The Clinic is embarking on a Six Week Heart Healthy Pilot Project to be implemented beginning September 2016. The study will be conducted by Ana M. Negrón, MD, a family physician and well-known specialist in nutrition, whose book Nourishing the Body and Recovering Health – The Positive Science of Food, has recently been published by Sunstone Press. Dr. Negrón is a volunteer at The Clinic and serves as a member of the Board of Directors.
The goal of this project is to document the short-term effects of a whole foods plant-based diet on routinely measured parameters in patients with Type 2 Diabetes. It compares conventional pharmacological diabetes management with well-established non-pharmacological dietary modifications for the arrest and reversal of diabetes.
The study will consist of two groups: ten participants who, in addition to their current diabetes care, will attend twice a week workshops and practice lifestyle changes to improve diabetes plus a control group of ten patients who will follow their current diabetes care. A clinical team will provide support to Dr. Negrón during the study. The curriculum will consist of slides and short lectures to include food literacy, stocking a kitchen, recipes, budget shopping, interactive cooking classes, participants’ concerns, and their metrics.
These are the facts: we have amassed an unnerving amount of chronic illness in the USA in the last fifty years and it will be far more cost effective to address them with lifestyle than with the current pharmacological model.
- In 2011 over 2.5 trillion dollars was spent on managing chronic illnesses, such as diabetes.
- 80% of chronic illnesses, including Type 2 Diabetes, are linked to people’s diet and lifestyle.
- Risk factors for diabetes include being overweight and a diet of animal/processed foods.
- The hallmark of Type 2 Diabetes is insulin resistance, associated to fat deposits in liver/muscle.
Some background philosophy of this study includes these maxims:
- Maintaining a healthy weight depends on eating the right foods – nutrient dense low in fat.
- Nutrients found in plant-based whole foods cannot be had any other way, be it supplements or other commercial dietary products.
- Food costs can be offset by food literacy education, fresh food bank deliveries to communities in need, and by establishing individual and community edible gardens.
- Cooking fast and easy recipes, using whole plant foods, can be learned in a group then practiced at home.
Ultimately, the project reflects the beginning stage for The Clinic to cultivate a clinical approach for “Population Health and Prevention”. Our emphasis on lifestyle focuses on good nutrition as a remedy to our current state of poor health. In 21st century health care, Food is medicine!