Green Salad Is Less than 100 Calories per Pound

From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:

Did you notice that 100 calories of broccoli is about ten ounces of food, and 100 calories of ground sirloin is less than one ounce of food? With green vegetables you can get filled up, even stuffed, yet you will not be consuming excess calories. Animal products, on the other hand, are calorie-dense and relatively low in nutrients, especially the crucial anti-cancer nutrients.

What would happen if you attempted to eat like a mountain gorilla, which eats about 80 percent of its diet from green leaves and about 15 percent from fruit? Assuming you are a female, who needs about 1,500 calories a day, if you attempted to get 1,200 of those calories from greens, you would need to eat over fifteen pounds of greens. That is quite a big salad! Since your stomach can only hold about one liter of food (or a little over a quart), you would have a problem fitting it all in.

You would surely get lots of protein from this gorilla diet. In fact, with just five pounds of greens you would exceed the RDA for protein and would get loads of other important nutrients. The problem with this gorilla diet is that you would develop a calorie deficiency. You would become too thin. Believe it or not, I do not expect you to eat exactly like a gorilla. However, the message to take home is that the more of these healthy green vegetables (both raw and cooked) you eat, the healthier you will be and the thinner you will become.

Now let’s contrast this silly and extreme gorilla example to another silly and extreme way of eating, the American diet.

If you attempt to follow the perverted diet that most Americans eat, or even if you follow the precise recommendations of the USDA’s pyramid—six to eleven servings of bread, rice, and pasta (consumed as 98 percent refined grains by Americans) with four to six servings of dairy, meat, poultry, or fish—you would be eating a diet rich in calories but extremely low in nutrients, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and vitamins. You would be overfed and malnourished, the precise nutritional profile that causes heart disease and cancer.

Coffee and Disease

Healthy Eating is blogging about coffee, cancer, arteriosclerosis, and dehydration. Check it out:
A new study published in the June 2005 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined whether high coffee consumption (>2 cups a day) contributed to arteriosclerosis - the thickening and stiffening of the blood vessels that transport oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body. Following 228 healthy subjects over the course of a year, researchers found that those who drank the most coffee experienced greater hardening of the arteries - and particularly the aorta (the major artery that feeds blood to the rest of the arteries) - than their non-coffee drinking peers.

This is bad news for java junkies as arteriosclerosis can increase blood pressure as well as the risk of heart attack and stroke. Combine this with coffee's effect on homocysteine - raising levels of an amino acid associated with cardiovascular disease - and you've got a brewing health threat, particularly for those with a family history of heart disease.

Finally, as reported in a previous issue of the DNN, men who drink four or more cups of coffee a day dramatically increase their risk of bladder cancer. A Dutch oncologist who examined the link predicted that up to a third of bladder cancers could be prevented by the elimination of coffee consumption.

Cola Cardiovascular Risks

Okay, we can all agree. Soda is unredeemable junk food. There’s nothing nutritious about high fructose corn syrup and bubbles—and it’s about to get worse! According to The Los Angeles Times including soda in your diet can lead to a 48% increased risk of metabolic syndrome. Thomas H. Maugh II reports:
Researchers knew that drinking regular sodas contributed to the risk of metabolic syndrome, but this is the first finding implicating diet sodas, according to results published online in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Assn.

The researchers were uncertain why diet soda seemed to have such a large effect.

The study's lead author, Dr. Ramachandran S. Vasan of the Boston University School of Medicine, said it was unlikely that an ingredient in soda caused the effect. More likely is that consuming sweet sodas changes dietary patterns or that soda was simply a marker for participants' poor eating habits, he said.

Dr. Meir Stampfer of the Harvard School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study, said the findings were not unexpected, although he added, "I'm surprised by the magnitude of the association."
Diet soda is no better; Diet Soda a Farce?

Your Waist, Your Heart

We all know excess bodyweight increases your risk of disease, and clearly, a really big waist probably means you’re sporting extra pounds. Now, new research claims reducing waist size decreases one’s risk of heart disease and diabetes—makes sense, seems like the opposite. Reuters reports:
French researchers found that men and women whose waistlines expanded by 3 inches or more over nine years were at increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome -- a collection of risk factors, including high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels, that raise a person's odds of diabetes and heart disease.

In contrast, women who shed just an inch or more from their midsections had a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome than women whose waistlines stayed the same.

What's more, a slimmed-down middle benefited women who already had metabolic syndrome at the study's outset, the researchers report in the journal Diabetes Care. Compared with women who had metabolic syndrome and an unchanged waistline, those who lost an inch or more were nearly four times more likely to no longer have the syndrome at the study's close.

(via The Cardio-Blog)
Not exactly eye-opening research, but important nonetheless. Dr. Fuhrman often stresses that the one of the keys to long-term health and disease-prevention is maintaining healthy bodyweight. Take heart disease for example; from Reverse Heart Disease Aggressively:
When you normalize your blood pressure and LDL cholesterol with nutritional intervention rather than drugs, you accomplish even greater risk reduction. As your weight drops, your blood sugar, triglycerides, blood pressure, and cholesterol also drop dramatically. Your body is flooded with nutrients that protect your blood vessels from disease and rupture. This approach provides maximal protection and offers benefits beyond merely lowering cholesterol.

The dietary program I recommend for heart-disease reversal utilizes natural cholesterol-lowering therapies instead of drugs, which eliminates the risks of drug side effects. And because my dietary program is richer in fiber and nutrients than the typical vegetarian diet, my patients achieve spectacular reductions in cholesterol, body weight, and blood pressure. Fortunately, this approach also can help those who already have heart disease. They can avoid future heart attacks and reverse and remove atherosclerosis.

Keep on Trucking...Healthier

The Diabetes Blog passes on some new research outlining the health risks for most truck drivers. Look:
According to a new survey of truckers, that lifestyle of long hours sitting on your tushie is catching up with the nation's big rig drivers. Obesity is rampant and so are obesity-related health problems like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Oh, then there's sleep apnea, smoking, and the fact that many drivers admit they don't bother with seatbelts.
Too bad all truck drives can’t look like this:

Pollution Bad for the Heart

Sadly, our world seemingly gets more and more polluted each day. And news like this really puts it into perspective. A new study has determined people who regularly breathe in heavy traffic fumes face increased heart attack risk. Ed Edelson of HealthDay News reports:
"It's not limited to freeways," said lead researcher Barbara Hoffmann, head of the unit of environmental epidemiology at the University of Duisburg-Essen. "We see it in inner-city dwellings on heavily traveled streets as well."

Her team published the findings in the July 17 issue of Circulation.

The damage to the arteries seen in such people is similar to that produced by inhaling secondhand tobacco smoke, "although the effect we see here in this study is even larger than that caused by secondhand smoke," Hoffmann said.

Most of the blood vessel damage is due to high levels of particulate pollutants in vehicle exhaust fumes, Hoffmann speculated, although there might be other contributing factors, such as the constant noise of heavy traffic "which can contribute to high blood pressure."
For more on the dangers of toxins, check out DiseaseProof’s toxins category.

Fat for a Heart Attack

I know, the title sounds like the blueprint for a heart attack, but, according to this report in the Associated Press, being obese might give you a better chance of surviving a heart attack. No, I’m not kidding. There’s even research to back it up. Maria Cheng has more:
Scientists are stumped over why that seems to be the case and pose several theories. There may be physiological differences in the hearts of obese and normal-weight people. Or perhaps it depends on where the fat is on their bodies.

However, experts warn, the results should not be used as an excuse for the overweight to indulge.

"We really don't want people to think that they should put on a bit of weight to have a better chance with their bypass surgery," said Dr. Gerald Fletcher, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Florida and a spokesman for the American Heart Association.
Can you say—JUNK SCIENCE!

Heart Disease: A Young Risk?

So many of us think heart disease is just a middle-aged malady. Not so. In Disease-Proof Your Child, Dr. Fuhrman insists heart disease starts young. Don’t believe it? Here’s an excerpt from the book:
There is considerable evidence that the lipoprotein abnormalities (high LDL and low HDL) that are linked to heart attack deaths in adulthood begin to develop in early childhood and that higher cholesterol levels eventually get “set” by early food habits.1 What we eat during our childhood affects our lifetime cholesterol levels. For many, changing the diet to a plant-based, low-saturated-fat diet in later life does not result in the favorable cholesterol levels that would have been seen if the dietary improvements were started much earlier in life.

As a result of the heart-unfriendly diet, blood vessel damage begins early. Not only does the development of coronary atherosclerosis develop in childhood, but earlier development of atherosclerosis and higher serum cholesterol levels in childhood result in a significantly higher risk of premature sudden death relatively early in life. Sometimes the effects of childhood dietary abuses can be seen relatively early, with premature death or a heart attack at a young age.

When we study people who died young of coronary artery disease, we find that the highest risk of an earlier death occurs in those who were above average weight in childhood.2 Findings from the famous Bogalusa Heart Study show that a high saturated fat intake early in life is strongly predictive of later heart disease burden and the higher blood pressure in childhood and adolescence is powerfully predictive of cardiovascular death in adulthood.3
The Cardio Blog was pretty shocked to find this out too. Check out this post, Heart disease begins earlier than you think:
Pop quiz: at what age do you need to start worrying about heart disease? This is a question that is especially interesting to me, because, at nearly 27, I often think that health problems are a long way off and I can live my life how I please without suffering the consequences.

But I'm wayyyyyy off. Heart disease gets it's start in childhood! Yet because the effects don't become apparent until middle age, people thing that's when it begins. Wrong. Middle age is merely when your bad habits start to show themselves in the form of heart attacks.
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Fasting: A Powerful Means to Reverse Cardiovascular Disease

From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Fasting and Eating for Health:

In addition to aggressive dietary changes as described above, a physician-supervised therapeutic fast can be utilized to bring a patient to a new level of cardiac safety. Fasting, in conjunction with optimal nutrition before and after the fast, offers the ability to undo the damage done to the body by the rich diets of modern societies. Through therapeutic fasting a patient is able to reverse a cardiac condition quickly, without the need for invasive medical procedures. The results I have seen in patients using this approach have been spectacular.

There are some cardiac conditions in which patients are at such risk that it is imperative the blockages in the arteries be quickly diminished. People who have been told they need bypass surgery or angioplasty, as well as those with angina at low workloads, are prime candidates for therapeutic fasting. Fasting allows the body actually to remove the plaque from within blood vessels and to heal itself in the shortest amount of time.

There is always a choice. One can be put to sleep in the operating room, have one’s sternum split and chest pried and stretched open, have a heart-lung machine pump blood while the heart’s action is stopped, and risk death or decline in mental ability—all this for results that will not significantly increase life span. Or one can combine a fast with a healthy plant-based diet that can facilitate recovery and a new lease on life.

I find most patients who choose to get well via aggressive nutritional approaches are angry that their other physicians did not give them this option before they were told they must have bypass or angioplasty. Patients must be given this choice of a very low-fat vegetarian diet and fasting because it is safer, cheaper, less invasive, and more effective at extending the patient’s life. Anything less is selling the patient short.