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ONE change for the average person?

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  • ONE change for the average person?

    I've been volunteering at the hospital and shadowing doctors this summer. So many of the patients are in there because of problems related to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity-- probably 80% have at least one of those problems.
    It makes me wonder if, as a doctor, it would be best to present health advice gently-- ease them into better habits. To consider the Primal lifestyle as optimal, but realize it's simply not going to happen for most people.

    If you were a doctor faced with an overweight hypertensive patient with arterial blockage and diabetes...and they were only emotionally and physically able to make ONE lifestyle change...what would that be?

  • #2
    This answer is easy, and it's not what you'd probably expect. Most people on this site would say to not eat grains. I don't believe that at all, and I believe that the problems with grain are overstated. If you look at the history of this country, we ate MORE grain 100 years ago than we do now, yet diabetes and heart disease were comparatively rare back then. There is ONE change that mirrors the heart disease and cancer rate almost perfectly.

    Soybean oil consumption.

    My one bit of advice: avoid ALL PUFA seed/vegetable oils. Only cook with real butter, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, non-hydrogenated lard or non-hydrogenated tallow (i.e. meat drippings).

    My personal belief is that it's these oils that are making us fat. The oxidized PUFA content break down our cell membranes and make them permeable whereas a high saturated fat diet makes them firm and resistant. The newly permeable cell membranes are now far more susceptible to damage from lectins as they can much more easily penetrate the cells and damage DNA. So, the grain toxicity is exacerbated by the weakened cells from the oxidized PUFA, and this also allows the oxidized LDL to accumulate in our arteries, which wouldn't happen on a high saturated fat/low PUFA diet. While grain is not healthy, for the average person, they are not the #1 issue. It's the high PUFA diet that is not found anywhere in nature rearranging our genes and making them weak and susceptible to things that normally wouldn't be as damaging.

    The beauty of this advice: it may be hard to give up cereal, pasta and bread for the average person, but I doubt you'll find a single person that'll miss canola oil. Seed oils are mostly flavorless with a light chemical aftertaste and have a disgusting texture. No one would miss them being pulled off the shelves.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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    • #3
      Speaking as a former 300 pound lady here.....

      All processed foods. I dropped a lot of weight just doing that alone. It cuts out so much crap it's unbelievable. I told myself I was allowed cookies, sweets etc so long as *I* made them and controlled the ingredients going into them. Magically, my laziness kicked in and I didn't have a lot of that.

      Nothing out of bags or boxes I think is a really good start.

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      • #4
        Eh, not sure I agree with you there Choco. I'm with you on switching to better fats, of course, but if you're still consuming too much starch and grain (as a sedentary, already overweight person, mind you) I just can't see how that change alone would reverse damage.

        If we're primarily after dropping a few pounds in order to alleviate the damage to our systems, I do think a lower-carb approach is best.

        Now, if your patients were to run wild with the idea of avoiding soybean oil/etc they *might* stop consuming processed foods, but perhaps not.

        If I was a doctor I'd be pretty cut and dry with people, while still being friendly of course, but I'd be straight up with them and tell them to attempt to eat mostly whole foods as often as they can. I'd probably have drafted a little pamphlet or something (if that's allowed, anybody know? there's probably some bullshit about how you can't unless you're specifically a dietician/nutritionist) which would be a primal outline but with more lee-way so that it doesn't seem as though they're changing so drastically.
        I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
          If you look at the history of this country, we ate MORE grain 100 years ago than we do now, yet diabetes and heart disease were comparatively rare back then. There is ONE change that mirrors the heart disease and cancer rate almost perfectly.

          Soybean oil consumption.
          I hate to disagree, but this is simply not the case in Britain where we are also undergoing an obesity and diabetes epidemic. Consumption of grains in 1911 was not higher than today, nor have we had the same infiltration of soybean oil into our food products.

          Our problems do seem to coincide with greater processed grain product and sugar consumption postwar, then hike again with the low fat/saturated fat myth.

          This is not to say that processed oils are not heinous, but I know too many overweight "healthy eaters" who only use EV Olive to be convinced that the fundamental problem is the type of fats we consume.

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          • #6
            It's tough. "More whole foods" seems too vague, and once you make it more specific it becomes potentially overwhelming, but I do think that's the most helpful one. More meat/veggies/fruits/nuts, less things from boxes/bags/cans. Less bread and pasta, more rice and potatoes. Less hot dogs and chicken nuggets, more steaks and whole chickens and pork roasts. Less juice and soda, more water (and optionally coffee and tea).
            "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

            I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.

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            • #7
              .

              Limit sugar, artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup consumption.

              .
              Last edited by Voyageur; 08-25-2011, 08:33 AM.
              There is a huge difference between talking about how to do something and getting it fucking done.

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              • #8
                100 years ago we weren't sitting around on our butts all day either.

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                • #9
                  I agree with eating whole foods. Basically, buy ingredients and assemble them into food yourself.
                  "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

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                  • #10
                    If our great grandparents didn't eat it, spit it out.
                    Ancestral Health Info

                    I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

                    Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.

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                    • #11
                      Easy: quit snacking between the meals.

                      Why? From what I see, the only noticeable difference between the eating habits (amounts, macronutrients, etc.) of the overweight people and the lean ones are that the overweight snack all the time, at work, at home, everywhere, all the time. Quit that, then move on to the next step. One thing at a time, rinse and repeat.

                      Then go back and read the Mark's book.

                      Note: my advice is a 'broscience' in a way...
                      Me@twitter

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                      • #12
                        I would say, go simple. Protein source and veggies, (even if it also included a small baked potato or rice) simply made. Instead of talking about what they can't have talk about what they can (butter, olive oil, meat, etc). I also believe that cutting out boxes/cans and switching to real food simply prepared is easy to understand and assimilate. Maybe a sample menu with ideas on how to prepare ahead (ie. hard boil a dozen eggs) or simple recipes (slap a burger on a grill or pan) could be very helpful to many.

                        I also like the idea that if your great-grandparents didn't eat it spit it out.

                        p.s. the thing about snacking is it is often because there was not enough fat or protein in the previous meal to hold them over until the next one, at least that is what I am finding for myself.
                        Last edited by demuralist; 08-25-2011, 08:33 AM. Reason: edit to add a p.s.
                        Chris
                        "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain."
                        Unknown

                        My journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread36279.html

                        My "Program": doing my version of a 4:3 - 3 day fast diet with real food every day, with a little twist of anti-inflammatory mixed in.

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                        • #13
                          No sugar. If you don't eat sugar you already limit your grain and vegetable oil intake a bit.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by trippplez View Post
                            Why? From what I see, the only noticeable difference between the eating habits (amounts, macronutrients, etc.) of the overweight people and the lean ones are that the overweight snack all the time, at work, at home, everywhere, all the time. Quit that, then move on to the next step. One thing at a time, rinse and repeat.
                            Funny, I'm a fatass and got that way without snacking. In fact, generally not eating very often. Damn my luck! Now, a buddy of mine must have invisi fat, because that guy eats all the time and maintains his muscle definition and low visible BF. I don't invite him over often because he cleans out my fridge. (Although now he bitches that there isn't any bread around.)

                            I'd say one of the biggest helps for people would be:
                            Eat slowly and only until you are sated.
                            My Fitday public journal.
                            Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
                            Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
                            Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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                            • #15
                              Nah, I think the most basic advice I'd give people who need a lot of help is to cut out sugared/flavored beverages. Pop, juice, energy drinks, lemonades, flavored teas, fruity alcohol drinks, etc. I think that would go a long way for most people I know.

                              If they are 99% compliant on that one, I'd move on to the general advice to "limit sweets." Even limiting the obvious ones like cookies, desserts, candy, etc. go a long way. Most people I work with have candy all day long and something sweet with most meals. Yes, some people are doing both of these things already and are still unhealthy from a low sugar but high fast food/pizza/processed food diet, but I think these two things are super basic, easy to get people on board with and can make some real changes.

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