Has your doctor lied to you? Eat low-fat and high-carb, including plenty of “healthy” whole grains—does that sound familiar? Perhaps this is what you were told at your last doctor’s appointment or visit with a nutritionist, or perhaps it is something you read online when searching for a healthy diet. And perhaps you’ve been misled. Ken Berry, MD, FAAFP is here to dispel the myths and misinformation that have been perpetuated by the medical and food industries for decades.
Dr. Berry’s bestseller, Lies My Doctor Told Me: Medical Myths That Can Harm Your Health, exposes the truth behind all kinds of “lies” told by well-meaning but misinformed medical practitioners. Nutritional therapy is often overlooked in medical school, and the information provided to physicians is often outdated. However, the negative consequences on your health remain the same. Advice to avoid healthy fats and stay out of the sun has been proven to be detrimental to longevity and wreak havoc on your system.
While this book unashamedly challenges mainstream medical advice, Berry also has a very humble and compassionate view of doctors. Your doctors didn’t go into medicine to intentionally make you sicker or harm your health. However, they are human too, and if the only “tool” they were given in medical school was the food pyramid, they unknowingly keep applying it to your problems, even if it doesn’t work.
There are 30 chapters in Lies My Doctor Told Me, and each chapter covers one common misconception in medicine. Dr. Berry breaks down each myth with sections that describe the lie, why you should care (or how the lie affects your health), and where support for the lie comes from (such as Big Pharma or the American Heart Association, for example). Dr. Berry provides common-sense reasoning about why the lie is absurd, then backs it up with the research to debunk each myth.
Closing out each chapter/lie, you’ll find a take-home message to sum up the key truths to remember when speaking with your doctor or loved ones about the issue in question. You’ll also learn Dr. Berry’s personal opinions and practices on the matter in a “Do as I do” section. Finally, Dr. Berry includes homework in the form of recommended reading about each lie, if you’re curious for more.
The Lie Regarding Cholesterol: High cholesterol levels in your blood are dangerous and increase your risk of heart attack.
The Truth: Cholesterol is essential for all animal life. Almost every single cell in your body produces it. Your body also uses cholesterol as the framework molecule to make vitamin D and all of your sex hormones.
Berry’s Advice: Don’t give cholesterol a second thought. Eat as your ancestors would have thousands of years ago and let your body take care of the rest.
The Lie Regarding Exercise: If you exercise more, you will lose weight.
The Truth: Research studies uniformly show that exercise is a very poor method of weight loss. Exercise is wonderful for your mind, body and spirit in hundreds of ways. It will make you healthier and happier, but it will not help you lose weight.
Berry’s Advice: Stay active and exercise, but don’t “work out.” Do what you enjoy. Go outside and play, have fun moving around.
The Lie Regarding Fiber: Fiber is good for you, and you should try to get as much fiber in your diet as possible.
The Truth: Fiber is undigestible plant matter that passes through you unchanged. When controlled studies are done on the topics of constipation, diverticulosis, and colon cancer, adding more fiber to a diet has no effect whatsoever on the outcome of the diet.
Berry’s Advice: Don’t go out of your way to eat extra fiber. Humans have mostly eaten fatty meat for thousands of years and seldom do we need to consume extra fiber to stay regular.
In this book, Dr. Berry will enlighten you about nutrition and life choices, their role in our health, and how to begin an educated conversation with your doctor about finding the right path for you.