Angels in the kitchen

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – A pilot study in California is trying to prove that you are, indeed, what you eat. It’s providing meals that are medically tailored for 1,000 people with congestive heart failure to keep them healthy and out of the hospital and to save health care dollars.

Congestive heart failure made Diane Henry feel like she was drowning.

“There was a time I thought this was it. I didn’t have any plans. It’s just … I thought it was over for me,” shared Diane.

Then eight months ago she got into California’s pilot study to see if diets tailored to patients with heart failure would keep them out of hospitals. That means very little salt.

Richard Ayoub, Executive Director, Project Angel Food explained, “We provide them with meals that are perfectly balanced, and the entire days’ worth of meals total two grams of salt.”

Project Angel Food has made and delivered medically-tailored meals to patients with chronic illnesses for 30 years.

Ayoub continued, “We are indeed seeing dramatic results. We’re bringing down the numbers of readmissions into the hospital.”

In fact, Project Angel Food says only ten percent of clients in the pilot are readmitted to hospitals within 30 days compared to 32 percent of all Medicaid patients with congestive heart failure.

“If it’s made for you and delivered to your home and you’re not having to go out to the grocery store or to a fast food place where you might buy something high in salt … this makes it easy to eat a healthier diet,” stated Richard Seidman, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, LA Care.

Diane believes this is making her better.

She said, “I feel like I’m getting the old Diane. She’s coming back, but back with a vengeance, and a healthier Diane.”

The state of California put up six million dollars for the study, which will last three years. Getting rid of salt may be harder than you think. You might be buying products with more salt than you realize. For example, the USDA has found that 60 percent of raw meat and poultry items are injected with or soaked in salty solutions. To avoid the meat products with added salt, stay away from the ones with labels such as marinated or enhanced.

Contributors to this news report include: Wendy Chioji, Field Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; and Rusty Reed, Videographer.