In Search of the Truth
My journey to develop the Perfect 10 Diet was a path that I neither envisioned nor planned as a doctor.
In 1998 I started a private practice in internal medicine in New York City. I was enthusiastic about starting my career after many years of medical school and graduate training. But before long, my hope had turned to despair. In the age of HMOs, I was caring for more patients and in less time in an ever-increasing bureaucracy. I was also caring for more and more people at younger and younger ages who were suffering from the onset of serious chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, elevated cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. All these conditions are traditionally treated with drugs and other medical interventions, but also require extensive nutritional counseling to improve significantly.
“How can this be accomplished in a medical system that favors cost cuts rather than emphasizing prevention?” was a question I asked myself each and every day. I had doubts about why I had spent the past fifteen years of my life doing this.
Naturally, and in good faith, I relied on the nutritional guidelines put forth by the mainstream medical community and the government when treating my patients. But something curious and quite discouraging was happening. Instead of losing weight or experiencing an improvement in disease state or overall health, my patients continued to gain additional weight and become less healthy. It began to dawn on me that food is, in fact, medicine, and that my patients, who were often following one low-fat diet or another, were being poisoned by their diets.
A Young Doctor at a Crossroads
Here I was, a young doctor, trained as a traditional physician, who was following the guidelines of my profession, yet I was watching helplessly as patient after patient failed to improve his or her health or lose weight on low-fat diets.
And when it came to my health, it wasn’t any better. I was a little overweight; I had a touch of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And even though I exercised like a maniac, I saw no results whatsoever.
I read all the diet books on the market, I joined Weight Watchers, and I kept track of everything I ate like a good accountant. RelatedSee how the Perfect 10 Diet is different from other diets.But nothing worked. I was hungry, still overweight, and tired all the time.
Was it possible that the dietary guidelines put forth by the respected medical authorities could be outdated, inaccurate, or even wrong? I began to do some research of my own. I read all the research and epidemiologic studies I could get ahold of. To my astonishment, I found that there is a wealth of solid, conclusive research that directly contradicts what was—and still is—being promoted as healthy eating in this country. I read thousands of research articles that concluded that an aggressively low-fat diet is actually detrimental to our health.
This led me to formally develop the Perfect 10 Diet.
My biggest challenge became how to convince my patients to let go of their thinking that low fat is healthy, and instead follow a more balanced approach. Many of my patients were initially skeptical, but even the most resistant saw miraculous and rapid results when they followed the Perfect 10 Diet. They got the same results that I had experienced - losing 10 to 14 pounds on average in the first 3 weeks alone. Most were shocked to learn that not all fat is the same, and surprised when I encouraged them not to fear saturated fat, such as butter and coconut oil. In fact, these healthy saturated fats do not raise cholesterol, promote heart disease, or cause cancer or obesity as we had once been led to believe.
The Birth of a Phenomenon
The Perfect 10 Diet started out as a series of informal handouts and pamphlets. Even with this minimal information in hand, my patients began to lose weight, improve their health, and see a reversal of disease states, often without the use of drugs or other medical treatments. I began to take my message public, speaking on the restorative and healing effects of the Perfect 10 Diet to groups of medical professionals and everyday people.
As word of my patients’ successful weight loss began to spread, it wasn’t long before I was invited to speak about the Perfect 10 Diet principles on many television and radio stations. The Perfect 10 Diet became a media sensation in the Northeast. RelatedSee more Perfect 10 Diet success stories. People started to call my office, log on to my website, share their success stories, and ask for more information about the Perfect 10 Diet. The success stories were overwhelming and very moving. It had never occurred to me at any time in my whole life that I would be the physician people turned to and ask to correct the nutrition information in this country. And what I learned while interacting with so many interested consumers was that they were, ironically, starving for accurate nutritional information. That was what finally prompted me to write this book.
Looking back, I realize it was a long journey to write this book. But was it worth it? Absolutely. Because just like you, I was overweight and sick, and nothing worked. I was not able to stick to any diet for any length of time, and felt similar despair in my patients, who were confused by the mixed messages they were receiving about healthy eating and nutrition from government agencies, the food industry, other physicians and nutritionists, major medical organizations such as the American Heart Association, the media, and the plethora of popular diet books vying for their attention. This great confusion motivated me to strive to uncover the link between food and health, and develop a lifelong eating plan that really works and changes lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Aziz, MD, is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is an attending physician at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York and maintains a private practice on Madison Avenue in Manhattan.