soda or eating candy.

[ Parent ]

bonk is not a word for sex where you are? n (none / 0) (#122)
by livus on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 12:33:57 AM EST



---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Not in this case (3.00 / 2) (#126)
by hokie99cpe on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 05:25:04 AM EST

Bonk has long been a colloquial term, slightly jocular in its connotation, meaning sexual intercourse, but has recently become more commonly used as a jargon term by endurance athletes, primarily cyclists and long-distance runners, to describe a condition when the athlete suddenly loses energy and fatigue sets in, usually caused when glycogen stores in the liver and muscles are depleted, resulting in a major performance drop. -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonk_(condition)

[ Parent ]
+3 informative (none / 0) (#142)
by livus on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 06:12:07 PM EST

and will probably save me from laughing inapropriately in future.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
It's too late (3.00 / 3) (#98)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:40:48 PM EST

You have been taken over by sentient red blood cells like the ones in Greg Bear's novel Blood Music. I'm afraid you will be a puddle of protoplasm within days -- but the good news is you will be a puddle of very intelligent protoplasm.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
White blood cells [nt] (none / 0) (#127)
by some nerd on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 05:59:54 AM EST



--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]
I reject this blood-cell chauvanism (2.80 / 5) (#135)
by localroger on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 12:36:19 PM EST

Yeah, like most people Bear thinks white blood cells are superior to red ones. You think it's right that just because they aren't nucleated they get to do the hard work of carrying oxygen around while the white cells lord it over them. One day the red blood cells will rise up, throw off their chains, and demand the right to sit at the front of the artery. Then we'll see who gets genetically engineered into nanoscale geniuses.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
not funny nt (none / 0) (#138)
by SCORCHED zombie Private Papers on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 02:54:07 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Just you wait... (none / 0) (#159)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:43:31 AM EST

Just you wait! It's all the white blood cells who have the guns...
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

You bastard (none / 0) (#144)
by antizeus on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 07:53:20 PM EST

I'm reading Blood Music now. Don't spoil anything for me.
-- $SIGNATURE
[ Parent ]
No worries (none / 0) (#145)
by localroger on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 08:01:36 PM EST

If you haven't figured out by about page 15 that puddles of protoplasm will be part of the plot, you need to take up a different genre. Suffice it to say a lot happens beyond that point.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
you're a homosexual (none / 1) (#139)
by GhostOfTiber on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 03:21:53 PM EST

There is no cure.

But the good news is that you're not diabetic.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

Damn Roger, Nice Work (none / 1) (#95)
by QuantumFoam on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:23:50 PM EST

I've actually been suspicious I've been displaying the opening signs of diabetes, I'll look into this, too.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!

Poop (none / 0) (#96)
by Noexit on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:27:53 PM EST

Not to be crass, crude or anything else, I have a genuine interest. I've been thinking about going onto this kind of an eating style for a while. It just seems more natural.

Do you have any digestive problems at all? Not just constipation or irregularity, but anything different? I'm sure it must be all work as well as before or you'd have mentioned it. Perhaps no change?

No change in my case $ (none / 0) (#101)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:51:55 PM EST



I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
My shit don't stink. (none / 0) (#106)
by hokie99cpe on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 04:19:30 PM EST

Ok, it still stinks, but it's not as bad as when I was eating highly processed foods loaded with simple  and processed carbs. Once I dropped the dairy, my gas stopped. Once entirely natural, my BMs decreased in frequency and size but I was never constipated, etc.

Lovely topic of conversation. :)

[ Parent ]

size and regularity (none / 1) (#160)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:49:38 AM EST

You might want to consider an increase of fiber in your diet. The mass intake should be roughly the same as the output. If it isn't, it means you're likely getting stopped up somewhere, and quite possibly not noticing it. I've heard of people getting 'cleansed' (through water, herbs, coffee, etc. and through massage and various other methods I'm not intimately familiar with) and absolutely hideous amounts of shit came out of their bodies, resulting in them losing pounds upon pounds overnight.

If you're actually eating less mass now (ie substituting veggies for bread in volume or what have you), then no worries. But constipation isn't cool - and you may not know it's happening because it can be gradual.

As an anecdote: John Wayne had something like 30lb of shit in his intestines when he was autopsied, and his diet consisted largely of meats.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

but how do you know (none / 0) (#168)
by noseyscholar on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 01:44:31 PM EST

it seems rather difficult to imagine the volume of my food compacted into the volume of my poo poo. Sure, I have a runny day here or there, but damn, to estimate the mass of intake vs. output?! Bravo to your estimation skills.

[ Parent ]
Water content and digestibility (none / 0) (#190)
by hokie99cpe on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 11:18:01 AM EST

In general a natural diet is much higher in water content and the typical westernized diet. It also includes foods that are more digestible by the body. Those two things combine to produce a smaller, erm, stool sample.

I can see how too much red meat without enough fat, bone marrow, and organ meats would get a bit backed up in the intestines.

[ Parent ]

Your guts don't work like that. (none / 0) (#207)
by grendelkhan on Sat May 12, 2007 at 03:39:57 PM EST

As an anecdote: John Wayne had something like 30lb of shit in his intestines when he was autopsied, and his diet consisted largely of meats.
No, he didn't. Not only isn't this medically plausible, but an autopsy was never performed. See Snopes for details.

The anecdotes you cite about people getting those Super-Colon-Blow things--you may be thinking of those "mucoid plaque" dealies you get from eating a ton of psyllium husk. Disturbing pictures here.
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

Great article - I've felt tingling (none / 0) (#112)
by walk on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 05:46:00 PM EST

after too much sugar, and, having diabetes on both sides of the family went to get checked. They only checked my resting blood sugar which was fine, but it doesn't explain the apparent neuropathy. I'm going to get a meter after all, and check as you've indicated. Thanks localroger, this is great info.
-
"Walker, there is no road, the road is made by walking"
- Spanish poet Machado exiled by General Franco
Yeah, check that out (none / 1) (#119)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:44:29 PM EST

That could be the first symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, only showing up when your sugar is shooting the moon.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Thanks, you helped me catch it early (none / 0) (#187)
by walk on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 04:22:47 AM EST

145 30mins after 5 squares of chocolate, 157 @ 70mins. Not the 5% club but, still manageable I guess.

One of the links or one of your comments mentioned you could get cheapo TrueTracks at the local drugstore, and that led me to actually do it.

It's a bummer, but certainly better to know. Your article has concretely performed a service, thanks.
-
"Walker, there is no road, the road is made by walking"
- Spanish poet Machado exiled by General Franco
[ Parent ]

Excellent (none / 1) (#188)
by localroger on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:14:25 AM EST

Well, not excellent that you have the syndrome, but it's excellent that you know you have it early and can hopefully deal with it before you start developing unpleasant symptoms.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Similar diet for IBS and Ankylosing Spondylitis (none / 0) (#115)
by vorfeed on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 06:58:07 PM EST

I started a similar diet for managing ankylosing spondylitis (reactive arthritis) a year ago, after reading about the relationship between AS & similar diseases and starch. It's a bit of a hassle when eating out, but I must say it has helped a lot with the pain, to the point where I don't need Advil most days (before the low-starch diet I had frequent trouble sleeping at night due to the pain). I do eat some sugar, though -- simple sugars don't bother me the way complex carbs do.

There's a book called The IBS Low-Starch Diet. Look into it if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn's disease, ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter's Syndrome, or other reactive stomach and/or joint problems. The diet doesn't seem to help everyone, but it's worth trying.

If you don't have these diseases, but you have mysterious joint or hip pain, ask your doctor about this! That goes double if you've also had eye infections -- AS causes both joint pain and iritis/uveitis.
Vorfeed's Black Metal review page

Complex carbs vs. sugars (none / 1) (#117)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:38:58 PM EST

The MSNBC article in my last link mentions that carbs often raise your glucose level higher than actual sugar. Apparently, the reason is that table sugar is a combination of glucose and fructose; the glucose becomes immediately available but the fructose takes some processing. Complex carbs are long chains of glucose molecules, so that when they're enzymatically unzipped they're all immediately available. I noticed this in my own data but didn't realize why until many months after I started eating to the meter.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Great story (3.00 / 2) (#116)
by demi on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:06:49 PM EST

Parts 1-7 are good and I think point to passive monitoring of vital signs as the future of preventative health care, and probably the only way human longevity will ever be significantly extended. Having a lifetime or near-lifetime record of heart rate, blood pressure, and blood constituent data, passively collected and stored by implanted devices, is gonna be the next big thing in consumer health. The amount of statistical data that could be collected by such means would vastly improve the quality of palliative diagnosis and treatment and nutritional science.

I now get my cholesterol and blood sugars checked a few times per year, but this requires drawing blood and using machines that cost a lot more than the home glucose kit. I don't get any kind of real-time idea of how those readings may fluctuate over hour, day, week, etc. periods as you have done on your own, though. What's needed is a multi-spectral tricorder like biometric device (DARPA had a program on this a few years ago) to track many simple effects at once and analyze short term trends. The technology to do this is not very far off. Rising popularity of sensor-guided heart rate training is a harbinger of how it might come about; first in elite athletic training, then trickling down. Except that the selling point will be longevity instead of building anaerobic capacity.

A good example (none / 1) (#118)
by localroger on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:42:44 PM EST

Check this out, an artificial pancreas with real time monitoring and insulin pump feedback. I guess this is the leading edge of what you're describing...

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
mg/dl vs. mmol/l (none / 0) (#123)
by gdanjo on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 01:39:03 AM EST

Great article. But it didn't really make sense to me until I found that 18 mg/dl = 1 mmol/l.

Here in Australia we use mmol/l, and we're advised that above 11 is bad, 4 is "normal", below 4 is not good, and 2 and below is hypoglycemic (I'm still amazed that hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic mean the exact opposite, and that this isn't a problem, even in this age of extreme accent diversity - context is key, I guess).

These approximately correlate with your 200 (11*18 = 198), 80 (4*18 = 72), 60 (3*18 = 54), and 40 (2*18 = 36) figures.

Beyond mere numbers, your advice is really helpful - and appreciated. I look forward to more of your over-analyzed insights (which I'll take over the under-analyzed any day of the week).

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT

Your comment about fruit is extremely simplified (none / 0) (#125)
by tetsuwan on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 05:06:44 AM EST

While fruit intake is consitently associated with better than average health, vitamin supplements rarely are. Also, fruits contain fibers.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance

QUEUE ----> (none / 0) (#130)
by GhostOfTiber on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 10:38:42 AM EST

Or if I missed this, I apologize as work as been hectic recently.

I did Atkins for awhile, but I found it harder to concentrate and that caffiene and alcohol about doubled in potency.  It would come and go, but the concentration thing took a toll on my ability to work.

Also, possibly as an unintended side effect, on Atkins I also lost muscle mass.  I have no idea why this happened, as all gym wisdom would say that a high protien diet would result in GIANT MUSCLES.  But, as someone who enjoys shooting guns and working on cars, I found it was harder to keep a rifle pointed straight for offhand shooting and it was harder to turn wrenches.

What did you do to keep your muscle mass?

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne

I didn't have that problem (none / 0) (#131)
by localroger on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 11:03:42 AM EST

Dr. Lutz does mention it in LWB, that some people have this problem during an adjustment period. His advice is to gradually reduce your carb intake instead of going cold turkey. (People who aren't overweight when they go on the diet but are doing it for other health reasons are most likely to have this kind of transition problem.)

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
are you going to submit this to the queue (none / 1) (#134)
by GhostOfTiber on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 12:32:18 PM EST

or am I going to punch you in the vagina?

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

I don't have personal experience (none / 0) (#172)
by localroger on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:31:18 PM EST

Really, anyone who is suspicious that they might be on the margins for this sort of thing should get a copy of Life Without Bread and judge for themselves. I've mentioned the book in every other comment because it's guided most of my thinking; it explains everything that's happened to me and everything that's happened to everybody I know. On a personal level that's pretty convincing, but if you're thin, or young and nonsymptomatic, or you have a disease for which low fat diets are usually recommended, you really should read Dr. Lutz's case for yourself.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Don't forget the minerals (3.00 / 2) (#140)
by Rahyl on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 04:19:09 PM EST

Really good article, thanks for the post.  It seems more and more people are beginning to realze that they really can make a difference in their overall health by making sensible changes to their diets.

A few years ago I began taking inventory on my own diet and noticed a few things.  First, my protein intake was too low.  Second, my carb intake was too high (for many of the same reasons sited in the article).  Third, my mineral intake was woefully inadequate.  The first two were easy to manage as I simply increased what I was already eating that had protein and decreased existing sources of carbs.  Minerals, however, were a different story.  With the exception of iron and calcium, I simply had no mineral intake to speak of.

To fix this, I began to include nuts and seeds in my diet daily.  As a general rule, a mixture of nuts and seeds will be high in minerals like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper.  You'll likely also see iron, calcium, and others.  You'll also get a good dose of protein and fiber.  Eat them raw by the handful or in salads, a great way to get the 'good' fats in your diet.  After about a year of this, I began to notice a lot of positive changes, mainly that my attitude in general had improved.  I was motivated to start working out again and lost 10 lbs in the process (down to 150 now).

For more info that would be welcome in a post here, check out http://whfoods.com/  (I'm in no way affiliated with the site, just use it for nutrition info on various foods).

science detail (none / 0) (#147)
by Rhodes on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 08:38:51 PM EST

when you are describing the blood tests, you say "accuracy is not important ... if it spikes above 140, it doesn't matter whether it is to three decimal places".  

Actually, the principle you refer to is precision - do you have nanometer precision, versus accuracy- are you looking at the proper item.

Actually, it's both (none / 0) (#148)
by localroger on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 08:59:00 PM EST

Though you're right to point out that "decimal places" is precision rather than accuracy, the thing is you need neither when doing response tests. They usually warn that OTC glucose meters are only good to 10% accuracy, even though they display to 1 mg/dl precision. Although someone else pointed out below that it's possible for a normal person to hit 140 after eating a whole wedding cake or whatever, if the meter says 180 or 200 and does so on more than one reading (so you exclude it being a flier, contamination on your skin, etc.) then you know you have a problem. You can do 100 tests of this sort for what the lab charges you for one good quality resting test. I really believe that in this case a lot of relatively low-quality data is much better than one really good data point in a vacuum.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Accuracy v. Precision v. Resolution (none / 0) (#191)
by hokie99cpe on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 11:29:05 AM EST

Accuracy is in reporting the correct number.

Precision is in reporting the same range of numbers across tests.

Resolution is how much of that number is shown.

A person has a BG of 140.0091 mg/dl. If a meter has an accuracy of 10%, we're looking at readings between, what, 126 mg/dl and 154 mg/dl. Say the meter you have shows 131 mg/dl on the first reading. If the meter has a precision of 1 mg/dl, then we're looking at future readings between 129 mg/dl and 133 mg/dl.. as you take more readings, that range would shrink to encompass a +/- 1 mg/dl range.

If your meter has higher resolution (more decimal places), it will show more of the result and will typically offer increased accuracy and precision... but only because the maker has put more work into making a meter that supports the higher res. Now, I'm sure you can find a meter that offers 3, 4, 5+ decimals with a precision of 1 mg/dl or worse, but then those decimal places are utterly useless.


[ Parent ]

Bravo! A little more... (2.33 / 3) (#149)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 05:07:24 AM EST

There was a guy who, about a century ago, did a study of various tribal (hunter/gatherer) societies throughout the world in comparison to the Western world. He was a dentist. He found that, without exception, that these hunter/gatherer groups were better nourished and had an almost non-existent level of dental cavities.

I've also read that when the settlers first started coming to America, up through the 1800s, the white man was often amazed at how hardy, healthy, and virile natives were. One thing which springs to mind is that they, unlike the white man, could take several musket shots to their torso and still run, fight, and ultimately survive their wounds - likely due to their overall superior health, thereby allowing their body a superior amount of energy to its repair. It's also probably related to the healthy, well-defined facial features which are (at best) uncommon in today's society (and particularly uncommon in those who are overweight and eat a lot of grains).

On a personal note, I was told about a year back that I have high blood pressure, or high blood sugar, or something like that. I, foolishly, disregarded it, thinking "hey, I'm not even 25 yet, and I'm as skinny as a rail". But now thanks to a combination of your write-up, and my hypocritical eating behavior (due to the knowledge I have on the matter), and a recent bout of sluggishness and irritability, I'm going to pursue this approach to eating.

It's going to be difficult, to be sure, but I have no doubt that the end result will be beneficial and enjoyable. First things first: gotta cut out the processed sugars, particularly soda and snack foods. I'll likely have to go off sugars in general gradually, first going to watered-down fruit juice and fruits, simply because I consume a copious amount of sugar in a given day (a soda or two, sugar in my coffee, breakfast cereal, bread with lunch, a starch or two with dinner, and snacks).

Eat to live, not live to eat, eh? Maybe I'll learn how to make cheese - I do love it so. You wouldn't happen to have figured out an alternative to crackers, would you? :P

One question I have for you is: how does your eating style differ in terms of financial investment? The reason I ask is because living on a diet of meat - good meat, not just rump roasts and turkeys - is substantially more expensive than living off of bread. Unfortunately, the cost of grains in relation to meat is one of the things which makes it so appealing, and why corn or what is an additive to damn near any processed food you can find on the shelves.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

It's more expensive (none / 1) (#162)
by localroger on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:23:41 AM EST

No doubt about it. My wife has gotten very creative about buying the discount meats and making stuff from scratch. If you eat at restaurants all the time it's way more expensive.

Someone else pointed out below that it would be impossible for us to feed 6 billion people the way I'm now eating, and that's one of the reasons.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Weston Price (none / 1) (#203)
by mrt on Thu May 03, 2007 at 03:35:19 AM EST


There was a guy who, about a century ago, did a study of various tribal (hunter/gatherer) societies throughout the world in comparison to the Western world. He was a dentist. He found that, without exception, that these hunter/gatherer groups were better nourished and had an almost non-existent level of dental cavities.

His name was Weston Price, and his book was called "Nutrition & Physical Degeneration".

Here is an excellent review
-

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous
[ Parent ]

Smells fishy to me. (none / 0) (#208)
by grendelkhan on Sat May 12, 2007 at 03:45:25 PM EST

I've also read that when the settlers first started coming to America, up through the 1800s, the white man was often amazed at how hardy, healthy, and virile natives were. One thing which springs to mind is that they, unlike the white man, could take several musket shots to their torso and still run, fight, and ultimately survive their wounds - likely due to their overall superior health, thereby allowing their body a superior amount of energy to its repair. It's also probably related to the healthy, well-defined facial features which are (at best) uncommon in today's society (and particularly uncommon in those who are overweight and eat a lot of grains).
I'm skeptical of this claim. I don't care how healthy you are; you don't turn into the Terminator, and your face doesn't get "well-defined", whatever that means. I think the Fists of Righteous Fury showed that pretty definitively.

Where did you read this, and who said it?
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

Europe vs. America (3.00 / 2) (#165)
by noseyscholar on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 01:39:19 PM EST

I've noticed that the foods in Europe tend to be much less sugary. For example, the bread in America seems to be much sweeter than out here. There are numerous examples. We eat olives as a snack. I'm just wondering whether this makes any kind of difference.

Also, you seem to say we shouldn't eat any bread altogether. It seems like a modest cutback in carbs from an early age (ie don't subsist on potato chips, fries, and white bread) would make a considerable difference. I wonder if this is so...

Interesting story, however, it sucks that it's written from the perspective of someone who's already there. I'm young enough to think I'm not there yet, and damnit, it sounds terrible!

american store-bought bread (none / 1) (#167)
by thankyougustad on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 01:41:42 PM EST

has high fructose corn syrup in it. and its not very good.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
yes, I've noticed (none / 1) (#169)
by noseyscholar on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 01:47:10 PM EST

that things tend to include real sugar here more often than the corn syrup we're used to in America. Still, I wonder if that really makes any significant difference. I can taste it, but they should both be simple carbs that cause the same problems, I would think...

[ Parent ]
yar i noticed (none / 1) (#176)
by SCORCHED zombie Private Papers on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 04:55:56 PM EST

corn syrup too. even dempster's teh ancient grains has it.

how can i get real bread in north america?


[ Parent ]

meet me in the alley, 3am (none / 0) (#177)
by noseyscholar on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 05:39:02 PM EST

I swear, I can get you real yeast culled materials! cheap too, bring a couple hundred!

[ Parent ]
Bread Making Machine $ (3.00 / 2) (#180)
by localroger on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 07:10:54 PM EST



I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
fruits (none / 1) (#195)
by Sun Showers on Sat Apr 28, 2007 at 02:39:05 AM EST

Good article, I hope it promotes reader awareness of this issue. Also, it is easier to maintain rather than restore health.

Don't be too quick to dismiss fruits from your diet; they've got quite a few antioxidants (so do leafy greens).

I would also be wary of increasing fat intake due to concerns of accumulating lipid soluble toxins from the environment (hormone disruptors, etc) which may take years to excrete, if at all.

Another benefit to reducing high glycemic food intake is that you're consuming less heavily processed foods along with their additives and preservatives.

cholesterol (none / 0) (#198)
by drivers on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 01:27:24 AM EST

I'd love to know what your cholesterol level is. That is my first concern when I read about your diet. You said you haven't had it checked, but assume it's fine.

According to Dr. Lutz, it generally improves (none / 0) (#201)
by localroger on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 09:44:55 PM EST

The main reason I never bothered getting it checked is that the improvement in my blood pressure was so dramatic (from 167/119 to 125/85 in a couple of months) that I knew I wasn't going to reverse my course. And it seemed very unlikely that anything that made such an improvement in that vital sign would be causing trouble in another. And a couple of actual doctors have agreed with me on this.

Also, as far as the terminally fucked up health insurance industry in the US is concerned, I'm still perfectly healthy. Although I do have health insurance through my employer, that's not a thing to be taken lightly.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Blood pressure and cholesterol (none / 0) (#223)
by ilai on Wed Dec 05, 2007 at 11:50:34 AM EST

are not related. My mother has perfect cholesterol and hypertension. My father has low blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol. There are people who regulate cholesterol internally very well, and some people who do not. If your diet is high in animal fat, which is saturated, you should get your cholesterol level checked just in case.

[ Parent ]
Exercise in a pill soon? (none / 0) (#199)
by walk on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 06:12:02 AM EST

here.

Figure out who'll commercialize it and buy stock now.
-
"Walker, there is no road, the road is made by walking"
- Spanish poet Machado exiled by General Franco

Looks to be a miracle when it gets approved (none / 1) (#202)
by localroger on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 09:46:58 PM EST

Unfortunately, that might not be for a decade or so. It doesn't seem they've even started the process yet, and it's pretty clear the substance isn't an herb or supplement, it's a new chemical. That's gonna cost someone $100,000,000 or so before we get a shot at it.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
belated thanks (none / 1) (#204)
by zenofchai on Tue May 08, 2007 at 11:19:01 AM EST

for an excellent article.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
This is just brilliant (none / 0) (#205)
by nebbish on Wed May 09, 2007 at 08:42:34 AM EST

Who said K5 was dead?

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

Getting old. (none / 1) (#206)
by Dev X on Fri May 11, 2007 at 12:40:38 AM EST

And to much "sugar" in your diet. That's all it is you ass. So STFU.

Eventualy just about everyone who should be concerned knows the diferance between a healthy diet and an unlhealthy one. High sugar diet bad, we know.

   
Lost in Unlasting Infinity.

The Great Modern Glucose Poisoning Epidemic (none / 0) (#209)
by babycakes on Thu May 24, 2007 at 02:40:33 PM EST

Hi. The diet mentioned is what 2 doctors , basically, have told me to go on, but, did not explain why. I am hypoglycemic.
When a doctor does not tell me WHY they say what they do, I am disinclined to follow their instructions. They act like gods, who have no reason to explain themselves, and expect immediate full-blown obedience to their sacred words.
In other cases of health, they have often been SO wrong, even to the point of causing death to some, even in my family. Thusly, I take everything they say with a pound of salt (and rarely take the medication given me, unless it is nessicary, like anti-biotics for pnemonia.).
    Now, from this article, I see that their prescribed diet for myself is, in fact, good.
Thank you, to whomever wrote it.
What is the biggest problem?---NOT diet, but the egos of most medical doctors !

List of studies on When Beta Cells Die (none / 0) (#210)
by walk on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 03:19:56 AM EST

This page contains summaries of and links to, papers on specifics. One study says that 100 (American) is high enough for beta cells to start dying.
-
"Walker, there is no road, the road is made by walking"
- Spanish poet Machado exiled by General Franco
I think there is a bit of good news there (none / 0) (#215)
by localroger on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 11:54:32 PM EST

In that study they are talking about long-term average levels, not spikes. I think a lot of people have long-term average levels over 100 because their baseline is 80 but it's spiking over 200 when they eat a meal. And a lot of people who have no idea they might be at risk are spiking to 300 or 400. But the hemoglobin average and fasting aren't *that* bad so nobody thinks it's a problem, until it worsens.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
ADA 04-2007 stats and recs for pre-diabetes (none / 0) (#211)
by walk on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 03:24:38 AM EST

ADA Consensus Statement on IFG and IGT - short, readable pdf.

Turns out there are two separate forms of pre-diabetes with different causes.
-
"Walker, there is no road, the road is made by walking"
- Spanish poet Machado exiled by General Franco

Neither of which describe my condition (none / 0) (#216)
by localroger on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 11:57:20 PM EST

Come ON when are these people going to .. aw fuckit. They are wholly owned by the food and pharmaceutical industries. The carbs-cause-diabetes theory PERFECTLY describes what has happened to me, and PERFECTLY explains why my lifestyle change has made such a difference. They are floundering because it is politically impossible for them to tell you to do what I have done.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
You're not alone... (none / 0) (#219)
by jalind on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 12:08:08 PM EST

My condition got discovered through the intervention of a Type II friend who did a similar "poor mans" glucose tolerance experiment with me for a couple of days.  He recognized the symptoms and finally got me to do the experiment.  I had always passed a fasting test and would not have discovered the condition otherwise.  I believe I owe him my life.  Thanks Steve!

I was continuously traveling on business at the time and got seen by a doctor within a couple of days.  I was officially diagnosed on the spot.  

There was a significant period of stoney silence from the other end of the phone 1500 miles away when I told my wife the "good" news that I had Type II and, that with it, I had acquired a $150 a month glucose testing habit ($1/test, 5 tests/day, 30 days/month).  

Initially, the doctor didn't agree to a really agressive testing and diet control.  He threatened to put me on drugs.  I balked and went ahead with the agressive testing and diet anyway.  After the doctor saw the charts, graphs and results I produced from it, he agreed to continue with agressive testing and diet.  He was amazed that I was able to keep up the testing regime and stick to the diet.

It seems the common medical profession's expectation is that it's really difficult to get diabetics to change diet, exercise or test themselves frequently.  My experience is that there is a strong tendency to depend on drugs and go for the lowest common denominator of what they think diabetics will actually do.  Gee, thanks!

In addition to the immediate radical diet change nearly identical to what you did, continuous frequent testing is one of the best things I started.  It has enabled me to figure out what I can eat and when and how my body behaves with food.  

In addition to having all the experiences you wrote about, I discovered that I am now a huge marketing target with a 40ft bullseye attached to my back.  Every commercial entity that makes money from diabetics acts like they don't care whether or not I get better.  Instead, they behave like they want me to become exclusively dependent on their wares in exchange for some nebulous maintenance or improvement in health. I don't expect any real help from commercially driven entities unless it advances their commercial aims.

Periodically, the major drug store chains put one or more glucose meters on sale for $10 to $20.  Typically, they include a few test strips (10) and have very well written instructions and phone numbers to call for assistance.  

For anyone that doubts any of your experiences, all I can say is that you're not alone and they're others of us that had a nearly identical experience.  Your article was like looking in a mirror.  Thanks for expressing it so well.

Excellent article! Found more relevant info... (none / 0) (#220)
by makarus on Tue Oct 30, 2007 at 01:16:46 PM EST

I must say this article, when I read it some months ago, really opened my eyes, and allowed me to start questioning the existing assumptions on what types of foods cause obesity, diabetes, heart disease etc.. I really liked the fact that you make it something everyone can try out, and figure out for their own body, rather than rely on dogmatic hypothesis that I usually don't bother to verify (and most of the times, neither do the writers).

I recently noticed that a book was published putting into question the low-fat diets, and the effects of carbohydrates in our diets. I am still reading this book, but there are many points so far that match what you have written about blood sugar and how it might cause heart disease, obesity, diabetes, etc.

The book is Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. So far the book is excellent, and is quite scientific in its explanations (eventually it gets more detailed). Its controversial, but also very detailed and careful not make quick conclusion as to how and why these dieseases occur.

Anyways, thanks for sharing this.

health issues (none / 0) (#221)
by seagull11 on Sun Nov 11, 2007 at 08:39:24 AM EST

Here are some important links about health issues:
High cholesterol
Drug development


A few notes (none / 0) (#222)
by ilai on Wed Dec 05, 2007 at 11:47:03 AM EST

Insulin resistance that leads to Type II Diabetes is often merely caused by increased weight gain. An increased amount of adipose tissue secretes an increased amount of hormones like Leptin, an appetite suppressant. People who are naturally resistant to leptin (and there are a lot of them) will have high circulating levels of it, but their appetite will not be suppressed. Leptin acts as an insulin inhibitor, increasing insulin resistance. Losing weight by changing your lifestyle, not dieting, will often decrease insulin resistance. changing your lifestyle by crash dieting or yoyo dieting will strain the metabolic system and it will adapt by learning to overcompensate. A goal should be moderate exercise to burn visceral/abdominal fat so less hormones and released into the system. Some of these same hormones also increase your estrogen levels and angiotensin levels (increasing blood pressure).

Low carb diets very often work for some people with syndrome X / metabolic syndrome because a common symptom is liver disorder which converts sugar directly to fat instead of to carbohydrates, causing increased weight gain.

Having muscle fitness is imperative to having metabolic fitness. The body burns carbohydrates in the muscles for the energy to move, (or the body can burn fat or protein for that same energy. Using fat for energy isn't so bad, using protein for energy is definitely not in your best interest). Activity helps to regulate the glucose / insulin system as much if more than diet. Exercise 20 minutes a day.

Diets high in saturated fats increase LDL and HDL cholesterol levels. You say you haven't gotten your cholesterol checked, and I would if you are replacing all your food with meat. This diet would work with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats too.

I don't disagree that low carb diets will help you lose weight, nor that losing weight will lower insulin resistance. I just think there are better ways to skin the cat - like exercising. MOVE THE BODY YOU ARE IN. Also - fruit won't hurt you if you moderate your eating behavior. Have a tunafish sandwich on whole grain bread and an apple for lunch.

**Its not about removing everything from your diet that will have a violent reaction by your blood sugar, its by solving the problem that causes your cells to be resistant to insulin. While this diet will help you, I recommend at least looking into a lifestyle plan that includes variety, balance, correct portion size and MOVEMENT.

Magnesium - have some of it. Its an important factor in glucose regulation. It comes from chlorophyll. Eat more plants.

Exercise didn't work. (none / 0) (#224)
by localroger on Wed Dec 05, 2007 at 08:31:14 PM EST

Like many people, I tried exercise combined with a restricted calorie low fat diet. I lasted almost a year and didn't lose an ounce. So while your advice may be true for some, many, or even most people, it is clearly not true for everyone. It would be nice if some decent studies had ever been done of low carb. Everyone I know who eats like I do who has had their cholesterol checked has seen it improve, including two whose doctors were astonished. YMMV.

alexboko: I think, how do animals view our behavior?
Sgt York: Opening
[ Parent ]
Dyslipidemia (none / 0) (#225)
by ilai on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 02:08:44 PM EST

Many people who have insulin resistance and other symptoms of syndrome X or the metabolic syndrome have forms of dyslipidemia where their liver converts carbohydrates to fat directly instead of utilizing it for energy. If you cut your fat our of your diet, you wouldn't be losing weight, which is why I said having a low car diet would definitally work for some people. There have been many studies done on the effects of carbohydrate restriction on the body, you just need to know where to look.

[ Parent ]
The Great Modern Glucose Poisoning Epidemic | 225 comments (213 topical, 12 editorial, 1 hidden)
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