Not so much a recipe as a suggestion on keeping breakfast interesting. I know, I know — is anyone really complaining about having bacon or sausage — AGAIN?!?
If you are looking for something different, though, or just happen to have a stray pork chop or two hanging out in the freezer, don’t forget breakfast. I sprinkled the pork chops with a little salt and pepper, melted a little butter in a hot iron skillet, and cooked them for 6 minute per side. I finished them in the oven at 375 degrees while I used the skillet to cook up the scrambled eggs.
Am I wrong to be suspicious when Conventional Medical Wisdom radically changes its guidelines — throwing their previous recommendations out the window, but expecting me to believe that this time they’ve got it right?
Most people of a certain age will know that it is fairly routine to have tests done to measure blood cholesterol levels. There is LDL, commonly referred to as bad cholesterol, and HDL, or good cholesterol. Ideally, you want to keep your LDL between 2.6 and 3.3 millimoles per litre, and HDL above 1.6 mml/L. (The U.S. measures levels in milligrams per decilitre – so you can multiply the Canadian numbers by 40.)
At least, that has been the approach since guidelines were published in 2001, based on the assumption that reducing LDL and raising HDL would lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. That approach is now being rejected. There is no need to routinely monitor blood cholesterol any more, according to the new guidelines.
So, if I’ve got this straight, since 2001 blood cholesterol readings have been the be-all-end-all foundation for prescribing statins. Doctors have used this measure to determine if you “need” a statin prescription. Magazine articles and TV news segments have berated us use this standard. Pharmaceutical companies have bombarded us with ads for the medicines themselves.
Now, twelve years and countless prescriptions later, we’re supposed to forget the previous method and trust the very same “experts” to dictate new guidelines. Guidelines that will put even more people on the dangerous drugs — with no actual science to back it up:
Why? Because the arbitrary cholesterol targets are not supported by scientific evidence. Let’s not forget that about three-quarters of people have normal cholesterol levels when they have heart attacks. That hasn’t changed during the great statins experiment of the past decade.
Logically, that means physicians should be prescribing fewer statins, not more. But the new guidelines are being sold as a “leap of faith,” a belief that statins can prevent heart attacks and strokes, even if that benefit doesn’t seem to come from controlling cholesterol.
It does beg the question…
And don’t forget to PUT DOWN THE STATINS.
Last time I talked about getting out of the rut — not focusing on carbs to the exclusion of other nutritional considerations. There are plenty of things to think about, including but not limited to keeping carbs to a minimum.
As I read back through other posts in this series, however, I noticed a trend in my lines of thought that needs to be addressed.
Reading what I had written and comparing it to my progress — or lack thereof — I realized that I’ve been too much in my head. I’ve been using the academic thought process to avoid actually doing it. I’ve thought and talked a whole bunch about this, that and the other detail without actually changing my behavior.
As a matter of fact, if I’d actually been doing all the things I’ve identified that might be holding me back, I’d have some sort of progress in terms of weight loss, blood sugar control and/or how I feel to report.
I don’t. I’m almost exactly where I was when I started the series.
I have to bring spiritual journey into the mix at this point. God has really been speaking to me lately. And, yes, what that really means is that I’ve actually tried a little harder to pay attention — God doesn’t stop speaking to us! This past week, however, has been particularly full of spiritual breakthrough, which explains why I can now look back at the past 8 weeks and realize that I’ve been full of talk, not action.
So it’s high time I got accountable. Some butt-kicking is in order.
Until next week…
Check out this story posted by The Diet Doctor:
Emil Elmqvist, 17 years old, didn’t just lose 66 lbs (30 kg) when he began eating an LCHF diet. He also lost his troublesome migraines, which is a common positive side effect of LCHF.
But when Emil – with a doctor’s note – asked for such school lunches in order to avoid migraines and maintain his weight, the answer was: no. The school physician apparently suggested that he take drugs for his migraines instead.
Has Conventional Medical Wisdom crossed the line into nutritional tyranny? Asked and answered.
A few ideas for casual Friday…
Yesterday I posted on the “new & improved” statin guidelines recently released by the AHA and American College of Cardiology. The new guidelines even provide doctors with a nifty new risk calculator to assist them in spreading the statin joy.
This week, cardiologists learned that a new online calculator meant to help them determine a patient’s suitability for cholesterol treatment was flawed, doubling the estimated risk of heart attack or stroke for the average patient. But fixing it would not be easy, because it is based on older data, and heart attack and stroke rates today are much lower than in decades past, meaning that people are at less risk than might be expected from historical extrapolations.
The thought of using newer data rather than older data crosses the mind, but…
Yet the outdated risk figures are the only ones available for researchers to use as assessment tools, cardiologists say, and that raises real problems for the new risk calculator, which the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology posted online last week as part of a radical new set of guidelines for treating high cholesterol. The guidelines, which are supposed to shape the way doctors prescribe cholesterol-lowering statins, recommend looking beyond a patient’s cholesterol readings.
So let me get this straight. A panel of people who stand to benefit financially from increased statin prescriptions is pushing the use of an outdated risk calculator that dramatically inflates the number of people who will receive prescriptions.
Surely the news of the flawed calculator must have caught them by surprise? They must be scrambling to make it right. Right?
When the guidelines were being developed, several outside reviewers, including the two Harvard researchers and Dr. Roger Blumenthal from Johns Hopkins University, pointed out that the tool seemed to exaggerate risk. The calculator, Dr. Blumenthal said, “was clearly not satisfactory.”
But the heart groups do not plan to change or eliminate the calculator, in part because there is no good alternative.
In other words…
And don’t forget to PUT DOWN THE STATINS.
With the holiday coming up, someone asked me last week how our low carb Biblio Diet had changed what we eat on Thanksgiving. Up until that point I’d only really thought of what we were going to make, not what we weren’t going to make. It made me realize just how Thanksgiving, perhaps more than any other holiday, is a regular festival of carbs: potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cornbread/rolls, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie — all off the list.
I don’t want to eat them anymore. I don’t feel deprived. But, particularly when celebrating with family and friends who don’t eat like we do, the question does come up. So I dug into our archives for recipes for three side dishes and an appetizer/snack that might be the perfect fit come Turkey Day.
Wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
My journey this week includes a week off from the series for the holiday. Hope you have a terrific, low-carb Thanksgiving, and I’ll see you next week!
Turns out that the same folks who have managed to shoehorn 15% of the population onto statins are not yet satisfied with the number of people taking expensive and harmful pharmaceuticals with little to no benefit.
The nation’s first new guidelines in a decade for preventing heart attacks and strokes call for twice as many Americans — one-third of all adults — to consider taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.
The guidelines, issued Tuesday by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, are a big change. They offer doctors a new formula for estimating a patient’s risk that includes many factors besides a high cholesterol level, the main focus now. The formula includes age, gender, race and factors such as whether someone smokes.
The first and most obvious question for anyone paying attention is, of course, who is making these recommendations?
Roughly half the cholesterol panel members have financial ties to makers of heart drugs, but panel leaders said no one with industry connections could vote on the recommendations.
Hello. Half the panel members stand to benefit financially? They may not get to vote, but they still wield influence just by being on the panel. Why not just exclude them altogether?
“It is practically impossible to find a large group of outside experts in the field who have no relationships to industry,” said Dr. George Mensah of the heart institute. He called the guidelines “a very important step forward” based on solid evidence, and said the public should trust them.
I’m sorry — did the heart dude just try to use the force on us?
This story is far from finished. Stay tuned for more devastating details and unrelenting mockery. Rest assured that there is more where that came from.
And don’t forget to PUT DOWN THE STATINS.