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Los Angeles Chef With a Diabetes Diagnosis Changes up the Menu and Changes His Life

Blue Shield of California member gets cooking to get his diabetes under control with Virta Health.
Marco Trujillo Virta Photo 1
Marco Trujillo

Marco A. Trujillo, a chef from Mexico with a master’s degree in Culinary Arts, shares his knowledge and passion for cooking authentic Mexican food with fellow Angelinos. Recently, Trujillo changed his menu -- and changed his life -- after enrolling in Virta Health.

At 51 years old, Trujillo, whose family has a history of diabetes, was severely overweight and diagnosed nearly two decades ago with type 2 diabetes and an A1C level of 8%. A1C measures average blood sugar levels over three months, and an A1C level below 5.7% is considered normal.

Although he was under the care of his primary physician, his condition never improved and required him to take multiple medications and insulin for almost 20 years. 

In 2021, Trujillo contracted COVID-19, and his diabetes worsened dramatically, with his A1C level rocketing to 11%. Fortunately, he had just joined Virta Health through Blue Shield of California’s Wellvolution program. Virta’s innovations in technology and nutrition science are changing diabetes care delivery and empowering patients on their journey to success.

Virta physicians immediately evaluated Trujillo’s medications and made significant adjustments, eliminating several medications and keeping just one. Along with the Virta nutrition coaches and tools, Virta's science-based approach to nutrition has made all the difference. "I now understand the role of food as medicine, and the Virta coaches provided education and support to help me stick with my goals.”

Trujillo credits Wellvolution and Virta for inspiring him to prepare food that’s not only healthier but also more creative: "I embraced the “food as medicine” approach because it encouraged me to become more curious and exploratory with food. This was a complex task as a Latino because food serves as a huge bond among family and friends that connects with our roots.”

Trujillo’s creative approach to his new diet stays true to those roots while adapting popular dishes such as mole, tamales, and tacos and making them with healthier ingredients and fewer carbohydrates.

With help from Virta Health’s diabetes reversal program, Trujillo has lost 38 pounds, eliminated insulin—and now takes just one medication—and his A1C is 5.5%, safely in the normal range.

“I feel better than I have in years, and Virta was instrumental in helping me better understand the challenges I was facing with the chemical changes in my body,” he said. “As a chef, I know how to cook all kinds of food, but Virta’s science-based approach improved the way I think about cooking and eating food, especially carbohydrates."

Trujillo says he is still pursuing his goal of losing ten more pounds, and he is confident he will achieve that goal by having the support he needs from Wellvolution and Virta to continue to lead a healthy lifestyle.

For more information visit: Blue Shield of California | Virta Health.