Putting diet before drugs

Putting diet before drugs

Doctors across the country are now looking to prescribe more healthier diets for their patients than drugs in the hope that they can not only treat, but reverse chronic diseases such as diabetes, and life-threatening cardiac conditions, many of which are directly related to obesity, high cholesterol and hypertension. These have now reached epidemic proportions, and are only expected to get worse if left unchecked.

While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now estimates that 50% of the adult population in the US (close to 120 million people) are either pre-diabetic or diabetic, nearly 70 million of them are “candidates for statins” to lower cholesterol in the blood. In addition nearly 2/3 of the population in this country are clinically overweight or obese, and another 78 million people have been diagnosed as having high blood pressure causing cases of “full-out” cardiovascular illness to skyrocket.

In fact, the IMS Institute for Health Informatics reports that doctors wrote out $374 million worth of related prescriptions for related drugs in 2014, not counting an additional “14,600 per patient each year for a new class of injectable cholesterol-lowering drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors.” With or without the threatened repeal of Obamacare by the incoming Trump administration, these costs have become unsustainable.

Not only this, statins have been known to cause certain side effects including liver problems, muscle aches and changes in mental acuteness, as well as an increased risk of diabetes in some patients, while any benefits that might be provided by taking cholesterol lowering medication is often negated by users who continue to eat foods high in salt, sugar and fat.

As Minneapolis-St. Paul cardiologist Elizabeth Klodas has found out, “no amount of medication can make up for the damage caused by eating unhealthy diets.” As a result, she has joined numerous other doctors, including fellow cardiologist Richard Collins in developing cardiac care programs that emphasize healthy eating as an alternative to having to use angioplasty to unclog arteries.

Collins (aka the “Cooking Cardiologist”) is the director of the Dean Ornish Heart Reversal Program run by South Denver Cardiology in Denver, where he specializes in showing patients how to they should prepare food to prevent heart disease by incorporating more fruits, vegetable, grains, beans, nuts and seeds rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants into their daily menus, Substituting water for sugary drinks and making sure to get plenty of exercise, along with healthier eating has also proven to cut the risk of the aforementioned chronic conditions by nearly 80%.

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