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If a whole plant foods diet can reverse chronic diseases, why don't doctors know about it?

Approximately 25% of all medical schools include food science as part of their curriculum, and on average these programs require a total of only 8 - 20 hours of study. Unfortunately, comprehensive Food + Fitness as Medicine curriculums have not yet been adopted by most medical institutions. Here are ten possible reasons:

  1. a lack of awareness, knowledge, and practical experience.

  2. ego-centric practitioners who are reluctant to admit an error of judgement.

  3. powerful pharmaceutical companies and lobbies.

  4. powerful insurance companies and lobbies.

  5. powerful food companies and lobbies.

  6. powerful beverage companies and lobbies.

  7. powerful dairy, egg, and meat lobbies.

  8. powerful public policy and health institutions, and their nutrition guidelines.

  9. old-school resistance to change on the part of curriculum developers.

  10. some health educators who, themselves, don't eat nutrient-dense foods or exercise regularly.

More food for thought: I sense it's mostly about a negligent lack of awareness, education, and practical knowledge. We don't know what we don't know, right? We need to ask much more of our doctors, medical institutions, and educators for solutions which don't always automatically point to drugs and surgeries. A nutrient-dense, whole plant foods diet is the only approach shown to reverse a slew of chronic diseases. The sooner our medical professionals grasp this reality, the more beneficial this can be for everyone. For acute issues like broken legs or heart attacks, healthcare providers are at the top of their game. For evidence-based solutions via food-fitness-lifestyle interventions? Sadly, not so much.

I'm taking medication for type-2 diabetes. How can I reverse this disease without pills?

First, find a knowledgeable healthcare provider, who is willing to become a partner towards a medication-free approach to health and wellness. Make sure that this professional is aware of how to ween patients off meds, as this process needs to be monitored closely. Then, buy these three books and read them from cover to cover (I repeat - cover to cover): 

  1. Dr Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs (2018) by Dr Neal Barnard  LINK 

  2. Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes (2020) by Cyrus Khambatta PhD and Robby Barbaro MPH  LINK

  3. How Not to Die: Discover Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease (2015) by Dr Michael Greger, MD, FACLM + Gene Stone  LINK

Next, toss out (or donate) any junk food, cooking oils and sprays (olive, avocado, canola, etc), animals and animal products, candy, processed foods, breads and pastas which aren't whole wheat, bean-based, or sprouted, white flours, sugars, fruit juices, sports drinks, soft drinks, nuts, and nut butters. After that, learn all about low-glycemic foods. Finally, move your body every day for at least 30 minutes to start. Take this reversal process seriously. This is not the time for a 95% approach or moderation. Reversing a chronic disease is WAY stricter than preventing one. Don't worry, when you're off meds and have a stable A1C (5.9 or less), you can slowly re-introduce some foods like raw nuts back into your diet. 

More food for thought: I'm living proof that reversing type-2 diabetes without pills is possible. At the time of my diagnosis, my doctor was offended that I considered questioning his advice through whole plant foods and fitness. Also, he didn't have a clue about a healthy A1C range and pushed pills on me hard like a door-to-door insurance sales rep. Needless to say, he's no longer my primary care physician. This process wasn't easy, and it was the most self-care choice I've ever made. Do your future self a favor and actually read the three books mentioned above. What I discovered is that food shopping and cooking are way cheaper than a doctor.

Obesity and breast cancer run in my family. Are these conditions inevitable for me, too?

No, not exactly. Although DNA plays a role in health, disease, and longevity, current scientific estimates for the influence of genetics is in the 10% - 20% range. That means a MAJORITY of our well-being depends on lifestyle choices. A whole plant foods diet and lifestyle can prevent and reverse breast cancer as well as conditions such as obesity. As lifestyle and integrative physicians continuously teach us: food, fitness, and lifestyle can dictate whether or not a gene will either wake up and activate a disease like cancer OR suppress a disease-gene and keep it in hibernation mode. Again, we have much more power over our DNA expression than we realize via Food + Fitness as Medicine.

More food for thought: I have a condition called familial hypercholestemia caused by an inherited gene. In 2018, my doctor told me that no matter how clean I'm eating, if I don’t change my life and lose weight, I would die. Whoa. So, I stopped working long hours, transitioned to a WPF diet and lifestyle, and lost a lot of weight. My cholesterol levels are moving in positive directions, but for someone who eats and lives the way I do, my cholesterol should be stellar. Sometimes, genetics play a role in our health yet for most people, lifestyle choices make the most significant difference. 

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