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What's considered healthy nutrition by medical professionals...tales from Detroit

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  • What's considered healthy nutrition by medical professionals...tales from Detroit

    I go to school Detroit, MI in grad school to become a physician assistant (PA-C). Between the efforts of many people, a free screening clinic has been created as a research assessment tool (and to help people). We screen cholesterol, glucose, lung function (due to being in the most polluted zip code in Michigan), height/weight, blood pressure. We'll also be screening for lead due to how polluted this area is.

    Today we had a very interesing day. We went in groups of 4-5 to different areas surrounding the clinic to "market" the free services so we have enough research data. We have pamphlets about what to eat with hypertension, diabetes, etc. (eat lots to vegetable oil, no butter/lard, lots of whole grains, etc...we know the drill). Plus we just want to get them there.

    While we were out marketing, we were also supposed to get a healthy snack (to prove how difficult it is in that area). We went to a gas station. I went straight to the shell-on nuts and proclaimed, "This is the healthiest thing you're going to find in here (assuming they're not rancid)." The responses I got?

    "Not hardly. That's too much fat and sodium for a hypertensive diabetic." I tried to explain that these had very little sodium relative to most anything else in the store, but it fell on deaf ears. (In fact, some had only 4% of your daily sodium intake per serving)

    Then there was a Subway and everyone said, "What's wrong with Subway?" I said, "You do realize that diabetics shouldn't be eating that many carbs, right? And you were worried about the sodium content in the nuts when this has so much more sodium and carbs!" I got looked at like I had five eyes. Of course I got the standard, "No, carbs are important for brain function. You just have to make the right choices at Subway, like turkey on wheat. No mayo."

    Finally, after we met back at the center, people were discussing the grocery store contents they saw. One girl said, "You wouldn't believe it, but this one store had a whole case of whole milk and there was only a tiny selection of the healthy low fat milks. Plus they had all these chicken drumsticks and thighs instead of the healthy white meat. And they had weird meat parts like chicken feet and stuff."

    Finally I had enough and spoke up. I said, "You know, people have been eating these so-called weird, unhealthy foods for many many years. Butter, whole milk, all of whole animals. And they were healthy. The processed foods is where the disease is. Look at all of your "healthy" cheap snack findings. What did you get? Grains and sugar. The primary ingredients in all of your snack finds is grains and sugar. Not healthy. Where are your nutrients? And as far as the chicken feet, I use them for homemade chicken stock. They have lots of gelatin. You can all think I'm weird if you want to."

    I can't believe I said that in front of 50 people, but you know what? It felt good. I can't believe what people think is healthy. It angers me that we, as a profession, are giving health advice to people and making them sicker, especially if they follow our advice.

  • #2
    My hat's off to you! I could never be so brave. I hear people talking rubbish about nutrition all the time, including doctors and nutritionists. They think they're being oh-so-healthy by eating Cheerios with skim milk and guzzling down diet Coke. Oh, and don't forget 2 hours of cardio daily. *shudder*

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    • #3
      I'm a Respiratory Therapist and I hear you! I see it day in and day out even from Registered Dieticians who should know better.

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      • #4
        I am so happy to see people in the medical field speaking some sense. Fight the good fight and don't give up!!
        "It may be normal darling, but I'd rather be natural." -Holly Golightly

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        • #5
          Shannon! Be careful; they'll drum you out of the program!!

          Seriously, I admire you for confronting them, but you realize, don't you, that all their instructors and textbooks are on their side? I agree that it's outrageous, especially since these people will be spewing this stuff at actual people with medical problems. What our society has done to diabetics is nothing short of criminal.

          Of course, don't listen to me since I must be brain dead from the lack of carbs, since they are SO necessary for brain function:-)

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          • #6
            Nurse in a cardiac lab at a major medical institution. Good luck. You will need it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by emmie View Post
              Shannon! Be careful; they'll drum you out of the program!!

              Seriously, I admire you for confronting them, but you realize, don't you, that all their instructors and textbooks are on their side? I agree that it's outrageous, especially since these people will be spewing this stuff at actual people with medical problems. What our society has done to diabetics is nothing short of criminal.

              Of course, don't listen to me since I must be brain dead from the lack of carbs, since they are SO necessary for brain function:-)
              I know; I have to watch it. Little do they know I "cured" my IBS with probiotics and relaxation a few years ago. When I told that to a couple people in my class, they didn't know what to say. I had cried myself to sleep every night because my stomach hurt so badly. I had visited the ER numerous times only to find nothing. I went to a few (supposedly) really good GI docs. None of them could help me. Finally, one recommended probiotics. He didn't know of a specific brand, but said in such a kind way, "Honey, I don't have any traditional options left for you. I know you're in pain, but I don't know what to do." I went through many probiotics without help, but I found one that completely eliminated my symptoms for the most part. Now, I get the symptoms maybe 3 times a year instead of daily. Usually with stress. So, I am grateful to so-called alternative medicine. I'm not saying that allopathic medicine isn't helpful. I just think it sometimes does more harm than good...like the "diabetic diets" I see in hospitals. Unbelievable.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lojasmo View Post
                Nurse in a cardiac lab at a major medical institution. Good luck. You will need it.
                I know, thanks. And I bet all those patients you see in the cardiac lab could use some primal meals.

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                • #9
                  I'm also a nurse. I've been trying to spread the word in subtle ways, both with coworkers and patients. Most times I hit a wall. We have to tread carefully in our line of work, and I'm not ready to stop just yet. I have chatted with an internist who is also a friend a bit, he agrees the recommendations for 200+ grams of carbs a day for a type 2 DM diet, as recommended by government and of course, drug companies, is completely off base. We have to chat some more.

                  Regardless, I also admire what you did. Gotta start somewhere, rather than completely going against everything you know is the right way.
                  My musings

                  The old stuff

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                  • #10
                    I work in health care too. Today I had a patient ask if a specific exercise would help his arthritis. He was over doing it with the exercises he was doing in the clinic, but kept insisting if he had to hurt to help his arthritis he would do it. We had previously talked about PB for arthritis, just touched on it a bit. But, he *can't give up grains. He can hurt himself, but he can't give up grains.
                    Meghan

                    My MDA journal

                    Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

                    And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NutMeg View Post
                      I work in health care too. Today I had a patient ask if a specific exercise would help his arthritis. He was over doing it with the exercises he was doing in the clinic, but kept insisting if he had to hurt to help his arthritis he would do it. We had previously talked about PB for arthritis, just touched on it a bit. But, he *can't give up grains. He can hurt himself, but he can't give up grains.
                      Hmmmm...sounds like my friend at school who was JUST diagnosed with Crohn's...during our series on GI issues. Irony, at least to me. So we started talking and I gently said, "Well, have you looked into diet at all?" Her response was: "what's that got to do with it? I eat really healthy." For CW, she DOES eat healthy. Low fat yogurt with bran for breakfast. A hummus and turkey rollup w/ veggies for lunch. And I'm not sure what for dinner, but she's generally "healthy" at least in a theoretical sense. (She also brings me pastured chicken eggs, so I don't want to lose my source by saying something too much. wink )

                      I told her about primal and specific carbohydrate diet, but doesn't think it will help her. oh well.

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                      • #12
                        I used to get flareups with crohns all the time..was on like 20 pills a day with arthritic pain, bloody stools...2 years ago i switched to primal, made sure never to touch gluten again...haven't had a sign of crohns since, not taking meds, no pain or blood...doctors are baffled (but but it's genetics not diet!!) lol sucks for them since I don't have to pay them anymore. I remember fasting made a big difference as well. If I didn't research myself I would have never known and I would still be suffering.

                        But don't say that to doctors or nutritionists, they will think you are an idiot and killing yourself. How stupid of us to eat natural whole foods right? lol

                        Anyways, at least you tried to get through, it amazes me that people will choose to keep eating foods that hurt them rather than change. What fools.
                        Last edited by BlazeKING; 09-30-2010, 03:34 PM.

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                        • #13
                          I mean can you really blame them? We all have been told all our lives that Saturated Fats, Dietary Cholesterol, and Meat are unhealthy for us, and we should stick to a low fat/whole grain type of diet. Ever since 10,000 years ago, humans have been addicted to sugar and carbs. How sad.

                          Now, we are in a minority and are trying to spread the Truth. Most will not listen because we are in the minority, and CW has got all of us fooled. That is what "every" doctor they know say, and will not listen to some craze mastermind like Mark or Robb.

                          I mean, you will be amazed how my parents looked at me when I told them that Animal Fats (that big ass fatty steak) is good for you. They really think I am trying to kill myself, and are praying for me everyday. The truth is out there, but it is not easy to accept. Once you have been indoctrinated into CW, it is very hard for one to change their mindset.
                          Last edited by Zed; 09-30-2010, 03:47 PM.

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