Observing the immediate health outcomes of switching to a whole foods diet By Evangelyn Rodriguez for Prevention.news
In this study, researchers from the National University of Natural Medicine in Oregon assessed the feasibility of measuring the health impact of a 12-week naturopathic whole foods nutrition education course among adults with or at risk of prediabetes. Their results were published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
- A pilot non-randomized pre-post intervention design investigated physiological changes in 45 adults after their participation in a structured naturopathic nutrition education course. The study was conducted in three community-based kitchens in Oregon.
- The researchers assessed follow-up measures at six and 12 months from baseline.
- The intervention consisted of 12 weekly 90-minute workshops emphasizing the health benefits of a naturopathic whole foods diet and including collective meal preparation and communal dining.
- Outcome measures included changes in biomarkers of diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk, such as:
- High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)
- Hemoglobin A1c
- They also included changes in dietary behaviors at baseline, post-intervention (12 weeks) and six and 12 months follow-up.
- Pre-post intervention results for the participants showed decreases in blood glucose and hs-CRP.
- Food frequency questionnaire data showed decreases in daily servings of grain, dairy and fat post-intervention.
- At the 12-month follow-up, the researchers observed decreases in blood glucose, hs-CRP, triglycerides, cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, very-low-density lipoprotein and HbA1c from baseline.
- Meanwhile, both insulin and high-density lipoprotein decreased from baseline and 12-week levels at the six-month follow-up but increased from all earlier levels at the 12-month follow-up.
- At the six-month follow-up, daily servings of meat, dairy and fat remained decreased. Although grain consumption increased after 12 months, it was still lower than baseline.
Based on these results, the researchers concluded that naturopathic nutrition education can be used to promote dietary behavior changes that can induce changes in clinical biomarkers.