Some people used to say, “it doesn’t matter what you eat…”, but now almost everybody know that it does actually matter. It can make a big difference- eating healthy or eating unhealthy shows that it affects your overall health.
Because it costs so much money to be sick, especially if you ended up being hospitalized and having procedures done will now make a dent in your financial health and could adversely affect you now and in the future, simply because of consuming wrong food. It’s like using the wrong gas for your car!
The evidence is overwhelming with the impact of diet and proper food on your health. For example, using the dash diet(low-salt diet that helps controls blood pressure), or the Mediterranean diet, which showed a positive effect in lowering blood pressure and the rate/risk of strokes. Simple components include: extra virgin olive oil, omega-3 fish oil, fish that is barbecued or sauteed (not fired!), beans, hummus. They are starting to become popular in supermarkets as the word is getting around because it affects close to 70 million Americans with hypertension(which leads to heart disease, heart failure, strokes, and renal failure requiring dialysis- especially among the African-American population). The good news is, that we an do something about it. We can change the natural history of these diseases and improve both morbidity and mortality, resulting from hypertension.
Similarly, there are about 20 million American with hyperlipedmia (elevated cholesterol and triglycerides) that is related to clogging of the arterial tree from head to toe. A process of the hardening of the arteries called atherosclerosis, which can clog the carotid arteries leading to strokes, clogging coronary arteries leading to heart attacks, and clogging kidney arteries leading to kidney failure, and clogging of the arteries of the lower extremities causing leg pain, claudication, and ischemic ulcers (that would progress to gangrene) which would lead to amputation.
Also, poor nutrition leads to other diseases entities like diabetes, obesity, cardiac arrhythmia, arthritis, sleep apnea, and many cancers(which would become chronic diseases claiming more than 85% of healthcare dollars spent).
Luckily, there is a cultural change of learning about healthy nutrition, adopting conservative lines of therapy that are less expensive and non-invasive, without compromising the quality of healthcare delivered with measured clinical endpoints.
For example, “Courage Trial” , that was published in New England Journal of Medicine have shown for stable coronary artery disease that would have equally effective therapy; one of them being optimal medical therapy and lifestyle modification with exercise and diet was found to be equally effective as expensive, and invasive coronary angioplasty with similar clinical outcome data.
Also, the adoption of clinical guidelines that will have evidence-based medicine for various therapies and interventions only to be reimbursed by insurance companies if they are in accordance with the guidelines. Not only that, but evolving technology, just like every aspect in our lives, also, in medicine have new technology like CT angiography which is noninvasive to actually reconstruct 3D images of the coronary arteries and which have replaced conventional invasive cardiac catheterization in many instances. Also, MRI is evolving and improving to replace the need for many invasive surgeries as well.
Even guidelines established for the intermediate blockages in the coronary arteries to be studied first with physiological flow study before putting a stent as a knee-jerk reflex as it used to be done in the past!
So cost is becoming an increasingly significant factor on which patient gets a specific therapy for a similar outcome and the choice will go with the less cost and less invasive therapy. And, if someone decides to do procedures that don’t match the established guidelines in addition to not getting reimbursed may also get flagged.
Over the past five years, we have demonstrated better outcome for less cost to the patient who enrolled in our Health and Wellness program in addition to patient education an empowerment as a part of a comprehensive approach to healthcare delivery. Your health depends on your decision of what goes into your body.