Stop Hiding, Go Veggie

Now, Dr. Fuhrman’s approach to diet is not necessarily vegan or vegetarian. Heck, just look at me. I’m an Eat to Liver and I eat fish and I know others who eat eggs and chicken. However there are certainly some advantages to going veggie. From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:
The China Project confirmed that there were virtually no heart attacks in populations that consume a lifelong vegetarian diet and almost no heart attacks in populations consuming a diet that is rich in natural plant foods and receives less than 10 percent of its calories from animal foods.


My observation of the worldwide data is supported by studies of American vegetarians and nonvegetarians.1 These studies show that the major risk factors associated with heart disease — smoking, physical inactivity, and animal-product consumption — are avoidable. Every heart attack death is even more of a tragedy because it likely could have been prevented.
Pretty cool—right? Well, the coolness train isn’t about to pull out of the station anytime soon. Get a load of this from AlterNet, “15 Reasons to Stop Hiding from Vegetarianism.” Personally, I could never go total vegetarian—I love sushi too much! But check it out anyway:
1. You'll ward off disease. Vegetarian diets are more healthful than the average American diet, particularly in preventing, treating or reversing heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer. A low-fat vegetarian diet is the single most effective way to stop the progression of coronary artery disease or prevent it entirely. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States. But the mortality rate for cardiovascular disease is lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians, says Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. A vegetarian diet is inherently healthful because vegetarians consume no animal fat and less cholesterol and instead consume more fiber and more antioxidant-rich produce -- another great reason to listen to Mom and eat your veggies!


2. You'll keep your weight down. The standard American diet -- high in saturated fats and processed foods and low in plant-based foods and complex carbohydrates -- is making us fat and killing us slowly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a division of the CDC, the National Center for Health Statistics, 64 percent of adults and 15 percent of children aged 6 to 19 are overweight and are at risk of weight-related ailments including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A study conducted from 1986 to 1992 by Dean Ornish, MD, president and director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, found that overweight people who followed a low-fat, vegetarian diet lost an average of 24 pounds in the first year and kept off that weight 5 years later. They lost the weight without counting calories or carbs and without measuring portions or feeling hungry.
And yes, it’s always cool to find Dr. Fuhrman quoted somewhere.

(via SoulVeggie)
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Biggest Loser Debacle

I don’t watch reality television, so I couldn’t tell you the difference between Big Brother, Survivor, and Amazing Race, but, one show—The Biggest Loser—is making headlines, for all the wrong reasons; not good for weight-loss? Elizabeth Weil of The New York Times reports:
AS if all the thin people on television weren’t bad enough, now dieters must contend with the jealously inspired by contestants on “The Biggest Loser,” the hit NBC reality series. The 18 obese Americans lucky enough to have been picked are sequestered on the show’s campus, work out with a trainer up to five hours a day, vote people off their teams and participate in challenges like who can run faster than a kindergartner…


…Rob Cooper, 39, from Edmonton, Alberta, who dropped to 187 pounds from 475 pounds on his own, said that the show can be counterproductive. According to his logic, if you’re losing two pounds a week and you’re watching “The Biggest Loser,” you probably think your diet is going horribly. If you lose two pounds a week and you’re not watching the show, you probably think your diet is going great…

…The television show “can actually depress a lot of people,” Mr. Cooper said, especially when their steady weight loss cannot compare to the double-digit zingers on the screen. “That’s the opposite of what you want,” he said…

…Most medical professionals say dieters should lose weight slowly. Not only are they more likely to keep it off that way, but shedding more than 10 pounds weekly, as some contestants routinely do, is dangerous.
Maybe I’m ox-minded, but, I don’t turn to television for diet advice. I’ll just stick with my green veggies. They are extra-weight killers. Here’s Dr. Fuhrman:
Green vegetables are so incredibly low in calories and rich in nutrients and fiber that the more you eat of them, the more weight you will lose. One of my secrets of nutritional excellence and superior healing is the one pound-one pound rule. That is, try to eat at least one pound of raw green vegetables a day and one pound of cooked/steamed or frozen green vegetables a day as well. One pound raw and one pound cooked--keep this goal in mind as you design and eat every meal. This may be too ambitious a goal for some of us to reach, but by working toward it, you will ensure the dietary balance and results you want. The more greens you eat, the more weight you will lose. The high volume of greens not only will be your secret to a thin waistline but will simultaneously protect you against life threatening illnesses.
This certainly worked for me. It’s a huge reason why I was able to lose…to be continued, again.

How Do I Change My Eating Habits?

Be realistic and flexible; give your taste buds time to adjust to the new food choices. Changing your behavior is the key to success. Moderation, however, does not mean it’s okay to poison ourselves, abuse our body, and then feel guilty. Moderation means recovering quickly when you have slipped up. Some of us need to plan cheats, once a week or twice a month. Keep to those planned times. A cheat every once in a while is okay if it is moderate, and as long as you go right back to the program immediately and then don’t do it again for at least one week.

Many health authorities and diet advisers recommend only small changes; they are afraid that if the change is too radical, dieters will give the whole thing up and gain nothing. I strongly disagree. My work over the past ten years has shown that those who have jumped in with full effort the first six weeks have been the individuals most likely to stick with the plan and achieve results, month after month. Those who try to get into it gradually are the ones most likely to revert back to their former way of eating. Under the gradual approach, they “yo-yo” back and forth between their old bad behaviors and good ones. Change is hard. Why not do more and glean the results you have always been after quickly and permanently?

Kids Can't Keep the Weight Off

The pursuit of weight loss is a big deal. Millions of dollars and a whole-lot of effort are being expended in order drop a few pounds, and apparently, it’s all in vain. At least as far as kids are concerned. According to the Associated Press, kids just can’t keep the weight off. Here’s more:
A team led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that obese children who lost weight kept it off if they were in a maintenance program, but its effectiveness waned over time.


The research involving 150 overweight 7- to 12-year-olds is one of the first large-scale studies to evaluate the long-term effects of weight-loss maintenance strategies in children.

The study, which appeared in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, also is the first to look at whether heavy kids benefited from being encouraged to play with more physically active peers, cope with teasing, and develop an improved body image.

"We know from the adult field that the biggest challenge is not losing weight — it's keeping it off in the long term," said lead author Denise Wilfley, who heads the weight management program at Washington University.
Now, regarding kids, the answer is clear. It all starts with the parents. Dr. Fuhrman will tell you, you want your kids to eat healthfully and stay fit? It’s all up to you. He talks about it in great detail in his book Disease-Proof Your Child. Take a look:
The number of children who are overweight in the United States has more than doubled during the past decade. Social forces, from the demise of cooking to the rise of fast food, as well as dramatic increases in snack food and soda consumption, have led to the most overweight population of children in human history. Added to this dietary disaster is television, computer, and video technology that entertains our youngsters while they are physically inactive. Unless parents take a proactive role in promoting and assuring adequate nutrition and an active lifestyle, you can be sure the children of American will continue this downward spiral into obesity and ill health. Obese children suffer physically and emotionally throughout childhood and then invariably suffer with adult heart disease, and a higher cancer incidence down the road…


…Parents must be responsible for our health and the health of our children. We parents have a huge responsibility and can help guide and shape our offspring into health and happy adults, or, through abuse, neglect, ignorance, and even convenience, we can damage their future. We know with certainty that the foods we feed our kids during childhood play a large role in dictating their future health…

…It is important to realize that it is never too late to teach your children the importance of eating healthy. As you learn, share enthusiastically with them. Work on improving your diets together. If your child is a teenager, let her read what you are reading. You may want to add that it will help their complexion and body shape. Even teenagers will make beneficial improvements in their diets when presented with compelling reasons. I have lectured to high school assemblies many times and am always impressed by how interested, enthusiastic, and willing to make changes teenagers can be. Research supports this willingness of adolescents to make significant dietary change when presented with accurate compelling information.1
If this seems hard or too much responsibility, consider these tips, they’ll help you out. Here’re Dr. Fuhrman’s secrets to getting your children to eat healthfully:
1. Keep only healthy food in the house. Every person in the household should have the same food choices available.


2. Offer and feed a wholesome diversity of natural foods, vegetables, beans, raw nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit, while giving each child as much latitude as possible to eat what they prefer.

3. Don't attempt to manage your children's caloric intake. They can do that on their own.

4. If you, as parents, do not demonstrate proper respect for your own bodies by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and engaging in other healthful lifestyle practices, don't expect your children to do any better than you, now or in the future.

5. Educate your children about their nutritional needs and the importance of eating healthfully. Start this when they are young and continue to reinforce their learning, as they will be exposed to more toxic food choices as they get older and spend more time out of their home.
Sure, it might be a little hard work and require some thought, but isn’t your children’s health worth it?
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Health's Hard Times

Nicholas Bakalar of The New York Times shows us that economic hard times can actually be healthy times—or at least was the case for Cuba. Take a look:
Using national vital statistics and other sources, the researchers gathered data on energy intake, body weight and physical activity in Cuba from 1980 to 2005. In Cienfuegos, a large city on the southern coast, obesity rates decreased to less than 7 percent in 1995 from more than 14 percent in 1991. As more food became available, obesity increased to about 12 percent again by 2002.


Nationwide, coronary heart disease mortality declined 35 percent from 1997 to 2002. Diabetes mortality was down to less than 10 per 100,000 in 2003 from 19 per 100,000 in 1988. The death rate from all causes declined to 4.7 per thousand in 2002 from 5.9 per thousand in 1982.
I can see it now…The Poverty Diet!