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Lifestyle Medicine vs. Pill-based Medicine

Last evening, I met someone at the fruit and vegetable store who just stopped following a paleo-caveman diet that a friend of his suggested he follow to lose weight. Yeah, he lost a ton of weight, but he told me that ever since starting the diet in September 2018, he felt terrible. I asked what he meant about feeling terrible, and he just looked at me and said, “I felt weak and constipated and tired. I felt terrible.”

After waking up feeling dizzy one day, he made an appointment with his doctor. Earlier yesterday, his test results came in. Apparently, his paleo-meat based diet was killing him. His cholesterol was through the roof. He has Type 2 diabetes. His A1C levels were extremely high. From his appointment a week before, he knew that his blood pressure was not good. “I was losing weight, but my diet was killing me.”

His doctor sent in a series of prescriptions to his local pharmacy, ordering him to start taking all the meds today. At work, he Googled some of the prescriptions and couldn’t believe the side effects. “When suicide is a side effect, I don’t want none of that.”

A co-worker suggested he follow a high fiber, plant-based diet. He was desperate because he didn’t want to be on pills and shots the rest of his life. So he went to Barnes and Noble and bought the “How Not to Die” book by Dr. Michael Greger. Last night was going to be his first plant-based meal, something that no doubt will shock his girlfriend. At the fruit and veggie store, he and I were looking at the apples when we met. “That last time I ate an apple was last summer.” I patted him on the back and said a prayer with him right in front of the gala apples display.

When I arrived home, I remembered a video that Dr. Greger produced for his Nutritionfacts.org website detailing using diet to reverse diseases caused by the standard American Western diet. Most doctors don’t treat the underlying cause of the diseases we have; instead, they treat the symptoms with pills to mitigate the issues caused by the disease.

As I wrote yesterday, one of the important aspects of our lives in Christ is that God wants our best in everything we say and do. If we treat our bodies poorly with bad diets that give us diseases, then are we truly being at our best?