Changing The Face Of Medicine
I’ve long been discouraged with conventional medicine and our health care system. To me, it’s like driving an old, beat up car. You can only get so many ‘tune-ups’ or repairs and continue to drive it before it completely dies. And when you DO finally turn it in for a new vehicle, you realize the money you dumped into the repairs would have been better spent on a new car all together.
That’s what our government keeps doing. Throwing money at temporary repairs to our healthcare system which feed the disease and create more problems in the long run. Doctors have no incentive to truly cure a patient when they get paid to throw drugs at every pain, ache and cough. It seems even doctors with national recognition, touted on Oprah and viewed by the general public as “America’s Doctors”, can succumb to the typical American ‘sell out’. For example, Dr. Barry Sears. I am not saying his concepts and ideas aren’t valid. They are. Admittedly, the man is a genius for crying out loud with a PhD and 13 U.S. Patents under his belt, not to mention he’s one of the foremost researchers in the field of nutrition, diet and hormones . I heard him lecture this past Saturday at my nutrition school, and trust me, he knows what he’s talking about. I don’t argue that. Slient Inflammation. It’s the underlying factor of every chronic disease including obesity, diabetes, cancer, and anything ending in ‘-itis’. His talk was informative and filled with facts. He prescribed food as a drug and his “Zone Diet” as the best prescription for an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. And I am all for it. Until I was in line at Whole Foods shortly after his lecture and decided to pick up a “Zone” bar. Wow. Three grams saturated fat (15% of the RDA). Eighteen grams of sugar and only two grams of fiber. With ingredients including fractionated palm kernal oil, glycerin (isn’t that in my hand lotion?) and yes, fructose. Snickers makes a healthier bar with less calories and saturated fat and more fiber (The Snickers Marathon Bar, Dark Chocolate Crunch). I was hoping that somehow, the official Zone bars were not associated with Dr. Sears and his immensely popular diet. No such luck. They are sold on “Dr. Sears ZONE”, the OFFICIAL Site of Dr. Barry Sears’ Zone Diet.” I hate that the most reputable doctors in the country are ‘fooling’ the country into thinking their products are healthy. And believe me, we’re buying it.
I just don’t get it. To me, it’s disappointing. (In his defense, the Zone bars sold on Barry Sears’ site seem to be different and a little bit better nutritionally than the Zone Perfect Bars you typcially see in the stores which look like this. I haven’t been able to figure out if Sears is involved with the development of these bars made by, um, Abbott Labaratories.)
But my weekend was saved by two very inspiring and what I found to be, authentic doctors: Dr. David Katz and Dr. Mark Hyman. These men are single handedly changing the face of medicine and challenging conventional medical wisdom. And they are DOCTORS. They speak from a foundation of science backed with intensive research and studies. They are willing to uncover the scams and the lies that our government supports in the name of pharmaceutical dollars. I could go on forever about all the amazing things these two men are accomplishing, but for the most part I will direct you to their websites to learn more yourselves. Unfortunately, because they aren’t selling bars, protein powders, knifes and kitchen utensils, you may not be as familiar with their names as Dr. Oz or Dr. Barry Sears.
And much of what they are saying is congruent with those more well known doctors. But their message is not tainted by commercialism or products contradictory to their messages. If anything, they give away their products and information for FREE!!!
For example, Dr. David Katz has created an amazing program for children called “Nutrition Detectives.” The free DVD’s (ok, fine you pay for shipping and handling, about $1) teach kids about how to make wise food choices and what real nutrition means. I ordered ten to give to my family, friends and clients with children. I encourage you to do the same.
And be sure to check out Dr. Katz’s amazing NuVal Nutritional Scoring System.We all would be wise to follow this EASY rating system (from 1-100) to judge the nutritional value of our food rather than the archaic and confusing labels the FDA currently requires. We have confused the public into thinking that Zone Bars are good for us and olive oil is bad because it’s ‘fattening’. It will change the way you think about what is “good for you”. Even my favorite snack “Robert’s Gourmet Veggie Booty” ranked LOWER than Doritos Baked Tortilla Chips Nacho Cheese . . . right up there with Lay’s Classic Potato Chips! (See the ratings here.) It doesn’t get into the nitty gritty of food and ingredients, but it’s a better judge of nutrition than what we have now. Leave the algorhythms and crazy equations to the scientists and doctors (trust me, he tried to show us how they came up with these scores and it’s more than anyone needs to learn!). You’ll know immediately, on site, how healthy, overall, your food is.
Hands down, Dr. Mark Hyman was my favorite lecturer this weekend. He spoke with passion, conviction, and more importantly from the heart. He himself lived in poor health and illness and single handedly, altered the trajectory of his health and changed his fate. You can read his story here. He is a proponent of ‘functional medicine’ and curing the CAUSE of disease and illness, not alleviating symptoms with a pill. My favorite quote of the weekend: “Depression isn’t caused by a lack of Prozac!” Hilarious. Yet, what is the first thing a doctor will prescribe to a depressed patient? I think you know the answer to that one. He also stated: “A fork is the most powerful tool you have to change your health and the environment.” I couldn’t agree more.
I could go on and on and on and ON about Dr. Hyman and how much I respect and value him as a leader in this profession. I can with certainty and confidence stand behind his work and his writings. I highly recommend hisUltraprevention, or any of his books.
I hope to someday have the honor to work with Dr. Hyman and learn from him and stand beside him in his fight for reform and change. I’m going to start by making an appointment!