Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fat is our friend

Side note: I don't know how much longer I'm going to keep this blog "on the air," so to speak. The 'net is swarming with a gazillion sites that highlight all aspects of the low-carb lifestyle. There are tons of good sites that have recipes, and humor, and...well...they do it much better than I do.

I have been a low-carber on and off since Dr. Atkins published his first book in the early 70s. My weight has been down (age 18, weight 145, desperate to join the Army), and up (age 35, first pregnancy, weight 245), and down again (age 56, one year post-gastric sleeve, weight 165). Through the years, I've known, based on research and personal experience, that eschewing carbohydrate is the healthiest way of eating (WOE). Even when I was eating 1 - 2 pounds of candy every weekend, I knew that I was killing myself. I'd drown myself in sugar, then go back to low-carbing. I bounced around like this for years, at least until I lost one of my good friends to diabetes.

B. and I had been friends for 20 years. I never knew if she was a Type 1 diabetic, or a Type 2 that ended up insulin-dependent. Through the years, she would "play" with her insulin, adjusting her dosage when she wanted to eat something that she knew that she shouldn't. Eventually, she ended up in the hospital, one leg amputated, 90% blockage around her heart, and kidneys non-functioning. She lasted longer than the doctors expected, but even B. couldn't survive all that. When I got the phone call from her daughter, I broke down. B., younger than me, gone. 

That did it. I had to quit playing around with my WOE. 

Fact: Any time our blood sugar goes over 140, we are doing cellular damage. That damage is cumulative. 

Fact: The normal amount of sugar (glucose) in our bloodstream at any given time is about 1 teaspoon. Think about that sugary soda, or dessert, or piece of candy, that contains 7 - 8 teaspoons of sugar. That amount of sugar is toxic to the body.

Fact: Cancer cells have to have glucose. They can't run on anything else. The higher the blood sugar level, the happier they are. The more they grow. It's no coincidence that people who have high blood sugar often develop cancer. One of my church friends developed liver cancer. What did the doctor tell him to eat? Fruit. Lots of fruit. My friend is no longer on this earth. Another church friend, a diabetic, ate his waffle combo every morning without fail. Yep, you guessed it: Pancreatic cancer, and also gone.

Fact: You DON'T NEED carbohydrates. The liver makes all the glucose we need, on demand. The brain needs glucose, so the liver supplies it. Ketones, the by-products of burning fat for fuel, are what the heart prefers. The rest of the body does very well on them, too, thank you very much.

Fact: Dietary fat doesn't make us fat. Dietary carbohydrate, especially sugar, does.  Dietary fat is our friend. It keeps us full. It doesn't cause insulin, the fat-STORING hormone, to be released. It causes glucagon, the fat-RELEASING hormone, to be released. 

If you are fat and craving sweets, it's because you are starving at a cellular level. 

Once insulin packs fat into those cells, and your carbohydrate-rich diet keeps insulin circulating in your blood stream, the body CANNOT tap those fat cells for energy. You are starving. You are hungry. You crave sweets. The body needs fuel. But here's how to break the cycle: DON'T give the body more insulin-releasing carb. Give it lots of fat and some protein. Seriously. 

Warning: If you have been on a low-fat diet for years, adding a lot of fat to your diet all at once could aggravate your gall bladder. Please talk with your doctor, who will, of course, tell you that you're going to clog your arteries with all that fat, and that your kidneys will explode with all that protein. Yada yada yada. Do yourself a favor and find a doctor who can read. There's a ton of research out there proving him or her wrong. Maybe find a more educated doctor?

Use whipping cream in your coffee. Eat bacon and whole eggs. Put real butter on those non-starchy veggies. Eat full-fat cheeses and fatty meats, like salami. BUT: You can't do this while, at the same time, eating a high-carb diet. You must choose one path, and one path only, grasshopper.

Am I skinny? No. Do I still need to lose about 10 pounds? Yes. But that's not where I want to focus. I am looking down the road: Diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, psoriasis and other auto-immune diseases. All these things can be directly linked to Metabolic Syndrome, a by-product of the Typical American Diet (TAD). I know that I'm going to die of something, but there seems to be some better ways to go, eh?  

The Bionic Broad out.


Wii Fit & A Bet said...

It is hard to maintain a blog. I am horrid at it! I will miss your insights and thoughts, but I understand!

The Bionic Broad said...

Thank you for your feedback. There seem to be so many people out there who do the blog thing so much better than I do. But if people are reading, and the information helps, I'll keep slogging and blogging.

Anonymous said...

Well, then, keep it up! I regularly check your blog, and love it! I love hearing your updates and musings!

The Bionic Broad said...

Thank you both for responding. I started this blog to share information, and wondered if I was posting for the crickets. Thank you, and yes, I will keep posting as long as even one person is still reading.