Wednesday, September 13, 2017 by Vicki Batts
If there’s one thing we all know by now, it’s that food really is medicine. What you put into your body has perhaps the most profound impact on your overall health; there’s little dispute about the negative consequences of a bad diet. But when it comes to the good things a healthy diet can do for you, many people in the field of conventional medicine get a little skeptical. This is, in no small way, due to a lack of education about the true importance of nutrition.
“You are what you eat,” is a saying for a reason, after all.
And yet, when you’re diagnosed with a health problem, diet is often seen as a last resort — if it’s even considered at all. More often than not, prescription pills and other types of medical treatments are the first line of care for any number of health problems. But, as it turns out, many people could do even better on a healthy diet than they could ever imagine with Big Pharma’s drug cocktails. Who knew?
A study published last year concluded that following a Mediterranean diet yielded better patient outcomes than taking statin drugs. This finding lies in stark contrast to what some other “experts” claim. A recent study published by the American Medical Association purported that an additional 9 million people in the U.S. ought to be prescribed the drugs as a preventive measure.
Under the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology guidelines, some 26 million people would need a statin drug prescription. Many people question if that many people really need a statin — especially given the fact that there is much reason to believe that millions of people are already being given statins they don’t need.
Certainly, diet modification should be viewed as preferable to putting millions of Americans on drugs? For those concerned about health, the answer is obvious: diet is key. Profit-driven industries like Big Pharma, however, may disagree.
Either way, the landmark seven-year study has got something to prove: diet is better than drugs. In fact, the findings from Professor Giovanni de Gaetano of the Neuromed Institute in Pozzilli, Italy, and his team, showed that heart patients who followed a diet rich in vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil could cut their risk of a premature death by a staggering 37 percent. Comparatively, heart patients taking statin drugs showcased a modest 18 percent reduction in risk of early death.
“Of course, doctors will continue to prescribe drugs such as statins but we can’t look at drugs as the only way of [saving lives],” Professor de Gaetano commented.
Diet has been intimated as a way to reduce disease risk and has even been shown to help reverse or mitigate the effects of many deleterious conditions. For example, another recent study found that diet and exercise were more effective at preventing the development of diabetes in high-risk populations than early administration of metformin — a popular drug for diabetics. And yet, which do you think doctors are more likely to prescribe to their high-risk patients: lifestyle modifications or a drug?
Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a consultant cardiologist at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage is part of a group of doctors in the U.K. who are trying to address this disconnect between medicine and nutrition. He commented, “Doctors need to know about the impact evidence-based lifestyle interventions such as diet can have on chronic conditions. The healing power of diet has been underplayed and, unlike drugs, doesn’t have side-effects. If it was a pill, any company that manufactured it would make billions because the effect is so good.”
It’s great to see that some doctors are waking up to the fact that Big Pharma’s concoctions are not the paragon of medicine they’re purported to be — and that perfectly good (and often better) health solutions can come from what you keep in your fridge.
Sources for this article include: