April 4, 2019. Our program featured Dr. Hans Diehl, the founder of the Lifestyle Medicine Institute in Loma Linda and a Clinical Professor of Preventative Medicine at the School of Medicine of Loma Linda University. The last decade of life varies greatly. Some people suffer with chronic illness and disease whilst others remain vibrant and active. Dr. Hans believes that we have control over the group to which we will belong.
Many of the ailments common in elderly patients stem from the systemic disease known as atherosclerosis which occurs when the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body (arteries) become thick and stiff — sometimes restricting blood flow to your organs and tissues. Healthy arteries are flexible and elastic, but over time, the walls in your arteries can harden, a condition commonly called hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is a specific type of arteriosclerosis, but the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Atherosclerosis refers to the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on your artery walls (plaque), which can restrict blood flow. The plaque can burst, triggering a blood clot. Although atherosclerosis is often considered a heart problem, it can affect arteries anywhere in your body. Every third death in the United States is cardiovascular.
Diabetes has soared by 300% in the last 30 years. The rates of other diseases such as breast cancer and high blood pressure are increasing. This has become a big business. 86% of US Healthcare dollars are spent managing chronic disease. Vast amounts of resources are spent on surgical techniques and pharmaceuticals to combat these diseases. The medicines, however, do not cure the patient - they only treat the symptoms. Dr. Hans maintains that it would be far better to prevent the disease in the first place. He believes that we can prevent, and even reverse systemic disease by making healthy diet choices.
His vision of the perfect diet consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts. American culture has produced a country where healthy food choices are inconvenient. Marketing campaigns have conditioned us to think of beef and chicken as ideal sources of protein when beans and lentils provide more protein with out the added fat. We managed to reduce the amount of fat in our milk but we have also managed to find a way to add cheese to virtually everything. He suggests that we should stay away from foods that need labels to show their ingredients. These simple changes in diet will start to show results within weeks. Dr. Hans wants to help change the culture in the Lehigh Valley by educating people in groups. We are fortunate to have the Kellyn Foundation to help make that vision a reality.