When I ask my patients what they eat, they are often surprised. Most tell me no one has asked before – and certainly not their doctor.
To ignore food is not simply an oversight, it is a failure in care because what we eat has a profound effect on our health. Poor nutrition is a cause or major contributor to at least 80% of illnesses including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
So why does food take a back seat to everything else? Here’s the dirty little secret: most doctors don’t discuss nutrition because they have no training in it. That should shock you, especially given how critical good nutrition is to prevention and healing.
During my 14 years of medical training at institutions that included Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins, the total time devoted to nutrition education was a whopping – wait for it – 0 hours. That’s not a typo. Zero. In a specialty, cardiology, that largely treats disease caused by lifestyle. Medical schools and residency programs are beginning to incorporate nutrition into their curriculum, but we’re a long way from doctors actually being as expert in advising which foods to eat as they are in advising which drugs to take.
And yet, we set ourselves up for failure if we don’t wholeheartedly embrace food as a cornerstone of disease care and prevention. It was this realization that propelled me to learn everything I could about the healing properties of food and to begin sharing that information with my patients. I also launched Step One Foods, the first and only scientifically-based therapeutic eating system that is an alternative for people who don’t want to take prescription medication.
What we eat MATTERS. Food is not just something that fills us up. The wrong food can cause disease, and the right food can prevent it. Making the right nutrition choices does not have to be difficult or limiting. It doesn’t have to taste bad. And it can quickly reward you with what most of us are looking for – to FEEL BETTER.