Imagine a “drug” that could prevent 1 in 5 deaths. It exists — it’s called food.
A study published in The Lancet in 2019 determined that 11 million deaths in 2017 were attributed to dietary risk factors, specifically three factors: too much salt, too few whole grains, and not enough fruits.
“Let food by thy medicine and let medicine by thy food.” - Hippocrates.
Clinical nutrition and nutritional counselling serve as the backbone of treatment plans for all my patients. Clinical nutrition involves the therapeutic use of food. Foods and/or specific diets that are recommended to patients are evidence-based and designed to promote a positive health outcome, such as reduced digestive symptoms, improved energy, reduced inflammation, or improved blood pressure.
Special diets, food elimination, variations in dietary habits, or the use of nutritional supplements may be recommended.
Treatment plans may include any of the following:
1. General whole foods, plant-based diet
Treatment plans include recommendations regarding daily proportions of food groups, like protein, fats, and carbs. We discuss examples of how to improve consumption of healthy fats, lean protein, and healthy carbs and also discuss healthy snack ideas and tips when experiencing cravings.
2. Low-FODMAP diet for individuals with IBS or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
The low-FODMAP diet is a clinically studied diet to help reduce symptoms of irritable bowel in individuals with bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and irregular stool patterns. The low-FODMAP diet allows for foods that are low in specific sugars which easily ferment in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and/or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). We discuss strategies for the implementation of this diet, various recipes, and helpful diet resources.
3. Cardio-metabolic diet
The cardio-metabolic diet is designed for the following individuals:
Those with risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD)
Those with risk factors for dysfunctional metabolic conditions such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes (T2D), or both
Those with CVD (e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and elevated blood fats)
Those with metabolic syndrome (e.g., high blood sugar, increased belly fat)
Those with type 2 diabetes
4. Mediterranean diet
A review of 50 studies on the Mediterranean diet reported that this way of eating favourably changes parameters of metabolic syndrome such as:
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
Systolic and diastolic blood pressure
5. Autoimmune paleo diet
The autoimmune paleo diet is a stricter version of the paleo diet. This diet involves the elimination of foods that may cause inflammation in the gut and promotes the inclusion of nutrient-rich foods.