Primary Care Resources to Help Guide Your Patients in Eating Right

Diet, exercise, and sleep are the cornerstones of healthy living, so it’s no surprise that much of the clinical coverage in Consultant (and all of the medical literature) centers on these 3 mainstays of good health. Counseling your patients about dietary health, including eating the right foods, avoiding the wrong foods, and taking prescribed medications, is a vital component of primary care. But patients and health care providers alike face daunting challenges to accomplishing these goals.

This issue’s News 360 section describes a number of recent studies on healthy diets and weight loss and the impediments to them. Given the paucity of comparative data on the safety and effectiveness of weight-loss medications, which one works best? Can patients lose more weight with portion-controlled prepackaged entrées than by selecting their own food and portions? Is a high-fat Mediterranean diet better for health than a low-fat diet? Eating a diet rich in whole grains is best, but why is the average American’s intake of whole grains below recommendations?

Part of the answer to the latter question is that it’s hard to identify whole grain foods on grocery store shelves. US product labeling for whole grains is voluntary and unregulated, and the term whole grain often is jumbled up with terms such as multigrain and high-fiber. So it’s up to you to explain the concept of whole grains to your patients, one study author told Consultant on page 581.

We are particularly excited to offer a new series of exclusive podcasts about the Mediterranean diet and cardiometabolic health from Michael Ozner, MD, well-known national speaker on preventive cardiology and author of The Complete Mediterranean Diet. Click on “Podcasts” under the “Multimedia” drop-down menu at to listen to the first installment.

While you’re there, check out our “Nutritional Pearls” web feature, in which internist and professional chef Timothy S. Harlan, MD (“Dr. Gourmet”), offers evidence-based nutritional health resources, including diets for patients with acid reflux, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, and diabetes, as well as those on warfarin or low-sodium diets. Plus, click on “Nutrition” under “Specialty” to access Nutrition 360, where we have curated the top clinical content about dietary health.

And I hope you’ll consider attending the Cardiometabolic Risk Summit Fall, powered by Consultant, October 14-16 in Las Vegas. CRS is the only cardiometabolic conference in the United States designed for the primary care team, and its evidence-based program focuses on diabetes, hypertension, obesity, dyslipidemia, nutrition, and culinary medicine. Turn to page 647 of this issue for more information, and follow the links at to register.

Thanks for reading.

Michael Gerchufsky, ELS, CMPP
Managing Editor, Consultant