A Chat with my Pharmacist

Because of some government mandated diktat one of the pharmacists at my chemist shop wanted to discuss my metformin prescription with me yesterday.

He was an amiable enough chap (a diabetic too) and the questions weren’t particularly intrusive. We got talking about diet, and he said some things that were revealing on a couple of levels. I’m quoting here from memory, “If you eat a fatty meal, like fish and chips, you may get some stomach cramping due to the fat content.” Well this was interesting. What diabetic, who is taking metformin, would want to deal with such a huge intake of carbs that come with fish and chips? Clearly, diabetics are still being told they can eat such unhealthy foods in moderation. Also, he pointed the finger for stomach cramping at the fat. Maybe? But what kind of fat? Fish and chips are drowned in rapeseed (i.e., canola) or maybe palm oil. I don’t think either of these are healthy, they are proven to be inflammatory, and I avoid them like the plague. I don’t get any cramping with the good fats I consume in high quantities (e.g. coconut, olive, etc.).

The pharmacist then went on to talk about carbs and said something like “you should watch your carbohydrate intake. Past advice, which called for cutting down fat, helped people with their health, but we know now that carbohydrates can make you feel hungry a lot more, so you may eat more.” Of course, this was not news to me, at least the part about carbohydrate addiction. What was interesting was the kind the cognitive dissonance that this guy had in his head. More carbohydrates and less fats was good because it meant we eat less fat. But, eating more carbohydrates will make you more hungry which may mean you’ll eat more, therefore making you fat. It amazes me how people can hold contradictory propositions in their heads at the same time. On a more positive note, it looks like some truths are starting to filter down into the zeitgeist. Specifically, carbs make you hungry! Who knows where we’ll be in five or ten years. Maybe the fatwa against fats will end too!

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