How Do You Feel Talking About Diet With Your Doctor?

Below is a good summary of the benefits of a plant-based diet. It was written by Dr. Kim Williams, a cardiologist and former President of the American College of Cardiology.

Healthy Plant-Based Diet. What Does it Really Mean?, Kim Allan Williams Sr. and Hena Patel, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, July 2017

Here’s an excerpt:

These data are strengthened by several recent landmark publications, including Song et al.’s recent large prospective cohort study of U.S. nurses and other health care professionals, describing the association between animal protein intake and cardiovascular, cancer, and all-cause mortality (9). In this large cohort study, higher intake of animal protein (including processed red meat, unprocessed red meat, dairy, poultry, and eggs) was positively associated with mortality, whereas the inverse was true for high intake of plant protein. In another recent meta-analysis, Kwok et al. (10) found similar results with vegetarians experiencing a 29% lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality relative to nonvegetarians. These findings suggest the importance of protein source and support recommendations to increase plant protein intake, which in turn calls for education of physicians, patients, and the public about the largely unrecognized protein content of plants (e.g., peanuts and beef having the same protein content, 26 g per 100 g).

Two comments:

1. Peanuts and beef have the same protein content. I like how he put that.

2. I wonder how people feel having their physician discuss diet with them. Is it something patients want? Do people generally trust a physician’s nutrition advice? What if the patient has chosen to eat low-carb or keto and the physician suggests a more high-carb, plant-based diet? Or vice-versa? What if the patient is being treated for high blood glucose and their doctor tells them to “watch the carbs?” How do they reconcile that with the kind of high-carb diet Dr. Williams is promoting? I once mentioned to a doc, who did not know my background, that I was trying to cut back on meat and their reply was, “Oh! You gotta watch doing that!” These discussions could get messy.

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