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My Low Carb/Question Authority Plan

Sunday, December 16, 2018

In my rebellious youth, I used to have a pin that said "Question Authority." Today I'm thinking about that pin and how I'm using that slogan to question those in positions of authority when it comes to diet and nutritional advice, like the USDA, the American Diabetes Association, and many nutritionists. It's almost sad that at my age, I find it hard to know what in the world I'm supposed to eat! I've tried so many diets, gained and lost pounds many times, counted so many calories, felt hungry and deprived so many days...it gets frustrating.
But, I'm not one to give up. I'm a curious person who always reads and researches topics on science and nutrition. And in the past six months some things came together that opened up my ability to learn even more. Due to a change in my TV cable package, I now can watch YouTube videos on my television. I could always watch them on my computer, but I didn't want to sit in front of a computer even longer than a work day. But now I can see them on TV, and I have them playing in the background while I make dinner, cleaning, or when I don't like what's on regular TV. Anyway, that's how I came across so many videos about diet, nutrition, etc. Now I know, YouTube is filled with a lot of strange stuff, but there are also great things...seminars by real doctors (MDs) that have real practices and see patients. There are videos of conferences where experts speak. And also regular people who have YouTube channels that show how they 100 pounds on various diets, share recipes, etc.
So that's how I learned the history of how we got the food pyramid, and the low fat/high carb diets that I had followed for so many years, and how it was based on studies that "cherry picked" the data, so they were not reliable. Now I regret all those years I ate rice cakes, skim milk, and margarine, thinking I was doing the right thing! I've learned that we shouldn't be afraid of fat...that butter isn't the culprit..it's the carbs. (If you don't agree, that's fine...to each his own...these are just my opinions after my research, and I firmly believe everyone should come to their own conclusions about what is best for them.)
Here are two interesting videos to watch, if you are interested. The first one is a really funny. It's by a comedian turned investigative reporter on this subject. His name is Tom Naughton.

This one is by a medical doctor, Dr. Ken Berry, who is being interviewed and explains his philosophy. He wrote a book called "Lies My Doctor Told Me."

This is how I learned about the relationship between eating carbs, blood sugar, the release of the hormone insulin, and how this is responsible for storing fat on our bodies. So I started testing my blood sugars with a home glucose monitor, and now I can see how carbs raise my blood sugar. So my own experiments have shown definitively that a low carb diet is best for me. I'm not sure what else to call it...it's not quite keto, because I don't worry about ketosis or staying under 20 grams of carbs a day, but I go by my blood sugar readings. Most days I'm under 50 grams of carbs. I don't track fats or protein at this point. I've learned that I need to keep my carbs at 15 grams or less per meal, or my blood sugar will go over 140 (which is too high). I'm not afraid to use butter, cream, cheese, etc. I eat protein at all meals and snacks. I also experimented with intermittent fasting, and would delay eating until noon or so. I like the idea of this, and with low carb your appetite really does diminish. But I've recently found my fasting glucose numbers are often high from the dawn phenomenon, and if I fast they stay high for hours. So I've started eating some protein in the morning for breakfast, like one hard boiled egg, and that actually brings my glucose numbers down into the normal range. Most days I don't eat any carbs until mid afternoon, when I have nuts for a snack, and then I'll have around 15 grams of carbs with dinner. Again, my goal is just keeping my blood sugar under 140 for the entire day, so I test in the morning and before and meals. Once I know a meal is "good" and doesn't raise my blood sugar, I may not test for that meal if I eat the same thing another day.

Just doing low carb, I was able to bring my A1C down from 6.6 to 6.1 in three months, in November. Since then I've been working even harder on the diet and testing my glucose daily and bringing my carbs down even further. So I'm curious to see what my next A1C will be in February. Home glucose meters are very cheap on Amazon. You can get a starter kit for about $15, and buy strips there too (much cheaper than through my insurance). I can give brand names and links if anyone requests it. It was through testing that I learned what I thought was healthy, like my homemade lentil soup, raised my blood sugar 87 points! So lentils aren't good for me and neither is rice, whole wheat bread, etc. But spaghetti squash is just fine, even though it does have some carbs. Test various foods to see how it impacts your body.

So, that's my plan for now. I wrote this blog mainly for friends who asked what plan I was doing. I kept putting off writing it, because I didn't know what to call my plan, and I keep tweaking it as I learn more and see how my body reacts to various foods. But basically I know I need to be low carb for blood sugar control. I feel good on this plan, because eating fat and protein keeps me feeling full, so I don't feel deprived or hungry like I did on high carb/low fat/or limited calorie plans. I don't count calories, only carb grams. I would tell anyone who thinks it's too hard to give up carbs and sugar, that you would be surprised how your cravings change within a week or two. I used to drink three cups of tea or coffee a day, with two teaspoons of sugar in each, and had done that all my life. Now, instead of sugar, I put a pat of butter and some cream. I know that sounds strange, but it tastes good! I think of all the carbs I save in a week just from that change alone! (For anyone afraid of the fat and cholesterol...watch the videos.)
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Okay...this is long enough. And again, I'm NOT telling ANYONE they should do what I'm doing. Each person should do what feels right to them. But I encourage you to question the things you were taught over the years, to see if the science really backs it up (and follow the money...is someone profiting on the advice they give you?). I wish I had learned this sooner. I like to share things I've learned with friends. I'm just sharing, adding to the Wisdom of the Crowd. Thanks for reading.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you so much for this post! I will definitely check out the videos! Isn't it crazy how all of our lives we are taught one way to think about eating and food and now we find out it's completely wrong! That's been my biggest issue--trying to basically flip the food guide pyramid upside down! It's so hard for me to wrap my brain around! I find myself almost on autopilot with food and what we've been taught throughout the years and I have to stop and think and realize what I've learned is wrong! Great post! Thank you for sharing! emoticon
    512 days ago
    It’s such an individual thing, how our bodies relate to food. I enjoy learning about nutrition, too, though there are opposing views on the right way to eat, and it gets confusing. I found that cutting simple starches and sugars from my diet cut down on my hunger quite a bit, probably the insulin response like you say. I’m really glad you’re finding solutions that work for you. Thanks for the information.
    525 days ago
  • BERRY4
    Love your "process". emoticon
    (I think I was born w/ "question authiority"!) emoticon
    Thanks for taking the time to share part of your journey. -- That's great to see results in the blood sugar numbers over a 3-month span.
    I will have to wait until next Spring to see how my choices are affecting my numbers. (I had slipped into "prediabetes" and took it as a SERIOUS warning to make some lifestyle changes).

    You know how too many say that SUGAR does NOT cause diabetes? Well I personally call that an OUTRIGHT lie. (Not just sugar "straight", but all it's derivatives and all the foods that turn quickly to sugar chemicals in the blood. C12H22O11 is the chemistry formula.)
    Keep tracking what is working for YOU!
    525 days ago
    I call it lower carb. Technically, anything less than 150 is called low carb from what I've been told. I just call it lower carb so peeps won't get confused and think I am doing keto.

    It is good you are inquisitive. That's how I tried different things, and literally, strongly believe the changes I made on my own saved my life. Either that or I would probably be super morbidly obese now.

    If I had listened to my doctor at the time, that is exactly where I would be.

    I have a better doc now who supports my lower carb and gluten free regime.

    I am so happy for your, Rosemary!!

    526 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    Trial and error are an adventurous way to find what fits YOU!
    526 days ago
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    526 days ago
    529 days ago
  • LINDA!
    Very interesting. I will go to the links. I have heard so many things about "diets" that I do not know what is right and wrong. I am fortunate not to have diabetes. I do try to watch carbs and exercise so often that it has helped me steer away from it. However, it could later be something I develop. Thanks for sharing.
    530 days ago
    I think it's wonderful that you've found out how to control your blood sugar better. And it's too bad about the lentils! Did you eat them with any grains? Because they're not actually a complete protein on their own. I also need to eat a lot of protein, or I'm really sluggish. I don't really know about a lot about fats in the diet. I only know that when you have too much sugar, it raises your cholesterol level. Also, if you consume cholesterol in your diet, and it's on a consistent, daily, basis, your body is supposed to adjust to that and make less of it, to compensate for that. And if you are Scottish, but I don't know how Scottish you need to be for it to matter, you need more fats in your diet than other people or you will be at greater risk of heart issues. That's because the traditional Scottish diet consisted of a lot of fat, such as from fish and eggs and whatnot, whatever they ate. Well, I think it's really great that you are able to watch YouTube more and connect with these doctors and watch seminars like you are doing!
    530 days ago
    I am eating similar to how you are. I am with you on question authority, I too had a pin.
    530 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    I totally agree with your way of doing this. It's all what your body tolerates. I have found the same by lowering carbs that my blood sugars have dropped way down.

    I found I now have more energy and I'm not so lethargic during the day. No more naps for me. Blood sugars are factored by so many things. Don't forget the exercise, and also stress levels, plus the sleep factor. I find when I get 7 to 71/2 hours of sleep consistently that also my blood sugars stay consistent. Your AC1 is very good. Get it under 6.0 and your considered non diabetic.

    Another key statement you said was "follow the money". That is so way true more than you realize. I am also researching constantly regarding diabetes. I now also do not worry about fats, as they are part of your nutrition and to totally take them out of your diet also does harm.

    I can't believe and I have never paid so much attention to what I eat as I have now. I say the more education you know, the more power you have over your health and body.
    530 days ago
    Glad to hear that you found something that works for you. :)
    530 days ago
    I haven't watched the videos but do plan to. It sounds like you are doing just what you need to. I know people who just do what they're told, even when it doesn't work for them. I believe your approach is much better.
    530 days ago
    You are absolutely doing what agrees w/your system. THAT'S what's important. There really isn't any 'one-size-fits-all' nutrition plan. From your description, I eat very similarly to you and I have type 2. Am off all meds for 7 yrs., and control my blood sugar w/nutrition and exercise. So, for sure, I can tell you it works for me, too.

    Thanks for the links.
    530 days ago
  • no profile photo CD23850761
    I watched lectures on PBS about lobbyist had swayed FDA and Food Pyramid guidelines... I was very disappointed too, because I went out of my way to fit the pyramid
    The few medical family doctors I've seen my 61 years did all agree on one thing - dairy fat kills, saturated fat kills, tobacco kills... Everything else is up for debate. Thanks for blog, Karen
    530 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/16/2018 3:46:04 PM
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