Food is Medicine
Fight Disease and Obesity with a Healthy Diet, Not Drugs
When you don’t treat food as medicine, you may need to use prescription drugs as a consequence.
You or someone you know probably relies on prescription medication to get through the day. According to a 2019 National Center for Health Statistics report, around half of all Americans take at least one prescription drug. A recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and National Center for Health Statistics revealed that five out of six persons 65 and older are taking at least one medication. Almost half of the elderly population in the U.S. takes three medications or more.
The Importance of a Healthy Diet
When you take a closer look at the medications Americans are taking, you’ll see the importance of a healthy diet. Many of the common illnesses being treated with prescription drugs could have been avoided with proper nutrition.
Between 2007 and 2010, 17.7% of American adults took at least one cardiovascular agent to treat the effects of heart and circulatory disease. Since the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, usage of drugs that lower cholesterol levels has increased more than six times among Americans aged 18 to 64. And according to the 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report, 26.9 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with diabetes – and 90 to 95% of those cases are type II diabetes.
It’s no secret that heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes can all be fatal. Each one of those illnesses is also closely related to unhealthy eating habits. But the list of diet-related illnesses that Americans must treat with drugs does not end there.
Several types of cancer, kidney disease, liver disease, depression, stroke, asthma, sleep apnea, pregnancy problems and osteoarthritis are all linked to poor nutrition and obesity. Millions of Americans are treating these health issues with prescription medication every year.
And as we all know, health issues can quickly create financial and family distress as well. Due to the devastating increases in healthcare costs and prescription drug costs, diet-related diseases are making a huge impact on peoples’ life savings, financial well-being and quality of life.
I know that some of you may think it’s already too late. You’re worried that the damage has been done, and that it’ll be too hard to break those lifelong habits. You may think you need a time machine to go back and undo the effects of an unhealthy diet, because proper nutrition can only prevent health problems before they happen.
But proper nutrition doesn’t just have the power to prevent disease ahead of time. In many cases, it has been able to reverse high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, diabetes, and illnesses related to obesity. Just as malnutrition has the power to make certain symptoms worse, a healthy diet has the power to alleviate symptoms.
That means it’s never too late to eat to live. Food can be medicine at every stage of your life, and medical research has shown that plant-based diets are an effective primary treatment for chronic illnesses.
Of course, there is no “magic food” that will reverse every serious illness. Many chronic diseases cannot be treated with food or food alone. But poor nutrition almost always makes matters worse.
Get Started Today
So how can you embrace the idea of food as medicine? Where do you start? That’s what I’m here to help you with, and the journey forward will be different for every person reading this. That’s because each of you has a different set of circumstances that will influence your best path forward: Your age, your gender, your race, your weight, your medical history, your access to nutritious food, and the story of what brought you here right now.
My mission with this website is to provide each one of you with trustworthy, evidence-based and personal nutrition advice that understands who you are, what challenges you are facing, and what goals you want to accomplish. And as this site grows and evolves, you’ll find more and more detailed guidance that helps you, no matter your situation, your stage in life and your motivations.
Thankfully for you – and me – the first piece of advice I have applies to everyone. It’s a consistent and reliable first step, no matter what your own unique story may be: By understanding and embracing the four pillars of healthy eating, you will put yourself on the best path to your brightest future.