The Right Food Plan for Cardiometabolic Patients

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Read Time: 2 Minutes

Given the stunning rise in cardiometabolic syndrome in the US,13 sustainable lifestyle interventions that can prevent and reverse this condition are vital. In a recent evaluation of the state of diabetes care in the US, researchers reporting in JAMA found that even with advances in diabetes care, population-level treatment outcomes have not significantly improved.4 Furthermore, the study’s findings indicate that gaps in diabetes care persist, particularly among younger adults age 18-44, women, and Black and Hispanic adults.4

What can clinicians do to help curb the rising prevalence of cardiometabolic conditions? The best place to start for most patients is with diet and lifestyle modifications. IFM’s Cardiometabolic Food Plan is a tool that contains the resources and information for clinicians to work with patients to help them transition to healthier eating patterns that support cardiac and metabolic health. In the following video, IFM educator Elizabeth Boham, MD, MS, RD, talks about what she looks for in a patient to determine whether the Cardiometabolic Food Plan is right for them.

(Video Time: 1 minute) Elizabeth Boham, MD, MS, RD, is board certified in family medicine and is a registered dietician.

IFM’s Cardiometabolic Food Plan is designed for patients at risk of or already diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or metabolic conditions, which share many underlying causes, including increased inflammation,2 insulin resistance,5 and stress.6 The plan has the following features:

  • A modified Mediterranean diet, focusing on the heart-healthy elements7
  • A low glycemic impact
  • Personalized, targeted calorie recommendations
  • Blood sugar balancing
  • High fiber, low simple sugars
  • Balanced, quality fats
  • Condition-specific phytonutrients

IFM’s Cardiometabolic Food Plan includes a Comprehensive Guide that provides an overview of and the rationale for the plan, as well as clear guidance on therapeutic foods, customization for specific conditions, and answers to frequently asked questions. A weekly food planner paired with a food list for easy shopping enables patients to take charge of their own health. A robust bibliography provides the research background for how and why this food plan has such an effect on health outcomes.

The Cardiometabolic Food Plan is just one of several therapeutic food plans available as part of IFM’s Toolkit. Clinicians can get in depth training on all of IFM’s food plans, including how to personalize them to treat a variety of health concerns, in the online learning course Therapeutic Food Plans: A Component of Personalized Nutrition.

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  1. Aguilar M, Bhuket T, Torres S, Liu B, Wong RJ. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in the United States, 2003-2012. JAMA. 2015;313(19):1973-1974. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.4260
  2. Moore JX, Chaudhary N, Akinyemiju T. Metabolic syndrome prevalence by race/ethnicity and sex in the United States, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-2012. Prev Chronic Dis. 2017;14:E24. doi:10.5888/pcd14.160287.
  3. Hirode G, Wong RJ. Trends in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in the United States, 2011-2016. JAMA. 2020;323(24):2526-2528. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4501.
  4. Kazemian P, Shebl FM, McCann N, Walensky RP, Wexler DJ. Evaluation of the cascade of diabetes care in the United States, 2005-2016. JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(10):1376-1385. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.2396.
  5. Mazidi M, Shivappa N, Wirth MD, et al. Dietary inflammatory index and cardiometabolic risk in US adults. Atherosclerosis. 2018;276:23-27. doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2018.02.020.
  6. Salt IP. Examining the role of insulin in the regulation of cardiovascular health. Future Cardiol. 2013;9(1):39-52. doi:10.2217/fca.12.77.
  7. Pérez-Martínez P, Mikhailidis DP, Athyros VG, et al. Lifestyle recommendations for the prevention and management of metabolic syndrome: an international panel recommendation. Nutr Rev. 2017;75(5):307-326. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nux014.

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