Prescription fruits and vegetables improve heart health: Dosages

People with diabetes who were prescribed fruits and vegetables experienced a significant decrease in their blood sugar. And adults with high blood pressure saw their blood pressure drop.

Ryan Glenn/Getty Images

Hide caption

Switch caption

Ryan Glenn/Getty Images

People with diabetes who were prescribed fruits and vegetables experienced a significant decrease in their blood sugar. And adults with high blood pressure saw their blood pressure drop.

Ryan Glenn/Getty Images

The idea of ​​food as medicine goes back to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, W.A New study It adds to the evidence that a diet full of fruits and vegetables can help improve heart health. The research comes amid an epidemic of diet-related diseases, which rival smoking as the leading cause of death.

The researchers evaluated the impact of “prescription production”, which offers free fruits and vegetables to people with diet-related diseases including diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. The study involved nearly 4,000 people in 12 states who struggled to obtain healthy food. They earned coupons averaging $63 per month for up to 10 months, which can be redeemed for products at retail stores or farmer’s markets, depending on location.

Health care providers tracked changes in weight, blood pressure and blood sugar among the participants. “We were excited to see the improvements,” says the study’s author. Kurt Hageran instructor at the UMass Chan University School of Medicine.

“Among adults with high blood pressure, we saw systolic blood pressure decreased by 8 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure decreased by about 5 mm Hg, which may have a measurable effect on health outcomes,” says Hager.

Among people with uncontrolled diabetes, levels of A1C, which is the 2-3 month average of blood sugar, also fell significantly, by about 0.6 percent. “The decreases we saw in blood sugar were about half of those commonly prescribed medications, which is really encouraging with just a small change in diet,” says Hager.

“It felt great,” says Joan Erickson, 60, who participated in the Sacramento County Health Center’s Pilot Prescription Initiative in Sacramento, California. sound wave, a non-profit organization, is at the forefront of initiatives aimed at making healthy food affordable and accessible to all. Almost 85% of the participants reported that participating in the program improved their health.

“As a chef and father of two sons with diabetes, I’m not surprised,” says Wholesome Wave’s. Co-founder Michel Nishan. “Our nutritional strategy included dramatically increasing Chris and Ethan’s consumption of fruits and vegetables,” he says, noting that his sons had a lower A-1C level and lower insulin use as a result. “We knew we needed evidence to argue for a policy change,” he says.

“When I was able to buy healthy food, I felt like a millionaire,” says Erickson. She loaded her cart with strawberries, raspberries, cherries, and salad greens, things she couldn’t usually afford. “It was a huge hike for me,” she says. Six months into the program, her doctor was able to lower her blood pressure medication. Her blood sugar levels also dropped. “I had more energy,” says Erickson.

“Anything that lowers hemoglobin A1C and improves blood pressure control is helpful,” he says. Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts University, where the research was conducted. The challenge is to maintain these cuts. “An improvement in blood glucose can significantly reduce the risk of diseases such as eye disease, kidney disease, and nerve disease,” which occur frequently among people with uncontrolled diabetes, he says.

A year ago, in the wake of a White House conference on hunger, nutrition, and health, the Biden administration announced a National strategy It aims to improve healthy eating and the integration of nutrition into healthcare. This has created a momentum to support evidence as more healthcare providers connect the dots between diet and disease. “I think our study provides a strong rationale for the next step in investment,” says Hager. It’s time to expand beyond pilot programs, says Hager, “to continue investing in larger trials with comparison groups.”

As the evidence continues to accumulate, he says, “it is important that we simultaneously invest in the infrastructure needed to scale up prescriptions for food and medicine.” Holly Frechtadtboss Feed change An initiative at the Milken Institute. Her team has explained market solutions that can help support implementation, such as technology-enabled systems that will help patients participate in nutritional assistance programs, including SNAP (food stamps) and these newer approaches.

“With the increasing burden of chronic, diet-related diseases in the United States, we can’t afford to delay,” says Fréchtadt. “We have to find a way to make it easier for people to know their benefit eligibility, to track the status of their benefit amount, and to understand where and how those benefits are being used,” Frechtadt says.

Currently, prescription programs provide only short-term help. Since Joan Erickson’s production coupons ended, her monthly SNAP benefits have also been cut significantly. Now, again, you can’t buy healthy food. “After I stopped the program, I saw my blood pressure go up,” she says. “I would say there is a direct relationship,” says Erickson.

to Food is medicine For this strategy to work, it is clear that people will need long-term support.

“We need to get to a place where these benefits are continuous,” says Mozaffarian. “If you take a drug to lower your blood pressure, you won’t stop taking it in six months,” he says. The same applies if a healthy food is prescribed. He says more research is needed to determine which patients benefit from nutritional assistance programmes, whether it’s medically designed meals or prescription productions, and what the appropriate amount they need to take to manage their conditions. But he says the ultimate goal is to get to a place where those benefits are covered for people who need them.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button