FORBES | If Dean Ornish is the father of lifestyle medicine, Dr. Mark Hyman is the food as medicine master. With his New York TimesNYT+1% best-selling books, a top-rated podcast, “The Doctor’s Farmacy,” and visionary leadership of the Center for Functional Medicine at Cleveland Clinic, Hyman is changing the conversation about the nation’s relationship with food to improve health—not just for brains and bodies, but for the planet.
I sat down with Hyman recently for my podcast, A Second Opinion, to talk about his latest book, “The Pegan Diet, 21 Practical Principles for Reclaiming your Health in a Nutritionally Confusing World.” As a heart surgeon who in the operating room daily witnessed the devastating consequences of diet-related disease, I truly appreciate Hyman’s no-nonsense and easily digestible guide to using food as a therapeutic tool for better health. And as a former policy maker in the Senate, I love his ability to connect the misaligned incentives of our government to the health of each of us—and what we can do about it.
Hyman’s innovative approach reminds me of the groundbreaking work of Ornish, who argued in our talk in 2020 that lifestyle change—including plant-based diets low in fat and sugar, regular moderate exercise, strength training, stress management and social support—can treat and often reverse life threatening conditions like heart disease and diabetes.