Do Potatoes Make You Fat or Diabetic?

Researchers in Denmark say “no.” French fries, maybe.

“The identified studies do not provide convincing evidence to suggest an association between intake of potatoes and risks of obesity, T2D, or CVD. French fries may be associated with increased risks of obesity and T2D although confounding may be present. In this systematic review, only observational studies were identified. These findings underline the need for long-term randomized controlled trials.”

Source: Potatoes and risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in apparently healthy adults: a systematic review of clinical intervention and observational studies

Obesity Paradox Resolved?

Not familiar with the obesity paradox? Read about it at Wikipedia, which may or may not be accurate.

From a recent article at MPT:

“A massive meta-analysis pooling data from millions of people in several countries reaffirmed that body mass index (BMI) has a J-shaped relationship with mortality, with the lowest death rates among those in the traditional “normal” range of 20-25.

The study of nearly four million people revealed that those in every BMI category above and below the normal range had significantly higher mortality rates.The elevation in risk applied to even mildly overweight people, and was highest for those with overt obesity, according to researchers with the Global BMI Mortality Collaboration, a part of the University of Cambridge.”

***

“Our results challenge recent suggestions that overweight and moderate obesity are not associated with higher mortality, bypassing speculation about hypothetical protective metabolic effects of increased body fat in apparently healthy individuals,” wrote the authors. Their data showed the J-shaped relationship maintained for every age group, albeit attenuated somewhat among those in the 70-89 age range.”

Source: Study: Higher BMI Signals Earlier Death | Medpage Today

Book Review: “Gorilla Mindset” by Mike Cernovich

 

Gorilla-Mindset-book

Dieting is a bad idea because it treats weight as a function of what you do. The idea is that if you do less of the bad stuff – eating cake, for example – and more of the good stuff – let’s say eating salad – you will lose weight and be healthy. While that is technically true, it is a terrible system because it ignores the biggest challenge of weight management: Your mind. If you get your mind right, everything else happens easily.

Scott Adams

Lawyer, blogger, and Tweetmaster Mike Cernovich has  new book, Gorilla Mindset: How to dominate and unleash the animal inside you to live a life of health, wealth, and freedom. Per Amazon.com’s rating system, I give it four stars (I like it).

♦  ♦  ♦

I’m an internal medicine specialist. For years, I’ve been struggling with how to convince my patients to exercise regularly and lose excess weight permanently. Why? So they’ll be healthier and live longer. Everyone wants to do that, right? But so few do. Because it’s hard to change lifelong habits to achieve a goal that may be years away. To make the change, you need the right mindset. Yes, it starts in your head.

The old mindset is: “I’ve been fat and lazy for years. I’ll always be fat and lazy. I’ve tried and failed a dozen times to change my lifestyle, and will fail every time.”

What’s the necessary new mindset? “I can do this. I’m not a brainless automaton without free will. I can see that discipline and sacrifice today will pay priceless dividends down the road. I don’t have to be fat just because everyone in my family is. I can overcome temptation. I’m not going to spend time with losers that bring me down. I’ll make new friends, people who live like me and support me. I will not be brainwashed by advertisers and food manufacturers who are only concerned about their profit, not my life. I have a plan for my life, and being fat and lazy aren’t in it.”

I wish I could download and install that into my patients’ brains!

Who created this?

Who created this?

I read this book hoping to pick up some new tips that would help me with my patients that need that mindset shift. And the author did not disappoint. I also ran across several techniques that I already use in my diet books, such as visualization.

Mike Cernovich’s methods include self-talk, posture improvement, mindfulness, focus, visualization, framing, and others. They will help with mindset re-set. The book is a fill-in-the-blank workbook, so buy your own copy and get to work.

The book is explicitly aimed at men. I would say the target demographic age is 16 to 40. The mind-bending methods should work for those over 40. It’s for men wanting more out of life, to rise above the hoi polloi, and willing to do the work.

It’s not a “weight loss book” per se; see the subtitle for details. However, Mr. Cernovich lost weight from 260 to 180 lb (118 to 81 kg). So he knows the struggle. He says, “…it’s almost impossible to maintain high levels of health while eating a diet high in processed foods.” I agree.

I particularly liked the chapter on money and livelihood. Young men need this information. The book is chock full of avuncular advice, so needed these days when too many boys grow up without a masculine role model. (Women, think long and hard about your children before you frivorce your husband.)

A little of the advice herein is California hippy-dippy woo, but it shouldn’t hurt you and may help, even if it doesn’t appeal to me. I’m convinced the author firmly believes in his recommendations and follows his own advice. I’m skeptical about some of the nutritional supplement advice, too; I’d check with P.D. Mangan for his thoughts.

The author hopes Gorilla Mindset becomes a perennial classic. He’s not quite there yet with this edition. He needs a chapter addressing sex/girls/women. Also, many young men need help on how to find a life purpose that motivates them. This isn’t enough: “If you feel unfilled [sic], stop doing whatever it is you’re doing. Try something else. Walk the streets until you’re exhausted. Repeat this every day. When you finally see what you want, your life will change.” My teenage daughter recently took an online occupational aptitude test that really helped give her some direction. My son is next; his interests are superficial and all over the map. Of course, aptitude is nothing without deep interest or passion. Another issue for the next edition: What about God and centuries-old religions?

A watershed moment in the Mike’s adolescence was when his father asked him, “When are you going to get serious?”

I ask you the same.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you think this review has too many words with vowels, you should see my books. They’re full of ’em.

 

Is Your Doctor Involved With a Lab Scam?

For a variety of reasons, physicians in the U.S. typically can’t charge for their services what they think the market will bear.

Take Medicare in the U.S., for instance. Do you know the difference in payment for the same service by the worst and best doctor in town? There is no difference; they get paid the exact same amount by Medicare. In a free market, the best doctor would command a higher fee than Medicare pays, and the worst earns less. If you don’t want to pay the higher fee, go to the cheaper doctor.

So Medicare limits what the better physician could earn. And it rewards lazy, bad doctors. To compensate for the limits on revenue imposed by Medicare and other major health insurers, physicians look for other ways to increase their take-home pay. One of many ways is medical lab testing scams.

Larry Husten has been doing great work covering the recent medical lab testing scams. Click the link below for details. A sample:

“I have received multiple reports from industry observers, doctors, and patients about the new and troubling schemes. These new scams are all based on avoiding, or at least appearing to avoid, the key mistake made by HDL: paying doctors directly for using their services. That is a kickback. The new schemes use a variety of intermediaries– phlebotomy services, physician owned labs, and MSOs (management services organizations)– instead of direct payments. But in the cases I’ve heard about it is completely clear to everyone involved that the doctors are being compensated for purchasing these lab tests.”

Source: The Wild West Of New Laboratory Scams

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you think the entire U.S. medical healthcare system is chaotic and riddled with corruption, I won’t disagree with you. Do your best to stay healthy and stay out of the system.

Dr. Jason Fung: How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes – The Quick Start Guide 

Dr. Fung is a nephrologist and huge advocate of intermittent fasting. He has an article over at DietDoctor that you may find interesting (link below). Beware: at the link you will find an accurate photo of a gangrenous foot that you may find nauseating or disturbing.

I see gangrene in the hospital once a month. It’s one of the things that keeps me motivated to help PWDs (people with diabetes) learn to conquer diabetes.

Another caveat. If you take drugs that have the potential to cause hypoglycemia, you may indeed suffer life-threatening hypoglycemia if you drastically cut back on sugar and other refined carbohydrates. You better know what you’re doing.

Dr. Fung writes:

“Once we understand type 2 diabetes, then the solution becomes pretty bloody obvious. If we have too much sugar in the body, then get rid of it. Don’t simply hide it away so we can’t see it. There are really only two ways to get rid of the excessive sugar in the body.

  1. Don’t put sugar in [nor refined starches]
  2. Burn it off

That’s it. That’s all we need to do. The best part? It’s all natural and completely free. No drugs. No surgery. No cost.”

Source: How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes – The Quick Start Guide – Diet Doctor

Do SGLT2 Inhibitors Increase the Risk of Amputations in Diabetics?

Good question. But we don’t know the answer yet.

European authorities and even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are looking into the possible connection. Stay tuned. Visit The Low Carb Diabetic site (link below) for more details.

“The European Medicines Agency (EMA)’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) has extended the scope of its investigation into the possible link between the sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor canagliflozin (Invokana, Vokanamet, Janssen) and amputations to include other drugs of the same class.

Now, the PRAC’s review will include the other SGLT2 inhibitor medicines dapagliflozin (Farxiga, Xigduo XR, AstraZeneca), and empagliflozin (Jardiance, Boehringer Ingelheim), based on the determination that the potential risk may be relevant for them as well.”

Source: The Low Carb Diabetic: EMA Extends Amputation Investigation to All SGLT2 Inhibitors

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: SGLT2 inhibitors are the drugs that reduce blood glucose by shunting it into your urine. Makes more sense to me instead to reduce your blood sugar by eating fewer carbohydrates, the primary source of blood sugar in most folks.

 

Upset Stomach: Viral Infection or Food Poisoning?

Both manifest as nausea, vomiting, and perhaps abdominal cramps.

Treatments for the two are similar. Food poisoning usually is over wishing 24 hours; viral infections last longer. Click the link below for many helpful details.

“While symptoms of a stomach virus can take days to develop, food poisoning symptoms can occur within 6 hours of eating. People may experience diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and cramps, or a fever. Sickness from food poisoning can last from a few hours to several days, but most cases clear up within a day.People can usually suspect food poisoning if others who consumed the same food are also ill, or they ate unrefrigerated food. Salads, raw or undercooked poultry, eggs, seafood, and other dairy-based products are high-risk foods for food poisoning.”

Source: Stomach Virus or Food Poisoning? Learn the Signs and Symptoms – Medical News Today

Sleep duration and health outcomes in children and adolescents

Paleobetic diet

Probably needs 8 hours a night, if not more. And why is the light on?!

One of my children just finished high school and the other graduated two years ago. I thought both of them were terribly sleep-deprived by their school obligations.

A quote from Obesity Panacea blog:

“Sleep is an essential component of healthy development and is needed for mental and physical health. However, sleep deprivation has become common in modern societies with 24/7 availabilities of commodities and technologies. School-aged children and adolescents generally sleep less now compared with decades ago, with the greatest rate of decline in sleep occurring for adolescents and on school days. Factors responsible for this decline in sleep duration are numerous and include late-night screen time, caffeine use, extracurricular activities, artificial light, and no bedtime rules in the household. It is increasingly accepted that sleep should be taken more seriously by the public health community, i.e. given as much attention and resources as nutrition and physical activity.”

Source: Sleep duration and health outcomes in children and adolescents | Obesity Panacea

Óscar Picazo Compiled a List of Scientific Articles on the Paleolithic Diet

Not Oscar Picazo

Not Oscar Picazo

Click the link below to see the articles, which are in English. Óscar’s introduction:

“Hace ya más de un año, compartí aquí la lista actualizada de estudios hasta la fecha, en relación a la paleodieta, dieta evolutiva, o como se le quiera llamar.El último año ha sido bastante activo en este sentido, con varios trabajos publicados, varios ensayos clínicos, y un meta-análisis.A continuación la lista actualizada. Si falta alguno, por favor indícamelo y lo incluyo.Y solo por recordarlo… mi opinión sobre el tema.”

Source: Paleodieta: Bibliografía actualizada | Óscar Picazo

Thanks, Oscar!

Paleolithic and Mediterranean Diets Linked to Lower Incidence of Colon Polyps

Adenomas in the colon (aka colon polyps) are precursors to colon cancer. Experts think that if we can prevent the onset of colon polyps, we’ll see less colon cancer. A recent study suggests that both a Paleo-type diet and Mediterranean-style diet reduce risk of colon polyps. A sample:

“Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States. Rapidly increasing incidence rates in previously low-incidence populations in urban China and Japan and among male Polynesians in Hawaii have coincided with the adoption of a more westernized lifestyle by those populations. These changing incidence rates, along with studies of immigrant populations, point to a strong influence of diet and other lifestyle factors on CRC risk.”

Source: Paleolithic and Mediterranean Diet Pattern Scores and Risk of Incident, Sporadic Colorectal Adenomas