Dietitians Still Want Their Advice To Be The Only Advice

I had an interesting couple of days on Twitter earlier in the week. It began with a tweet from the South African doctor I described in this post … the one who insisted that hard-working, professional dietitians would never recommend pancakes as “heart healthy.”  As you’ll recall, I posted several hospital menus designed by dietitians listing foods like pancakes and Frosted Mini-Wheats in the “heart healthy” section.

In response to being proven wrong beyond a shadow of a doubt, The Doc of course tried to change the argument. Twitter trolls never, ever, ever admit they’re wrong — and The Doc is quite a troll.  Tim Noakes is one of his favorite troll targets.  The Doc must have been beside himself when the dietitian-initiated charges against Noakes were dismissed.

Anyway, as you know, dietitians have tried – and in some cases succeeded – to convince state legislatures to grant them a legal monopoly on dispensing dietary advice. They’re doing this to insulate themselves from competition.

That’s not just my opinion. In a video you can watch on this page, the president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics actually encourages people to report “disruptors” to state licensing boards. Here’s the official description of the video:

President Lucille Beseler, MS, RDN, LDN. CDE, FAND, offers members ways to protect the public’s health (and the nutrition and dietetics profession) from “disruptors” – competitors who offer lower-quality care and less-comprehensive services.

Absolutely no doubt about it. Straight from the horse’s mouth: dietitians want these laws to protect the profession from competitors.

On Twitter, Crossfit (one of those competing “disruptors”) posted a link to an article encouraging the Missouri legislature to legalize diet advice – in other words, get rid of laws making it illegal to give advice without a license. Crossfit’s tweet included this quote from the article:

“… rather than genuine health and safety concerns, licensed dietitians are mostly just worried about protecting their monopoly status as the only group that can provide nutritional services in states like Missouri.”

That just annoyed the heck out The Doc. He replied to Crossfit’s tweet with this:

This unconscionable slur against mostly hard-working and knowledgeable professionals shows just what a nasty, unscientific little outfit CrossFit is.

Somebody needs to sit down with The Doc and explain that engaging in wild hyperbole doesn’t strengthen an argument; it simply makes the arguer look pathetic. Unconscionable slur? Really?

The first definition I looked up for unconscionable is shockingly unfair or unjust. Given that the president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics posted a video stating that one purpose of licensing laws is to protect the profession from competition, I don’t see how The Doc could possibly interpret “licensed dietitians are mostly just worried about protecting their monopoly status” as shockingly unjust or unfair. In fact, it’s clearly fair.

And then there’s the fact that Crossfit was merely quoting an article. How exactly does that show them to be a nasty, unscientific little outfit … ?

So I couldn’t resist. I know arguing with trolls is a waste of time, but I tweeted this reply, which included the graphic below:  Crossfit doesn’t want the “hard-working and knowledgeable professionals” who designed this “heart-healthy” hospital menu to have a monopoly on dispensing dietary advice? Why that’s an UNCONSCIONABLE SLUR! Shame, Crossfit!

The Doc replied by calling me a clown and telling me my reasoning is very poor. Heh-heh …. people who want to simply dismiss me after starting an argument they’re going to lose like to point out that I was once a comedian, as if that settles something.

I worked a with a lot of comedians back in the day. If you remove the ones who rely on scatological material to get laughs (what we in the biz call “dick joke” comedians), they were all highly intelligent. Guess what? It actually requires high intelligence to write material that can make a room full of strangers laugh for an hour without resorting to “dick jokes.”  And of course, The Doc and other trolls like to conveniently forget I’m a programmer who designs complex systems.

But since The Doc likes to dismiss me as a comedian, I pointed out that his habit of immediately resorting to insults when he’s proven wrong makes for great comedy.  I asked if he’d charge a fee for me to quote him directly when I need new material.

When he replied with another insult, I suggested that instead of borrowing his tweets as material, we should work together as comedy duo.

THE DOC: Tom, stop saying dietitians recommend Frosted Flakes as heart healthy. It’s not true!

TOM: Uh, Doc?  (Tom holds up big ‘heart healthy’ hospital menu designed by dietitian.)

THE DOC: Your reasoning is very poor.

TOM: Look, Doc, we’ve got people out there recommending Frosted Flakes, Frosted Mini-Wheats and pancakes as “heart healthy.”  Shouldn’t we do something about this?

THE DOC: Yes. Give them a legal monopoly on dietary advice.

TOM: But they’ve even got cinnamon rolls and blueberry muffins listed as “heart healthy.” You do see the big threat to public health, don’t you?

THE DOC: Of course. It’s Tim Noakes.

I don’t think The Doc liked my idea to work as a team.

In the meantime, some dietitians chimed in. Turns out they believe (and as Dave Barry used to say, I’m not making this up!) they’re in the same category as doctors.  Some of their tweets:

You’re so right! Licensed physicians — who needs em’ for medical treatments and care?

Who needs health care professionals anyway? Lets let blogs & 3rd-party gyms diagnose disease & prescribe meds too.

RDs have a 4-year science-based degree. Regulated professions are regulated for a reason, why is that so hard to get!?

Regulated professions are regulated for a reason?  You mean like when Illinois made it illegal to charge a fee for braiding hair without first acquiring a cosmetology license?  Yeah, that was certainly to protect the public.  Lord only knows how many people were rushed to emergency rooms with bad braids.

Milton Friedman once pointed that people have an inexhaustible capacity to believe that whatever benefits them personally also benefits society as a whole. If you have the I.Q. of an eggplant or happen to be a registered dietitian, I suppose Oh, sure, why don’t just let gyms prescribe medical treatments too! sounds like a sensible argument for regulating who can give dietary advice.

For those whose I.Q. is higher than an eggplant’s (and who aren’t registered dietitians anxious to stifle competition), that argument is laughable.

Hate to break it to you, dietitians, but what you do isn’t at all like prescribing medical treatments. The effects of prescription drugs are often profound. The effects of surgery are irreversible. A bad decision by a doctor – the wrong drug, a mistake during surgery – can maim or kill the patient. Quite often, there’s no coming back from a bad medical decision.

Recommending a diet is like that, is it?  Don’t make me laugh. The effects of a diet play out over months or years. Patients can easily monitor many of the effects. Is my weight going down? Are those irritable bowel symptoms going away? Is my skin clearer? Do I sleep better? Do I have more energy? Toss in few inexpensive home testing kits, and patients can also monitor their glucose, blood pressure, A1C, lipids, etc.

If the results of a diet aren’t good, there’s a fix for that: try a different diet. That’s exactly how many of us finally found a diet that works: experiment, monitor the results, adjust the diet, monitor again.

If (egads!) someone takes dietary advice from a trainer at Crossfit and the results aren’t good, nobody was maimed or killed.  It means Crossfit has lost a customer. The frustrated dieter will seek advice elsewhere.  But of course, that’s exactly what some of these dietitians fear.  People who get lousy results following our advice could GO ELSEWHERE?!  We can’t let that happen!  We need laws to make sure our advice is the only advice!  It’s to protect the public!

As you might suspect, some dietitians on Twitter took issue with me posting those hospital menus. No, no, no, those hospital menus weren’t designed by dietitians!

Oh, okay.  I guess that explains the text at the top of this menu:

One dietitian began arguing with me back and forth. She eventually tweeted this:

I am sure you have skill in managing the complications of diabetes, medications insulin dose adjustment and nutritional support of the gut microbiota. Maybe I should focus on entertainment.

If only she had any idea how many diabetic readers over the years have described how they couldn’t get their blood sugar under control until they ditched their dietitian’s advice.

I replied:  Heh-heh … the hospital dietitian’s “skill” in managing my father-in-law’s diabetes was to tell him to eat at least 30 carbs per meal and then inject more insulin to bring down his blood sugar. The “insulin dose adjustment” is done by my mother-in-law, who measures his glucose, reads a chart, and injects insulin. Not complicated, apparently. And yes, I know how to support the gut microbiota.

She kept coming back for more, so I asked a simple question: I tweeted a link to this post about the dietitian who explained why it’s just crazy to give up sugar, and asked, Seriously, would you want me taking advice from this dietitian?

She ignored the question and changed the subject in her next reply.  Troll tactic #4: if someone asks you a direct question and you have no good answer, change the subject.

I replied: Still waiting for an answer: should I take advice from this registered dietitian, since she has all that specialized training and such? I mean, if I had diabetes, she’d give me excellent advice, right?

She replied:

You have already made up your mind.

Now that’s a truly creative answer. Yes, of course, I’d already made up my mind about whether I’d take advice from a dietitian who says it’s crazy to give up “an entire food group” like sugar, but is also a vegetarian. But that shouldn’t stop the dietitian debater on Twitter from answering my question.  One has nothing to do with the other.  It’s about as logical as replying, “I’m not going to answer your question because it’s already Tuesday.”

I asked her to stop dodging the question and give me an answer. Should I follow that registered dietitian’s advice?  The reply:

Not dodging the question at all. You made a general stereotype about my profession and I took acceptance to it. You clearly have a strong belief system and a business model that runs off it. Good for you. Do I think you should give medical advice about a specific disease- nope

Brilliant. She isn’t dodging the question, ya see, but still refuses to answer it. And somehow the issue morphed into me giving medical advice about a specific disease. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, when I say Crossfit trainers and other non-licensed individuals should be legally allowed to give dietary advice, what I really mean is I should be able to give medical advice about a specific disease.

I tried one more time:  Wow. Still won’t answer a simple question — should I follow this registered dietitian’s advice or not? Pointing out what is clearly lousy advice from registered dietitians is not stereotyping your profession. Your profession shouldn’t be immune from criticism or competition.

That brought this reply:

I respect that you have a movie to promote.

Fascinating. Really and truly fascinating.  After refusing once again to answer a simple question, she implies I’m motivated by the desire to promote my movie. So let’s see … if you have a movie to promote, your motives are suspect. If your living depends on people paying you for dietary advice and you want to stifle competition, your motives aren’t suspect at all. You just want to protect the public. Makes sense.

Eventually, someone who might be her daughter (same last name, younger-looking picture) chimed in and told me to just give it up already, because I was arguing with the smartest person she knows.

I replied:  I already gave up when the smartest person you know refused over and over to answer a simple yes/no question about whether I should follow this woman’s advice because she’s a registered dietitian.

The daughter or whatever replied with something like That’s because internet trolls like you aren’t worth her time.

I say something like because the message appeared for a few seconds, then the daughter or whatever quickly blocked me from seeing her tweets.  Now there’s a confident debater.  Jump into an argument, fire off a couple of rounds, then block the other person from seeing or replying to what you just wrote.

That bit about internet trolls like you aren’t worth her time made me laugh. I had been replying to The Doc.  I’d never heard of Mom The Dietitian.  Mom The Dietitian jumped in and started debating me, not the other way around. I asked the same simple question several times, which Mom The Dietitian refused to answer — but she’s definitely not dodging the question! — and yet she kept debating me. Then the daughter jumped in. But I’m the troll.

Man, if I’m not worth her time, she had a funny way of showing it.

Anyway, here’s a quote from the article that prompted this whole Twitter storm in the first place:

Dressing up their concerns in warnings about consumer safety, licensed dietitian groups are quick to invoke images of non-licensed individuals dispensing quack diet advice to uninformed clients. The problem with this argument is that the data utterly fails to back it up.

Dozens of states allow non-dietitians to provide nutritional advice, and there has been no rise in negative health outcomes in any of these states. In fact, there has yet to be a single complaint about bad results from non-licensed nutritional advice in Missouri or anywhere else. This means that rather than genuine health and safety concerns, licensed dietitians are mostly just worried about protecting their monopoly status as the only group that can provide nutritional services in states like Missouri.

Bingo. I’ve been ignoring those highly trained licensed dietitians for years. My diet is high in meat and animal fats. It’s high in cholesterol. I don’t eat “heart healthy” whole grains, whether in pancakes or cereals or breads. I follow the advice I’ve gleaned from reading books, reading studies, attending lectures, listening to podcasts, watching presentations by doctors and scientists on YouTube, etc.

So how’s that working for me?  As it happens, lectures like the one posted below (by Ivor Cummins, who isn’t a doctor or dietitian) finally prompted me to get a coronary calcium test this week. The result: ZERO.

The lab couldn’t send the results directly to me, so they forwarded them to my doctor’s office.  His nurse called to tell me the happy news and to say, “The doctor says that’s fantastic, and keep doing whatever you’re doing.”

I think I’m doing just fine without the government “protecting” me by limiting who’s allowed to give me dietary advice.

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104 thoughts on “Dietitians Still Want Their Advice To Be The Only Advice

  1. Jean

    I love the comment where she says ‘I took acceptance to it’. So she accepts your point of view, does she? Iimagine she meant ‘I took exception to it.’

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      See my other response. That could just be auto-correct or a dictation mistake. I disagreed with the dietitian, but she didn’t strike me as someone who would type “I took acceptance” on purpose.

      1. Paul

        Hi Tom, I looked up Lucille, the head of the dieticians nazi organization of America, or whatever the heck it is called.
        On her website, here is the first “healthy” recipe she lists. Brace yourself. It’s PASTA. Yum, diabetes for dinner.

        Whole wheat pasta with cauliflower sauce — from Lucille’s kitchen
        **Don’t be thrown off by the amount of carbohydrate in this recipe as it has a whopping 12 grams fiber!**
        Makes ~ 2 servings
        = 375 calories, 53g carbohydrates, 12g fiber, 7g fat, and 8g protein
        1 head of cauliflower
        1 tablespoons olive oil
        1 garlic clove
        ¾ cup chicken or vegetable broth
        1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
        Salt and pepper
        Whole wheat pasta (4 ounces dry)

        There are plenty of other toilet bowl purgatory recipes on her website.

  2. Tom Welsh

    “… I took acceptance to it”.

    Apparently she isn’t too hot on English vocabulary either. As an editor, that little gem makes my flesh creep.

    When will people learn that, when it comes to language, “somewhere in the general vicinity” isn’t good enough?

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’m applying benefit of the doubt to that one. My iPad makes some strange auto-correct switcheroos, especially if I’m dictating. I once typed a response to a question about a lipid test, and after I sent it, I saw my iPad switched HDL to JFK. My friend was of course pleased I complimented him on his high JFK.

      1. Walter

        At least you didn’t call him Teddy (“I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.” Kennedy.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Dear old Ted … didn’t care much for the guy, but compared to what came later …

  3. Katie M.

    As a registered dietitian myself, my complaint about those outside the dietetics community is simple: they either utilize their own OPINION to recommend diet changes to a client, or utilize the diet from the brand they represent (i.e. CrossFit). During my pursuit of RD and MS in dietetics credentials, I was educated to provide diet education that best supported the clients wants and needs. It’s a shame that persons from both sides of this argument can’t focus on this goal.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yup. The goal is to find a diet that works, no matter who recommends it.

      1. Katie M.

        Not what I said. Clients need the right diet, but it decidedly matters who is offering that education. Just because you have experience eating doesn’t mean you’re an expert in nutrition.. Generally, there are inept and misinformed people in every profession, registered nutrition experts included. Diet influencers should stay in their lane— until the majority demonstrate they consistently provide diet education for clients (since they refuse to hold themselves to a comparable standard between influencers), they don’t deserve to get paid essentially for their personal opinion. Wouldn’t it be more effective for influencers (such as the author) to get their own RD credentials and fight from the inside for a alternative way to receive compensation?

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Uh, no, they shouldn’t “stay in their lane.” Look, I know you will always believe a monopoly on giving dietary advice is good for society — because it’s good for you, and that’s how people tend to think. Yes, it matters who gives the advice. We want to take advice from people who know what they’re talking about. We want to take advice from people whose advice clearly works. When I give advice, it’s not my “personal opinion.” My advice is the result of years of digging into the research on diet and health, combined with personal experience trying different diets.

          1. JillOz

            Most professionals don’t actually understand this approach, no matter what they bleat about science.The appeal to authority is all.
            They think they’ve gone to uni for a particular qualification so noone else is possibly capable of learning the appropriate material unless someone in an office rubberstamped their poorly written essays.

            I might have agreed once but seeing what otherwise qualified people are capable of and what they give themselves permission to do ie damage people in the service of their own poorly-ballasted ego, I don’t go for that.

            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              If I ever had the attitude that only people with degrees know what they’re doing, becoming a programmer cured me of it. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been hired several times to clean up and rewrite systems that were badly designed and badly coded by people with computer science degrees. My degree is in journalism, and I learned programming on my own.

  4. Firebird7478

    “The effects of surgery are irreversible. A bad decision by a doctor – the wrong drug, a mistake during surgery – can maim or kill the patient. Quite often, there’s no coming back from a bad medical decision.”

    Former White Sox and Red Sox pitcher, Bobby Jenks, just won a $5.1 million lawsuit against a spine surgeon and Massachusetts General Hospital for a botched spine surgery. It turns out the doctor who was suppose to perform the surgery was only there to supervise…and was supervising another surgery taking place at the same time. 🤦‍♂️

    1. Lori Miller

      I haven’t known anybody who had a good result from back surgery. They’ve said it was the worst thing they ever went through, and I can’t see that it helped them.

      1. Stephen T

        I agree.

        A system that pays hospitals per operation has no reason to stop doing them. Coronary stents, outside of emergencies, and coronary bypasses are huge earners with little or no supporting research. Indeed, the research on stents showed no benefit. Somehow these things can happen in medicine can happen without consequences.

      2. Laurie

        My husband, my father and my stepmother have all had excellent long term results from their back surgeries. I know there are people for whom back surgery doesn’t go well, but there are also good outcomes.

      3. Heather W

        I’ve had 3 back surgeries. While they didn’t completely alleviate my pain, they made it so I can walk, which is something I couldn’t do prior to them.

      4. David Way

        Re spinal surgery . There is no real correlation between disk deterioration and back pain . More people have bad disks with no pain than those with pain . I was told I had to have spinal fusion I replied NO. 20 years on . Back is better than it was back then

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’ve had four doctors try to push statins on me (my current GP isn’t one of them). If it happens again, perhaps I’ll whip out my CAC test and see if that makes any difference.

  5. Benjamin David Steele

    I support those willing to argue with knuckleheads. But I must admit I gave up that hobby. It’s an endless task. Trolls seem to run in packs. The more of them you knock down the more of them that show up to repeat the same idiocy ad infinitum.

    Ignoring them hardly seems to help either because, if not challenged, they can be highly influential in dominating debates. It’s a lose-lose scenario. I’ve tried to focus on the long fight. If we keep putting out high quality info, it will slowly spread out into the general public. We already see that happening with ‘low-carb’ and such showing up in the top of Google search terms.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      My rule is to engage in online debates only if I feel like it. I don’t let myself get dragged into debates I consider a waste of time. I find that the occasional online debate makes for good blog fodder.

  6. Melissa

    I saw a dietician on the advice of my doctor because I was concerned about my blood pressure being in the normal but borderline high range. The dietician was horrible. She said that eating ice cream would be a creative way to get more calcium into my diet and gave me brochures and coupons that were provided by a bread company. She knew that the reason for my visit was my concern about my blood pressure. Throughout the whole appointment she kept saying ” high blood pressure is a … (dramatic whisper) Silent Killer!” It was an infuriating experience but at least it eventually lead to me doing my own research on healthy eating.

    1. Randal L. Schwartz

      The whole thing about blood pressure typically leads to taking meds for the rest of your life, but that’s only treating the symptom, and not the cause. My 170/110 blood pressure was the “Come to the maker” moment, and thanks to Tom and Andy, I went Keto for 6 months, dropped 45 pounds with no exercise, starving, or calorie counting (all while eating at fast food places every day), and when I next went in, my blood pressure was 110/70. Then the doc asked what I did to lose the weight and BP, and I told him proudly “Keto!” and he said, “oh, ok, we’ll have to transition you to a better diet soon”. WTF. Last time I saw him, ever. And that has been sustained for seven years now, and I’ve never felt better.

      1. Tom Naughton Post author

        “we’ll have to transition you to a better diet …” As opposed to one that works?!

        1. Walter

          One does have to think the doc is thinking about his income. Of course it could be a matter of religion.

        2. Randal L. Schwartz

          I know. And as you know, many doctors and nutritionists are both afraid of Keto, and treat it as a “fad diet”. Oh you mean the diet my great grandparents were likely following, and thousands of generations before that? The diet that got humans to this point, before we became fat-phobic, particularly saturated fat, and particularly before we had an organization trying to promote grains and health at the same time?

    2. David Way

      A friend while waiting for a hernia opp was told to lose some weight . Doc sent him to a dietician . Recommended white bread sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. Result was spending all week hungry and his weight went up . Went back to lchf .

  7. Marshall

    Shh, don’t tell registered dietitians, but I hear that wait staff at restaurants have been known to give advice when asked about what to eat. This could trigger a ton of lawsuits!

  8. Anonymous

    This argument is like saying doctors shouldn’t be the only ones providing medical information. Let anyone be an engineer and design bridges.

    RDs work in a variety of places. Sure, if you want to have access to someone who skimped out on schooling and internship to help with your keto diet sure. But don’t make the dietitians who work in hospitals and clinics and who provide serious medical therapy suffer by not protecting their credential. It’s frustrating that RDs are the only medical team member without a protected status in all states. Everyone else in the medical field has protection – MDs, DOs, OTs, SLPs, RNs, RTTs, Social Work etc etc etc.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Uh, no, dieticians are not like doctors. See the post for an explanation. If hospitals and clinics want to limit themselves to hiring registered dietitians, that’s fine by me. But to insist only registered dietitians should be allowed to give dietary advice for a fee is ludicrous. If I choose to pay a Crossfit trainer to advise me on diet, that’s none of your business, period. The main reason your profession is suffering is that dietary advice has been so misguided, frustrated people are choosing to go elsewhere.

      1. Stephen T

        I often find that fitness trainers are interested in nutrition and motivated to be up to date. I rarely see that with NHS dietitians, who are still preaching the mistakes of the 1970s, and are so complacent. My daughter is a trainee nurse and asked a dietitian giving a talk to her class what sort of yoghurt she should buy. “Low fat” was the answer. When questioned about the sugar content of low-fat yoghurts this enlightened professional said, “Don’t worry about the sugar.”

        My daughter knows better than the dietitian and asked what research there was against eating natural fat. “It’s common knowledge” was the reply. This excuse for a professional was repeatedly challenged by the young nurses and quickly made her exit.

        The good news is that I now regularly meet nurses who regard the official dietary advice, and those who give it, as useless.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          That’s why I’m not impressed when dietitians insist only they should be allowed give dietary advice because by gosh, they have all that scientific training. I don’t believe regurgitating the conclusions of crappy observational studies qualifies as scientific training.

          1. Firebird7478

            Kinda like when actors fly around in gas guzzling jets, eating thick sirloins, preaching to the rest of us about Climate Change ™, when there are prominent Nobel Prize winning scientists telling us the opposite.

        2. Fred Jones

          this is so encouraging to hear Stephen: many thanks; best wishes to your daughter and her colleagues.

      2. Katie M.

        No no. Clients need to receive the right diet, but if you persist in offering diet advice outside a protected status, how do you truly assess that advice is working? Weight loss and feeling “good” or “better” are bottom tier outcome measurements. It could be equally as detrimental to follow a keto diet or whatever CrossFit is adverting this month as eating a pancake or frosted cereal on a heart healthy diet.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Yes, I know you want to believe those with a “protected status” automatically offer superior advice. That’s simply not the case. I’ve heard literally hundreds of stories from readers whose health improved after they stopped listening to the standard advice and adopted a ketogenic diet, low-carb diet, paleo diet, etc.

          It’s quite easy to assess if the advice is working. How many people do you know who lose weight and feel better on a diet that’s causing harm?

          When I stopped listening to the kind of advice typically offered by registered dietitians — low-fat, lots of hearthealthywholegrains!, etc., my health improved dramatically. HDL went up, weight dropped, triglycerides dropped, psoriasis, arthritis and irritable bowel went away, etc. I just had a coronary calcium test that came back zero. Nine months ago I had a colonoscopy that showed no cancer, no polyps. So what harm am I experiencing by ignoring people like you and refusing to “stay in my lane”?

          Sorry, but the sad truth is that far too many dietitians have been offering crappy advice that doesn’t work. This registered dietitian/idiot, for example:

          If people want to seek alternative advice in a supposedly free country, it’s none of your business. Period.

          1. JillOz

            Here’s my accredited registered dietician example.
            Included in my hospital review doctor’s list post asthma attack was an appointment for a dietician.
            I figured Ok, might as well give it a go.

            She recommended all the five food groups.
            I said I gained weight easily and needed foods that didn’t raise my blood sugar and did not eat grains.
            For snacks she recommended fruit and low fat yoghurt and potatoes.
            She really pushed the potato thing (I do have them occasionally).

            She did not once mention any foodstuff like turkey, steak, eggs etc, or even cheese or a pickle.

            I said to her that she was not responding to my concerns or listening to me and that i had already stated I wanted food recommendations that did not raise my insulin levels.

            She kep talking about the five food groups and later, when I complained to the hospital I was told they always give – wait for it – “evidence-based” advice.

            I listen to dieticians a ton on the radio and online. Some ahve caught up with the low carb thing thank goodness, but NOT ONCE have i ever heard a dietician recommend a snack thart did not immediately raise blood sugar rapidly eg crackers and cheese (the cracker), fruit and low fat yoghurt. They seem to be the favourites.

            So I’ll save my money thanks. I have great advice from the Wheat belly wonder Dr Davis and similar DOCTORS, plenty of herbal advice etc. I’m battling to get to the next stage WB wide and dealing with life issue.

            I’ve already experienced appalling dental and surgical malpractice and received bad dietary advice years ago.
            I don’t need some puffed up egotist who stumbled through an inaccurate degree bossing me around too.

          2. Fred Jones

            you write very well; I wonder how Katie M responds to this articulate and cogent view; it is so clear, when you express it as you do.

            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              Thank you, but it’s nearly impossible to convince someone benefiting from a government monopoly that the monopoly shouldn’t exist.

      1. Tom Naughton Post author

        The Anonymous dietitian needs to read “Skin in the Game.” The difference is that if a bad engineer designs and bridge and the damned thing falls down, the engineer’s career is over. When dietitians give lousy advice and people don’t get healthier, they blame genetics or non-compliance by the patient.

  9. Orvan Taurus

    The comedy team thing wouldn’t have worked out anyway. A comedy team generally needs a Comedian (you take care of that) and a Straight Man. The Straight Man often *plays* an imbecile (but we all know Straight Man is more of an Innocent, really, or at least has an oddly skewed yet self-consistent world-view), but is NOT an actual imbecile. Well, in this case… you’d be down one Straight Man from the start.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I dunno. The Doc takes himself very seriously, which could work for the straight-man role.

  10. Charles-André Fortin

    There was a time when I was younger (even if i’m just 35) that I would argue about the Calorie In Calorie Out. I’ve learn really fast to not do it… It’s like a religion most people are not interested in the truth they just want to be right. Even if my argument is as simple as 2 questions. Why does low carb is more effective for weight loss compare to low fat. If it’s CICO shouldn’t they be as effective? When your toilet is clogged do you say that it’s because more water get in then the water get out? (To explain the difference between the How and the why)

    Almost all the time it finish up like this : “I don’t want to read your proof [because I think you’re wrong and it would take me to much time to read 62 Random Control Trial that show you could be right.].”

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I read that end result of most arguments is that each party walks away more convinced he’s right.

      1. Charles-André Fortin

        You manage to change my mind about CICO. I was doing a McDonald diet at the time limiting the total cal to 2000. I still remember the feeling of always being hungry all the time especially before bed… Then I watch fathead and add the concept of limiting carb to 100g while still keeping my cal to 2000 and like magic the hunger went away.

        Since that time, I learn that the science of nutrition isn’t that far advance. I also learn to spot “bullshit” because I watch Science for smart people. 😉

        Thanks again.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          That’s the difference. With a good diet, appetite is controlled naturally.

  11. Jennifer

    Keep fighting the good fight. I am down 113 pounds since cutting out ‘healthy whole grains’ out of my diet. I have been doing higher fat for over 3 years now and that took care of the fibromyalgia I suffered from for 17 years – no more medication for that. I cut out added sugar over a year ago and my attention and focus control issues resolved. It’s hard to believe I suffered for so long following all the ‘rules.’ If it were not for all of you dietary contrarians writing books, making films, and tweeting away, I’d probably still be obese, sick, and miserable… and starving! I couldn’t drop weight consuming 1500 calories a day and exercising daily! I will be forever grateful that I was able to learn from people other than dietitians. Earlier this year, I got back to a normal BMI after being obese and/or overweight for over 23 years. Wish I hadn’t spent a good portion of my adult life struggling with this, but better late than never. It is criminal that dietitians trying to silence others.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Congratulations on your results. People like you are why we do what we do.

  12. Fred Jones

    Well done on your CAC score! Ivor Cummins would be delighted to hear of your excellent result!!

  13. Lori Miller

    Tom, unlicensed hair braiders could lead to someone having a bad hair day. Someone’s hair could get in their eyes while they’re trying to drive and text, for Pete’s sake. Likewise, someone cutting out pancakes to eat bacon and eggs could…umm…I’ll have to get back to you later.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      “someone cutting out pancakes to eat bacon and eggs could…umm…” … get healthier?

  14. Wayne Gage

    Auto correct can be mean…I filled in a blank with my chosen password which with every press of a key displayed a dot, and later when I went to open the site it would not accept the password . It turned out that the password was two words combined and auto correct changed the two words to a capital letter for each first letter of the word. Finally when I went to choose the same password to another site, there was the option to view the password. Bingo.
    Great post as ever.

      1. Walter

        I had a similar thing happen to me on a large site. I could see my email address even though I could see it, because the site decided to correct the spelling.

        The programmers must have learned programming at Famous Programmers School.

  15. Kathy from Maine

    I saw a dietitian at the hospital once, and brought along a food diary to show what I’d been eating (all good, whole foods). She didn’t even glance at it, and instead asked what I had for dinner the night before. I explained that my mother, who had recently come to live with us, wanted pizza. I hadn’t had pizza in ages, so I indulged her wishes and had a couple slices. AHA! The dietitian explained that I can’t expect to eat pizza every night and still be healthy and lose weight. I again explained that this was the first time I’d had pizza in almost a year, and if she would only look at my food diary, she’d see that.

    Know what her brilliant advice was? She wanted me to eat the same things every day, and for lunch she recommended a baloney sandwich and an apple, which is her preferred lunch.

    Gotta say, I think I’m better on my own.

  16. Don

    The last time my wife was pregnant, a dietician made her keep a food log because she had gestational diabetes the previous pregnancy. After reviewing my wife’s diet for two weeks, she gave this carefully studied reply, “You need to eat more carbs. Try crackers.” Crackers! Who knew keeping diabetes under control was so simple.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Clearly someone who recommends crackers to a diabetic should have a monopoly on dispensing dietary advice.

  17. James Childress

    I stayed at a hospital once. I was given a diabetic meal. It was Beef Stroganof. Yep pasta is great for diabetics!

      1. James Childress

        I know right! Well at least it was portion controlled. Fortunately for me the reason I was in there was due to an accidental overdose of one of my diabetic meds and was there mostly for observation in case my blood sugar crashed. It also came with one cookie and jello.

      2. Walter

        But carbs are _standard of care_ for dieabetics. (Diabetics deliberately misspelled) See also _Case of the Toxic Spell Dump_ by Harry Turtledove

    1. Bonnie

      The diabetic meal they gave me was chicken in white sauce mixed with pasta – I don’t remember what they called it. After surgery I’m sure it really spiked my blood glucose!

  18. Sandi

    I also have a score of 0, no calcification at all

    I am 57 and have always eaten fats and meats, lots of both

  19. JillOz

    “licensed dietitians are mostly just worried about protecting their monopoly status as the only group that can provide nutritional services,…”

    Dentists are like this too only less sensitive than dieticians. About clients, I hasten to add, not about their egos or turf.

  20. Greg

    By very virtue of their protected status, RDs have no real motivation to keep up with the research, and they don’t. They’re content to endlessly parrot what they learned years ago, and whatever the AHA says about low fat and sugar.

    Basically, they absolutely should be registered. Just like we register sex offenders, so all will know the danger they represent.

    1. chris c

      Oh yes! And on the same subject they probably think “outcomes” is a kind of safe sex.

  21. JM

    A friend or ours(74 male) is a type 2 diabetic, has been for over several decades. He has been following the advice of dietitians here in the States. About 7 years ago his wife took a 2 years research post in Europe and they lived in a rural area(either Czech or Slovakia). Within two months his diabetes disappeared. His diet changed over there to what was available. When they came back his diabetes returned, again following current advice. I tried in vain to point out why it went away for those two years. Nope he is following the advice of knowing experts.

  22. Elenor

    Congrats on your excellent (i.e., non-existent!) cardio-calcium. Emory, here in ATL, recently got the newest MRI: NO coffin, very little clanking, AND it’s so fast it “takes the picture” BETWEEN heartbeats! So, no sedative, no marker dyes, no claustrophobia…

    With fearing and trembling (and cause they offered the scan for just $100 as a come-one-come-all intro), I lay myself down for them. Their ‘relaxing music’ was so loud I couldn’t tell if the recorded very soft woman’s voice in the machine was saying “hold your breath” — so I guessed she was and did…

    I was thinking — ‘well, maybe a bad (or even-just mediocre) score will help ‘encourage’ me to quit any cheating? (My “M___ is bad” isn’t math, Barbie, it’s motivation!)

    Me too! ZERO calcium! (So, SOME motivation there: “let’s work to keep it that way!” But no ‘fear-and-loathing’ motivation… (Probably good too.)

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Congratulations on the score. The scanner where I went was blessedly quiet.

  23. Robert

    I’ve noticed the Anointed and another group you’ve mentioned, the True Believers, seem to come out of the same mold. Another theory I’d like to mention, the air in/air out hypothesis. I had a flat tire in the parking lot of Walmart. If tire repairmen worked like the health “experts” do on obesity, this is what they’d say, “Your tire is flat because more air went out than in.” Thankfully, that’s not how they work. They found the leak, fixed it, and reinflated the tire. Now it holds air. The health “x-spurts” (“x” being an unknown quantity and “spurt” being a drip under pressure) that subscribe to the calories in/calories out theory are doing the same thing. The wisdom of crowds is helping thousands of people “fix their leaks.” Ro

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      The Anointed and True Believers are quite often the same people, yes. Both have the impulse to impose their beliefs on others, to see those who disagree as evil or stupid, and to ignore evidence they’re wrong.

  24. chris c

    My story differs significantly from many other people, yet is curiously the same.

    In retrospect I obviously lost my Phase 1 insulin response in early childhood, so any appreciable amount of carbs would spike my blood glucose. But my Phase 2 still worked but failed to shut off properly so my glucose would drop (reactive hypoglycemia) leading to a dump of “counterreulatory hormones including but not limited to cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine.

    Despite eating carbs every couple of hours to avoid falling over, I became incredibly scrawny as a kid and spent most of my life at low normal weight BUT I still had the blood glucose, blood pressure and lipids etc. of a fat person. And the gallstones which were obviously blamed on eating “too much fat” when the opposite was true. Likewise the lipids – low HDL, high LDL and sky high trigs, which pattern is called “diabetic dyslipidemia” for a reason.

    Eventually I was sent to a dietician, who was determined to remove as much fat as possible from my diet and replace it with carbs. Finally I became fat – I quickly gained about 15 kilos all round my gut, and my lipids and all my symptoms got worse.

    The dietician did what they usually do and accused me of “Failing To Comply” with the diet. With the aid of a glucometer and the internet I soon wised up, and when I ACTUALLY stopped complying with the diet – in fact I eat almost the exact opposite of what I was told – I lost the weight again, doubled my HDL and dropped my trigs to between a tenth and a fifth of what they were, so obviously I killed my insulin resistance. Since then I stopped my statins, antidepressants and H2 blockers and remain on a minimum dose of BP meds. It took dropping the wheat to remove my GERD and intestinal grumbling (and I seldom fart).

    I’ve been doing this for fourteen years now. Mind you I am now fourteen years older. I probably wouldn’t be if I was still eating the high carb low fat rubbish, and if I was still alive I would be much fatter, on several diabetes meds and probably with fewer than the average number of limbs.

    None of this is in any way out of the ordinary, yet most dieticians refuse to believe it is possible to live without basing every meal on Holy Health Grains. I started using that phrase because of their apparently religious belief, then discovered thanks to Gary and Belinda Fettke among others that it actually IS a religious belief.

    The curious thing is that there are now a few dieticians sticking their heads above the parapet and indignantly claiming they never dissed low carb diets, but the effect is somewhat spoiled by their colleagues still attacking low carb/paleo.keto “fad diets”, as above.

    The curious thing is that so many dieticians are at least portly if not downright obese, and they often look unhealthy – carb face or Vegan Neck – so what to they do? Do they accuse themselves of failing to comply with their diet?

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Seems to be a very common experience, and yet some dietitians believe we should only be allowed to take advice from them.

  25. Kitzler Muëller

    From your recommendations I can only surmise that you are a seventh day Adventist or that you are getting paid by their food industry friends. Promoting type 2 diabetes with your unscientific approach is sick.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      To whom are you directing that comment? Since I recommend a diet high in animal protein the Seventh Day Adventists preach vegetarianism, I assume you’re not speaking to me.

  26. Zach

    Two comments:
    I’m reading The Lore of Nutrition by Noakes and it is amazing. Even though I have been educating myself about this way of eating for years, it is so well written and supported that I am learning a lot.
    Second, what if dieticians are no less competent than any other group of experts but the nature of nutrition allows for easy n=1 self-experimentation? After all, we are not going to perform back surgery on ourselves but we can easily try low carb for a month and see if it helps. This makes it obvious to anyone curious that the dogma of nutrition is wrong. But it is likely far from the only wrong dogma, just the easiest to investigate by a layperson.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Agreed, which is why it’s so silly to contend that only RDs should be able to recommend a diet. We can easily check the results for ourselves.

  27. Keith

    Its crazy, the funny thing is the same happened to me, I was fat and overweight, like morbidly obese, and I had gone to nutritionist to try to lose weight, and it started good but then I was so depressed, angry and the results slowed way too much. It was like a living hell, eating mostly low fat grains, fruit juices and a lot of carbs. I quitted paying money to nutritionist and started researching for myself. Long and behold I learned more about nutrition than most of the dietitians and now I am at my ideal weight for the first time of my life, of course learning something new everyday. Now I will never take professional words as gospel without doing the research myself. never go blindly to a doctor or nutritionist, do your research, check the literature, use common sense and if there are a lot of annectodtes pay attention to them as well, they are valuable too, just take them with a slight degree of healthy skepticism. Take your health back folks and stop gloryfing doctors and professionals in general, they are humans and regardless of their tittle THEY ARE MORE WRONG THAN YOU THINK.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Well said. If many RDs had their way, you wouldn’t have had access to the “disruptors” offering the alternative advice that actually worked for you.

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