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Doctors lack of training could put your life at risk.

Doctors lack of training could put your life at risk.

News like this really gets to me. Did you know that across the globe, over 11 MILLION deaths a year are due to complications from poor diet and nutrition?

It’s accountable for more deaths than tobacco, OR high blood pressure…

Which according to a recent study, makes nutrition the highest risk factor for death on the planet. And yet almost 100% of Medical Doctors don’t have adequate training in nutrition![1]

The numbers are pretty staggering, especially when you consider (according to the World Health Organization) tobacco kills up to 8 million people a year and ultimately half the people who smoke. [2]

Just how badly untrained are our doctors when it comes to our diet and nutrition?

David Eisenberg, adjunct professor of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, puts it like this   The fact that less than 20 percent of medical schools have a single required course in nutrition, it’s a scandal. It’s outrageous. It’s obscene.”[3]

In the study, researchers looked at published literature and reports all the way back to 2012 and discovered that most medical students don’t get nearly enough nutrition education to guide their patients properly.

Researchers stated “without adequate nutrition education, it’s reasonable ro assume that doctors are not able to provide the highest quality care to their patients.”

Nutrition Is Vital To Human Health

It’s funny. In today’s society when we think of “health” and especially the word “healing,” we directly associate it with doctors and even more with the word “medicine.”

The reality is that we’re looking at it from the wrong perspective. You see, human bodies like yours are designed very specifically to take in foods and nutrients and use that to interact with cellular DNA for strong healthy bodies.

It’s something called “epigenetics” and it’s essentially the relationship between our bodies (our DNA) and our environment (food and nutrients.) Research has shown time and time again that our DNA gives instructions to our bodies and our metabolism on how to process and use the foods we eat.

For example, an article in the journal Nutrition and Cancer states, “Many natural dietary agents which consist of bioactive compounds have been shown to be effective in cancer prevention and treatment, and these nutraceuticals often mediate favorable epigenetic changes.”[4]

So why in the heck aren’t we teaching diet and nutrition at the forefront of cutting edge medicine?

It’s a good question, and one thing did emerge from that particular study.

Doctors Want This Knowledge Too!

In the study it was also revealed by the researchers that by a large margin, medical students (when asked) actually WANT better, more in depth and comprehensive nutrition education!

For me personally that’s definitely good news. I’ve gotten extensive training in nutrition to help me TREAT disease in my own practice using food and nutrients AS medicine, not in “addition to” medicine.

The study in question even called for a new global standard in medication nutrition education so new doctors would be fully rounded in their understanding of human health as a whole, and just how vital nutrition is to preventative healthcare.

Although it doesn’t go as far as requiring clinical nutrition the way I use it with my own patients, but it’s a good start.

The more comprehensive our understanding of nutrition and diet as doctors – the more lives we can save in the process. We have to start to truly understand that some conditions can be treated with therapeutic nutrition alone and for other chronic conditions nutrition plays a part, along with other things like  –

  • Nutritional supplements
  • Exercise
  • Stress reduction
  • Pharmecutical medications

The thing that’s most important to you and your health, is that understanding nutrition, diet are vital to not just prevention of disease but treatment of it, and your doctor should be well educated in it.

Which brings up another question.

When we’re talking about diet and nutrition… invariably someone will ask –

So… What’s The Best Diet.

That, my friends is a very loaded question!

The debate rages on, year after year, decade after decade!

Low Fat – NO fat – LOTS of Fat – More carbs, less carbs – All plants…

The varieties of “diet” out there right now can be completely overwhelming to anyone who’s trying to stay healthy or even lose weight.

Though it all I say this specifically to my patients – find a diet that works for YOU.

Something that fits your own needs, your own lifestyle. An eating plan that doesn’t have you in fits trying to “plan every meal and every portion

What you eat depends on your genetics, your lifestyle and your specific nutrient needs, but there are a couple of points that almost all nutrition experts agree on.

Eat mostly plants.

Keep salt and added sugar intake to a minimum.

That being said – there’s one “diet” that actually takes care of most of that, and it’s not some brand new FAD sweeping the country. It’s been around for centuries and is one of the healthiest ways of eating anywhere in the world.

The Mediterranean Diet

Like I just mentioned – it’s really not a “diet” in the way you might think. It’s simply a way of eating that focuses primarily on plant based foods, lots of olive oil, fresh vegetables, fruits, beans and other legumes, along with nuts, spices, herbs, fish – with limited poultry, meat and red wine. It also recommends a lot of whole grains (which I’ll address in just a moment.)

Not only is this one of the healthiest diets on the planet, it’s also one of the most studied over time.

Major studies have shown the Mediterranean Diet can reduce the risks of many conditions we simply accept in our modern world – from cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Pre-diabetes, IBS, aging and even certain cancers – the Mediterranean Diet has given millons of people incredible results![5]

In fact, the U.S. News & World Report rated the Mediterranean Diet as the #1 Best Diet Overall in an analysis by health experts who reviewed 41 diets.[6]

The Mediterranean Diet also gets my own personal highest recommendation with one modification.

I said a moment ago that this diet recommends a lot of whole grains, and in some parts of the world that’s perfectly fine. But here in the U.S. it’s a much different story.

Grains like wheat and corn grown and sold to unsuspecting consumers like you in the U.S. are, frankly, just not healthy. They’re so highly modified and filled with nasty chemicals I tell my patients to avoid them as much as possible.

They contain almost no fiber and have a high glycemic index, which means they break down really quickly and tend to spike insulin and blood glucose levels.

To learn more about why I’m so adamant about this I even put up a special presentation for you on my YouTube channel – it’s called “American Bread Ruins Health

It’s a short video, but it clearly shows you why my personal recommendation for your dietary and nutritional needs for the long term is a slightly modified version of The Mediterranean Diet that reduces the number of grains in your diet.

When you watch the video, you’ll understand immediately why I think this is vitally necessary to your health. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article today and it’s opened your eyes to the power of nutrition for your health!

References:


[1] Crowley J, Ball L, Hiddink G. Nutrition in medical education: a systematic review. The Lancet Planetary Health. 2019 [accessed 2019 Nov 6];3(9):e379-e389. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(19)30171-8/fulltext

[2] Tobacco. Who.int. 2019 [accessed 2019 Nov 6]. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco

[3] Doctors need more nutrition education. News. 2017 [accessed 2019 Nov 6]. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/doctors-nutrition-education/

[4] Tollefsbol T. Dietary Epigenetics in Cancer and Aging. Cancer Treatment and Research. 2014 [accessed 2019 Nov 6]:257-267. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3875399/

[5]Romagnolo D, Selmin O. Mediterranean Diet and Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Nutrition Today. 2017 [accessed 2019 Nov 6];52(5):208-222. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5625964/

[6] What is Mediterranean Diet?. 2019 [accessed 2019 Nov 6]. https://health.usnews.com/best-diet/mediterranean-diet


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