At MD 2.0, we provide patients with superior primary care. We want to be the first to know about any health concerns that may arise. Primary care is performed and managed by your personal physician, Dr. Poncy or Dr. Lubarsky who are available to you 24/7.
Drs. Lubarsky and Poncy believe in more than just treating you when you are sick. Our preventative medicine doctors want to ensure you are healthy year round by promoting a healthy lifestyle, yearly executive level physical exams, and helping to prevent disease.
At MD 2.0, our concierge physician practice focuses on providing high quality care and individualized attention to each patient. Our model allows us to spend more time with each patient, allowing us to work closely with you on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and complex illnesses.
Board Certified Internist in Jupiter, FLDr. Amir Lubarsky's love of medicine allows him to listen compassionately and intently to his patients in order to provide the best outcomes.
Board Certified Internal Medicine Doctor in Jupiter, FLDr. Morgan Poncy is a board certified internist who was raised in the Jupiter area.
Our concierge primary care doctors in Jupiter often suggest you consume healthy foods and avoid processed and ultra-processed foods. In the real world, of course, we know how difficult that is to do.
The question is, why? Why have ultra-processed foods come to dominate 60 percent of the American diet?
Ultra-processed foods are quick and convenient, for one thing, and for another, there’s no denying that, for the most part, these foods taste good. From frozen dinners, cookies, and cakes, to fast-food burgers and chicken, fried foods, deli meats, and sodas, many of us not only can’t quit them, but we also don’t want to.
And we convince ourselves that processed foods aren’t really all that bad for us. On that last point, we have to disagree. The one thing we know for sure is that processed and ultra-processed foods can trigger numerous health concerns.
What the Studies Say
For example, one study of more than 22,000 adults published this year in the journal BMJ found that subjects who consumed more ultra-processed foods had a 19 percent higher likelihood of early death and a 32 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease than those who ate fewer ultra-processed foods.
Another 2019 study published in BMJ followed more than 100,000 adults in France for five years. They found that those who ate the most processed foods were 23 percent more likely to experience a heart condition or stroke than those who consumed the lowest amounts.
A third study, also published in BMJ, tracked 20,000 Spanish adults over 20 years. Those who ate the most processed foods were 62 percent more likely to die during the study period than those who ate the lowest.
Other studies have linked processed and ultra-processed foods to a higher risk for colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
How are Foods Classified?
Researchers classify foods into roughly three categories:
“Unprocessed or minimally processed” foods include fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, legumes, meats, poultry, fish and seafood, yogurt, white rice and pasta, and natural juices (some classification systems divide these into two categories).
“Processed” foods include cheeses, bread, beer, wine, ham, and bacon.
“Ultra-processed” foods include potato chips, pizza, cookies, chorizo, sausages, mayonnaise, chocolates and candies, and artificially sweetened beverages.
They also created a separate category called “processed ingredients,” which includes salt, sugar, honey, olive oil, butter, and lard.
What’s Wrong with Processing?
The big mystery is why foods that are so convenient and taste so good are so bad for us. The problem seems to come from the processing itself, which changes foods from their natural state.
These tend to be high in poor-quality fats, additional sugar, salt, and chemical preservatives, and low in vitamins and fiber. The common factor can be summed up in the phrase “convenience foods”; that is, foods that are quick and easy to prepare at home or grab at a drive-through.
Some researchers believe that changing foods from their natural state leads to inflammation throughout the body, which puts us at risk for a host of diseases.
“Some of the foods that have been associated with an increased risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease are also associated with excess inflammation,” Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, told Harvard Health Publishing.
“It’s not surprising, since inflammation is an important underlying mechanism for the development of these diseases,” he said.
How to Break the Addiction
Asking you to give up all these delicious foods might seem as if we’re condemning you to a life of bland, tasteless meals. But that’s because Big Food has spent billions of dollars getting you addicted to all its additives.
In addition, these ultra-processed foods leave our bodies so depleted of nutrients that we keep eating more and more to try to make up the shortfall, not unlike Star Trek’s famous tribbles, which “starved to death in a storage compartment full of grain.”
The fact is, humans have been eating non- or minimally processed food for millennia. When your taste buds reacclimate themselves to the real thing, you’ll be surprised how sweet a carrot can be, or how a locally grown tomato is bursting with tangy flavor.
Finally, when you begin eating better, you’ll likely begin sleeping better, looking younger, have more energy, and many of the aches and pains you thought you’d just have to live with may begin to decrease or disappear altogether.
Take it Easy
All this will make you want to keep on this new path, and eventually, you’ll lose your taste for processed and ultra-processed foods. When you’ve been eating lower- or no-salt foods for a while, for example, then dip into a package of potato chips, you’ll think the contents are half potatoes and half salt.
The key is to withdraw from these addictive substances gradually. Substitute french fries for sweet potato chips you’ve baked yourself, for instance, or swap out soda for water occasionally.
Shop the store’s perimeter as much as possible, where they keep the fruits and vegetables and fresh meat and seafood.
If you must visit a fast-food restaurant, opt for salads or baked chicken sandwiches if they offer them.
Finally, don’t agonize over everything you eat. Stress is bad for you, too. Simply prefer fresh food over processed as often as possible.
If you need another excuse to slip on your running shoes and head outdoors, our concierge primary care doctors in Jupiter have a good one for you: Exercise can increase the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines.
That’s according to a large study published last month in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Researchers found that fully vaccinated study participants who logged high levels of physical activity were nearly three times less likely to be admitted to the hospital than those who were vaccinated but had lower levels of physical activity.
Even those with lower levels of physical activity saw a benefit.
This confirms an earlier study conducted last winter, showing that even a single 90-minute session of aerobic exercise could increase antibodies in those who had just been vaccinated.
The New Study
Researchers in Johannesburg, South Africa reviewed anonymous medical records, gym visits, and wearable activity-tracker data for nearly 200,000 fully vaccinated healthcare workers between February and October of 2021. (The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was the only one available to the population at the time.)
Participants were categorized according to their average recorded activity levels over the previous two years. Those with the highest weekly levels of physical activity (150 minutes or more per week) were 86 percent less likely to be admitted to the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 than participants with a low level of physical activity (less than 60 minutes per week).
But even those in the medium and low categories of physical activity saw some benefit, compared to the sedentary group. The medium-level exercisers (60 to 149 minutes per week) were 72 percent less likely to be hospitalized, while with the low-level exercisers (less than 60 minutes per week) the risk of needing hospitalization fell by 60 percent as opposed to those who never exercised.
“The findings suggest a possible dose-response where high levels of physical activity were associated with higher vaccine effectiveness,” the researchers said in a press release.
“This substantiates the [World Health Organization] recommendations for regular physical activity—namely, that 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week have meaningful health benefits in preventing severe disease, in this context against a communicable viral infection,” they wrote.
This large study confirms an earlier one published last February in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, which found that even a single 90-minute session of exercise could boost the immune response in those who had just received the flu or COVID-19 vaccine.
The study also found that 45 minutes of exercise did not increase antibodies, making 90 minutes the preferred target to see results.
“As far as we know, our findings are the first of their kind for evaluating exercise response on the COVID-19 vaccine,” Marian Kohut, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at Iowa lead researcher, told Medical News Today at the time.
“[They are] the first to show that light [to moderate] intensity, long-duration exercise enhances antibody response for the COVID-19 vaccine,” she said.
The Exercise Dividend
Even before vaccines became available, however, numerous studies showed that being physically active substantially lowered the risk of becoming seriously ill or needing hospitalization following infection with the coronavirus.
Robert Sallis, a family, and sports medicine doctor at the Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center in California and former president of the American College of Sports Medicine, led a 2021 study of 48,440 adults before vaccines became available.
This research found that physical inactivity was associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes, including hospitalization rates, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, and death. Those who were engaging in some activity, or regularly meeting physical activity guidelines, were about half as likely to need hospitalization as patients who were mainly inactive.
An earlier review of 16 prior studies involving nearly two million people likewise found that those who were physically active were far less likely to experience adverse outcomes from the virus.
Sallis told The Washington Post that these findings make sense because we know “that immune function improves with regular physical activity,” as do lung health and inflammation levels, which have been proven to protect against the worst effects of COVID-19.
No one is sure of the reasons for these results. One theory suggests that exercise boosts blood and lymph flow, promoting the circulation of immune cells. The researchers involved in the South African study wrote that it “may be a combination of enhanced antibody levels, improved T-cell immunosurveillance, and psychosocial factors.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains that physical activity can improve overall mental and physical health, and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. One 2008 study found that physical inactivity is responsible for more than five million premature deaths every year.
So it makes sense that regular physical activity would confer benefits to our immune system.
And it’s never too late to get moving, even with just a 10-minute walk, according to Jon Patricios, a professor of clinical medicine and health sciences at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg-Braamfontein, who oversaw the new study.
“Doing something mattered, even if people weren’t meeting the full guidelines,” he told The Post.
“It’s an idea we call ‘small steps, strong shield,’ ” he said. “Plus, you don’t need a prescription, and it’s free.”
My husband and I have been patients of Dr. Poncy for over ten years and have been extremely pleased and happy for him. He is not only a brilliant internist, but also a wonderful person. Now that he and his partner, Dr. Lubarsky, have opened the concierge practice it is better than ever. The nursing staff is superlative as is the front office staff. The office is very well appointed and comfortable. We feel very fortunate to have such a competent and caring physician.
About 11 years ago, I first met with Dr. Poncy. I came away from my appointment with him confident he understood my problem and contributed some thoughtful suggestions. Over the years, he has never changed. The outstanding staff Dr. Poncy has put together, along with his partner, Dr. Lubarsky, are the best! I honestly feel, when I have an appointment, it is like visiting "family".
I recommend Dr Lubarsky emphatically. He is a true professional: thorough, compassionate and an excellent diagnostician!
We have been concierge members for only 6 months but so far we have been very pleased. The office atmosphere is very relaxed and the doctor is able to give us the time we need. Time in the waiting room is minimal and we have been able to obtain spur of the moment appointments with no difficulty. We are happy that we joined
The new practice has a very warm, friendly, feeling to it. We don't have long waiting times. Everyone is very prompt.
I have been a patient for over 30 years. I actually look forwarded to a visit. Pleasant, professional in every way, I consider myself very lucky.
A great Dr. & great staff, minimum wait time. Spends as much time with you as you need. Same day appointments.
Dr. Poncy has been my primary care doctor for over 8 years. I've known Dr. Poncy for over 8 years. My neighbor recommended him for my diabetes and heart problem. The staff at Dr. Poncy's office is always very pleasant and Dr. Poncy is very patient to my concerns.
I have been a patient of Dr. Lubarsky since 2004. He has been such a great physician to me and my wife for several years. Recently, I was hospitalized at Jupiter Medical Center. My wife contacted him and he immediately responded and came to the hospital. Without Dr. Lubarsky's support, I don't think I would be at the health level I am at today.
I'm a big fan of Dr. Lubarsky! After moving from New York, I researched area Internist throughout Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens. Dr. Lubarsky was a home run!