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“They say you are what you eat. In the world of medicine, that couldn’t be more true.” So begins Dr. Ornish’s latest column on Fortune.com about lifestyle medicine and the key secrets to a healthy life.

“What we choose to eat has a powerful impact on both our internal and external environments.”

In the column, he explains how the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine Program (Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation) is based on four decades of clinical research proving the many benefits of comprehensive lifestyle changes that include a whole foods, plant-based diet (naturally low in fat and refined carbohydrates); stress management techniques (including yoga and meditation); moderate exercise (such as walking); and social support and community (love and intimacy).

He writes:

What we choose to eat has a powerful impact on both our internal and external environments. When we realize that something as primal as what we choose to put in our mouths each day makes an important difference in these crises, it empowers us and imbues these choices with meaning. If it’s meaningful, then it’s sustainable—and a meaningful life is a longer life.

In addition to preventing many chronic diseases, these comprehensive diet and lifestyle changes can oftenreverse the progression of these illnesses.

We proved, for the first time, that lifestyle changes alone can reverse the progression of even severe coronary heart disease. There was even reversal after five years than after one year and 2.5 times fewer cardiac events. We also found that these lifestyle changes can reverse type 2 diabetes and may slow, stop, or even reverse the progression of early-stage prostate cancer.

Read the full article here.

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