Sometimes it feels like I’m practicing medicine in a bubble. And every time I poke my head outside of that bubble, I am utterly confounded by what I find.
Case in point: A new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) encourages doctors to start using a “rapid diet-screening tool” during primary care visits so that they can pinpoint which patients need dietary counseling.
Where do I even start here? Let’s break this nonsense down one piece at a time…
“Quick” won’t cut it
First of all, if our nation’s ballooning diabesity problem tells us anything, it’s that 95 percent of all Americans require dietary counseling. That’s just a given.
And secondly, why isn’t your doctor having this very important conversation with you at every visit already?! (Probably because, sadly, most doctors know nothing about food and its effects on the body.)
Truth is, we don’t need a “tool” for this basic measure. And it shouldn’t be “rapid”.
Unfortunately, the system under which most American health care operates—one that aims to get patients in and out as quickly as possible—is not conducive to proper dietary counseling. And how a patient eats and drinks is not a quick conversation.
The AHA says their main takeaway is that doctors need to be including diet discussions in their preventive care appointment because poor eating habits are the leading risk factor for heart disease.
DUH! This is nothing new! By the numbers, poor diet now accounts for half of the world’s cardiovascular disease deaths. Does that sound like something that can be tackled “quickly” with a “tool”?!
A broken system
I think the main problem here is that there is absolutely no consensus among conventional “experts” as to what constitutes a “healthy” diet.
Of course, there are some things we can all agree are healthy changes—like reducing sugar, eating more vegetables, and cutting back on processed food. So how about we just start there?
Well, I’ll tell you why we can’t: Because the AHA still insists that fruits and whole grains are staples of a healthy diet—and that red meat and sodium will kill you. (I can’t tell you how many of my patients passed out, felt dizzy, or fell this summer… all because they hadn’t eaten enough salt.)
So maybe it’s better that we don’t have physicians using some senseless tool at every visit to encourage people to eat “healthier.” That is, at least, until we can all agree on what “healthier” actually means…
Now, research does suggest that when primary care doctors discuss diet with their patients, those patients are receptive. The trouble is, our current eight-minute model for preventive care appointments is completely incompatible with meaningful conversations about anything, much less nutrition.
That’s why I always build plenty of time into my office visits to discuss nutrition with my patients. Because the quality of the food you eat forms the basis of every disease you’re likely to face, plain and simple.
So until modern medicine takes a page out of my book—literally and figuratively—and gives good nutrition the attention it deserves, the general population will remain doomed.
Luckily, you don’t have to wait for the rest of the world to catch up. Just pick up a copy of my A-List Diet book… and take proper nutrition into your own hands, starting today.
P.S. In the May 2017 issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“The controversial diet trick that could reverse America’s top killers—from cancer to diabetes…and more”), I talk about nutrition and how a state of ketosis may be the secret to a reduced risk of countless diseases. So if you haven’t already, consider signing up today. Click here now!
“AHA Statement Recommends Dietary Screening at Routine Checkups.” Medscape Medical News, 08/07/2020. (medscape.com/viewarticle/935382)