Did you know in many cases chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and hypertension can be reversed? If you think this is done with a pill alone, think again! Modern medicine has given us increasingly sophisticated treatments for these conditions, but unfortunately they are more prevalent than ever in the US. Why is this?
As part of National Nutrition Month, we are focusing on the importance of healthy nutrition in reducing the risk of chronic disease and associated complications. While prescription medications can be very important in their management, and should never be stopped without consulting with your physician, they usually do not treat the root cause. The vast majority of chronic disease is due to lifestyle habits, with poor nutrition being a primary factor.
Studies have shown that a whole foods plant based diet (WFPB)- one based predominantly in a variety of minimally processed veggies, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts & seeds- confers significant protection against many chronic diseases like the ones mentioned above. Once established, a WFPB diet decreases the risk of complications of chronic disease, and, in some cases, can even reverse these conditions (What? Diabetes can be reversed???!!!). Hard to believe? Ask Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn or Dr. Dean Ornish. Their heart disease prevention and reversal programs center on exactly this kind of nutrition plan. Or read The China Study, co-authored by Dr. T. Colin Campbell of The Center for Nutrition Studies. Dr. Michael Greger’s Nutrition Facts and Dr. Neal Barnard’s Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine are other incredible, evidence-based resources that highlight the importance of WFPB nutrition in preventing, treating and reversing chronic disease. The evidence is undeniable.
4 tips to get started:
-Begin with increasing plant based foods you like- even a small increase such as 1 serving/day is helpful (ie leafy vegetables, berries, wild rice, almonds)
-Start decreasing processed and animal based foods you feel like you can do without- even by 1-2 servings/day (ie beef, cow’s milk, most standard snack foods)
-Stay positive! Focus on adding color & variety to your plate, adding herbs & spices to dishes makes eating more exciting.
-Set SMART goals for yourself (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant & time-bound) ie “Over the next 2 weeks I will decrease my soda intake from one 12 oz can daily to one 12 oz can weekly.
What nutrition changes can you make during National Nutrition Month to decrease your risk of chronic disease?
You can continue to be a part of the WFPB movement throughout the year by:
- Setting a WFPB SMART goal for yourself for each month of the year
- Following & liking our social media pages on Facebook & Instagram
- Giving us a call at 210-899-2549 to get connected with physicians who believe food is medicine and pills are not always the answer!
- Signing up for one of our personalized nutrition plans, delivered straight to you with exact meals per day, recipes and ingredients for your specific health goals.
Dr. Monica Salas with Salveo Direct Care