Lifestyle Medicine 101 (CME)

A collection of videos for a Continuing Medical Education presentation.

Watch each of the starred videos. Encourage a brief time of discussion after each video. Use the Questions and Answers at the bottom of the page as needed. The extra videos can be watched as time allows.


*Lifestyle Medicine: Treating the Causes of Disease:
If doctors can eliminate some of our leading killers by treating the underlying causes of chronic disease better than nearly any other medical intervention, why don’t more doctors do it? (…an introduction to Lifestyle Medicine)

*Turning Back the Clock 14 Years:
Four simple health behaviors may cut our risk of chronic disease by nearly 80%, potentially dropping our risk of dying equivalent to that of being 14 years younger. (…an introduction to the importance of a healthy Lifestyle)

The Best Kept Secret in Medicine:
Lifestyle changes are often more effective in reducing the rates of heart disease, hypertension, heart failure, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and premature death than almost any other medical intervention. (…taking a lesson from cigarette smoking and how the lifestyle of medical professionals can effect the health of their patients)

Heart Disease Risk and Prevention:

*Eliminating 90% of Heart Disease:
Preventing and treating chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke with diet and lifestyle changes is not just safer but may be dramatically more effective. (…see the Lancet article below)

Lancet Article: Effect of potentially modifiable risk factors associated with myocardial infarction in 52 countries (the INTERHEART study): case-control study.

The Healthiest Diet:

*The Okinawa Diet: Living to 100:
What would happen if you centered your diet around vegetables, the most nutrient-dense food group? (…also the Adventist Vegetarians…2 of the Blue Zones)

*Why was Heart Disease Rare in the Mediterranean:
What was it about the diet on the Greek isle of Crete in the 1950s that made it so healthy?

*Do Flexitarians Live Longer:
Does just reducing one’s intake of meat, dairy, and eggs significantly reduce mortality? (…what parts of the Mediterranean Diet are the most healthy?)

*The Mediterranean Diet or a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet:
A randomized controlled trial found that a Mediterranean-type diet can dramatically lower the risk of subsequent heart attacks. How does it compare with plant-based diet data?

Which Parts of the Mediterranean Diet Extended Life:
Of all the components of a healthy Mediterranean diet, which are associated with a longer lifespan? (…Wine, Olive Oil, Veggies or Nuts?)

Improving on the Mediterranean Diet:
What are the four problematic nutritional aspects of even plant-based Mediterranean diets?

Diets to Avoid:

*Low-Carb Diets and Coronary Blood Flow:
Blood flow within the hearts of those eating low-carb diets was compared to those eating plant-based diets. (…SPECT images after 1 year of Low-Carb vs Vegetarian Diets)

*Plant-Based Atkins:
Harvard study found that men and women eating low carb diets live significantly shorter lives, but what about the “eco-Atkins diet,” a plant-based, low carbohydrate diet? (…is it fat vs carbs or plant vs animal that matters?)

The Problem with the Paleo Diet Argument:
The Paleolithic period represents just the last two million years of human evolution. What did our bodies evolve to eat during the first 90% of our time on Earth?

Diets, Advice, and Decisions:

What Diet Should Physicians Recommend:
Kaiser Permanente, the largest U.S. managed care organization, publishes patient education materials to help make plant-based diets the “new normal” for patients and physicians. (Kaiser Plant Based Diet Booklet)

*Evidence Based Eating:
It took more than 7,000 studies and the deaths of countless smokers before the first Surgeon General report against smoking was finally released. Another mountain of evidence for healthier eating exists today, but much of society has yet to catch up to the science. (…don’t wait for your doctor to tell you to eat a plant-based diet)


*How Much Should You Exercise:
Exercise can help with mental health, cognitive health, sleep quality, cancer prevention, immune function, high blood pressure, and lifespan extension. Ideally, how much should we exercise?


Evidence-Based Medicine or Evidence-Biased:
Evidence-based medicine may ironically bias medical professionals against the power of dietary intervention.

Why Healthcare Providers Should Care:

*Physicians May Be Missing Their Most Important Tool:
What might happen if nutritional excellence were taught in medical school?

The Actual Benefit of Diet vs Drugs:
The medical profession oversells the benefits of drugs for chronic disease since so few patients would apparently take them if doctors divulged the truth.

*Barriers to Heart Disease Prevention:
According to the Director of the famous Framingham Heart Study, the best way to manage cholesterol and heart disease risk is with a more plant-based diet. Why then, don’t more doctors advise their patients to change their diets?


*Convergence of Evidence:
Profile of an editorial published by Dr. Dean Ornish in the American Journal of Cardiology describing the optimal diet, and how simple choices can be as powerful as drugs and surgery.


Convincing Doctors to Embrace Lifestyle Medicine:
An editorial by the Director of Yale’s Prevention Research Center on putting a face on the tragedy of millions suffering and dying from chronic diseases that could be prevented, treated, and reversed if doctors inspired lifestyle changes in their patients.


Lifestyle Medicine 101 Q & A: Questions and Answers based on each video.

Credits: Thanks to Dr Michael Greger, MD for these videos and many more found at

Resources: For more information see