The thing that I don’t get about this whole “lowfat” diet craze is that it doesn’t work, so “we” just need to do more of it, right?
Which is what I just hear more and more of. I was once a vegan and during that time, I ate a great low-fat diet. I wasn’t eating any coconut oil and I even avoided nuts because they were “too high in fat”. I ate a lot of soy because it was heart healthy for me, right? I ate a lot of beans, grains, plenty of vegetables and fruit. I ate this way for nine years. Imagine my surprise when over the years, I went from a healthy 145lbs to 250lbs, eating a low fat diet, and not only that, I was the gold standard of a low-fat vegan who was praised by all health authorities. Further, imagine my surprise when I went to the doctor for a routine health screen to find my triglycerides were 300, and my cholesterol was 270. I was 25 years old! Thanks to my weight as well, my doctor immediately made assumptions, and told me I might want to think about a “lifestyle change” and cut back on the fatty foods! I can’t tell you how many people think it’s okay to comment on someone’s weight and suddenly, your own medical problems are everyone’s business.
I was very disillusioned and insulted. Here I was, doing everything “right” and I was fat, unhealthy, fatigued and getting sick all the time. In my last year of being veg, I had 15 colds in one year. I also felt cold all the time, even in the summer, despite my copious layer of adipose. I was usually wearing two shirts and wool socks when the weather was 75F outside. Something was very wrong, and I never thought it could be diet-related.
Until I figured that what did I have to lose? I was already fat and sick. What could I really lose by eating eggs, meat and butter? If I had a heart attack and died, how could that be worse than the way I was already living? So, everything “they” told me was “wrong”, I did.
Don’t eat more than 5 eggs per week? I ate that many a day, often eating three eggs for breakfast and then putting two more hard boiled eggs in a salad.
Don’t eat red meat? I ate it twice per week and I didn’t cut the fat off either. I did emphasize grass fed meat though, that I bought at the farmers market, something told me this was better, though I didn’t know it at the time.
Don’t eat fat? I piled butter, coconut oil and tallow on anything I could put it on. I ate liver with butter. I ate steak with more tallow than steak.
Exercise more? I exercised less. I lifted weights more often and cut back on the cardio. A walk was fine, i didn’t need to go for those two hour long jogging trips anymore.
And so on.
Then, guess what happened? I lost weight. My cholesterol and blood pressure dropped so low that I actually had to be on salt therapy for a month because it was “dangerously low” (70/30). I now weigh 180lbs and I’m still losing. My periods, which had been erratic since I was 13, were finally regular, coming every 30 days or so. Where previously, it wasn’t uncommon for me to have a period after 16 days then go 6 months before having another. The condition of my skin and hair improved.
I’ve had one cold in 3 years.
I eat paleo most of the time, save for a few grains that I’ve grown in my yard, buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa, and I still don’t make grains maybe 2-3 times a week, when I really have a craving for porridge. I stay away from sugar, which is a definite trigger for migraines. Speaking of migraines, I used to be crippled by them too. I mean, literally crippled. They would leave me crying under covers in a dark, quiet room for days on end, and just when the haze would start to leave me, I’d see that aura and another one was coming up. In one year, I had 83 migraines, which usually last 3-4 days. There are 52 weeks in a year. Do the math.
After one year of eating paleo, I had 6 migraines. The following year, I had 3. This year, 2011, I’ve had 2 so far, and it’s mid-June as I write this.
And yet, we’re told diet has nothing to do with it?
I’m a living experiment that everything “they” tell you is an outright lie and it’s about time they came to this realisation, looked up the evidence, the examples and said,
“We were wrong.”