Andrew Oswari, MD, MHP, who used ketogenic diet to reverse his own diabetes and now uses it to treat patients, becomes one of first to receive MHP accreditation
Last month, Dr. Andrew Oswari became one of the very first practitioners to receive the Metabolic Health Practitioner (MHP) accreditation from the new nonprofit, the Society of Metabolic Health Practitioners (SMHP). The accreditation certifies a practitioner has met the SMHP standards of understanding competence in the practice of dietary and lifestyle interventions that address metabolic health.
The professional distinction was a significant milestone in the career of this family medicine doctor practicing integrative medicine, who just over two years ago was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and was not yet aware of the potential benefits of therapeutic carbohydrate restriction.
In January of 2019, Andrew found out he had a hemoglobin A1C reading of 7.4, news that left him devastated.
“How could this be?” Andrew wrote in an essay he submitted along with application for the SMHP accreditation. “I actually taught medical students about the dangers of diabetes, how to prevent it, and how to treat it.”
But despite his years of medical training, Andrew had not received adequate nutrition training, and he didn’t know where to turn.
“I had always struggled with my weight, but was mostly vegetarian,” Andrew wrote. “At the time of my diagnosis, I had been working out three or four times a week on the treadmill and lifting weights. Here I was, diabetic. I had already come to the realization that if it’s not working for me, how am I supposed to tell anybody else what to eat, or how to eat. I was stressing vegetables, and then it dawned on me, man, I got sick on that and it didn’t work for me.”
Andrew recalls around that time having a patient who had been losing a significant amount of weight over a several months. He asked her what she was doing to lose the weight, and she told him she was following a ketogenic diet. He didn’t think much of it at first, but finally decided to look into the low-carb lifestyle.
He started following a ketogenic diet on February 13, 2019 and he never looked back.
“Just two weeks later, I realized that my daily headaches, chronic knee pain, irritable bowel syndrome, extreme irritability, and brain fog had disappeared.” Andrew also lost more than 60 pounds and, more importantly, he reversed his diabetes.
He started reading books about keto and low carb, and found the LowCarbUSA® website, where he discovered the organization’s extensive certification training provided by the Nutrition Network (NN). Andrew went through all the training, and began to integrate what he learned into his practice at the Chung Institute of Integrative Medicine in New Jersey.
When the SMHP launched in December 2020, Andrew had already fulfilled all of the training courses needed for the MHP accreditation and became one of the first to receive the distinction, which can now be displayed after his MD credential.
The SMHP has established several pathways leading to SMHP accreditation as a MHP, all with the right to display the credentials MHP. Accreditation certifies that the practitioner has met the SMHP standards adopted by SMHP for diet and lifestyle practices that address metabolic health.
“My love for medicine has reached new levels since this new revelation,” said Andrew, who now regularly sees remarkable transformations in his patients. “Nutrition was the missing link. It’s brought the joy back into my profession. This is my passion now.”
It is Andrew’s hope that the formation of the SMHP will lead to an environment in the medical system where practitioners no longer have to literally stumble upon a solution to metabolic disease, and that metabolic health training will become something all practitioners receive.
“I believe every clinician has the patient’s best interest at heart, but I also believe the system is broken,” Andrew said. “In a sense, doctors are just practicing to survive without the time to look into these things. I still remember when Atkins came out, I thought, how could Atkins be right? I’d been taught my entire career that fats are bad for you.”
Andrew believes that by joining the SMHP, practitioners can make a real difference in their own careers, while helping the entire profession as it works to find solutions to the epidemic of metabolic disease and obesity.
“I think every practitioner who believes in the importance of nutrition has to join the SMHP,” he said. “We need to have a united front, we need to have a big group, one that speaks the same language, and one that is able to push the narrative to make changes in this country.”
One of the most important shifts he’d like to see is for practitioners to be rewarded for actually helping their patients become well, rather than simply masking symptoms with prescriptions.
“I think clinically, things would improve if we would be reimbursed by health outcomes, rather than prescribing drugs,” he said. “Being rewarded for prescribing a drug for something that can be changed nutritionally is a sin. It’s a crime.”
He believes that organizations like the SMHP will have to work to effect change at the top, if we’re ever to gain ground against the lobbyists, food companies, pharmaceutical companies, and other special interests.
“If we don’t change things from the top, it’s never going to change,” he said. “And change is needed in everything, from the economics of food, to the farmers, to the poor. I mean, everything comes from top. And it’s broken.”
Andrew said the SMHP’s Clinical Guidelines are an extremely important and valuable tool for clinicians looking for ways to treat metabolic disease using carbohydrate restriction. The guidelines provide clinicians with a general protocol for implementing therapeutic carbohydrate restriction as a dietary intervention in hospitals or clinics.
As one of the first to receive his MHP credential, Andrew has already claimed his listing in the SMHP directory, which says “Dr. Oswari feels it is an honor and a privilege to be a physician and takes his responsibility very seriously. His goal is to ‘make man whole’ by not only treating the patient’s physical ailments, but also by treating their emotional and spiritual states.”
Practitioners interested in being listed in the SMHP directory should visit the signup page.
The basic listing is free, but practitioners are encouraged to become members, and ultimately pursue SMHP Accreditation.
Those interested in gaining all the benefits of membership can learn more and join the SMHP here. Use code ‘Incubator’ to save $300 on your first year’s membership. – Learn more and register today!
Andrew was also recently featured in Episode 67 of the LowCarbUSA® Podcast.