Why Lifestyle Medicine Advocates Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet

Updated: Jun 9

Overview

One of the areas of focus on Lifestyle Medicine is nutrition. When you hear the word “nutrition”, isn't it that the first thing that enters your mind is food because it nourishes you?


Food is a vital part of our culture and traditions. We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and other festivities with food. Daily, we socially connect over food like having a cup of tea with a friend or telling a story to your family while having dinner. Thus, for us, food represents so many things. Yet, how ironic that the food that is supposed to nourish us is becoming one of the factors that could kill us.


This article will explain why it is so and why Lifestyle Medicine advocates a whole-food plant-based diet.


Food

As mentioned earlier, food is something that nourishes and sustains us. If we read the Bible, God has given instructions on what and what not to eat. Over the course of history, man learned to use heat (it could mean fire and/or spices), salt, sugar, and fat in food. Also, man learned how to preserve foods to make it last a little longer.


However, as the world becomes industrialized and modern, so do our methods of food preparation and preservation. Mechanical processes of food packaging became fast and food manufacturing became a booming business. What used to take hours to prepare and to cook could be served in an instant. What used to be served hot on a plate could now be bought frozen to be microwaved for a few seconds just before serving.


The government, on the other hand, promoted food groups (from the Go, Grow, and Glow foods, to the Food Pyramid, up to the My Plate food groups) to encourage every household to be conscious of food and nutrition.


Then enter advertising and promotions, the most powerful influencer of all time. Through advertising people could make choices on what food to buy or eat and where to buy it from. Yet, almost 70% of Americans are either overweight or obese and majority of the causes of death are lifestyle-related.


chef cooking

A lot of people are gaining weight because of the meals they are choosing to eat. The gourmet recipes that are often demonstrated by chefs on television contain high amounts of fat, sugar, and salt. We don’t really get a lot of representation on media of foods that are much healthier to us. As a result, what we’re seeing on media has been influenced by the companies wanting to make profits and sell their products rather than what foods that we need to eat.


This is rather a challenging issue.


Forks Over Knives

For those who haven’t read about my story, I used to be overweight, had diabetes, gastric bloating, and sinus allergy. My husband, who is also a physician, had gouty arthritis, asthma, high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and obesity.


One evening in August 2017, we just had dinner. I finished tidying up the kitchen and proceeded to our home office to watch this Filipino TV series that I've been following for some time. After a few minutes, I stood up to go and get something from the kitchen and passed by my husband who was sitting at our formal dining table and watching what I thought was a movie. I stopped and asked him what he was wat