Before we get to the essence of this post, I must warn you: you are about to go down the rabbit hole. This whole field of knowledge is full of controversies and contradictions. Everyone knows there is this scary substance in our blood called cholesterol, and we need as little of it as possible, right? Oh, and everyone also knows there is bad cholesterol and good cholesterol, right? Well, just start researching it, and these seemingly commonly acknowledged notions suddenly become so very non-obvious, you might regret ever getting interested. However, we are after real health here, right?
Battles are raging on the internet. Flames are all over these scorching hot topics. Do we need to count calories or can we eat to our heart content, as long as macros are right? Which macros are right? How much fat? Is there a limit to consuming fat bombs and putting butter sticks in our coffee? To every meek “I do everything by the rules, yet don’t lose a single pound” there is a scolding “You must be doing something wrong, because it worked for me,” cheerful “Continue doing it, it will work,” or consoling “You are getting healthier, that’s what matters.”
Reading Rob Wolf’s recently published brilliant book Wired to Eat, I was immediately struck by the remark he made at the beginning. It touched on the theme that bothered me for a while. Here is a quote, and see if it sounds true to you as well:
Perhaps even more frustrating, however, was the tendency for folks who actually followed the Paleo diet to turn the general concepts into quasi-religious doctrine. Folks newly converted to Paleo tended to be quite dogmatic in the insistence that this was “the one true way” to eat. Often, these devotees had reversed serious health problems with this way of eating, so their enthusiasm was understandable, but not many people enjoy the company of or the message from someone who comes across as a holier-than-thou diet zealot.
This is an update to the older post with new blood sugar test information, showing the progress since publishing the book. As a threat of regaining the weight and holding the blood sugar in check remain a concern for many, I thought such an update would be helpful.
The concept of “listening to your body” is commonly mentioned and seems intuitive. In reality, though, it can introduce a lot of confusion if taken literally. Really, when our body says “Gimme more sugar!” – should we listen to it and obey? When we strive to eat till satiety, don’t we set ourselves up for a failure since we usually feel full noticeably later than we actually get out fill? Finally, when our body reaches for another handful of peanuts or pretzels in a bout of mindless munching in front of TV, should we listen to it?
Is type 2 diabetes reversible? For one man, the answer is yes. In his own words, here’s the story of how Vadym Graifer freed himself from diabetes by tearing up the rulebook.
Don’t swim with the current.
Don’t swim against the current.
Swim to where you need to be.
It sounded attractively rebellious, mature and self-reliant. I loved it. For a good reason too, as it turned out 40 years later.
We are being bombarded with study results from every which way on daily basis. It’s impossible not to notice a few patterns in this never-ending stream. They flip-flop more often than a politician trying to appease various audiences; one day we read about red wine preventing heart disease, next day they tell us the opposite. Cheese goes from bad to good to tolerable in moderation, milk follows the suit, and don’t even get me started on red meat. You must eat your breakfast according to one study even if you are not hungry, until the next one tells you to stop it at once. Saturated fat kills you on sight or cures most of the known diseases. It goes on and on.
United States Department of Agriculture just published a new report on a dietary assessment, essentially reflecting how we followed (or didn’t) their guidelines. This document covers the time period from 1970 to 2014, which closely approximates the time from adopting low-fat dietary advice to our days. Knowing how obesity and diabetes exploded over this time, it’s interesting to see whether we followed the advice or ate our way to diabetes against it.