Mango - a sweet treat with anti-cancer potential

Mango is the world’s most widely eaten fresh fruit. Mango originated from India and southeast Asia, but is now grown in the Americas, the Caribbean, Africa, and Australia as well – today, Mexico is the world’s largest mango exporter. Mangoes were introduced in the U.S. in the late 1800s, and some are still grown in California and Florida. Mango is part of a nutrient dense family – its relatives include cashews and pistachios, but unlike its family members, the seed of a mango is inedible.

There are over 50 different varieties of mango, and we see about five of these in the U.S. Color varies – green, yellow, orange, red, or a combination. Although unripe mangoes are usually green, the best test of ripeness is how hard or soft the fruit is. A mango that indents in response to gentle pressure is ripe. Tart, unripe green mangoes are used in several ethnic cuisines, and are sometimes sliced and dipped in salt (but not by nutritarians!). Ripe mangoes, however, are extremely sweet and tasty.1-2 

A great deal of research has been done on the health benefits of high antioxidant fruits – blueberries, goji berries, pomegranates, acai – but the mango has been somewhat ignored by scientists because its antioxidant capacity is not quite as high as these other fruits.  Atulfo mangoes – the smaller, yellow mangoes often sold in Asian supermarkets – have the greatest antioxidant content of the five common varieties found in the U.S. Also, the orange flesh of mangoes is full of beta-carotene and vitamin C.3-4

A new study has revealed that mango, despite its low level of antioxidant activity, may have potent anti-cancer properties. Researchers treated cells derived from several common cancers – colon, breast, leukemia, and prostate – with mango polyphenol extract. Breast and colon cancer cells were most significantly affected – the cell cycle was disrupted and they underwent programmed cell death in response to the mango extract. Normal colon cells, however, remained alive and undamaged. The researchers suggest that gallotannins, the most abundant antioxidant polyphenols contained in mango, were responsible for the anti-cancer effects.5

Fresh mango is delicious all on its own. If you haven’t quite yet figured out how to cut a mango, here’s one way. Another is to slice lengthwise on each side of the pit, score the flesh, and then turn each side inside out. 

Frozen and dried mango can make a great treat too:

Dr Fuhrman’s Fantastic Mango Ice Cream

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish

1/2 cup hemp, almond or soy milk

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 10-ounce bag frozen mango

4 slices dried mango, unsweetened and unsulfured

Instructions:

Soak dried mango in the plant-milk until soft (overnight or one hour in advance). Then blend all ingredients, including the soaking milk, in a Vita-Mix or other high-powered blender until smooth and creamy. Garnish with reserved coconut.

 

References:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mango
  2. http://homecooking.about.com/od/foodhistory/a/mangohistory.htm
  3. Manthey JA et al. Influences of harvest date and location on the levels of beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, total phenols, the in vitro antioxidant capacity, and phenolic profiles of five commercial varieties of mango (Mangifera indica L.). J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Nov 25;57(22):10825-30.
  4. http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1952/2
  5. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111154926.htm

Dr. Fuhrman is building a nutritarian army to fight disease!

Eat to Live - book

(Full Article)

Dr. Fuhrman has helped countless individuals make dramatic health recoveries through his unique high-nutrient dietary approach, and as a result they have saved thousands of dollars on medications.  These dramatic success stories - like Anthony, Charlotte, and many more - that were achieved with natural whole foods are newsworthy and critical to consider in our present crisis of expensive and unaffordable health care.

 The number of these remarkable success stories is too overwhelming for the media to ignore.  Everybody needs to be aware that they can recover their health and avoid drug dependency.  Read this press release and share it with others to help spread the word!

Who wants to join Dr. Fuhrman's nutritarian army?

 

Genetically modified corn causes organ damage?

Genetic modification of corn plants usually involves the addition of a gene that will either make the plant resistant to a herbicide that will be sprayed on it or cause the plant to produce a pesticide that will kill crop-damaging pests. 

Monsanto, an agriculture and biotechnology corporation, sells 90% of the world’s genetically modified (GM) seeds.1 Monsanto lost a court case in Europe and were forced to hand over their data from a 3-month feeding study they had performed on rats using three varieties of their GM corn. 

A group of French researchers following up their similar 2007 study re-examined Monsanto’s data using different statistical analyses. The researchers did find some differences between GM corn fed rats and and controls rats using their chosen analyses – most of these changes implied altered kidney or liver function, which could indicate toxicity. 2

The question is – how relevant are these changes? Do they really translate into toxicity in humans? We can’t really know yet. Even the authors of the study stress that the parameters measured are ‘signs of toxicity’ but not ‘proof of toxicity’. Additional longer studies will need to be done to clarify these findings and determine whether GM corn varieties are safe. 

The deletion or addition of one gene can change the expression of hundreds or even thousands of other genes, making the genetically modified plant quite different from the original. We don’t know for sure if GM corn is dangerous, but based on the physiological changes that took place in this study, it might be dangerous.

Most of the GM corn that is produced in the U.S. is consumed by farmed animals like cattle and pigs, not by humans. But if GM corn is damaging to the health of these animals, how does this affect the humans that eat them? Also some ingredients in processed foods like high fructose corn syrup, cornstarch, and soy products can potentially be from GM sources (if not labeled organic). We can make a conscious decision not to consume GM foods by avoiding meat and processed foods that contain GM corn or soy ingredients. 

 

 

References:

1. Wikipedia: Monsanto http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto

2. de Vendômois JS et al. A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health. 2009; 5(7):706-726

 

Salt update

On January 20th,2010, about a week after NYC Mayor Bloomberg proposed a controversial salt reduction initiative, evidence was presented in the New England Journal of Medicine that salt reduction truly can save lives.

Using mathematical models, the authors were able to make estimates of cardiovascular disease rates based on a population-wide 3 g decrease in salt consumption (1200 mg sodium). 

By their projections, a 3 g salt reduction would result in 60,000 fewer cases of coronary heart disease, 32,000 fewer strokes, and 54,000 fewer heart attacks each year. This is comparable to the cardiovascular benefit from smoking cessation efforts.   These estimates don’t even take into account the beneficial effects on other diseases related to salt excess, like osteoporosis, kidney disease, and stomach cancer.

Health care costs were predicted to decrease by $10 billion to $24 billion, making this type of intervention much more cost-effective than medicating people who have hypertension. With health care reform at the forefront of American politics, this study highlights the value of prevention in bringing down costs. Since about 80% of salt in the diet is already in the food when it is purchased, this intervention must occur at a national policy level rather than a personal responsibility level – hopefully, these data will not be ignored by policymakers.

A 1200 mg decrease in sodium consumption would represent a 34.3% drop in sodium consumption of average Americans, somewhat more ambitious than the 25% reduction proposed by Mayor Bloomberg. But based on the above figures even a 25% reduction is likely to bring cardiovascular benefits.

 

References:

Bibbins-Domingo K et al. Projected Effect of Dietary Salt Reductions on Future Cardiovascular Disease. NEJM. Published at www.nejm.org January 20, 2010 (10.1056/NEJMoa0907355)

Appel LJ and Anderson CAM. Compelling Evidence for Public Health Action to Reduce Salt Intake. Published at www.nejm.org January 20, 2010 (10.1056/NEJMe0910352)

 

Interview with a Nutritarian: Laurie

On January 1st, Laurie, a veteran member of the Member Center of DrFuhrman.com, crossed a milestone of being a nutritarian for five years. She’s still excited to be free from yo-yo dieting and Multiple Sclerosis flare-ups that plagued her life for years. Her enthusiasm for, and commitment to eating for health is evident to all as she inspires and encourages so many on the member center forums. Welcome to Disease Proof, Laurie! 


before and after images of female nutritarian

Tell us about yourself and the events that led up to getting your health back?

For years I was a yo-yo dieter. I would lose and regain the same weight over-and-over again; causing my physical and emotional health to suffer. I could never predict whether my clothes would fit or not.

At age 28 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and life seemed still more precarious and confusing with the constant threat of a MS flare-up. Still, I didn’t look to healthy foods to help with the disease. Dieting for me was all about body size and appearance; plus, no doctor mentioned nutrition to me.

 

What’s happened to your body since you’ve committed to Dr. Fuhrman’s high nutrient diet-style?

I lost my excess weight in 2005, and I’ve stayed at 110 lbs (5’4”) ever since then. There will never be any more yo-yo dieting for me!

I’ve stabilized at this same weight for so long that I've forgotten what it feels like to be changing sizes all the time.  I feel like someone who has always been trim.  I'm so happy with the way I look and feel now.

My "good" cholesterol has increased from 40 to 52, total cholesterol has come down from above 150 to 130, my triglycerides fell from 152 to 47, and my blood pressure is now excellent.

I do have some permanent MS symptoms since I didn't start a healthy diet until my 40’s, but I no longer have flare-ups. I don’t experience the bizarre sensory symptoms (numbness and tingling) that I used to get on a regular basis.  I use an elliptical machine and do strength training on a consistent schedule, and no longer feel like a person with a disease.

My husband, who is also a committed nutritarian, told me during the darkest days of my worst MS flare-ups that he would be with me for the rest of our lives. Neither one of us knew at the time that we would become nutritarians together and lead such joyful lives. Truly, this lifestyle change has been the best thing we have ever done for ourselves, and we are immeasurably grateful to Dr. Fuhrman. He has given both of us the gift of good health.



Laurie, do you have any success tip(s) that you’d like to share with others?

I would recommend Dr. Fuhrman's Member Center to everyone. The recipes are scrumptious, and have enabled me to cheerfully leave behind pizza, ice cream, and other previously irresistible treats. The newsletters and teleconferences are essential, and the social interaction and support is priceless. We treasure the friends we have made on the Member Center of DrFuhrman.com and at Dr. Fuhrman's health getaway vacations.

 

Is there a final thought that you would like to share with anyone who is discouraged or has given up hope?

To anyone who is feeling hopeless I would say, "If I can do it, anyone can!" You cannot imagine how much I loved the taste of the foods that made me fat. It is astonishing how dramatically our tastes in food can change to enable us to truly enjoy eating for health.

 

Congratulations Laurie on such a great accomplishment! Your continual success is an inspiration to many.

NYC cracks down on salt!

First New York City banned trans fat, then required chain restaurants to post calorie counts, then warned about weight gain from sugary sodas, and now it’s taking on salt.

 

Mayor Bloomberg has called for a nation-wide initiative to reduce sodium content of packaged and restaurant food by 25% over the next five years. The program would be voluntary for the food manufacturers and restaurant chains.

Of course, cutting sodium by 50% would be even better, but this is a respectable first step.   A reduction in sodium intake by 50%, according to a recent meta-analysis, is estimated to reduce the rate of stroke by 23% and cardiovascular disease by 17%.1

A similar voluntary salt reduction program has been in action in the U.K. since 2003, and has so far has managed to reduce the average salt consumption consumption from 9.5g (approx. 3,800 mg sodium) to 8.6g (approx. 3,400 mg sodium). This year, the U.K. has set more challenging salt reduction goals for 2012.

Salt is dangerous - I have always warned people about excess salt consumption - here are some facts:

  • The human diet, for millions of years, did not contain any added salt – only the sodium present in natural foods. This equates to less than 1000 mg of sodium per day. 
  • Today, according to the CDC, Americans typically consume 3500 mg of sodium per day.
  • Americans have a 90% lifetime probability of having high blood pressure
  • 80% of sodium in the American diet comes from processed and restaurant foods. As NYC health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said, “Most of the salt we consume is in the food when we buy it.”  The Center for Science in the Public Interest has found several chain restaurant meals that contain over 6,000 mg of sodium!
  • And finally, sea salt is not healthier than table salt – all salt comes from the sea, and it doesn’t matter if it’s pink or gray or white, it’s still about 98% sodium chloride. It’s salt, and it’s dangerous. 

Many people interpret public health policies such as these as the “food police” telling us what we can and cannot eat. I see it as the opposite – progress in consumer freedom. By putting a limit on the amount of salt in foods that can be sold to us, we now have the choice. We, not the corporations that sell food to us, are in control of our salt intake. We are able to purchase packaged food and eat at restaurants without consuming dangerous levels of sodium. For those who prefer to ignore the risks of high sodium intake, no one is outlawing salt shakers.

Even more troubling, others see this as an ‘insignificant’ issue compared to health care reform, the economy, unemployment, etc...

Our health and quality of life are insignificant? Heart disease, stroke, kidney disease – insignificant? I don’t think so. People who die from diseases of nutritional ignorance are not around to worry about the economy.

But won’t cutting salt make the foods bland? First, the program plans to reduce salt gradually so that foods will not appear to be bland. And actually, excess salt deadens the sense of taste - if you cut down your salt intake, your taste buds will adjust over time, becoming more sensitive to salt. By avoiding salty foods, you regain your ability to detect and enjoy the subtle flavors in natural foods.

What do you think about this new push in New York City to improve people’s diets? I think it is great.

 

References:

1. Strazzullo P et al. Salt intake, stroke, and cardiovascular disease: meta-analysis of prospective studies BMJ 2009;339:b4567 ; http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/osteoporosis-sodium-acidbase-balance-and-bone-health.html

2. Tsugane S, Sasazuki S. Diet and the risk of gastric cancer. Gastric Cancer 2007;10(2):75-83

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/business/11salt.html

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/01/11/new.york.salt/index.html

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/as_salt_on_science_t5MDuh3FqtTWpMS5bs282J 

Eggs and poultry with skin double prostate cancer recurrence risk

Approximately 1300 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer were followed for two years to document their dietary patterns and recurrence or progression of their disease. In this study, two specific animal foods were found to be risky - the men that ate the most eggs or poultry with skin were twice as likely to have their disease recur or progress.1

This study makes three important points.

  1. Diet does matter, even after a prostate cancer diagnosis.
  2. There is something in chicken, specifically in the crispy outer portion and skin that is powerfully cancer-inducing. Heterocyclic amines, carcinogenic compounds that are formed when meat is cooked at high temperatures, are a probable culprit. A November 2009 study of 175,000 men showed an increase in prostate cancer risk with consumption of barbequed and grilled meat.2
  3. Consumption of eggs and egg whites is not without risk. Eggs are high in animal protein, which has been linked to cancers. Our populations’ idea that more protein is favorable and that egg (whites) are the perfect food does not hold up to scrutiny. Eggs also could affect prostate cancer due to their high choline content – egg consumption increases the amount of choline in the plasma, and high plasma choline increases prostate cancer risk.3 

Four previous studies implementing a plant-based diet and exercise following prostate cancer diagnosis found a decrease in prostate cancer progression rates.4 

Dietary strategy for prostate health 

 

References:

1. Richman EL et al. Intakes of meat, fish, poultry, and eggs and risk of prostate cancer progression. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Dec 30. [Epub ahead of print]

2. Sinha R et al. Meat and meat-related compounds and risk of prostate cancer in a large prospective cohort study in the United States. Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Nov 1;170(9):1165-77. Epub 2009 Oct 6.

3. http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Meat-not-linked-to-prostate-cancer-recurrence-risk

4. R. W.-L. Ma, K. Chapman. A systematic review of the effect of diet in prostate cancer prevention and treatment. J Hum Nutr Diet, 22, pp. 187–199 

Centenarian, Nutritarian, and bodybuilder Joe Rollino tragically killed in car accident

While taking his daily five-mile walk on Monday, 104 year old Joe Rollino was crossing Bay Ridge Parkway in Brooklyn when he was struck by a minivan. Sadly, he died a few hours later at a local hospital.

In the 1920s, Mr. Rollino was a strongman on Coney Island billed as “The World’s Strongest Man.” He got his start in boxing and bodybuilding at age 10. Mr. Rollino became a vegetarian in his teens and firmly believed in fueling the body with natural, health-promoting foods.

He once lifted 475 lbs. with his teeth, 635 lbs. with one finger, and 3200 lbs. with his back. Even more astounding is that he did all this standing at 5’4” and weighing less than 150 lbs. 

Joe Rollino

Mr. Rollino was not only strong and muscular, he was agile. In the 1920s, he boxed as “Kid Dundee,” often against boxers 50 pounds heavier than he was. He was a World War II veteran, and he swam daily laps in the ocean year-round. He was a classic example of all-around fitness and good nutrition. Joe Rollino, like other fit nutritarians such as Herbert Shelton and Jack LaLanne occasionally corresponded with Dr. Fuhrman on the subject of nutrition. These men provide proof that aging doesn’t have to mean heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and physical fragility.

On his 103rd birthday, Joe Rollino put a quarter between his teeth and bent it with his fingers. He skipped the cake.

Joe Rollino on his 103rd birthday

March 19, 2010 would have been his 105th birthday. Imagine how long he could have lived. 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/nyregion/12ironman.html?ref=nyregion

http://www.thesweetscience.com/boxing-article/5769/joe-rolino-103-still-fit-fiery/

http://weightlifting.org/aobsnews/aobsnews.htm

 

Master Food Addiction or It Will Master You

                     

It’s the beginning of a new year. Many are off the starting blocks of eating for health. However, along the way there’s that nine-letter obstacle to overcome. ADDICTION. 

Addiction is that all-consuming craving that pulls one back into a bad habit. Another way of putting it is being continually “stuck in a rut.” Captured.

If you are caught in the continual cycle of food addiction and emotional eating, to break it, you MUST get radical. 

That means you must pay the price to get free. That means making continual choices every single day of your life, through thick or thin, to never allow the circumstances of life be the excuse to quit and give into unhealthy indulgences.

You must:

  • renew your mind continually by studying Dr. Fuhrman’s books and articles; and listen to his various teleconferences and programs
  • eat those greens whether you like them in the beginning or not
  • go for that walk whether you feel like it or not 
  • post your temptations and struggles and ask for help from others
  • and/or talk with others on the Tuesday night phone chats
  • ask Dr. Fuhrman questions on Ask the Doctor
  • stick to the plan; no matter what; no matter how you feel; no excuses

In other words, you must get radically aggressive. Don’t be a passive by-stander. Roll up your sleeves and get in there and fight. Fight hard. Contend for freedom. 

Know that cravings will subside significantly and then eventually go away as you continue to fill up on the wonderful bounty of nature’s delicious and nourishing foods: pomegranates, kiwis, berries, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, bok choy, roasted peppers and garlic, lentils, nuts and seeds.   In fact, when the addiction goes away, you'll naturally desire foods that promote optimal health.  That's the ultimate beauty of committing to Dr. Fuhrman's high nutrient diet-style!  

donuts and candy                      

You must master the cycle of food addiction and emotional eating or it will master you. 

There are no shortcuts. No magic pills. No easy ways out.

But it is so worth doing what it takes to get free. You will never regret any effort you put forth. The return investment will be the enjoyment of renewed health, vitality, and psychological freedom . . .for the rest of your life! 

Many have conquered the downward spiral of food addiction and emotional eating. YOU can overcome it also.

Rise up and be the conqueror today!

Stick to the plan. No matter what. No matter how you feel. No excuses.

 

Are you mastering food addiction and emotional eating? What practical step(s) do you need to take today to fortify your commitment to freedom and optimal health?

 

image credits: Emily Boller

Bok choy - nutrient dense and delicious!

Bok choy (or pak choi) is a relative of cabbage, scientifically named Brassica chinensis. It is most often associated with Chinese cuisine, and has been grown in China for over six thousand years. Today, bok choy is also grown in Europe, Canada, and the U.S, and is available almost year-round – it is said to be most tasty in the winter months.

Bok choy has crisp, white stalks and dark green leaves, and in Chinese its name means “white vegetable.” There are over twenty different varieties of bok choy – the two most common seen here in the U.S. are the traditional and “baby” or “Shanghai” bok choy – however, if you visit your local Asian market, you may see several more of these varieties.1-2

Bok choy provides abundant amounts of vitamins A, C, and K as well as folate and calcium.3 A recent study detected 28 different polyphenols - antioxidant phytochemicals - in bok choy. Some of these were more concentrated in the leaves, and some in the stems.4 The most abundant polyphenol these scientists found in bok choy was kaempferol, a molecule shown to have anti-cancer properties.5 

Bok choy falls under the category of cruciferous vegetables, a family of especially nutrient-dense vegetables that contain unique anti-cancer compounds. Like all cruciferous vegetables, more cancer-preventive compounds are produced when bok choy is chopped before cooking. 

Bok choy is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world, and it is uniquely beneficial for its calcium availability – bok choy is lower in oxalate, a substance that binds up calcium and prevents it from being absorbed, than most other leafy greens. 54% of the calcium in bok choy can be absorbed by the human body – compare this to 5% in spinach, a high oxalate vegetable, and 32% in milk. We can much more readily absorb calcium from bok choy than from dairy products.

Bok choy can be eaten raw in salads, green smoothies, or vegetable juices, or cooked in stir-fries, soups, or other vegetable dishes. 

 

Braised Bok Choy

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

8 baby bok choy or 3 regular bok choy

1 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce

2 cups coarsely chopped shiitake mushrooms

2 large cloves garlic, chopped, optional

1 tablespoon unhulled sesame seeds, lightly toasted *

Instructions:

Cover bottom of large skillet with 1/2 inch water. Add bok choy (cut baby bok choy in half lengthwise or cut regular bok choy into chunks).

Drizzle with liquid aminos. Cover and cook on high heat until bok choy is tender, about 6 minutes.

Remove bok choy and add mushrooms and garlic to the liquid in the pan.

Simmer liquid until reduced to a glaze. Pour over bok choy. Top with toasted sesame seeds.

*Lightly toast sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat for 3 minutes, shaking pan frequently. 

 

 

References:

1. http://chinesefood.about.com/od/vegetablesrecipes/a/bokchoy.htm

2. http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/?page_id=3002

3. http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2377/2?print=true

4. Harbaum B et al. Identification of flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic acids in pak choi varieties (Brassica campestris L. ssp. chinensis var. communis) by HPLC-ESI-MSn and NMR and their quantification by HPLC-DAD. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Oct 3;55(20):8251-60. Epub 2007 Sep 12.

5. Luo H et al. Kaempferol inhibits angiogenesis and VEGF expression through both HIF dependent and independent pathways in human ovarian cancer cells. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(4):554-63.

 

The Average American Youth: Nutritionally Uneducated, Nutrient Deprived

It is no secret that young people in America eat unhealthy diets.  What most people might not be aware of is just how unhealthy teens are actually eating.  According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a meager 9.5 percent of high school students in the United States eat two or more servings of fruits and three or more servings of vegetables a day, which are the amounts recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  As the fruit and vegetable consumption recommendations given by the USDA are conservative compared to actual ideal requirements as suggested in scientific studies, the number of teens who consume enough nutrients is actually considerably less than 9.5 percent.  Tragically, the majority of high-school and college students don’t eat any fruits and vegetables at all.  It is tragic because such behavior is predictive of the development of serious chronic disease in their adult lives.

Girl eating pizza

While one might think this information is shocking, teenagers themselves are not solely to blame. Most, if not all, high-schools fail to educate teens about the importance of eating healthfully, and the limited information that is given is almost worthless. They cook foods such as pastries and macaroni and cheese in cooking classes and no effort is made to teach the link between diets low in produce and later life cancer and heart disease. Young people are constantly bombarded by advertisements from fast food, soda and snack companies trying to promote their products.  Due to the popularity and high-publicity of many chain restaurants and snacks, eating unhealthy is not just considered normal, but cool.  Junk foods such as soda, candy, chips, white-flour products and processed snack items abound around school campuses and are the most convenient and available food choices.  Seventy-five percent of high schools currently serve lunches that are high in saturated fat and salt and low in nutrients, according to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 

In addition to the paltry supply of fruits and vegetables available on school campuses, students are loading up on soda to fulfill caloric needs. In fact, soda is the food (if you can call it that) that supplies the most calories to the American diet. Most of these calories come from high fructose corn syrup, equivalent to about 10 teaspoons of sugar. The typical soda offers, 150 calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, and is packed with artificial food colors and sulphites.

Soda consumption is linked to osteoporosis, attention deficit disorder (ADD), insomnia, kidney stones, and tooth decay. Worst of all, soda is linked to obesity. In fact, the risk of obesity increases a dramatic 60 percent for each can of soda a person drinks per day. Teenagers and children, whom most soft drinks are marketed toward, are the largest consumers. Currently, teenage boys drink, on average, three or more cans of soda per day, and 10 percent drink seven or more cans each day. The average for teenage girls is two cans per day, and 10 percent drink more than five cans every day.

This year, let’s try to educate our youth.  If nothing is done to improve the eating habits of young people, I fear for my generation. The current climate of nutritional ignorance will lead to a future population of suffering and sickly adults riddled with chronic diseases, If you are trying to get healthier and lose weight, make it a family effort and try to teach your children about the importance of eating healthy and avoiding junk foods too.  Small efforts can result in big changes. It is never too early to make nutritious eating choices.Girls buying vegetables

What do you think?  What strategies should be implemented? What can we do to instill healthy eating values in our junk food world? 

Interview with a Nutritarian: Ronnie

Ronnie is an amazing example of the dramatic results that nutritarian eating can have on the body.  Not only did he lose over 140lbs in one year and get his precarious health restored, but is now completely off $600 a month of medications!  You will be astounded by his remarkable recovery. Welcome to Disease Proof, Ronnie.

formerly obese male with his wife (before and after pics)

Tell us about yourself and the events that led up to getting your health back?

In 2005 I had open heart bypass surgery, and two years later I had three stents put into an artery. Soon after being released from the second hospitalization, I was still experiencing chest pain.  I typed “reverse heart disease” into an on-line search engine and discovered the web site of Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

At that time I weighed over 300 lbs and couldn’t perform even the simplest of tasks without shortness of breath and chest pain. I was getting affairs in order for my impending death, including preparing my wife to take over our business.   

 

How did you feel before committing to nutritarian eating?

I was always hungry and I felt lethargic all the time. My brain seemed to be in a continual cloud of confusion, and every joint in my body ached.

    

What’s happened to your body and how do you feel now?

I committed to Dr. Fuhrman's high nutrient diet-style on July 10, 2008.  During the first seven months I lost 110 lbs.  By July 2009, I had arrived at my ideal weight; a total weight loss of 140 lbs! 

After a couple weeks of nutritarian eating I had renewed energy and hope. I gradually lost all aches and pains, and toxic hunger completely disappeared. Each morning I woke up with vitality for the day.

My chest pains have completely ceased. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides have all been reversed to a healthy range. With Dr. Fuhrman’s careful oversight through Ask the Doctor on the Member Center of DrFuhrman.com, I’ve been able to completely stop all medications. (Medications for blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood thinners and more.) As a result I’ve been able to save over $600.00 a month in out-of-pocket pharmaceutical expenses!    

Now I can:

  •         do heavy weight strength training 4 x week
  •         do interval cardio training
  •         play tennis
  •         ride a bike 

These are all activities I couldn’t even dream of doing two years ago! 

I’m no longer a patient that needs medications; I’m fit, healthy and well!

fit and healthy male

Ronnie, do you have any success tip(s) you’d like to share with others in their journey to health?

I highly recommend joining the Member Center of DrFuhrman.com. I couldn’t have done it without the lifesaving and valuable support from Dr. Fuhrman. He personally answered every question that I had along the way, and his continual guidance and oversight was always reassuring.

Also, don’t just read Dr. Fuhrman’s books, put them into practice!

 

Is there a final thought that you would like to share with anyone who is discouraged or has given up hope?

It’s always the darkest before the dawn. There is life in all of us if we will make the choice to live it! Nutritarian eating works! Don’t live your life always looking in the rearview mirror. Let the past be just that; the past. 

Our journey to optimal health is always in front of our eyes, and we sit at that intersection every new day. Go forward to freedom! Forget past failures and always keep your eyes on the prize of great health and vitality through excellent nutrition. 

 

I asked Ronnie’s wife, Peggy, if she had anything to add. She responded with the following note written directly to Dr. Fuhrman:

Dr. Fuhrman,

I want to add my note of appreciation to you for your hard work and devotion. I now have a new husband! 

Who can ever know how life can change? Over a year ago I was sure that Ronnie would not be with me much longer. Through his own doing, he was a prime candidate for a stroke or heart attack. Now, through his dedication and hard work, and the knowledge that you have given to him, he is not only (hopefully) going to live a long life, but he is living it to its fullest! His commitment to nutritarian eating is an inspiration to all of us.

None of this could have been possible without you.

Peggy 

 

  July 2008 July 2009
weight 300 lbs * 160 lbs
blood pressure

161/110 (on meds) *

115/70 (no meds)
waist 58" 34" *

BMI

41.5 (morbidly obese) 21.7 (healthy)
cholesterol 228 * 132
triglycerides 312 63
LDL 148 75
HDL   44

                                *Ronnie weighed more, but 300 lbs was his scale's limit.

                                * He now wears a size smaller in pants (30) than he did in high school (31)!

                                *300mg of Avapro and 200mg of Toprol for high blood pressure

                                * 20 mg of Lipitor for high cholesterol

                                     

Congratulations Ronnie!

 

image credits: capturedimage.net

Diet high in omega-6 fats increases risk for ulcerative colitis

 

Ulcerative colitis falls under the category of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). It is an autoimmune disease in which excessive inflammation kills cells in the lining of the colon, leaving ulcers behind. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition that commonly causes abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea, and it carries with it an increased risk of colorectal cancer. In some severe cases, the colon must be surgically removed. Clearly, this condition also causes a great deal of emotional trauma.1

Recent studies have identified dietary patterns that may predispose individuals to ulcerative colitis. High intake of fats, refined sugars, and fried potato products were positively associated with ulcerative colitis, and fruit consumption was found to be protective.2

Most recently, omega-6 fatty acids have been investigated. Omega-6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, meaning that we must obtain them from our diet for good health, but the typical American diet contains an excessive amount of omega-6, which can produce a pro-inflammatory environment in the body.

Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fat that is highly concentrated in red meat, cooking oils, and margarines. In the digestive system, linoleic acid is metabolized into arachidonic acid, which incorporates into cell membranes of the colon. When arachidonic acid is broken down further, its products are pro-inflammatory – these products are found in excess in the intestinal cells of patients with ulcerative colitis. For these reasons, scientists believed that excess linoleic acid might be linked to ulcerative colitis risk.

A prospective study of over 200,000 men and women in Europe found that the subjects who consumed the highest levels of omega-6 linoleic acid were 2.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. The researchers also found a negative association between the omega-3 fatty acid DHA and ulcerative colitis – subjects in the highest level of DHA intake decreased their risk by 77%.3

Avoiding excess levels of linoleic acid is simply accomplished by eating a diet that is based on whole plant foods and limits animal products and added fats. A diet of natural whole foods provides us with omega-6 fatty acids in appropriate amounts - not in excess – producing an anti-inflammatory environment.

For those who already have ulcerative colitis, it is important to know that the condition can be improved and sometimes completely resolved with dietary changes – conventional treatment of IBD often includes immunosuppressive drugs with dangerous side effects. Specific dietary recommendations for sufferers of IBD are outlined in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease newsletter

References:

1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ulcerativecolitis.html#cat59

2. Shah S. Dietary Factors in the Modulation of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Activity. MedGenMed 2007; 9(1):60

3. Tjonneland A et al. Linoleic acid, a dietary n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid, and the aetiology of ulcerative colitis: a nested case-control study within a European prospective cohort study. IBD in EPIC Study Investigators. Gut. 2009 Dec;58(12):1606-11. Epub 2009 Jul 23.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5B15S720091202

 

Stephanie's Two Month Progress Update

Stephanie began the journey to get her health back by following Dr. Fuhrman’s high nutrient diet-style on November 1, 2009. Now, two months later she is down twenty-seven pounds, has lost 6 inches off her waist, and is continuing to have more energy and stamina. If you are new to Disease Proof, click on the following links to read previous posts: Introducing Stephanie and Stephanie’s One Month Progress Update.

weight loss progression pictures of obese female

Stephanie, how do you feel now after two months of nutritarian eating?

I feel completely different as my energy and stamina are increasing everyday. I am also gaining confidence; therefore making it easier for me to be in public.

 

Have your cravings for eating between meals subsided?

YES!  Because I’ve learned to recognize true hunger, I know when I really need to eat and when I can hold off a while longer. Plus I’m now able to smell aromas that I've never smelled before!

 

How has the Member Center of DrFuhrman.com helped you?

The Member Center has been invaluable to me!  I make it a priority to be on the Member Center at least once a day to post my struggles and victories, and to encourage others.  I feel totally at ease there because I know the members are people who have experienced the same things I am going through. They have showered me with their friendship, encouragement, affirmation, and accountability; and given me hope for where I can end up! Plus, it’s been so encouraging to ask Dr. Fuhrman questions anytime, and he answers each one personally.  His straightforward answers have been so helpful to me. I appreciate his honesty and how he has helped me put my priorities in their right place. Hands down, I wouldn’t have made it through the past two months without the Member Center of DrFuhrman.com!

portrait of obese female

Have your children noticed a difference in you?

My 7-year-old said, “You look amazing! You are nicer and don’t yell as much.”

My 9-year-old said, “Your clothes are getting too big for you and things are fitting differently.” 

My 4-year-old said, “Your tummy isn’t as fat and your legs are getting ‘phinner.’ You are acting more better with us. I want to eat this way because it is ‘helffy!’”

My 7-year-old daughter, who is overweight, told me that she wants to copy everything that I do. All of my children are getting involved in planning meals, shopping and cooking with me. They are all super excited because we were given a gift to purchase a Vita Mix, and they can hardly contain themselves!

 

Do you have any success tip(s) that have helped you make it through the many temptations of the standard American diet; especially the last month of being inundated with holiday gatherings?

It has helped me to remember that much of the stuff I "think" I want to eat is really, really bad for me; and if I eat it, I’ll most likely end up back in the same place where I started. I NEVER want to be there again in my life.  I have also posted on the Member Center whenever I've had urges or cravings to eat unhealthy food (instead of eating it.) I’ve established this habit and it has been a tremendous tool to help me succeed.

 

  November 1 January 1
Weight 398 lbs 371 lbs
Waist 58" 52"
BP 140/100 138/84

 

Way to go Stephanie ~ keep up the great work! 

Jana cooks (and blogs) her way through Eat for Health!

Dr. Fuhrman’s most recent book, Eat for Health, includes 128 recipes, and Jana Diedrich is determined to cook each and every one over the course of 28 days!

She is documenting her journey on a blog with photos and commentary on each recipe.

 Eat for Health book

Jana embarked on this journey through nutritarian eating to improve her own health and the health of her husband.  Jana was inspired by the movie Julie and Julia, in which blogger Julie sets out to cook every single recipe in Julia Child’s first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  One big difference though – Jana will be blogging about healthy food!

 

Jana was ready to get healthy, and she was looking for a challenge.

 

Here is how she begins, on Day 0…

 

The Book:
Eat for Health Book 2--first edition, 2008. Author, Dr. Joel Fuhrman M.D. The book that helped us to shed millions of pounds, helped cure diseases, relieved depression, saved untold thousands of lives.

The Contender:
Jana Diedrich. Artist by day (and by night), floundering but hopeful food addict. 44 years old, no children, 1 husband, 3 dogs and looking for a challenge. Risking her marriage (no Julia Child cuisine for him), she has signed herself up for an inspirational and enlightening assignment, hoping to re-direct and commit to this way of life.

28 days, over 128 recipes. One woman and a "pretty ok" kitchen.

The Goals:
1. To help my husband with his severe stomach issues: Gastro Esophageal Reflect Disease a.k.a. GERD and Acid Reflux, and Collagenous colitis. To help him lower his out of control cholesterol, and to help him lose 25 pounds.
2. The Standard American Diet (SAD) just makes me feel depressed and joyless. I want to feel light and happy all of the time! My other goal--to rid myself of my sleep apnea.

How far will it go? Tune in each day for the next 28 days and see... This project starts now!!

 

You can follow Jana’s culinary adventures at http://janadrjoel.blogspot.com/

 

Good luck Jana!