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3 Biggest Dietary Mistakes

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  • 3 Biggest Dietary Mistakes

    ​​​​​These 3 dietary mistakes have nothing to do with food choices. I’m not going to go near the plant vs animal food source debate. I’m not going to talk about macronutrients. Although a couple of these mistakes may influence your macronutrient selections in the long run, this is not about portions or types - of carbs, fats & oils, or proteins. This is not about “eating clean”. I don’t even really know what “eating clean” is. The definition of “clean” food seems to change with each person I hear using the term. My Grandma used to say food was “dirty” if it fell on the floor. When I hear people say “clean” food today, very few of them seem to mean food that hasn’t touched the floor.

    These mistakes are critical. And they are very common. Most of my patients are making all 3 mistake when they come to see me. I can usually get them past the first error. But this discussion takes me back to my Grandma. The first time I heard, “’you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink”, it was her. The second and third dietary mistakes require discipline and a little tolerance for discomfort. In both cases, it’s temporary discomfort.

    For those of you that know my channel, you know that I am a medical science geek. You may be thinking these are something docs might know. They are things that docs should know. But very few actually do. I see docs making them as well as patients. These mistakes

    MISTAKE #1 - NOT KNOWING YOU’RE INSULIN RESTISTANT: Many right coast people like to say disparaging comments about left coast people. And I’m sure there are those that would criticize UCLA. And almost everybody likes to think public health people are crazy. But I believe that the UCLA public health study last year was pretty accurate. It said over helf of adults 300 years or older in the state of California have insulin resistance? You didn’t know that? Very few people do. What percentage of adults that you know would you say have Insulin Resistance?

    What is Insulin Resistance? And what does it have to do with dietary mistakes? Insulin resistance is a condition. It’s also called Metabolic Syndrome or Prediabetes. In this condition, the body is resistant to the effects of insulin on sugar in the blood. Insulin decreases blood sugar levels by opening channels in the cell membranes (mostly liver cells). These channels pull sugar out of the blood and into the liver. High sugar levels cause less damage in the blood than in the liver.

    What does not knowing you have Insulin Resistance have to do with your diet? Everything. Just ask John. Or ask countless others who've told me, "I don't have a glucose problem... or I don't have an insulin problem..." Guess what happens when you find that when you eat, you're burning your arteries with glucose values 160 and above, or insulin values in the 50s or above. You change your diet. What if you do'nt know the impact of eating? You don't change.

    That was Mistake #1. What do you think Mistakes #2 and 3 are?

  • #2
    I would say that one of the two mistakes would be timing of meals/snacks. It is pretty clear now that people should not be eating many times during a 24-hour period, especially late in the evening before bed time. There is a lot of positive health data now on intermittent fasting.

    The other mistake might well be lack of adequate sleep. I noticed this myself on a recent blood glucose test where my fasting glucose was really high because I didn't sleep well the night before. If a person is tired, they are much more likely to eat more and crave unhealthy foods.

    John might want to make a small edit on the 300 number above as it probably should be 60 or 65?
    Last edited by Tom; 12-27-2018, 03:27 AM.


    • #3
      What are #2 & #3?


      • #4
        I am going to guess:
        #2 is eating industrial vegetable oils.
        #3 is eating too many calories in general.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ford Brewer View Post
          That was Mistake #1. What do you think Mistakes #2 and 3 are?
          Let me guess:

          #2 - Listening to your doc telling you that your A1C and FBG is perfectly normal and believing them

          #3 - Denying the possibility that you might be insulin resistance or diabetic and not getting an OGTT or Kraft Insulin Survey

          #4 - Not taking appropriate diet, lifestyle and exercise modifications to correct the IR or T2DM


          • mtbizzle
            mtbizzle commented
            Editing a comment
            Right on, John. It just struck me last night: what counts as 'normal' - the proverbial green light from the doc - on glucose tests?

            1. Anything that is not yet pre-diabetic. Wait a second. There's a difference between 'not pre-diabetic' and 'normal' glucose metabolism..!!! We know that the diabetes spectrum is a slow, progressive disease, and people can be on the path of progressing to a pre-diabetic state for years. So shouldn't docs be distinguishing between 'truly normal' and 'progressing towards pre-diabetes/diabetes'? That would be nice!

            2. So many of the glucose tests seem to be wildly inaccurate. I've seen a few studies where they test the reliability of FBG, A1c at catching pre-diabetics and diabetics (v.s. OGTT). Every study I've looked at found A1c and FBG to perform... horribly. One I looked at last night found HALF of the 'normal' A1c group to have pre-diabetes (or even diabetes). I know Dr Kraft pushed this point years ago.

            Given the massive false negative rate, it dumbfounds me that A1c is what we always go for. Sure A1c is less of a hassle. What's the goal here, though -- identifying glucose issues, or rolling the dice re. whether we'll get reliable results? How many people get mislead into being reassured that they have no issue w/ A1c & FBG? My own Doc was *very* surprised when I asked for an OGTT, he said he hasn't ordered one in many, many years.

            Sorry for the rant, but it seems pretty evident that the standard practice is not set up to identify & prevent glucose problems early, much less even diagnose them once they start to reach problematic levels... It's almost as if the standard doc doesn't want to worry about glucose metabolism until someone's got full blown out of control diabetes. No wonder this condition is so underdiagnosed.

        • #6
          My guess is:
          1) genetics
          2) Time of year


          • #7
            Thanks for your thoughts.
            #2. All wrapped up with John's guesses #2 & #3 above. It's failure to eat correctly for IR. So many people have IR & still eat carbs. They listen to "experts" like the ADA, AHA, their docs, etc. Meanwhile, they keep cranking up their blood glucose. There's such an obvious way to see the reality, despite what the experts say, you can see very clearly what carbs do to you blood. You can measure it;

            #3. Likewise on that last item about measuring blood glucose. If people just measured their blood glucose regularly, they'd easily discover #3. Fasting - or failure to do so. When you fast, your blood glucose drops. No matter how much IR or even DM you have. (Obviously, if you're on insulin or other glucose-lowering drugs, you need to manage that in order to fast.) But fasting is a very important part of health. FMD, IF, 5/2 fasting, "fat fasts", and especially working up to water fasts. Fasting has critical impact on 2 spaces: a. it helps you recognize & adjust your emotional relationship with food; and b. it totally changes your biochemistry.


            • mtbizzle
              mtbizzle commented
              Editing a comment
              Hey Doc, I've read quite a lot about the benefits of fasting, and would like to do more extended fasts (like FMD/water fasts) as they seem to activate many more beneficial processes than, say, time-restricted eating.
              My issue/worry is that my BMI is low (18, underweight). Prolon/Longo recommend that someone with a low BMI not do extended fasts like the FMD. So, I've avoided any real fasting. Is that a cost of being skinny -- not getting the benefits of fasting, as its not worth the risks?

            • Lxt824x
              Lxt824x commented
              Editing a comment
              Hi Dr Brewer. A question about what you mean to be low carb. Is it necessarily Keto? I started on a Keto diet (about 30gm net carbs/day) about 2 years ago and felt great at first. Unexpectedly, my triglycerides went from about 125 to near 200, so I cut back on saturated fat per my doc's advice and substituted more monos which did help some. My goal was not so much weight loss (though I did lose a few from 158 to 150) as it was blood sugar control (I initially had FBG around 115 which dropped to the mid-90s). Long story short, I started waking up multiple times at night and after some research decided to try the Schwarzbein diet which is still lowish carb (I'm at about 85-100 net gm carb per day) and sleeping much better. Also, morning glucose readings are still mostly in the 90's. So is your suggested diet for insulin resistance always keto, or can cutting carbs to about 100 gm net per day be sufficient? Thanks. PS by net carbs I mean total carb gm minus fiber gm.
              Last edited by Lxt824x; 07-13-2019, 05:57 PM.