The End of Dieting

Dr Fuhrman on Dr Oz Show Dr. Joel Fuhrman was on the Dr. Oz Show last week talking about his new book The End of Dieting. It is a follow-up to his best selling book Eat to Live.

The focus of his new book is on his Nutritarian lifestyle – eating all you want of the proper foods for good nutrition and health. Like Drs. Esselstyn, Campbell, McDougall and Ornish, he advocates a whole food, plant-based diet full of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and seeds. Like Dr. Ornish’s Spectrum plan, Dr. Fuhrman also allows for a small intake of dairy and lean meat.

On the show, I thought he did a great job describing the problems associated with on and off dieting and also highlighting the differences between his plan and the Paleo, Wheat Belly or Mediterranean diets.

The hook Dr. Fuhrman uses is the concept of eating G-BOMBS:

  • Greens – eat a lot of greens and salads for their nutrients
  • Beans – full of carbohydrates that don’t spike blood sugar
  • Onions – have great anti-cancer properties
  • Mushrooms – good for preventing breast cancer
  • Berries – good for reversing cancer (and they taste great)
  • Seeds – rich in protein and healthy fat

There is a lot of good information on his website, although some areas are members-only. I am also sad to see the line of supplements that he sells. I believe, based on the information from Drs. Cambell, McDougall and others, that if you eat a healthy diet, you don’t need additional supplements.

However, Dr. Fuhrman is another voice advocating eating whole foods and mostly plant-based at a time when the best seller lists are full of books advocating increased meat and dairy consumption. I hope his book will inspire more people to eat healthy and stop the unhealthy diet cycles that can cause damage and increase the risk of chronic diseases.

 

Are Cheeseburgers Really Heart Healthy?

cheeseburger

Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill/PRNewsFoto

The New York Times headline read “Study Questions Fat and Heart Disease Link.” It’s OK to order the cheeseburgers again!!

The article was highlighting new research showing that saturated fat, the kind found in meat and dairy products, is not linked to heart disease. The new research also found that taking supplements like fish oil to raise “good” cholesterol did not have any impact on heart health.

Dr. John McDougall – author of The Starch Solution and a whole food, plant-based diet advocate was quick to respond.

This March 18, 2014 Annals of Internal Medicine article will become a feeding frenzy for the animal-food-industries: a “nugget of proof” that their saturated fat-laden foods can be eaten guiltlessly. Millions of people worldwide, especially those who are looking to hear good news about their bad habits, will die of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity, and if left unchallenged, resulting increases in livestock production will accelerate global warming even faster.

The headlines proved him correct.

Why almost everything you’ve been told about unhealthy foods is wrong – from The Guardian

Another Blow to the “Saturated Fat Is Bad” School of Thought – from Diabetes Health

A different view on saturated fats – a rather subdued headline from meatpoultry.com

More from Dr. McDougall

The main scientific study they used showing the safety of saturated fat, was a study supported by the National Dairy Council. This is the single study used to promote eating animals by the low-carb movement and the animal food industries.

The majority of the studies this research looked at were from the US and Europe. These studies, for the most part, looked at people eating the typical Western diet.

In the nineteen that were based in North America and 42 in Europe, people all ate the same diet (full of saturated fat, ie. Dairy, meat, and eggs) – how could you possibly see any difference in health?

I found this article – reprinted from WebMD – Saturated Fats: Bad, Not So Bad? It included information about the main author of the study, Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, at the Harvard School of Public Health, and the companies he receives fees from – Bunge (agribusiness), Pollock Institute, Quaker Oats (agribusiness), Life Sciences Research Organization, Foodminds (PR), Nutrition Impact  (“helping food & beverage companies develop and communicate aggressive, science-based claims about their products and services”), Amarin (pharmaceutical), Astra Zeneca (pharmaceutical), Winston and Strawn LLP (corporate law firm), and UpToDate (evidence-based clinical decision support resource), and serving on the scientific advisory board for Unilever North America (among other companies, owner of Ben & Jerry’s).

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

With more and more people wanting organic, non-GMO food and “healthier” options for their families, the meat and dairy industries feel threatened. This study was just what they need to continue to push back against the issues with eating the saturated fat in their products.

Let the “feeding frenzy” begin. Me, I’ll stick with what is working for me to keep me healthy and feeling great.

Don’t Frack CA

Dont Frack CA

Great crowd at #dontfrackca rally #sacramento #350 #350bayarea

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Over 4000 people went to Sacramento today to send a message to Governor Jerry Brown and the California legislature – Stop Fracking in CA. They came in buses from as far away as San Diego in the south and Humboldt County in the north.

There were some great speakers, including these two first year students at UC Berkeley whose message was “Don’t Frack Our Future.”

#ca students say don't #frack our #future #dontfrackca

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Halfway through the rally, we encircled the Capitol Building and then returned for more speakers and singing.

Marching to encircle the #ca state Capitol building. #dontfrackca #nofrackingway #dontfrackwithus

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If you are wondering how this is related to food, it has to do with the dual impacts of fracking on water.

In the midst of the worst drought in California history, the fracking industry is using millions of gallons of water as part of the process of fracking. This water is contaminated by the chemicals they use and it has to be buried deep underground, permanently removing this precious resource from other uses.

According to the industry, burying this water won’t impact ground water. However, no one knows for sure if that is true. California has many geologic faults and many believe that the chemicals will seep through cracks and contaminate the ground water used for, among other things, agriculture. California’s Central Valley grows the produce that feeds millions of Americans. When/if the ground water is contaminated, it will be too late to go back.

If you live in CA – write or call the Governor’s office (916-445-2841), call your Senator and Assembly member and ask them to support the Moratorium bill SB 1132, and get involved. Find out more information at Don’t Frack California and Californians Against Fracking.

As one of the signs I saw today said, “We can live without oil, but we can’t live without water.”

Tell #JerryBrown #dontfrackca #sacramento #350 #350marin

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Kale!

Sauteed KaleMy wife and I discovered how much we love kale when we lived in Vermont. We usually have it either steamed or boiled. It tastes so good however it’s cooked.

Recently we went to one of our favorite Bay Area vegan restos – Herbivore – and the served kale with the entree. I asked how it was prepared and the waiter said it was sauteed with a little bit of oil and spices.

I decided to try this with broth instead of the oil. It was great.

Cooking KaleI heated the broth in the pan with a bit of garlic powder and basil, then added the kale when the broth was hot. I sprinkled a bit more broth over the kale and covered it for about 3 minutes (you can do more or less depending on how soft you want the kale).

And voila, a great bowl of delicious, healthy greens. Bon Apetit.

 

Happy Birthday, Dr. Campbell

T Colin CampbellI missed posting this yesterday, Dr. T Colin Campbell, author of The China Study and Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, celebrated his 80th birthday.

Drs Campbell, Esselstyn and McDougallHere’s a picture of him with Drs. Esselstyn (who turned 80 late last year) and McDougall from Dr. McDougall’s weekend retreat last month.

Campbell and Esselstyn are examples of how eating a whole food, plant-based diet keeps you healthy and fit.

If you haven’t read his books, please do. The China Study is the foundation for the work that many of the plant-based food advocates build their research on.

T Colin Campbell quoteHappy Birthday, Dr. Campbell. May you have many more.

eatLocalGrown

eatLocalGrownI found this website last night and wanted to share it with you. The site is eatlocalgrown.com

The founder of the site – Rick D. (I don’t know if that is him in the picture above) – created it to help more people find and eat locally grown food. You can log in and post information and/or ratings of farms, ranches, restaurants, artisans, and farmer’s markets. Or you can input your zip code and find these places to buy food near you.

Rick D. thought he was eating a healthy diet, until he started reading books by Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman and others and watching documentaries about our food system.

The more I learned, the more I felt that I had been lied to. And manipulated. I really thought my family had been eating a healthy diet. I had no clue. We’d go and fill our cart at Costco with food that was ‘supposed’ to be good for us. And then I’d feed it to my kids. It said it was good! Yep, right there on the label, the food told me it was healthy. And like an idiot, I believed it…

So I was pissed off. Very pissed! The more I learned, the worse the situation seemed. And all the while these questions were spinning around in my head- How could these big companies make these health claims on the labels of their food? Did they make a mistake? Or did they really believe that the crap they were packaging is truly healthy? Could they just actually lie and get away with it? Would these companies really put their profits ahead of the health of their customers?

Obviously, he realized the answer to his last question, was Yes.

He started buying food at farmer’s markets and from other local sources. But he also knew more needed to be done.

I want the farms that I buy from, and the thousands of others like them, to thrive. But many of them aren’t. They are working very hard and barely breaking even. Many of the farmers that I speak with tell me that they need to have other jobs to make ends meet. There’s just not enough awareness.

EatLocalgrown is our way of helping to change that. It’s a big job. It will take many people and a lot of time. We are one of many that are fighting this fight. We’re outnumbered, we have less resources, and less time. But we’ll fight because we know we need to. And every day we get a few more on our side. We spread the word and educate each other. Knowledge is power!

Please, check out the site and add information about your local sources of food or rate the places nearby that are already listed. This is a great cause and needs our participation and support to succeed.

Animal Protein and Cancer Linked

Animal Protein and Cancer Linked

Image courtesy of The Onion, see below for details

A new study from the University of Southern California found a link between animal protein and cancer.

In a new study that tracked a large sample of adults for nearly two decades, researchers have found that eating a diet rich in animal proteins during middle age makes you four times more likely to die of cancer than someone with a low-protein diet — a mortality risk factor comparable to smoking.

Not only is excessive protein consumption linked to a dramatic rise in cancer mortality, but middle-aged people who eat lots of proteins from animal sources — including meat, milk and cheese — are also more susceptible to early death in general, revealed the study published today in Cell Metabolism. Protein-lovers were 74 percent more likely to die of any cause within the study period than their more low-protein counterparts. They were also several times more likely to die of diabetes.

The USC research looked at other possible factors, but could not link them to cancer.

Crucially, the researchers found that plant-based proteins, such as those from beans, did not seem to have the same mortality effects as animal proteins. Rates of cancer and death also did not seem to be affected by controlling for carbohydrate or fat consumption, suggesting that animal protein is the main culprit.

This research confirms the findings of other studies published by Drs. T. Colin Campbell, Dean Ornish, Neal Barnard and others. They also found the link between animal protein and cancer. Dr. Campbell’s research found that raising the level of animal protein from 5% to 20% was enough to accelerate cancer cell growth.

The study’s main author, Valter Longo, Edna M. Jones Professor of Biogerontology at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and director of the USC Longevity Institute summarized the findings this way.

“Almost everyone is going to have a cancer cell or pre-cancer cell in them at some point. The question is: Does it progress?” Longo said. “Turns out one of the major factors in determining if it does is protein intake.”

Once again, this confirms the finding of Campbell, Ornish and others who have determined that nutrition, not genes, is the primary factor in cancer prevention and growth.

In other nutrition news, The Onion published a story about another study that “Links Meat, Sugar Consumption To Early Death Among Those Who Choose To Be Happy In Life.”

You can always count on The Onion to tell us the truth – whether we want to hear it or not. Here’s another headline

New Study Finds Nothing That Will Actually Convince You To Change Your Lifestyle So Just Forget It

Luckily, I and millions of others have made changes to our lifestyles to eat a whole food, plant-based diet to improve our health and lower our risk of chronic disease and cancer.

Contrary to The Onion, we’re happy AND healthy.

Yam Chickpea Spinach Curry

Chickpeas with YamsI found this wonderful recipe for Yam Chickpea Spinach Curry on the Forks Over Knives website. The recipe is by Veronica Grace who blogs and cooks at Low Fat Vegan Chef.

It is very easy to make and has some wonderful ingredients that make the kitchen smell great. Here is the recipe. You can get a PDF version on the FOK site.

Yam Chickpea Spinach Curry
Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas (unsalted), drained or 1½ cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 inch of ginger, minced or pressed
  • 1-2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes (fire roasted or regular)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander, ground
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup of yams/sweet potatoes, peeled and diced 2” thick
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach, packed or 1 cup frozen, drained
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala (or to taste)

Instructions:

If using canned chickpeas, rinse before using. If you’re using dried chickpeas, soak in water the night before and pressure-cook with salt for about 10 minutes before using for the recipe.

Sauté onion, garlic and ginger in vegetable broth until translucent, about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add more vegetable broth as necessary, to keep from burning.

Add diced tomatoes and seasonings except for garam masala.

Add chickpeas and stir to combine and cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until tomatoes have broken down, the chickpeas have softened and the flavors meld, stirring occasionally. Add a little more vegetable broth or water as needed if your tomato juice is running low.

In another pot, gently steam the yams just until tender so they retain their shape, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

Add the spinach to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Cook for another minute or two until it’s wilted and heated through.

Add yams and stir to combine. Be careful not to break the yams apart by over mixing. Add some garam masala to taste, as desired.

I served this dish with fresh rice, greens (kale and chard) and whole grain bread.