Can you find
heart health in a bottle?
sure most of you are as sick as I am of being bombarded
with pharmaceutical advertisements while watching the
evening news. I am particularly frustrated by ads for
cholesterol lowering meds (currently the most popular
prescribed medications) that are bringing in tens of
billions of dollars a year for the drug industry.
not surprising to many of us that the long awaited and
much delayed results for Zetia and the combo statin and
Zetia drug Vytorin have demonstrated less than the
stellar results doctors and patients expected.
Apparently the drug company finally released the data
under threat of Congressional investigation. Congress
should still investigate why the negative results were
withheld for so long while billions of dollars were
being made. How many other drug trial results have been
overstated or never published because the results were
negative? Recent reports tell a similar story regarding
negative research on anti-depressants withheld by drug
manufacturers while overstating positive results.
and New Zealand are the only two countries that allow
direct to consumer advertising for prescription meds. It
is lucrative as statistics show that more than 60% of
the time a patient goes to the doctor and requests a
medication seen on TV it is prescribed. It is unlikely
to think that Congress would take real steps and prevent
this kind of exploitation of the public given the
influence of the pharmaceutical industry.
American reliance on drugs for the quick fix for many
health concerns is leading us down a disastrous and
expensive path. Even kids and teens are being put on
statins. Since these are drugs that are expected to be
taken for a lifetime who knows what will happen to young
bodies after decades? No one knows: certainly not the
makers of these drugs or the physicians prescribing them
because this has never seen studied.
constantly hear that lowering the LDL cholesterol level
is vital to prevent heart disease. Yet research points
to increasing the HDL and decreasing triglycerides as an
important therapeutic target. Is the fixation on LDL
because there are drugs for it while there are no good
drug solutions to HDL and triglycerides? However, there
is a very successful dietary approach that has been
supported by research as being safe and effective. More
about that later.
should be asking after hearing about the Zetia results
is if lowering LDL cholesterol is so important to
protect our hearts, why did plaque formation continue
even with significant reductions in LDL levels in those
taking medication? Focusing on LDL is much too
simplistic an explanation for heart disease. Obviously
other factors are involved.
Additionally, statins and other cholesterol lowering
meds are over-prescribed in populations where no benefit
has been shown. For much more on this see Gary Taubes’
Good Calories, Bad Calories.
experience a worrisome side effect as a result of
lowering LDL with meds is that people think that because
their LDL is low they are no longer at risk for heart
disease and are not likely to do what is necessary to
really protect themselves.
are the alternatives?
certainly is a place for prescription medications in
health care yet they have become the first line of
treatment rather than the last for conditions that best
respond to lifestyle change.
treat a lifelong risk for chronic conditions such as
diabetes, heart disease and even cancer there is no
quick fix. Lifestyle changes are a must. There is no way
around the need for consuming a healthy diet, being
active and maintaining a normal weight. The American
consumer is as much responsible for our over-reliance on
drugs as anyone. How many of us would rather continue to
be obese, inactive and eat what we want and take a pill
hoping that’s enough to protect out health?
size does not fit all
are many dietary programs that people can choose from.
What is important is to choose the plan that you can
live with so you can normalize weight and correct the
underlying imbalances in your body that put you
at risk for diabetes and heart disease. Once you have
done that, you continue to follow a maintenance plan
Everyone is aware of the usual advice of controlling
calories and keeping saturated fat intake very low. We
are told that losing weight is only about calories
in-calories out and daily exercise, ignoring the hormone
effects of different food groups. Yet many follow that
advice and don’t see results. Many follow that advice
for a while and are too hungry to make it a lifestyle.
Many follow that advice and still have risk factors that
are not getting better.
low carb-what do you have to lose?
The benefits of a low carb
lifestyle have been experienced by many for decades.
Contrary to what you hear in the media and from “health
authorities” Atkins-type diets have been researched and
found to be safe and effective. To review low carb
research check out the research section on this site.
This year the American
Diabetes Association finally acknowledged that low carb
diets are at least as effective for weight loss as is
their diet recommendation. The reality is that in
personal practice when done correctly they are very
What you may not know is
that the benefits of a low carb lifestyle are numerous.
protein intake decreases hunger so you find the right
amount of food to eat
allowing you to lose body fat.
significant decreases in triglycerides and elevation in
HDL decreasing cardiovascular risk.
improvement in insulin and blood sugar regulation which
should decrease risk for diabetes and heart disease.
insulin levels are connected to a number of cancers. Low
carb normalizes high insulin levels.
Low carb and
adequate fat intake convert LDL particle size from
smaller to larger less dangerous sizes. It is probably
the particle size rather than the number of LDL
cholesterol that is important.
energy, mood, sleep, GERD and a number of common chronic
complaints are expected results when low curbing.
shown the loss of more fat mass rather than lean mass as
compared to low calorie diets.
There is a
decrease in inflammatory markers that lead to heart
disease and a variety of other serious health
Low carb is a
great way to overcome your carb addiction.
As low carb corrects the
aspects of metabolism that are out of balance, many
people normalize their lipids, decrease their risk for
diabetes and are often able (with their doctor’s help)
to decrease meds for high blood pressure, diabetes and
other medical conditions.
Just as with anything else
worth doing there is a learning curve when starting a
low carb regimen. Be sure to take the time to read the
appropriate materials so you get the most out of your
experience. Having this knowledge will increase your
chances of making that permanent lifestyle change
allowing you to take responsibility for your health.
You are not alone in your
journey. Everyone can increase their chances of success
with on-going support. Utilize the many low carb support
sites and recipes to enhance your experience. You can
find some of these in the recipe section and under the
link section on this site.
For recommended reading on
how to master the Atkins Lifestyle check out the book
section also on this site.
The information presented on this site is in
intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical treatment.
This information should be used in conjunction with the guidance and
care of your physician. Consult your physician before beginning this
program as you would any weight-loss or weight-maintenance program.
Those of you on diuretics or diabetes medication should proceed only
under a doctor’s supervision as changing your diet usually requires a
change in medication dosages. As with any plan, the weight-loss phases
of this program should not be used by patients on dialysis or by
pregnant or nursing women. As with any weight-loss plan, we recommend
anyone under the age of 18 follow the program under the guidance of