Unique Metabolic Needs
Steve was sent to see me by his wife. This is rarely a good start as it typically means that the person themselves did not want to come. However, Steve was keen. I could see that he was overweight, and he explained that he had high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and was permanently exhausted. He had followed the dietary advice of his doctor religiously for two years. However, the results were more than disappointing. Despite his best efforts, his symptoms and his health were getting worse, not better, and he simply had no idea where to turn.
He had been told to eliminate red meat from his diet and include only modest amounts of fish and poultry. He was also advised to stop eating eggs and to avoid fats. Suspecting I knew the answer, I asked him if he liked cheese. “Yes, that is my favourite way to end a meal, but my wife forbids it”, he said.
“So, what do you eat for breakfast?” I asked. “Cereal, milk and toast with margarine and marmalade”, he said. “And lunch is usually a sandwich or salad with avocado.” I didn’t need to ask about dinner because he had already told me it was typically fish, chicken, or pasta with tomato sauce.
With the advent of the internet and our growing understanding of its use, I advised him to go to www.healthexcel.com to take the online Metabolic Type Test. The test involves a series of multiple- choice questions that determine which foods are most appropriate for a person’s metabolic type.
A few days later Steve brought the results in. He showed me the printout but didn’t say a word. His results indicated that for him, a good diet should include meat (including red meat), dark poultry, fatty fish, dairy products, eggs and root vegetables. “What do you think of that?” I asked. He replied, “These are all the foods that I love, but if I eat them, my wife and my doctor will kill me!” I explained to him that if he continued to eat in a way that was not suited to his unique metabolic needs (the diet his doctor recommended), then that may be what ended up killing him!
It took a bit of convincing, however, he agreed to go back to the foods that he loved, the very foods his doctor told him to avoid. He had eggs and bacon for breakfast and meat and vegetables for lunch and dinner, followed by cheese instead of dessert if he wanted it. I pointed out that his list of beneficial foods did not include cakes, pasta or other high carbohydrate foods which were the foods he had been eating in order to satisfy his appetite in the absence of the meat he craved.
Steve came to see me again about six weeks later, after having been back to his doctor for a follow-up and blood work. He was thrilled to report that his cholesterol and triglycerides had come down, as had his blood sugar level and his blood pressure. He had lost 2kg without even trying, and his energy was back up to where it had been ten years earlier.
He was delighted and determined to continue with this regime, one that was appropriate for his unique metabolic needs. This diet certainly wouldn’t suit everyone, certainly not someone with a different metabolic type than Steve.
I never did hear what his doctor and his wife thought about his transformation!