Tale of Two Q&As: A Diabetes Expert and a News Expert

Topics: Obesity and Weight Loss, Wellness and Health

On ChefMD.com, along with asking for the Recipe of the Week, people just write in, asking what to eat to avoid gout, to lower their cholesterol, to lose weight, to change the guy they married into Brad Pitt.

Ok, maybe not so much. But definitely Matt Damon.

Sometimes they write to ask whether to cook with coconut oil {only as a treat…it raises LDL (lousy) but does not affect HDL (healthy)}.

Or why Crisco is so bad when summer peaches are so ripe (shortening raises LDL and lowers HDL, at the same time).

A terrific Q&A on diabetes, with Dr. John Buse of North Carolina is sciency (it is the New York Times science blog, after all) but refreshingly clear.

Because the questions are from patients and Dr. Buse has heard and answered them more than once (probably hundreds of times) and done his homework.

    What is the best diet to prevent diabetes?

(“The best diet seems to be one that is low in saturated fats and processed carbohydrates, and high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes.”)

    Have any studies been done on the link between the immune system and diabetes?

(“Very high blood sugar is associated with a higher risk of infections.”)

    If you had one suggestion…, what would it be?

(“A brisk walk for thirty minutes at least five days a week…If you wanted a second suggestion for a fresh start, avoid caloric beverages except for skim milk…A third one would be to eat more vegetables, particularly steamed or raw.”)

And so on, with clarity and intelligence and accuracy, for pages and pages.

What to Ask About Obesity shows none of these spatula-meets-the-Teflon questions.

“How severe is my weight problem? Without intervention, what should I expect? How much weight should I lose? Does meal frequency matter? What if I lose weight and put it back on again?”

Patients principally want to know how to do what they already know need to do. And then, if their doctor will help them do it. And if not, who will.

What is too often missing is a way to find the personal medical answers for each of us, one-on-one, one at a time. Everyone is different, and yet, everyone can achieve their health goals.