Americans, including most health care professionals, are very misinformed about nutrition and health, which leads to a lot of confusion and frustration. Many people with degenerative conditions have tried dietary improvement and have decided that it does not work. But most of these people have not improved their diets enough to make a difference in their health outcomes.
For example, I recently spoke with a woman who told me that she had to take drugs for high blood pressure and high cholesterol because these conditions "run in her family" and "changing her diet didn't work." Under her doctor's direction, she had tried to eat more chicken and fish, avoid fried foods, and eat less fat, and doing these things did not result in her blood pressure or cholesterol going down. She was both skeptical and shocked when I told her that eating chicken and fish actually caused her coronary artery disease to progress. She then ordered a cheeseburger and fried onion rings, because she believed, based on her experience, that her condition could not be controlled by diet, and her doctor had told her that the medications would offer her protection, neither of which is true.
Diet does work, but you have to adopt the right diet. And research shows that the right diet is the dietary excellence program we recommend at The Wellness Forum. Making a few or even many changes to your diet, but not adopting the whole plan, will not produce results (we define results as preventing, stopping the progression of, or reversing disease).
I talk to people regularly about their attempts to eat better. Their food journals show that they have tried to do the right things - they don't eat fast food, they avoid fried foods, they have stopped drinking soft drinks, and they don't eat dessert. But they are dehydrated, they eat fish 3-4 times per week, they eat too much fat and too much processed food, and while claiming to be vegetarian, they include dairy products in their diet. Many are confused because their weight and health problems have not resolved or they've gotten worse, or new conditions have developed, all while they have been trying to use diet to improve their health. The tools they are using are not wrong, the problem is that they are not enough. Getting 75% of the diet right does not result in 75% health improvement. It takes 100% to get the job done.
Dietary change is like a combination lock. A lock that requires three numbers to open it will not open if you only use two of the numbers, even if they are two of the right numbers and they are in the right sequence. Without the third number, the lock simply will not open. Add the third number and he lock opens right away.
And so it is with diet. If you've been frustrated by attempts to change your health outcomes with diet, try adopting the whole dietary excellence program we recommend. The last few changes you make will be like the third number needed to open the lock - your weight and health will improve very quickly after you make them.