A Cup of Coffee – Journey to Health Part V

Welcome back! Linda Tate is on medical leave and we are joined by a familiar face, Dr. Charles Ross (DO – Osteopathic Doctor) to guest blog for us until she can return. Please join us in welcoming him…

Journey To Health

Who Might Be Interested in traveling to a new place for their health?   Why Choose a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet?

Dr. Charles Ross

It has been estimated that 80% of the population with the following chronic disease issues might benefit from transitioning to whole food plant-based lifestyle.

1. Individual health

Variety and taste thrills ( currently drowned out by fat, sugar, and oil)  Whole Food Plant-Based Lifestyle (as Dr. Klaper suggests) is a joyful way of eating; colorful…multiple flavors…soups, salads, stir-fries, beans and lentils, potatoes, corn, peas, fruit as dessert at every meal, nuts and seeds, and whole grains…oatmeal, bulgur, rice, pasta, numerous plant milks. No calorie counting, no portion control..just eating good food. Benefits…bodyweight returns toward ideal, blood pressure lowers, cholesterol levels drop, chronic pain lessens, and feeling great.      The first month or so….food may not be so inviting (watch  “The Pleasure Trap: Douglas Lisle at TEDxFremont” on YouTube)

2. Our foods have changed over the last 100 years.  In our modern convenience world, we have processed away our health.  In 1900 the average American ate 5 pounds of sugar/year…..now the average is 77-100 pounds of sugar/year.    Cheese was 2 pounds/year…now is 30 pounds/year.   Oils and fats were 4 pounds/year, now 74 pounds/year.    Fiber has decreased from 60-100grams/day to 14 grams/day

3. Longevity and overall improved health  (Read the Blue Zones by Dan Buettner and discover the longest-lived and healthiest people on the planet.   Also, check out Greger’s video “From Dairy to Berries” to see the reduction in cardiovascular mortality in another population.)

4. Cardiovascular Diseases Only two studies in the world literature that document the reversal of heart disease in the world literature….Ornish and Esselstyn—both studies employed a whole food plant-based diet.  No other diet has ever been shown to reverse heart disease.

Microbiome—-“Carnitine, choline, cancer, and cholesterol the TMAO connection”  by Dr. Greger.     The bacteria you populate your colon with will determine the chemicals that are produced.   Those who eat totally plant-based diets do not produce TMAO: a chemical that encourages atherosclerosis to develop. 

Hypertension reduction—reducing salt intake to 1500mg per day results in decreased blood pressure.  Often processed foods have high quantities of salt.  (check out the video, “How Not To Die From Heart Disease” on Dr. Greger’s site)

All processed meats have been identified as Class 1 carcinogens by the World Health Organization.  If you have stopped smoking or choose not to smoke because of the cancer risk, you likely would want to avoid cancer promoting processed       foods.

5. Cancer Fiber and cancer risk reduction—colon cancer risk reduced by 10% for every 10 grams of fiber added to one’s diet. This is due to the increased transit time that toxins stay in contact with the bowel wall. Fiber speeds the transit time of food through the bowel.   Breast cancer is also reduced by a lesser percentage…but still reduced.  This is due to the excess estrogen in the body being wheelbarrowed out reducing the continuing hormonal stimulation of the breast tissue.

Dean Ornish MD study (Intensive Lifestyle Changes May Affect The Progression Of Prostate Cancer)  Patients with early prostate cancers reduced their PSA score in this study.

IGF-1—This hormone is found in all animal products and in the largest amounts in dairy products.   This is a growth hormone….insulin-like growth factor-1.  It encourages growth.  So would you really want to eat this hormone and potentially encourage the growth of cancer that is developing in your body?

TMAO and cancer (check out the video, “Carnitine, choline, cancer, and cholesterol the TMAO connection” on Dr. Greger’s site).

All processed meats have been identified as Class 1 carcinogens by the World Health Organization.  If you have stopped smoking or choose not to smoke because of the cancer risk, you likely would want to avoid cancer-promoting processed foods.

(check out the video “How Not to Die From Cancer” on Dr. Greger’s site)

6. Reversal of diabetes Weight reduction has been demonstrated to improve and even reverse diabetes.   The low-calorie density of a whole food plant-based diet has led to significant improvement and even reversal of diabetes mellitus type 2 and has led to a reduction of insulin dosage in type 1.  Butyrate is a chemical produced in the microbiome when enough fiber is ingested.   This butyrate ultimately turns off our body signals to keep eating.

A cultural myth is that carbohydrates cause diabetes.   It is the fat accumulating in our cells that leads to insulin resistance and the rise in blood sugar is due not only to processed carbohydrates but due to the fat-blocking insulin action.   So stop blaming all carbs for diabetic woes.  Instead, focus on reducing total fat intake to 10-15% of total calories for the day….and watch how quickly blood sugars come into control.  (check out the video, “How Not To Die From Diabetes” on Dr. Greger’s site)

7. Obesity Eat more to weigh less.   This is the mantra of the whole food plant-based diet.  And it works!  Low-calorie density foods fill you up with many fewer calories.   Add 14 grams of fiber to your diet and you will be just as satisfied eating 10% fewer calories.  The one group that has ideal body weight is the vegan group.   But avoid becoming a junk food vegan….stick with the whole foods as grown in nature and avoid the processed ones.   (check out the video, “Thousands of Vegans Studied” on Dr. Greger’s site)

8. Inflammation and arthritis and autoimmune disorders Decreasing inflammation has often led to less pain and improvement in symptoms  (check out the video, “How To Counter   The Inflammation of Aging” on Dr. Greger’s site)

9. Mental health and mood 90% of the serotonin in your body is produced in your microbiome.  Your microbiome feeds on fiber.  If you do not get enough fiber from natural sources, you place yourself at risk for a reduction in serotonin.  Perhaps that is why so many people in the US are now taking serotonin reuptake inhibitors.  (check out the video, “Plant-Based Diet and Mood” on Dr. Greger’s site)

10.  Gastrointestinal disorders Many GI problems clear with increased fiber/avoiding lactose….Constipation/reflux/irritable bowel. Fiber intake can prevent diverticulosis and without diverticulosis, one is not likely to develop diverticulitis.  I call it fiber magic!  (check out the video, “What To Do If You Suspect Gluten Problems” on Dr. Greger’s site).

11.  Respiratory health—COPD and Asthma improved with more fruits and veggies  (check out the videos, “Treating COPD with Diet” and “Treating Asthma With Fruits and Vegetables” on Dr. Greger’s site)

12.  Dermatology—Decreasing inflammation has led to acne and psoriasis improvement/clearing  (check out the videos, “The Best Food For Acne” and “Which Spices Fight Inflammation” on Dr. Greger’s site).

13.  Renal— improved glomerular filtration rate (GFR) with deleting animal protein.  I have seen several people improve renal function from stage 3 kidney disease to normal kidney function.  Also, less renal stone formation.  (check out the video,       “How Not To Die From Kidney Disease” on Dr. Greger’s site)

14.  Neurological— Stokes have the same risk factors as cardiovascular disease.   So less heart attack risk leads to less stroke risk.  Swank’s study demonstrated stopping the progression of multiple sclerosis.  Parkinson’s disease progression may be slowed.  (check out the video, “Treating Multiple Sclerosis with the Swank MS diet” on Dr. Greger’s site)

If you are not convinced that the benefits to your health would be sufficient for you to take on this journey, perhaps you could focus your attention on the benefits for the health of the planet….but that is another blog……

Best of health and Happy Travels.

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