Misleading Medicare Advantage TV Advertising

By Ron Iverson, President of the National Association of Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage Producers

Sick of the Medicare TV commercials yet?  They’ve made their way into major network programming and still keep appearing in senior interest market networks.  I don’t expect they will subside until after [the January 1 – March 31 Open Enrollment Period] OEP, if then.  Either TV advertising is too cheap, or the people who run the ads are making a lot of money off of them–enough to keep running them.

Forbes ran an interesting article by Forbes Contributor, Diane Omdahl, last week headlined, “Half-Truths and Medicare Advantage Commercials.”  She spent a lot of time fact-checking the statements and started her story like this:

“If you watched any television in the last several months, you probably saw a slew of commercials for Medicare Advantage plans.  One that pops up frequently features a former professional football player who once did a commercial wearing pantyhose.  His commercials must be working so well that another former NFL star has also started promoting Medicare advantage plans.  All the commercials, no matter the narrator, talk about the Medicare benefits you deserve and that you should be getting.  They list those benefits in a very big and bold font and encourage you to call the toll-free number and sign up today.”

“According to federal law, whatever we see or hear in an advertisement must be truthful and not misleading.  I spent some time the last few days closely watching several different commercials.  Everything that was said about the cost and benefits was true, to the extent that it was said.  But there was much left unsaid, and that’s important information you need to make a smart decision.”

“First, the benefits: ‘Get the benefits you deserve, including rides to medical appointments, private home aides, nurse and doctor visits by telephone.’  Medicare describes these as benefits for daily maintenance and doesn’t cover them. However, because of policy [and funding] changes, Medicare advantage plans can now provide them. The plan, not Medicare, must cover these costs.  This is a new program and not that many plans offer these benefits.  Based on my preliminary plan research, here are some important points not mentioned in the commercials:”

  1. These benefits appear to be more common in health maintenance organization (HMO) plans. Except for an emergency, the benefits are only available through a network of selected providers, which can limit the individual’s choice.
  2. The plan likely requires prior approval or authorization. Before receiving care, the plan must review and approve the physician’s order.
  3. There are limits on these benefits. For example, two meals a day for five days after hospitalization with a limit of four hospitalizations, and a private home aid four hours a day for no more than 31 days a year.
  4. And, most important, the plans we researched require members to select only one benefit per calendar year.

“In some commercials, there were two more benefits that require clarification.  ‘Free preventive screenings.’  Medicare covers a long list of preventive and screening services.  You don’t need to enroll in one of these plans to get preventive services.  ‘A 75% discount on prescription medications in the Coverage Gap.’  You see this and think, ‘Wow! A big discount on drugs!  Where do I sign?  However, as with preventive services, this benefit is not unique to Medicare advantage plans.”

“The coverage gap is more commonly known as the donut hole.  In 2020, the donut hole closed.  Beneficiaries are responsible for 25% of the cost of medications in this payment stage.  In other words, they get a 75% discount.  Anyone with Part D prescription drug coverage will qualify automatically for this discount when their total drug costs hit $4,080. This benefit comes with the plans in the commercials, some other Medicare advantage plan with drug coverage, or a stand-alone Part D drug plan.” Note: this is like extolling a certain make of automobile because it comes with four wheels.

“Second, the costs.  ‘All these benefits may be available at no additional cost to you.’  The commercials focus on zero-premium plans and benefits available for no added cost.  However, at the moment the narrator says this, a small line of type appears on the bottom of the screen.  It’s there for only four seconds, while the list of benefits continues.  The small type reads, ‘Plan premiums, co-payments, and coinsurance can apply.’ ”

“Not all Medicare Advantage plans are zero-premium.  And for those that are, it’s important to know that zero-premium does not mean zero costs.  There are out-of-pocket costs for most services.  Plan members will pay their share of costs until they reach the plan’s out-of-pocket maximum limit.  That’s how much a person could write in checks when something happens, like a cancer diagnosis or a major car crash.  In 2019, the average limit was $5,059.”

“Third, the call.  The narrators talk about the help you will get when you call the toll-free number.  But, once again, the small print is revealing.  Dial the number and you’ll be transferred to a licensed insurance agent.  One commercial noted that the agent may or may not offer Medicare advantage plans.  Another said the person you talk with may not offer plans in your area.”

Then, Omdahl, who has written about health matters for thirty years, asks a question.  “The facts, as presented, are true but then the question becomes, “Are these commercials misleading?”  According to the Macmillan dictionary, misleading means something that is intended or likely to make someone believe something that is incorrect or not true.  She then refers to the American Medical Association (AMA), which in the fall of 2019 passed a resolution.

“Whereas, Medicare Advantage plans are heavily marketed to seniors by insurance companies, with less than ideal transparency in advertising; …and “Whereas, Presentations by insurance company officials to seniors can overemphasize the value of different options and can create confusion; therefore be it “RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association encourages AARP, insurance companies and other vested parties to develop simplified tools and guidelines for comparing and contrasting Medicare Advantage plans.”

“The AMA identified the need for tools to help individuals go beyond the TV commercials and get the information they need to make a smart decision.”

“Keep in mind that these Medicare Advantage plans are offered by for-profit entities, corporations not unlike your cable provider, department store, or neighborhood used car lot.  The purpose of the TV commercials is to get you to act, to call the number on your screen to make a purchase.  First, do your research.  Be an informed shopper.  Go beyond the commercials to the whole truth.  Your Medicare coverage is too important.”


Fed up with Telemarketers?

In anti-fraud effort, feds to probe how telemarketers get hands on seniors’ Medicare info

This article is a summary of a recent CBS News post.

The best thing to do when your phone rings from a “Medicare” telemarketer or one who claims to be a “Medicare specialist” is to treat it like a rattling rattlesnake. Yep, stay away from it and don’t get bitten.

Background: Insurance companies, pharmacies, and other interested parties can electronically access Medicare and Medicare’s records of any Medicare beneficiary. This can be done for legitimate purposes. For example, there might be some confusion on a claim of your date of birth or your Medicare number. However, there is also a nefarious use of this database.

The watchdog agency’s decision comes amid a wave of relentlessly efficient telemarketing scams targeting Medicare recipients and involving everything from back braces to DNA cheek swabs.

So how are these telemarketers getting access to your personal information? Answer: It’s from some entity that is accessing Medicare’s database for an illicit purpose.

Key personal details gleaned from Medicare’s files can then be cross-referenced with databases of individual phone numbers, allowing marketers to home in with their calls.

Put another way, a pharmacy may be accessing Medicare’s database when they have no business doing such.

But investigators found that some pharmacies submitted tens of thousands of queries that couldn’t be matched to prescriptions. In one case, a pharmacy submitted 181,963 such queries but only 41 could be linked to prescriptions.

In one report, 98% of the queries from a group of 25 pharmacies “were not associated with a prescription.” This also puts an individual’s privacy at risk.

Inappropriate use of Medicare’s eligibility system is probably just one of many little-known paths through which telemarketers can get sensitive personal information about beneficiaries, investigators said.

If a telemarketer contacts with seeming private information that he/she should not have had access to, do not let yourself be mesmerized by such. Know that your information was illegitimately obtained. Do not engage these people

Hang up immediately! Do not allow them to set their hook into you.

COVID-19 Scams

Sadly, the fraudsters are taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation. Hang up on any telemarketing schemes dealing with the virus or government paychecks. Likewise, delete any emails attempting to click-bait you into to clicking on something. Those are to be treated as venomous snakes, as that’s what they are. Stay clear and social-distance yourself from them.

The Connection Between Your Diet and COVID-19

For several years we have published articles, book reviews, transcripts of YouTube videos and other articles all discussing this central theme: The over-consumption of sugar, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and refined carbohydrates leads to what’s called metabolic syndrome.

These refined carbohydrates elevate your blood sugar, which triggers your pancreas to secrete more insulin to bring down your elevated blood sugar levels. Eventually, your cells become more resistant to the effects of insulin, and your doctor then tells you that you have developed insulin resistance.

The doctor prescribes metformin to head off your incipient type 2 diabetes. Hypertension meds follow. Next, it’s statin drugs, Now, you’re being treated for full-fledged metabolic syndrome, and the door is now wide open to a panoply of degenerative illnesses. Among these are type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, strokes, kidney problems, vision diseases, cancer, and others.

Then the metformin doesn’t work as well as it used to, and your doctor now prescribes insulin. The costs go up, and you are hit with high copays. Things keep progressing downhill.

The above scenario can seriously compromise your immune system. We’re now seeing many reports that in addition to respiratory issues, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and heart illness are co-morbidity factors aggravating one’s coronavirus illness. Put bluntly, you are more likely to die if you contract the COVID-19 virus.

What seems to be the trigger mechanism for these degenerative illnesses? From my readings and personal experience my answer is this: Sugar and HFCS. They may taste good, but they also tickle your dopamine receptors as well as being addictive.

To get a better understanding as to how sugar consumption compromises your immune system, here is an abbreviated transcript of the first ten minutes of Dr. Shiva’s YouTube video titled, This Event Was A Coordinated Last Ditch Effort By The [DS], Moves & Countermoves: Dr. Shiva.

Note: I recommend stopping at the 10:45 mark. After that point, Dr. Shiva starts going off on politics and conspiracy theories.

Dr. Shiva’s Presentation

3:40-4:14 He explains the parable of the six blind men and the king to illustrate the reductionist way of thinking.

4:21 Dr. Shiva explains in detail the reductionist way of thinking, and he uses the elephant in the room example.

4:30 People in power want to use science to hide the larger piece.

4:38 To look at this issue we need to look at the whole issue. The elephant in the room is the immune system.

4:43 Is the immune system so frail that a virus can destroy it? That’s the central question.

4:55 If you look at medical education, it’s built on the big pharma model.

5:10 With all the years of study, they really don’t understand the immune system. How does this all work?

5:40 The immune system is a very complex system. He expands in detail just how complex it is.

6:02 It’s much more complex than what was understood when the national vaccine act was passed in 1962.

6:20 He explains in more detail how the immune system works.

6:55 The body is fighting back against these pathogens and it resolves itself. It’s called resilience.

7:05 However, if people are not running on all six cylinders [assuming a 6 cylinder engine] and if a couple of them have been knocked out through bad eating, lots of high sugar diets [Ed: My emphasis] which creates candida, creates gleo-toxins which takes out your macrophages or T-cells; well guess what happens?

7:24 Your body in its infinite wisdom tries to self-protect itself. So, it will start using two of its cylinders, and they overreact. It’s the overreaction of a weakened and dysfunctional immune system.

7:38 It not only tries to attack the virus particle by trying to explode its cell wall and break it up. He further explains this process and references the Ebola virus.

8:06 In the case of the coronavirus, it goes to the epithelial cells in your lungs. It’s your over-reaction of your own body.

8:18 Why does that over-reaction occur? It could be genetic…. It could be that you have been eating garbage most of your life…you’ve compromised your immune system

8:28 It could be your diabetes…

8:36 Or as you age… As you age, your thyroid function goes down. Why’s that an issue? When your thyroid function goes down, you don’t produce enough vitamin A

8:42 And guess what vitamin A is? It’s a hormone which builds a wall around your cells to protect any pathogens from coming in.

8:55 And on top of that, if you’re not getting enough vitamin D…vitamin D is an amazing nutrient…  your body uses it to create a very powerful chemical called cathelicidin.

9:10 These are like bullets. These bullets poke holes in the walls of bacteria or in the walls of viruses, and it basically destroys them.

9:25 What you’re really looking at is that the immune system needs certain nutrients. When it has those nutrients your body functions beautifully. It takes care of itself. If you deplete yourself of these nutrients, your body become immuno-suppressed, or you have other types of diseases.

9:45 None of the people around the president are studying [this] at all. It’s vaccines, vaccines, vaccines… forgetting the immune system in most of is fine. We get viruses every day. We build anti-bodies every day, and we move forward.

10:00 We have millions? of viruses in our bodies right now.

10:05 He explains that the coronavirus is a variation of the SARS virus. It has a higher infectivity rate and a lower mortality rate. It is a virus, and our body knows how to deal with it.

10:06 However, if you have immune-compromised people like older people. He references Italy with an older population.

10:42 He then rhetorically asks, “Why are we shutting down the country for this phenomenon when we don’t shut the country down when 600,000 people die of heart disease?”

Mr. Comments: The takeaway here is that consuming sugar trashes your immune system. In addition to social distancing and staying at home, one of the very best things you can do for yourself is to eat healthily and avoid foods that trash your immune system

More Evidence of Co-morbidity Factors

HUGE! Infectious Disease Expert Says His Clinic Has Not Seen ANYONE UNDER 70 Who was not Obese or Pre-Diabetic Get Seriously Ill with COVID-19 (VIDEO)  …The title to this article says it well.

Here is a key quote from Dr. Stephen Smith’s interview:

The more we see this disease, the more we understand that severe rapid COVID disease especially is in diabetics or prediabetics. We have 19 or 20 patients who are intubated. And 18 of the 20 are diabetic. And two are prediabetic. We don’t have anybody who’s been intubated in our group of over 80 now that was not diabetic or pre-diabetic that was intubated. We’ve seen younger patients with severe disease that have a very high BMI. We have patients that are over 300 pounds. We’ve seen a lot of it. And just now I think the world is catching up to this. A Seattle group published their data in the New England Journal of Medicine saying 58% of their ICU code patients were diabetic and that their average BMI was 33 which is morbidly obese. That fits with our data. What people haven’t focused on yet is that pre-diabetics are also at risk, especially if they have a high BMI. We haven’t had anyone under 70 who didn’t have a high BMI or was pre-diabetic get seriously ill. (Ed: I bolded key points.)

In the video, here a key quote from another contributing physician, Dr.Ramin Oskuoi:

Clearly those with diabetes and pre-diabetes are to a much, much higher risk…

My Comments. Please connect the dots. What are the primary causes of the type 2 diabetes and obesity that Dr. Smith references? Answer: It’s sugar, HFCS, and other refined carbohydrates.

Dr. Duc Vuong

Dr. Duc Vuong explains that type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity are aggravating factors regarding the virus.

The following is an abbreviated transcript from Dr. Duc Vuong’s YouTube video, HOW COVID-19 KILLS–I’m a Surgeon–And Why We Can’t Save You.

Caution: Dr. Vuong uses some profanity is his video.

3:24 There is no immunity, which means what? Everybody who comes in contact with the virus will catch it and will have some sort of symptoms.

3:35 It can be mild…there might be some asymptomatic carriers…80% will have a mild case of corona virus.

3:40 Mild means you don’t need to be hospitalized. This is not the regular flu.

4:04 Twenty percent of the people will need to be hospitalized. Of those, about half will need to be in the ICU. Of those, about half will need to be on respirators.

4:20 Why am I talking about respirators? That has to do with how coronavirus kills.

4:33 Coronavirus is a respiratory illness. That’s important, because if anyone has a respiratory issue, he’s at a higher risk.

4:40 He names various respiratory issues…

4:50 You’re at risk guys….

4:54 There’s a direct correlation with coronavirus and bad outcomes…

4:58 If you have high blood pressure…that’s a bunch a Americans right there…I’ll explain why that’s important.

5:06 High blood pressure…it’s related. I promise you; it’s related.

5:11 Morbid obesity. That’s most of my following. If you lost the weight, you’re at normal risk. If your BMI is over 40, you’re at a higher risk.

5:25 Older age, but it’s coming down. We’re warning 60 year-olds.

5:44 He starts diagramming on his white board and explains how the virus illness progresses.

13:45 He references ACE inhibitors (for regulating blood pressure).

14:05 He demonstrates how the coronavirus targets the ACE protein. [Ed: it’s a little technical at this point.] ***

He describes how the lungs fill with fluid when infected by the virus.

24:00 The treatment [once the illnesses has seriously progressed] is to put you on a ventilator.

24:27 Half the time they’re put them on a ventilator, they don’t make it.

*** Dr. Vuong’s point is that taking ACE inhibitors seems to aggravate the lung illness caused by the COVID-19 virus. For further information, please consult this article from Science Daily: ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers may increase the risk of severe COVID-19, paper suggests.

Some common ACE inhibitors are lisinopril, enalapril, fosinopril, quinapril, and ramipril.

Some common angiotensin receptor blockers are losartan, candesartan, telmisartan, and valsartan.


Obesity: Major COVID-19 Risk Factor

Finally, I read another article titled, Obesity Major COVID-19 Risk Factor, Says French Chief Epidemiologist.

The opening paragraph:

Being overweight is a major risk for people infected with the new coronavirus and the United States is particularly vulnerable because of high obesity levels there, France’s chief epidemiologist said on Wednesday.

Conclusion and Takeaways

There appears to be overwhelming evidence that obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart illness are co-morbidity factors for those that have contracted the COVID-19 illness. These situations are a result of metabolic syndrome, which to a great extent is caused by consuming sugar, HFCS, and other refined carbohydrates. Additionally, these behaviors are avoidable if you so desire.

If this is you, here is what can you do NOW!

  • Eliminate sugar, HFCS, and refined carbs from your diet. Yes, you can do this!
  • Lose weight if overweight.
  • Exercise more.
  • Eat real foods, not processed garbage!

Your best defense to ward off nasty viruses and nefarious bugs is to maintain your immune system and overall health! End

Fat Heals—Sugar Kills: Chapter 2, Modern Diets and Degenerative Disease

by Dr. Bruce Fife

A Big Fat Lie

Dr. Fife gets right to the point:

The warning to reduce consumption of fat, specifically saturated fat and cholesterol, is found everywhere we look. Doctors advocate low-fat diets to help fight heart disease and other degenerative conditions.

Here is the real irony about this situation. Doctors are offering dietary advice that is more of the same as what likely has caused these degenerative diseases (DDs)in the first place. Health insurance companies are on the same misguided bandwagon. I have seen in the “health tips” from my Medicare company promoting the same worn out bad advice: “Reduce your intake of saturated fat.” Sadly, the American Heart Association (AHA) spews out the same, horrible advice.

Dr. Fife explains that fat is a necessary component of our lives, and without it we would be dead. Consider just how important fat is:

  • Fat provides a protective cushion for our delicate organs.
  • Fat helps insulate our bodes when exposed to cold temperatures.
  • Fat is involved with the production of vital hormones.
  • Fat provides energy when food is restricted or when physical activity. Is increased.
  • Several vitamins and other import nutrients are only found in fat (lipids) from animal and vegetable sources.
  • Fats are an important part of the structure of our cells and particularly our cell membranes.

Fat provides necessary calories between meals and helps keep our blood sugar levels much more even compared to eating carbohydrates, particularly refined carbohydrates. Fife explains that one of the most important lipids is cholesterol, and without it, we would die.

My comment: Previously, we spent over a year digesting Dr. Stephen Sinatra’s book, The Great Cholesterol Myth. We learned just how essential is a proper level of cholesterol is in our bodies for optimal health.

Continuing: Dr. Fife points out that without cholesterol, we would be sexless, meaning that our bodies transform cholesterol into important hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, and others.

He continues by saying that if we do not consume enough cholesterol in our diet, our liver will produce the shortfall. If we eat too much cholesterol, it is broken down by the liver and stored as fat.

Dr. Fife broaches a subject that has been the topic of entire books: Not all fats are the same; in fact, some fats are downright dangerous. He reminds us that “health” professionals condemn good fats and advocate consuming bad fats. We still have the AHA condemning saturated fats and promoting fats from oils such as soybean, canola, corn, etc.

The Food Revolution

Our ancestors ate fresh, local food right off the farm. These were real foods with only a minimal amount of refining and additives. As societies urbanized, foods become packaged and canned for longer shelf life. This resulted in food becoming less nutritious and containing more and more questionable additives.

Nutritional diseases were rare in these primitive cultures as well as the panoply of degenerative diseases (DDs) that we see today. Infectious diseases such as tuberculosis were the dreaded diseases of the day but certainly not coronary artery disease.

The food habits of our ancestors changed. Wholesome brown rice was polished into starchy white rice. Whole wheat was milled into white flour. Sugar consumption dramatically increased.

  • 1800: Sugar consumption was about 15 pounds per person per year
  • 1900: 85 pounds per person per year
  • 1999: 150 pounds per person per year
  • Today: About 130 pounds per person per year. The drop isn’t necessary good as it’s due to the increased use of artificial sweeteners.

The increase in refined carbs wasn’t the only problem. The fats our ancestors ate were lard, beef tallow, butter, coconut and olive oils. Except for olive oil, the other fats are all saturated. Thanks to the invention of hydrogenation and seed oil presses, seed oils (soybean, canola, corn, etc.) were processed into cheaper Crisco shortening and margarine containing dangerous trans-fats.

These refined foods were then packaged to make them look appealing. The processing of whole wheat into white flour removes 22 nutrients and vitamins. Four or five synthetic ones are put back. So now we have “enriched” flour.

My Comments: the easiest way to remember this trifecta of cheap, refined foods is the acronym SORF:

Sugar — Oils (derived from seeds) – Refined – Flour  =  SORF

Continuing: The important thing to remember is that as fats, particularly saturated fats, were demonized, we transitioned from a high fat diet to a high carb diet.

My Comments: Think of a breakfast of pancakes (refined flour) slathered with fake butter (margarine) and fake syrup (a high fructose corn syrup concoction) all washed down with frozen orange juice (mostly sugar). That’s a high carb, SORF-loaded breakfast that will shoot anyone’s blood sugar level through the roof!

By contrast, our ancestors enjoyed bacon, fresh farm eggs, and raw, whole milk. Degenerative diseases (DDs) such as heart attacks, strokes, and type 2 diabetes were a rarity among these people.

Knowing that societies that consumed large amounts of saturated fats and having an absence of degenerative diseases should make one wonder why the AHA condemns these healthy fats while at the same time promoting unhealthy, refined fats. Stay tuned!

Continuing: Traditional Diets

Dr. Fife uses pages 18-27 highlighting various groups of people that used to eat, an ancestral, real food diet. He also discusses a constant theme: When these people transitioned to Western, refined foods, they began developing the list of DDs.

As soon as a population starts to adopt modern foods, degenerative disease sets in. Diseases such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, allergies, obesity and the like are referred to “diseases of Western civilization.”

He first discusses Dr. Weston A Price. Dr. Price, a dentist who practiced in the first half of the 20th century, noticed a decline in the general health of his patients through the years. The correlated with the introduction of more and more refined foods, particularly after WW I.

Dr. Price set out to study foods from various cultures across the globe. He noticed that the more isolated these people were, the better was their dental health (lack of cavities) along with a virtual absence of DDs.

He also noticed that even unborn children from parents who ate processed foods were affected as their pallets were less well developed. People in the more isolated cultures had room for their wisdom teeth.

Here is one of the most important observations made by Dr. Price:

One of Price’s most frightening discoveries was that it didn’t take much of a change in the people’s diets to cause notable changes in health. While their diet remained primarily the same as it had always been, the additives of even a small quantity of sugar and white flour made dramatic differences in their health. [Ed: my emphasis]

My Comments: How many fad diets suggest that you keep your head to the grindstone five days per week only to capitulate to your cravings for that doughnut, bagel, Danish, or whatever the other two days. Not only is this advice bunk, it’s dangerous to your health. Imagine telling a smoker not to smoke during the weekdays, but it’s okay to smoke on the weekends. Imagine telling the alcoholic to stay dry during the week, but happy hour Friday and Saturday night is okay! Think how well that advice would go over at an AA meeting.

The problem is that most everyone is an alcoholic (meaning addicted) to refined, processed foods. To further complicate matters, these addictive, processed foods tease our dopamine receptors. We like them and get a buzz from eating them. The best solution is to purge our homes of SORF, refuse to buy it, and refuse to consume it even in social situations. Doing so will help prevent us from succumbing to the “some is okay” mentality. According to Dr. Price’s observations, some is not okay.

Continuing: Are High-Fat Diets Harmful?

Dr. Fife recounts several cultures that ate a high fat, low carb (HFLC) native diet while at the same time were remarkably free of DDs. There are groups in east Africa whose diet is primarily meat and milk. Pacific islanders ate saturated coconut meat and fish. The Innuit’s (Eskimos) diet was mostly meat and fat. 80% of their calories were from fat!

In every situation when these cultures were exposed to Western refined foods, DDs started occurring. The slim and trim Innuits became paunchy.

Whenever a people have adopted modern, processed foods, diseases of modern civilization have quickly followed. The transition from moderate to high fat diets to a modern low-fat diet has always resulted in declining health. When fat is removed from the diet, it is invariably replaced with carbohydrates, so now we have a high carb, low-fat diet. These carbohydrates are primarily refined flour and sugar. Fat is necessary for optimal health.

You Can’t Outrun a Bad Diet

There are those who contest the HFLC concept and instead suggest that the reason these isolated cultures were virtually disease-free was because they were physically active. Their argument is that exercise overcomes and “burns up” refined, processed foods. Dr. Fife points out that even high carb athletes suffer from heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses just like everyone else.

He then references the 1977 best selling book, The Complete Book of Running by the running guru, Jimmy Fixx. The only problem is that Fixx died at age 52 from a massive heart attack. His autopsy revealed that his coronary arteries were plugged up.

Dr. Fife cites another study of 36 runners dying an early death due to heart disease. Their mean age of death was 43.8 years. Getting regular exercise and being physically fit did not protect them from heart disease. He concludes by saying that the belief suggesting that the isolated cultures stayed healthy due to their physical activity doesn’t hold up.

Dr. Fife references the concept of carbohydrate-loading. High endurance athletes would load up on carbs (pasta, bread, etc.) for several days before an event. The belief was that this technique was to store up as much glucose in the body as possible. Meanwhile, fat was declared a useless nutrient. With these runners dying off like flies, it appears that this theory wasn’t such a smart idea after all.

Dr. Fife mentions Peter Attia MD, a physician specializing in preventative medicine. Dr. Attia, too, was on the high carb, low fat bandwagon. Despite avoiding junk foods and fast food restaurants, his health continued to decline. Worse, he was developing insulin resistance, the marker for type2 diabetes. His intense exercise could not overcome the negative effects of his supposed healthy, low-fat diet.

My Comments: I was not familiar with Dr. Attia, so I did an internet search to learn more about him. I cam across this YouTube video titled Dr. Peter Attia: Readdressing Dietary Guidelines. While it runs over an hour, it packs in plenty of fascinating information about fats and cholesterol.

Continuing: Frustrated, Dr. Attia started cutting out the sugar from his diet. He switched from relined grains to whole grains foods. He reduced his protein consumption. Over a two-year period, he gradually transitioned to a high fat, low carb (HFLC) diet. During this timeframe his markers continued to improve. His LDL dropped and his HDL (good cholesterol) went up. His waistline shrank from 38 to 32 inches. Lastly, he was able to exercise less to maintain his same level of fitness.

Conclusion: No amount of running or exercise will protect you from a bad diet. …Regular physical activity is not the magic bullet that protects primitive societies from degenerative disease. It is the sugar-free diet that does that. (Ed: My emphasis) End