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Food Pharmacy
Old 06-15-2020, 08:16 AM   #1
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Food Pharmacy

Will doctors prescribe food as medicine? I say it's about time. I'm tired of the "fruits and vegetables" mantra. Nutritionists tend to speak in generalities. "Low carb, high protein, less dairy, more fiber" leaves much to be desired when you're trying to figure out the maximum benefits from food.

I want the complete breakdown. What fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, meats (or not), beans, bread, pasta etc provide the best bang for your buck. I love raw red peppers with a bit of hummus. It's time to go beyond "food groups" Give me the specifics, the best benefits for long term health. How often do I need these foods?

"We believe that cross-sector partnerships are the only way to achieve health equity in our city," said Lauren Shweder Biel, executive director of DC Greens. "Doctors and patients both need more tools to address food insecurity and diet-related chronic illness. Through Produce Rx, our healthcare system can be a driver to get patients access to the healthy food that they want and need."


https://www.supermarketnews.com/prod...and-vegetables
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Old 06-15-2020, 08:48 AM   #2
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Will doctors prescribe food as medicine? I say it's about time.
"Take two bananas and call me in the morning."
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Old 06-15-2020, 09:39 AM   #3
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I'm not sure I agree with you.

I don't think that the various experts understand human nutrition as well as we think they do. The classic example is fat in the diet. They botched that very badly in the 80's. If one has a known deficiency it's easy to prescribe foods that contain the missing nutrient. Need more vitamin A? Eat a few extra carrots. More vitamin C? Have an orange or two each day. But, overall, I don't think they know how the unlimited combinations of food that can be eaten work together.
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Old 06-15-2020, 12:02 PM   #4
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Doctors receive little formal training in nutrition, very few of them are qualified to recommend what's best when it comes to nutrition, certainly not down to the detail the OP is looking for.
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Old 06-15-2020, 12:09 PM   #5
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Understand that if food is prescribed, the cost will be three times the normal price, and you can only get what is covered by your insurance plan.

If you go to another country, it will be out of network, so you will have to pay your insurance plan a $100 fee per day for the trip duration.

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Old 06-15-2020, 12:17 PM   #6
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Understand that if food is prescribed, the cost will be three times the normal price, and you can only get what is covered by your insurance plan.

If you go to another country, it will be out of network, so you will have to pay your insurance plan a $100 fee per day for the trip duration.

You'll also have to accept generic, or pay a premium for non-GMO, organic, CSA, etc.

Also what zinger said. Doc's aren't SME's of nutrition, but many think they are.
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Old 06-15-2020, 12:27 PM   #7
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Why not do what most mothers nutritionists advise, and eat a variety of foods? Remember "Strive for five"? "Eat your colors"?

More fun that way, and your chance of hitting the right foods goes up.
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Old 06-15-2020, 12:38 PM   #8
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89 YO mother , mild anemia. Her N. P. perscribed a common over the counter food - Red Meat. No insurrance coverage on this one.
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Old 06-16-2020, 12:17 AM   #9
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The main list I use these days is from the book Eat to Beat Disease by William Li. Dr. Li is best known for being the head of the Angiogenesis Foundation and giving a popular Ted Talk on foods to eat to starve cancer cells. In a nut shell, he recommends fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, coffee, tea, olive oil, seafood, dark meat chicken or turkey, beer and wine (within limits), sour dough bread, yogurt, select cheeses, beans and whole grains.

The shopping list is here. The book has even more extensive food lists and more specific recommendations, with some grand slam foods, and foods for specific types of cancer and other diseases. We've been feeling pretty good eating this way. I've had some old scars start to heal, started losing weight again, had my low heart rate go back to normal and DH seems to be doing well on it. This is how we try to eat most of the time now. I'll change up diets again if we find something more promising, but so far this seems to work the best for us. Our dog had a tumor that topped growing after we changed his diet to include more of the anticancer foods in the book.

The Eat to Beat diet has a lot of overlaps with Blue Zones, the traditional diets of people in areas where people are exceptionally healthy and live the longest, but the EtB book is based more on clinical research, especially regarding cancer.

ETA: This is the from the Angiogenesis Foundation web site: More than 85 percent of the U.S.’s healthcare expenditures go toward treating chronic diseases, most of which are preventable. The WHO reports, for example, that 80 percent of cases of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes are preventable. So is 40 percent of all cancer.
Science shows many foods can prevent, halt or even reverse cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other life-threatening chronic diseases. Over the past decade, the Angiogenesis Foundation has discovered and gathered evidence that fruits, vegetables, herbs, seafood, tea, coffee, and even chocolate contain natural substances — bioactives — that can prevent and intercept disease by influencing angiogenesis and other defense systems in the body. What we eat and drink is enormously impactful when it comes to preventing disease.
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Old 06-16-2020, 07:58 AM   #10
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The main list I use these days is from the book Eat to Beat Disease by William Li. Dr. Li is best known for being the head of the Angiogenesis Foundation and giving a popular Ted Talk on foods to eat to starve cancer cells. In a nut shell, he recommends fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, coffee, tea, olive oil, seafood, dark meat chicken or turkey, beer and wine (within limits), sour dough bread, yogurt, select cheeses, beans and whole grains.

The shopping list is here. The book has even more extensive food lists and more specific recommendations, with some grand slam foods, and foods for specific types of cancer and other diseases. We've been feeling pretty good eating this way. I've had some old scars start to heal, started losing weight again, had my low heart rate go back to normal and DH seems to be doing well on it. This is how we try to eat most of the time now. I'll change up diets again if we find something more promising, but so far this seems to work the best for us. Our dog had a tumor that topped growing after we changed his diet to include more of the anticancer foods in the book.

The Eat to Beat diet has a lot of overlaps with Blue Zones, the traditional diets of people in areas where people are exceptionally healthy and live the longest, but the EtB book is based more on clinical research, especially regarding cancer.

ETA: This is the from the Angiogenesis Foundation web site: More than 85 percent of the U.S.s healthcare expenditures go toward treating chronic diseases, most of which are preventable. The WHO reports, for example, that 80 percent of cases of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes are preventable. So is 40 percent of all cancer.
Science shows many foods can prevent, halt or even reverse cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other life-threatening chronic diseases. Over the past decade, the Angiogenesis Foundation has discovered and gathered evidence that fruits, vegetables, herbs, seafood, tea, coffee, and even chocolate contain natural substances bioactives that can prevent and intercept disease by influencing angiogenesis and other defense systems in the body. What we eat and drink is enormously impactful when it comes to preventing disease.
Thanks, I appreciate that information. I'm convinced the body utilizes food vitamins and nutrients much more efficiently than pill forms. A very short article in Medscape dated June 1, 2020 states:
"Almost 60,000 instances of vitamin toxicity are reported annually to US poison control centers."

I've not heard of anyone overdosing on vitamins from food. I have heard of overdosing on potato chips...oops that would be DH.
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:01 AM   #11
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Doctors receive little formal training in nutrition, very few of them are qualified to recommend what's best when it comes to nutrition, certainly not down to the detail the OP is looking for.

+1

My doctor friend eats pizza and burgers every week because its fast food. No education in nutrition.
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:07 AM   #12
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[QUOTE=daylatedollarshort;2443302]The main list I use these days is from the book Eat to Beat Disease by William Li. Dr. Li is best known for being the head of the Angiogenesis Foundation and giving a popular Ted Talk on foods to eat to starve cancer cells. In a nut shell, he recommends fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, coffee, tea, olive oil, seafood, dark meat chicken or turkey, beer and wine (within limits), sour dough bread, yogurt, select cheeses, beans and whole grains.

The shopping list is here. The book has even more extensive food lists and more specific recommendations, with some grand slam foods, and foods for specific types of cancer and other diseases. /QUOTE]

I will increase my consumption of chocolate, honey, maple syrup, pine nuts, berries, and Gouda cheese immediately!!

Two questions.

What was your diet like before this? I ask because just about any of the currently recommended diets are better than the so-called standard American diet of fast foods, convenience foods, sugary foods and highly processed foods.

What does the author say- if anything- about factory made foods like vegan cheese and impossible burgers?
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:38 AM   #13
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Doctors receive little formal training in nutrition, very few of them are qualified to recommend what's best when it comes to nutrition, certainly not down to the detail the OP is looking for.
There is a push to try to change that and the push is coming from within the medical community. I was going to start a thread on an excellent new documentary called, "Code Blue"

https://www.amazon.com/Code-Blue-Sar...s%2C236&sr=8-1

The documentary looks at the way we treat chronic illnesses which often times makes us sicker as opposed to making lifestyle changes. It hits hard at medical schools and wants to see nutritional and lifestyle changes be better represented in med schools,

I saw an early version of this at a health and nutrition conference last Fall. I've ordered 2 copies of the DVD and will give one to my PCP. It can be streamed for $3.99.
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:49 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
... I want the complete breakdown. What fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, meats (or not), beans, bread, pasta etc provide the best bang for your buck. I love raw red peppers with a bit of hummus. It's time to go beyond "food groups" Give me the specifics, the best benefits for long term health. How often do I need these foods? ...
We can't always have what we want. Detailed studies with a statistically significant number of participants and extending long enough to look at "long term health" are not very feasible for logistical reasons, not to mention cost.

So we are left mostly with opinions, fads, hucksters, etc. Probably the most pernicious are the food interest groups (eggs, etc.) who massively lobby the FDA to have their foods included in the FDA's recommendations.
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:47 AM   #15
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Two questions.

What was your diet like before this? I ask because just about any of the currently recommended diets are better than the so-called standard American diet of fast foods, convenience foods, sugary foods and highly processed foods.

What does the author say- if anything- about factory made foods like vegan cheese and impossible burgers?
Before this we were on more of a Blue Zones kind of diet, but I think we weren't getting enough zinc. I started taking zinc lozenges for COVID19 protection and realized I stopped getting allergy type issues like a scratchy throat, so we've been tweaking our diets to get more zinc. Specifically small amounts of animal protein with most meals along with onion, vitamin C and/ or curry for better absorption and less phytates. I did some more research and zinc deficiency is linked to weight gain, poor immunity, hypothyroidism, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and heart disease to name just a few issues. And more recently some researchers are linking zinc deficiency to more severe COVID19 symptoms.

Dr. Li recommends mostly whole foods. I have not seen vegan cheese or plant burgers on any highly processed foods like that on any of his food lists.

I should add we follow most of his shopping lists with some cheats like pizza and taquitos. We also don't eat too many whole grains, even those are on the EtB lists, at least not the gluten kind. None of us, interestingly even our dog, do well on gluten type whole grains. If I make a stir fry, DH usually has white rice with it and I either just have a small amount of white rice or skip it. For grains in casseroles, I'll use half white rice and half quinoa.
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:54 AM   #16
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We can't always have what we want. Detailed studies with a statistically significant number of participants and extending long enough to look at "long term health" are not very feasible for logistical reasons, not to mention cost.

So we are left mostly with opinions, fads, hucksters, etc. Probably the most pernicious are the food interest groups (eggs, etc.) who massively lobby the FDA to have their foods included in the FDA's recommendations.

There's studies where the researchers drip blood from people on Standard American diets vs. plant based on cancer cells. Pretty wild results how blood from changes in diet can kill cancer cells many times over more effectively. Or they drip foods on cancer cells and see happens. The Blue Zones research looks at long term health from what do people who live a long time eat and do, and then there's the lab and control group studies. There seems to be a great deal of intersection of what is healthy in the lab in research studies vs. what do people in areas where people live longer and stay healthy into old age eat.
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Old 06-21-2020, 09:43 AM   #17
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After reading The Vitamin Myth in The Atlantic, I decided to try to get all of the necessary vitamins from food vs. pills.

So I worked with a dietician to do an analysis of a 2-week food log I brought her and we made adjustments based on that (I was only missing some Vitamin E). This requires eating a lot of whole fruits (not dried) and vegetables, whole grains, etc.

The result? Every since I switched to this, I've very rarely gotten sick. Until recently, I was traveling 120 days per year and I went from getting sick multiple times per year to just about once per year. I also feel much better overall. Oh, and it's been easier to maintain my weight and blood sugar (lots of fiber in those vegetables and whole fruits).

I can only guess that this will lead to long-term health, but I'm thinking it's a safe bet.
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Old 06-21-2020, 07:33 PM   #18
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Doctors receive little formal training in nutrition, very few of them are qualified to recommend what's best when it comes to nutrition, certainly not down to the detail the OP is looking for.
Worse, they seem to feel that their job is to just prescribe pills that you then buy at the pharmacy. Not that some of that is not warranted, but it seems to be the most likely outcome of a visit.
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Old 06-22-2020, 08:29 AM   #19
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After reading The Vitamin Myth in The Atlantic, I decided to try to get all of the necessary vitamins from food vs. pills.

So I worked with a dietician to do an analysis of a 2-week food log I brought her and we made adjustments based on that (I was only missing some Vitamin E). This requires eating a lot of whole fruits (not dried) and vegetables, whole grains, etc.

The result? Every since I switched to this, I've very rarely gotten sick. Until recently, I was traveling 120 days per year and I went from getting sick multiple times per year to just about once per year. I also feel much better overall. Oh, and it's been easier to maintain my weight and blood sugar (lots of fiber in those vegetables and whole fruits).

I can only guess that this will lead to long-term health, but I'm thinking it's a safe bet.
Great article. It's dated 2013, but the studies sited are right on! Last year my PCP emphasized the importance of Vit. D. I agree, very important. My blood tests showed a slight lack of Vit. D. She said 2000 IU's a day is recommended. I did not take the D supplements. My most recent appt. showed adequate Vit. D and she said "good job, keep taking the supplements." I still don't take them. I'm not suggesting anyone follow my example, it is my example only. All my vitamins come from food. I now google the benefits myself to see what foods have what vitamins.
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