What I enjoyed immensely about the conference was that each speaker approached the LCHF topic from a different perspective. We heard talks about obesity, diabetes, heart disease, mental health, cancer as well as sports performance. The exciting thing for me was to see the positive role a low carb, high fat diet can play in all of them. It left me very hopeful about the future. We CAN turn this ship of ill-health around. But as a number of the speakers emphasised – it will take a “bottom-up” swell. Everyone needs to educate themselves, find their voices and start questioning conventional wisdom. What we are currently doing is not working. It is time for change. In this post I share some more “nuggets” from the LCHF 2015 conference from various speakers.
Dr Gary Fettke summed it up beautifully, “Sugar makes you hungry, carbs make you fat, and vegetable oils make you sick and inflamed“. As an orthopaedic surgeon, a significant part of his practice is working with people suffering from the complications of diabetes and obesity. In other words, he is the one that will amputate your foot or replace your knee. He went on to say that gout and autoimmune diseases are on the rise. Mental health disorders are too, and all that medicine is doing is throwing drugs at the problem. This type of solution is reactive and not financially sustainable. The root cause of all disease is inflammation. What causes inflammation? Sugars (including fructose), refined carbs and vegetable oils. Did you know that a bowl of pasta has 15 teaspoons of sugar and 1 potato has 6 teaspoons? Modern food truly is a weapon of mass destruction.
The tall and gorgeous Dr Andreas Eenfeldt (the Diet Doctor from Sweden) had some real pearls to share with the audience. The food industry would have us all believe that there is no bad food, only bad character. In other words, people are sick and fat because they don’t have any willpower and are gluttons. He says that we need to stop blaming the victims. Studies show that people who are obese have high insulin levels, and people who are thin have low insulin levels. Carbohydrates cause high insulin levels in the body. Frequent snacking hinders weight loss even further by keeping the insulin levels elevated, and the body constantly in a fat-storing mode. How can we help our children? Start by taking junk food out of the home. Dr Eenfeldt also busted the “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” myth when he stated, “Don’t eat breakfast if you are not hungry, especially if you have weight to lose.”
Our very first lady presenter was Dr Anne Childers, a child and adult -trained psychiatric physician. She shared a sobering fact: 1 in 10 children in the US have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Could this be because American adolescents consume 34 teaspoons of sugar a day? Potato chips are one of the most obesinogenic foods on the planet, and also causes dental caries. Alzheimer’s disease is now being referred to as type 3 diabetes (because of the links to poor blood glucose control). Therefore all diabetics are at risk of getting it. Statins can lead to irritability, depression and poor memory. Type 2 diabetes is also associated with statin use. She spoke about the healing properties of gelatine to correct degenerative and inflammatory disease. Bone broth is therefore an excellent food to consume.
I am pretty sure that Dr Robert Cywes ruffled a few feathers with his controversial statements that carbs are addictive and a snack is an “emotional event”. Dr Cywes is an ex-South African, who for the past 15 years has been working in America as a paediatric and adult bariatric surgeon. He believes, “You have to hate being fat, more than you love carbs to be able to give them up”. Obesity isn’t a hunger or nutrition problem, it is a pleasure problem grounded in substance abuse. Wow! He went on to say that sugar is a drug, not a food. 70 to 90 percent of a fat person’s total calories come from carbs. People suffering from obesity have lost control over their consumption of carbohydrates, so we need to treat obese people from an addiction point of view.
Dr Michael Eades (who devotes his clinical time to bariatric, nutrition and metabolic medicine), gave us a little history lesson, which was completely fascinating. Basically, we are hunter-gatherers at our core. We gave up our guts to develop brains (Compare the size of our abdomen and brain to that of apes.) Our brains grew when humans started hunting and moved away from a plant-based diet. We didn’t evolve to eat meat – we evolved BECAUSE we ate meat. Based on stable isotope analysis, humans were top-level carnivores. When humans started to farm agriculturally, tooth decay became rampant, and they suffered from far more infections and lowered immune systems than those who continued in the hunter-gatherer way of life. He cited the ancient Egyptians, who according to archaeological findings, ate a predominantly wheat-based diet. They also consumed some fowl and vegetables, but stone-ground bread was a staple. And guess what? Rehydrated mummy autopsies showed that they suffered from heart disease (as evidenced by calcification of the arteries), dental decay, diabetes and obesity – all our diseases of modern civilisation. Ancient statues depicting the Egyptian form illustrated that the men had pot-bellies and man boobs, and the women were distinctly round.
It amazes me how we have so easily let history repeat itself. I thought we were intelligent enough to learn from our past mistakes? I therefore greatly admire each one of these speakers, who have gone against the grain, risked their careers, suffered much criticism from the medical fraternity, yet continue to do their best to show us that there is a better way.
Here is a link to Part 1 of the “Nuggets from the LCHF 2015 conference, in case you missed it.
Look out for Part 3, coming soon …….