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Questions, confusion and frustration

Discussion in 'Food, Nutrition and Recipes' started by Sarbak, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. Sarbak

    Sarbak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so I apologise in advance for the word vomit that may follow... I think most of the questions I'm going to ask are rhetorical. I basically just want to vent... think out loud... and maybe find out if others feel the same way as me.

    I haven't contributed a great deal to the forum yet - I'm still reasonably new, but what I have done is read a LOT of threads, particularly in relation to T2D and nutrition. A couple of days ago, someone (sorry, can't remember who or on what thread) posted this video:



    I've now watched quite a few videos of this guy and he seems pretty sensible and thorough. However, I've also watched quite a few other videos about nutrition, many of which also seem sensible and thorough - not specifically related to diabetes and not specifically related to weight loss (my two main focuses at the moment). So, for argument's sake, let's remove T2D and obesity from the equation in my case and say I was just looking for some scientifically proven evidence in favour of a day to day way of eating to give me the best longevity of life and medical outcome.

    Nutritional science (as I understand it) is essentially the proving or disproving of hypothesis around what happens to our bodies based on the food we eat. So, when someone sets out to prove or disprove a hypothesis, there is usually a motivational bias at play. For example, someone wanting to prove that a plant based diet (see Netflix video - What the Health), which was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back for me) is THE best nutritional diet for health and longevity (including for weight control, diabetes, heart disease blah blah) is able to find studies that support that theory and, if the way they convey their message is convincing enough, people will believe it. Now, when I say "people will believe it", I'm not implying it's a lie necessarily. What I'm saying is that I've pretty much concluded that the vast majority of studies have motivational bias at their core and therefore, depending on what they are trying to prove, once they have enough evidence in their favour, will end the study and publish their results. There are many studies (some cited in Paul Mason's video above), where the findings were intentionally never published or the results were at least obscured or skewed in some way.

    [more to follow - the site doesn't seem to want me to publish this long post in one]
     
    #1 Sarbak, Sep 21, 2020 at 10:30 AM
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  2. Sarbak

    Sarbak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    So, having now watched quite a lot of YouTube videos and various documentaries on Netflix and other places, I think I've pretty much concluded the following:

    ● Most (probably all) nutritional studies are undertaken to prove or disprove a hypothesis (e.g. eggs are bad for you/good for you, saturated fats are bad for you/good for you, low carb is best, high carb is best, low fat is best, plant based is best, etc etc…). See links below for the eggs are bad for you vs eggs are good for you nonsense... apparently, eating eggs can give you cancer, T2D and cardiovascular disease OR can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke... depending on what you believe?

    https://www.fivesec.co/blog/why-you-should-not-eat-eggs

    https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-eggs#:~:text=Eggs are a very good,as zinc, iron and copper.

    ● Many nutritional studies will keep going until they’ve proven their hypothesis, even if this means changing the goalposts along the way

    ● Many nutritional studies are stopped early or results unpublished because the findings didn’t suit the motivational bias that was the reason for the study

    ● Most (perhaps all?) nutritional studies are supported by or funded by individual(s) and/or organisation(s) with a motivational bias

    ● Very few studies are truly comparable – something Dr Sarah Hallberg talks about in this video:



    [again, more to follow]
     
    #2 Sarbak, Sep 21, 2020 at 10:32 AM
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  3. Sarbak

    Sarbak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    ● Doctors are taught very little about nutrition in medical school – in the UK, it seems to be between 10 and 24 hours of nutritional education over 5 or 6 years. So, we can’t rely on the vast majority of health professionals to know any more than we do about nutrition.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-43504125#:~:text="We're taught about 10,of nutrition in June 2018.

    https://nutritionfacts.org/2017/06/08/how-much-nutrition-education-do-doctors-get/

    ● Governments can’t be trusted to tell us the truth, because there’s usually an agenda or corruption in the form of funding from corporations who would be negatively affected by the truth (I know I’m sounding like a crazy conspiracy theorist now, right? lol)

    [still more to follow]
     
  4. Sarbak

    Sarbak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    ● Health organisations can’t necessarily be trusted to tell us the truth (although I suspect it’s slightly different in the UK with it’s national health service) – see the Netflix documentary mentioned above, which has an absolute gem of a clip where a hospital’s media relations manager cancelled an arranged interview with a surgeon who advocates dietary change for patients, but the media relations manager stated "the hospital makes money off these surgeries… so we can’t do anything that will negatively impact the hospital…"

    ● Media can’t be trusted to tell us the truth, because they will print virtually anything that sells – often by intentionally click baiting and causing panic

    So, what do I believe in relation to my two challenges right now – obesity and T2D? Well, I believe this:

    ● With perhaps very few exceptions, any ‘diet’ plan will cause me to lose weight, so long as my calorific intake is lower than my body needs (some, of course, being more ‘sensible’ and/or sustainable than others)

    ● Losing weight (by any means) and becoming much more active will likely put my HbA1C number back into the normal zone

    ● Daily testing, at least in the short term, is the only way for me to see the immediate impact of my food choices on my blood glucose levels

    [yeah... more to follow]
     
  5. Sarbak

    Sarbak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    And as for my future… after getting my HbA1C back in the normal range and… I guess… getting into ‘remission’ (I know this is a controversial word here), I have absolutely no ******* clue what way of eating I should follow that will give me the best chance at longevity and overall good health, because there is simply too much contradictory evidence in support of all the different ways of eating and I’m just not convinced which, if any, are actually true in an unbiased, rigorously tested, peer reviewed, long term way… I mean, over 10, 20, 30+ years.

    Do you know, with 100% certainty that the way of eating that you follow, whilst it may seem the best way of managing your diabetes on a daily basis, even over months or years, won’t have a negative impact in the long term on some other part of your body’s function or health? If you do, then you’re lucky, because I absolutely don’t have that and it frustrates me, now that I’ve finally decided to care about my health after nearly 50 years of not doing so lol.

    I guess all I can do is eat in a way that doesn’t trigger the return of my diabetes and hope that whatever that diet is doesn’t screw anything else up somewhere down the line.

    Let me ask you all this.. and I'm genuinely interested in honest opinions. Do you think that we naturally tend to believe things that align with our own thoughts, theories, beliefs and dismiss everything else as nonsense? I definitely find myself believing some things that I read or watch much more easily than I believe others and when I think about why, it's because it makes a bit more sense to me and aligns with what my own pre-conceived ideas or beliefs are. So, is that what we all do - just subconsciously ignore or dismiss all the other stuff? *sigh*

    Hey ho. Well, typing all this out was a little therapeutic.

    *EDIT since typing this out and attempting to post it yesterday (site gremlins got the better of me) – I just watched this video, which pretty much sums up my thinking. Published findings of studies are intentionally or unintentionally misleading and there’s no way to truly know what the best overall way of eating is (taking T2D out of the equation).



    [THE END... YAY]
     
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  6. JoKalsbeek

    JoKalsbeek I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    When I was first diagnosed I read a few books before stumbling onto Dr. Jason Fung and compatriots. One book was Dutch and basically said I'd be fine, just tweak my diet a little. (It was very moderately low carb and wouldn't've done much for me). Another was either Austrian or Swiss, and advocated low carb in a reasonable, calm and reassuring manner. Then there was a rather alarmist, shouty American book that basically told me from chapter one "Eat like this or you'll wake up dead tomorrow morning". One was practically vegan, another nixed red meats, etc etc.... I do know I didn't WANT to hear I couldn't have certain things anymore, but what was talked about made sense. So far Fung rang the most true for me, but... Every test, all research, is done starting with one premise, and it either gets proved or disproved. Which often means there are skewed results because of tunnel vision and yeah, bias. So the best thing I did was be my own guineau pig. I found over the course of a few years that LCHF put my T2 in remission, that keto with IF took me a step further, and wahey, carnivore, so far, is treating a few other ailments while keeping my blood sugars hovering in the 4's and 5's. The only thing these diets have in common as a theme is that they're gradations of low carb, and it's working for me. I am healthier, function better mentally than before, and so far the only drawbacks are social ones. I can hardly eat out, it seems. Especially in a world that appears to be becoming ever more vegan.

    So, what to do, who to believe? Your meter. It's not funded by anyone but you, and it has no desire to get into The Lancet, or sell you slimming shakes. If you go from a few "givens" (and assumptions that they really are givens would have to be made, for the sake of sanity!), like, harm comes when you're over 8,5 mmol/l and doesn't when you're under, and you see what your meter is telling you... And quite possibly have a blood panel done every year to check vits and mins for instance... If your numbers are generally good, you can see for yourself which diet would best suit you. Just try one for a month, or another, or, or etc, and go from there. See what works for you. I mean.... I was eating salads, nuts and veggies every single day for years, and now as it turns out... I don't respond too well to plants in general. Heck, even the tea I've been guzzling hurt me. I felt bad for such a long time (not as bad as when I was diagnosed, but not 100% well either, though comparing to where I started from, I thought I was), but my blood sugars and liver function were back to good... I kind of ignored my thyroid and migraine issues as I'd given up on those a decade or so ago. And believe me, the last thing I wanted to hear was "Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, water only; if a lion eats it, so can you.". I miss my greens! I miss just ordering an uncomplicated salad-without-the-croutons-please-and-thank-you. And I'd kill for some Earl Grey or Chai... But this is what is working for me. Through trial and error. Still learning as I go along, and have for the past 4 years. But that's ME. Make a study of YOU. There's so many studies online that can point you in any direction, really, but none of them are about you, specifically. So test. Test diets, test blood glucose, test other values, test, test, test, and learn what applies to you.
     
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  7. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru
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    I am in the very (un)fortunate situation that I have a number of other conditions as well as blood glucose dysregulation.

    Why am I fortunate?
    Because I get some very rapid feedback when I do stuff that exacerbates any of those conditions.
    So far, the way of eating and living that seems to do me the least harm on a day to day basis is one where my carbs are minimal, my macros are ketogenic and other foods are excluded (who wants diarrhoea and gut pain, skin issues, brain fog, enervation, all body aching, and insomnia on a daily basis? Come on, hands up? Anyone? Anyone?)

    So I get to choose (daily) what kind of life I want to live.
    Miserable, symptomatic, uncomfortable?
    Or with a functioning brain, a body that kinda works, and a somewhat more optimistic outlook?

    Makes things rather simple for me :D

    Regarding the longer term... well... that decision and speculation is also taken care of.
    If I had not followed all the (low carb gluten free) breadcrumbs that brought me to this way of eating/living then my goodness what a miserable life I would have had over previous years. How depressing that would have been. And how depressing the likely future.

    Regarding long term health and a zippy enthusiastic old age? Well, lets just see. I do feel that current lifestyle, blood glucose, gut health, energy levels, etc. etc. all make the future more likely to be pleasant than if I lived in a way that made every day a miserable grind.

    I would even go out on a limb and say that a life with my current eating/lifestyle for the next 15 years (I am currently 53) is a hands down winner over a life that might last another 40 years, but would involve the variety of aches pains and symptoms that would kick off with a different eating/lifestyle - and all the attendant medications they would demand.
     
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  8. ziggy_w

    ziggy_w Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello @Sarbak,

    Really interesting thread - and probably echoing what many of us ask ourselves.

    I guess the key issue is the question how much can we trust the research in nutrition ... and how much does the initial bias of researchers play into this.

    In general, I don't put much faith in any of the findings of nutritional "science" -- this is because much of this is based on epidemiology (and usually badly done on top of this). Data are usually collected by survey asking people to remember what they ate in the last year (hey, I can't even recall what I had yesterday unless I write it down the very same day), which usually leads to underreporting (especially of foods considered less healthy). In the analysis little or no effort is made to control for alternative explanations (i.e. healthy user bias). Much or all of this was addressed in the video by Gary Taubes, which you have posted.

    Moreover, long-term RCTs (randomized controlled trials) are not feasible in nutrition as first of all it rarely works to assign people to a diet (as in the long term, we generally end up eating what we want to eat and not what we are told to eat) and second the diet we eat might actually be related to other things (such as energy levels leading to more or less exercise -- so that we don't know whether positive health outcomes are due to diet or exercise).

    So, in the end, if you believe, like I do, that nutritional "science" has not much to tell us, maybe bias in the end doesn't make too much of a difference.

    So, personally I tend to trust my meter more than anything I read. I also feel fitter, younger, healthier by switching to low carb than before diagnosis (blood tests seem to confirm this) and this way of eating has become second nature. In my view, there are also some of us who are genetically predisposed to T2, who might generelly benefit from having fewer carbs.

    For all others, many different ways of eating might work for health and longevity -- as long as it doesn't include too much overprocessed foodstuff.

    Edited for missing words and spelling.
     
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    #8 ziggy_w, Sep 21, 2020 at 12:05 PM
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  9. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    I like your thinking, and I'm glad you managed to post, despite the technical hurdles!
    Of course there is no way to know if you make the right choices regarding long term effects on some other part of your body’s function or health.
    To my thinking, that part can't be known for now, whereas bg can be measured all the time.
    High bg leads to a very much increased chance of getting all sorts of nasty problems in the future (I take that as a given, proof on that seems pretty solid).

    So I have no idea if I need to choose A, B or C to improve my general health or life span, thus it doesn't matter which I choose unless I find additional information like @JoKalsbeek and @Brunneria 's feedback from their own bodies.
    Testing my BG clearly tells me what choices are keeping my BG's at what I think is a healthy level. So without additional information on health I'll go with what my meter tells me about A, B or C.
    Yes, this is the way I believe it works. If you're aware of this you can consciously work harder to double check your dismissals.
    On the other hand, the way this works in our heads has its useful sides as well. It would be very tiring to read every theory without bias. This would mean I'd have to approach flat earthers theories in the same way as round earthers theories. Sorry, but I don't have time for that.
     
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    #9 Antje77, Sep 21, 2020 at 1:13 PM
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  10. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Welcome to the wacky world of nutrition "science"
    I tend to look at it as "what has mankind eaten for millennia" and lets mostly go that way.
    Nothing highly processed with multiple ingredients nothing with "added" or "reduced" anything just simple foods cooked from raw to order.
    If you eat that way I really can't see you going wrong.
    Bye bye to T2, excess weight and other issues if present.
    Maybe eating once or twice a day too rather than grazing and snacking would be beneficial.
     
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  11. AllieRainbow

    AllieRainbow Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am working out at the moment what does two things:

    1. keeps the BG low with minimal fluctuations.

    That seems to be not too much food, eaten once or twice a day, very low carb, higher protein, moderate to high fat. No articicial sweeteners, and getting used to absolutely no sugar at all. In anything.

    2. Makes me feel full of energy and rested when I wake up in the morning.

    So that is the above food, plus lots of water, one to two coffees with cream per day, and a lot of exercise, plus eating when I am hungry rather than when it is a "mealtime", and not stressing too much about anything, which makes the BG shoot up like nobody's business.

    I am going to assume for the purpose of long term health that something is right when I feel so much better physically and mentally than I did when I ate fairly healthily, but with a few more carbs and less exercise. I am feeling fitter and stronger than I have in a long time. and this WOE seems to be sustainable now I am getting my head around it and working out recipes to avoid going back to my old habits again.

    I would agree that the more you look at nutritional studies. the more you realise that there is a lot of bias in there and people are looking for answers that they have already decided on.

    I am doing that myself with a bias against drug treatment unless absolutely necessary to avoid big damage or loss.
     
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    #11 AllieRainbow, Sep 21, 2020 at 7:41 PM
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  12. MrsA2

    MrsA2 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Interesting and topical thread as just today I was trying to find out how to stop my migraines, and lot of that research is contradictory to how I eat for my t2. One podcaster was scathing about the cost of research and how it is only funded by companies or those with an aim to make money.
    So currently I know for my bg i need to only eat when hungry, but for my migraines to not skip a meal, for bg to eat low carb ie cheese and nuts but for migraine to avoid those, for bg to exercise for migraines to not exercise etc etc.
    For me as a human i also need to be in society and to cope with the social norms around food and celebration etc all of which conflicts with any form of restricted eating at all
    Its very confusing
     
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  13. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi,

    I've been working on the theory go with what we evolved with? Yep, we devised tech & have probably been adulterating food for a long time.. for me, juggling insulin aside. Lol even some of that stuff don't quite work.

    I have seen "what the health." & when the only "name" they can get in is is late night TV prankster "SteveO" telling us he's convinced "chicken causes diabetes?" Along with the guy doing the reporting phoning some random call centre guy to get the "scoop" regarding lean meat & the detriment on heart the health?
    I started to think it was a satire by Chris Morris for channel 4???

    You can only do what works for you. Armed with a trusty BG meter. (If you do happen to be a D.)
     
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  14. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
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    @Sarbak - forgive my off-topic interjection here, but @MrsA2, have you "spoken" to @Goonergal relating to her migraine experiences?
     
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  15. Sarbak

    Sarbak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, you're totally right of course. Thanks :)

    That is such a brilliant way to look at it... I guess all I can realistically hope for is that at 49 years old and finally caring about my health, I've made (and will continue to make) changes that will vastly improve my quality of life for whatever quantity of it there is left. Hopefully more than there was if I'd stayed on the old path!
     
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  16. Sarbak

    Sarbak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    LOL same!

    Yes, I concluded the same really - nothing else can be trusted apart from the meter and the weighing scales.

    I mean... no apology necessary :hilarious::hilarious::hilarious:
     
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  17. Sarbak

    Sarbak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Agreed - "added" and "reduced" = tampered with unnecessarily

    I'm edging towards that naturally - well, twice a day. Once a day might be a struggle for me, but who knows where I'll be in a few more months. I've definitely found myself snacking less (even though my snacks were good snacks - a hard boiled egg, a mini baby bel etc) and I've pretty much stopped breakfast now and don't eat until 11 or 12.

    This is definitely something I'm now doing - although, I confess, that's probably easier because I'm not working and have nobody's timetable to follow. Might be a little more tricky when I get back into a job and have a set lunch break, but I'm sure I'll be able to figure a way around that issue.
     
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  18. Sarbak

    Sarbak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Urgh what a nightmare... props to you for staying sane whilst having to deal with those at the same time :inpain:

    It was ridiculous, right?! :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
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  19. Sarbak

    Sarbak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Really appreciate everyone's input - it's good to talk... as they say ;)
     
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  20. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    It's always good to talk. I notice from your profile yer from "Brizzle." I was brought up in "Baff.." ;)
    Keep an open mind. Check in with yer own metabolism. :)
     
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