Sugar is the Evil Culprit, Not Fat

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A Second Opinion 


    Posted on Sunday, December 23, 2007
  Registered CommenterJon Gilson





My father’s cardiologist needs to have his face forcibly rearranged.
I’m not one to bang heads, but I’d love to walk into that guy’s office
and knock him around a little bit.

Two weeks ago, Dad had a
massive coronary.  Three stents and a stay in the ICU later, he
received the worst piece of advice I’ve ever heard, courtesy of a man
who should know better.  With no hint of irony, the cardiologist told
him to limit his fat intake.

The last thing my favorite
four-heart-attack survivor needs is to stop eating fat.  Quite the
contrary, he needs to swerve his runaway diet directly toward lipids.
A few fat calories would serve to displace a portion of his rampant
carbohydrate consumption, regulating his blood sugar levels and
mitigating his fortress-like insulin resistance.

Unfortunately, there was no mention of carbohydrates in their
discussion.  My dad will avoid fat like the plague, continuing his
steady diet of egg noodles, bread, potatoes, and skim milk.  He’ll be
eating the very stuff that’s been killing him for the last sixty years.

Even worse, his highly educated, stethoscope-toting Specialist will
sleep well at night, thinking he did everything he could to save Dad’s
life.  In reality, he put him on track for heart attack number five,
albeit with a bit more metal in his chest and a newfound appreciation
for the freedom of hospital apparel. 

Perhaps a little less
textbook and a bit more common sense would’ve done the trick.  A simple
lifestyle examination shows that my father’s diet is
carbohydrate-based, his protein consumption is deficient, and the sum
total of his daily exercise consists of getting in and out of his
truck.  Furthermore, his stress levels are off the charts. 

These behavioral patterns haven’t changed a lick during the
twenty-seven years I’ve had the pleasure of being my father’s son.
Given the long duration of this lifestyle and the very unpleasant
result, you would think that Captain Cardiologist’s advice would’ve
turned Dad’s daily routine on its head.  It didn’t.  It just politely
asked him to consume 80% less hamburger.

After I finish the
Doctor’s impromptu facelift, I’m going to sit down with Dad.  We’re
going to cut the sugar from his diet, replace those calories with lean
protein and unsaturated fats, and then we’re going to exercise with as
much intensity as we can without blowing his ticker.  If he has a fifth
heart attack, it’ll be during a PR attempt. 

I’ll be damned
if he’s going to go while eating a grilled cheese sandwich made with
low-fat cheddar and a dollop of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”,
staring vacantly at the ceiling while his no-fat diet drops him into an
early grave.

Picture courtesy of, the fine Ivy-League Institution responsible for my father’s care.




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