It is March 30, 2007 as I finally sit down to tell the world the correct way to eat. This book is not an exposition on the ACCEPTED way to eat, but the PROPER way to eat. It all began for me approximately 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, referred to as hypertension in medical talk. In addition, my good cholesterol known as the HDL was low. At this point in my life I was easily fifty pounds overweight so I was not too surprised that my blood pressure was high and my HDL was low.
I decided that I should start myself on a diet and I began the accepted approach to dieting. Yes, this was the classic low fat, low cholesterol diet gleaned from the famous Framingham Heart Study. Since I can be really strict with dieting when I want to I began following a very low fat, low cholesterol dietary plan.
Much to my surprise I gained weight my blood pressure went higher and my HDL went even lower! But was I really surprised? I had told thousands of patients over the years to follow this particular dietary regimen and I knew it did not work.
I knew it did not work.
This was not a knowledge that was obvious to me it was more of a subliminal understanding as I had never really seen low fat, low cholesterol diets work in the past. I continued to place my patients on low fat, low cholesterol diets because that was what I was taught to do in medical school and residency.
So I continued to counsel my patients dietarily about low fat, low cholesterol diets, throwing in that if the diet does not work we could start medication. And I knew most of the time we would have to.
I am truly embarrassed to say that I never actually gave much thought as to why the vast majority of my patients did not respond to the low fat, low cholesterol diets. I implicitly knew that the diet did not work because at the same visit I would talk about diet I would talk about the possibility of diet failure and the use of medications.
What was wrong with me? Why did I not stop and think about why the diet was not working? Was cholesterol elevated in my patient's blood because they were deficient in cholesterol lowering medications? Were blood pressures really elevated because my patient's blood was deficient in blood pressure lowering medications? Or blood sugars elevated because of a deficiency in one of the latest blood sugar lowering drugs? Why did I not smell the proverbial coffee? Why was I so stupid?
I really do not think I am all that dumb. I obtained my undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Cornell, graduated from Medical School and was Chief Resident during my Family Medicine residency. How could I have been so darn ignorant? Why did I not question what I knew and saw was not working? Why did I just reach for medications when the accepted diet did not work?
Because that was the way I was trained!
Let us review some important points. We call it Medical School because we go there to learn how to use medications to treat diseases. We do not go to medical school to learn how to use diet to treat diseases. When I was in medical school we only received two weeks of nutritional instruction taught by an overweight dietician.
Let me tell you something about the way one is trained in medical school. It stifles any chance at creativity or free thought. We are taught what to do and when to do it. We are not taught to think as a free mind in medical school. Because of this we become indoctrinated with all the mistakes in thinking that our predecessors demonstrated before us.
Indoctrinated, wow, heavy; but true. We are not taught how to think, we are taught what to think. Because of this when we are told in medical school, residency, and through conferences and journal readings to start low fat, low cholesterol diets, we do it without thinking.
WE DO IT WITHOUT THINKING!
Just like cattle to the slaughter, or should I say, like humans to the cath lab, or to dialysis or to chemo…we do it without thinking…
Well, wait a minute. I should not just pick on the medical circle. With all due respect we are indoctrinated at a very early age. We are told in elementary and high school that low fat, low cholesterol diets are correct. We learn it in college, we read it in the paper, see it on TV and hear it on the radio. How could low fat, low cholesterol diets be wrong when everyone knows, just knows, that this is the correct way to eat.
So the reason I did not question the fact that almost everyone I placed on low fat, low cholesterol diets needed medication was because I was trained never to question what I was told by my instructors. I was conditioned to just accept, not question, medical authority. And so I did not.
So this is why I did not question the powers that be. It was not until I came across a wonderful book, Protein Power, by Mary and Michael Eades that my life both professionally and personally was changed forever.
It is important to note that my undergraduate training was in biochemistry and cellular physiology. It is also important that when I found out I had elevated blood pressure and a low HDL I started myself on a low fat, low cholesterol diet. Remember also that the diet did not work. I gained weight, my blood pressure went higher and my HDL decreased.
Guess what I did to myself next. Now remember, I did not understand the correct way to eat. So at this point I started myself on medications for blood pressure and cholesterol because that was what I was trained to do. I guess I thought the reason my HDL was low and blood pressure was high was because I was deficient in medications.
And of course, I continued on the low fat, low cholesterol diet plan until I read Protein Power. After reading the first few chapters of Protein Power and armed with my biochemical knowledge I knew for a fact I had told thousands (at that point in my career probably tens of thousands) of people to eat the wrong way.
Well after finishing the book I began a totally different unaccepted and controversial diet plan. Before I had even changed my diet to the correct one I knew it was going to work. How did I know it was going to work, you may ask? Because of the biochemistry involved. You see, along with reading Protein Power I also opened the latest copies of my undergraduate and medical books on biochemistry and cellular physiology.
The contents of and the basis for Protein Power's claims have been known and printed for years. For years. Oh my goodness! How could I have been so ignorant?! Not even has the information been right at arms reach, I HAD READ THE BOOKS! And I wish I could say I only glanced at these textbooks so that is the reason for my ignorance, but I cannot. Due to my love of biochemistry and cellular physiology I had read these textbooks cover to cover AT LEAST 3 TIMES!
Am I the embodiment of stupidity? Am I just plain dumb? Nope, I am just a physician trained the way all other physicians have been trained dietarily and are still being trained in medical schools today.
OK, so let us start a journey together. Come along with me as I take you into the depths of biochemistry and cellular physiology. Now relax and do not panic. I know the words biochemistry and cellular physiology scare most people into a panic and perhaps create a sense of impending boredom. You do not need to be frightened and I hope you will not be bored. I will explain biochemistry and cellular physiology to you so you will not only be able to share my story, but understand it too. Once you understand why what I say is true you will want to change your current eating style forever.
I will allow you, my reader, to be critical of this book. How can I stop you? I know I had mentioned earlier some of my biggest critics will be my colleagues, but that is ok. Their arguments will all be the same. It goes something like 'We all know eating like that is dangerous and we do not know the long term ramifications of staying on a diet like that.’ My only comment will be, "Well, didn't we all know that the world was flat. Hey, some of us even believed in Santa Claus and we knew that was true."
OK, let us get started. I have a huge story to tell. And oh yeah, do not go and do anything crazy like stop all your medications unless you do so under the guidance of a physician well versed in this particular style of eating. I do not need a lawsuit, so do not do it. OK, OK, let us have some fun….
Education is the slow process of learning our ignorance
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