"The researches of so many eminent scientific men have thrown so much darkness upon the subject that if they continue their researches we shall soon know nothing."

- Artemus Ward

“If you aren’t confused about health and nutrition, then you haven’t studied it long enough or deeply enough.”

- Matt Stone

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Coming up to date


Not long ago my son posted this on his own blog:

My knowledge about nutrition continues to shrink as I continue to prove myself wrong. At this point in my research on health and nutrition, here's what I think I know-
  • Polyunsatured fats (vegetable oils) are bad, and natural saturated fats are good (especially coconut).
  • Artificial flavors (HFCS, MSG, Aspartame, etc.) make you eat too much.
  • Fresh and whole is better than stale and processed.
  • Calories matter. Get enough, and let your body throw out what it doesn't need.
  • Nutrients matter. Get the most nutritionally dense stuff you can find.
The end. Anything that used to be on that list about macronutrients, ratios, carbs, etc. was merely the pretense of knowledge. Anything that used to be on that list about losing weight has been methodically crossed off.

Yeah Brock, I know the feeling. It's one of the reasons I have not posted here lately myself. I'm trying to pursue the foods that *heal* but seem to have less and less surety about which foods those are! I do agree with most of Brock's list - PUFAs are bad, natural saturated fats are good, fresh and whole is better than stale and processed, etc. It's all true. But *which* fresh and whole foods? That depends a lot on who you listen to. :-)

But actually one of the biggest changes in my life has been a non-food one. And this is finally finding a holistic nurse practitioner who is willing to prescribe natural dessicated thyroid (Armour brand) for my Hashimoto's condition, and not the synthetic T4 that my FORMER endocrinologist said was the *only* thing she would ever prescribe. Well that and STATINS (AKA the Medication of the Devil) for my high cholesterol - total cholesterol of 295 though I had high HDL and low triglycerides. I told her I was positive that my high cholesterol was the result of impaired T4 to T3 conversion by my thyroid, and that giving me a medication that included T3 would alleviate the situation. But she told me that was nonsense.

I told her that there has never been one single study that showed statins had any benefits for any women at all of any age, and she told me that was nonsense. I told her that wanting to give me statins for the high cholesterol was like trying to stop a flood by throwing sponges into the water, without any consideration about where the water was coming from in the first place. And she said nothing at all. I told her flat out that nothing on earth would make me take a statin. I'm surprised she didn't fire *me* as a patient, but I'm sure she wrote me up as a non-compliant one.

So I decided I would never see her again. And somewhat later I was lucky enough to hook up with Elaine Hardy after getting an email out of the blue from a woman I had known back in the late 90s from the old alt.support.diet.low-carb usenet group. She was a patient of Elaine's and said she had finally gotten switched to Armour after 30+ years of feeling like crap on Synthroid.

So I've been on Armour for about 10 weeks now. I have more energy. I've lost 10 pounds after being stalled for a long time. And my total cholesterol dropped, in 6 weeks, down to 196. So THERE to the endocrinologist who said that the idea of Armour lowering my cholesterol was "nonsense".

But I've also been eating a bit differently too. I'm finding that eating 5 small meals a day controls my blood sugar better than two large ones. Sort of a bummer actually, as by temperament I would much rather eat 2 large meals than 5 small ones. A small meal just leaves me so unsatisfied - psychologically that is. But so far it's working better so I'm trying to make it work.

I'm also eating different foods as well, and trying to incorporate more of the Ray Peatian ideas, such as daily gelatin, and more fruit. Whole fruit that is. I still have no interest in drinking fruit juice. But I've been eating 2-3 whole fruits a day and really enjoying them! I especially love my clementines and typically have one with my breakfast.

Ray says to avoid berries as the seeds are not so good for you. But I'm not sure I'm willing to slavishly follow every dictate of any one guru. Ray says it's fine to eat Haagen Dazs ice cream too, but even a small serving of sucrose makes my blood sugar go through the roof, with readings close to 200 when eating Haagen Dazs. So no juice for me either, but the fruit is great.

And of course I had no idea that Ray would say "no berries" when I planted my raspberry bush 5 years ago, and right now my berries are at their peak of ripeness. Pictured above are berries I picked yesterday. And I'll eat them and enjoy anyway, with some freshly whipped cream. Within a month I'll be moving to Florida, so will never get a raspberry crop from this bush again. I suspect my home's new owners will just rip the bush out. So I'll enjoy these berries while I can.