Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How would Dr. Oz Treat the DTs?

"You let me in your house with a hammer." -"Candy Shop" by Andrew Bird

Low-carb proponent Gary Taubes appeared on the Dr. Oz Show March 7. In one entertaining segment, Dr. Oz spent a day eating a low-carb diet and complained of the greasiness of the sausage, feeling tired, constipation and bad breath.


That's a drag, but when I stopped drinking Coke in 2007, I felt even worse: stomach ache, headache, tiredness, and mental fog. Should I have gone back to drinking Coke? If you quit a bad alcohol habit and start seeing snakes, do you need a drink? If my legs hurt from working out Monday night for the first time in two months (which they do), maybe I should resume my exercise hiatus indefinitely.

I respect Dr. Oz for having Gary Taubes on his show and letting him share his ideas. I'd respect Oz even more if he looked into low-carb diets more carefully. What he didn't seem to consider regarding his one-day low-carb diet was that he spent a day coming off a sugar habit and giving his body a fuel (fat) it wasn't accustomed to. All those "sacred" carbs (that's actually the word he used) like fruit and whole grains break down into sugar--a substance that's addictive for some people. Dana Carpender (see Hold the Toast! on the blog roll) wrote in one of her books that she had a sugar habit so bad as a teenager that she stole money from her parents to support it.

Time was when I didn't like the taste of greasy food or how it made me feel. The problem was that I ate little fat and didn't have sufficient enzymes to digest it, so a fatty meal gave me a stomach ache. But when you eat more fat more often, your body makes more fat digesting enzymes to cope with it. The first two weeks on a low-carb, high-fat diet left me unable to work out, yet mentally more energetic. After that, I regained my strength and my tastes changed without any effort. (Oddly, I developed a sudden love of coffee, a drink I'd always hated.) A magnesium supplement keeps me regular. As for bad breath, I haven't notice anyone backing away from me.

According to Dr. Oz, life wouldn't be worth living without the sacred fruits and grains. Maybe I exaggerate, but my mother pointed out that there are people who must live on such a diet. She's diabetic, and two bites of either of those foods would send her blood sugar over 200--a level more than high enough to lead to organ and tissue damage, and high enough to make her feel lousy for a whole day. I looked at the pile of fruit and grain and said, "Hello, bloating." The meat and eggs from the Taubes pile don't give me bloating or acid reflux or jack up Mom's blood sugar. Nor do they cause weight gain or heart disease.

Dr. Oz did acknowledge that for some people with hormonal problems, a controlled-carb diet was beneficial as long as they excluded saturated fats. Sigh. "Piece by piece, and nail by nail, it'll all come down someday before the fires of Hell."

2 comments:

Tonya said...

That's a drag, but when I stopped drinking Coke in 2007, I felt even worse: stomach ache, headache, tiredness, and mental fog. Should I have gone back to drinking Coke? If you quit a bad alcohol habit and start seeing snakes, do you need a drink? If my legs hurt from working out Monday night for the first time in two months (which they do), maybe I should resume my exercise hiatus indefinitely."

*That* is the most brilliant thing I have read about Taubes being on Dr. Oz. Withdrawal is a difficult thing to deal with.

Lori Miller said...

Thanks. Indeed, habits are hard to break. Sometime in 2007, I was visiting my mother in rehab (she was there recovering from surgery), when she said, "I thought you stopped drinking Coke." I looked down and I had one in my hand. I just wasn't thinking when I got one out of the vending machine.