menu

ReachMD

Be part of the knowledge.
Register

ReachMD is even better when
you join the community!
Registration is free and easy.

Register Now

More Doctors Are Warning Patients to Eat Less Meat

More Doctors Are Warning Patients to Eat Less Meat
06/16/2017
motherjones.com

motherjones.com 

It’s not exactly news that fruits and veggies are good for you. But historically, physicians have been reluctant to make any diet recommendations at all to their patients. Medical schools don’t teach much about nutrition.

Andrew Freeman, a cardiologist at National Jewish Health hospital in Denver, Colorado, says that doctors often worry that patients will balk at the idea of radically altering what they eat. But that’s slowly changing: Freeman, who follows a vegan diet himself, now recommends a “plant-based diet” to his patients. He talks more about this decision on this week’s episode of Mother Jones‘ food politics podcast Bite:

A number of mainstream medical groups now endorse vegetarian (or vegetarian-ish) diets, including the American Cancer Society, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and, over protests from the meat industry, the USDA group that issues dietary guidelines. In 2014, the American College of Cardiology elected its first ever vegan president, Dr. Kim A. Williams. In 2013, Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest healthcare network, asked its physicians to suggest a plant-based diet to their patients. Just this week, the American Medical Association passed a resolution recommending that hospitals offer patients non-meat meals.

Dr. James Loomis, a cardiologist who directs the Barnard Medical Center in Washington, D.C., says that over the past few years he has noticed a growing willingness among his colleagues to prescribe vegan and vegetarian diets to patients. “I am being invited to speak about this at mainstream medical conferences about diabetes and heart diseases,” he said. “That never would have happened five years ago.” He said that when he attended the first International Plant-Based Healthcare Nutrition Conference five years ago, about 250 people showed up. This year, the group expects attendance to exceed 1,000.

One reason that doctors are coming around to the idea of recommending plant-based diet: The evidence that it promotes health is getting stronger. Freeman was the lead author on a study earlier this year that reviewed a handful of diet trends. The only one that showed any health benefits was the plant-based diet. Last year, a large study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association tracked the dietary habits and disease outcomes of more than 130,000 people. It found that people who got their protein from sources other than meat had a significantly lower risk of dying from heart disease than their meat-eating counterparts. (It’s worth noting that in this study, the effect was only observed in people who had one other unhealthy lifestyle factor like smoking or obesity). The most recent issue of the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology is devoted research on plant-based diets; it includes studies on diabetes, stroke, hypertension, and more.

 

 

 

Facebook Comments

LIVE ON REACHMD RADIOBack to live radio
ReachMD Radio

Loading...

00:00
00:00

    You must be in to display playlists.

    Get a Dose of ReachMD in Your Inbox
    and Practice Smarter Medicine

    Stay current with the best in medical education.