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In the spring of 2015, my doctor diagnosed me as clinically obese, with a Latin term that roughly translates to “fat in the belly.” As Rodney Dangerfield joked, “and when I asked for a second opinion, he said I’m ugly.” Anyhow, I’ve long struggled with clinical obesity. I’ve also held, since the 1980s, the habit of daily exercise, alternating between weights and cardio, as well as carefully cataloging my dietary intake, most recently adding MyFitnessPal to my daily habits. My obesity isn’t the fruit of sloth, or lack of self-control, as is the favorite diagnosis.
After months of stewing over the sting of my diagnosis, I decided to launch, yet again, diet #2454. This time it would be a high protein, medium carb, and low fat, a la South Beach. Watch my calories in, calories out, I’ve done this before, I’ve got this.
And yet … after an initial weight loss of about 20 pounds, Thanksgiving and Christmas snacking soon laid waste to my waist, reversing my losses. Just like every other stinkin’ time.
At my next yearly checkout, with nothing to show but my ever-present belly, I asked my general doctor for a referral to a well-known doctor in the “low carb, high fat” way of eating (or WoE). That was eight months ago, and, today, I’m at my lowest weight in three decades.
So, yeah, I might be popping the cork of success too soon, but there’s something else that I’m bringing attention to here. My WoE is rich in saturated fats and meat. The American Heart Association tells us that such things are the leading cause of heart disease. The AHA assures me that by dramatically increasing my saturated fat intake, I’ve issued my own death sentence. Notice how when reason fails, authorities turn to scare tactics? Yet,¹ my fellow WoE-ers and I have never had such good blood lab work, i.e., heart-healthy results. Though being hypertensive prior to the diet, my blood pressure has been consistently 75 over 115 since two months into the diet. I’m far from alone in seeing and experiencing this.
My WoE is very similar to the Atkins Diet. Gary Taubes famously wrote a highly-visible and highly-provocative article, “What If It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?” back in 2002 in the NY Times. It made the then-scandalous assertion that fat was healthy. There continues to be a growing mound of evidence that the advice we regularly receive is flat-out wrong and is contributing to the obesity epidemic. Like the red-handed infidelitous spouse who asks, “are you going to believe me or your lying eyes,” my experience isn’t matching what I’m richly and authoritatively assured.
Why is this so? Why are we being asked to follow the same old misleading and unhealthy guidance?
I speculate that some of this pushback is politically driven. For example, remember Jimmy Carter’s push for “environmental sustainability?” That “Meat is unsustainable.” Sure, if we earth-destroying humans would simply eat rice and grass, we can save the planet. Umm … no thanks. There’s also the “Meat is Murder” crowd who tsk-tsks we carnivores. Yet, our bodies respond better to high-fat, saturated fat, and low carb. It’s healthier. You don’t have to like the incongruity of this with your preferred agenda, but deny this at the risk to your own credibility.²
For the AHA, and others, to acknowledge as much is to run counter to those who pretend their science-based way to saving the planet is the only way. There are financial incentives to keep things the way they are as well. I’m sure there are other factors as well. As I researched for this post, I found this post by @drrich from two-plus years ago making similar observations.
It seems Lysenkoism continues his march. Meanwhile, here’s to my pad of butter on my sirloin so that I may comfortably fit into clothes I haven’t worn in decades.
¹ Not everyone. Suffice it to say that this is empirical, not magical. There are always outliers.
² I’m being pith for many reasons, but, sure, we don’t know beyond reasonable doubt. We currently lack significant studies to know with certainty. The LCHF/Keto community cries out for more studies to better understand what we anecdotally are experiencing.Published in