Achieving Patient Adherence To Whole Food Plant Based Nutrition In Arresting and Reversing Cardiovascular Disease
While cardiovascular disease remains the number on killer of women and men in the United States, it is perplexing that with knowledge of how to prevent and reverse heart disease this strategy has not been implemented for the vast majority of patients with this illness. Why not?
Like most physicians cardiologists receive minimal nutrition training in medical school and almost none during their cardiovascular education. Nevertheless, during their post graduate years many will have heard of the work of Kempner, Pritikin, McDougall, Ornish, Esselstyn, Ostfeld, Barnard and others and the power of whole food plant based nutrition to halt and reverse cardiovascular disease. Sadly even those physicians who attempt to have their patients adopt whole food plant based nutrition relinquish their strategy because of failure ad declare plant based nutrition is unrealistic as patients will not adhere to it.
As one my mentors stated, “Inappropriate application of the method is no excuse for its abandonment.” In other words, it is not that the message is wrong but how it has been articulated that is at fault. Physicians with no training in lifestyle transitioning who attempt this approach during a single fifteen minute office visit without the patient’s spouse or significant other in attendance is inviting failure.
Our approach to patients lifestyle transitioning has progressively evolved. We have reported and published an adherence rate of 89.3, nearly 90% over 3.75 years of follow up.