I need to lose weight, and modern weight-loss regimens involving less eating and more exercise clearly don’t work. If they did, everyone would be slim. Diets that are high in protein and low in carbohydrate do work, as many studies have shown:
• Vilhjalmur Stefansson travelled with Inuit groups, and over five years ate the same diet as them, just about 100% caribou meat. He observed that he, the Inuit, as well as northern Europeans (like us) who ate the same diet of meat as them, were among the healthiest of people he had ever seen.
• Blake Donaldson treated thousands of obese patients with a diet high in fat and protein and low in carbs (including sugar, flour, alcohol, and starch) and a low, but not zero ration of raw fruit or root vegetables. Most of his patients lost two to three pounds per week.
• Alfred Pennington learned about the diet from Donaldson and prescribed it to his patients, beginning around 1944. George Gerhmann, at the highly regarded medical department at Dupont, also tried the meat diet on the overweight executives at the company, after calorie-reduction and exercise regimens failed.
• Margaret Ohlson and Charlotte Young did similar research into the meat diet, and published journal articles describing their positive results. The articles were ignored, but thousands of obese and overweight patients lost appreciable amounts of weight without starving themselves.
I am losing weight on this diet: about four pounds per week so far.
I also need to lower my blood sugar, and if possible by means other than giving myself insulin. In the few days since I started this diet, my insulin needs have sharply decreased: down to a quarter of my usual overnight dose, and down to ZERO of the mealtime dose on a couple of days so far.
I’ll address a few common objections to this diet:
1) If you don’t eat enough starch or sugar, you’ll starve your brain of glucose.
The liver has been synthesizing glucose and delivering it to the brain for hundreds of millions of years. It’s inconceivable that such an important biological function could depend on the vagaries of diet.
2) Your diet is deficient in a number of important nutrients.
All the vitamins and amino acids required by the body are present in meat, eggs, and dairy. It is known that a high carbohydrate diet, leading to high levels of blood sugars including glucose, is a cause of nutrient deficiencies. For example, Vitamin C and glucose have a similar molecular structure, and the two molecules compete for cellular receptor sites. Glucose wins, which causes the deficiency of Vitamin C. There is observational evidence that victims of scurvy only succumbed to the disease if their diets lacked Vitamin C AND were high in refined carbohydrate and sugar. Although eating fruit can cure scurvy, it does not follow that a lack of fruit causes it.
In any case, I am continuing to take vitamin and mineral supplements, and I’ll ask for bloodwork to evaluate whether I have any other deficiencies.
3) It’s important to eat a variety of foods in order to maintain health.
This very reasonable recommendation, asserted by everyone, lacks any scientific proof. It is based on the observation that some foods can correct dietary deficiencies, but without establishing that a lack of these foods actually causes these deficiencies. Again, sugar and starch could be the culprit in many of these deficiencies. A diet of meat is just as healthy, in terms of nutrients, as a diet of vegetables. Potatoes and bananas may be good sources of potassium, but that doesn’t mean we have to eat them.
4) Meat contains too much fat and cholesterol.
Fat has been exonerated as an agent of heart disease or poor health in general. There is as much cholesterol, of the “good” and “bad” varieties, in every food.
5) Eating meat is bad for the planet.
This is one objection that is difficult for me to deal with. However, getting our meat from a local butcher supplied by local farmers cuts down on environmental costs of meat.
There are environmental benefits to eating meat, including red meat from cows. Cows graze on marginal land that is not suitable for farming. They eat grass, and obtain most of their water from grass, dew, rainwater, and snowmelt. Their manure nourishes more grass production. There are experiments underway in Africa where cattle are helping to expand land into desert regions by encouraging the growth of grass.
Consumption of vegetables in winter means that we are eating food that has come from hundreds or thousands of miles away, and moreover is produced by farms that exploit poor illegal immigrant workers. And most vegetables that Canadians eat in winter come from the United States, an unstable and unpredictable country.