Breaking News
More () »

Get rid of medicines by adding in fruits and vegetables

Lifestyle medicine can cut down on the number of medicines you take. The key is eating a whole foods or plant-based diet.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Changing your diet can have all kinds of health benefits. Lifestyle medicine focuses on what patients are eating, encouraging whole food or plant-based diet. 

These changes not only improve your overall nutrition but when they are incorporated into every meal, make a big change in your health and well-being. 

Jonathan Todd was one of those patients looking to make a change. 

"It had been over 10 years that I've been on medication for type 2 diabetes and seen the numbers every year get a little bit higher and a little bit higher," said Todd. 

Dr. Gebreselassie Nida with Reidsville Endocrinology Associates works with patients like Todd on lifestyle medication, changing things like diets instead of writing more prescriptions. 

"We can't fix it in five minutes, but if we equip the patients with the resources and tools they can manage it in the house," said Dr. Nida.

Those diet changes include things like cutting down on fried foods, fast foods, sweets, and processed foods. 

Patients are encouraged to add fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and other whole foods to their meals. 

For Todd, he saw results after about three months when his diabetes started to reverse and symptoms like numbness in his hands and feet went away. 

"Since I've got a 2 1/2-year-old grandson, you know, that likes to play with papa and all that, that's important," said Todd.

Dr. Nida says he sees results in about every 1 in 3 patients he sees.  

Making these diet changes can seem challenging, so Dr. Nida and Dr. Paula Ross with Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare gave some recommendations. 

  • Start the day with breakfast: eat Plain Greek yogurt with whole fruit or eggs
  • Lean meats that are natural and grass-fed are good options 
  • You can eat some grains, but keep them minimal
  • Carbohydrates are not essential 
  • Challenge yourself to add as many vegetables as you can to your meals and mix them up, your guy enjoys a variety 
  • Fruits and nuts make good snacks 
  • Whole wheat pasta and bread are good carbohydrate options 

It comes down to finding those whole unprocessed foods to add to your plate each day. 

"I tell patients if it had roots, if it had hooves, if it has feet, if it has fins, you think of that at as unprocessed. If there is a lot of chemistry involved and you can't pronounce the name, that's processed. It lacks fiber, it has a lot of sugars hidden in many things and many names, that's where the danger comes in," said Dr. Ross. 


Before You Leave, Check This Out