Dr. Fred Pescatore reassures people on low-carb are not alone
Have you heard of Dr. Fred Pescatore? He's a protege of Dr. Robert C. Atkins and the author of the bestselling livin' la vida low-carb-friendly book The Hampton's Diet. For all those people following a lower-carb lifestyle in 2006, he offers this message of encouragement and hope -- "you have not been abandoned!"
This SheKnows Low-Carb story written by Dr. Pescatore helps the millions of us who are still following a low-carb program find a doctor who will support us on our nutritional approach while providing evidence that our way of eating may not be as dead as the media would have us think.
Saying "good riddance" to the "low-carb craze" that produced some of the worst food products you could possibly eat while following a low-carb plan, Dr. Pescatore said the failure of these products does not mean that low-carb living itself is "dead."
"My book, The Hamptons Diet is an international best seller with a cookbook on the way (releasing April 28, 2006); and The South Beach Diet is still on the best seller lists."
Excellent point, Dr. Pescatore! While the media conveniently forgets to mention that low-carb books are still selling VERY WELL, the curiosity of the consumer in low-carb is still piqued. Much to the chagrin of those who oppose livin' la vida low-carb, people have not and will not give up on a lifestyle choice that can help them lose weight and get healthy. Low-carb has proven to work and that's why people keep clamoring to learn more about how it can work for them.
Sadly, though, Dr. Pescatore does not believe the Atkins diet is a part of that trend.
"Ultra low carbohydrate, as popularized by Dr. Atkins my teacher and mentor, may be dead. But, a lower carbohydrate lifestyle is still going strong."
Dr. Pescatore, I respectfully disagree with you on this point. I personally lost 180 pounds on the Atkins diet in 2004 after reading Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution book. The low-carb principles (I would not describe them as "ultra low carbohydrate" though) I learned and applied helped me learn good dietary habits that have continued on long after the weight loss was finished.
Eating a "lower carbohydrate lifestyle" is what the Lifetime Maintenance phase of the Atkins diet is all about, Dr. Pescatore. Of course, you know this already as someone who worked directly with Dr. Atkins for a period of time. I can appreciate your wanting to distinguish your work from that of Dr. Atkins, but don't exclude the Atkins diet from any list of "lower carbohydrate" programs that are still effective and healthy for permanent weight loss and improved health.
Now that the "craze is over," Dr. Pescatore said "we can get back to healing people and losing weight without all the media attention."
"It is hard enough to get healthy without having someone looking over our shoulder each step of the way."
Amen to that! It's as if any ailment that happens to someone on low-carb MUST have happened BECAUSE of their diet. Isn't it funny this same standard is NEVER applied to people following a low-fat diet plan. When there is bad health news to report to you, does your doctor ask, "Well, what kind of eating plan do you follow?" If you say low-fat he ignores it as the cause, but if you say low-carb then "Oh, THAT must be the reason why you got sick." Isn't that basically what this doctor did recently?
Dr. Pescatore assures people who are low-carbing that there are medical "practitioners who practice in a low carbohydrate friendly manner."
"It may still be difficult to find an actual medical doctor who practices that way, but they are out there. I know because I am one of them."
Yeah, but I say they are few and far between, Dr. Pescatore. But one thing I am encouraged by are the growing number of doctors who may not be 100% believers in this way of eating, but they are pleased with the results. That's what has happened with my doctor. He went from being completely opposed to low-carb and now he at least sees merit in it for people who need to lose weight and improve their lipid profile. THAT'S HUGE!
The more positive examples of people who have been successful on a low-carb program, the more mainstream this will become in the eyes of physicians. Sadly, they only read about and hear the negative stories against low-carb living. But the good news is that there is a boatload of scientific medical research emerging lending credibility to what has otherwise been an ostracized method for weight loss. The more this evidence continues to mount, the harder it will be for those in the medical profession to continue to ignore it. The day is coming when low-carb will be vindicated. I can't wait!
Until then, Dr. Pescatore recommends people educate themselves using the wealth of resources available online, including E-Diets.com and other education web sites. To find a doctor who will be supportive of your low-carb lifestyle, he suggests visiting ACAM.org to get connected with a FREE directory service to guide you to one of these doctors.
Otherwise, Dr. Pescatore offers up this advice to help you find a good doctor who will work with you.
"I would call each of the internists in your home town and surrounding communities and ask how they feel about diets. Do they handle nutritional inquiries? Is there a nutritionist on staff? It may be worth a visit to the office so you can get a feel as to how that practitioner runs an office that can give you a lot of information."
If a doctor favorable about low-carb cannot be found in your area, then Dr. Pescatore said to "find a doctor who you trust and with whom you can have an open dialogue."
As for help finding a nutritionist who will assist you with customizing your low-carb program to your specific dietary needs, Dr. Pescatore recommends the International & American Association of Clinical Nutritionists, an organization he is the president of and assures that "each of the members is on board with the principles of a lower carbohydrate approach," or the Congress of Neurological Surgeons which Dr. Pescatore says has "many good people who are part of them."
Whatever you do, though, be very wary of going to see a registered dietician (I've run into a few of those myself -- here, here, and here, just to name a few!).
"For the most part, registered dieticians who do not have a CCN or CNS certification are probably not going to be sympathetic towards low carbohydrate lifestyles and may in fact be quite hostile."
Oh NOW you tell me, Dr. Pescatore! I was wondering why so many of them hated what I write about at this blog so much! LOL! I like seeing their blood pressure rise when I show my support for the low-carb lifestyle. Hee hee! Dietitians are a fun bunch of nincompoops for the most part. There are a handful of exceptions, but by and large they are clueless about low-carb.
At the end of his column, Dr. Pescatore speaks directly to people on a low-carb diet and encourages them to take heart.
"So, although you may think you are alone in the low carbohydrate world, you are certainly not. There are still many web sites and practitioners where you can still follow this healthy approach. Don't worry, you have not been abandoned. Keep up the great work and live the lower carbohydrate life."
We will, Dr. Pescatore, thanks to the work of people like you who continue to pave the way for millions more who are overweight or obese to finally find the way to lasting weight loss and improved health -- the low-carb way! That's why I come to this blog and write about this amazing way of eating on a daily basis. Knowing that there are people who need to be encouraged and educated about livin' la vida low-carb is what keeps me going.
On behalf of the readers at the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog, we salute you Dr. Pescatone and say THANK YOU for all that you do to carry the banner of low-carb living to the masses. Keep up the GREAT work and please let us know how we can help you carry your message even further. We are the low-carb believers and we will not give up on it!
Send a personal message to Dr. Fred Pescatore via this contact page to thank him for his continued support for livin' la vida low-carb. We need more people like him and Drs. Eades to shine the light proudly on low-carb as a positive way to produce healthy weight loss and improvements in metabolic syndome. We can not and will not be silenced as long as we have leaders willing to speak the truth on our side.