Superfoods

 

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Summer is coming. I can tell and it’s not the weather, it is the arrival of superfoods. Not that they ever went away, but as the weather heats up so does the hype. Every magazine, every second news story, blah, blah, blah, is the new superfood…

First, you can’t live on one food – that would really be a superfood – and second, trying to make up for a multitude of sins by suddenly consuming any one superfood isn’t going to make miracles happen. 

Over and over again the research proves that there is one super diet. A plant based, whole foods diet. It is not that one diet will prevent heart disease and another type 2 diabetes and another Alzheimer’s and cancer.

It is just one diet.

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There are many studies and many personal stories. But if you want the real proof, follow the money. Corporations and health care companies are promoting a plant based whole foods diet to their clients, because it will save them lots of money on health care costs.

Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed care plan providers in the US tells their doctors “Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease or obesity.”

The Complete Health Improvement Program  (CHIP) in Canada showed “rapid and meaningful reductions in chronic disease risk factors” with a plant based eating pattern.

A study at 10 corporate settings the US insurance company GEICO showed “An 18-week dietary intervention using a low-fat plant-based diet in a corporate setting improves body weight, plasma lipids, and, in individuals with diabetes, glycemic control.”

A study from the Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health at Loma Linda University in California concluded  “vegetarians have consistently shown to have lower risks for cardiometabolic outcomes and some cancers”

Dr. Dean Ornish, showed a regression of coronary atherosclerosis with intensive lifestyle changes. In fact they found “the primary determinant of change in percent diameter stenosis in the experimental group was neither age nor disease severity but adherence to the recommended changes in diet and lifestyle” His program is covered by Medicare in the United States.

Dr Caldwell Esselstyn Jr at the Cleveland Clinic showed that 99% of 198 people with cardiovascular disease on a plant based diet avoided another major cardiac event.

And finally, this week a study by the doctor’s at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona that evaluated dietary advice for doctors has concluded that “physicians should advise patients to limit animal products when possible and consume more plants than meat.”  In the 1.5 million people studied all cause mortality is highest for those that consume meat.

It is not just that people eating a plant based, whole foods diet live longer, they cost less in health care dollars. They spend less time in hospital, take fewer medications and weigh less. 

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Every time you choose to eat a whole foods, plant based meal you are contributing to your good health. Lifestyle medicine, is a new way of looking at healthcare. The  focus is on preventing and treating the cause of disease, not simply treating the risk factors. Lifestyle medicine practitioners are asking that patients receive all the options about managing their conditions, including dietary changes. However, preventative medicine is bad for some businesses. It could eliminate the need for medications and surgery. Ask your doctor if prevention is right for you.

Change your mind, change your health,

Shayla

 


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