“As a doctor, I want you to eat plenty of fat, and add plenty of salt to your food”.
I love throwing this sentence at the audience, when we give a free public conference on reversing diabetes and obesity with a ketogenic diet. I get a wide range of looks from people. Generally, though, ladies stare at me with wide-open eyes, horrified. Men, on the other hand, are halfway between surprise and utter happiness.
“Doctor, does that mean I can eat the skin on my chicken thigh?” asked a man once.
The entire room went quiet.
He elbowed his wife “YOU have been stopping me from eating the skin on my chicken for 15 years!!! NO MORE!” burst the man, with a wide smile on his face. We all laughed.
A new way of eating
In that instant, I was reminded that it’s easy, especially for beginners, to focus on everything one should not or cannot eat and drink anymore on a strict to moderate approach to low-carb, instead of realizing everything that one can finally eat. When one starts opening the doors of culinary possibilities with an adventurous mindset, it’s a whole new world of discoveries.
But let’s face it: it isn’t easy to simply discard everything that we think we know about food and health, everything that we’ve been taught and everything that we have read in the past 40 years.
Somehow, we have never been sicker or fatter in human history, and yet a lot of people are not willing to consider that our diet could be to blame. Some of the most reluctant people are actually healthcare professionals, in particular doctors and nutritionists.
The vast majority of my low-carb patients are not my own patients. I am not their family doctor. Some come to me after a free conference, others find me on the web, or have a family member doing so well with us, they want to give it a try too. At the beginning, none came because their family doctors or specialists recommended me.
So quite often, I get asked: “What will my doctor say about me eating keto?”.
At first, I was quite scared of what their doctors would say or do, indeed. At the time, Tim Noakes’ trial was ongoing, in South Africa, and Gary Fettke had been silenced, in Australia. What if I was brought to trial too? What if I lost my hard-earned medical license?
As we were starting to get results with our patients, however, such as weight loss, normal sugar levels, increased energy levels, decreased chronic pain, greatly improved lipid panels, etc., it dawned on me that I simply had to warn patients.
“Listen, your doctor might actually get a heart attack if he or she finds out the amount of fat and salt I make you eat. That’s a possibility. But what’s important is that YOU won’t get a heart attack. Let your results speak for themselves.”
Globally, the past 40 years have also provided results that speak for themselves. And those results are, as we all know it, catastrophic. I would say it’s time to try a new way of eating… except that there is nothing new about this way of eating. So it’s time to go back to a more natural diet, higher in fat compared to what we’ve been doing, and lower in carbs and sugar. Basically, it’s time to eat the chicken thigh with the skin on it, and enjoy it!
Dr. Èvelyne Bourdua-Roy