The food most people eat is addictive and dangerous, and industrial farming is putting our health at risk because of the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture. How can we enjoy food with this knowledge? There is still much to be learned, but here are a few thoughts:
Even if you think you don’t have the time to dig in a garden every weekend, you can be healthier by making better choices at the farmer’s market or supermarket.
There is growing evidence to support a vegan diet. Ultimately, it depends on the individual/ family for whom the diet is being tailored. The Michael Pollan approach is probably the closest to what we should all be striving for. In general, the most healthy diet focuses on vegetables, legumes, grains, etc.
Good, healthy diet is essential not just for the prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but also healthy aging.
Regarding the prevention of type 2 diabetes the main issue is preventing children from becoming overweight/obese. There is data to suggest improved glycemic control with a vegan diet.
A vegan diet is probably good in the prevention of atherosclerosis, and may be able to reverse established atherosclerosis in people who are able to maintain it.
Vegans do tend to have lower LDLs. Vegans often really paying attention to what they are eating, which can be a significant factor in and of itself.
When we see patients with prediabetes or diabetes, we usually push them away from simple carbohydrates and the energy load involved with that. With even modest weight loss, their numbers can look better and insulin sensitivity improves.
We need to increase intake of potassium rich foods while reducing the intake of salt. Low salt may show an added benefit, though a low sat diet would help the 50% of hypertensives who are salt sensitive, and many hypertensive/prehypertensive patients do have impaired glycemic control.
Questions for discussion
How to feel grateful for healthy food?
How to get organized and cook on the weekends?
How to find time to garden?
How to keep fresh fruits/vegetables in stock at home?
A few additional books that may help
“The End of Overeating,” by David Kessler
“Cooked” by Michael Pollan
“The Unsettling of America,” by Wendell Berry
“Immunity to Change,” by Bob Kegan and Lisa Lahey
“Find a Way,” By Diana Nyad
“The Mucusless Diet Healing System,” by Arnold Ehret
“Eat to Live,” by Joel Fuhrman
“Spark Joy,” by Marie Kondo