THE PUBLIC’S HUNGER for nutrition information never ceases to amaze me, even after devoting my entire working life to conducting experimental research into nutrition and health. Diet books are perennial best-sellers. Almost every popular magazine features nutrition advice, newspapers regularly run articles and TV and radio programs constantly discuss diet and health.
Given the barrage of information, are you confident that you know what you should be doing to improve your health?
Should you buy food that is labeled organic to avoid pesticide exposure? Are environmental chemicals a primary cause of cancer? Or is your health “predetermined” by the genes you inherited when you were born? Do carbohydrates really make you fat? Should you be more concerned about the total amount of fat you eat, or just saturated fats and trans-fats? What vitamins, if any, should you be taking? Do you buy foods that are fortified with extra fiber? Should you eat fish, and, if so, how often? Will eating soy foods prevent heart disease?
My guess is that you’re not really sure of the answers to these questions. If this is the case, then you aren’t alone. Even though information and opinions are plentiful, very few people truly know what they should be doing to improve their health.
This isn’t because the research hasn’t been done. It has. We know an enormous amount about the links between nutrition and health. But the real science has been buried beneath a clutter of irrelevant or even harmful information—junk science, fad diets and food industry propaganda.
I want to change that. I want to give you a new framework for understanding nutrition and health, a framework that eliminates confusion, prevents and treats disease and allows you to live a more fulfilling life.
I have been “in the system” for almost fifty years, at the very highest levels, designing and directing large research projects, deciding which research gets funded and translating massive amounts of scientific research into national expert panel reports.
After a long career in research and policy making, I now understand why Americans are so confused. As a taxpayer who foots the bill for research and health policy in America, you deserve to know that many of the common notions you have been told about food, health and disease are wrong:
- Synthetic chemicals in the environment and in your food, as problematic as they may be, are not the main cause of cancer.
- The genes that you inherit from your parents are not the most important factors in determining whether you fall prey to any of the ten leading causes of death.
- The hope that genetic research will eventually lead to drug cures for diseases ignores more powerful solutions that can be employed today.
- Obsessively controlling your intake of any one nutrient, such as carbohydrates, fat, cholesterol or omega-3 fats, will not result in long-term health.
- Vitamins and nutrient supplements do not give you long-term protection against disease.
- Drugs and surgery don’t cure the diseases that kill most Americans.
- Your doctor probably does not know what you need to do to be the healthiest you can be.
I propose to do nothing less than redefine what we think of as good nutrition. The provocative results of my four decades of biomedical research, including the findings from a twenty-seven-year laboratory program (funded by the most reputable funding agencies) prove that eating right can save your life.