Straight from the doctor’s mouth: Focus on “the big rocks”
Hi everyone! I’m Dr. Bret Scher, board-certified cardiologist, lipidologist, and medical director for Diet Doctor. I am a strong promoter of healthy, low-carbohydrate diets to help people improve their metabolic and overall health.
In my role at Diet Doctor, I make sure everything we publish and promote is medically accurate and helpful for most people. But I don’t just promote low-carb diets to others, I follow one myself!
My health journey
I was trained in an Ornish-style preventive cardiology program that promoted a very low-fat vegan diet. So, high-protein, low-carb diets were foreign to me for much of my early career. But I was lucky enough to open a wellness center with a good friend and health coach who was a big proponent of keto diets. He helped me see the potential benefits that reducing carbs could have on our patients. I wasn’t willing to try it on my patients until I tried it on myself first.
My self-experimentation and subsequent devouring of the scientific literature on low-carb diets opened my eyes to a world of potential. I have seen more weight, metabolic, and health benefits from low-carb diets than I have seen from any other lifestyle intervention.
Personally, I have experimented with strict keto, moderate low-carb, and high-protein diets. Today, I follow a combined high-protein, moderate low-carb diet. But more importantly for me, I follow what I consider a “quick and easy food prep diet.”
I don’t have much time for cooking (or cleaning!), so I like to keep things simple. I always have dinner leftovers for lunch the next day, and I usually eat breakfast two days per week and practice 18:6 time-restricted eating the other days. Plus, I like how time-restricted eating can help improve metabolic health and shows I am in control of my hunger and my food intake.
My “big rocks”
I have learned many lessons from digging deeper into nutrition and science and into the impact of food on our health. One of the biggest is that traditional teaching greatly overstates the benefits or harms of individual foods.
The makeup of the diet likely has a much greater impact on our health than individual types of food. The makeup of the diet as a whole is the first “big rock.” That’s why I follow an omnivorous diet with plenty of animal products and a variety of multi-colored fibrous veggies.
And that is also why I make exercise, sleep, and stress management the other “big rocks” in my health journey. All aspects of our lifestyle impact our health and can positively or negatively influence any benefit we get from our nutrition.
I am ecstatic to be part of the Diet Doctor team as we aim to help people everywhere improve their health, and help them prioritize their “big rocks” first.
Tip 1: Enjoy your food! If you don’t like the food you’re eating, then it doesn’t matter how healthy it is. The first key is to make sure you find a diet that you enjoy and also helps you improve your health.
Tip 2: Get enough protein. As a society, I believe that most of us do not get enough protein. Protein helps us maintain our lean muscle mass and helps us feel full. Those are two big wins for our long-term health.
Tip 3: Don’t fear fat. I was trained that fat was “bad” and the only healthy diet was a very low-fat one. I now believe that to be completely false, and instead, I promote the importance of including fat in your diet to help you enjoy and sustain it long term.
Dr. Bret Scher, Medical Director