What Diet Should Physicians Recommend?


“What Diet Should
Physicians Recommend?” In 2013, a Nutritional Update for Physicians
was published in the official journal
of Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed care
organization in the United States which covers about nine million
people with about 15,000 physicians, who were told that healthy eating may be
best achieved with a plant-based diet, defined as a regimen that
encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy, and eggs
as well as all refined and processed junk. Too often, physicians ignore the
potential benefits of good nutrition and quickly prescribe medications
instead of giving patients a chance to correct their disease through
healthy eating and active living. Physicians should therefore consider
recommending a plant-based diet
to ALL their patients, especially those with high blood pressure,
diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity. The major downside is that it
may work a little too well. If people are on medications
their blood pressure or blood sugar could actually
drop too low, so physicians may need
to adjust medications or eliminate
them altogether. Despite the strong body of evidence
favoring plant-based diets, many physicians are not stressing
the importance of plant-based diets as a first-line treatment
for chronic diseases. This could be because of
a lack of physician awareness— or a lack of patient
education resources. So Kaiser sought
to change that. Want to lose weight, feel better,
improve, stabilize, or even reverse chronic disease,
and get off some of your medications? If you answered yes to any of these
questions then a plant-based eating
plan may be right for you. Side-effects may include lower cholesterol,
blood pressure, and blood sugar, reversal or prevention of our #1 killer,
a longer life, healthier weight, lower risk of cancer, diabetes— may even slow the progression
of certain types of cancer, and improve inflammatory conditions
like rheumatoid arthritis. They offer tips to get
started, meal plan ideas, and I’m honored to say,
good taste in websites. The paper ends with a familiar refrain,
“Further research is needed”. In this case, though, further research is
needed… to find ways to make plant-based diets the new normal for our
patients and employees.

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