Challenging Medical Norms with Dr. Gary Fettke and Dr. Westman

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Dr. Gary Fettke

Challenging Medical Norms with Dr. Gary Fettke and Dr. Eric Westman

Introducing Dr. Gary Fettke

Dr. Eric Westman: Dr. Fettke has been talking about keto, low-carb diets for a long time. How did you get involved with this? You’re a surgeon!

Dr. Gary Fettke: Mine was my own personal story. It’s quite a selfish one. There were a lot of things in retrospect. Do you know how many things we got wrong? We’ve apologized to our children. “Sorry guys, we brought you up the wrong way,” but they’re on track now.

I was a fat kid, but if you look at today’s children, I wasn’t. At the time, when you look at old school swimming photographs, I was overweight. A good swimmer and good at sports, but my mom had me on diets when I was 10. I can still remember the Israeli diet, which was eating apples all day. She was trying to get my weight under control. I wasn’t hugely fat, but I was just overweight by today’s standards. I took that all the way through life.

If I go back 15 years, I was obese. I was 40-odd pounds heavier than I am now. I did have high blood pressure, I was pre-diabetic, my waist circumference was up, and I was trying to do the right thing by myself. I thought, “Okay, I need to eat by the food pyramid now,” and it didn’t work. So, I thought, “I’m just going to exercise more.” Sure, I’d have a bit of chocolate here and there, but I was eating pretty well by the food pyramid and still putting on weight. I’ve got a term, I think you may have heard, where I say, “If you eat by the food pyramid, you’re going to die by the food pyramid. Along the way, you’re going to look like the food pyramid,” you know, that triangular shape. Without being judgmental, we all make observations in society.

Dealing with cancer with metformin

Dr. Gary Fettke: I then had a tumor at the base of my brain 24 years ago. I was eating badly, I was on chemotherapy, trying to do the right thing, and nothing was working. Then I heard about metformin in the management of cancer, which was really new stuff 14-15 years ago. People with aggressive cancers did better if they were on metformin. That work came out of South America because the guy who was trying to push it in the U.S. was getting pushed to the side. The metformin story rang some bells for me. I thought, “Hang on, metformin is about reducing sugar. Cancer probably needs some sugar. Why don’t we just reduce sugar rather than having a drug?” That’s really simplistic stuff. Then I started reading about sugar.

In my practice, like most doctors’ practices, we were assaulted by this tsunami of obesity, metabolic syndrome, poor health, poor immunity, and poorer outcomes than we used to have. Particularly in my practice, where I was looking after most of the diabetic foot complications in Northern Tasmania, it just became overwhelming. The clinic was just being overrun by the number of people with diabetic foot complications. I can still remember when I started to talk about sugar. I had one fellow in his 40s who was at risk of losing his limbs. I had him in the hospital, and he was at risk of losing his lower limbs. Ultimately, he lost one leg and part of his other foot. I can still remember him in the hospital with out-of-control blood glucose levels, eating ice cream. I was gobsmacked. “Why are you eating ice cream?” He said, “Well, they told me I can.”

If you actually go through the hospital food guidelines here in Australia and take them apart, it is recommended for people with type 2 diabetes to have the option of eating ice cream three times a day, plus carbs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus carbs for morning tea, afternoon tea, and supper, which is a massive glucose load that the body can’t handle. Hopefully, most people never get to operate on people with diabetic problems, particularly foot problems. But, as I’ve mentioned when I’m operating and you’ve got to amputate someone’s leg, it’s horrible. It’s not a decision made overnight; it’s a journey.

Dr. Eric Westman: This is typically from infection, correct? Neuropathy means you don’t feel the toe, you get an infection, and there’s an infection in the bone. You wouldn’t just take off the leg because someone has diabetes, right?

Losing limbs to diabetes

Dr. Gary Fettke: It’s because of the long-term complications. I describe those as microvascular diseases where every single vessel becomes narrow, every bit of tissue loses its oxygen supply or has a diminished supply. The nerves aren’t working properly, so they can’t feel it properly. Then you get a little crack in the skin, or you stub your toe, and some bugs get in. They don’t feel it, and their ability to heal is diminished dramatically. It starts setting off. Their diets often spike their blood glucose all over the place, they’re often low in protein, low in micronutrients, and don’t get healthy fats. It’s this ongoing slow degradation process. But the same process happening in the foot is happening in the kidneys, eyes, and brain.

Dr. Eric Westman: Some people think that’s either uncommon or that it’s folks who don’t follow medical advice. I have someone recently who follows medical advice, eats a lot of carbs, and is on medicine. He had two toe amputations. His A1C was 8, and he was getting the best medical care we have. These aren’t homeless people with diabetes, these are people getting the best medical care we have.

Dr. Gary Fettke: That’s again the definition of things. The medical profession tells patients that an HbA1c of 7, 7.5, or 8 means they’ve got good control. That’s complete nonsense. They do not have good control. HbA1c is a measure of blood glucose control over the previous few months based on the glycation of the red blood cells in the body. It’s called the HbA1c. You’re diagnosed at an HbA1c of 6.5 that you’ve got diabetes. I sort of joke and say, “What happens at 6.499? You don’t have diabetes?” What’s interesting is that the complications of diabetes – the microvascular, cardiovascular disease, the strokes – go up above an HbA1c of 5.7. But 5.7 wouldn’t even be called diabetes. Having an HbA1c of 7 is not being in control at all. Having an HbA1c of 6.5 is not control. 6 isn’t controlled. You want an HbA1c of 5.7 or less. That’s what we should be aiming for.

Why is there a need to amputate?

Dr. Eric Westman: Can we unpack a little bit? You’re going back in time. You’re an orthopedic surgeon. Why would you take off someone’s toe or someone’s leg?

Dr. Gary Fettke: Because they’re failing. These people are having daily dressings. They’ve got a low-grade infection that becomes a greater infection. Antibiotics are given, but they can’t reach it because of the blood supply issues. It doesn’t matter how many supplies you have if you don’t have a transport system to get to the destination. Antibiotics are poorly effective. I tried prescribing cheese and eggs for my patients in the hospital, writing it on the chart just so they got protein. But when the infection gets out of control, it starts ascending. Instead of being the toe it starts being the front of the foot, then the back of the foot, then up to the calf; if you don’t control the calf then it’s up to the thigh, and then you die.

Dr. Eric Westman: That’s the cascade of events leading to blood infection that can kill you.

Dr. Gary Fettke: Not can kill you – it does.

Dr. Eric Westman: You’re saving the life of someone by taking off their toe or leg.

Dr. Gary Fettke: I think we prolong it. Once you have a leg amputation, your life expectancy is less than two years. An amputation for a diabetic foot or diabetic leg means your life expectancy is less than two years. It’s not just in the foot.

Here’s a quick analogy for you. It’s really descriptive of diabetes. It’s called the Maillard reaction, M-A-I-L-L-A-R-D. Everyone knows it. It’s the browning of food. Every time you go to a bakehouse, you see that tan-brown color on the top of the bread, cakes, and croissants. Essentially, that’s diabetes. What happens when you’re cooking food is that under the effect of heat, the protein combines with the glucose, the glycation of the protein, and that creates the browning. That’s a simplistic way of looking at it, but it’s the caramelization of food. The exact same process happens in the body. When your blood glucose goes up, your tissue glucose, because of osmotic pressure, goes up by about two-thirds to three-quarters of what it is in the blood. Under the effect of body heat, that glucose in the tissue combines with the protein in the tissue, and you get the Maillard reaction.

Every time your blood glucose spikes above normal, you are effectively toasting every single tissue in your body. It doesn’t matter if it’s your eyes, your kidneys, your feet, your vessels, your brain – every single corner of the body is affected by the Maillard reaction. I’ve pointed that out to endocrinologists, and they’ve gone, “Oh, hadn’t thought about it like that.” Well, start thinking about it like that and start describing it like that because until you get blood glucose control and a steady state, you have no chance of turning this person’s diabetes around and certainly no chance of turning their complications around.

Embarking on the low-carb journey

Dr. Eric Westman: I’m just really fascinated. You were prolonging life, saving lives. What made you change?

Dr. Gary Fettke: I was losing. Where I’ve got one patient one week, now I’ve got ten the next, then you got a hundred.

Dr. Eric Westman: But you were making money!

Dr. Gary Fettke: No, no, no. There’s very little money in diabetic management. If you actually go to orthopedic meetings, foot and ankle orthopedic meetings, 95% of the meeting, in fact, more than that, is about doing all those fancy operations where you do make money. When you go to say, “Can we have a session on diabetic foot management?” This is what I’m doing in the public service. But, you know, there’s no money. There’s literally no money in it because you’re seeing patients with a lot of wounds. I don’t know what the prices are in the U.S., but there’s not a lot of money nibbling away on bits of toes and flesh. It’s not a profiteering racket, but there is a massive cost involved in diabetes, not just in leg amputations but the cost to the patient, their family, the workforce, and the wider society is massive. It’s hundreds of billions of dollars.

The guidelines were that you have to give all these carbs to people and I said, “No, it’s making them worse.” One of the challenges thrown down to me early on was, “Dr. Fettke, if you’ve got a problem with it, you have to change the guidelines. From Tasmania.” I thought, “Up yours. We’re going to do it.” In not just the last couple of years, but just in the last few months, we’ve had some massive wins. We, not just me, but we, have changed the guidelines. That was one of our endpoints.

The endpoint is when we can have low-carb seen as an acceptable option for those people who wish to do it and that they are supported in the management of their health and well-being, particularly in type 2 diabetes. We’ve gotten to that goalpost. We’ve done that. If somewhere, you can go to a restaurant, particularly around here in Tasmania, and people say, “I’d like a low-carb option,” you’re not looked at as though you’re from a different planet. we’ve now got it across the line. Here in Australia, you can buy low-carb beer now. There are several brands. In Australia, the beer-drinking country in the world, you can buy low-carb beer. You can buy low-carb keto cookbooks at standard stores. I know you’ve been on this journey for longer than me, but that’s a win, isn’t it?

Pushback against low-carb

Dr. Eric Westman: Some of the soldiers of this army have been in battle. I remember you were in some hot water back there.

Dr. Gary Fettke: Essentially, I was sick and tired of amputating limbs. We talked about this. There’s a horrible noise when you’ve got someone’s leg in your hand and you’ve got to drop it into a metal bin for disposal. Clunk. I can still feel it. I couldn’t keep doing that. I had to go and look at the root cause. The root cause to me was, okay, it’s our nutrition, it’s our diet, in particular a massive amount of sugar and carbohydrate.

I started talking about sugar and started lecturing about it. I was invited to do a medical grand round at the hospital. Surgeons, as you say, don’t get asked to do medical grand rounds. They were interested but then I started challenging the system. I said, “I’d like my patients to not be given so much sugar. Give them some protein for breakfast. I want an egg.” I actually wrote it down on a chart. I’d prescribe an egg because I couldn’t get it through the hospital. I’d prescribe a piece of cheese. This is ridiculous. I’m prescribing a full-fat yogurt rather than a sugar-filled yogurt. Those were the three radical changes I wanted to make in the hospital.

That was upsetting to the dietitians because that was their turf. I also got on this thing called social media. I can still remember Belinda [Dr. Fettke’s wife] and our daughter put me on social media in a crossover in San Francisco. I still remember the table, actually. We saw it again a few years later. I said, “That’s the table where you ruined my life.” Within 48 hours of being on social media, I was targeted by someone who was working for Coca-Cola at the time. Within months of me taking it on with the hospital system, the dietitians started taking it up with their parent body, and they wanted me to be silenced about it.

I ended up being reported to the medical board on three occasions for giving inappropriate advice outside of my clinical scope. One of those times I got reported involved in inappropriately reversing someone’s type 2 diabetes on national TV. It was inappropriate that I was doing that. He only lost 15 kilos. He only came off six medications in 12 weeks. He was feeling happier and healthier. And that was incredibly dangerous. But again, it was an orthopedic surgeon talking about it. If you’re a celebrity chef doing it, then you can be hammered down in the press. But I was an orthopedic surgeon, and my primary aim was to stop amputating limbs. That had a certain resonance.

In retrospect, this is years of research primarily by Belinda because I’m talking about the science. We’re all going down the science pathways, the biochemistry. They can’t fake biochemistry. It’s the essence of it. It’s certain. That is science. But there’s this whole field of non-science out there which is determining what our guidelines are. We have the internal emails. These have been presented to Senate inquiries from the breakfast cereal industry here in Australia. The Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturing Forum was sitting down every three months at the golf club talking about tactics and the minutes said, “Cereal sales in Australia and New Zealand are down. The concepts of low-carb, and paleo at the time, are responsible, and these seven people are to be targeted.” I was the only Australian doctor on that list. And there was a contractual agreement between the breakfast cereal industry and the Dietitians Association. The only contract that they ever had was to, in fact, promote and continue to promote the benefits of sugar and cereal to the Australian population. They were the ones that were involved in the targeting.

Dietitians were the ones reporting to the medical board. We’ve got the email chain, we’ve got the email receipts, the money being paid. This is not just about me. This is about very clearly profits are down for the breakfast cereal industry. We’ve got them on sugar, we’ve got them on carbs. Now their last bastion of survival is to keep telling us about the benefits of fiber. I’m getting hammered by the medical board. At the same time, Tim Noakes is in South Africa and Annika Dahlqvist in Sweden. We’re pretty much doing PhDs on this, into the research, and the fact that this is scientifically based. Tim’s case was a very open case. Mine was a kangaroo court. It was all behind closed doors. It was just smoke and mirrors.

Along the way, Belinda, who was a nurse in her past life, said, “Look, forget the science. I trust that you guys are talking about the science. Eric’s talking about the science. This is now established as good science, not non-science.” If we can actually look at non-science, it sounds a lot like nonsense. She started exploring all of this other stuff. She said, “If the science is right, why are we not being told it?” She’s the world expert on the vested interests shaping dietary guidelines at an international level. People have their beliefs about nutrition and I just like to work out what hat people are wearing. We’ve been involved in a lot of debates, discussions, and meetings and before I enter a debate against anyone, Belinda will do research into what their vested interests are and what their beliefs are. Then, I know why they believe in that.

We’re not going to lose on the science. We’re not going to lose on the biochemistry. We can’t because it’s just so obvious once you start working it out. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you look at the clinical situation where people improve, or you put a glucose monitor on someone’s arm with diabetes, and I’ve got on my phone at the moment, I’m monitoring two politicians that I’ve got CGMs on them and they’re both flat lines. I don’t have surveillance cameras on them; I am literally just monitoring their blood glucose. This is educating the politicians about it. They go, “Okay, now I’ve got control.” If you have a belief, then I’d like to know how you got that belief, because we’ve been brainwashed.

The history of beliefs about food

Dr. Gary Fettke: The U.S. dietary guidelines form the template for what most Western societies, and developing nations in the world, utilize. If the guidelines are wrong, why are they wrong? Because they’re not based on science. We can go back to the food pyramid, which was written by the American agricultural industry in the 1970s. It wasn’t based on science. Zoë Harcombe has done all the work on that to actually show what papers they used. Belinda’s gone further back in time.

There are two time frames. One is the temperance movement in the mid-19th century, and the other one is October 23, 1917. The origins of our beliefs now are what I call generational education. If you believe your teachers, and their teachers believe their teachers, and if you keep repeating something over and over and over and over again, and there are consequences if you challenge that, then we keep repeating them. You’ve got emails from me. At the bottom, it says, “Science evolves by being challenged, not by being followed.” That is the scientific method. We’re all told that that’s the scientific method, but in nutrition, I found that virtually everything we’ve been told is the truth, is a house of cards. You just poke it, and it falls over.

How did we get to this belief? Long and short, October 23, 1917, was the formation of the American Dietetic Association. It started primarily with the work of a woman by the name of Lenna Cooper, who was the first dietitian for the American Defense Department. She wrote the textbooks for the next 30 to 40 years of dietetics, which then got extrapolated into textbooks for the world. But her conflict of interest was that she’d been working with John Harvey Kellogg and the breakfast cereal industry. And here’s a little fact from Belinda. She found it out recently. I think I’m allowed to tell. At the very first meeting in 1917, with only a few weeks’ notice, there were six processed food industry companies at that meeting, advertising at the very first one. That’s continued.

We can look at Nutrition Reviews, which was started by the food industry. We can look at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. All of these schools are heavily funded by the food industry to look at the science. If you go back over time, I get that the food industry tried to make their food more palatable. That’s called the bliss point – get the right amount of fat and sugar in it. They were looking at making their product have a greater shelf life. It was called profit. Trying to find all those points had a lot of science involved in it. They had laboratories. They did experiments with food and genetically modified food.

Somewhere in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, we started believing that nutritional science was medical science, and it was given the same weight. It’s not. It was actually about profitability for the food industry. It had nothing to do with health outcomes for the population. And it just got this crossover, this grace. Which became generational education – salt’s bad, carbs are good, fat’s bad, cholesterol’s bad, and eggs are bad. It’s not based on science. It was based on profit. That’s the profitability aspect of our nutritional education and how the textbooks were written pretty well by the breakfast cereal industry right from the outset.

Again, if you go back in history to work out why they believe that, why was breakfast cereal invented? Some people find this a bit challenging, but John Harvey Kellogg invented breakfast cereal to stop everyone from masturbating. The modern-day hospital is a result of John Harvey Kellogg. The structure which we were all part of in Western society, big buildings, multiple levels, multiple specialties coming together into one space, and having this sort of vertical and horizontal integration is a concept started by John Harvey Kellogg. He was brilliant. He had multiple food patents. He had over 100 patents. We do owe him the current hospital system, but he had these weird thoughts which were driven by his upbringing as a Seventh-day Adventist. We can excuse him for it when you actually go back in time.

Roots in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Dr. Gary Fettke: He believed that the vilest sin was masturbation. That if you masturbated, you were not going to go to heaven. If you don’t go to heaven, then you don’t get to have eternal life. This is a primary concept of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church. John Harvey Kellogg was SDA, but when he was 12, he went to work for the first family. Back in the mid-1800s, in the temperance movement times, Ellen G. White’s (the prophetess) first book was about the perils of masturbation in children. That book was typeset by John Harvey Kellogg as a 12-year-old. He was working for the first family of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He was taken in by them as a protégé at 12 years old. He was typesetting this, learning; it was a complete brainwash at such an early age. This is an important bit of history because we’re paying the consequences here now. As a 12-year-old, he was brainwashed into believing that the visions of Ellen G. White were true and that, therefore, he could not masturbate. He ended up adopting multiple children but, apparently, didn’t consummate his marriage. I think he had 10 kids.

It was about having fresh air and exercise, but it was also about water enemas. It was about circumcising males and clitoral ablation with acid for young girls. It was all about purity. It comes back to these beliefs. Back in the temperance movement times, there was a time when there wasn’t enough work in the bush, so people were moving to the cities. The men would move to the cities. There was poor sanitation, so the water wasn’t good. Therefore, there was drinking of low-alcohol beer. As a result of that beer, everyone was getting slightly drunk. Their libido was in action, there was infidelity, and the temperance movement at that time was going, “Hey, we need to clean our act up here. Stop drinking alcohol, let’s go for pure living, pure food.”

At the same time, they couldn’t get fresh meat into the city, so what meat had been produced on the land was being salted to try and bring it into the city, and the salt didn’t work fully. All of a sudden, we’ve got a demonization of meat because it’s putrid. We started having this thought that there’s a demonization of salt as well. It’s got nothing to do with salt being bad. It just happened to be that it wasn’t quite good enough at preserving the meat. We’ve got this thing called refrigeration now, but we try to go back in history to work out why we believe that fat’s bad, why we believe that meat’s bad, and why we believe that salt’s bad.

Ellen G. White was saying that masturbation will stop you from going to heaven, but also that meat causes violence, meat causes masturbation, and meat causes cancer. We don’t know really whether she was talking about cancer of the soul or cancer, but guess what? Over time, we’ve had “meat causes cancer,” “meat causes violence,” “meat causes all these animalistic attitudes,” and “meat is bad.” That’s why the Seventh-day Adventists are promoting veganism. People say, “Why are you going on about the Seventh-day Adventist Church?” It’s so incredibly powerful. Most people do not realize that they started the breakfast cereal industry in the world. They started the alternative meat industry of the world. They are the vegan propaganda machine at this point. They started the soy industry.

A fellow by the name of Harry China Miller, called China because he did a lot of work in China with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, effectively brought soy back to the U.S. The whole Western soy industry was pretty well started by the SDA Church. One thing he did was to create the infant soy formula to get that through all the U.S. regulations. Look up Harry China Miller; he’s the instigator. When he came back to the U.S., he set up research laboratories as a Seventh-day Adventist to prove the visions of Ellen G. White from the 1860s and ’70s. We’ve got the document. His research was to prove the visions of Ellen G. White, and out of that started rolling the Adventist Health Studies, which get regularly quoted as proof that vegetarianism/veganism is beneficial. They did four studies, but they recited each other, and they cited them over and over and over.

What’s interesting is the definition of vegetarianism and veganism used by these Adventist Health Studies. You’re considered vegetarian if you eat meat less than once a week, and vegan if you eat meat less than once a month. You can have meat and still be classified as vegetarian or vegan. In the Adventist Health Studies, which are quoted as the biblical proofs that Adventist vegetarianism works, you can still have meat. Ellen G. White apparently was still having meat and animal-based products like eggs and cheese into her late 80s. You’re promoting one thing but you’re doing another. Belinda is not anti-religious. She used to be a Sunday school teacher. We’re not anti-religion. It’s just that with this group lie the origins of the soy industry, the breakfast cereal industry, and the alternative meat industry. They owned the stevia industry for a long time. They’ve vertically integrated themselves into our educational system. This is the definition of propaganda.

Propaganda

Dr. Gary Fettke: If you think about propaganda, you can apply this across the whole spectrum of ideas, you have a message of fear, you repeat it, you control the media, and you add theater to it. Think about all the great propagations. Whether you’re talking about the church, talking about the Catholic Church for a thousand years, you’re talking about Nazi Germany. Churches are actually areas of propaganda. You have your control, and have a message of fear: “Do what we say, otherwise you’re going to go to hell, and that’s going to be horrible.” They control the message, they repeat it over and over and over, and they add theater. The pew, the priest or minister, will stand up there, but it’s generally a morning light that will be shining through stained glass, and they’ll be on top of the people. It’s theater. The Nazis did it, and guess what? The food industry continues to do the same thing. They have a message of fear. Walt Disney, for instance, got his start in life doing breakfast cereal cartoons.

A change in the guidelines

Dr. Eric Westman: It makes sense. What’s fascinating is this all started by someone telling you that you shouldn’t change the guidelines. You looked into the basis of guidelines, which were not scientific. I want a happy ending, please, where you actually made some headway!

Dr. Gary Fettke: One of the good things about COVID is that I’m not going to be too specific, but you couldn’t travel, so meetings were done by Zoom. There were people involved in meetings that I was not allowed to be in, but they could turn their cameras off and mute their video and microphone, and they could make a phone call to me amid these big meetings. I’d say, “Okay, they’ve got a vested interest here. Why don’t you say this? Why don’t you say that?”

We’ve now got low-carbohydrate living or therapeutic carbohydrate restriction as a way to put type 2 diabetes into remission. That is part of the national diabetes strategy, and it was fought tooth and nail. They’ve got bariatric surgery, they’ve got very low-calorie drinks, and low-carb as methods of putting type 2 diabetes into remission. It’s the first time in the world that the option or the existence of the word “remission” actually exists in a diabetic document. That’s critical because that’s all we’ve been saying. You have the option. You’ve made a lifestyle decision to get diabetes; you might have done it inadvertently. You can take a lifestyle option to get rid of it. You don’t have to take more and more drugs. It does not have to be chronic and progressive.

Eighteen months ago, I ended up giving a lecture. I was asked to play good cop/bad cop, and I gave a talk on how to manage diabetes to about 40 people, including several professors. You can imagine how that went down. James Muecke, to his credit, asked me to come along and give that talk. He was Australian of the Year in 2020. I gave that presentation, and James was shouting from the floor. I was called all sorts of things. It was a Zoom meeting; people could Zoom in. Belinda watched it via Zoom. She actually gave me a gold star for being on my best behavior. The great thing about when I was being abused from the floor by these professors, the camera was on me. I was able to roll my eyes at the questions coming in because all I did was stick to the science. Here’s the biochemistry. Yes, fine, you can have your opinion, but here’s the biochemistry. Essentially, diabetes is an inability to control the blood glucose that you eat. All the medications we give are to do something with the blood glucose you eat. You either don’t absorb it, you pee it out, or you push it into your tissues in varying degrees. But if you don’t eat it, you don’t need the medication. So, you don’t need endocrinologists. I’ve just cut a lecture down to not much.

Within a couple of days, defamation lawyers were involved in what was being said about me at the University. I don’t mind saying it. I called the Dean of Medicine out there for receiving a couple hundred thousand directly from the pharmaceutical industry for personal payments, not for research. I’ve not got problems with universities receiving money from drug companies and food industries for research, but when you get tens of thousands of dollars as direct payments, then I’ve got a big problem, particularly for the gatekeeper of medicine. The gatekeeper of education to our students IS receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’m no longer allowed to give lectures in that state because I called the Dean of Medicine out. I have a big problem with it. I don’t think I’m a hothead; I think I’m a controlled head. I just go, “No, that’s wrong. You shouldn’t be doing it.”

Dr. Gary Fettke: Despite that meeting, one of the senior endocrinologists was brave enough to send four or five of his worst patients to a dietitian who was completely on board, and she put them all into remission. A few months down the track, it’s then their idea. You’ve been a co-author of the Society of Metabolic Health Practitioners to that working document on diabetes. It was Adele Hite’s job, but we were both co-authors. That document became the working document, and the Australian Diabetes Society has now adopted that as a statement. The Australian Diabetes Society has now made that a working document for Diabetes Australia. These are massive wins. If you want to do low-carb, it is now part of the national strategy. It is safe, it is effective, and it should be supported. You should not be ridiculed for it, and you certainly shouldn’t have your medical license threatened for it. You and I are part of that team.

People should be informed when choosing or abstaining from carbs

Dr. Gary Fettke: I’ve got the next job for us. I’ve always asked my patients, “Do you smoke?” It’s part of taking a general history. They’ll go, “Yes.” So rather than ask them how many, I always used to ask, “Why do you smoke?” Most of the time, they’ll say, “I’m an idiot.” Today, if you decide to smoke, you have pretty well made an informed decision to be an idiot. The next step is we need to get health education across the line where if you decide to eat badly, if you want to have a high carbohydrate diet, high processed food diet, high seed oil diet, and if you want to eat a diet which is nutrient poor, allergy-dense, deficient in protein, essential proteins, fats, micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, if you want to eat that, then I want you to make an informed decision that you’re an idiot because you’re having that slow Maillard reaction. I think that’s the next step. I think we’re getting there, but we don’t need to be vegans. I actually don’t mind vegan people because they’re on that journey. They’re trying to do the right thing by their health and their society. They’ve just fallen for the propaganda, which we can trace back to its origins with the Adventist Church and the food industry. I think that’s the next step.

Our daughter was 16 at the time. She still has long blonde hair and long legs. She’s beautiful like her mother. We were coming off the airplane and she said, “Dad, can I have some Maccers chips?” She just always had a salt craving after the plane. She said, “I know how you hate the concept of that.” In some of my side lectures often talk about the half-life of the inflammatory seed oils, and they’re probably about four years in linoleic acid. She looked me in the eye and said, “Dad, I promise not to get pregnant for four years.” She had made an informed decision that wanted those chips. She made an informed decision that they were bad for her, but she wanted them that badly. Her trade-off was that she wasn’t going to get pregnant for four years. You tell me which father is not going to fork out a few dollars out of his pocket if his 16-year-old daughter promises not to get pregnant for four years?

She had made an informed decision. That’s what I’d like society to be doing – making an informed decision. Unfortunately, we’re up against this enormous machine of propaganda telling us that meat is bad. Meat is bad for the environment. It all stems back to “meat is bad and causes masturbation and cancer.” We’ve heard this story over and over and over; it’s just changing. Then it was “fat is bad” because that was another way of getting back at meat. Unfortunately, and I know this is painting with a broad brush, this belief stems back to temperance movement ideas and it stems back to one very powerful small group that has been able to control itself.

It’s fascinating how far they’ve come in their educational guidelines, but they also moved into the United Nations and the World Health Organization. They’ve also moved into your U.S. Senate. You start looking at who’s actually at the pulpit addressing your congressmen every Saturday and Sunday, who’s addressing your defense forces. In Polynesia, the South Pacific, I think we’ve got six presidents or prime ministers of their countries who are Seventh-day Adventists who are trying to promote more breakfast cereal and grains into a community which are the fattest, the most obese, and the most diabetic in the world. They believe it.

The trouble is, their belief is if they believe this, they can push it. Here’s the origin of the vegan concept. Once we believe as a society that vegetarian veganism is the way to go, the Seventh-day Adventist community honestly believes that’s when Christ will return. That’s their mission statement. This belief is so strong. They’re not doing it for money. They might have tied up with the corporate food industry and the guidelines that they see with it, but they’re doing it for belief. That’s why it’s so powerful. The Adventist Church is incredibly strong in developing nations. Ellen G. White’s books are the most translated books by any woman in the world. I think she’s the most highly published woman in the world. Her books are published in more languages than any other author in the world.

Reasoning with politicians

Dr. Eric Westman: Diabetes, because of its cost and human suffering, was a pivot point for you in your career taking care of patients. I think it’s also going to be a pivot point for governments like the Australian government. The U.S. non-governmental ADA has low-carb in there, and then the Virta Health company targets diabetes. It seems to me that’s going to be a turning point where low-carb, by reversing diabetes and saving money, science is going to win, I believe.

Dr. Gary Fettke: Whenever I meet up with politicians, I offer them money. I say, “Here’s something which is not going to cost you.” In fact, here in Australia, I went to one of the federal politicians and said, “I’d like to give you $50 billion every year.” She had an aide present, so I said, “This is an open bribe.” You are going to upset these corporate sponsors over here, but you’re going to have all of this money to do stuff over there. Never go to a politician and ask for money. Only ever offer them cost-neutral or cost-benefit things.

The problem is that the return on investment in preventative health is longer than one electoral cycle. That’s why I put these CGMs on, these glucose monitors, because you can get an immediate effect and improvement in outcome within a week, well under one electoral term. I say let’s put glucose monitors on every single person with type 2 diabetes in the hospital. If you have your blood glucose tested with a pinprick in the finger, that takes time for the nurse to do it and record it. You can easily make up the cost of the monitor within a day or two, and you get infinitely better control. We will show overnight how bad hospital food is and how it needs to have less carbs and better protein.

Requirements to get a continuous glucose monitor (CGM)

Dr. Eric Westman: Do you need a doctor’s prescription to get a CGM in Australia?

Dr. Gary Fettke: No.

Dr. Eric Westman: In the U.S. you do. I have to write a prescription, and then if someone doesn’t have diabetes, it’s typically not covered. You can buy it for $100 a month.

Dr. Gary Fettke: As you know from Kraft testing, virtually everyone has diabetes. I’m going to use language carefully here because I know what’s written on the websites to get hold of the CGMs. It says that you have insulin-requiring diabetes. You have diabetes requiring insulin. If you actually look at it, if you eat a diet high in carbohydrates, you technically, in my book, have diabetes and you are still producing insulin to control it at this point in time. I think in the loose language it’s already written, everyone’s actually eligible for it.

Dr. Eric Westman: I see. Yeah, the CGM, the continuous glucose monitoring, is a way to convince even the worst skeptic. And it’s painless. I wore one once only because there were young doctors now wearing them and telling me all about it. But at the end of the month, I ended up having higher blood glucose because I tested all the different things that I wished I could eat. I went from 80 to 90 to 100, 110, because occasionally I wanted the croissant which made my blood sugar worse.

Dr. Gary Fettke: I did it once where I was giving a lecture to 300 people or something, I wore a CGM and I ate two bananas in front of the audience. My blood glucose just started climbing. At the end of 30 minutes, I was losing my voice, my blood glucose had doubled, and I came up the back and my daughter was up there. She said, “Dad, are you okay?” I said, “I feel really crooked.” I had to wait for the other lectures to finish before I could get back on the podium, and my blood glucose would come down.

I think if you are low-carb over a long period, you are sensitized to glucose when it hits the body. That’s what happens in women who are running low-carb during pregnancy when they have a glucose tolerance test. You’ve got to biohack them into their glucose tolerance test, which we did with our daughter, and she passed it beautifully. Again, the systems and insurance companies depend on the guidelines which are all about these paradigms of fear which have hung around for a long time.

There are ways of biohacking around them for insurance claims and stuff like that, but more importantly, we are seeing the guidelines change now. That means that we’re not alone. Whether it’s science, perseverance, or the cult of low-carb that’s winning, it’s only winning because people are actually getting better.

Continuing the fight

Dr. Eric Westman: If given the chance, it will win. And now more and more people are giving it a chance. Thank you for going through what you had to go through to prove the authorities wrong. Thank you and Belinda for continuing in this fight. My last question is, why do you keep doing this? Aren’t you retired by now?

Dr. Gary Fettke: Some years ago I read a book saying about maturity and you can define maturity when you work out when to say no. It’s quite an important point to get through rather than saying yes to people. What happened to me with all of this nutrition stuff is that at a point in time, I said no more, no, this is all wrong, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get it to be right.

We’ve achieved a goal that we talked about 10 years ago, which is to see that if you want to do low-carb, you should be supported in that journey by people around you, society, and particularly the medical commission and the authorities that are making decisions. If it means calling out a whole lot of scams along the way then have we reached our end point? No.

We will continue to do what we’re doing right now, which is supporting others. Rather than lecturing to one patient at a time, I’m spending more time trying to talk to politicians and monitoring their glucose, we’re doing our podcast together, let’s change this for the bigger community. I reach more people on social media or in my lectures every day or every week than I will in a lifetime of medicine.

Dr. Eric Westman: That’s an honor, isn’t it?

Dr. Gary Fettke: I don’t know why else we’re doing it. It’s certainly not ego. Surgeons have got enough ego as it is. I think it’s just about doing the right thing.

Watch the full video here.

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