Food as Medicine

We’ve all heard the words “food as medicine”. But what does that mean? In the modern world, the burden of disease includes cancer, infection, heart disease, lung disease, dementia, inflammatory diseases, joint problems and more. To varying degrees, all these conditions can be improved through better nutrition. Specifically increasing eating a primarily plant-based diet, and less processed foods, yet in the United States we consume excessive amounts of grains and fats. (Figure 1)
Modern American Diet graph
Modern American Diet graph
The USDA lists US consumption of food categories compared to recommendations and despite increases in meat, eggs, and nut as well as grain consumption over the past 50 years, we still do not consume enough fruits and vegetables. (Figure 2)
A study in JAMA, (Mozaffarian, D, et al. 2017) of cardiometabolic disease related death found that the high number of cardiometabolic deaths can be linked to Americans’ eating habits. Recent reductions in those deaths relate to improvement in diet and this relationship between diet and cardiometabolic disease and deaths is strong.

Just look at the “blue zones of aging” video where people live long and take very little pharmaceutical products to witness the importance of diet on our longevity and wellness.