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Knowing when to eat is important, but there are no bad times. One of the most obese people I have known personally was our family Kosher (traditional Jewish) butcher back on the east coast.  He said his weight was immeasurable on a normal scale; I didn’t know then that I would become that way later.  He was the kind of guy who was so heavy he was in such pain whenever he got up from a chair to serve a customer, he invoked God in rapidly recited Hebrew.

He said he ate very reasonable “balanced” (which is not what obese people need) meals during the day, but every night he got “crazy hungry” and “snacked” on everything imaginable, mostly sweets, from the minute he finished after-work dinner until his late bedtime, while in front of the television. He said his doctor was irate and told him to stop eating at night because eating in the evening and before bed made people fat and sick. Read more on Meats or Sweets For Weight Loss…

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Everyday health advice. If I read any more “health advice,” mental or physical, that is supposed to be practical advice but is totally wrong and built on mythology, I might explode. Given the “mainstream” unproven drivel that gets reproduced in popular magazines, I think it is pretty amazing any Americans are still alive at all. A little relaxation (deep breathing and focused meditation) — I am doing a lot better.  After all, we still have freedom of speech, although it sometimes gets fragile and needs loving protection.  And you have me, the Renegade Doctor, to tell you what is truthful and right. I didn’t start out to trash “Reader’s Digest” (RD).  My parents of blessed memory had some kind of lifetime subscription, and kept it with a very few cherished books by their bedside, on top of my mother’s premarital “Hope Chest,” which she told me contained clothes she could only “hope” she would fit into again one day. She never did. Read more on Everyday health advice drives me nuts!…

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The Emperor’s New Clothes — A great story that seems to have survived the ages. Like most Americans, I heard the Hans Christian Andersen (19th century) version in childhood. In case you missed it, the subject was two fellows employed as weavers, who offered the emperor a suit that would be invisible to those who were not smart or appropriate for their jobs.  The Emperor wears his new suit for a big public parade in front of the subjects, to great acclaim by all.  Nobody mentions the emperor is wearing nothing but underwear until a kid yells it out at the top of his lungs. Read more on The emperor has no clothes!…

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They call it “the French Paradox ” but it isn’t really.

I first heard this expression around the end of my surgical residency, when I hung out sometimes with some professorial internal medicine types. The real question was, how come the French with all their rich sauces had so much less heart disease than the Americans?

Read more on They call it “the French Paradox “…

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I am always amused by how people make decisions.  The decision about what to eat is a complicated one.  I will admit to having made and changed the decision multiple times in my own lifetime. I am a scientist who goes by data–and I will admit that my most recent choice reversed my diabetes as well as my high blood pressure and myriad evils, so that I am medication free for the first time in several years. There is, however, a subculture devoted to diets that can’t work, don’t work, or probably don’t work.  I don’t expect people to make rational choices — I’ve been a psychiatrist too long to believe that one, even for an instant.  I do know that there is more distance than anyone would imagine (some estimate it at 30 years or more) between science and medical practice.  Add that to the amount of “emotional baggage” people carry around about what they love eating, what they hate eating, and why. Put it all together and the best you can usually do is pseudoscience.  This means there is lots of space for humor. The demands on people to get thin or thinner in the entertainment industry are indeed often “unachievable.”  I am convinced most people resort to simply not eating, or “fasting.” This is maybe not the worst thing possible, for both ancient tradition and modern scientific research have validated it, for brief periods with plenty of water.

Read more on Most Diets Are At Least Good For A Laugh…

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I was chatting with an M.D. woman friend, and told her my medications and my natural supplements and herbs and my “numbers” — my blood sugar and my blood pressure — when I still was convinced that I had those things.

My blood sugar was 120 mg/dL. My blood pressure with medications was around 140/85.

She surprised me with her reaction. Read more on What The Heck Has Happened To Medicine?…

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The ketogenic diet is a high-fat content diet in which carbohydrates are nearly eliminated so that the body has minimal dietary sources of glucose. After depleting carbs consumed in food, the body metabolizes body fat, converting it to glucose — which is the true fuel of the body and especially the brain. However the metabolized fat also produces ketones, which are the most efficient fuel for the body and brain. The ketogenic diet has been in clinical use for over 80 years, primarily for the symptomatic treatment of epilepsy.

Read more on Neuroprotective and Disease-Modifying Effects of the Ketogenic Diet…

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I will never forget the sad and jowly face of the obese young mother in her thirties who told me, “maybe if I had more sex with my husband, I would be thinner.  Sex is supposed to burn lots of calories, right?”

A couple of hundred calories (200 to 300) at best, I remembered having read.  I changed the subject, even though everyone knows psychiatrists are supposed to love to talk about sex. If someone is seeking sex to burn calories, it doesn’t sound as if they are having enough fun.  I mean, was she even doing it “right?”

Read more on Calories? You’re Kidding!…

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I am not alone in criticizing recent research on egg consumption.  The criticism on Dr. David Spence’s own medical school website tells a big piece of the story.

First, I must say that being a clinical medical researcher is a tough row to hoe.  I always thought “bench” researchers, folks in climate controlled labs who work with mice or test tubes, had it easy compared to people trying to learn things about humans.

The hardest part, I believed for years, was simply to prove “causality,” for although it is possible to show things happen at the same time, it is generally pretty much impossible to prove something “caused” something else. Read more on Incredible Edible Eggs (Not Dangerous!)…

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This is an update of a previous post:
http://estelletobygoldstein.com/?p=50

Science keeps changing and moving forward so quickly that even an avowed knowledge addict like me can sometimes do little more than hang on for the ride.

Back when I wrote my earlier post, I already knew for sure that I wanted to live for as close to forever as possible.  Calorie restriction had been touted as one possible way to do do so, and change in the gut flora was one possible mechanism. Read more on Update On Calories and Longevity…