Food as Medicine

A 2013 study found that diet is the single most important risk factor for disease and premature death. In a proactive move, the University of Chicago has added courses in nutrition for their medical students.

My mom (Dr. Margaret Cornelius) is a medical doctor, and a diabetologist, and since becoming vegan five years ago (I was vegetarian for 19 years before that), I’ve had several discussions with her about why doctors are so invested in the “protein myth” and why they don’t support vegetarianism and veganism. It turns out that nutrition was typically left to dietitians, at least in Fiji where I grew up, and doctors were trained to fix ailments and push high amounts of protein.

But, the tide is turning – many doctors have come forward with research on and nutrition-based programs for reversing diabetes and heart disease, including Gabriel Cousens, Neal Barnard, Caldwell Esselstyn and Colin T. Campbell. Nutrition expert and doctor, Michael Greger recently also released a video on food as medicine.

My mom, after reading Campbell’s The China Study, and experimenting with new recipes for a year or two, went vegan a couple of months ago, is reversing her health conditions, and has never felt better.

This season's cherries at my local farmer's market. Doctors are beginning to appreciate the power of healthy food (as opposed to drugs drugs) in keeping us healthy.

This season’s cherries at my local farmer’s market. Doctors are beginning to appreciate the power of healthy food (as opposed to drugs) in keeping us healthy.

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