Food is a Medicine but Doctors Seldom Prescribe Food as Medicine

The reason why doctors never prescribe food as medicine might be more complicated then you think


 

Even though we eat every day and do it several times a day; many people don’t pay attention to how food can seriously alter physiology and health. Food might be the most significant determinant for how healthy or how sick you’l be as we age. Doctors will treat patients with drugs and surgery but hardly anything is done utilizing diet as a resource. Few doctors know about food as medicine. Maybe some do but to implement diet as a form healing is a very controversial type of treatment and simply gets forgotten. However there are proponents all kinds of diets all swearing by it; this is as old as the Bible.

Even though food is the subject of heated discussions most will agree that there are some well known food poisons out there. Why hardly anything is done to eliminate them from our diet puzzles me, sometimes It borders on simple plain stubbornness. I think we should definitely pay more attention to food but again nutrition and eating habits are cultural things and very hard to make changes. Doctors are also aware of that, one reason they stay away from this controversial subject.

Hospital food is terrible and this is almost a cliche (this need a whole new post). But it is terrible not just because it tastes bad but because it is not used as part of the healing process and treatment. There is not enough research or knowledge in this area. It is like this big white elephant in the room no one sees. Obviously food affect us in dramatic ways but food also is a difficult areas to study. Research aimed at health effects of foods are difficult if not practically impossible to be conducted successfully. To many meals, too many subjects involving too much time and money. The results are usually biased and inconclusive.

Since the 60’s, we have been leaving on the shadow of a famous study “The seven countries study“, now revisited and found to be filled with errors and seriously questioned by researchers such as Nina Teicholz with her book “Big Fat Surprise”. So we adhere to whatever the standard is at the moment, then everything changes. There is a lot to be discovered in regards to food and health.

Eating is also a cultural event and that include cooking and flavors and food preparation. Difficulties also arise from not having everyone in the same page when it comes to “what is good for us”. And this might never be fully accomplished due to these complexities. Some people perceive that the foods they like are good for them, and this might very well be true for reasons we can’t even fully comprehend. I don’t think that drinking a gallon of Coca Cola a day is good for you, even though people might say they love it. I think in part, doctor’s reluctance in dealing with food comes from their own lack of training in this area. But we are in 2015 and we know so much more then we used to. I think is time for this concept to change; we could at least agree on a few new ideas.

Today there is not a single doctor out there who is not at least partly aware of how bad sugar and junk food are. Even though we still find too much junk and sugar in patient’s diets, they are though as comfort foods. But even having solid evidence sugar is bad news, doctors still very timid when it comes to eliminating sugar from patient’s diet. Food is simply not perceived as medicine or interfering with overall long term health, and therefore it doesn’t matter what people eat. Medicine are pills, food is something we just do. We are sure to benefit by better understanding how food can affect us.

This article is not about a new miracle diet. I leave it up to you to discover what is a miracle diet. There is so much research and science about food out there. The real results should translate into one pure and simple item – health. Today we might be at the verge of discovering what really works because information is quickly spread on the net and important discoveries are quickly assimilated and put to use by everyone. Results are posted and shared and go viral within minutes. We live in a new era where communication is not only one to many but many to many and this will alter how we develop and change. Yes there is a log of BS out there, so what. It would be nice to see more physicians taking action and becoming participants in this process. It all starts with education and the medical establishment.

Some scientist have rescued fat from it’s long stay in captivity. Now the medical establishment is saying cholesterol does not cause heart disease and fat might not be so bad for you. It would be then very timely to assess over consumption of carbohydrates and its ill effects on health. Another area is the role of hyperinsulinemia on inflammation – factor present on the onset of so many chronic conditions. This might take a while but I think the time if ripe for some physicians to become more involved in this new research and start to practice what they found.

Physicians are in such powerful position to make dietary changes for their patients. There are many out there who are doing just that,  but the overall majority are still in denial about food because they themselves have no idea about food or simply think this is just a bunch of BS. The whole medical establishment need a reform. The American Diabetes Association diabetic diet could use a revision with its basically all carbohydrate diet. Only when mainstream diet education change we’ll see major changes on how our patients are fed and doctors begin to value food as medicine. In the mean while we see gross eating habits among patients and everything is business as usual.

 

References

  1. 6 Basic Principles Of Using Food As Medicine
  2. Food is medicine (Facebook)
  3. In Ayurveda-style cooking, ‘food is medicine’
  4. Food as medicine for the communityv PDF
  5. Chocolate: Food as Medicine/Medicine as Food
  6. Food as Medicine (food listings and properties) by Jerry Brunetti
  7. In type 2 diabetes, randomisation to advice to follow a low-carbohydrate diet transiently improves
  8. Dietary carbohydrate restriction in type 2 diabetes mellitus and  metabolic syndrome: time for a critical appraisal
  9. Metabolic interactions between glucose and fatty acids in humans
  10. Blood glucose patterns and appetite in time-blinded humans: carbohydrate versus fat
  11. Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease
  12. Carbohydrate Restriction has a More Favorable Impact on the Metabolic Syndrome than a Low Fat Diet
  13. Extended effects of evening meal carbohydrate-to-fat ratio on fasting and postprandial substrate metabolism
  14. Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease
  15. The Soft Science of Dietary Fat
  16. Essential fatty acids in health and chronic disease
  17. Effects on Coronary Heart Disease of Increasing Polyunsaturated Fat in Place of Saturated Fat: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
  18. A Reduced Ratio of Dietary Carbohydrate to Protein Improves Body Composition and Blood Lipid Profiles during Weight Loss in Adult Women
  19. The Seven Coutries Study

Image credit: flickr.com

Comments

comments

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment