Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"...to live in the most health promoting way, you do not have to exclude all animal products."

The following is taken directly from the Conclusions chapter of Joel Fuhrman, MD's book Eat For Health, found on pages 167-170.

(This is a questions and answers part of the chapter, as a reader writes:)

Question: Through the four phases of this book, you have been reducing the intake of animal products until they are only consumed two or three times a week. Would a total vegetarian (vegan) diet be better for one's long term health than one that includes these few animal servings per week?

Dr. Fuhrman:

"There is no clear scientific data that indicates a total vegetarian or vegan diet would be more life span promoting than one with two or three servings of animal products per week. The available research on the issue shows there is no clear answer, but a large amount of evidence supports the idea that there is not a large difference among diets that get zero to 15% of their calories from animal products, as long as the diet is otherwise micronutrient rich. (Plant foods have large amounts of micronutrients- animal foods do not). To play it safe and to maximize intake of plant based nutrients, I recommend following a nutritarian (plant based) plan and holding animal products to under 10% of total calories. A diet that falls within this range is healthy and can maximize your health and lifespan.

Keep in mind the overwhelming majority of Americans consume more than 40% of their calories from animal products, and some popular, high protein diets recommend an even higher intake. The world's scientific literature is clear that for maximum health and longevity, this amount of animal consumption must be dropped significantly.

A careful review of the science leads to the inescapable conclusion that animal products must be limited; the exact degree of that limitation is still up for debate.
In my years of practice, I have infrequently encountered some individuals who had higher protein needs than could be easily met with a total plant food diet. This finding was initiated with some complaint thought to be linked to their vegan diet and then confirmed with blood work showing low amino acid levels. When the diet was adjusted to put back a small amount of animal products, the difficulty often resolved. My first step in advising appropriate dietary modifications for these people was to include more plant proteins such as (raw, unsalted, unroasted) sunflower seeds, soybean foods and whole sources of plant fat, so if animal products are still indicated the amount needed would be minimal. Even these rare individuals who showed a need for some animal-based foods in their diet thrived with limiting animal product intake to three small servings a week.

Overall, for all people, varying animal intake between zero and three servings a week is likely to be healthful as long as the other elements of the diet are properly executed (making plants the foundation of your diet).

The longest living population living in the the U.S. is the Californian Seventh Day Adventists. When about 34,000 of them were followed between 1976 and 1988,
it became apparent that those who adopted the Adventist-recommended healthy behaviors, which include veganism, or near vegan diets, lived about 10 years longer than other Californians. A review of 6 studies on long term vegetarians and low meat intake was associated with significant increases in longevity. This data was also corroborated in the massive China-Oxford-Cornell Study. For example, disease rates for heart disease and cancer continued to drop as people went from an average of seven servings of animal products per week to less than two.

The other interesting and important observation on diet and longevity is that the longest-lived populations in the world such as the Hunza in Central Asia, the Vilcabamba in South America, and the Okinawans in Japan all show that these ultra-long-lived people eat a diet that is nutrient rich, with 80 to 95% of calories coming from whole plant foods. A diet rich in vegetables and very low in animal foods is the hallmark of these ultra-long-lived societies.

Overall, studies point to the fact that the intake of whole plant foods must be very high to assure very low rates of cancer and promote maximum lifespan in humans. The advantages gained from a vegetarian diet, particularly for disease reduction, are also because individuals not eating animal products are more likely consuming a greater amount of high-nutrient plant foods. The interaction between nutrient-rich plant food and the low intake of animal products is the key combination for dramatic advances in healthy life expectancy. So the critical issue for disease reduction is not whether one is a pure vegan or not; the issue is the micronutrient quality of the diet in conjunction with a comparatively low intake of animal products. In essence, one must be a nutritarian, which means you are a health-conscious eater whose primary dietary concern is to maximize nutrient density.

The bottom line is that to live in the most health-promoting way, you must eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and beans, with some seeds and nuts, but you do not have to exclude all animal products."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Single Best Way to Lose Weight

This entry is for those who are overweight and sincere about wanting to achieve their ideal body weight.

Here’s your chance for the healthiest and most natural method to lose weight.

Why listen to me? Well, you're really not listening "to me". I'm just the messenger- a reporter. The following information comes directly from the best nutrition experts in the world- medical doctors basing their findings on science. The books that this information comes from are listed at the end of this entry.

Let's get serious.

If you are overweight, you are playing with fire with your life. You are forcing your heart to work harder. Your extra weight is hard on your bones, muscles, and organs. Any extra weight you carry on your body, the more chance to develop disease- cancer, heart disease, diabetes II, and others. With your unhealthy lifestyle you may be shortening your life. If you’re not already, you may need to someday take expensive medication. Keep in mind taking medication for a diet related disease, ie: diabetes II, does not heal the disease; It’s like putting a band-aid on a cut that never heals, not to mention the unhealthy side affects of the pills.

If you are overweight you are dangerously playing with your longevity, risking dying at an earlier age than need be.

If you are overweight your unhealthy lifestyle/unhealthy dietary habits are a poor influence on those around you. Do you have children?

If you are overweight, it is not because you don't exercise enough. Overweight people in wheel chairs who turn to a healthy diet achieve their ideal weight.

If you are overweight, you need to make some lifestyle changes- primarily what you eat and drink.

Nutrisystem, Weightwatchers, Jenny Craig - all the methods of weight loss that are out there- are unsustainable and unhealthy. These flawed methods for weight loss may help you lose weight in the short term, but why go hungry and at the same time put unhealthy foods through your organs? Many people trying these systems do lose weight temporarily, but most go off the program and eventually gain the weight back and then some. Save your money and organs- stay away from these ineffective, unhealthy, profit making programs. Why not give up the yo-yo dieting and adopt a permanent, healthy lifestyle where you don't have to count calories? -one in which you can eat as much healthy food as you want and maintain your ideal weight for the rest of your life?

Here is what you need to do:

Become a nutritarian. Coined by Joel Fuhrman, MD, a nutritarian is a person who strives to eat a diet containing highly nutritious foods. Paramount is for you to learn what food and drink is healthy, and what is not. The healthiest food on the earth is organic plant foods: vegetables, fruit, beans (legumes), seeds and nuts. The healthiest drink on the earth is good, clean water.
Freshly squeezed juice from a juicer is also very healthy.

With a nutritarian lifestyle, there's no need to limit portions. You can eat all the healthy plant foods you want without gaining weight, without ever going hungry. You can eat all the healthy food you want and actually lose weight. That’s right- you'll lose weight!
Try it! It works!

You don’t have to be concerned about portions or calories if you make the foundation of your diet plant foods that are nutrient rich. If the plant foods are cooked, cook them in a healthy way- which means either steamed or boiled in a soup. Use water, not oil to cook your foods. The fat you eat is the fat you wear. Take out/minimize unhealthy fat and oil from your diet and watch the pounds melt away! Look at what you eat now. Read the food labels. If it contains oil/fat, take it out of your diet, or at the least, minimize it. If you can take the majority of foods out of your diet that contain oil/fat you will be amazed at how fast you'll shed pounds.
If you are overweight take it easy on animal fat AND plant fat as well- all cooking oils (olive oil too! -it's just fat!), avocados, nuts, etc., anything with oil/fat.

Healthy Diet + Regular Exercise= Healthy Lifestyle.

You’ll need to supplement your healthy eating with regular exercise. Turn into a walker. Walking is the healthiest exercise there is, for your body, for your mind. Start slowly. Gradually increase the lengths of your walks. It is recommended you walk as briskly as you can 3-5 times a week, 1-2 miles or longer- whatever works for you. Exercise creates endorphins- “feel good” chemicals in your brain. You’ll eventually crave your walks as they make you feel so much better mentally and physically throughout your day, and you’ll sleep better too.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: Read the first chapter of Dr. McDougall’s upcoming book called The Starch Solution- centering your meals around starches: sweet potatoes, potatoes, beans, grains, corn, and rice. You don't need meat!

Here's "The Solution". It's imperative that you read this, in its entirety:


Try thinking of it this way:

Meat and potatoes anyone? We’ve grown up centering our meals around meat. We became conditioned and addicted to food from animals. (There's addictive chemicals in all food from animals.) When meal planning, we first think of what “meat” to have. Then we think of what else to have besides the meat dish. For example, “I think we’ll have roast beef for supper“, then you think add some type of potatoes, etc.
For one who’s grown up with making meat the center of your meals, it’s quite different to think of meal planning in any other way. It was hard for me- at first. Then I read Dr. McDougall’s Starch Solution, and since then it’s been much easier, because I’ve trained my mind to think in a different way. I turned off one switch, and turned on another. Now the logic of centering one’s meals around starches makes perfect, healthy sense to me. I don't need meat!

When meal planning now I first think of what starch to make as the center of my meal- either sweet potatoes, potatoes, beans, grains, corn, or rice, and sometimes I combine more than one. For example beans and rice with a little salsa or guacamole, combined with a good size salad and a steamed vegetable make a wonderfully satisfying meal. You don't need meat! OK, that's the last time I'll say that. (But it's true!)

Effort will need to be put into your new meal planning. Since you’ve taken so many foods out of your diet, at first it may seem like you don‘t have that many foods to choose from- that your diet may seem mundane. Blame this on unhealthy food withdrawal that will go away with time. It is quite the contrary- you will have plenty of healthy foods and recipes to choose from.
Look at it this way: With your new healthy diet regimen, you will be depriving yourself of disease promoting food and drink. Instead you will be giving yourself the gift of health through health promoting food and drink.
With a little creativity and effort you can turn into a healthy meal planner. There are great cookbooks out there. Both Dr. McDougall and Dr. Fuhrman offer them. There is a plethora of dishes and foods to choose from with your new nutritarian lifestyle.

The most important, healthiest part of your meal?
Have a good size salad with as many lunches and suppers as you can, with a minimum of dressing. Raw veggies contain so many more nutrients than cooked- that’s why your salad is the healthiest part of your meal. Combine as many different types of raw vegetables in your salad as you can.
Most salad dressings are unhealthy- full of oil/fat and sugar. Try eating your salads without dressing, or only adding a small amount, or learn to make your own healthier dressings. There's lots of recipes out there. Sometimes my wife Bev and I have a mixture of plain raw veggie sticks instead of a salad i.e. carrot sticks, red or green bell pepper strips, cucumber sticks, cabbage wedges, pieces of cauliflower, broccoli, etc. that we dip in hummus or some other healthy veggie dip.

If you do not like salads, it may be all in your head. You maybe are not used to eating them. Keep giving them a try, in small amounts at first.
If you were on a desert island and all you had to eat were salads, most likely you would come to love them. Getting rid of excess sugar, oil, and salt in your diet will help you to fall in love with salads. As your taste buds recover from being used to the strong tastes of sugar, oil, and salt, you will start to appreciate the wonderful, subtle tastes of what you put in your salads. Raw red bell peppers for example add a great taste. Cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, fruit, nuts, berries, the list goes on and on. After awhile you will crave your salads. Just knowing that plant foods are healthiest for you will feel good mentally when you eat them, as well as physically.

Processed sugar and salt addiction has been compared to major drug addiction, like cocaine and heroin. If you succeed at giving up the majority of sugar and salt in your diet, only then will you know the incredibly wonderful tastes of real, whole, natural food and drink. Fruits, dates, melons, and berries will taste like nature’s candy and provide you with all the “sweet treats” you need.

I offer you a challenge: Try to take as much processed sugar and salt out of your diet that you can- for one month. Sugar and salt are strong tastes which deaden your taste buds. Processed sugar and salt in any form is unhealthy. By taking them out of your diet you’ll be amazed at the difference how healthy foods taste. It’s nearly impossible to not have any sugar and salt. I’m talking about making a concerted effort to not eat junk food- candy, pastries, chips, cookies, ice cream, etc. Don’t add any extra sugar or salt to your food or drink, for one month. Then see how sweet your favorite fruits and vegetables taste. You will be amazed!

After you switch to a plant foods diet you will start to lose weight naturally and start to feel better. You’ll have more energy.
You will be happier!

The milk from a cow:
The milk from a mother cow is intended for its calf, not a person. Goat’s milk, same thing- for a baby goat. Animal milk intended for their young is not healthy for people! Use a non-dairy drink like rice or soy "milk" on your oatmeal or cereal. It'll take a little time to get used to because you've been conditioned to use the milk from a cow. Soon it'll taste just fine.
Instead of adding butter to your foods, use a non-dairy alternative, ie Earth Balance or Nature’s Balance. It tastes great but take it easy on it- it contains oil/fat with lots of calories, but at least it doesn’t come from a cow. Dr. Fuhrman says the two most dangerous dairy foods are cheese and butter because of their high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol.

An egg is intended to hatch a baby bird, not to feed a person. Don’t eat bird’s eggs- they’re not intended for you, not healthy. Others say eggs are healthy because of all the protein. (There's a myth that we need all this protein. If you eat a well rounded plant based diet you get all the protein you need.) Some people eat only the egg whites for this purpose. The excess protein actually taxes your kidneys. There is lots of misinformation out there. Who do you believe? Believe Fuhrman, McDougall, and the countless other nutrition experts who believe: don’t eat eggs. The lobbyists for the million dollar egg industry will keep trying to convince you otherwise.

The healthiest nuts and seeds are those that are eaten raw, unsalted, and unroasted: walnuts, almonds, pecans, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds are among the best. Eat with raisins or other dried fruit- tastes great. For those who need to lose weight, besides taking it easy on nuts and seeds, also take it easy on dried fruits- lots of calories and concentrated sweetener. After you’ve achieved your ideal weight you can start incorporating more of these plant foods that are higher in saturated plant fat back into your diet.

It is advised that for insurance sake nutritarians take a vitamin B supplement. Dr. Fuhrman and Dr. McDougall both advise this.

Food is a drug. If you are overweight, you are addicted to your unhealthy drugs- your food and drink. You must eventually take all or most unhealthy food and drink out of your diet if you are sincere about losing weight the fastest and most healthy way possible. You can do it in stages, or all at once. The more unhealthy food and drink you take out the faster your weight loss.

Healthy eating is not for anyone. It takes a strong willed person.
You must WANT to do it. You CAN do it.
When you start to see yourself losing weight, feeling better, coming off those past unhealthy food and drink addictions, you will be so happy! You will be ecstatic to look in the mirror and see the difference. You will love the smiles and feedback from those who love you.
Keep in mind, this will not happen overnight. Compared to someone who has an alcohol or drug addiction, it will take some time before the old cravings go away. Everywhere you look will be temptations- on TV, at fast food drive-ups, on billboards, the unhealthy food and drink others eat at family get-togethers and parties. You will most likely go through uncomfortable withdrawal from the unhealthy food and drink you’ve grown to love. Again, that will go away with time. Who’s the boss, your mind or your taste buds? Your mind must take control over your taste buds. You can make it happen. You must. If you give it a concerted effort, soon you will be given the opportunity to fall in love with the wonderful tastes of healthy food and drink. "Get addicted" to healthy food and drink! This is your life we are talking about!

Make a nutritarian, starch based diet your lifelong goal.

If you try this healthy lifestyle, and fall off the wagon/go back to unhealthy habits/binge, it happens. It’s happened to me. Sometimes you have to slip back into old, bad habits to be again reminded of better health that’s waiting for you. Pull yourself up, go right back to eating and drinking healthy. A person who’s given up smoking cigarettes can’t stand being around the smell of cigarette smoke. With time, the same will happen to you regarding unhealthy tastes.

Food from plants is definitely the answer to good health. You must stop or wean yourself from eating animal foods, or at the very least minimize the animal foods in your diet. By the way, there is no cholesterol in plant foods- only in food from animals. There is only fiber in plants foods, none in animal foods. In every food from an animal there is a percentage of unhealthy, disease promoting ingredients.

If you do decide to give these ideas a try, not only will you look and feel better, you’ll sleep better knowing you are adding years to your life. You’ll be a wonderful influence to those around you.

Another reason to turn to a healthier lifestyle is your love life.
The healthier the food and drink you put in your body the more
"running on all cylinders”. ;)

Many people, even though armed with the correct information about what is healthy and what is not, still choose to make their same unhealthy food and drink choices. Taste, habit, and addiction win out over the science and logic of eating and drinking healthy. Will you continue to be a conventional, unhealthy eater, like the great majority who are on the road to disease? Or will you try to go against the norm and do what’s best for you?

I’ve laid out the major points for good health that come right from doctors, nutrition experts. Now it’s up to you what you do with this information. There’s a whole new world out there, just waiting for you to embrace it.

*If you need further validation for this healthiest of lifestyles, you can order Dr. Fuhrman’s book set Eat For Health; One book is a nutrition primer, and the other book is a cookbook. Or another choice would be Dr. Fuhrman’s earlier book Eat To Live (which is he revising), at drfuhrman.com.
Another great choice would be any of John McDougall’s wonderful books or DVDs at drmcdougall.com. I will be looking forward to Dr. McDougall's new book The Starch Solution.

Both doctors have such a logical, easy to read way of putting things in layman‘s terms.

In conclusion, each of us makes choices, good and bad. It's your choice what you eat and drink. Diet and lifestyle can be looked at in a spiritual way. I'm not used to talking in religious terms, but it is right for you to be a good steward, to the earth and to yourself. It is right for you to want to be healthy, to take care of your mind and body, and to be a good influence on your family, your children, your friends, your work mates, to everyone you come in contact with.

I wish you good choices and good health.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"If we do something foolish, like drink glassfuls of milk..."

... is part of an exact quote from Dr. John McDougall in this 9 minute video on how dairy and animal foods cause auto immune diseases like diabetes I, colitis, leaky gut, and others.

Dr. McDougall says: "As many as three million Americans may have type 1 diabetes, and each year more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
But there's a pretty straightforward way to avoid it altogether:
Don't consume dairy products or consume animal proteins --
but especially milk, cheese and other milk products.

The same is true for myriad other autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, colitis, lupus and many more."


Scroll down for the video.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Comments from the Editor

I have received many different comments about Food For Thought over the past several months, both positive and negative. From "I agree with everything", to "I agree with almost everything", to "You don't have the right to write about health issues because you are not a doctor".
Of course it's easy to hear the positive comments. It's challenging to hear the negative. The negative comments especially inspire me to never give up, to always have hope that someday people will be turned on to a healthier lifestyle.
Yes, I am not a certified medical doctor. I am a messenger, a reporter.
I report what the best nutrition doctors in the world believe- ideology based on scientific facts and logic.

There will always be naysayers. That's a part of life. Some day these people may discover that the information presented in this blog was correct, and regret not following the advice.
Those who follow the advice have a better chance for a longer, healthier, happier life.

There will always be fine tuning. Even the best nutrition doctors in the world like Fuhrman and McDougall have minor disagreements about philosophy. But they all believe in plants. All the doctors I study believe the key to good health and longevity is a diet based on plants.

My wife Bev and I absolutely love the food we eat. A diet low in processed sugar, salt, and animal foods have made our taste buds sensitive to the wonderful, interesting, sweet tastes of foods that promote health and longevity: vegetables, fruit, beans, seeds and nuts. We hope you give it a try.

Light Bulb

Every time you turn on a light, you are shortening the life of the bulb. Every time you turn off a light you are conserving the life of the bulb.

Think of yourself as a 100 watt light bulb. Think of each watt signifying 1 year of your life.
Think of trying to live to be 100 years old: 100 watts = 100 years.

Every time you do something healthy for yourself the light stays off-
you are extending your life.

Every time you do something unhealthy to yourself the light is turned on- you are shortening your life.

In actuality, a person consuming unhealthy substances is "shortening the life of their bulb".
Many people today are hopelessly addicted to unhealthy food and drink, may possibly become sick from their unhealthy habits, and possibly die a premature death because of them.

Sadly, this can be prevented. If you truly want to achieve good health, you need to first educate yourself as to what is healthy and what is not. That is one of the main purposes of this blog:

Making the foundation of your diet plant based plus getting regular exercise is the best way to conserve your watts, ha!, your life.

If you are truly interested in educating yourself as far as what is healthy and what is not, please review past blog entries, and/or read any books from an assortment of "in the know" doctors, ie Joel Fuhrman MD, drfuhman.com, John McDougall, MD, drmcdougall.com, plus a host of others. One such past blog entry is the first chapter of Dr. McDougall's next book:
This presents a solid foundation for a healthy diet.

Adopt a healthy, starch based (rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, corn, grains), plant based diet, and get regular exercise. Your light will shine longer, and brighter. Your light will be a tremendous influence on others. Let your light shine brothers and sisters! I hope you live 100 watts, I mean years!

People who are Gay

This entry is reissued and revised. One of our local "illustrious" and uninformed legislators- Steve Gottwald, (Paynesville, Minnesota) has sadly proposed a constitutional amendment in the Minnesota legislature to ban gay marriages. I truly believe Mr. Gottwald will find out someday that he made a terrible mistake. He will feel ashamed and embarrassed to find out he contributed to unnecessary hatred and prejudice in our world- that he contributed to human rights taking a step BACKWARD!

It is quite interesting and depressing to find out that ALL Minnesota republicans (only one democrat) voted for this bill. What does this tell us about republicans! -that the great majority of republicans today are old fashioned? -that the majority of republicans today have their heads in the sand regarding this issue?! Mr. Lincoln, our first republican, is turning over in his grave. "...dedicated to the proposition that all men (and women) are created equal."

I used to be in the dark about this. I used to make gay jokes in high school- fag, homo, queer.
It was what I was taught.
Then in college I got to know someone who was gay, and saw the light. I felt ashamed of myself.
But one cannot go back, only forward. Never a failure, always a lesson.

It took awhile before doctors concurred that blood letting didn’t work.
They drained blood out of people thinking the disease would drain out too.
This is the mentality of people at that time- hard to fathom!

It took awhile for doctors to agree that washing hands before surgery was a good practice.
The doctor who discovered this had his career ruined because of all the naysayers.

It took awhile for women to get the right to vote.
There are still countries who do not think of women as equal.
This is a tragedy.

There is still slavery in some countries.
There is still slavery!
There are still people who think they can own other people!

Unfortunately, sometimes it takes awhile for people to change their mindset.

There are some people who take everything the bible says literally.
Do these people realize how long ago the bible was written?
Those times were much different than today. Many beliefs and practices back then would be looked at as backward today, attitudes about gay people being one of them.
There are about 8 homosexual references in the bible. Only a couple of them paint homosexuality in a negative light. I believe these negative references are incorrect and prejudicial. The people who wrote these references simply- MADE A MISTAKE.
Again, think how long ago the bible was written.

There are bad straight people, just like there are bad gay people, just like there are bad white, black, brown, any color of skin people.
The great majority of all people however, are well intentioned, good people, regardless of sexual orientation or skin color, and ALL deserve the same human rights.

Unfortunately many are still uninformed regarding homosexuality.

But it is changing.

The leadership in the church I belong to recently has made some positive changes regarding accepting gay pastors.
There are people who have left our church because of this.
How unfortunate, sad, and misguided. They will find out someday they were misinformed all along and feel ashamed and embarrassed, just like I did when I realized I was misinformed about people who are gay.

There is still prejudice, bigotry, and misinformation.

Here is what I believe/WHAT I WOULD BET MY LIFE ON:

Being gay is not a choice.

The most important thing in any relationship is love.

Homosexuality has nothing, nothing, nothing to do with pedophilia. That is utterly ridiculous!

There are millions of people who are gay- the famous, and infamous. There always have been gay people, there always will be gay people.
Just as long as you are a good person, with good character- a good person is a good person, period.

Gay married people deserve the same misery as straight married people. Ha! Just kidding, just a joke.

Unlike Europe, it sadly will take some time before America overwhelmingly accepts a gay lifestyle. This is tragic, but real.
One has to try to be happy when progress occurs-
even if it’s one person at a time. Could this be you?

(I highly recommend HBO's documentary A Family is a Family is a Family.
It is touching, enlightening, and wonderful.)

Dr. McDougall Making a Difference!


Scroll down to watch the opening statements of Dr. McDougall and Dr. Forrester.