Can Doctors Pressure You to Eat Low-Fat?

May 3, 2011 · 75 comments

lowfat milk

Read a recent email from a reader in the comments at this post:  How Difficult was it for You to Give Up the Low-Fat Mentality

“I have actually "no" fear of leaving the low fat mentality behind – I know for a fact that this "low fat" nonsense has contributed to what seems like a hopeless weight gain.

lowfat cream cheese I tried eating "regular" dairy and butter and 2% milk for a few days (OK I know I shouldn’t use THAT either but I’m not ready to jump from 1% to whole just yet…I’m trying to make a transition) and I lost 5 pounds within days – and I have been at the same heavy weight for the past 4 years without being able to lose a single ounce. I noticed some subtle yet favorable results immediately in my weight and I somehow could feel my metabolism going.

What worries the heck out of me is this:

How can one eat whole eggs, whole milk, animal fat, and butter literally every day without one’s LDL going through the roof and the doctor taking you to task for it and "forcing" you to change your eating lifestyle to a "low fat milk, margarine, whole grain" lifestyle? 

From what I’ve been reading elsewhere, your cholesterol level can be high but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are at risk for a heart attack.

This low-fat nonsense is impossible.  Without eating the fats that the medical profession says is so wrong, it’s impossible for me to lose any weight or control low fat cheese my hunger.  Heck I almost get LITERALLY hungry at the mere THOUGHT of a low-fat diet, for crying out loud. It’s hell on earth, yet what IF giving up the low-fat mentality raises your "bad" cholesterol levels and the doctors try to force you to change your eating and/or take a statin?  What do you do if you feel you CANNOT DO EITHER ONE OF THOSE? 

This is a serious question. I am starting to feel how much we seem to be dictated on what we’re "supposed" to eat – it almost makes me wish I didn’t even live in the U.S. anymore because our dietary guidelines seem DESIGNED to make us even sicker – yeah I sound paranoid but really – something is fishy about this USDA food pyramid where they put bread/cereal/rice/grains as the STAPLE, for goodness sake.”

lowfat cottage cheese Here’s where you jump in.

It’s after midnight and I want to post this for the morning, but can’t stay awake long enough to add my thoughts and opinions, of which I have plenty on this as you can guess!  I hope you’ll help by jumping into the comments with your thoughts on this one.  If you’re not up for it, read more at the links I posted below, but I love hearing from all of you because it always ends up giving us a nice well-rounded picture of things.  :)

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  • { 75 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Julie D. May 3, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Well said. Also, eating whole eggs, whole milk, animal fat, and butter is not what makes your LDL high. The lipid hypothesis is a lie.

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    2 sahara May 3, 2011 at 2:14 am

    My initial reaction is more about the feeling a doctor could “force” a diet or statin drug than about the biochemistry parts of the question.For illustration, I selectivley vaccinate my son. Recently he needed to go to two very mainstream doctors in a row for painful ear infections in each ear. One doctor grimaced a little, and one gave me a one sentence admonishment upon hearing the vax decision. Then we all moved on, he got the medicine for his ears that he really needed and we left. This may be more about losing the fear of doctors and authority figures than losing the low fat mentality.learn to stick to your guns. I just look them right in the eye and say, “no vaccines thank you.” When he was younger and I was a newer mom, I’d get flustered and flushed, but now its no biggie. I’ve just had time to practice. This reader could do the same with a statin prescription or diet advice.a simple, “no thank you.” should suffice. If not, a doctor change may be in order. Be strong, be confident and own your decisions.(A more controversial approach, the one I take is viewing mainstream doctors as my go-to’s for infections and emergencies such but not my partner in good health.)

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    3 Jennifer May 3, 2011 at 2:49 am

    I don’t know how much reading you’re willing to do, or how much research, but spend some time on Gary Taubes’ blog http://www.garytaubes.com/blog/ or read his “Why We Get Fat” (the mainstream reader-friendly version of his longer “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, which is also a great read, though very long and detailed). Any of those should help you thoroughly understand why eating the diet you specifically worry will have your “LDL going through the roof” will in fact do the opposite. Taubes touts that very diet as being the healthiest (in this post he clarifies exactly what he eats on a regular basis http://www.garytaubes.com/2011/04/before-sugar-were-talking-about-cholesterol/ ) is the diet that keeps his blood test numbers in check (same post). More specifically, he was on the “Dr. Oz” show a few months back, where Dr. Oz challenged him to “prove it” by doing a blood cholesterol test. Taubes declined, but then went ahead and had the tests done and posted the results on his blog.

    Here’s what Taubes says: “Keep in mind as you go through these that I do indeed eat three eggs with cheese, bacon and sausage for breakfast every morning, typically a couple of cheeseburgers (no bun) or a roast chicken for lunch, and more often than not, a ribeye or New York steak (grass fed) for dinner, usually in the neighborhood of a pound of meat. I cook with butter and, occasionally, olive oil (the sausages). My snacks run to cheese and almonds. So lots of fat and saturated fat and very little carbohydrates.” His numbers were amazing! The numbers, especially, that doctors SHOULD be looking at – the “large fluffy” LDL vs the “Small dense” LDL – large fluffy is fine, the small dense can be a concern – see here for more on that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoMNxfvRw00 ( after that video stops, click on part 2 to see the rest)

    Those are some good places to start with the facts about what eating a diet with lots of good saturated fat will actually do for your “numbers”. Talking to your doctor is a whole other matter that I’ll try to post back about later (I too, need to get to bed!).

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    4 Lee May 4, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Love Gary Taubes! I found Good Calories Bad Calories on the clearance shelf at BAM and am getting several copies to give to all the doctors I know! Everytime a doctor/friend reads it their eyes are opened and they realize they’ve been hoodwinked!
    Also check out what Tom Cowan has to say about cholesterol on the Weston A Price Foundation website.

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    5 Heather Anderson May 3, 2011 at 3:43 am

    There is pressure to conform in every area of health and wellness to what the medical system is currently saying. We are told that vaccines are essential, birth is dangerous, antibiotics build our necessary for just about everything. Most doctors are very well meaning, but they are taught from one perspective only. If they learn anything else, it is because they sought it out, and then they usually get in trouble if they try to apply alternatives with their patients. I appreciate our emergency care system. My son broke his femur bone and would have been crippled without medical care. However, we are not doing so well in the area of wellness in this nation. Let’s face it, science is always growing and changing. There are new studies daily and they often contradict old ones. It is certainly wise to take into consideration what a doctor advises, but we have to be willing to do research and take responsibility for our own well being.

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    6 Leah May 3, 2011 at 6:19 am

    A high fat diet (good fat) is the best way to raise HDL the “good cholesterol” (I put this in quotations because HDL and LDL are not actually cholesterol, but cholesterol transporters), so your doctor may actually be pleasantly surprised by our numbers. After all, high HDL is associated with a lowered risk of heart disease (I’ve read moreso even than low HDL, but I don’t have time to look up the reference).
    Have you ever watched Fat Head? It’s available for free on Hulu right now or streams on Netflix. Some of the information there might give you a little more confidence in what you already know is true. It’s a documentary by a comedian (a little cheesy at times, but worth while!), the first half is a rebuttal of Supersize Me, but the second half has a lot of sound scientific explanations about fat, cholesterol and the USDA.

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    7 Soli @ I Believe In Butter May 3, 2011 at 6:49 am

    I agree with Leah, watch Fat Head if you haven’t, and also hit the Weston A Price Foundation web site and search for cholesterol there.
    You can say no to doctors, the world won’t come to a halt. If they try to prescribe statins (presuming they find some imbalance they believe needs correcting) you can refuse and tell them you’ve heard about the side effects.

    I have never had an issue with my cholesterol levels. I can remember going to a doctor for a physical in 1995, weighing 50 pounds more than I do now (gee thanks paxil), the doctor (a cardiologist) apparently certain he’d find all these issues, and nothing. Nice low BP, cholesterol levels completely acceptable, lung xray (I have asthma, and looking back I don’t know WHY he wanted this done) fully clear. I honestly believe he was shocked to see no health problems.

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    8 Erica May 3, 2011 at 6:51 am

    The best thing to do is never go to the doctor unless you’re truly sick.

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    9 Musings of a Housewife May 3, 2011 at 7:06 am

    This is why you don’t go to the doctor, and if you do, you lie. HA!

    No, seriously, you CAN find doctors who are on board, but it is hard. I have found one such doctor and I am so grateful. My biggest fear is that she will retire and leave me on my own again.

    And I wouldn’t hesitate to lie to my doctor if I felt they were being pushy about diet.

    I really don’t think your numbers will go through the roof though. Mine haven’t since starting eating this way. As someone said above, the lipid hypothesis is a lie, eating good saturated fats won’t make your cholesterol go sky high.

    If I had a doctor trying to pressure me to go on statins, I’d leave the practice.

    All that said, it IS scary how much influence the government has and how wrong they are about the food guidelines. This whole anti-obesity movement kind of worries me b/c I see the govt stepping in where they do not belong. If Michelle Obama gets her way and we reform school lunches, they will be all low fat and full of soy. SIGH. It can be disheartening, but I HAVE to believe the truth will come out eventually.

    Sorry for the book! :-)

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    10 Heather May 3, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Sorry with a toddler at my feet I don’t have time to read everyone else’s comments yet. I will come back for them. However I would like to reassure the person who’s questions are posted here. My experience has been:
    -While my non-fasting (giving blood) cholesterol numbers are higher, my *fasting* cholesterol is lower since abandoning the low fat lifestyle.
    -My ratios of LDL to HDL have improved too.
    -My blood sugar is more stable
    -My hormone imbalances have improved
    -My cravings for processed foods and sugar have decreased
    -My blood pressure is envy worthy
    -My severe anemia has all but disappeared
    -My family doctor (whom I only see once every three years) is thrilled that I gave up the processed junk and because of my improved tests gladly admits that he can’t complain about my fat consumption.
    -My OB (whom I’ve been seeing quite often thanks to my 6 week old baby) called me his perfect patient.

    If you worry about being forced to eat low fat by your doctor, CHANGE DOCTORS. It is important that you find one that will at the very least involve you in honest, two-sided conversation and respect you wellness decisions. They don’t have to like it but they must respect it.

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    11 Marguerite May 3, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Due to a thyroid condition, my cholesterol numbers are very high. Before I learned about true healthy eating, I listened to the doctors and got a prescription to lower my numbers… Guess what? They didn’t work! So now, my doc checks my numbers every once in a while, says “hmmm… they’re a little high. We should try {x} to see if it will bring the numbers down” I very politely smile and say no thanks. The pills don’t work. He never pushes or makes an issue about it. It’s in my chart. The pills didn’t work, so why bother with them?

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    12 Magda May 3, 2011 at 9:31 am

    The part about not going to the doctor unless you’re really sick is all too true. My mom got ‘diagnosed’ with ‘high’ cholesterol and since she has life insurance, it was either lower it or pay higher premiums. I hope never to be in that situation. I avoid the doctors like the plague – except when I’m really sick and can’t help myself/my family at home. I used to take a free cholesterol check at my work and it was always around 230 which is ‘high’. If that diagnosis actually went in my file, I’d be stuck with it forever! No, thanks.

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    13 charlotte May 3, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Just a not to confirm you suspicions, my sister and I both started the WAPF lifestyle about a year ago: we drink raw milk and make our own raw ice cream, render our own lard and fry most of our foods in either lard or schmaltz, eat a full-fat animal diet comprised of grass and farm pastured chicken, pork, lamb and beef and go out of our way to AVOID supermarkets in order to support our local farmers and buy as much as we can from these wonderful folks. My point? Prior to this change, sis was “diagnosed” with high cholesterol @ 228, flash forward 1 year later and guess what, her number dropped to 201 !….now we just smirk and dig in to our ice cream ;-) Don’t listen to the doctor’s crap about statin drugs, they’ll do far more harm than good and you can bank on this because I work for a pharmaceutical company -guess what our #1 selling drug is!?!….

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    14 Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama May 3, 2011 at 9:52 am

    My husband’s cholesterol is just as low on a high-fat diet as it was before. In fact, in many measures (weight, strength, etc.) he is HEALTHIER than before — big surprise, right? Anyway, at his last physical, they didn’t even ask what he was doing, they just said, “Obviously this is working, keep doing what you’re doing.” You could be evasive if they do ask, saying “I’m focusing on healthier eating,” because you ARE…just not by their definition.

    But others are right, the lipid hypothesis is wrong. Refined carbs and trans fats will raise your cholesterol levels. But natural saturated fats won’t. (The original research didn’t differentiate between natural saturated fats and the artificial trans fats, but when Dr. Mary Enig looked at the data, she found problems highly correlated with the trans fats…but unrelated to the natural saturated fats.)

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    15 ValerieH May 3, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I have been listening to Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast for a few years now. Jimmy Moore has interviewed so many knowledgable scientists and doctors. I have learned a LOT from the guests. Those interviews are still available on line.
    From what I understand, LDL is lower on a low fat diet and so is HDL. But the LDL is the dense kind. Plus the triglycerides are high on a high carb diet. When people start eating full fat, low carb diets, the HDL goes up, leading to a higher total cholesterol. The LDL is supposed to go down and become the healthy, fluffy kind. The most important marker is the triglycerides, which go way down. Dr. Michael Eads has a blog post on this with some patients he treated. It is worth finding his blog and looking at the data. (just technical enough for lay people).

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    16 Amanda May 3, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Check out Nina Planck’s books on Real Food (I’m currently reading her Real Food for Mother and Baby) – she addresses the science behind LDL & HDL, what you really need, what you don’t, what statins will do to you. She even sites some medical research. If your doctor is being pushy, share the sited research and explain that without his/her support you’ll be finding a new doctor. A good doctor should at least be willing to listen to your viewpoint. At the end of the day you – not your doctor – are responsible for what goes into your body.

    My dad has been controlling his cholesterol levels with diet for a couple of years now. His doc was skeptical until she saw the crazy drop in his numbers. She even asked him about his diet and supplements because she’d never had such good results with any medication.

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    17 Susan W May 3, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    It’s not the fat or cholesterol in your diet that raises your cholesterol… your dietary intake only counts for about 10% of your cholesterol…. the rest is what your liver produces. It’s starchy and sugary foods that trigger your liver to make too much cholesterol.

    When I want my patients to drop their cholesterol levels I recommend a food plan low in simple carbs and sugars and high in good fats and complex carbs and it works wonderfully.

    Enjoy your foods. Enjoy the fat. And remember your doctor/NP/PA is a professional that you have hired to provide you care. You are the one in charge.
    Your doctor can’t make you do anything. They can recommend things to you but you are hiring them to give you their advice. You are hiring them to do a job. If you don’t like their advice you don’t have to follow it.

    good luck.

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    18 Stanley Fishman May 3, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    No doctor could convince me to eat low fat. I have not seen a doctor or had any medical treatment for at least six years, and I am in the best health of my life. I eat huge amounts of animal fat, from pastured animals.

    At this point, I believe that the medical profession is all about making money, with healing as an afterthought. No matter how much money is spent on researching a cure for various diseases, nothing is ever cured.
    This is deliberate, as keeping people sick means big money. All they try to do is “manage” a disease by alleviating some of the symptoms. This ensures that the patient is a constant source of money.

    I do not believe that most doctors are consciously doing this, but the system is set up to milk the herd for money. We are the herd.

    From my own experience, only real food cures.

    I will also mention that any time there is a doctor strike, anywhere in the world, the death rate goes down substantially.

    I do not believe cholesterol from real food, regardless of the type, is harmful. Cholesterol is a vital component of every cell in our bodies, especially our brains. If we do not eat or make enough Cholesterol, we die. It is that simple. There have been a number of studies showing that the more cholesterol older people have, the longer they live. Cholesterol is also used by the body to repair damage.

    Dr Weston A Price discovered, over 80 years ago, that the key to health is to eat the pure traditional foods are ancestors have eaten for thousands of years, and to avoid all modern “foods”.

    I would suggest going to the website of the Weston A Price Foundation, the best organization on earth, and reading the extensive collection of informative articles there. They cover just about everything.

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    19 Sash July 14, 2014 at 3:34 am

    I reckon it makes sense. Even GP offices are businesses after all. Health shouldn’t cost money in my opinion. Nature made it free, and then business went and ruined it. We couldn’t even exist now if nature hadn’t originally had some kind of system before we did. And now no one can agree what that system really is, nor how (or even if) to go about finding out. No one should have the right to tell (let alone force) someone how to live if they don’t even know themselves.

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    20 Katie @ Wellness Mama May 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I also suggest watching Fat Head if you haven’t already. In every client I’ve worked with, eating a high fat diet without high amounts of carbs has led to lower cholesterol and better ratios. I break it down a little more here http://wellnessmama.com/1853/prevent-heart-disease-eat-more-cholesterol/
    In general, I’d highly encourage you to do your own research and not allow yourself to be pressured by doctors. Dr. Eades explains it very well here http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/cardiovascular-disease/you-bet-your-life-an-epilogue-to-the-cholesterol-story/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+drmikenutritionblog+%28The+Blog+of+Michael+R.+Eades%2C+M.D.%29

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    21 Holly May 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Sometimes the contradictions make me laugh. We just had my daughter’s 9 month dr. appt. yesterday and was told that when we do start her on milk (no earlier than 1 year old) that it should be the whole milk and not the fat free because she needs the fat in the whole milk to develop her brain.

    I smiled and thanked her for the advice (secretly knowing we’re going with raw milk for the baby) then had to laugh because how it was phrased made it sound like once you’re older, you don’t need to develop your brain anymore! Ick. I remember how bad low fat milk tasted.

    I was so happy after my food conversion, it was nice to be able to finally have butter with my food and not feel guilty anymore. Now I happily slather butter on my food and smile!

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    22 Laura May 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Don’t worry, you will be going to the doctor much less once you start eating fat and becoming healthier. Then he’ll have less chances to pressure you into eating less fat!

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    23 Amy May 3, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    I think it’s important to always remember that YOU are in charge of your body and life. The doctor is not. You cannot be forced to take something and you don’t need to make excuses to anyone. That being said, if you tell the doctor you’re following an “all natural food” balanced diet with plenty of fruits and veggies, they probably won’t say anything. It’s all how you spin it. Also, if your numbers improve, you can tell them you’re eating whole dairy and it will challenge their beliefs and set a good example of what sort of diet really is healthiest. People are always floored when I tell them I use full-fat dairy and cook with butter or ghee. I’m very thin and healthy, so it plants a seed that maybe that’s okay. I got my parents to switch to full-fat dairy and they had improvements in bone health and cholesterol profiles. Also, if the doc gives you flak, ask him/her why moderately high cholesterol levels (like around 200) are associated with higher longevity than either low or very high cholesterol levels. Or say you don’t believe in taking medication, period.

    Also, I see comments here about reading Gary Taubes, watching Fat Head and cutting carbs. Low-carb diets make about as much sense as low-fat diets. Just go for moderation, you’ll be healthier and happier long-term. Stay away from the extremes. Plenty of non-refined carbs, moderate amounts of natural fat (the amounts your grandmother would have used), and fruits, veggies, meat, eggs, cheese, etc. Just an all-natural diet in line with your tastes and preferences. It’s hard for anyone with common sense to argue with that approach.

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    24 KitchenKop May 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    I agree with you except I’d turn it around and say unrefined carbs in moderation, and plenty of healthy fats from pastured animals. And while I agree that many do fine eating carbs, there are also many who do better eating low-carb. My sister is one. She was just telling me today that she’s been eating carbs and feels terrible. No energy, very sore joints, psoriasis is coming back, & water retention. She’s back onto low-carb now and can’t wait to feel good again.

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    25 Amy May 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Yes, but Kelly, this story with your sister proves my point. Your sister has been low-carb for a long time, which makes you less tolerant of carbs. It worsens your blood sugar regulation. This is exactly why people should not go down that path to begin with. I feel FABULOUS eating a lot of carbs. No psoriasis, no water retention, my joints feel great, I have lots of energy. I’m very thin. And I can eat what I crave, total diet satistfaction. It’s a balanced diet.

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    26 KitchenKop May 5, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Here’s the thing, though. Until she went low carb the FIRST time, she was feeling like crap. Yes, *you* feel fab eating carbs, and so do I, and I can say all the things you did (“no psoriasis, no water retention, my joints feel great, I have lots of energy”, etc.), but I’m not diabetic/pre-diabetic or obese with a long history of not eating or feeling well. I have to stick with my original statement, that it depends on the person. For some people, low carb has given them their life back, literally.

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    27 Amy May 5, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Yes, a lot depends on the person but what would have happened if she’d simply gone on a whole foods high-carb, moderate fat diet and healed her gut flora, etc.? There probably were other ways of curing her ills than a restrictive diet. Unfortunately, she’ll probably be more and more sensitive to carbs the longer she continues low-carb, and obviously she craves carbs because she went back to eating them. She’s an adult and makes her own decisions, but I think people should be aware of the downsides. I hate being the only one fighting this battle, but I feel very passionately that people should be aware of the downsides of low-carb diets. They shouldn’t be pushed the way they are on so many WAPF websites, with everyone thinking it’s the healthiest way to eat and the automatic “go to” diet. Just eat a healthy (i.e., whole foods) version of the diet you crave and you’ll be better off. At least, that should be the first step.

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    28 Katie May 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Unfortunately, no one can try every diet, which means we find what works for us. Great to hear that a high-carb diet works for you; it doesn’t for many people. And it just means that we all have different metabolisms.

    “I hate being the only one fighting this battle”: I think you’re running into a lot of people who have found that a high-carb diet does not work well for them. I know I feel the effects of a single cooked cup of oatmeal, even with a large glass of raw milk and some butter on top. I’m hungry three hours later. So for many people, the diet really needs to be “plenty of fat, some unrefined carbs”.

    After looking through a collection of recipes from the Ozarks, from the mid-1800s to early 1900s, including such things as “egg balls for soup” (5 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of flour, and seasonings), I’m pretty certain my great-grandmothers used plenty of fats. Yes, they also used carbs, but I think you really have to try eat a diet moderate in fat if you’re truly using whole foods.

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    29 Amy May 5, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I mean fighting with people on this site! In the rest of the world I’m probably considered pretty free with all of my macronutrients. People here don’t want to hear that low-carb causes issues. But I say it so people who are reading will know to look into it more. I’m not going to much longer because this causes me stress. But I am trying to make a positive difference in the world.

    I never said our ancestors were low-fat. They weren’t. They weren’t low-carb either. The idea that carbs cause issues has zero historical basis. Weston A. Price said nothing about unrefined carbs.

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    30 Katie May 5, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    If one of your references as to how diets affect people is yourself, then surely other people are allowed to use themselves. And just because you crave something doesn’t mean it is necessary for life; I think more than one person here has broken a severe sugar addiction.

    “Ancestors” is a very vague term. It depends on where those ancestors originated, because diets vary. Once again, one answer doesn’t work for everyone. And you’ll also notice Price didn’t say carbs were required. So long as all the nutrients are provided, the ratios don’t matter.

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    31 KitchenKop May 5, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Amy,

    I actually LOVE this: “But I say it so people who are reading will know to look into it more.” That is exactly how people find out what’s right for them. Thanks for sticking your neck out and encouraging people to look into things for themselves, that’s so important and I do appreciate it! :)

    Kelly

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    32 Amy May 7, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Thanks, Kelly! I appreciate you saying this.

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    33 Christie May 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    This is a perfect example of why we only go to the doctor when we absolutely must and then we only go to have exactly what we need (strep throat/ear infections/stitches) treated. Doctors are not in charge of what you do or how you live–you are. The less you let them control you the less they will. So if you don’t want your cholesterol tested while you are there for a upper respiratory infection–tell them no or do what I do and say maybe when I am feeling better. They are there to provide a service to you, not the other way around.

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    34 Erica May 3, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    The real doc resides in my refrigerator and pantry :)

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    35 Jessie May 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    I eat a lot of eggs & butter & animal fats. And my cholestral is fabulous. I was a little worried to see what it would be when I had my last test – but it was great. It was funny that even my doctor who is WAPF – friendly was a little suprised. :)

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    36 Linda May 3, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Whenever you post something about cholesterol I read it. High cholesterol is something I had to deal with for a very long time. I’ve been doing the WAPF diet long enough that I don’t worry about it anymore. I haven’t been to my dr to test it for around 3 years.

    My issue is with my husband. He doesn’t have a cholesterol problem. I know I’ve mentioned this before, his dr has him on a statin to control his blood sugar level. I keep getting mixed up with all that, but his dr said he was on his way to becoming diabetic. The statin is supposed to raise his HDL (I think). It’s too low. If statin is bad for people with high cholesterol I figure it’s bad, period. At the dr’s suggestion we went low carb. For us that means cutting back on grains. We don’t have a lot of bread, rice, pasta, etc. My husband just had another check up and he still has to take statin. I think he’s been on them for a year, maybe longer. He knows I don’t like it, but he still takes them. Now that we are eating right and exercising regularly will he really become diabetic if he stops taking the statin? I would like to throw them away.

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    37 Amy May 4, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Linda, to add to Valerie’s comment below, statins are associated with worse blood sugar control and increased risk of diabetes. I think even mainstream doctors realize the risk (though maybe not). Do some internet research for your husband to bring to his doctor for the next visit. There are definitely peer-reviewed studies to back this up.

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    38 Amy May 4, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Also, low-carb will likely not help long-term. It’s a short-term fix. Up to you, and I know people will jump all over me for this comment, but look into it more on your own and make your own decision. High-carb, high-nutrient diets are actually more helpful for pre-diabetics.

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    39 Sash July 14, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Amy, I thought you should know that you might need to do some more research on pre-diabetes, and include hypoglycemia in your search. As someone who gets hypoglycemia, is somewhat pre-diabetic, but is of yet not diabetic, it is my experience that highly refined carbs become a trigger for a vicious cycle in blood sugar drops. High GI foods are most responsible for a large surge in blood sugar, and then an equally large surge of insulin.
    Rising blood sugar more slowly can have less impact, and cause less hypos to cycle back very quickly. Diabetics will sometimes resort to quick carbs for emergencies, but if they can stay on top of their levels and balance it without those steps, it’s less stress, and less likely to require them needing insulin again too soon (diabetes treated with insulin or diaphormin). I might also point out that some people have successfully treated diabetes 1 and 2 with low carb diets reducing the need for insulin supplementation. Very controversial, but worth a look with an open mind.
    Overstimulating the pancreas can lead to it becoming stressed, and even fail, as well as high insulin levels can also cause insulin resistance.
    I wholeheartedly agree that balance is important. I just hope in your resistance to the opinions on this site you didn’t accidently try to push complete opposite.
    Nutrition is definitely important for pre-diabetics like myself, just as it is for diabetics, and all fellow humans. However telling the difference between types of carbs is also a part of nutritional study now, just as different types of fats and cholesterol. Finding the balance level for each person in different nutrients and food values, even some doctors admit, is often a game of “try and see”. DNA manages to make certain biochemical differences between some people that could mean the difference between anemia and hemochromatosis. Unfortunately, genetic studies have trouble getting under way with obstacles like religious ethics and business ethics. It’s very far behind.
    Anyway, I hope your day is good, and your vibrant health continues, and perhaps you will delight in looking up some of my points with the same enthusiasm. The choice is of course yours. :) I apologize that the post is long. The topic isn’t the most simple one.

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    40 Sash July 14, 2014 at 4:28 am

    Ps: you could add “long term health effects of high blood sugar” to the search. Side effects are not pretty, and worse: doctors can’t do anything about some of the damage that can be done, such as neuropathy. In advanced stages, no one would call it a life.
    Low bsl can cause seizures and coma, even death. Like I said, balance is the main sought after ideal.

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    41 KitchenKop May 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Hi Linda,

    I agree with the others that you’ll want to do some big time internet research, but all I can tell you is what I would do…

    I’d toss the statins and keep hubs away from all sweets and *very* limited unrefined carbs. (Cool that your doc recommended low carb!) Also is he taking the fermented cod liver oil consistently? Also I’d suggest only meat from a farm with animals on pasture, and plenty of healthy fats from pastured animals.

    Any one else have more ideas to help Linda’s husband who is pre-diabetic??

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    42 Linda May 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Kelly, we are already cutting the sweets for the most part. We both take fermented clo everyday. I buy local pastured meats, eggs and chicken only. I make fermented foods to have everyday. He does take those instant packs of oatmeal to work for breakfast, organic. I want to cut that out and find better options for him. I have cut down on the amount of fruit I buy. He would eat 5 pieces of fruit everyday, but I thought that was too much fructose. I plan on stocking up at the farmers’ market this weekend. I don’t believe in long term prescription drugs. It may be helping him, but what else is it doing? I believe in the NT diet and I really hope I can get him straight.

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    43 Amy May 4, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Linda, do more research, and not just on low-carb sites. Going low-carb will actually worsen his blood sugar regulation in the long run, it’s a short-term fix only. There is nothing wrong with oatmeal and fruit (although he should eat real, soaked oatmeal, not those packets). My dad reversed his pre-diabetes with a diet that includes starch and fruit. It can absolutely be done. Just a balanced diet of whole foods, low PUFAs (even chicken can be higher than ideal in PUFA if you eat the skin, beef is sometimes better), unrefined carbs only if possible (or at least mostly), high in fiber. No chemicals or processed foods. Plenty of veggies, and some fruit. Regular, light exercise like walking is really helpful for reversing pre-diabetes, too. Reducing stress is extremely helpful.

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    44 WordVixen May 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I would absolutely get him off the statins. My father is taking Niacin and Red Yeast Rice (natural products that have the same effects as statins- ALL of the same effects) and has found it completely impossible to control his blood sugar now. He used to be fine with a bit of Metformin, but since going on statins (or statin-like supplements) he now has to take injections. It’s absolutely horrible, and I want nothing more than to ream out his doctor.

    My husband’s doctor? Put him on statins to PREVENT high cholesterol (never mind that they’ve never been shown to do that, even in their own biased trials). Then had the nerve to tell my husband that he’s pre-diabetic and assigns him to fasting tests every 6 months.

    And people wonder why I don’t like to go to the doctor?

    Like Amy said- statins are bad for blood sugar issues.

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    45 Sash July 14, 2014 at 4:52 am

    To Linda, I have yet to hear anything good about statins. Maybe ask the doctor about alternatives, and perhaps even seek another professional opinion to be sure.
    I don’t think that people just get diabetes because they didn’t take a drug. If the doctor agrees, maybe he could slowly ween off them.
    You can also speak to a nutritionist. There are various enzymes and the like found in many foods that are believed to support the balance in the body with things like insulin level. I believe blueberries were one in particular I love that are said to do this. The amount of carbs in some blueberries isn’t like eating grapes, or lollies.
    Nutrition and dietetics is a fascinating study. ;)
    I believe it was Hippocrates who said your food is your medicine and your medicine is your food. Or something along those lines. This line of thinking is nothing new. Even animals seek out particular herbs and foods when they are ill. I’d once seen a cat chewing on grass at times.
    Turns out the grass had vitamins in it. :) It still predominantly ate meat, but it got the extra boost when it needed it.
    I hope you and your husband find your answers. Perhaps nothing is set in stone, and you both just keep trying till things work out.
    Take care. :)

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    46 ValerieH May 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    @Linda, I think you should do some research on statins. I have heard of some bad side effects. I read of one study where the people taking statins died more often than the control group. My chiro told me if I ever went on BP/cholesterol meds, I would be diabetic in 2 yrs. He has seen too many people go that route. Please research this for yourself. The best way to raise HDL is exactly what you are doing, eating low-carb. Enjoy eggs cooked in butter, steak, pork chops, …etc.. remember the salad :)

    risk of diabetes from TAKING statins. this is from webmd (pretty mainstream!) http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/news/20100217/statins-may-be-linked-to-diabetes-risk

    good luck!

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    47 Linda May 4, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks to everyone who replied back to me. I’ve been trying to figure out where to look for good info. I generally find it here and WAPF site. I thought low carb was better for us but I will have to look into it. I think we need to eat more meat. I want to be sure he is getting plenty of good fats. We are on a tight budget so I don’t buy as much meat. Also have cut back on pastas. I hope I get this figured out.

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    48 Amy May 4, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    You don’t need to eat tons of meat, or a totally different diet. Especially if money is an issue – it will just stress you out. Keep the carbs unrefined and that will make a huge difference. Even brown rice pasta instead of regular pasta helps. Rice and beans, to stretch out a little meat, maybe with some homemade broth, is a perfectly healthy meal. Have real food instead of processed, take out all the chemicals. Fruits and veggies. Little changes that don’t require a massive dietary change really do add up. At least try that first before going whole hog low-carb. That should be a LAST resort, not a first.

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    49 Leah May 4, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    You’re pretty hard on “low carb”. What exactly is your definition of “low carb” anyway? Research generally defines it as less than the average American (300 g/day). Do you think it’s necessary to eat 300 g/day of carbs to be healthy? Just wondering. How did our predecessors eat 300 g/carbs before the advent of agriculture? Certainly those living away from the equator must have had difficulty as fruits/veggies would only be available a few months out of the year. It seems that Americans’ definition of “low carb” would be a pretty natural human diet. But maybe I’m just misinterpreting you and you’re referring to a VLC diet or a ketogenic diet?
    Also, again, why would a low carb lifestyle be dangerous? It seems to me the only downside would be if one was planning to return to a high carb lifestyle after. What if some people are just happy to live low carb for life? I mean, aren’t you planning to eat whole foods for life? Obviously, if you change your way of eating, your health could deteriorate. That’s a given with any lifestyle change. You have to keep it up to continue experiencing the benefits. Don’t you have a harder time tolerating, say, canola oil, now that you eat whole foods? I know I do. Does this mean it’s unnatural for me to cut out canola oil?
    I disagree with your suggestion to switch to whole grains. I think it would be more beneficial to eat carbs from other plant sources like fruits and veggies than to get them from grains (there are still cheap plant sources of carbs, like yams). IMHO, grains are fillers. If we’re talking about eating “moderate carbs” (which is what I THINK you’re recommending), this would be a lot easier to accomplish getting those carbs by eating fruits/veggies/meat/healthy fats til satiated. (Although I wouldn’t argue against properly prepared grains on occasion, if you can tolerate them, I just don’t think they’re a *necessary* dietary staple).
    I also find the argument that you’re thin kind of unsubstantial. I’m thin, too. I’ve always been thin. In fact, I was even thin 2 months after giving birth to my first son while eating fast food nearly twice/day and not exercising. That has nothing to do with health, and it certainly has nothing to do with what will work for someone else.
    Finally, Fat Head clearly explains the correlation between fat and cholesterol (higher sat fat diet actually improves cholesterol readings), which is why it is recommended here. There’s a lot more to the movie than “low carb”. It’s about fat, after all, it’s called “FAThead”.
    I eat whole foods (nuts, fruits, veggies, meat, some dairy and healthy fats), no grains, but I would probably be classified as “low carb”, since I doubt I even eat over 100 g of carbs/day (although I don’t count). I don’t really see how this could be seen as an extreme or undesirable diet, but, like I said, maybe I’m just misinterpreting your definition of low carb.

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    50 Amy May 5, 2011 at 9:42 am

    I don’t count carbs so I have no idea how close I come to 300g/day. I personally consider low-carb as active effort to restrict carbs below what you would naturally eat to appetite. If you want carbs but aren’t eating them, you’re lower than you should be. Generally, I would say under 100g/day is definitely low-carb, and if I had to pick an “ideal” number I would probably say at least over 200g/day is best.

    A low-carb lifestyle is dangerous because in addition to worsening blood sugar regulation, it increases cortisol, stresses the adrenal glands, and negatively affects the thyroid. The other problem is, almost no one really can stay on it for life. It’s an unsustainable diet, your body craves carbs for a reason, and eventually you’ll give in. If you don’t, you’ll be dealing with the health problems that come up from the issues described above. In my personal life, the people I know who restrict carbs are in the worst health. Worse than my low-fat friends, in fact. And they gain fat incredibly easily.

    If someone really eats a low-carb diet naturally, according to their true appetite (i.e., it’s what they’ve always craved, they just really have never liked eating a carb) then fine. But I’ve never actually seen that. It is a diet, and diets are not sustainable by nature and bring in issues of guilt, restriction and binges.

    I don’t think you need to eat grains to be healthy. If you prefer fruit and tubers, that’s no issue at all. But, overall, I think we should be unrestrictive with our diets and listen to our cravings (while eating whole foods). If you want oatmeal, eat it. If you want steak, eat it. Ditto with a banana. It’s when you ignore these urges that you go against your body and get health problems. The body balances things out if you let it.

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    51 Amy May 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Also, I don’t have a harder time tolerating canola oil, or anything else. Actually, I’ve noticed improved tolerance of soybean oil in particular – I think my gut in in better health. I choose to avoid it when possible, but if I’m out with friends and they order fries or wings or something, I have no problem afterwards. When your gut health is good, you can eat anything short-term without ill effect.

    I saw Gary Taubes said somewhere that he can’t eat fruit (like a piece or two) without gaining weight. This is an indication of a problem.

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    52 Leah May 5, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Don’t be silly. Everyone here has eliminated or is working to eliminate something from their diet. If my body craves a Big Mac, I’m not going to eat one because someone will call me orthorexic if I deny myself.
    That’s fine if you’re very passionate about LC, I’m happy to entertain other opinions, but I think it’s very unfair to say “LC causes xyz” if you yourself have not even defined what LC is in this case. There’s an enormous difference between, say, a ketogenic diet and standard low carb. Or moderate carb. How can you be so passionate about pointing out the dangers of something you can’t even define? Are you talking about Atkins? Mark Sisson? Richard Nicholey’s LC? Leangains?
    From an archeological point of view, it doesn’t make sense that high carbs would be a biological necessity, so it would take a lot of contradicting evidence to prove otherwise, for me.

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    53 Amy May 5, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    You’re welcome to believe what you want, I just want people to do research before they go down a restricted diet path. When did I ever say people should eat big macs? If you crave a burger, eat a juicy, grassfed burger, not a big mac! I didn’t give specifics because I honestly believe there’s no “one guideline” for how many to eat. If you’re craving carbs, tempted to binge on them at times, these are signs you’re eating too few. I am quoting established health risks from low-carb diets, and if you want to talk archaeology, people show extreme preferences for eating carbs throughout history. I am not a doctor, neither are you, neither are the people you listed above except Atkins, and he stated some of the health risks of long-term low-carb such as thyroid issues. I would define low-carb at the extreme as ketogenic, and at the less extreme as “cutting carbs” below what you crave. It’s a range.

    I did recover from a damaged metabolism brought on by an eating disorder so I can offer my own experience. And I have a great metabolism today, this is not nothing. And all I have learned from myself and watching others is that intuitive eating is the only way to have balance and peace with food, and proper health. Dieting will not get you there. You are more than welcome to disagree, but I stand by that statement.

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    54 Leah May 6, 2011 at 8:18 am

    I never claimed you said to eat a big mac…but you said “eat what you crave”. Sometimes I crave Reese’s peanut butter cups. By your definition, I should resist this craving because it is unhealthy by your standards, but if I crave carbs, I should eat them because my body clearly needs them. Did you ever consider the fact that people may crave more carbs because they’re eating a lot of carbs? Many people have this experience. I’m just pointing out that it is not a valid argument to say that because your body craves something, it is what it needs. Some pregnant woman crave chalk and laundry detergent, and I certainly wouldn’t advise them to eat that.
    I’m tempted to binge on chocolate and red wine from time to time, and I don’t think this is a sign that I need more alcohol and sugar in my diet. I’m sorry, the argument doesn’t ring true.
    My previous comment did not say that our ancestors preferred low carb or that there are not societies did not thrive on high carb diets. It said that there would be times in history where a low carb diet would have been necessity for many many people. You cannot argue that this is not true. Before agriculture (grains and off season fruits/veggies), people would only have seasonal fruits and animal products. These people thrived without health problems, so I have a very hard time believing that low carb eating would be inherently unhealthy or unnatural. It would have been the only choice for many cultures. If a low carb diet it to our detriment, mother nature must be pretty stupid.
    Again, I don’t call my way of eating a diet, and I don’t think anyone here would call his/her way of eating a diet. Your “intuitive eating” still does not include certain foods, I am sure, just like mine doesn’t. Just because we choose to exclude different foods does not make mine more restrictive than yours! It does not make it more or less sustainable than yours. It just makes it different! Why is my way of eating a “diet” while yours is a lifestyle? I don’t deny myself when I’m hungry.
    Anyway, I would agree that people need to do their own research and see what works for them. I just think the fault in these arguments just needed corrected. LC can be a lifestyle the way whole foods eating can be a lifestyle, without being restricting. And telling people to eat what they crave is just silly, as people can crave anything from chalk to cocaine. But what you’re actually saying is “eat what you crave, as long as it is healthy (by my standards)”. Well, that’s exactly how I think people should eat, my beliefs on healthy eating are just different than yours.

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    55 Zoe June 11, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Unlike Amy, I’m not going to say that “low carb is unhealthy”. Everybody’s body is different. But I will agree with her that you need to LISTEN to your body. One of the things Weston A. Price discovered from his studies was that human beings can survive and thrive on MANY different types of diets as long as it is REAL FOOD and not processed crap.

    Clara Davis’s studies with small babies letting them intuitively eat bore out the same thing. Obviously if she’d had things like Big Macs and Reese Cups as options for the children, the study would not have gone so well.

    But the point is that if you listen to your body and eat real food, it will tell you want it wants/needs. It doesn’t actually follow that eating a lot of carbs will automatically make you crave it. Once you remove the sugar and crap from your diet, you can start to get a feel for what you actually want to eat. (And pause to consider how “natural” it would be for a hunter/gatherer out in the wild to say: “Oh wait, this is too many carbs, I need to be eating meat and fat right now.)

    The problem that I think Amy is talking about is with people deciding there is this “one ideal diet” out there that is going to be best for all people and we are all obligated to eat it. I eat a lot of fruit. I like fruit. I don’t see myself giving that up. I Eat maybe 3 servings of grain a day, sometimes less. Other people would balk at that because OH NOES GRAINS!, but that’s where I am right now. Will I ever give grains up totally? Probably not, though I may eventually relegate them to weekend cheat meals. I’m not sure yet. Depends on how I feel about it.

    But I don’t think it follows that if you crave Reese cups that your body must need sugar, as you sort of sarcastically implied. I think that the food industry is pretty smart about triggering the pleasure centers of our brains. But once you are eating real food and are off the fake food, then you can start to figure out what is best for you.

    And it’s true that everyone defines “low carb” differently. I can’t see how anyone really needs 300 grams of carbs, but… maybe they do. I am not them.

    If some people want to eat high fat or low fat or high carb or low carb or high protein or low protein, or some equal split between the three, it doesn’t matter. As long as they take the time to look into it and are eating in a way that is sustainable for them over the long term, that makes THEM feel good, and that is real food.

    Populations on traditional diets who had sudden changes to processed foods did much worse health-wise than those who were on crap from day one and never changed.

    I don’t really like how Amy seems to be jumped on here. She has a valid concern about low-carb. Not necessarily “because it’s low carb”, but because the temptation is for someone to find something that works for them and extrapolate it out to some “one true way” of food religion, which everyone else is then obligated to follow or else they are “wrong”.

    Her concerns are valid and aren’t meant to keep anyone from eating in the way that is right for them, but is probably more meant for people who are new to all this and just now making their decisions about how they want to eat.

    I really appreciate that Kelly doesn’t do that here (one true wayism). However, even so, she’s still pretty passionate about very moderate carbs. Which is fine. But no one way is right for everyone.

    But we all have to find our own way, and you have to admit that while blogs like this provide a lot of great information, when people get together to discuss healthy eating, it becomes a religion and dissenting voices are silenced or shouted down.

    That’s no way to be. I’m in the Nina Planck “Real Food” school of thought. Eat real food. Beyond that, eat what you want. For most human beings the big health problems come from either eating a lot of processed crap or from eating a really restrictive diet (which is what Amy warns about). Not everybody is meant to eat “low-carb” or “high fat” or “high carb”, and you might not actually “know” you aren’t meant to eat that way until you have health issues from eating that way long term. Which is why, healthy and balanced are the rules of the day.

    Anything extreme carries more risk. It could also carry more reward for some, but not always.

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    56 Melissa May 4, 2011 at 12:03 am

    I don’t have anything ground breaking to add, but I did want to add to the conversation. I’ve spent the majority of my life on low fat diets of some sort. I’ve also spent the majority of my life struggling with obesity. Since I stopped “dieting” and started focusing on real foods (including whole milk, real butter and eggs) and adopting a good exercise program, my health has never been better. I’ve lost 76lbs and I feel better than I ever have. Now I’m a fitness professional and I am passionate about helping others get healthier. My clients are always shocked when they hear that I drink real milk and use butter and I won’t go near anything low fat or artificially sweetened.

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    57 Brenda May 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I was on statin drugs to lower my cholesterol for years, I think I tried every one that came out, until finally I had “had it”. Before I ever learned about the WPdiet I knew I had to quit those horrible drugs. They almost killed me and I don’t say that lightly. I believe I am still paying the price for the damage they did….and that is they basically destroyed the muscle in different places in my body, mostly hips and shoulder areas. The last doctor I went to was a cardiologist and when he told me to try yet another “new” statin drug, I told him I wouldn’t. He finally agreed with me and said “yes, it looks like the cure is worse than the disease”. I don’t worry about my cholesterol at all anymore and haven’t had it checked in several years. I have also been told that some people just make more cholesterol and that it’s genetic in my case. My mother and my grandfather died of a massive heart attack at age 59, so you can see why the docs wanted me on statins. I will never take them again and tell everyone I know to stay far, far away from them. (Sorry this is so long….I’d better quit!). I appreciate so much all the information I get on this blog (and others) and yes we eat, butter, raw milk, grass fed beef (and goat!) and yummy free range chicken eggs…lots of them!

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    58 Heather@Food Ponderings May 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Gary Taubes does just fine on a low-carb diet (see his blog at http://www.garytaubes.com). No blood sugar or cholesterol issues there.

    I have this argument over and over again with my MIL; she cannot get past the “fat is bad” argument, and her husband, who she keeps harping on to lose weight, can’t, and is on BP/statin/thyroid/blood sugar meds. I keep saying, obviously this isn’t working, folks. But whatever. I do what I can, and when they eat at my house, they eat right.

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    59 Laura--The Sushi Snob May 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    When I told someone that I drink whole milk, she gasped because there was a woman in our church who was told to stop drinking whole milk because she had high cholesterol! I question what else she was eating to make her cholesterol so high.

    Ever since I started drinking whole milk and using more butter in my diet, I have been so much healthier and happier. I don’t feel like I’m starving all the time now!

    My dad was diagnosed with diabetes last year, and the doctor told him that he needed to lose weight or start medication. My dad cut carbs and sugar out of his diet almost completely, started exercising, and he lost 70 pounds! It reversed the diabetes diagnosis. His doctor nearly died, but was extremely happy. It’s not just the doctors who are handing out the prescriptions, it’s people who think, “Oh, I might as well gain more weight–I’ll just have to go on meds anyway.” We’re a society of people who expect the doctor to have a prescription for everything, when so many problems could be solved by diet change.

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    60 Amber May 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    As far as adults go, I think we can agree it is easier than we think to take charge of our own health. We ARE in charge of our own health. I think where the conflict plays out is for children. Doctors know how to yank our chains with kids. Down here in S. Texas we have an extremely over-reactive medical community in cahoots with CPS. There have been specific cases where a parent refused a doctor’s advice and CPS was called in to remove the children under the guise of neglect. Sometimes yes we can fib or lie our way through a situation (especially when it comes to our own bodies) but there are times when it comes to children where there is a scary balance between what we believe is right vs. what institutions believe is right…and punish you for not agreeing.

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    61 Debbie May 5, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    My husband is a chiropractor and we are always running into this no fat thing. A friend brought her son in to be seen right after seeing her pediatrician. She told us her pediatrician specifically checked her childrens diets warning her about to much cholesterol. She is getting more educated on what a real diet is about but it is so unreal that a childrens doctor would be that uninformed.
    We hear this all the time with adults. Guys with diabetes,heart problems, chronic inflammation of some sort. Good fats are always an issue that has to be cleared up with patients as you always have a medico giving incorrect diet
    advice worsening their condition unless they take drugs. Their condition always does improve as they move to a real food diet with good fats ignoring
    the bad advice and politically correct diet plans (unfermented soy, low-fat products etc). With a real food diet in mind, we do find that some people can tolerate more meat, carb or some other food better than another. Its just better for that person’s digestion to eat less meat and emphasize more fish where another person can eat meat everyday and maybe stays lighter on the carbs compared to somebody else.
    Everybody has to learn what their body handles better.

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    62 S. May 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Can anyone here give examples of how much butter (in terms of tbsp for example) or whole milk or whole eggs you eat in one day? or how much meat? or…if you have all four, how much do you guys have? I eat the amount I’m comfortable with, and I won’t blindly do what you guys do per se, but I’m just curious about what you guys do.

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    63 KitchenKop May 25, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    It’s hard for me to give you an example, because each day I just eat however much of those that I want. Some days might be less or more than others, it just depends on what I’m serving. Amounts are a total non-issue for me. The only foods I try to limit are sweets and starches, and I don’t always do that very well!

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    64 Christie May 25, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    hmmmm–well today we had oatmeal and each of us had a tablespoon of butter and whole grassfed milk in it (say about 1/8 cup). For snack we had the same milk with some strawberries say around a cup and a half–I must admit I did add some chocolate to this batch. Lunch is grilled cheese and we use butter there again, and now some juice. Dinner all beef no nitrate hotdogs, fresh mozzarella cheese with tomatoes, and a few more strawberries. I don’t really keep track though most of the time. I just try to stay within some parameters and don’t worry about the rest.

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    65 S. May 29, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    I just want to say that I’ve been coming here often because I have been liking your blog so much, but I’m sorry if I’m making so many recent comments:) This low-fat issue is a rather new one for me, even though I’ve wondered why I struggled with weight and hunger all my life.

    I think that my eating habits are starting to worry my father – I do use regular milk (which really isn’t too thick as some feel it is – I got used to it eventually), I eat a whole egg per day, I use 2 tbsp butter a day (sometimes it becomes 3 but I don’t tell him that), for example. But he’s a heart patient and no matter how much I’ve tried to educate him on information I’ve found from various websites, he still thinks deep down that whole milk things clog arteries, and the most I was able to tell him is that there is no proof that they do – but that hydrogenated oils can/do, and too many carbohydrates can if your triglycerides go up too much, etc.

    For example, I’ll take a product that people will say “OMG don’t eat that” LOL. A Subway pizza. My dad gets this now and then when he is too tired to cook anything but he worries that the cheese will clog his arteries and even I don’t know if it will because if it comes a restaurant, I don’t know what they do with it, to be honest. I do think that the white flour is a big time “warning sign” in and of itself, but he’s never been “taught” to believe that these kinds of flours can be dangerous, so he’s not too convinced that full-fat cheese isn’t demonic.

    It’s a tough road to follow when you’re living with someone who is worried about your eating habits because they’re entrenched in the low-fat mentality – and I even have some ways to go before I get less scared, but I’m trying.

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    66 Soli @ I Believe In Butter May 30, 2011 at 9:29 am

    S., I saw this article in my blog reader feed and thought it might provide some help for your situation. I wish you much luck and I hope your father takes notice. http://wholefoodusa.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/new-large-study-eating-lots-of-cheese-and-dairy-products-does-not-cause-heart-disease/

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    67 KitchenKop May 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    S.

    “I just want to say that I

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    68 Lee June 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Dear S.
    When people have lived their entire life completely entrenched in one paradigm it is extraordinarily hard for them to change quickly or even at all. My own father in law is soon to be 75 and although he has lived with us and near us for the last 12 years, witnessed our family food revolution and seen the beautiful, healthy children it has produced he is still skeptical. Daily breakfast still consists of shredded wheat, skim milk and egg whites while we eat bacon, whole eggs and plenty of butter and raw, whole milk. He constantly gets sick, we are always healthy. When we talk about it, however, I always try to emphasize that we are focused on whole food that is completely unprocessed until it gets into our kitchen. I keep saying how God put yolks in our eggs and cream in our milk, he designed cows to eat grass and animals to live outside. When we live according to the way the nature of things SHOULD be then we are healthy. Maybe this argument will help with your own father. ?? Don’t give up, keep being an example!!

    Reply

    69 S. June 3, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    I hear you, lee. I have to point out that I’m not trying to force my dad to change his eating but to merely help him not worry so much about any changes I’d like to make for my own self.

    Something that bothers me very much is this:(
    The way that people will say how things like butter are bad for you but when you want to avoid anything with hydrogenated oils, people seem to “shrug their shoulders.” I just want to SCREAM! the other day my mom’s caretaker recommended a recipe in which we could use Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom (or Cream of whatever) soup with chicken and my mind immediately raced and thought “what if there’s MSG or partially hydrogenated oils in it? I don’t want it!” but I knew that if I said something, no one would even care about it! :( I am caring very much about this issue, more so now that I’ve been looking into this stuff and I want to avoid this crap as much as possible but I don’t feel like anyone really wants to listen to me – and if they don’t want to actually listen to me, they should at least think about it.

    In the meantime, dad went back to eating his rolls with margarine:( maybe he’s eating it “to get rid of it” (it’s been around ever before I started talking to dad about these concerns) but it makes me very sad. :( as I said in the beginning – I don’t want to make him do anything that HE’S uncomfortable with but he feeds the same stuff to my incapacitated mom and I’m terrified that he doesn’t heed the dangers of these kinds of oils – because I’ll suffer in the process (I live with my parents in order to help take care of mom and he cooks for us).

    it makes me so sad. I feel stupid telling people that I want to avoid partially hydrogenated oils because they just look unphased by it!!! :(

    Reply

    70 KitchenKop June 4, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Dear S,

    I soooooo feel your pain, girl! And I’m sorry to say, but you must get used to this. You don’t want to be “normal” anymore. Have you heard how Dave Ramsey says that when it comes to finances, we WANT to not be like everyone else, because everyone else is in debt! The same thing applies to our health. We are Real Food “freaks”, and that’s a GOOD thing. :)

    Have you seen this post: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2010/05/5-dave-ramsey-money-principles-5-kitchen-kop-real-food-principles.html

    Kelly

    Reply

    71 S. June 30, 2011 at 1:53 am

    I was googling something about pigs and came across this site :(

    http://www.giveshare.org/Health/health5.html

    I scrolled down and saw a heading “Don’t Eat The Fat” (you have to scroll down quite a bit to get to the heading) and I got all shaken up AGAIN…it’s trying to give Biblical reasons as to why eating fat from the meat is bad and how the Egyptians suffered many diseases. : (

    I don’t know what to think anymore. I’m kind of demoralized right now.

    Reply

    72 Lee June 30, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I understand your feelings, however this person’s theology is very mixed up as well as his knowledge of nutrition of the ancient times as well as more modern times. I merely turn to the teachings in Acts 10 when Peter is given the freedom from the bonds of the Mosaic dietary laws to know that I, too, am not bound by them.
    All ancient cultures had sacred foods, as recorded by Weston Price and many others, and they were all similar in that they provided for the health of the populations that ate them. The blood restrictions, as I understand, were more for philosophical reasons since salvation comes through blood rather than dietary restriction for safety. It is unequivocally evidenced in the studies of the Masai tribes that generations of healthy people can and do live on blood as a major part of their nutrition.
    While there is some evidence that the meat of pigs may have carcinogenic properties there is also equal evidence showing that it is safe and healthy. What is more there is definite evidence that the fat of pigs who live outdoors and are allowed to express their “pigness” (according to Salatin) is extremely health-giving and provides much nourishment to those who eat it regularly.
    I tend to see many modern commentaries writing with a cloud of USDA Dietary Guidelines polluting their thinking when it comes to analyzing the Jewish dietary laws. Considering the writing in Leviticus on fat used in sacrifice it is written “all of the fat is the Lord’s” and when you drop the USDA mindset and instead think of it in terms of sacred foods you see really that this scripture is saying that fat is so sacred, so important that when you make a sacrifice you don’t get to keep any of the fat (even though the priests were allowed to eat some of the meat) so that it is truly a sacrifice. The fat would otherwise have gone to nourish the children and pregnant women and give strength to the men living in harsh desert climates. There are no restrictions on not eating fat when you slaughter an animal for simple family consumption – ONLY when you slaughter an animal to be used as ritual sacrifice. Therefore the people living in those times would take extra care not to waste the fat portions in animals they were slaughtering to feed themselves with since those portions were obviously very sacred to God.
    When I get confused by all that is available on the internet and in conflicting commentaries I always return to Galatians 5:1 and remember that I live under grace!
    Hope this helps!

    Reply

    73 L. August 7, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    I’m a little late jumping in on this (I just found the blog), and there’s been a lot of great and informative comments, but really, how can a doctor ‘force’ anyone to eat low-fat? Does he live in your house? Does he plan and cook your meals? Does he tackle you when you get near real butter; whole, raw milk; or a nice, fatty ribeye?

    I’ve heard people worry about a doctor prescribing statins. If a doctor prescribed them for me, I’d take the prescription, put it through my shredder, and not worry about it again. (Getting this sort or a prescription is highly unlikely as I’m finally losing weight by eating real food and dealing with my insulin resistance by practically eliminating refined carbs and grains (and find I’m enjoying fresh fruits and veggies more than ever), and I don’t go to an allopathic doc unless I’m very sick – haven’t been in years and, even then, I didn’t receive much help and am doing much better since I decided to go it alone.)

    There are more and more places where you can get lab work done without a doctor’s prescription. If I wondered about my lab values, I’d get them checked that way and not through a doctor, even though insurance pays for all lab work.

    Reply

    74 Kelly the Kitchen Kop August 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Wow, I didn’t know there were places you could get lab work done w/o a doc’s prescription! I wonder if insurance would still cover it that way, though?

    Reply

    75 L. August 7, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Our insurance wouldn’t pay for it. And part of the appeal, at least for me, is that the insurance company can’t mess with us if they don’t know what’s going on.

    Check out ZRT Labs – I’ve ordered tests from them through the Canary Club. They used to just have saliva tests, but they’ve added in blood spot tests in the last couple of years. And my husband and I just saw a storefront lab called something like ‘Your Lab Test Now’ with a sign out front that mentioned not needing a doctor’s prescription.

    However, ZRT can’t ship tests or test results to addresses in California or New York, however.

    Reply

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