Food Is Medicine: How Doctors Can Prescribe Food For Chronic Disease

Episode 772 56m


Our diets are the main driver of the chronic disease epidemic we are experiencing today. But food is also the most powerful medicine available to heal chronic diseases. The food we eat literally serves as information, instructions, or code that controls almost every function of the body—including our hormones, appetite, brain chemistry, immune system, gene expression, and even the microbiome.

Today on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I’m excited to talk to Mark Walker about incorporating food as medicine into the healthcare system, how we can prescribe food as physicians, and what it will mean for our nation’s health and economy.

We kick off our conversation by discussing the current state of our food and healthcare systems. The US spent $4.3 trillion on healthcare in 2021, and we are on pace to top $7 trillion by the end of this decade. Approximately 12% of Americans are considered “metabolically healthy.” That means the other 88% of us aren’t meeting basic medical guidelines for things like blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, and other markers of metabolic health.

Food is real medicine, and it’s actually more effective–most of the time–than pharmacology for chronic disease. You can do things with food that you can’t do with most drugs. For example, you can manage type 2 diabetes and blood sugar levels with pharmaceutical drugs and injections, but you can actually reverse type 2 diabetes with food and lifestyle interventions.

Mark and I discuss the integration of food as medicine into our healthcare system, what medically tailored meals are, and how you can access them through your insurance provider.

Mark also shares the story of his personal health journey from pre-diabetic to diabetic to non-diabetic, using meals from Performance Kitchen.

Food isn’t like medicine, it is medicine, and it’s our number one tool for creating the vibrant health we deserve! I hope you’ll tune in to learn more.


This episode is brought to you by Rupa Health, Super Simple Grassfed Protein, Sensate, and AquaTru. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • The current state of our “healthcare” system


  • The effectiveness of food as medicine


  • Incorporating food as medicine into our existing healthcare system


  • How payers benefit from food as medicine


  • Medically tailored meals


  • The economics of food as medicine


  • Obstacles around prescribing food as medicine


  • Accessing medically tailored meal benefits


  • How Performance Kitchen is interfacing in this space


  • Mark’s personal story reversing prediabetes


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Resources Mentioned

Host & Guests


Automatically generated. Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Introduction: Coming up on this episode of The Doctor's Farmacy.

Mark Walker: There's millions of people that qualify for these benefits nationwide right now, but almost nobody knows about it. I honestly have not talked to a doctor to date that is aware that they can actually prescribe meals.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome to The Doctor's Farmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman. That's farmacy with an f where we have a place for conversations that matter. And if you've heard the term food is medicine, you're not sure what it means or why it's important, or how it actually is the solution to our healthcare crisis and our obesity crisis, our chronic disease crisis, pretty much our economic crisis, I think you're going to like..

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Ep. 772 - Food Is Medicine: How Doctors Can Prescribe Food For Chronic Disease