Can Food Be Medicine?

April 10, 2017

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blog_FoodMedicine (1)If you look up the word ???medicine??? in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, here is what you will find as its primary definition: ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? Medicine noun
1 a : a substance or preparation used in treating disease
b : something that affects well-being

 

The word medicine normally conjures images of pills or a spoonful of liquid, which neatly corresponds with Merriam-Webster???s 1a definition. But 1b offers a much broader interpretation. In the treatment of obesity, where nutrition is a central component of any plan, replace ???something??? with ???food,??? and we think we???re onto something important.

How? Let???s string some facts together to better understand just how medicinal food can be.

First, here are a couple of staggering statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

?Ģ Over fifty percent of the US population suffers from one or more chronic conditions.
?Ģ Eight-six percent of all health care spending in 2010 was for people with one or more chronic medical conditions.

Second, over 54 chronic diseases are directly related to obesity, including the top diagnosed conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cancer. And remember, obesity is a chronic disease in itself.

Finally, what is the root cause of obesity? You got it! Poor food choices!

Now, let???s revisit our concept of food as medicine. What if, instead of choosing foods known to promote disease (which dominate the Western diet), people modified their daily meals to include foods with better nutrition? What would happen then?

Based on the experience of our medical weight loss providers, here is what we think could happen on a massive scale:

?Ģ People with chronic conditions lose weight, including excess fat.
?Ģ A healthy weight and fat percentage helps to restore the body???s natural functions and processes, helping to fight disease.
?Ģ An improved natural ability to fight disease reduces or eliminates the need for prescribed medications and other types of treatment.
Increased energy, vitality, and mobility at lower cost.

We are not suggesting by any means that all medications should or even can be replaced by improved nutrition. Medication, when prescribed and used appropriately, can produce outstanding outcomes. But by looking at food as a different type of medicine, you have the power to feel better. And you don???t need a prescription for it. You can start taking control over your health as early as today at your local supermarket.

Do you want to better understand how to make better food choices? Make an appointment at your local CMWL center and get on the path to a healthier, happier you.

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