Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Changing Dietary Understanding. Dr Ted Naiman

Given what he's now doing and saying, it's useful to look at Dr Naiman's background. (Pronounced Neighman) He trained first as an engineer, hopeful of joining Boeing on graduation. History, got in the way, in 1993 Boeing was putting engineers off. Naiman needed a plan B. So he entered the Loma Linda University Medical School, a place steeped in vegetarian traditions.

[From Wikipedia:]Loma Linda University (LLU) is a Seventh-day Adventist coeducational health sciences university located in Loma Linda, California, United States. The University comprises eight schools and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Today, a community of about 9,000 Adventists in the Loma Linda area are the core of America's Blue Zone. They live as much as a decade longer than the rest of us, and they believe much of their longevity can be attributed to vegetarianism and regular exercise. Plus, Adventists don't smoke or drink alcohol.

Loma Linda was chosen as an American Blue Zone by Dan Buettner for his book, "Blue Zones: Lessons For Living Longer From The People Who've Lived The Longest."

Life as a vegetarian,

Ted Naiman at 28 and again at 43

Naiman was raised as a vegetarian, in Colorado. He was delighted to attend Loma Linda University, and he was very strict about eating in a vegetarian way. Beans and soy were a significant part of his diet. He thought he was "healthy."

On reflection he now understands that he wasn't healthy at all. His body structure was weak. He was always hungry. He felt tired all the time. His skin condition was poor. His athletic ability was weak.

"In my medical education, there was no focus on diet. As far as I could tell, I was eating a "text book" healthy diet. Lots of vegetables and whole grain foods. Almost zero saturated fat, and hardly ever any animal products. In medical school we were taught to look at families, where you could often see a pattern of good health or poor health. We were taught that this was the effect of genetics in the family. Most of the medical problems we would meet as doctors were natural, the effect of aging and genetics."

Having graduated in 1997, he worked for the next three years as a junior doctor, under supervision, in a hospital. During that time, a patient who he had previously seen, suddenly lost weight and reversed his diabetes symptoms. Naiman had never seen that before, so he asked how that happened. He was told about the Atkins diet. Naiman discussed this with his supervisor. He was told that he must never recommend the Atkins Diet to anyone. The patients "success" was dismissed, with the view that on an Atkins Diet, in a few years he will be dead. High cholesterol was the problem, in his supervisors opinion.

"So as medical students we were told to accept that because of their poor genetic make-up, and their failure to exercise, most patients would get fatter and sicker, and there was nothing that we could do about that."

Over the next two years Naiman studied nutrition for a research paper he was expected to write at the end of his residency. He discovered that there was a lot of prior literature that supported the Atkins Diet, and that his own personal experiments seemed to have gone well. In 2000, Michael and Mary Eades published their book "Protein Power" which confirmed the dietary direction his own work was already taking.

Dr. Ted Naiman on Blood Tests, Diabetes, Obesity, Carbohydrate and more #LCHF. (Video 40 Minutes.)

Working as a doctor.

"For a long time I tried to apply what I was learning in my own life. In the Medical Center where I worked there as a strong view that low-carbohydrate high-fat diets were dangerous. So while his my confidence grew, I seldom shared this knowledge with patients. For a long time I flew under the radar."

Today he's very open about what he's recommending, and he's got hundreds of patients with successful results, using the LCHF approach. Still at the Virginia Mason Medical Center, where he works, many doctors remain strongly opposed to his interventions.

"In my daily work I like to deal with people who have obesity problems, or type two diabetes, because I know I can help them. But I also deal a lot with people who have addiction problems, alcohol, meth, heroin, cocaine. It's interesting. If people who are addicted, can feed themselves in the same way I ask people who are obese to eat, if they can eat nutrient dense foods, their addiction is much easier to deal with.

Insulin Resistance

The plague in our society is undiagnosed, even unsuspected insulin resistance. You can't get fat, or get type two diabetes without it. There is a simple test anyone can do, you only need a tape measure. Measure your height, and waist. (cm or inches) Divide your waist by your height, and the result should be a number less than 0.50. This measure is quite sensitive, at 0.53, you are already overweight. At 5.55 you need to seriously consider corrective action. At 5.60 your doctor has been telling you for a long time that you are too heavy. There is serious risk for future CVD, stroke and diabetes. Even at 0.51, probably when you were 30, insulin resistance is already developing, and it builds and builds over the years. If weight is an issue for you, insulin resistance is the topic you need to discuss with your doctor.

Measuring your weight or calculating your BMI, are less reliable measures of your health.

70% of all deaths today, are from chronic diseases, many of which were virtually unknown 100 years ago. These are modern lifestyle diseases all caused in the first instance by our poor nutrition, and secondly by our failure to exercise. It's easy to do something about that. Some of us will. Target insulin resistance, not blood sugar. Refer to Dr Jason Fung for that detail.

Mitochondria for Fat Oxidation

People don't understand where the energy of the body comes from. All of your cells have mitochondria that are continually converting glucose, fatty acids or ketones into ATP, the energy your cells use. (Krebs Cycle) You have less than 6 seconds supply of ATP in your body at any time, so this production process is continuous and under strict control.

Mitochondria are energy conversion units.
They are inside every cell in your body.

If you exercise your cells produce more mitochondria to help with the process. The most effective exercise for that is easy to do and it's very quick. Exercise the muscle to failure with a suitable weight and a very slow continuous movement. It should take between 60 seconds and 90 seconds to reach failure (inability to continue) if the weight is right. Then don't do that again for 7 days, allow the muscle to recover fully. (See "Body by Science" by Dr Doug McGuff.)

There are five exercises to do. You don't need to change your clothes or even break a sweat. You don't need any equipment except a bar to hang from or pull-up on.

The five exercises: Horizontal push (moving the door frame, or the car), and horizontal pull (rowing).
Vertical pull (pull-up on a bar) and vertical push (push-ups).
Finally a squat either a stationary squat with your hands pressing up against a table, or a moving squat with your hands holding weights.

FEED Yourself

People eat too much because they are malnourished. Your body has a requirement for certain fatty acids and amino acids that it can't make itself. If those are not already in your food, you body will drive you to eat more. If you eat the same old wrong foods, that doesn't help. You MUST eat foods that contain those essential acids. We don't lack calories, most of us eat far too many calories, but we eat empty calories, without the essential nutriments.

So the first step to good health is to FEED yourself. Eat good quality food. Start the day with four to six eggs and a little bacon on the side. You may not need to eat again for six hours. Eggs are an ideal food, but so are fatty meats. Gram for gram both are about 50% protein and 50% fat. In calories that makes the breakfast 70% fat and 30% protein. By all means add tomatoes, mushrooms or spinach or kale for variety.

"Plan your day around the main sources of protein you will eat. Two meals a day, with something small or maybe nothing for lunch. Focus on nutrient dense foods and you'll never feel hungry because you've met your bodies need for essential fatty acids and amino acids."

As I planned to write this blog, yesterday, I looked up "nutrient dense foods" and I uncovered the old philosophical arguments that plague nutrition. There is some science, but mostly it's prejudice, pretending to be science. I will write about that next time.

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