Here's an old quote that’s been attributed to just about everyone in history who's quotable.
"Half of what we have been taught is wrong. The problem is, we don't know which half."
This quote has been used for a wide range of things, everything from medicine to advertising.
Now we can add diets, the food pyramid, low fat blueberry yogurt and nutrition advice from our sainted mothers to the list of things that are half wrong.
Or half right, if you're a positive thinker.
Thanks to a doctor who is unteaching me everything I have learned about healthy eating and diet, I have gone from two diabetes pills a day to none, cut my statin in half and stopped taking Niacin pills that give me hot flashes like a woman of a certain age.
My optometrist says my eyesight has improved. My wife says I've stopped snoring and now she can sleep.
And I'm just getting started.
All of this is supported by a recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The results were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
People who eat low carbohydrates along with fat lose more weight and have fewer heart problems than those on a low-fat diet.
This is huge. This means at least half of everything we have been taught about nutrition for the last 40 years is wrong. And we know which half.
The problem could not be more serious. Obesity is killing Americans. If that doesn't bother you, look at it this way: It's costing billions to pay for the health problems caused by our daily carb-ups.
The results of the study were greeted in typical American fashion: Everybody took the side they liked best and started screaming at each other. Talking heads made the rounds of the screaming-at-each-other cable TV shows. And nothing was resolved.
Shortly after the study was released, an investor jumped all over the Olive Garden restaurant because it is serving huge baskets of unlimited, free, carb-laden bread sticks. But the criticism wasn't that this contributed to America's obesity. The criticism was it was wasting money.
The biggest waist problem in the Olive Garden breadstick controversy is the one we wrap our belt around.
I am a 66-year-old male who had a small stress related heart attack five years ago.
I am a little overweight like the proverbial woman who's a little pregnant. Let me put it this way: If you put the amount of extra weight I carry around my belly on a barbell, I would struggle to lift it.
I was diagnosed with Diabetes 2 and take so many pills I get Christmas cards from my local pharmacy. I visit the doctor regularly.
Doctor: "Any problems?"
Me: "My knees hurt."
Doctor: "Lose weight."
Me: "My back hurts."
Doctor: "Lose weight. Also, your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides are all too high."
Me: "What should I do?"
Doctor: "Lose weight.
How frustrating. I don't go to the doctor to be told what I have to do – especially something as impossible as losing weight. I go to the doctor to get magic pills that will make everything better.
Earlier this summer I was hospitalized for a week with cellulitis, a bacterial infection. Twenty-first century hospitals make a big deal out of the fact that you can order whatever you want from the kitchen. I called to put in my dinner order."
Me: "I'll have pizza, extra cheese, bread sticks, cheese balls, and a big piece of chocolate pie."
Dietician: "You'll have a 4-ounce grilled salmon, peas and salad."
Me: "I thought I could order whatever I wanted."
Dietician: "You can order whatever you want. But we never said we'd serve it to you."
I ate salmon and other healthy food and lost 5 pounds in the hospital.
So I got to thinking. And who knows where these ideas come from? It was just something that leaped into my head from out of nowhere.
Me: "You know what? I should lose some weight!"
I found a doctor who specializes in low carb eating not only to lose weight but to cure health problems.
Dr. Lowcarbs: "Do you eat a lot of bread, ice cream, candy, cookies, pasta, potatoes, and potato chips?"
Me: "That depends on what your definition of 'a lot' is."
I didn't tell her that I have never met a vending machine that I didn't like.
Dr. Lowcarbs: "We're going to get you off all those pills and make you healthy again. Do you remember all the things you've been taught about nutrition and eating?"
Me: "Of course."
Dr. Lowcarbs: "Well I'm going to unteach you and then teach you the right way to eat. Don't eat low fat foods; they're bad for you. Do you eat rice that comes in a box?"
Dr. Lowcarbs: "You'd be better off eating the box and throwing out the rice. Eat eggs in the morning and if you scramble them don't use 2 percent or even whole milk. Use heavy whipping cream."
This is not a diet. Diets have an end. This is a lifestyle change.
I've learned to make all kinds of great low carbs foods, even cheesecake and pizza. I've lost considerable weight and I've never felt better.
Numbers don't lie, unless politicians are using them. And all my numbers are improving.
Being over-weight is an underlying cause of much of America's health problems from heart disease to cancer, even Alzheimer's and much more.
So the next time you go to Olive Garden, read the study on low-carb diet before you ear. Then skip the free breadsticks. Skip the pasta too and the tomato sauces and . . .
Oh what the heck. Just order yourself a big thick steak and enjoy every carb-free ounce of it.