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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Tell The American Diabetes Association YOUR Low-Carb Diabetes Success Story

Not a day goes by that I don't hear from people wondering what they can do to help turn the tide of negativity about livin' la vida low-carb in our culture because of the tremendous changes that have happened in their lives as a result of making this healthy lifestyle change for themselves. When something this good happens to you, then you just can't help but go out and tell everyone you know about the amazing experience you have been able to enjoy thanks to low-carb living.

And yet, there's still this major barrier in the way of celebrating the victory that is deservedly ours--the opposition to low-carb diets that continues to dominate in the media from government groups such as the Food & Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture, and health organizations like the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, and the American Diabetes Association. The daily hammering of the high-carb, low-fat message gets to be a bit nauseating after a while and it tends to wear a lot of the enthusiasm down even from people who are very enthusiastic about the low-carb way of life. I'll admit it even happens to me from time to time.

But when that happens, I try to remind myself of an important truth that often gets lost in the shuffle of this whole diet and health debate: ONE GOOD WITNESS CAN SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT! Think about it for a moment. Our culture is bombarded with the message that eating too much fat, especially saturated fat, will make you fat and unhealthy. They also tell us that your body needs carbohydrate in order to give you energy for your day. We're told to be sure to eat our fruits, veggies, and whole grains because we all KNOW how good all those things are for you.

Reality check--not all of those things are necessarily true for everyone. My experience has been that eating a high-fat diet that is low in total carbohydrate is extremely effective in shedding stored fat and greatly improving my health. Only when you combine high-fat intake with high-carb is it harmful. And my body most certainly does not NEED carbs in order to sustain enough energy to get through my day (thank you gluconeogenesis!). Finally, the most heralded and beloved one of them all is for people to eat more fruits and vegetables, but to me that's one big copout when you don't clarify what you are talking about. And as much as the whole grain craze is trying to catch on, the reality is even those whole grains are raising blood sugar levels, pumping insulin into the body, and wreaking havoc in our bodies.

That's my low-carb story and I am merely one witness in a pool of many more who have a story to tell. So what I think we should do is to begin telling our story to the people who need to hear it. And the logical first place to begin this process is with an organization who only recently started lending credence to the low-carb lifestyle in their recommendations and that's the American Diabetes Association (ADA). They've heard about all the great stories of diabetics who have been able to stop taking their diabetes medications and reduce or eliminate their need for insulin. But now they need to see a name and a face with those stories and that's where YOU come in to make a real difference.

If you are serious about trying to influence the world with the positive message of livin' la vida low-carb, then here are a few things you can do:

1. Send YOUR story to the ADA!

They are certainly in the most receptive place ever after altering their recommendations for diabetics to consider low-carb if low-fat didn't work for them. It's a golden opportunity for you to talk about how your diabetes condition has improved following a low-carb diet and I strongly urge you to do this. Tell Dr. Sue Kirkman in an e-mail who you are, when you were diagnosed with diabetes, your pre-low-carb numbers, and your post-low-carb numbers and improvements. You can e-mail that information directly to her at skirkman@diabetes.org.

2. Ask the ADA for low-carb representation!

One of the reasons it took the ADA so long to recognize the benefits of livin' la vida low-carb for diabetics is because they do not have any low-carb representation among their board members. Why is that? With carbohydrate restriction so vitally important to the future health of people afflicted with this terrible disease, why wouldn't they want someone like Dr. Mary C. Vernon, Dr. Eric Westman, or any number of other qualified candidates to serve in this capacity as a consultant for the ADA, hmmm? Why don't we suggest that they do just that? E-mail the ADA and request low-carb representation on their nutritional guideline panel at AskADA@diabetes.org.

3. Contact your Congressman and call for hearings!

We really have to put the onus of blame for this dietary mess we are in now squarely on the shoulders of the United States government. They have the power to bring about changes in dietary recommendations based on the latest research and to date they have not incorporated any of the meaningful research that has been coming out about low-carb. It's high time that they do something to show the American people they truly care about the future of health in this nation. Urge them to begin hearings on nutrition and diabetes by contacting your Congressmen.

4. Join the Nutrition & Metabolism Society

There's a group working very hard behind-the-scenes to provide a voice of legitimacy for livin' la vida low-carb that you may or may not be aware of. It's the Nutrition & Metabolism Society led by some of the best and brightest researchers and advocates of the science behind low-carb today, including Dr. Richard Feinman, Dr. Eric Westman, Dr. Jeff Volek, Dr. Gil Wilshire, and others. These leaders need the help of literally thousands upon thousands of people who support getting the word out about the low-carb lifestyle and that's just about everyone who reads my blog! A consumer membership is just $25 a year and those dollars go directly into giving low-carb the prominent place it deserves in our culture. Click here to become a member of the Nutrition & Metabolism Society TODAY!

While it can sometimes seem overwhelming about what one person can do to tell the whole world about the positive influence the low-carb lifestyle has made on your life, hopefully I have given you some ideas to step up your commitment to seeing livin' la vida low-carb brought back to the forefront of the diet and health discussion. Tens of millions of lives are literally depending on us to stand up for what we know to be true and if we all do our part there is no reason our voice will not be heard. If you're ready to take this challenge seriously, then do something RIGHT NOW! Feel free to share the action you have taken on behalf of low-carb in the comments section below.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Richard said...

Let me follow up on Jimmy's column. I think it is reasonable to tell your story to the ADA and especially to congress. Among other things, the NIH bases its guidelines on the ADA. In writing your message, it is important to be constructive and polite. Do not assume that any particular person is resistant to your ideas or disbelieves experience. Medical science is a vast business and nobody can keep up on everything. Many who follow the party line do so because they have no other information. In any case, your personal experience will carry a lot of weight. There is, however, power in numbers and to actually get a dispassionate hearing of all sides of the story, we need to have a common voice. The Metabolism Society is trying to provide a common meeting ground for information and discussion. While we are not an advocacy group and not specifically proponents of la vida low-carb we certainly see it as one of the most pressing areas in which new information must be brought out and old information evaluated. We need you to join (nmsociety.org), not just for your donation which supports several activities (we have only one paid employee supported by a generous private contributor) but so that we can say that we have X number of members when we approach people with influence.

One example of our use of the money: I am the editor of Nutrition & Metabolism which is an open access journal, that is, it is free without subscription. Research articles on low-carb can get a fair hearing which they may not get at other journals -- we are sometimes harder on such articles because we know the field but they are judged without bias. Our major mission however is to tie the results in low carb, whatever they are, to the more sophisticated areas of metabolism and to do this we need to invite submissions from experts in other fields. The flip side of open access, however, is that authors pay in that model and it is difficult to accomplish our goal without the leverage to offer to pay the author's fee ourself -- this is currently $ 800 a paper. In the end, most of this must come from grants, but your membership is a big help.

Also, when you write to the ADA or congress, you can send me or Lauri a copy at lauricags@gmail.com or rfeinman@downstate.edu.

We are near the tipping point at bringing higher levels of science to nutrition.

Richard Feinman
Professor of Biochemistry
Director, Metabolism Society.

3/15/2008 8:03 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Well said, Dr. Feinman.

3/15/2008 8:06 PM  

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