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Flat tummy . . . or, Why your dietitian is fat

Posted Dec 20 2008 5:45pm
When I go to the hospital, I am continually amazed at some of the hospital staff: 5 ft 4 inch nurses weighing over 200 lbs, etc.

But what I find particularly bothersome are some (not all) hospital dietitans--presumably experts at the day-to-day of healthy eating--who waddle through the halls, easily 40, 50, or more pounds overweight. It is, to say the least, credibility-challenging for an obese dietitian to be providing nutritional advice to men or women recovering after bypass or stent while clearly not in command of nutritional health herself.

What's behind this perverse situation? How can a person charged to dispense "healthy" nutritional information clearly display such clear-cut evidence of poor nutrition?

How would you view a success coach dressed in rags? Or a reading coach who can barely read a sentence?

Easy: She follows her own advice.

Hospital dietitians are essentially forced to adhere to nutritional guidelines of "official" organizations, such as the American Heart Association and the USDA. There is some reason behind this. Imagine a rogue dietitian decides to advocate some crazy diet that yields dangerous effects, e.g., high-potassium diets in people with kidney disease. There is a role for oversite on the information any hospital staff member dispenses.

The problem, of course, doesn't lie with the dietitian, but with the organizations drafting the guidelines. For years, the mantra of hospital diets was "low-fat." More recently, this dated message has begun--only begun --to falter, but now replaced with the "healthy, whole grain" mantra. And that is the advice the hapless dietitian follows herself, unwittingly indulging in foods that make us fat.

Sadly, the "healthy, whole grain" message also contributes to heart disease via drop in HDL, increased triglycerides, a huge surge in small LDL, rise in blood sugar, increased resistance to insulin, tummy fat, and diabetes. Yes, the diet provided to survivors of heart attack increases risk.

The "healthy, whole grain" message also enjoys apparent "validation" through the enormous proliferation of commercial products cleverly disguised as healthy: Cheerios, Raisin Bran, whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, etc. The "healthy, whole grain" message, while a health disaster, is undoubtedly a commercial success.

I'll bet that our fat dietitian friend enjoys a breakfast of healthy, whole grains in skim milk, followed by a lunch of low-fat chicken breast on two slices of whole grain bread, and ends her day with a healthy meal of whole wheat pasta. She then ascribes her continually climbing weight and size 16 figure to slow metabolism, lack of exercise, or the once-a-week piece of chocolate.

Wheat has no role in the Track Your Plaque program for coronary plaque control and reversal. In fact, my personal view is that wheat has no role in the human diet whatsoever.

More on this concept can be found at:

What's worse than sugar?

The Wheat-Deficiency Syndrome

Nutritional approaches: Large vs. Small LDL

Are you wheat-free?
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