Transcript: 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 illnesses. 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 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 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.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.
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