Virtual Diet Coaching: The New Way to Fight High Cholesterol

Monitoring Your Cholesterol Levels? Virtual Doctor Consultations are Equally Effective

News Picture: Watching Your Cholesterol? Virtual Doctor Visits Work Just as Well

Virtual doctor visits work as well for managing cholesterol.

In a remarkable victory for telemedicine, a recent study has shown that people battling high cholesterol can achieve equal benefits from online coaching as they would from face-to-face visits with a dietitian. Lead researcher Dr. Shannon Zoulek, a resident physician at the University of Michigan Health, emphasizes the significance of this finding, stating, “This study reinforces the idea that comparable clinical outcomes can be achieved using the virtual format.” Not only does improving cholesterol levels reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, but having additional options for access to treatment will greatly benefit patients in need.

Did you know that over 20% of American adults are currently utilizing telemedicine? Instead of trekking to the doctor’s office, they are taking their health appointments online. That’s right, people are swapping crowded waiting rooms for virtual waiting rooms. So, how does telemedicine for high cholesterol treatment stack up against traditional in-person visits? Let’s dive into the study.

The research team closely monitored more than 250 patients who received counseling from a registered dietitian from early 2019 to late 2022 at the Preventative Cardiology Clinic of the University of Michigan’s Frankel Cardiovascular Center. Approximately one in five patients opted for virtual visits, while the remaining patients preferred face-to-face consultations. After tracking their progress, the results were quite surprising!

Patients who received virtual diet coaching experienced significant declines in their “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, both known risk factors for heart disease. It seems that even without physical proximity, the virtual format didn’t compromise the effectiveness of the coaching sessions. In fact, there was no significant difference in the results between telemedicine and in-person visits. So, for those wary of the virtual world, it’s time to embrace the power of the internet when it comes to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

But, why is virtual care so advantageous? Well, besides avoiding the hassle of commuting to the clinic, virtual care brings the dietitian right into your kitchen. Imagine working together with your trusted nutrition expert, creating a personalized nutrition plan while utilizing the foods already present in your pantry and refrigerator. Virtual care truly opens up new possibilities for collaboration and convenience.

The benefits of telehealth visits extend beyond easy access for everyone. National surveys show that telemedicine improves access for minorities, people with lower incomes, and individuals in remote areas. Dr. Eric Brandt, senior study author and the director of preventative cardiology at the University of Michigan Health Frankel Cardiovascular Center, believes that the expansion of virtual care can be considered a silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic. He states, “Virtual care has many benefits that can help overcome some barriers to traditional care. It can help increase access to individuals that have transportation limitations or live far away from in-person care centers.”

In conclusion, the era of virtual diet coaching has arrived, and it’s showing promising results in the fight against high cholesterol. Accessible, effective, and convenient – telemedicine is revolutionizing the way we approach healthcare. So, jump on board and embrace the digital age for a healthier heart!

Source: Michigan Medicine-University of Michigan, news release, Dec. 5, 2023

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