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Warren

Michael Warren
Professor Simone Flanigan
English 2010-Su16
1 August 2016

Rhetorical Rationale

Ever since I was a little kid, I was heavier than my peers. It frustrated me terribly as I
tried to reckon with this unfortunate truth. As I grew up, I couldnt come to terms with the lot
given me by genetics. My siblings were always lean and trim, yet I was always pudgy,
despite our diets being virtually the same. Eventually, largely due to growth hormones
throughout puberty and my adolescent years, I transformed into a strong, athletic young man.
My familys efforts to get each of us involved in some sort of fitness routine finally paid off
during my senior year when exercise and wellness moved toward the center of my universe.
I love exercising and eating natural, whole foods, but what I love even more than
these are people. My childhood nickname was Sunshine Boy because I was always smiling
and had a cheerful, uplifting effect on those around me. I consider it a real gift that I have and
I try to use it daily, especially at my job at a care center. I also consider my struggle with
weight a real blessing because that is precisely what motivated me to become interested and
actively involved in studying and practicing healthy habits.
Regarding my two essays, I wrote them because I am passionate about personal and
communal wellness. If I find something that improves my life, I am seized upon by the urge
to share it with everyone. I wrote my essay, A Remedy for Western Disease, based specifically
on the relatively recent battle with obesity and related diseases that humankind has engaged
in. The essay explores the feasibility of emphasizing carbohydrate restriction in the treatment

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and cure of modern diseases. My pastime is researching the science behind metabolism,
nutrition, weight management, exercise, and overall wellness, so I wanted to share what I
have learned and understand with as many people as possible, focusing on the importance
and benefits of reducing the intake of carbohydrates.
My position essay, Fat is Fuel, focuses largely on the same topic, yet includes more
scientific evidence for my beliefs regarding low-carbohydrate diets. I want everyone to be as
healthy as possible because I have learned from experience the vast difference between living
healthfully, actively, and with plenty of vitality and living with a quasi-real cloud over my
head as I struggle with low self-esteem in virtue of my poor health. It is very important that
not everyone agree with my dietary beliefs because that is how science progresses and
discoveries are made. As skepticism evolves in curious pursuit of truth, the ball of increased
understanding rolls forth and society develops as the newfound knowledge is spread.
In summary, my essays serve to provide the reader with a more complete
understanding of human nutrition, which contradicts the current conventional wisdom. They
are to be read with an open mind, so as to ensure absorption of the facts, then it is the readers
duty to determine for him or herself whether or not what is presented is relevant to his or her
life. And thus, I present my essays A Remedy for Western Disease and Fat is Fuel.

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Investigative Essay
A Remedy for Western Disease
Obesity and other metabolism-related diseases are becoming increasingly prevalent in
todays society. Old photographs show healthy, strong kids playing in the street, riding
bicycles, and running in the park. It is heartbreaking to see the childhood obesity rate rise
despite our countrys best efforts to control this epidemic. Unfortunately, this plague of
overweight is affecting many more than just the younger population. According to the CDCs
most recent nationwide poll, more than 30% of U.S. adults aged 20 and older are obese
(Center for Disease Control). The problem is that society embraces carbohydrates as a
nutritional savior and staple, when really they are more to blame for mankinds diseased
condition than most people understand. By adhering to a low-carbohydrate diet, people can
reduce the risk of such Western diseases as diabetes, obesity, cancer, epilepsy, and improve
their overall health.
By todays standards, a diet is considered healthy if 45-65% of the energy is derived
from carbohydrates, 10-35% from proteins, and 20-35% from fats (Gunnars). Everyone wants
to live in the way they deem best and many people prioritize physical wellness. Todays
standards of physical fitness tend to be split into two categories: the standards set by official
health authorities and the standards set by the media. The American Council on Exercise
states that athletic mens body fat percentages should fall between 6-13% of total bodyweight
(ACE). The ACE also reports that athletic womens body fat percentages should range from
14-20%. The acceptable range goes from 18-25% for men and from 25-31% for women.
For most people, these figures and percentages mean absolutely nothing because they
compare themselves to the professional athletes, actors, and celebrities they see in the media,
oftentimes without a notion of the difference between real health and mere physical
appearance. Being healthy has nothing to do with comparing oneself to another person, so it

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is imperative that people understand that everyone is unique and that his or her bodys natural
interpretation of healthy will be different from anothers.
Setting aesthetics aside, being healthy is much more profound than the outward
appearance. American society is plagued by disease, today, and the culprits have become
household names: diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease. Its tragic that many
people simply expect to develop one or more of these potentially lethal diseases, among
others. Modern medicine can provide excellent alleviation methods but the best treatment is
to avoid the disease in the first place. Healthy living has long been the key to avoiding such
diseases, yet today there are two distinct camps within the healthy living community that
contradict one another: the high-carbohydrate diet supporters and those in favor of lowcarbohydrate diets.
Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients that the human body can
metabolize and convert into usable energy. Many people are taught that whole wheat bread is
one of the healthiest foods to eat, especially when compared to white bread, because it
contains many important nutrients and lots of carbohydrates. Wheat bread is healthier than
white bread, not simply because of its hearty appearance, but because of what gives the white
bread its tone refined flour. The refining process takes away the wheats husk, bran, and
germ, taking with them many of the key nutrients. Whole grains provide hugely beneficial
substances such as fiber, vitamin E, B vitamins, and antioxidants (Guthrie). Grains are potent
sources of carbohydrates and are very versatile in their usage.
Nutritionists call carbohydrates the bodys first source of energy (Rodriguez). This
is because the body can break down carbohydrates and convert them to energy more easily
than it can proteins or fats. Many athletes enjoy carbohydrates because they can be converted
to glycogen, a stored substance which provides energy for muscle use. As a workouts
intensity increases, so, too, does the usage of glycogen (Paul Salter). In other words, if one

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athlete has a greater store of muscle glycogen than another, the first athlete will have more
accessible stored energy for the muscles to draw on than the second.
Scientists value carbohydrates because the brains fuel source is glucose, another
product of carbohydrates. Simply put, if a persons body runs out of glucose, their brain will
starve and die. Carbohydrates are the easiest macronutrient to convert into glucose and
therefore the body prefers them over proteins and fats for the conversion process. However,
carbohydrates are not the only macronutrient that can be converted, they are merely the
easiest.
Since the brain requires glucose to survive, let alone thrive, clearly the body needs to
produce it. Carbs are more easily converted into glucose than fats, but the problem is that
carbohydrates (especially those with a high glycemic index, like potatoes, breads, cereals,
soda pop, candy, sugar) have been consistently linked to and identified as causers of some of
the afore-mentioned diseases (Reaven). Diabetes develops as the bodys cells lose their
ability to easily absorb insulin, a hormone that carries sugar from the blood and thus regulates
the bodys blood sugar levels. When cells become insulin-resistant, the pancreas produces
fewer insulin hormones and the blood stream begins to carry more glucose, which can lead to
hyperglycemia and, as a result, nerve damage, kidney damage, and blindness (Mayo Clinic).
Such insulin-resistance occurs as a result of over-consumption of carbohydrates. All of these
seem to create an enormous contradiction because of the brains dependence on glucose, yet
carbohydrates are responsible for diabetes.
A contradiction with such risky implications requires that more research be done to
find a solution. Scientists have discovered that the liver can efficiently convert excess
proteins into glucose via a process called gluconeogenesis and thereby produce sufficient
glucose for the brain to function optimally, as well as other glucose-dependent organs (Berg).
Gluconeogenesis occurs during ketosis, or the process in which the body uses fat (including

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the subcutaneous and dangerous visceral stores) as its primary source of fuel. Therefore, lowcarb diets also have proven to be very effective in the treatment of the obese (Gunnars, 23
Studies on Low-Carb and Low-Fat Diets Time to Retire The Fad).
Aside from the brains benefits, there are many more to be gained from a lowcarbohydrate diet. Studies have been performed in which very-low-carbohydrate diets, called
ketogenic diets, were used to successfully treat such diseases as cancer (Zhou, Purna and
Kiebish), diabetes (Westman, Yancy and Mavropoulos), and epilepsy (Neal, Chaffe and
Schwartz). The advantages to adhering to a low-carbohydrate diet are evident when one
compares the nutritional makeup of it. By eating whole, natural foods, such as meats, nonstarchy vegetables, occasional fruits, naturally fatty foods like avocado, coconut, olives, and
dairy, one can truly eat healthfully and the body will appreciate such wholesome nutrition.
In summary, nutrition and health have been subjects of scientific research and study
for centuries and will continue to be such as society evolves. Todays standards of health are
different from what tomorrows will be especially what the media dubs as healthy.
Although such diseases as diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity
are rampant in our world, science proves that low-carbohydrate diets can effectively prevent
and treat such conditions. Every person is unique, however, and must decide for himself or
herself what the best course of action would be and how he or she defines healthy but if
people adhere to a low-carb diet, the rates of obesity and Western diseases will decrease.

Works Cited

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American Council on Exercise. "What Are the Guidelines for Percentage of Body Fat
Loss?" ACE Fit. N.p., 2 Dec. 2009. Web. 01 July 2016.
Berg, JM. "National Center for Biotechnology Information." Biochemistry, 5th Edition. New
York: W.H. Freeman, 2002. N. pag. National Center for Biotechnology Information.
U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 01 July 2016.
Center for Disease Control. "Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the
National Health Interview Survey, 2015 ." May 2016. CDC. 16 July 2016.
Gunnars, BSc, Kris. 23 Studies on Low-Carb and Low-Fat Diets Time to Retire The Fad.
n.d. Web. 8 July 2016.
Guthrie, Catherine. "The Truth About Grains: Whole and Refined." Experience Life. N.p.,
July 2012. Web. 01 July 2016.
Mayo Clinic. "Hyperglycemia in Diabetes." Mayo Clinic. N.p., 18 Apr. 2015. Web. 01 July
2016.
Neal, Elizabeth G, PhD, et al. "The ketogenic diet for the treatment of childhood epilepsy: a
randomised controlled trial." The Lancet Neurology 7.6 (2008): 500-506.
Paul Salter, MS, RD. "Your Guide to Intra-Workout Carbohydrates." Bodybuilding.com.
N.p., 09 May 2016. Web. 01 July 2016.
Penner, Elle, M.P.H., R.D. "Ask the Dietitian: What's the Best Carb, Protein and Fat
Breakdown for Weight Loss? - Hello Healthy." Hello Healthy. MyFitnessPal, 29 June
2016. Web. 01 July 2016.
Reaven, Gerald M, MD. "Role of Insulin Resistance in Human Disease." diabetes (1988):
1595-1607.
Rodriguez, Diana. "Carbohydrates: Your Diet's Fuel." EverydayHealth.com. N.p., 27 Mar.
2013. Web. 01 July 2016.
Westman, Eric C, et al. "The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a lowglycemic index diet on gycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus." Nutrition &
Metabolism (2008).
Zhou, Weihua, et al. "The calorically restricted ketogenic diet, an effective alternative therapy
for malignant brain cancer." Nutrition & Metabolism (2007).

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Position Essay
Fat is Fuel
Everyone likes to feel good. Everything that we do is driven by the idea that we will
feel content, pleased, happy, accomplished, or accepted as a result. I grew up as a chubby
guy, never one that people would call fat but I was definitely carrying excess weight.
Personally I consider myself incredibly fortunate for having gained such experience as a
young man. The story has a happy ending because my struggles led me to develop a sincere
interest in health, not merely appearance, and I began exercising, eating healthfully, and
focusing on what I thought of myself as opposed to my perception of what others thought.
This scenario is far too common in the world today. The worlds obesity epidemic is clearly a
result of misguided nutrition and the real problem is the chronic over-consumption of
carbohydrates. This epidemic, along with many others, can be ended by redefining nutritional
guidelines and promoting high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets. Governmental organizations have
been recommending a carbohydrate-rich diet for decades, which most people adhere to
because that is the food our society focuses on. Most people try to be moderate in their
nutrition, trying to stay as close as possible to governmental nutritional guidelines. Then there
are those who believe low-carbohydrate, even ketogenic, diets are the solution to our
problems. If the U.S. population would follow a low-carbohydrate diet, then the entire
countrys general wellness would improve as a result and the world would come closer to
seeing obesity as a disease of the past because our bodies would use their naturally-stored
fuel: fat.
The USDA recommends that 45-65% of our diets be made up of carbohydrates (U.S.
Food and Drug Administration). Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients, along
with dietary fat and protein, that compose the majority the calories we consume. They are a
common source of energy because the body can easily metabolize them into glucose, which is

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used to fuel various organs and muscles. Actually, the brain functions primarily on glucose.
Proponents of high-carbohydrate diets typically reiterate this fact and correctly emphasize the
importance of proper brain function. Despite glucose being the brains usual energy source,
however, it is not the only thing our brains can use for fuel.
Carbohydrates are found in abundance in foods like vegetables, fruits, and grains.
Revered organizations such as the USDA, the FDA, and the ADA encourage everyone to eat
enough of these foods to insure they intake enough vitamins and nutrients. Vegetables are a
staple in my diet, but I am careful about what kinds I eat regularly in order to minimize
carbohydrate intake. Its well known that veggies, fruits, and grain have greatly beneficial
properties and it is generally accepted that everything within those food groups are healthy.
Our society is taking great strides to improve health and wellness, with various beliefs
taking shape and amassing followers such as vegetarianism and veganism. Within these
philosophies, nutrition typically ceases to be solely about the health of the individual and
oftentimes becomes governed by the wellbeing of animals or the environment. In a vegan
lifestyle, animal products are eliminated from the diet (subsequently eliminating many of the
healthiest sources of fat and protein) and the subscriber thus relies mostly on carbohydrates in
various forms for their nutrition. These diets are generally high in vegetables, grains, and
fruits, with nuts and legumes included to provide protein. These diets are not for everyone,
but those who follow them typically enjoy them because they believe in the philosophy and
environmental benefits.
One of the most famous, or infamous, diets is the Atkins Diet. Its promises of healthy
weight loss and maintenance by eating all sorts of meats and fats, with few veggies, seem too
good to be true. This diet has been publicly criticized for decades, just as Michael Fumento,
an accomplished author, attorney, and investigative journalist did on his website. The public
responded predictably to the pro-Atkins results of an Atkins-funded study and theyve all

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been sold one greasy fat bill of goods (Fumento). Studies have been conducted which
suggest a correlation between saturated fat intake (a type of fat naturally occurring in red
meats and dairy products) and heart disease (Ascherio, Rimm and Giovannucci).
Given all of this evidence and support from governmental organizations, one might
wonder why anyone would dispute what doctors and health professionals say about diabetes,
cancer, hypertension, obesity, and heart disease. Research is done to understand more about a
given idea or theory and when modern medicine claims that these diseases are virtually
unavoidable, scientists should take the initiative and discover whether or not that is
completely true as opposed to simply accepting the work of other researchers especially
when statistics assert that these diseases are almost guaranteed in the lives of many because
of their increasing prevalence in recent years.
I, for one, would rather not suffer from any one of those terrible diseases. Both of my
grandfathers, my mother, and my uncle have diabetes. My grandmother passed away after a
fight with cancer. One of my grandfathers had a heart attack and survived. The prevalence of
disease in our society and in my family give me strong motivation to look for a solution.
Nearly two hundred years ago, an English undertaker named William Banting was
prescribed a very low carbohydrate, high fat diet to treat his obesity. He weighed 202lb at the
beginning of his diet and stood 55 tall. In less than a year, he lost 46lb and kept it off
(Groves). Low-carbohydrate diet advocates argue that the body runs more efficiently when it
metabolizes fat for fuel, as opposed to carbohydrates, because it provides roughly twice as
much energy per gram as carbs. Therefore, high-fat diets provide more energy while reducing
the need to eat the same quantity, helping to avoid feelings of over-eating and bloat.
In response to the carb proponents argument that the brain and muscles require
carbohydrate-sourced glucose, we beg to differ. Via a process called gluconeogenesis, the
liver can metabolize excess protein into glucose, thus providing enough for the muscles and

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the brain. Studies have shown that the brain functions just as well, if not better, on ketone
bodies than on glucose. Ketone bodies are produce by the liver when very few carbohydrates
are ingested. This state is called ketosis.
Simply put, ketosis is the state in which the body seeks energy primarily from fat
stored in the cells because insufficient carbohydrates are being metabolized to provide
enough fuel for the body. Personally, I like to be lean and strong, so allowing my body to
burn fat, instead of storing it, seems ideal. According to Dr. Peter Attia, M.D., a highly
accomplished specialist in longevity, even our medical doctors could use a brush-up on this
nutritional state (Attia).
Studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects of a ketogenic diet on participants
with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimers disease, cancer (Allen),
Parkinsons disease, epilepsy, and obesity (B. K. Gunnars). Ketogenic diets are proven to be
highly beneficial for human health and especially so for individuals suffering from any of the
afore-mentioned ailments. Along with relief from ailments, ketogenic dieters often report a
number of other desirable benefits such as: rapid, healthy, sustainable weight loss; greater
protection against the development of deadly and prevalent diseases; sufficient appropriate
fuel for the body to function properly.
I do not recommend that everyone adhere to a ketogenic diet, as ketosis requires a
very, very low intake of carbohydrates and is not necessary for everybody, but I boldly and
openly endorse a low-carbohydrate diet for all. Everyones body is different, but all would
stand to gain greatly by adhering to such a lifestyle. Carbohydrates absolutely have their
place and I will never cease to love vegetables, yet Western culture needs to reevaluate its
diet and take responsibility for todays public health epidemics. These diseases need not be a
part of everyones life, which is why a low-carbohydrate diet is the best solution because
you are what you eat literally.

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Works Cited
Allen, Bryan G., Sudershan K. Bhatia, Carryn M. Anderson, Julie M. Eichenberger-Gilmore,
Zita Sibenaller, Kranti A. Mapuskar, Joshua D. Schoenfeld, John M. Buatti, Douglas
R. Spitz, and Melissa A. Fath. "Ketogenic Diets as an Adjuvant Cancer Therapy:
History and Potential Mechanism." Redox Biology 2 (2014): 963-70. PubMed. Web. 9
July 2016.
Ascherio, A., E. B. Rimm, E. L. Giovannucci, D. Spiegelman, M. Stampfer, and W.
C.Willett. "Dietary Fat and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Men: Cohort Follow up
Study in the United States." BMJ 313.7049 (1996): 84-90. BMJ. Web. 9 July 2016.
Attia, Peter, M.D. "Is Ketosis Dangerous? - The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D." The
Eating Academy. The Eating Academy, 02 Dec. 2011. Web. 9 July 2016.
Diet Doctor. The Science of Low-Carb. n.d. Web. 9 July 2016.
Fumento, Michael. "Bestselling Author Mike Fumento Writes: "Hold the Lard." "Bestselling
Author Mike Fumento Writes: "Hold the Lard." Fumento.com, n.d. Web. 8 July 2016.
Groves, Barry, Ph.D. "William Banting Father of the Low-Carbohydrate Diet - Weston A
Price." William Banting: Father of the Low-Carbohydrate Diet. Weston A Price, 30
Apr. 2003. Web. 8 July 2016.
Gunnars, BSc, Kris. 23 Studies on Low-Carb and Low-Fat Diets Time to Retire The Fad.
n.d. Web. 8 July 2016.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "U.S. Food and Drug Administration."How to
Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label. FDA, Nov. 2004. Web. 9 July 2016.