The best medicine your doctor won’t share

When I first began reading health posts by my friend Bob Livingston, I was a little unsure about his attitude toward conventional medicine…

He used the term “medical establishment,” and I thought it sounded harsh.

The medical establishment may sound off-putting at first, but it is what it is: Conventional medicine represents the convention of the accepted and established medical practices in America today. And by recognizing it as the establishment, it makes it easier to also separate and identify any health practices, treatments and therapies outside of that as alternatives.

So on one hand you have the medical establishment and on the other hand, you have alternative medicine.

Well, I want to share a single factor with you today that I think you will find is absolutely shocking about the medical establishment, and Bob and I are far from the only people who think so…

The medical establishment puts little, if any, importance on food as a cause, preventative or remedy for disease.

You may be scratching your head and saying “now wait a minute,” because there was that time your primary care physician suggested you lose a couple of pounds. But I bet he didn’t offer much advice if any on how to change your diet.

Your doctor is probably a great guy. He went to school for years to learn how to heal people. But he didn’t go to school to learn how to keep you from getting sick in the first place. If he did, he was sorely disappointed because there was an essential class missing from the curriculum…

Nutrition 101

A few nights ago I was watching PBS NewsHour. Their guest was a professor of nutrition from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, David Eisenberg.

He was talking about a program he started called Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives and he revealed a fact I had heard before but had been a  little skeptical about…

According to Professor Eisenberg, only about one-fifth of American medical schools require students to take a nutrition course. In fact, he said, “Today, most medical schools in the United States teach less than 25 hours of nutrition over four years.”

Fortunately, I was recording the show on DVR so I listened again. I thought what I was hearing was outrageous. That’s what Eisenberg thought too, adding, “The fact that less than 20 percent of medical students have a single required course in nutrition, it’s a scandal. It’s outrageous. It’s obscene.” (Watch it yourself, here)

Hippocrates is probably rolling over in his grave. How could the medical profession forget that food is medicine?

A health model that lets disease develop

Not only is it outrageous but it’s a big part of the reason that conditions like metabolic syndrome go on to cause totally avoidable diseases… all because the medical establishment seems to be ill-equipped to help their patients avoid the disease path.

The best example I can give you is type 2 diabetes — the most avoidable of chronic diseases, and a gateway (even in its prediabetes form) to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and even some of the worst cancers

The headline read: Doctors aren’t diagnosing or treating most cases of prediabetes.

Sadly, the study that sparked the troubling headline, found that less than one-quarter of patients who met the criteria for prediabetes received drug or lifestyle modification treatment from their primary care physician. That means these people are unknowingly missing a window of opportunity to prevent a disease progression that could ultimately end their lives prematurely.

How many people could be saved with a little nutritional advice? Let me put the diabetes epidemic into perspective for you — because it’s quite mind-boggling…

29.1 million Americans have diabetes—that’s about 9 percent of our population. But, even more Americans — 86 million — are teetering on the edge of type 2 diabetes with pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

During a time when our country and government and employers are scrutinizing the cost of medicine (even the rising cost of insulin has caught politicians’ attention), how does it make sense to let such an avoidable disease develop to practically epidemic proportions?

Many people will tell you, it’s Big Pharma’s doing. They are the ones making the profits. I don’t disagree, but I’m not going to spend a lot of time placing blame…

I’d rather spend time reinforcing the idea of food as medicine, even though it’s become “radical” and “alternative.” Every day scientists are discovering disease-fighting foods and plants — and we’re printing it on Easy Health Options because you won’t hear about it at your doctor’s office.

From diabetes to cancer — food is the answer. It’s not a miracle cure, but your chances are much better if you avoid disease in the first place than becoming dependent on costly meds or getting sliced and diced on the operating table.

What you eat and don’t eat, and I don’t mean the low-fat hokum, can help you get the healthiest heart in the world, reset your gut health, save your bones and more. And even if the medical establishment isn’t sharing this advice, you can always find it here.


  1. Doctors aren’t diagnosing or treating most cases of prediabetes, UF study finds — University of Florida
Margaret Cantwell

By Margaret Cantwell

Margaret Cantwell began her paleo diet in 2010 in an effort to lose weight. Since then, the diet has been instrumental in helping her overcome a number of other health problems. Thanks to the benefits she has enjoyed from her paleo diet and lifestyle, she dedicates her time as Editor of Easy Health Digest™, researching and writing about a broad range of health and wellness topics, including diet, exercise, nutrition and supplementation, so that readers can also be empowered to experience their best health possible.