Keri Peterson, MD: The Relationship between Nutrition and Health

Dr. Keri Peterson
Medical Advisor to the Calorie Control Council 

As a primary care physician I take care of patients for all sorts of issues.  They see me for their annual physicals where I screen them for diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis and diabetes among many other medical conditions.  Practicing preventative medicine allows me to detect health issues before they become a more serious problem.  In addition, patients come to see me with whatever symptoms or ailments are troubling them.

Lifestyle plays a significant role in the development of many diseases.  Therefore, proper counseling regarding diet, nutrition and exercise is essential for both preventing and managing ones health.   Being overweight or obese contributes to many problems that patients complain to me about.

One of the most common things that I pick up is a pre-diabetic condition where the sugar levels are borderline elevated and there is a concern about developing full-fledged diabetes.  In these cases, metabolism of sugar is impaired usually due to high body mass or to a genetic predisposition.  Controlling diet and exercising are key steps in lowering blood sugar levels.  I typically recommend cutting back on carbohydrate intake by limiting sugar and starch intake in the form of full calorie beverages, pastas, breads and desserts.  One option is to replace sugar-containing beverages with low calorie sweetened ones instead.  Also, I suggest replacing simple carbohydrate foods with complex carbohydrates like swapping white bread for multi-grain bread and pasta for quinoa.

Two other issues that often go hand in hand that I see in my practice are high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Sticking to a diet comprised of whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats can modify cholesterol levels while reducing sodium intake can lower blood pressure. It’s also very important to exercise regularly which means 30 minutes five days a week of moderate activity.

Good nutrition and healthy eating play a vital role in staying healthy and providing tips for my patients is a critical part of my job.  Following my patients and seeing the results of their hard work is extremely gratifying for me.


About Keri Peterson, MD

Keri Peterson MDDr. Peterson is a medical contributor and columnist for Women’s Health and a frequent guest on NBC’s Today, ABC’s Good Morning America, Fox News and CNN. Based in New York City, Dr. Peterson has been in private practice since 1999 and holds appointments at Lenox Hill Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center.   With a BA from Cornell University and a Medical Degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, she completed post-graduate training in Internal Medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center and is board certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Peterson is a member of the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association, and serves as medical advisor for the Calorie Control Council.

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