A Flex Fuel Man

I met Andrew Dearborn about a year ago. He was an overweight diabetic with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides treated with maximum doses of a statin medication, and a prior history of a heart attack.

We seemed to connect, maybe because he is a car collector. Not that I collect them, but I have had cars on my mind since my grandfather walked down Stockholm Street in my home town and pointed out all the postwar American cars that were parked near his antiques store.

I decided to try my car analogy on Andrew:

“Your body isn’t running well on regular gas anymore. But if you read the manual, it is actually a flex fuel body. It isn’t metabolizing carbs properly, but it can still run on fat and protein, and believe it or not, we now know that diets that are low in carbs and higher in protein and at least what we call good fats, are good for weight loss, diabetes control, lipid lowering and heart risk reduction.”

I waited.

His eyes slowly lit up.

“I can do that. So what do you recommend I eat?”

I asked him to walk me through what he was eating now and then made suggestions. I told him what I eat, hard boiled eggs and ham for breakfast, a roll up with lots of cheese and turkey ham with an apple for lunch and for dinner a salad with avocado, feta cheese, some kind of bean like garbanzos or lentils and grilled chicken, salmon or tuna. And as a snack if I need one, roasted almonds or one more apple.

“How about beef?”

“If you like.”

“I can definitely do that.”

And he did. Here are the numbers (notice his Hb A1c is now normal):


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Osler said “Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis”. Duvefelt says “Listen to your patient, he is telling you what kind of doctor he needs you to be”.


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