Ancient (sort of) Dietary Wisdom, Modern Replies

      108 Comments on Ancient (sort of) Dietary Wisdom, Modern Replies

Some interesting tidbits about the diets from bygone eras showed up in my inbox over the weekend.  (As always, a hearty thank-you to the readers who brought these to my attention.)  Since mainstream health journalists are apparently required to run out and get quotes from people who preach the standard dietary advice for every article they write, I thought I’d do the same this time around.

World’s Oldest Living Human

The government in Brazil has confirmed that one of the country’s citizens is the oldest known human alive:

While the Amazon rainforest is certainly known to be teeming with life, it turns out that the people who live there are too. Maria Lucimar Pereira, an indigenous Amazonian belonging to the Kaxinawá tribe of western Brazil, will soon be celebrating her birthday — her 121st birthday, to be exact. The truth behind Pereira’s remarkable longevity was recently discovered by the Brazilian government while performing a routine review of birth records — which, in her case, date back to 1890 — making her the world’s oldest living person.

Wow.  Maria was in her twenties during World War One and was almost my age when Hitler invaded Poland.  But she’s still alive and kickin’.  She must base her diet on lots of heart-healthy whole grains.

Pereira credits her long-life to an active, healthy lifestyle, in addition to a diet rich in locally grown meats, fruits, and vegetables gathered in the forests around her home — free of the extra salt, sugar, and preservatives so commonly found in foods around the world. Her all-natural diet, along with frequent walks around town, has allowed Pereira to thrive while others, many years her junior, do not.

Meats, fruits and vegetables?  You mean the world’s oldest resident spent more than a century consuming a paleo diet?  For the sake of journalistic balance, I asked the good folks at the Grain Foods Foundation to comment:

A fad diet is still a fad diet, no matter how you dress it up.

Well, I always assumed people stop being swayed by the latest fads once they reach 100, but I see your point.  However, what was I asking was:  how did this woman manage to live so long without whole grains in her diet?

Cutting out one specific food is not only unrealistic, it’s dangerous.  Omitting wheat entirely removes the essential (and disease-fighting!) nutrients it provides including fiber, antioxidants, iron and B vitamins.

So you believe Maria’s grain-free diet will make her susceptible to diseases?

That’s right.

But she’s 121 years old.

Maria’s diet runs completely counter to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the gold standard of scientifically-sound nutrition advice.  The Guidelines call for the average healthy American to consume six one-ounce servings of grain foods daily, half of which should come from whole grains and the other half from enriched grains.

But she’s 121 years old.

Well, she’s not an American either, so she can ignore the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, but you can’t.

But she’s –

Let us explain it this way:  Shut up.

Advice From a Cookware Company

In 1930 – when Maria was 40 years old – the Super Maid Cookware Company published a book titled The Business of Living, which included this passage:

Fat is the product of sugars and starches stored up instead of burned up. These foods are necessary to efficient living, regardless of type or tendency, but their use should be governed by personal need, not by taste or habit…as a matter of fact, a diet should be selected which is relatively low in these values (Sugars and starches). All foods are not alike in their carbon quantities and qualities. Some foods provide very little, others composed almost wholly of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. These foods are natural fuel foods. Nature has provided them for the purpose of energizing the body. A certain amount of storage is valuable. Nature has also provided for that, but it is undoubtedly not the intention of Nature that a diet is composed almost completely of this class of food. The following foods provide little else save potential heat which should be burned up, and if not burned up, will be stored as fat:

Potatoes, prepared after peeling, pies, cakes, cookies, cream puffs, polished rice, doughnuts, arrowroot, candies chocolates, jams, white flour products, sweet crackers, wafers, macaroni, graham flour, molasses, honey, corn syrup, maple syrup, cornmeal products, navy beans, cream soups and cream dressings, corn bread and butter, waffles, hot cakes, spaghetti, malted milk, chili, as well as any number of so-called prepared breakfast foods, especially if served with cream and sugar.

It will be noticed that these foods are found more frequently on the American table than perhaps any other single class. Our dietetic habits usually follow the lines of least resistance, and these foods seem to possess a certain charm for most people. Especially do they find favor with true carbon individuals.

The carbon individual is readily recognized by the rotund outline which characterizes every part of the physical make up. The head is round, the cheeks convex, the chin — well, there are usually two or three of them, each one following the rounding contour of the other. The neck is round and full, both front and back, the tissue is usually folding in symmetrical outline. The chest is round, full and well upholstered, with soft, folding tissues, gradually merging into a round, bulging abdomen; legs and arms are short, round and dimpled at joints, hands conical in shape, with short, smooth fingers. The whole outline is round.

Sounds as if the cookware company was recommending people limit the sugars and starches in their diets.  I figured the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines Committee would want to comment:

We agree with the Super Maid Cookware Company that Americans should limit their intake of sugar.  Now if you’ll excuse us, we-–

But what about grains and other starches?

Uh … well, as we stated in our 2010 Dietary Guidelines, healthy diets are high in carbohydrates. So we agree with the Super Maid Cookware Company on some points, but still recommend Americans consume potatoes, polished rice, arrowroot, white flour products, sweet crackers, wafers, macaroni, graham flour, corn syrup, cornmeal products, navy beans, corn bread, waffles, hot cakes and spaghetti, as well as any number of so-called prepared breakfast foods, especially if served with skim milk.

And when you say recommend, you mean that for schools and other government facilities, you require those foods.

That’s right.  We’re from the government and we’re here to help.

Aren’t you concerned that a lot more kids are growing up to be carbon individuals?

That’s why we support the EPA’s mandatory limits on carbon.

But I don’t see how that will offset-–

Yes, it’s important for all of us to support carbon offsets.  Goodbye.

The Diet For Diabetics in 1915

Before insulin shots were developed, doctors treated diabetes with diet.  Here are some quotes from treatment guidelines written by doctors for other doctors in 1915:

The “starvation treatment” of diabetes, as advanced by Dr. Frederick M. Allen of the Rockefeller Institute Hospital, is undoubtedly a most valuable treatment. At the Massachusetts General Hospital it has been used for several months with great success, and it is thought worth while to publish some of the diets, and details of treatment that have been used there, as a very careful control of the proteid and carbohydrate intake is of the utmost importance if the treatment is to be successful. In carrying out the Allen treatment the physician must think in grams of carbohydrate and proteid—it is not enough simply to cut down the supply of starchy foods; he must know approximately how much carbohydrate and proteid his patient is getting each day.

For forty-eight hours after admission to the hospital the patient is kept on ordinary diet, to determine the severity of his diabetes. Then he is starved, and no food allowed save whiskey and black coffee. The whiskey is given in the coffee: 1 ounce of whiskey every two hours, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. This furnishes roughly about 800 calories. The whiskey is not an essential part of the treatment; it merely furnishes a few calories and keeps the patient more comfortable while he is being starved.

When the patient is sugar-free he is put upon a diet of so-called “5% vegetables,” i.e. vegetables containing approximately 5% carbohydrate. It is best to boil these vegetables three times, with changes of water. In this way their carbohydrate content is reduced, probably about one-half. A moderate amount of fat, in the form of butter, can be given with this vegetable diet if desired. The amount of carbohydrate in these green vegetables is not at all inconsiderable, and if the patient eats as much as he desires, it is possible for him to have an intake of 25 or 30 grams, which is altogether too much; the first day after starvation the carbohydrate intake should not be over 15 grams.

Hmmm … so far, the treatment seems to be all about severely restricting the foods that raise blood sugar.  If they’re not careful, they’ll end up putting people on high-fat diets.  Let’s skip ahead to their case reports to see what the actual diets were.

Case 1. A woman of 64, diabetic for two years. She was sent in from the out-patient department, where she had been receiving a diet of 50 grams of carbohydrate and 50 grams of protein. On this diet she was putting out 8 grams of sugar a day with moderately strong acetone and diacetic acid reactions in her urine. When the carbohydrate was cut in the ward to 30 grams, she put out 3 grams of sugar a day. She complained of severe pruritus vulvae. After sixteen days of this treatment she continued to put out from 0.1% to 0.2% of sugar a day. Allen’s treatment was then started, and after one day of starvation she was sugar-free and remained so for four days on a diet of carbohydrate, 20 grams; protein, 30 grams; fat, 150 grams.

A second starvation day, followed by two vegetable days, and a more careful raising of the diet—as follows—kept her sugar-free, and she was discharged so. Her diets were:

Dec. 12.

  • Carbohydrate, 20 grams.
  • Protein, 30 grams.
  • Fat, 150 grams—1500 calories. No glycosuria.

Dec. 15.

  • Carbohydrate, 30 grams.
  • Protein, 30 grams.
  • Fat, 200 grams—2000 calories. No glycosuria.

Dec. 20.

  • Carbohydrate, 30 grams.
  • Protein, 40 grams.
  • Fat, 180 grams—2000 calories. No glycosuria.

Dec. 26.

  • Carbohydrate, 40 grams.
  • Protein, 40 grams.
  • Fat, 180 grams—2000 calories. No glycosuria.

Dec. 30.

  • Carbohydrates, 50 grams.
  • Protein, 50 grams.
  • Fat, 180 grams—2000 calories. No glycosuria.

Case 4. A Greek (male) of 48, diabetic for two months, entered Jan. 14, 1915, with 3.8% (65 grams) of sugar and moderate acetone reaction. There was no diacetic reaction present at entrance. After one starvation day he became sugar-free, but was kept on starvation one day longer and then started on vegetables in the usual way. After the third day a moderate amount of diacetic acid appeared in the urine and continued. The ammonia rose from 0.7 grams per day to 2.6 grams per day, and then varied from 0.3 to 1.5 grams per day. No symptoms of acidosis.

Jan. 18.

  • Carbohydrate, 15 grams.
  • Protein, 25 grams.
  • Fat, 150 grams—1360 calories. No glycosuria.

Jan. 20.

  • Carbohydrate, 15 grams.
  • Protein, 25 grams.
  • Fat, 200 grams—1571 calories. No glycosuria.

Jan. 24.

  • Carbohydrate, 25 grams.
  • Protein, 35 grams.
  • Fat, 200 grams—1760 calories. No glycosuria.

Jan. 26.

  • Carbohydrate, 35 grams.
  • Protein, 40 grams.
  • Fat, 200 grams—1838 calories. No glycosuria.

Jan. 29.

  • Carbohydrate, 45 grams.
  • Protein, 50 grams.
  • Fat, 200 grams—2194 calories. No glycosuria.

Jan. 31.

  • Carbohydrate, 50 grams.
  • Protein, 60 grams.
  • Fat, 200 grams—2347 calories. No glycosuria.

Only 50 grams of carbohydrates and up to 200 grams of fat?!!  Sounds almost like the diet that crazy Dr. Bernstein recommends for diabetics.  We’d best get a common-sense reply from diabetes educator Hope Warshaw:

Rather than throwing stones and continually citing Richard Bernstein, MD, who as far as I know has only written consumer books and not published one research paper on his recommendations, or discussing your own experience of one, how about providing/discussing citations of well conducted long term research studies in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes (or even prevention trials) who more successfully manage glycemia, lipids and blood pressure and eat healthfully on an intake of carbohydrate below 40% of total calories.

Uh … Dr. Bernstein has published research papers, and I just cited some case histories of people who got their diabetes under control by limiting carbohydrate intake.  There are several more in the original paper if you click the link and—

Countless research studies do not show long term (greater than six months to a year) benefit of low carb diets on blood glucose, weight control, or blood fats.

That’s because those countless studies only lasted six month to a year.  But if you look at case histories–

Nutrition recommendations for people with type 2 diabetes from the American Diabetes Association and other health authorities echo the recently unveiled U.S. 2010 Dietary Guidelines for carbohydrate: about 45 to 65 percent of calories.

But then the diabetics who consume that diet will have to take insulin shots, or their blood sugar will reach toxic levels.

The reality is that if blood glucose is out of control, it’s time to progress to blood glucose-lowering medication(s).

Don’t you think it’s better to control diabetes with food(s) instead of medication(s)?

Diabetics have a right to enjoy the same foods as everyone else.

But they don’t have the same reaction to those foods as everyone else.  Dr. Bernstein found that each extra gram of carbohydrates causes glucose levels to rise by–

No need to write back unless you’ve got well conducted published research studies to share.

From Grandma’s Kitchen

I found this at my mom’s house.  Turns out it belonged to my grandmother.

Since my grandmother only lived to be 95, I think it’s fair to assume her habit of cooking with butter ended her life prematurely.  I sent the photo above to the American Heart Association.  They sent back an updated version and suggested I hang it in my kitchen:


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108 thoughts on “Ancient (sort of) Dietary Wisdom, Modern Replies

  1. Tony Dickson

    @bec Dang I wish I hadn’t clicked that i09 link… grrrrrrrrrr

    And of course the comments that tell the truth get “moved” to “abuse.” I’d post a comment there, but I don’t trust myself.

    Reply
  2. John

    Jose,

    There are several methods, and Tim Ferriss does a great job outlining them in The Four Hour Body. Methods range from the Navy Method (which is neck and waist circumfrence, I believe, and then some math), calipers, bio impedence, ultrasound, bod pod, DEXA, Water submersion, and several more, I’m sure. All methods vary, so you can’t compare (with much accuracy) Navy to ultrasound, or bod pod to DEXA, and so on. I think you can buy a USB ultrasound device for around $200 or so. Bio impedence (on a scale or on an Omron monitor) is probably the most cost effective and precise method that you could get for around 30 dollars or so. DEXA and Bod Pod are probably more accurate, but also more expensive, and more of a hassle.

    Reply
  3. labrat

    Drew – you can’t monitor your glucose level with a urine test. Glucose is normally absent from urine unless your blood sugar is high enough to exceed the renal threshold (somewhere around 180mg/dl)

    Tom
    *** Off Topic ***
    Check out item #5 in this summary judgement by a Wisconsin judge in a raw dairy case.
    http://www.thecompletepatient.com/storage/WIorder-clarification9-11.pdf
    Scary stuff, and you thought you’d be safe from the madness on your own farm!!! Think again.

    I hope to live in a free country again someday.

    Reply
  4. bec

    OMG, Tony, one of the banned comments had this as a response: http://io9.com/abuse/forum?comment=42942782

    **

    I think we found our “missing the point” guy.

    All tissues in your body live off some kind of sugar. Any fat you take in is converted to sugar to give you energy. Starches are long chains of sugar that are converted to more simple sugars in your body. As Keith pointed out, your brain can not live without sugar. It doesn’t have to be refined, nobody ever said it did.

    **

    That comment is apparently by someone who has Dr in front of their name.

    Fat is converted into sugar.

    Let’s just mull on that one. I didn’t do science after tenth grade but even I’m pretty sure that’s wrong.

    Le sigh.

    Holy crap, I feel sorry for anyone who goes to that doctor.

    Reply
  5. Jessie

    “Meats, fruits and vegetables? You mean the world’s oldest resident spent more than a century consuming a paleo diet?”

    Meet Moloko Temo:

    http://www.webtvhub.com/the-134-year-old-woman-kookoo-molookoo-the-oldest-girl-alive/

    At the time of her death – of natural causes – Moloko was 134 years old. Among her favourite foods were coca-cola and sweets. Does that mean pop and candy are healthy staples? No, of course not. She is an example of one woman who enjoyed a long-life despite unhealthy eating habits, just like the woman you mentioned is one example of somebody living a long life eating eating a ‘paleo diet’.

    Reply
  6. Phyllis Mueller

    @Lynnanne–That billboard does take the cheese wheel! I hope the cheesehat maker can get it taken down. It’s wrong in so many ways. It’s especially troubling because cheese is something most children will eat–even the vegetarian children, who are scared of meat because they think it will give them cancer–and they don’t need to be frightened away from a protein-and-fat food by the grim reaper.

    If Neil Barnard and the rest of the folks at PCRM don’t want to eat cheese, they don’t have to, but I’d prefer they keep their extremist views to themselves and their newsletter and fundraising materials.

    Reply
  7. Melinda P

    In response to the article about the claim found fraudulent for Maria:
    1. If she is a brazilian indian, then when she was born in 1890, she was mostly likely not treated as a brazilian citizen, and possibly treated as a slave, unless she was tucked away in the amazon far enough away from the non-indian settlements and cities.
    2. It’s completely logical that she wouldn’t have gotten a birth certificate until the 1980’s, when Brazil when under military rule. And by the way, that birth certificate looks a lot like my brazilian birth certificate (I’m dual citizen US and Brazil) issued just a few years before that.
    3. Back in 1985, they believed her when she said she was 95. Hmm, she must have already looked the part.
    4. Even if she was only born in say 1910, she’s still pretty darn old, and the whole point of this post is still valid.

    Just sayin.

    Reply
  8. C

    I believe we’ll be having a rally at school about nutrition. Unfortunately, that’s not the same thing as a class. The entire school gets crammed into the bleachers, and some dude talks for an hour while everyone ignores him because they’re bored half to death. Wish me luck not yelling at the guy…

    Just bang your head against the bleachers.

    Reply
  9. Tony Dickson

    @bec Dang I wish I hadn’t clicked that i09 link… grrrrrrrrrr

    And of course the comments that tell the truth get “moved” to “abuse.” I’d post a comment there, but I don’t trust myself.

    Reply
  10. labrat

    Drew – you can’t monitor your glucose level with a urine test. Glucose is normally absent from urine unless your blood sugar is high enough to exceed the renal threshold (somewhere around 180mg/dl)

    Tom
    *** Off Topic ***
    Check out item #5 in this summary judgement by a Wisconsin judge in a raw dairy case.
    http://www.thecompletepatient.com/storage/WIorder-clarification9-11.pdf
    Scary stuff, and you thought you’d be safe from the madness on your own farm!!! Think again.

    I hope to live in a free country again someday.

    Reply
  11. bec

    OMG, Tony, one of the banned comments had this as a response: http://io9.com/abuse/forum?comment=42942782

    **

    I think we found our “missing the point” guy.

    All tissues in your body live off some kind of sugar. Any fat you take in is converted to sugar to give you energy. Starches are long chains of sugar that are converted to more simple sugars in your body. As Keith pointed out, your brain can not live without sugar. It doesn’t have to be refined, nobody ever said it did.

    **

    That comment is apparently by someone who has Dr in front of their name.

    Fat is converted into sugar.

    Let’s just mull on that one. I didn’t do science after tenth grade but even I’m pretty sure that’s wrong.

    Le sigh.

    Holy crap, I feel sorry for anyone who goes to that doctor.

    Reply
  12. Phyllis Mueller

    @Lynnanne–That billboard does take the cheese wheel! I hope the cheesehat maker can get it taken down. It’s wrong in so many ways. It’s especially troubling because cheese is something most children will eat–even the vegetarian children, who are scared of meat because they think it will give them cancer–and they don’t need to be frightened away from a protein-and-fat food by the grim reaper.

    If Neil Barnard and the rest of the folks at PCRM don’t want to eat cheese, they don’t have to, but I’d prefer they keep their extremist views to themselves and their newsletter and fundraising materials.

    Reply
  13. C

    I believe we’ll be having a rally at school about nutrition. Unfortunately, that’s not the same thing as a class. The entire school gets crammed into the bleachers, and some dude talks for an hour while everyone ignores him because they’re bored half to death. Wish me luck not yelling at the guy…

    Just bang your head against the bleachers.

    Reply
  14. Nowhereman

    “Her long-life does not seem to be a result of a healthy diet either with spinach, meat, sweets, and coca cola among her favorite foods. Kookoo Molookoo says that the secret to being the oldest girl alive is trust in God and respect for parents.”

    This does not tell us anything terribly useful about Molookoo’s diet. Does she eat everything mentioned there daily, or just some items daily? What is unhealthy about meat and spinach? Are the sweets refined sugars, or some local treat made from honey-covered nuts or dates? So without more information it’s hard to say.

    What the two women do have in common diet-wise is a liking for meat and green veggies, which I find very interesting indeed.

    Reply
  15. Lizzy

    I don’t understand why the cheese manufacturers don’t retaliate with a billboard of their own. There is enough evidence out there to prove that cheese is not bad for you. I don’t really understand why the meat industry doesn’t start up a marketing campaign too. There is enough evidence to prove that meat is not bad and doesn’t cause cancer/heart disease etc… maybe I am naive? 🙂

    When meat and dairy producers have tried promoting their products as healthy, they’ve been shredded in the press.

    Reply
  16. gollum

    Long ago, dm1 and dm2 were just technical issues, why exactly you were dying slowly. The dm2 was, I think, usually detected when your pancreas was shot and the nasty side-effects a la dm1 set in (weight loss, keto crisis, hypo coma, sugary urine). Doctors didn’t have the convenient blood glucose is over this and that means you are diabetic, and people didn’t stuff their faces with hfcs and starch (lots of people were happy when they got any kind of food) until they achieved stellar bg levels in their 30s with a still-functional pancreas.
    That’s my theory I have not checked right now, but I do remember a 1960s European textbook that listed the classical “weight loss” etc. as a symptom. (“It can’t be diabetes, gollum – see – weight LOSS?”)

    archive.org has some antique “educational” 1950? movies about stuff – including diabetes – it’s an imbalance between carbs and insulin you see! Yay.

    Adding alcohol to starvation diet is something I would definitely not recommend. Especially with full-blown diabetes… The caffeine ups the fat burning. The calories are a bit misleading – alcohol processing in the liver eats glycogen reserves. Poor man´s anti-glucose drug may give a nice kick-start to starvation metabolism, but I mean, sounds like pretty thin ice over hypo territory; frail diabetic granma in their 60s getting 50 g alcohol..

    The protein and carbs seem a bit low – way below replacement level – muscle wasting etc.

    The protein is low, but protein can be converted to glucose, so I guess the idea was to get blood sugar down as quickly as possible.

    Reply
  17. Nowhereman

    “Her long-life does not seem to be a result of a healthy diet either with spinach, meat, sweets, and coca cola among her favorite foods. Kookoo Molookoo says that the secret to being the oldest girl alive is trust in God and respect for parents.”

    This does not tell us anything terribly useful about Molookoo’s diet. Does she eat everything mentioned there daily, or just some items daily? What is unhealthy about meat and spinach? Are the sweets refined sugars, or some local treat made from honey-covered nuts or dates? So without more information it’s hard to say.

    What the two women do have in common diet-wise is a liking for meat and green veggies, which I find very interesting indeed.

    Reply
  18. Lizzy

    I don’t understand why the cheese manufacturers don’t retaliate with a billboard of their own. There is enough evidence out there to prove that cheese is not bad for you. I don’t really understand why the meat industry doesn’t start up a marketing campaign too. There is enough evidence to prove that meat is not bad and doesn’t cause cancer/heart disease etc… maybe I am naive? 🙂

    When meat and dairy producers have tried promoting their products as healthy, they’ve been shredded in the press.

    Reply
  19. Drew @ Willpower Is For Fat Pe

    Food should be cooked with butter, bacon fat, plenty of sea salt, and love.

    I’m reminded of the line from National Lampoon’s Family Vacation: “I don’t know why they call it Hamburger Helper. It does just fine on its own.”

    Love it.

    Reply
  20. gollum

    Long ago, dm1 and dm2 were just technical issues, why exactly you were dying slowly. The dm2 was, I think, usually detected when your pancreas was shot and the nasty side-effects a la dm1 set in (weight loss, keto crisis, hypo coma, sugary urine). Doctors didn’t have the convenient blood glucose is over this and that means you are diabetic, and people didn’t stuff their faces with hfcs and starch (lots of people were happy when they got any kind of food) until they achieved stellar bg levels in their 30s with a still-functional pancreas.
    That’s my theory I have not checked right now, but I do remember a 1960s European textbook that listed the classical “weight loss” etc. as a symptom. (“It can’t be diabetes, gollum – see – weight LOSS?”)

    archive.org has some antique “educational” 1950? movies about stuff – including diabetes – it’s an imbalance between carbs and insulin you see! Yay.

    Adding alcohol to starvation diet is something I would definitely not recommend. Especially with full-blown diabetes… The caffeine ups the fat burning. The calories are a bit misleading – alcohol processing in the liver eats glycogen reserves. Poor man´s anti-glucose drug may give a nice kick-start to starvation metabolism, but I mean, sounds like pretty thin ice over hypo territory; frail diabetic granma in their 60s getting 50 g alcohol..

    The protein and carbs seem a bit low – way below replacement level – muscle wasting etc.

    The protein is low, but protein can be converted to glucose, so I guess the idea was to get blood sugar down as quickly as possible.

    Reply
  21. Lynnanne

    Sometimes I wonder if there’s any hope that the medical establishment will ever come around. It’s scary when you have to fight hospitals who insist on feeding you crap food. I’m going in for minor surgery tomorrow (to fix an extreme sports injury–I jammed my foot in the 10th hole at a miniature golf course and snapped a bone). 🙂

    I just had my pre-op conversation with hospital intake. Hoping to head off the worst of their “food”, I told the pre-op woman that I’m allergic to wheat. There was a loooooong pause. “But, we give you crackers in recovery!” she said. “And juice.” I asked if I could have milk instead and I may just as well have asked for battery acid. She started quizzing me on how bad my wheat allergy was…as if, if it wasn’t too bad, I could just live the symptoms instead of them going through the trouble of figuring out what else they could give me.

    I mean, it isn’t as if they have nutritionists on staff to figure out what’s best for patients with allergies to eat, right? Am I the only person with a “wheat allergy” who has ever had surgery at that hospital? Finally I took pity on the woman and said I’d bring my own rice crackers. I’d rather not eat those either, but better rice than wheat. And apparently I’m getting cranberry juice, so I can expect a huge blood sugar spike just before they send me home…but that’s okay, there’s a drug for that!

    You’re the only person I’ve ever heard of who required surgery for miniature golf injury. If I were going into a hospital, I’d probably ask my wife to smuggle in some real food. Perhaps a burger patty hidden inside a cake.

    Reply
  22. Lori

    “She started quizzing me on how bad my wheat allergy was…as if, if it wasn’t too bad, I could just live the symptoms instead of them going through the trouble of figuring out what else they could give me.”

    Sheer laziness on the hospital’s part. Good grief, how hard is it to bring up a couple of boiled eggs and pour a cup of water?

    If it makes you feel any better, I got turf toe at home practicing a dance move. Get well soon.

    Reply
  23. Lynnanne

    Sometimes I wonder if there’s any hope that the medical establishment will ever come around. It’s scary when you have to fight hospitals who insist on feeding you crap food. I’m going in for minor surgery tomorrow (to fix an extreme sports injury–I jammed my foot in the 10th hole at a miniature golf course and snapped a bone). 🙂

    I just had my pre-op conversation with hospital intake. Hoping to head off the worst of their “food”, I told the pre-op woman that I’m allergic to wheat. There was a loooooong pause. “But, we give you crackers in recovery!” she said. “And juice.” I asked if I could have milk instead and I may just as well have asked for battery acid. She started quizzing me on how bad my wheat allergy was…as if, if it wasn’t too bad, I could just live the symptoms instead of them going through the trouble of figuring out what else they could give me.

    I mean, it isn’t as if they have nutritionists on staff to figure out what’s best for patients with allergies to eat, right? Am I the only person with a “wheat allergy” who has ever had surgery at that hospital? Finally I took pity on the woman and said I’d bring my own rice crackers. I’d rather not eat those either, but better rice than wheat. And apparently I’m getting cranberry juice, so I can expect a huge blood sugar spike just before they send me home…but that’s okay, there’s a drug for that!

    You’re the only person I’ve ever heard of who required surgery for miniature golf injury. If I were going into a hospital, I’d probably ask my wife to smuggle in some real food. Perhaps a burger patty hidden inside a cake.

    Reply
  24. Lori

    “She started quizzing me on how bad my wheat allergy was…as if, if it wasn’t too bad, I could just live the symptoms instead of them going through the trouble of figuring out what else they could give me.”

    Sheer laziness on the hospital’s part. Good grief, how hard is it to bring up a couple of boiled eggs and pour a cup of water?

    If it makes you feel any better, I got turf toe at home practicing a dance move. Get well soon.

    Reply
  25. Christopher

    Hey Tom. I went on that article about the cheesehead billboard deal, and decided to read some of the comments. Without a doubt, this was my favorite

    “A physicians group paid for this?
    Doctors kill more people in the US than guns, and they take it out on cheese?
    Let’s boycott doctors!”

    That made me smile. People these days lack basic common sense, something you and your followers have in spades, and a quality I value highly in people. There were other comments that were so stupid I nearly put my head through the computer desk (i’ve broken boards with my head before. Tae Kwon Do is great excercise. It’s more than likely one of the contributing factors of keepin my fat off. And it’s fun and useful to boot. You really can’t beat it)

    Oh, and I also went and checked out the CCF website, as they tend to debunk the rumors of the PCRM. They had some great articles.

    PCRM is always good for a few laughs.

    Reply
  26. Christopher

    Hey Tom. I went on that article about the cheesehead billboard deal, and decided to read some of the comments. Without a doubt, this was my favorite

    “A physicians group paid for this?
    Doctors kill more people in the US than guns, and they take it out on cheese?
    Let’s boycott doctors!”

    That made me smile. People these days lack basic common sense, something you and your followers have in spades, and a quality I value highly in people. There were other comments that were so stupid I nearly put my head through the computer desk (i’ve broken boards with my head before. Tae Kwon Do is great excercise. It’s more than likely one of the contributing factors of keepin my fat off. And it’s fun and useful to boot. You really can’t beat it)

    Oh, and I also went and checked out the CCF website, as they tend to debunk the rumors of the PCRM. They had some great articles.

    PCRM is always good for a few laughs.

    Reply
  27. Auntie M

    “She started quizzing me on how bad my wheat allergy was…”

    Ummm….my response to that would have been, “If I had a peanut allergy, would you try to give me peanuts? Allergic is allergic!” This is why I fear the hospitals. They’re threatening to put me in soon because I have preeclampsia, but I’m trying to hold them off as long as possible. (I’m not swelling or dizzy or headache-y or blurred vision-y as of yet.) If/when I go in, I’m going to raise a stink about the food situation, claim a gluten intolerance, and do everything I can to avoid being forced to order 75-80 grams of carbs PER MEAL. If I can’t get them to change their minds, well, they can’t make me eat it.

    I’m happy to see that “Big Ag” is on the defensive. It means they’re running scared. The bad news is that they have lobbyists and the USDA Food Guidelines on their side, and there may be some Big Brother backlash to all of this. Of course, the genie’s out of the bottle, so we’ll see how successful they can be in the face of the “evil” social media. 🙂

    Sounds like a good time to try intermittent fasting if you can’t sneak in some real food.

    Reply
  28. Auntie M

    “She started quizzing me on how bad my wheat allergy was…”

    Ummm….my response to that would have been, “If I had a peanut allergy, would you try to give me peanuts? Allergic is allergic!” This is why I fear the hospitals. They’re threatening to put me in soon because I have preeclampsia, but I’m trying to hold them off as long as possible. (I’m not swelling or dizzy or headache-y or blurred vision-y as of yet.) If/when I go in, I’m going to raise a stink about the food situation, claim a gluten intolerance, and do everything I can to avoid being forced to order 75-80 grams of carbs PER MEAL. If I can’t get them to change their minds, well, they can’t make me eat it.

    I’m happy to see that “Big Ag” is on the defensive. It means they’re running scared. The bad news is that they have lobbyists and the USDA Food Guidelines on their side, and there may be some Big Brother backlash to all of this. Of course, the genie’s out of the bottle, so we’ll see how successful they can be in the face of the “evil” social media. 🙂

    Sounds like a good time to try intermittent fasting if you can’t sneak in some real food.

    Reply
  29. Lynnanne

    Auntie M,
    I wish you the best of luck fighting the hospital food clowns. After my surgery this morning a very chipper little old lady trotted into my room with a wicker basket full of fragrant warm chocolate chip cookies. She was shocked, shocked I say, and saddened when I told her I didn’t want one. However, the lady in the next bed, who hadn’t had surgery yet, reached for one, causing a re-enactment of that scene at the start of “Aliens” where the nurses race in slo-mo towards Ripley…”Nooo! Don’t eat that cookie! You won’t be able to have surgery!”

    Tom,
    I may have a miniature golf injury, but at least it’s less embarrassing than that of “Sir Robert Jones, who described his own fracture of the fifth metatarsal in 1902, when he injured himself while dancing around a Maypole at a military garden party.” 🙂

    A miniature golf injury is still a close second.

    Reply
  30. AllisonK

    “Diabetics have a right to enjoy the same foods as everyone else. ”

    Sure….and the lactose intollerant have a right to enjoy milk even though it will make them sick later.
    A celiac has the right to enjoy wheat and slowly starve to death even though consuming enough food. My friend is allergic to citrus and it will kill her in any quantity higher than a trace, but she has a right to enjoy it just like I do….keep that epi-pen handy!

    I also have the right to eat bags and bags of candy and bread all day, but it will make me fat and eventually diabetic.
    We all have the right to eat whatever we want. Does that mean it’s a good idea?

    Nope. We should be informing diabetics that they may be able to keep blood sugar under control by restricting carbs. Then if they choose to ignore the advice, it’s their problem.

    Reply
  31. Lynnanne

    Auntie M,
    I wish you the best of luck fighting the hospital food clowns. After my surgery this morning a very chipper little old lady trotted into my room with a wicker basket full of fragrant warm chocolate chip cookies. She was shocked, shocked I say, and saddened when I told her I didn’t want one. However, the lady in the next bed, who hadn’t had surgery yet, reached for one, causing a re-enactment of that scene at the start of “Aliens” where the nurses race in slo-mo towards Ripley…”Nooo! Don’t eat that cookie! You won’t be able to have surgery!”

    Tom,
    I may have a miniature golf injury, but at least it’s less embarrassing than that of “Sir Robert Jones, who described his own fracture of the fifth metatarsal in 1902, when he injured himself while dancing around a Maypole at a military garden party.” 🙂

    A miniature golf injury is still a close second.

    Reply
  32. AllisonK

    Ok, I looked at that wrong didn’t I. The difference between that and my examples is what they are being told to do and how many diabetics think they are doing the right thing.
    I read her original article and thought she was a total loonie. However, Hope Warshaw does have one thing correct. Yes, diabetics do have the “right” to eat the same things as non-diabetics.
    A friend of a friend was just diagnosed as diabetic, and even though I have spent hours upon hours studying the subject, probably more than many “nutritionists” my advice was just politely listened to and then ignored.
    Even though it’s very frustrating at the time, I have found, and possibly you have too….what you say does get through, it just may take weeks, months or even years to sink in. Just let them think it’s their own idea to change their diet.

    I followed you. The trouble with Hope Warshaw is that she’s not even interesting in telling diabetics they might be able to avoid drugs with a low-carb diet. She wants them to eat their carbs and then take their insulin to cover the carbs.

    Reply
  33. AllisonK

    “Diabetics have a right to enjoy the same foods as everyone else. ”

    Sure….and the lactose intollerant have a right to enjoy milk even though it will make them sick later.
    A celiac has the right to enjoy wheat and slowly starve to death even though consuming enough food. My friend is allergic to citrus and it will kill her in any quantity higher than a trace, but she has a right to enjoy it just like I do….keep that epi-pen handy!

    I also have the right to eat bags and bags of candy and bread all day, but it will make me fat and eventually diabetic.
    We all have the right to eat whatever we want. Does that mean it’s a good idea?

    Nope. We should be informing diabetics that they may be able to keep blood sugar under control by restricting carbs. Then if they choose to ignore the advice, it’s their problem.

    Reply
  34. AllisonK

    Ok, I looked at that wrong didn’t I. The difference between that and my examples is what they are being told to do and how many diabetics think they are doing the right thing.
    I read her original article and thought she was a total loonie. However, Hope Warshaw does have one thing correct. Yes, diabetics do have the “right” to eat the same things as non-diabetics.
    A friend of a friend was just diagnosed as diabetic, and even though I have spent hours upon hours studying the subject, probably more than many “nutritionists” my advice was just politely listened to and then ignored.
    Even though it’s very frustrating at the time, I have found, and possibly you have too….what you say does get through, it just may take weeks, months or even years to sink in. Just let them think it’s their own idea to change their diet.

    I followed you. The trouble with Hope Warshaw is that she’s not even interesting in telling diabetics they might be able to avoid drugs with a low-carb diet. She wants them to eat their carbs and then take their insulin to cover the carbs.

    Reply
  35. Susan

    “We should be informing diabetics that they may be able to keep blood sugar under control by restricting carbs. Then if they choose to ignore the advice, it’s their problem.”

    Agreed! In fact, I wish that were the model for most of what passes for medical treatment these days: inform the patient of the options — drug, diet, whatever — and let them choose. But I’m afraid we’re moving farther and farther from that model.

    More’s the pity.

    The model we’re moving towards is being told what to do … or else.

    Reply
  36. Susan

    “We should be informing diabetics that they may be able to keep blood sugar under control by restricting carbs. Then if they choose to ignore the advice, it’s their problem.”

    Agreed! In fact, I wish that were the model for most of what passes for medical treatment these days: inform the patient of the options — drug, diet, whatever — and let them choose. But I’m afraid we’re moving farther and farther from that model.

    More’s the pity.

    The model we’re moving towards is being told what to do … or else.

    Reply

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