Hi Jeannie, yes, this makes sense. You could say that our d*&% intelligence created the problem of diabetes today. We were smart enough to figure out a way to get bread from a grain and then an easier way with virtually no hard work on our part. And, as you say, skip forward to the present day and we now have industries and livelihoods based on products made from flours and sugars. Think of all the packaged goods in the supermarket made from those two ingredients. The only work we have to do for a Twinkie or some pasta is buy it from a supermarket shelf. And since all those carbs lend to a feeling of satiety and well-being, ahh, of course we would eat more. And more and more. And all those carbs upon carbs every year created too much weight. If you think about what kinds of food we turn to for snacks, desserts or celebrations, something to nibble on, happiness or sadness, it's not going to be the string bean. Habits die hard. Unfortunately, it's even more complicated than that. Sometimes it involves culture and traditions, family. How do you change habits or rites related to them? (Remember Fiddler on the Roof?) When I first encountered Life Without Bread, I was angry. I figured it was an unfair punishment I could get around. My thought was that it was absurd to eat dinner without bread or potatoes or some pasta. But my blood sugar readings showed me the Light. (Lux lucet in tenebris.) Ta da. I had to get over feeling sorry or deprived - the Poor Me syndrome, sniff . I'm ok now. I've survived the no-carb plan and I'm eating foods I like, feel content with meals, and have lost weight. I don't feel I'm being punished. Also, I have a new-found understanding that it's the carbs that create the bad cholesterol levels, not the red meats or cheese or butter. There are sufficient carbs in vegetables and leafy greens: we don't need bread for brain food. So, all around, it's a healthier diet. My opinion, of course.
Post Edited (lanieg) : 8/13/2007 11:02:42 AM (GMT-6)
Ladies, I couldn't agree more.
On the one hand, the history of human culture and civilisation is largely based around the advent of agriculture. On the other, the low-carb, pre-agricultural revolution approach not only makes complete sense on a logical level, it's also demonstrably true when you try it out for yourself. Your blood sugars are normalised to the extent that, for me at least, my blood tests these days show no evidence of my 26 years of diabetes. All the research into our condition says that after 26 years one should expect severely impaired kidney function, atherosclerosis, retinopathy, neuropathy, obesity and everything else besides. I have none of these things, which I put down largely to my diet.
And you're right Lanie, there's a feeling of deprivation at first. Deprived of life's staples, on top of everything else! But now I try to feel grateful for the lessons diabetes has taught me because they are lessons for us all, and I certainly wouldn't have learned them without my blood glucose meter.
So perhaps 3 or 4 million years of human evolutionary history has made us perfectly adapted to a diet of meat, fish, some veggies and nuts. I'm not even convinced about the fruits to be honest - even they would have been a very rare treat in our distant past and they mess with my readings so much that I haven't eaten any for 5 years. I still have to stifle a laugh these days if anyone accuses me of faddy eating - I reckon they're in the middle of a carbohydrate fad (maybe 5-8000 years at most?) but don't realise it. Yet.
If only we hadn't eaten all the mammoths already.......
All the best,
Jeannie, thank you! I'm not sure I'll be that much more help but I'll try.
Hi Arundinaria, first of all you're right that the no-carb way of eating is not a cure for diabetes. It's only a way to control high blood sugars, and how well it's controlled depends on the food eaten, the amount of that food eaten and the stage of diabetes at which the person is, and also the individual's body's reaction. For example, beans and peanut butter raise my blood sugar (not eaten together!) but another diet-controlled diabetic may be able to eat them with no blood sugar spike. Technically, I would say I have diabetes because if I eat the same foods that my husband and children eat, my blood sugar would be very high. However, since I've changed my diet and also added exercise/strength training, I can keep my blood sugar to normal levels. I also know I'll have to do this forever because if I "stray", I'll have high readings. I don't believe carbohydrates cause diabetes but they set the stage. Too many carbs and not enough exercise will eventually cause obesity and obesity may trigger a genetic response. In other words, millions of us may carry the genetic marker for type 2 diabetes but the disease may not manifest itself until conditions are ripe. Or, maybe the body will just stop producing insulin, and then it's full-blown diabetes. What is known today is that with widespread obesity in the world, diabetes has also increased (and that's in another thread). So, what an interesting study it would be to see who carries the genetic marker for diabetes and among those, who becomes diabetic. In any case, what we do know now is there are ways to control it.
Yes, beware of "low fat" products. This should be highlighted as a topic all its own maybe. Several years ago, since my husband loves fig newtons, he wanted me to switch to the 'low fat' fig newtons because he thought they were healthier. Figs = fruit = health, but not with all the fat because fat = bad. When I looked at the label, sugar was the first ingredient, I believe. In those days, I wasn't looking at carbs but at what the first ingredient was. That's the first time I realized the low-fat products upped the sugar content. The idea that it's the carbs not the fats that raise cholesterol is probably hard for many people to accept. I found it so, too, until my own lab tests came back with very much better readings after 5 months of a very low carb diet. During those 5 months with no carbs, I did eat red meat and shrimp and used butter in cooking. Not only was my A1c lower but my cholesterol too. I can't escape the genetics, but so far I've got them under control.
Low fat is the key to high sales, and the food producers know it. I had to laugh at a recent advertising campaign for a chocolate bar over here. It's called Turkish Delight and is essentially gelatine and sugar covered in milk chocolate. So how to sell more of it? Eureka! 'Only 2% fat' ran the advertising campaign, and sales duly increased. Don't worry about the 95% sugar everybody! Madness. The day will surely come when the tobacco companies fight their falling sales with a ' totally fat free!' campaign.