Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler

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Food is medicine

For people with type 2 diabetes and for those who are HIV-positive, food can be medicine. That is according to a new study published in the Journal of Urban Health.

The study aimed to grow understanding of how nutrition impacts health. Researchers from UC San Francisco worked on the study with researchers from a nonprofit agency that provides nutritious meals to HIV-positive people, the elderly and those with type 2 diabetes. Many of the participants in the study receive either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The study indicates that those who are HIV-positive or with type 2 diabetes that get healthful foods and snacks are more likely to stick to medication regimens. In turn, that will make them less likely to be depressed and less likely to need hospitalization or emergency care.

"We saw dramatic improvements in depression, the distress of having diabetes, diabetes self-management, trading-off between food and healthcare, and HIV medication adherence," said one of the study's co-authors.

Researchers found that a regular diet of healthful meals and snacks resulted in reduced consumption of fats and increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Participants were offered choices in meals based on the Mediterranean diet which features lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. It is low on foods containing refined sugar and saturated fat.

This is perhaps one of those studies that confirms what many people understand intuitively: a good diet makes for a happier, healthier person.

Social Security Disability benefits help people put food on the table and a roof over their heads. If you have had your SSDI claim rejected, you can contact a North Carolina law firm experienced in helping clients appeal.

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