Protein Power - Summary

This book by Dr. Michael R. Eades, M.D. and Dr. Mary Dan Eades,
M.D. provides a great deal of information for $6.99.  The title
is a bit misleading.  The book is not about eating large amounts
of protein.  The program is moderate in protein.  It is more
about keeping carbohydrate intake down to healthier levels.  It
is highly recommended for anyone who wants to clearly understand
why it is carbohydrates - starches and sugars - rather than
natural fats that are at the root of the modern decline in
health.  Those who have conditions which normally require the
services of a physician are urged to consult one.  If you decide
to make major dietary changes, first ask your physician if these
changes are a good program for you.  And do not reduce or
discontinue  medications until your physician says it is time to
do so.

According to food surveys, the most commonly eaten food in the
USA is white flour in the form of bread, pasta and similar foods. 
The runner up is white flour and sugar combinations such as pie,
cake, cookies, donuts, etc.

All carbohydrates, both starch and sugars, are converted to sugar
in the digestive process.  White flour is in the form of sugar by
the time it reaches the blood.  Carbohydrate intake causes a rise
in blood sugar.  A rise in blood sugar causes a rise in insulin. 
The pancreas has to put out insulin to enable blood sugar to
enter cells for energy production, and to keep the blood sugar
level normal.  In children, the insulin receptors on the cells
usually respond to insulin normally, and a fairly small amount of
insulin is able to keep blood sugar in the normal range in spite
of large sugar and starch consumption.  Some people can eat lots
of starch and sugar all their lives and stay thin.  Their health
is not as good as it could have been, but they do not develop
obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes.

Many people do not inherit such good genes.  The high intake of
carbohydrates and resulting insulin production results in the
cells becoming less and less responsive to insulin.  It takes
larger and larger amounts of insulin to enable cells to take in
blood sugar and to keep the blood sugar level normal.  This is
insulin resistance.  The first sign of this problem in most
people is weight gain.  Why is this?  It is because insulin is a
storage hormone.  In excess amounts insulin causes the body to
store both fat and blood sugar as fat.  This weight gain may come
at age 10 or 30 or later.  But it is a sign of insulin resistance
and high levels of insulin in the blood.   Some people do not
gain weight as their insulin rises, but do develop high blood
pressure or heart disease.  Insulin is not a "bad" hormone (any
more than LDL is "bad" cholesterol).  You would be very ill and
die without it.  But in excess, it causes big problems.

The role of insulin:

Insulin lowers high blood sugar.
Insulin puts the metabolism in storage mode.
Insulin converts protein and blood sugar to fat.
Insulin causes fat in the diet to be stored in fat cells.
Insulin increases the production of cholesterol by the body.
Insulin causes the kidneys to retain water in the body.
Insulin stimulates the growth of artery wall cells.
Insulin stimulates the use of blood sugar for energy.

There is a second hormone involved in these processes.  It is
called glucagon.  Glucagon works in opposition to insulin and has
the opposite effects:

Glucagon raises low blood sugar.
Glucagon puts the metabolism in burning mode.
Glucagon converts protein and fat to glucose.
Glucagon causes dietary fat to be used for energy.
Glucagon releases fat from fat cells to be used for energy.
Glucagon reduces cholesterol production.
Glucagon causes the kidneys to release water from the body.
Glucagon causes artery wall cells to return to normal.
Glucagon stimulates the use of fat for energy.

It does not take a towering IQ to see that reducing insulin and
raising glucagon is in our best interests!  The goal is the
correct balance of both hormones.  There is a cheap, safe, and
effective way to do this.  It is not a shot or pill.  It is a
matter of keeping protein intake at the correct level, and
reducing carbohydrate intake to the level that is needed.  The
book gives instructions on how to calculate the lean body weight
and protein needed.  Until the calculation is made, women can
start with three ounces of protein foods per meal and men can
start with four ounces.  The carbohydrate intake must be reduced
to 10 grams three times a day if there is obesity, high blood
pressure, abnormal blood fats, or type II diabetes.  For a person
just wanting to lose a few pounds, a reduction to 55 grams a day
is a good place to start.

Carbohydrate greatly raises insulin and has no effect on

A high carbohydrate and low protein diet has the greatest adverse
effect on the insulin-glucagon ratio.

Protein slightly raises both.

Fat has no effect on either.

A diet that is moderate in protein and low in carbohydrate is the
best way to have ideal levels of both insulin and glucagon.  This
is good news, but when you try reducing carbohydrate intake, you
will find out just how addicted you are!

"Syndrome X": What does all this have to do with major illnesses
that kill people?  The medical community generally views obesity,
diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and hypertension as
conditions that need to be diagnosed and treated.  But these
conditions all have one thing in common - elevated insulin
levels.  Some researchers are calling insulin resistance and the
resulting problems "syndrome X".  These conditions caused by high
insulin are generally treated with drugs that can cause even more
problems.  And if dietary changes are suggested, it will almost
certainly be in the direction of decreasing fat (and thus protein
because protein foods usually contain fat) and increasing
carbohydrates.  And what did I just say about a high carbohydrate
and low protein diet?  It is the worst combination in that it
raises insulin and reduces glucagon.  (This is why some of us
have long believed that the diet suggested by the American Heart
Association, television reporters, and most of the medical
community is the diet most likely to CAUSE heart disease.)

Obesity: Weight gain is often the first sign that insulin levels
are rising.  The cells no longer respond well to insulin, so more
and more must be produced to force blood sugar into cells for
energy production.  Insulin forces glucose, fat and protein into
storage as fat.

Diabetes: (This mainly applies to type II diabetes, but the low
carbohydrate diet also makes type I easier to treat.)  Even after
insulin levels have started to rise, the blood sugar usually
stays in the normal range.  But as the person continues to live
on a high starch and sugar diet, the insulin receptors on the
cells are further damaged and eventually the pancreas can no
longer make enough insulin to meet the increasing need.  The
blood sugar level goes up, glucose appears in the urine, and a
diagnosis of "diabetes" will be made if a physician is consulted. 
Treatment may be oral medications to force the pancreas to make
even more insulin, or injected insulin itself may be used.  There
may be high blood pressure, heart disease, and there will be
declining health.

High blood pressure: Excess insulin causes blood pressure to go
up in at least three ways: First, it causes the kidneys to retain
both sodium and water in the body.  Second, it causes a
thickening of artery walls and makes them less elastic.  And
finally, excess insulin stimulates the nervous system to release
other hormones which raise blood pressure.

High blood fats: Triglycerides are a blood fat that is actually
made from carbohydrates.  Excess carbohydrate raises
triglycerides.  Cholesterol is made in excess amounts by the
liver if insulin levels are too high.  You can either poison the
liver into submission (my wording, not theirs) with medication,
or reduce the carbohydrate intake.  If you listen to the TV
dietitians and try to reduce your fat and cholesterol intake, you
will probably eat more carbohydrates to replace the lost
calories.  Things can only get worse unless your fat intake is
extremely low - to a very unhealthful level.

Ancient cultures and their skeletal or mummified remains have
been studied many times.  Ancient Egyptians were bread eaters.
Soldiers were issued five pounds of bread a day.  Egyptians ate
very large amounts of whole grain breads, plus fruits and
vegetables.  Almost no red meat.  Some fish and poultry.  The
diet was fairly low in fat and protein, very high in complex
carbohydrates. A nutritionist's dream, one might think.  It was
what modern wisdom would consider the ideal.  They should have
been very healthy according to current thinking.  But they were
not.  They suffered from clogged arteries, obesity, poor teeth,
and other degenerative conditions.  I have wondered for years why
ancient Egyptians had heart disease without the benefit of
factories and processed foods.  Now we know.  The very high
starch intake produced high levels of insulin.

In fact, researchers can tell if skeletal remains are from
hunter-gatherers or grain growers just by looking at them.  The
hunters have stronger skeletons and better teeth.