The Problem Is Not In Your Jeans

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Not a Poor Man

Lots of people have diabetes and are just finding out about it, thanks to the new health care insurance law taking effect. I guess that is a good thing, if you have it you should know about it. It’s a shame that what they will get is some good advice “lose weight”, but the advice they get about how to lose weight “exercise and eat less calories” will only work for one out of ten people who get that advice. Todays NY Times has an article about the increase in diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in States that have expanded their Medicaid roles in accordance with the Affordable Care Act:

The number of new diabetes cases identified among poor Americans has surged in states that have embraced the Affordable Care Act, but not in those that have not, a new study has found, suggesting that the health care law may be helping thousands of people get earlier treatment for one of this country’s costliest medical conditions.

It has long been estimated that a great number of Americans has type 2 diabetes and doesn’t yet realize it. Two thirds of us are overweight, and being overweight is a symptom of diabetes. Being obese is almost a one hundred percent certainty that diabetes is also present.

One in 10 Americans have diabetes, and nearly a third of cases have not been diagnosed. The disease takes a toll if it is caught too late, eventually causing heart attacks, blindnesskidney failure and leg and foot amputations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the disease accounts for $176 billion in medical costs annually. The poor and minorities are disproportionately affected.

Being poor is a precursor to diabetes, it seems, but it’s not a prerequisite for it. That is likely to be because the poor get most of their calories every day from highly processed foods. Inexpensive foods tend to be made from inexpensive ingredients. Inexpensive ingredients are those that are produced with the help of farming subsidies–corn, soy, and wheat. Corn and soy are typically genetically modified so that they can resist the poisonous effects of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. This herbicide kills every living thing on the field except for the GMO crops. Some of the things it kills in the soil may be responsible for the nutritional value of the crops. We don’t know. They don’t know either. You are what you eat, you are what your food ate, which included plants. The food chain doesn’t start with plants, they have to eat, too. Eating sugar and starches for most of your calories keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels unnaturally elevated. High insulin leads to insulin resistance, which requires more insulin to do the same work. Eventually your body can’t produce enough insulin for the sugar in your blood–this is diabetes.

The number of Americans with diabetes more than tripled from 1990 to 2010, according to federal data. Nearly all the increase came from Type 2 diabetes, which is often related to obesity and is the more common form of the disease.

We are well on the way to “one out of three Americans has type 2 diabetes.” I predict that headline in the New York Times in my lifetime, unless something changes. What will have to change is the dietary advice found in places like the NY Times. Right now, this is the kind of thing we read when they discuss the explosion of type 2 diabetes in the US:

Dr. David M. Nathan, director of the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, said earlier detection — particularly among the poor, who are more likely to have the disease without knowing it — is the first step in preventing some of the most severe long-term consequences and saving dollars and lives.

“The first step” is earlier detection of diabetes. The actual first step to prevent diabetes related health complications is effective diet advice to prevent diabetes in the first place. Advise people to eat enough to not get hungry, but don’t eat anything that makes them fat:carbs. The best first step would be to prevent the overweight condition in a manner that actually has a chance to do it. A doctor that tells an obese patient that they should lose some weight, perhaps they should eat less or exercise more, is an idiot. What person can give that kind of advice to another human being, as though it had never occurred to the obese to diet or exercise more. Do they hope that a white lab coat has the power to impose willpower on the slothful and corpulent patient? Why does it not occur to the doctor that perhaps the fault is not in the patient, but in the advice? How on Earth could an educated professional give the same advice over and over, only to see it fail each and every time and then always blame the victim!

I have, for the last three weeks eaten nothing but meat, except for one day where that just wasn’t possible for me–yesterday.  In all that time, as you can read in all of my March 2015 entries, I have had minimal adjustment symptoms. I had a couple of days that required that I adjust my fluid intake to match the requirements of a ketone-based energy usage system for my brain and muscles. I had a couple of sleepless nights due to dehydration. I never once felt like my mind was bogged down due to lack of energy. Bear in mind that the beef I eat are not fed the GMO corn grown for the express purpose of feeding cattle cheaply. The pork I eat was not grown in confinement and fed corn and soy to save money. The chicken I eat was not fed corn and dead chickens, sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics, and growth hormones. Even so, despite the extra expense of my choice of food, my diet compares favorably in expense to the cheapest and easiest fare available to the average consumer. The fact is that I just don’t eat as much food as the person eating the Western diet. I am not hungry as often as you are. Two eggs and a slice of ham in the morning. Eight ounces of meat for lunch. A pound of meat at dinner, at most, but typically not. Nothing but water and morning coffee to drink all day. It’s a very inexpensive way to live, even though I spare no expense on the choice of meat.

I pay five dollars per pound for pastured pork. I pay less than that for grass fed beef. Knowing that and just assuming five dollars per pound for all meats that I eat, I spend fifty cents on breakfast. I spend 2.50 on lunch and five dollars on dinner. That is eight dollars per day to feed a grown man every day. That is as expensive as it gets. That is eating beef steak for dinner. A poor person could easily eat less expensive meat, so as to lose weight for a period of weeks or months and pay one third what I am paying, or just five or six dollars per day. The damaging effects of sweets and carbs and the elevated insulin that they cause would be far worse over time than any imaginable effects of eating mostly meat. The average overweight person could expect to lose a great deal of weight eating like I did this month.

I am not losing weight at any quick rate, but I don’t need to lose weight anyway. I am already at a good weight for my size. My intention for just eating meat was never to lose weight. I intend to show that just eating meat is not dangerous. My intention is to show YOU that there is a safer, easier way to lose weight. Avoid hunger.

About dcarmack

I am an instrument technician at the electric utility servicing the Kansas City Missouri metropolitan area. I am in the IBEW, Local 412. I was trained to be a nuclear power plant operator in the USN and served on submarines. I am a Democrat, even more so than those serving in Congress or the White House.
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