It is still the minority of physicians who have gained this knowledge (the knowledge of knowing the beneficial effects of plant-based diets), it can then make it difficult for our patients because they may then receive conflicting information from their doctors.

Everyone, both patient, and physician can play an important role in cancer prevention and treatment. While present-day standard treatments for cancer such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are necessary and effective in many circumstances, we can do much better. The real secret to reducing our susceptibility to cancer is a healthy, plant-based diet. What we choose to put into our bodies every day is of utmost importance. We now have so much good evidence supporting the health benefits of a plant-based diet. This fact can no longer be ignored; it is no longer a secret.

What people need to understand is that physicians trained in western medicine traditions are simply not taught in medical school about how nutrition and diet can significantly contribute to disease prevention and overall good health. This absence of knowledge and training follows most of us throughout our careers. Despite all of my training to become a gynecologic oncologist, it was not until years into my practice that I started learning about plant-based nutrition and its effect on our health. Physicians such as John A. McDougall and Caldwell Esselstyn have for years been showing the beneficial effects of plant-based diets on the prevention and treatment of a list of chronic diseases.


Unfortunately, because it is still the minority of physicians who have gained this knowledge, it can then make it difficult for our patients. Why is that so? They may receive conflicting information from their doctors. For instance, when I tell patients they should avoid meat and dairy, they will ask, “Why hasn’t my diabetes doctor told me that? Why hasn’t my heart doctor told me that? Why hasn’t my family doctor who I have seen for 20 years told me that?” Regrettably, our medical culture in this country is preoccupied with treating illnesses and their symptoms, not preventing disease.

Much of what we have been led to believe is healthy for us is often coming from a non-reliable source. The source that does not necessarily have only our well-being in mind. It often seeks to profit from their recommendations. Indeed, the source most of my patients point to when I asked them where they get their information about food is television commercials. It is a clever marketing. This is the time to get this secret out in the open. It is time to talk about it, share it with others, and practice it in our daily lives. A plant-based diet, focused on the most natural ingredients available, is a simple, conscious, daily choice we can make. We need to take control over our bodies and keep them healthy.

This article is contributed by Rethink Food: 100+ doctors can’t be wrong, written by Lisa Bazzett-Matabele, MD.