This week’s blog begins with a chart which shows the breakdown of how well we are controlling risk factors for heart disease. Each bar represents a specific risk factor, and the colors illustrate the degree to which the risk factor is controlled.
- Green = ideal.
- Red = poor.
- Yellow = somewhere in between.
Can you find the percentage of American adults who consume an ideal diet?
What is especially striking is that, despite the dismal diet scores, the nutrition-related risk factors of cholesterol, blood sugar and diabetes/prediabetes are relatively well controlled.
How is that possible? This paradox exists because doctors are very good at prescribing medications for their patients.
But simply putting people on medications to normalize cholesterol readings, or to reduce blood pressure or blood sugar, without addressing what patients eat, is not a cure. It only covers up the risk, and enables the continuation of poor dietary patterns, creating a vicious cycle. It’s as if we’d chosen to ignore tobacco use and decided to focus all our efforts on putting smokers on inhalers.
The problem is food. The answer is food. The treatment is food.