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Finding a low carb friendly healthcare provider

Fred Pescatore, MD, author of The Hampton's Diet, is head of Partners in Integrative Medicine in New York. Before establishing his own practice, Dr. Pescatore worked alongside the legendary Dr. Robert C. Atkins as Medical Director of the...

low carb healthcare

It is funny that the media has led us to believe that low carbohydrate is dead simply because products have disappeared from the store shelves and new ones are not coming on line to replace them. Well, the truth is: Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Not all low carb foods are healthy

They were there to fool us into believing we were being healthy by eating ice cream, cake, cookies and candy as long as they were labeled, "low-carb." It didn't even matter that the math along with the science of this phenomena was fuzzy at best. We are a country that likes to believe what people tell us and perhaps we are too trusting. I don't think it is that as much as we are a people who like our cake and want to eat it too.

Low carbing is still popular - just not a craze

Yet, despite the announcement that low carb is dead, my book, The Hamptons Diet is an international bestseller with a cookbook on the way; and The South Beach Diet is still on the best seller lists. Ultra low carbohydrate, as popularized by Dr Atkins my teacher and mentor, may be dead. But, a lower carbohydrate lifestyle is still going strong.

I am glad that the craze is over and was one of the people to put the first nail in the coffin. Now that the craze is over, we can get back to healing people and losing weight without all the media attention. It is hard enough to get healthy without having someone looking over our shoulder each step of the way.

Seek low carb medical professionals

There are many different types of practitioners who practice in a low carbohydrate friendly manner. It may still be difficult to find an actual medical doctor who practices that way, but they are out there. I know because I am one of them. It is far easier to find a chiropractor or doctor of osteopathy, or a clinical nutritionist. It depends on what your actual needs are. If you are just looking for nutritional advice, or for how to lose weight, check out:

 

Searching for a low carb physician

If you are searching for an actual physician, the first place to start is a trip to www.acam.org. That organization will direct you to alternative and complementary health care practitioners in your area. It is free for the general public and simply find someone in your area and give their office a call. The receptionist or the new patient department will almost certainly be able to tell you how the doctor practices.

The low carb doctor caveat

Most of these doctors will not be part of your medical plan and may require you to pay out of pocket. Therefore, you should refer to the book of practitioners that was provided to you by your health insurance provider. I would call each of the internists in your home town and surrounding communities and ask how they feel about diets. Do they handle nutritional inquiries? Is there a nutritionist on staff? It may be worth a visit to the office so you can get a feel as to how that practitioner runs an office that can give you a lot of information.

Finding the right practitioner

There is some likelihood that you may not find someone in your neighborhood who can be your low carb practitioner. In that instance, I would recommend you find a doctor who you trust and with whom you can have an open dialogue. The only way to have an effective relationship with your physician is to have an honest one. Visit multiple practitioners and ask them direct questions about it. If they or you are uncomfortable, then it is not a right fit.

Do your Low carb research

Ask your friends whom they see. Ask for a recommendation from a local and respected health food store and ask the owner, not some teenager behind the counter. These are all valuable resources and may lead you in the right direction.

If you can only find a doctor who will tolerate your aberrant behavior, you may want to meet with a nutritionist. There are two excellent referral networks for nutritionists. The first one I am partial to as I am the president of the organization, the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists. Since I am the president of the organization, I know for a fact that each of the members is on board with the principles of a lower carbohydrate approach. The second organization certifies with a CNS designation and they can be reached at www.cns.org. I know far less about this organization but I know many good people who are part of them.

For the most part, registered dieticians who do not have a CCN or CNS certification are probably not going to be sympathetic towards low carbohydrate lifestyles and may in fact be quite hostile.

Live your low carb lifestyle

So, although you may think you are alone in the low carbohydrate world, you are certainly not. There are still many web sites and practitioners where you can still follow this healthy approach. Don't worry, you have not been abandoned. Keep up the great work and live the lower carbohydrate life.

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