Can it REALLY be? A television show about a low-carb diet? YEP!
With popular weight loss reality television shows like "The Biggest Loser" in the United States, Australia, and around the world, it was only a matter of time before a television network was gonna be willing to give the low-carb lifestyle an opportunity to be featured and displayed prominently in its very own program. And now it's here for all the world to see for themselves the life-changing impact of healthy low-carb living!
Have you heard about the new Canadian show called "My Big, Fat Diet" which premiered on the CBC on Tuesday night at 10pm? Oh my gosh, if you are a fan of livin' la vida low-carb, then hold on to your hats folks--they're actually putting the participants on a sugar-free, no junk food, high-fat, low-carb diet. WOW doesn't even begin to express how amazing it feels to see something like this on television.
Based in the Alert Bay area of British Columbia in Canada, the premise of the show is to get the people to return to the native diet of the orginal Namgis First Nation ancestors. With outside influences changing the makeup of the aboriginal community there, the negative impact on the weight and health of the people there has been undeniable with rampant obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. It's a sad state of affairs which is why Métis physician Dr. Jay Wortman, who I have had the privilege of interviewing at my blog previously, took a strong interest in researching and developing a diet program which closely mirrors the one used by the people not that long ago.
Dr. Jay Wortman is passionate about the high-fat, low-carb diet
Most upsetting to Dr. Wortman and like-minded doctors in that area is that the typical diet and lifestyle intervention prescribed to people with the conditions that are being seen in the health of these participants is a high-carb, low-fat diet and hours of exercise. But Dr. Wortman knows better based on the studies he has conducted with his unique approach to improving weight and health issues through the use of a high-fat, low-carb nutritional approach. He blames the cultural influence of the United States on most of the problems the people of his country are suffering from today.
"Obesity, diabetes and heart disease were unknown in these populations until very recently," Dr. Wortman exclaimed. "No aboriginal language has a word for diabetes."
As a Type 2 diabetic, Dr. Wortman is keenly aware that he needed to make drastic, immediate changes in his diet when he was diagnosed with it four years ago so he could not only survive his disease, but thrive despite it.
"My immediate instinctive response was to stop eating any food that caused my blood sugar to rise," he added. "So I eliminated carbohydrates from my diet. Within four weeks, my blood sugar and blood pressure had normalized and I began to feel much better."
And he's STILL feeling better to this day which is one of the reasons why he wanted to be involved in this new television project following real people from the Namgis First Nation to see how they do giving up the culprit carbohydrates and replacing it with more fat. Wanna see what they are eating on this diet? Check this out:
- Wild salmon - Oolichan grease (wickedly EWWW!) - Bacon - Eggs - Cauliflower, broccoli, and salad greens - Beef, pork, chicken, fish or seafood - Cream (but not milk because of lactose--sugar!)
There was absolutely NO pasta, rice, potatoes, bread or sugar allowed. Dr. Wortman is convinced the introduction of these foods to the culture in the late 1800s is what led to the problems with health that exist today. Avoiding all starches and sugars was the key to the diet plan on "My Big, Fat Diet." It's a very unique concept considering the continued antagonistic attitude held by the media and health "experts" who believe the low-carb diet is a "dangerous fad" that can cause damage to your health over the long-term. I'm waiting for some pompous low-fatty health group to file a lawsuit against the CBC for daring to do such a television show about livin' la vida low-carb.
Directed by Mary Bissell, this Bare Bones Productions show follows the lives of six real Namgis First Nation people who willingly give up sugar and starch and replace it with fat over a period of a year with fantastic results. This program is sponsored by Health Canada and the University of British Columbia. Mixing a bit of historical culture influences with sound documented medical science is what makes "My Big, Fat Diet" the first such program like this in television history.
Interestingly, on the official web site for "My Big, Fat Diet" at the bottom of the page there is a big disclaimer that I couldn't help but laugh at when I saw it.
"The research in this study is still being evaluated. Anyone taking medication for diabetes or high blood pressure should consult their doctor before starting a low-carb diet."
Isn't it funny how we NEVER see these kind of warnings against a high-carb, low-fat diet because we all KNOW how healthy they are. HA! Just you wait and see the outrage that comes when there is so much positive improvement in the weight and health of the people on this show. How will people like Dr. Dean Ornish and his ilk explain away results that speak for themselves? Oh, they'll downplay it as anecdotal and say there's no evidence to support this for others. And yet the lives of these people, like mine and many others who read this blog, SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES!!!
I will have the distinct pleasure of meeting Dr. Jay Wortman at an obesity conference taking place in Phoenix, Arizona in April and will try to interview him for my podcast show about his work with the First Nation people and this exciting new television show "My Big, Fat Diet." I've met him once before and he's a really funny guy for a researcher who has turned out some very serious studies on the efficacy of low-carb living. Be looking for that podcast in the next few months.
In the meantime, if you live in Canada, then you HAVE to watch "My Big, Fat Diet" and see the remarkable turnaround that happens in the lives of the diet participants. I only wish we could see this show in its entirety in the United States. But you know what? They need to do something like this in America. Why not have a "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" weight loss reality show, hmmmm?
We could get a group of experts like Dr. Eric Westman from Duke, Dr. Richard Feinman from SUNY Downstate, Dr. Jeff Volek from the University of Connecticut, and Dr. Stephen Phinney from the University of California to head up the nutritional plan with consulting from Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades, Dr. Barry Sears, and others. Then implore the training assistance of people like Fred Hahn and his "Slow Burn" workouts along with inspirational messages from Dr. Jonny Bowden who could actually host the show and you've got a real recipe for a ratings winner in my book! Sure, I'm dreaming but wouldn't you love to see a show like that one!!! I SURE WOULD! How about it ABC, CBS, NBC or FOX? Do you have the guts to take a chance on a controversial, but very unique television show idea?
If you'd like to learn more about Dr. Jay Wortman and the work he is doing with low-carb diets in Canada, then you might want to check out his new blog. You can find out anything you want about "My Big, Fat Diet" as well as get in touch directly with Dr. Wortman. Like I said, he's a very personable guy who is open to helping people understand how living the low-carb life can radically transform your life for the better. It happened to him and now he wants others to experience that same gift.
3-12-08 UPDATE: There's more good news about low-carb featured on television happening in the UK. According to this The Sun column, a 6-part series on Channel 4 entitled "The Diets That Time Forgot" will feature the low-carb diet created by William Banting.
"But which diet plan is the most effective? Is it the 1863 phenomenon the Banting Diet (which is essentially the Atkins diet)."
WOO HOO! If you live across the pond, then be sure to tune in to Channel 4 at 9pm beginning on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 for "The Diets That Time Forgot." Could we be getting closer to programming like this coming to the United States? Cross your fingers!