“The top health challenge facing WNC is what all of America faces: our reliance on processed food and a diet that promotes heart disease and cancer,” says Dr. Garth Davis. Davis learned this firsthand when he applied for a life insurance policy 12 years ago and found out that he had high cholesterol and hypertension. That’s tough news to swallow whatever you do for a living, but it has an especially raw edge when you’re the medical director of Mission Health’s Weight Management Center.
“I was eating a high-protein diet just like I told my patients to eat,” Davis explains. “I thought, there has got to be something wrong with this. Are we just born with lemons for a body? Are we predisposed to disease or can we prevent it?”
Davis switched to a whole-food, plant-based diet, and it changed his life. “I don’t take any medications for my cholesterol, and my hypertension has gotten better on its own,” he reports.
His advice for people wanting to have a happier and healthier new year is to remind them that the food they eat may be the single biggest indicator of how happy and healthy they’ll be in the future. “Food is medicine, but it can also be poison,” he warns. “The vast majority of the diseases I treat as a doctor are due to what the person puts in their mouth.”