Despite a wide variety of dietary options available, a prolonged controversy still exists about optimal nutritional plans for cardiometabolic patients, which contributes to the challenges faced by clinicians while caring for these patients. A poor diet is a major contributor in exacerbating the impacts of the cardiometabolic disease; as well as a leading contributor to morbidity and mortality worldwide.1,2 Thus, proper nutrition for cardiometabolic health is paramount, a view emphasized in several clinical practice guidelines.3-5 However, defining proper nutrition for cardiometabolic disease is challenging and can be very controversial. Clinicians may not be aware of appropriate healthy eating patterns or the evidence for different dietary approaches on cardiometabolic health outcomes; this is more apparent by the fact that many clinicians do not receive adequate training on nutrition and are less likely to address nutrition as a topic during a clinical visit. To gain more insight in this area, we had an opportunity to talk with Stephen Devries, MD, FACC, a preventive cardiologist, and Executive Director of the Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the role of nutrition and lifestyle in medicine.
Because of all the diet and nutrition advice available, most people are puzzled with the concept of “the ideal diet.” Recently, the EAT-Lancet commission report, a largescale nutrition initiative by The Lancet, emphasized the consumption of plant-based diets over meat-based diets6, an approach that also is supported in the diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, and primary cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention guidelines.4,5,7,8 Dr. Devries echoed this approach: “the diet that would be most helpful for the vast majority of people would be one that is predominantly plant-sourced, a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, beans, whole grains. Although frequently overlooked, it’s best that these items be consumed in as close to their original state as possible–not ground into flour or extracted into juice.” – he told Cardiometabolic Chronicle.