By Timothy Gamble (opinion piece first published Dec. 10, 2018)
A news story I read earlier today caught my attention - Danish doctor warns: Vegan food may lead to mental retardation (link is now dead - editor). This, of course, flies in the face of politically correct "conventional wisdom" which preaches a plant-based diet as the best diet for good health. Veganism - no meat or animal products whatsoever - is the most "pure" of plant-based diets, with vegetarianism - no meat, but eggs & dairy allowed - being seen as a somewhat acceptable compromise. Even the official healthy diet pushed by the USDA is plant-based, with grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans making up the bulk of the daily recommended intake of food, with relatively moderate amounts of dairy and meat. And we all know that fat = bad, so avoid fat at all costs.
This PC bit of conventional wisdom is wrong, in my opinion. It very much overemphasizes carbs at the expense of fats and proteins. Science proves that there are Essential (meaning necessary for life) Fats and Essential Proteins, but there are no essential carbohydrates.
The best, healthiest, and most natural (for our biology) human diet is one high in fats (yes, fats - just avoid the man-made unhealthy trans-fats), moderate in protein, and low in carbs. And when you choose carbs, choose the ones that will have the highest impact: high in nutrients, fiber, and water. These high impact carbs include coniferous vegetables (such leafy-greens, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts), tomatoes, peppers, avocados, nuts, and berries. Of course, over-eating anything is bad for you, so watch those serving sizes.This is basically the advice of several diets, including Keto, Atkins, and Paleo. It is also has some similarities to several traditional diets (such as Mediterranean and Japanese) long-known as being very healthy.
My own personal experience has convinced me of the benefits of the high fat, moderate protein, low carb way of eating. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 4 years ago with an A1C of 10.1 (which is extremely high). My blood sugar is now normal (5.6), and maintained without the use of insulin or medications (no, I don't take Metformin, or any other diabetes medication). How have I done this? I changed to a high fat/low carb diet, lost 25 pounds, and stay physically active.
Even my after-meal blood sugar levels have evened-out. When I was first diagnosed, my after-meal blood sugar would spike to 350+ (dangerous). Now, my after-meal blood sugar usually remains below 140 (at both the 1- and 2-hour marks).
These results weren't achieved overnight. It took about 2½ years, and I worked with a good doctor (not one who just parrots "conventional wisdom") who monitored my progress and A1C levels on a regular basis. And I monitored my blood sugar levels very closely as I discovered what foods and food combinations I could and couldn't eat.
Disclaimers: Of course, I am NOT a doctor. I base this opinion article solely on what I've read and have personally experienced. Only a medical professional has the expertise to officially diagnose any disease or medical condition, and I strongly believe in having regular medical check-ups for early detection of potential health problems.
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