Interview with Martin Oswald

Chef Martin OswaldLast weekend the first Nutritarian Food Festival was held in beautiful Aspen, Colorado.  It was organized and co-chaired by renowned chef, Martin Oswald, who owns the Pyramid Bistro on Main Street; the first, fully nutritarian restaurant in America.  Dr. Fuhrman said the cook-off contest between the top chefs in town, making their best nutritarian dishes, was a blast! The entire event was a great success and widely received by the public due to Martin’s vision and dedication, and everyone’s hard work. Welcome to Disease Proof, Martin.

 

How did you discover nutritarian eating and cooking that eventually led to opening the Pyramid Bistro?

I heard about Dr. Fuhrman many years ago, but it wasn’t until someone in the health section of Whole Foods in Denver introduced me to his books again. I saw the nutrient density guides and recognized the chef-friendly approach of Dr. Fuhrman’s plan. It was one of those, "Nutrition meets chef" moments!

 

From your perspective as a renowned chef and owner of the first nutritarian restaurant in the United States, what was the highlight of the Nutritarian Food Festival for you?

The highlight for me was to see all these chefs from competing restaurants, and nutritionists with different backgrounds, come together and push forward a bigger idea. As you may know, Colorado is the only state with under 30% obesity rate so it makes sense to join forces to create a tipping point right here. I think Dr. Fuhrman has come up with the right approach that everyone can embrace.

 

Was it hard to bring so many chefs together to organize such an event for an entire community & city?

Yes, first of all we only had about two months to get the chefs to read and learn the guidelines. Then they had to approve it with the restaurant owner, and all this was done at the height of the busy summer season. For example, the winner, Miles Angelo, caters all summer long and it was difficult for him to switch gears.  I'm very appreciative of everyone’s efforts who participated in the events. 

 

With the nutritarian health revolution on the horizon, what do you see the restaurant industry’s role will be in helping to repair our broken healthcare system?

I'm very fortunate to live here in Aspen and meet some of the great thinkers of our time. For instance, while I was proposing a non-profit approach to spread more information on nutritarianism, some prominent people told me it would make much more sense to come up with a business model that is for-profit and encourage others to do the same.  The Pyramid Bistro had a great first year and people have asked me to open in other locations, which is so important for a nutritarian revolution.

The role of restaurants will be to work much closer with nutritionists in order to prevent obesity and other health related issues. By working with nutritionists and then creating dishes that everyone can enjoy we can make a real difference in peoples’ lives that will ultimately lead to a healthier nation.  

 

Do you have any final comments to share with the Disease Proof reader?

Talk to your favorite waiter, restaurant owner, or chef about Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian eating-style.  By encouraging them to include nutrient dense items on their menus, you just might start a food revolution in your own hometown!

 

Thank you Martin for pioneering this exciting vision to promote nutritarian food choices in restaurants all across America and beyond!  Best wishes of great success ~ bon appétit! 

The Nutritarian Festival in Aspen, Colorado

This weekend, while the east coast was mired in bad weather and water, I was in Aspen, Colorado with Dr. Fuhrman where the Nutritional Research Project had its first Nutritarian Food Festival.   The Nutritional Research Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enable clinical research to evaluate the impact of a high nutrient density diet and related nutritional interventions on chronic diseases such as autoimmune illnesses, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Dr. Fuhrman appeared on television there, and the nutritarian message and event poster was on almost every store in town.  Over a period of three nights, Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian cuisine was the talk of the town and some of the best chefs in the country prepared incredible nutritarian food.  The town of Aspen, Colorado was inspired by Dr. Fuhrman to lead a nutritional revolution and enlist leaders there to join our mission to repair our broken health care system. This amazing event was sparked by an idea by Shelley Summers and  renowned chef and Pyramid Bistro owner Martin Oswald who runs the first nutritarian restaurant in the United States right on main street in Aspen, Colorado.   

On Saturday evening, 12 of our nation’s finest chefs competed for the top three prizes in the Nutritarian Cook Off held at the beautiful Aspen Club.  The dishes were judged by Dr. Fuhrman and a team of nutritional professionals for healthfulness based on his established criteria set up for this event.  This counted 40 percent of the score.  Then 60 percent of the score was from the hundreds of people who came to the event and supported the Nutritional Research Project with their participation.    The event was also supported by Whole Foods Market, the Vitamix Corporation and the Aspen Club. 

The three top prizes went to Chef Miles Angelo’s Yoga Roll with swiss chard and apple sesame dressing, Chef John Little’s Freekoto Cannelloni, and Chef Randy Placeres’ Yerba Matte with veggies, berries, ginger and nuts. Their winning recipes will be added to their respective menus at the Carribou Club, the Pullman, and NuTrition at the Aspen Club.

Nutritarian Festival: winning chefs

All the chefs produced incredible nutritarian fare, some of which will be featured in Dr. Fuhrman’s upcoming Eat To Live Cookbook. 

On Friday evening, the night before this major public event, about a hundred people attended a fundraising nutritarian banquet held at the spectacular Aspen mountain ranch home of Glenda and Jerry Greenwald.   Dr. Fuhrman first spoke for about an hour prior to the meal explaining to the enthusiastic crowd the objective of his work and the work of the Nutritional Research Project, to revolutionize the face of health care and enable physicians to fully support nutritional therapeutics over drug therapy and invasive surgeries.  The funding will enable impeccably designed research projects coordinated with leading research centers at major universities around the country. 

The argument that Dr. Fuhrman laid out to the participants of the Aspen fundraiser was a very simple one.   He demonstrated the healing power of his nutritarian diet-style and showed how superior nutrition cannot just prevent, but also reverse serious diseases that plague almost all Americans.  The science about greens, onions, mushrooms, berries and more was fascinating.  And he implored the crowd that we can marry great taste with the healthiest eating style based on modern science and this can enable us to win the war on cancer and even prevent most autoimmune diseases.  This is the simple mission of the Nutritional Research Project, to provide scientific and clinical proof that this eating style advocated by Dr. Fuhrman has proven ability to both prevent and treat disease.

John Mackey, the founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, then gave a short speech where he outlined the necessity to create a nutritional revolution in this country, and what Whole Foods is doing to support this.

After Dr. Fuhrman’s lecture an amazing gourmet meal was served by a team of Aspen’s finest chefs,  organized by chef Martin Oswald.  When the participants then tasted each fantastic course of the meal, they were amazed and literally standing and applauding the chefs who created the nutritional masterpieces.   The participants of both these events really experienced Dr. Fuhrman’s promise to marry great heath with great taste.  We brought the nutritarian message to Aspen, raised money for our cause, and had a wonderful time in the process.   

Jerry Deutsch
President, Nutritional Research Project.
NutritionalResearch.org

 

Tags:

Got Greens?

 

Dads, Moms, Grandpas, Grandmas, Aunts and Uncles . . . .

 

If you have babies and children in your life, and would enjoy sharing a picture of them with a green smoothie mustache, we would love to feature your adorable children in a special Mother’s Day post on Disease Proof next spring!

Just get clicking those cameras between now and April, and then send your best digital image to Emily@DiseaseProof.com no later than April first.  By sending an image, you will be giving Dr. Fuhrman and team full permission to publish it on Disease Proof.  (Your child's first name and age will be published along with the photo.) 

 

Have fun with your children and cameras!

Go greens!

Go kids!

 

 

Baby Eli, eight months;  Drew, age five

 

 

Think about health when faced with tough decisions

Planning in advance to eat healthfully is quite easy – but what happens when you are confronted with an immediate decision between healthy and unhealthy food – especially when you are hungry?

Here’s an example: you’re at a party where everyone is munching on chips, cheesy dips, and greasy finger foods. You see a platter of raw vegetables and fresh fruit, but you feel tempted by the junk food. Do you stick with the produce or indulge in the calorie-laden snacks?  What goes on in your brain while you’re making that decision?

Subconsciously, we assign a certain value to each food, asking ourselves, “How will each of these foods taste? How healthy is each one? What is more important to me right now, taste or healthfulness?”

Photo of vegetable platter


Photo of junk food

Decision-making is thought to be controlled by part of the brain called the ventromedial prefrontalcortex (vmPFC), which also plays a role in regulating emotions and emotional reactions.  A 2009 study found that another region, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), may help the vmPFC to decide that healthfulness is more important when making food decisions.   In people who showed more self-control in their food choices, the vmPFC was activated by pictures of foods they had as healthy and foods they rated as tasty; however, in people with less self-control, the vmPFC was only activated by foods they rated as tasty, not the ones they rated as healthy. Also, those with more self-control had more activity in the dlPFC during food decisions.  These results suggest that the dlPFC may reduce the value that the vmPFC assigns to tempting unhealthy foods, helping us to exert self-control in our food decisions.1

So, can we choose to activate the dlPFC to have more self-control when making food decisions?  If so, how? 

That’s exactly the question that this research group’s newer study tried to answer. Subjects were asked to fast for at least three hours prior to the experiment. They were shown pictures of 180 different foods and asked to respond within three seconds “yes” or “no” to whether they’d want to eat the food.  Before they experiment, they were told that one of their choices would be randomly selected, and if they answered “yes” for that food, it would be served to them later. 

Before each group of 10 food photos, a message would be displayed on the screen saying either "consider the healthiness," "consider the tastiness," or "make decisions naturally." These messages were designed to shift the subjects’ attention toward either taste or health – if they were reminded to think about health, would it change their brain activity and cause them to make a healthier choice?

The answer was yes. After seeing the “consider the healthiness” message, subjects were less likely to choose unhealthy foods, and more likely to choose healthy-untasty foods.  They also said “no” to foods more often after seeing the “healthiness” message than after seeing the “naturally” message.  

What was going on in the brain? In response to pictures of healthy foods, the vmPFC showed more activity in the presence of the “healthiness” message compared to the other messages.  The dlPFC was more active in response to all of the food pictures in the presence of the “healthiness” message compared to the other messages.  This result suggests that the dlPFC was more able to help the vmPFC put more value on healthiness after the “healthiness” message.   The subjects made healthier choices when they were reminded to do so.2,3

The message here is that making the tough decisions between taste and health is easier than we think – if we can remind ourselves that health is the more important quality, we can alter the way the brain values the foods involved.  When faced with a decision between delicious healthy food and tempting unhealthy food, we can use reminders to shift our attention toward health:

    • Post sticky notes in your kitchen, or on your desk at work, saying “Choose the healthiest foods” or something similar.   

    • Make a sign that says “G-BOMBS fight cancer in every bite.”

    • When you are looking at a menu in a restaurant, or making a food choice outside of your home, remind yourself “I choose to eat healthy foods,” or “I do not eat disease-causing foods.” Write these statements on a visible card you keep in your wallet or pocketbook.

    • As Dr. Fuhrman recommends, put a sign on your refrigerator that says “The salad is the main dish!” 

According to this research, reminders like these do work.  We can train ourselves (and our dlPFCs) to use healthfulness as the most important quality by which we value foods.

 

 

References:

1. Hare TA, Camerer CF, Rangel A: Self-control in decision-making involves modulation of the vmPFC valuation system. Science 2009;324:646-648.

2. Think healthy, eat healthy: Caltech scientists show link between attention and self-control. EurekAlert! http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-07/ciot-the072611.php. Accessed August 15, 2011.

3. Hare TA, Malmaud J, Rangel A: Focusing Attention on the Health Aspects of Foods Changes Value Signals in vmPFC and Improves Dietary Choice. J Neurosci 2011;31:11077-11087.


 

Interview with a Nutritarian: Jodi

 

Jodi - current imageMost of the interviews here on Disease Proof have been with those who’ve discovered Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional recommendations in their recent past, and are elated about their newfound health and freedom from food addiction and disease. Jodi has been following Dr. Fuhrman’s advice for TEN years, and she’s just as excited today with continual improvements in her health as she was ten years ago.  If you've read Jodi's Success Story on Dr. Fuhrman's website, or read a  previous Disease Proof post about her awesome recovery from debilitating psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases, you know that Jodi's healings are medical miracles!  Today Jodi is the epitome of excellent health, and her enthusiasm is contagious.  In fact, she went on to earn her Nutritional Education Trainer (NET) certification and is now helping others in their journeys to get their health restored also. Welcome once again to Disease Proof Jodi!  

 

You've been following Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian eating-style for over 10 years now. How has that experience changed your life?

My original reason for contacting Dr. Fuhrman was autoimmune issues; the most serious was psoriatic arthritis where I had a full-body skin rash and history of joint pain. Plus, I had diagnoses of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren's and Hashimotos – all autoimmune conditions.  I consider my success at conquering these ailments as Chapter One of my health journey. [Click here to see Jodi's remarkable before and after pictures of being healed of psoriasis!] Now, Chapter Two is all about the benefits that I've experienced over the years that I did not expect!

 

Please explain “Chapter Two” to us.  

Jodi at a heavier weightYear after year as I keep following this high-nutrient lifestyle, I continue to be amazed at how powerful and effective it is. For example, ten years ago I did not turn to Dr. Fuhrman for weight loss, yet I now weigh 32 pounds less than my highest weight.  The picture on the right was taken when I was younger and heavier. 

  • My cholesterol is now low, when it had been over 200, and my blood pressure is low, and I take no drugs for either. 
  • I breezed through menopause without drugs.
  • All sinus congestion and seasonal allergies are completely gone.
  • My dentist compliments my healthy gums and how little plaque I have.
  • My bone density has improved. I previously tested in the negative range for osteopenia, the latest score for my spine was ZERO. A zero score is equivalent to the bone density of a healthy, 30- year-old woman. Which means without drugs but following Dr. Fuhrman's exercise advice, I have the spine a 30-year-old....and I'm 62!  [Click here to learn more about preventing bone fractures.] 
  • My eyesight is stronger. Twice over the last 10 years the prescriptions for my contact lenses and glasses, which I use for distance, have been reduced; and I no longer need reading glasses, but I did at age 52, (and now I’m 62!)

 

Are you surprised by these improvements?

As we age, we expect to have achy joints, ailments, medications, drug side effects, doctors visits, etc., and I don't have any of those issues. In fact, I wake up in the morning and nothing hurts: no joint pain, no stiffness, and no arthritis. Yes, I'm amazed...and grateful.

 

Do you have any success tips to share with others?

Ten years ago when I started eating high-nutrient foods, I was already over 50-years-old. My psoriasis and joint pain started when I was a teenager, and I was on potent drugs for almost twenty years. Don't think you are too old to benefit; don't think you are too sick or have been on drugs for too long to see a difference. I am so convinced that the longer you follow this program, and the older you get doing it, you continue to reap benefits...benefits you never expected or imagined!

 

Thank you Jodi for being an example to all of us of the ongoing healing power of high-nutrient foods ~ you truly are a medical miracle!

 Jodi on top of the world!

Eat more often, gain weight

It is well known that in recent years, restaurant portion sizes have steadily increased, and many single meals at fast food outlets and restaurants pack in enough calories for an entire day. Overall in the U.S., we are surrounded by calorie dense food all the time.  Today, we eat more and more often than we did 20 or 30 years ago. We eat constantly. Calorie-dense, nutrient-poor snacks are everywhere. And many of our beverages contain enough calories to be meals in themselves.

However, “eat smaller, more frequent meals” is common weight loss advice – supposedly, if we eat more often to “keep blood sugar stable,” will avoid overeating.  But does this really work? Is it sound advice for reducing caloric intake overall? The research says no – eating more frequently actually appears to promote weight gain.

Between 1977 and 2006:

  • Overweight and obesity rates in the U.S. skyrocketed from 48.5% to 70.1%.1

  • The average number of eating occasions (meals + snacks) increased from 3.5/day to 5.0/day.2

  • The average number of calories consumed each day rose from 1803 to 2374, an increase of 571 calories per day. Calorie intake in the U.S. has been increasing by an average of 28 calories per day per year since 1977.3

Snacks. Flickr: sk8geek

In a recent study, researchers examined three potential drivers of increased calorie intake: portion size, number of eating occasions, and calorie density of meals.  Although portion sizes were responsible for much of the caloric increase up to 1991, by far, the greater number of eating occasions was the strongest driver of increased calorie intake, accounting for 22 of the 28 calories/day/year increase the researchers observed since 1977.  

Snacking for most people is a reaction to toxic hunger – most people snack between meals to stop uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms from the unhealthy foods that they eat.  The average number of eating occasions has increased as our diet has become more toxic, producing more cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Unhealthy food indeed does have these addictive qualities.4-6

To maintain a healthy weight we need to eat fewer total calories; eating primarily nutrient-dense (rather than calorie-dense) foods and eating fewer times per day both will help to achieve this goal.  Low calorie-density (high nutrient-density) foods like greens, other vegetables, and fruits are associated with reduced total calorie intake, higher nutritional quality, and lower body weight.7-9 Conversely, high energy-density foods are associated with greater calorie intake.10 Also, contrary to the conventional wisdom, the majority of studies have not found any weight-loss or calorie-reduction benefit to eating more frequently.  Consuming a snack has been found not to cause a compensatory decrease in calorie consumption at the next meal. Ultimately, snacking most often results in increased daily caloric intake. Furthermore, most studies have shown that there is no weight loss advantage to dividing a diet of the same number of calories into a greater number of meals.11-14

Eat only when you are truly hungry.  For most people following a healthy diet, this will not be more than three times a day.  The key factor for weight loss is improving the quality of your diet.  My research has shown that eating healthy food brings a greater level of satiety, and significantly reduces or eliminates the uncomfortable symptoms of toxic hunger15, leading to greater meal satisfaction, reduced calorie intake, and attainment of a healthy weight. 

 

 

References:

1. Ogden CL, Carroll MD: Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Extreme Obesity Among Adults: United States, Trends 1960–1962 Through 2007–2008. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2010.

2. Popkin BM, Duffey KJ: Does hunger and satiety drive eating anymore? Increasing eating occasions and decreasing time between eating occasions in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr 2010;91:1342-1347.

3. Duffey KJ, Popkin BM: Energy density, portion size, and eating occasions: contributions to increased energy intake in the United States, 1977-2006. PLoS Med 2011;8:e1001050.

4. Johnson PM, Kenny PJ: Dopamine D2 receptors in addiction-like reward dysfunction and compulsive eating in obese rats. Nat Neurosci 2010;13:635-641.

5. Gearhardt AN, Yokum S, Orr PT, et al: Neural Correlates of Food Addiction. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2011.

6. Taylor VH, Curtis CM, Davis C: The obesity epidemic: the role of addiction. Can Med Assoc J 2009;182:327-328.

7. Rolls BJ, Drewnowski A, Ledikwe JH: Changing the energy density of the diet as a strategy for weight management. J Am Diet Assoc 2005;105:S98-103.

8. Rolls BJ, Roe LS, Meengs JS: Salad and satiety: energy density and portion size of a first-course salad affect energy intake at lunch. J Am Diet Assoc 2004;104:1570-1576.

9. Ledikwe JH, Blanck HM, Khan LK, et al: Low-energy-density diets are associated with high diet quality in adults in the United States. J Am Diet Assoc 2006;106:1172-1180.

10. Bell EA, Castellanos VH, Pelkman CL, et al: Energy density of foods affects energy intake in normal-weight women. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;67:412-420.

11. Bellisle F, McDevitt R, Prentice AM: Meal frequency and energy balance. Br J Nutr 1997;77 Suppl 1:S57-70.

12. Chapelot D: The role of snacking in energy balance: a biobehavioral approach. J Nutr 2011;141:158-162.

13. Berteus Forslund H, Torgerson JS, Sjostrom L, et al: Snacking frequency in relation to energy intake and food choices in obese men and women compared to a reference population. Int J Obes (Lond) 2005;29:711-719.

14. Marmonier C, Chapelot D, Fantino M, et al: Snacks consumed in a nonhungry state have poor satiating efficiency: influence of snack composition on substrate utilization and hunger. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:518-528.

15. Fuhrman J, Sarter B, Glaser D, et al: Changing perceptions of hunger on a high nutrient density diet. Nutr J 2010;9:51.


 

 

Food addiction is just as serious as drug addiction

Emily Boller before pic

 

If we feed addiction, it grows.

If we abstain, it dies.

 

If we give in an inch, food addiction will capture and drag us for miles; literally strangling the very life out of us.

It's mean.

It's ruthless.

It clothes one in rags.

It destroys families and homes.

It robs romantic intimacy between husband and wife.

It eats up finances and drowns its victims in dire poverty.

It’s no respecter of persons; socioeconomic, educational, or professional.

It doesn't care who it maims and disables in its path of destruction, including those the addict loves and cares about.  It's never solitary; it affects everyone surrounding the captive.

Don't give food addiction the opportunity to suck the life out of you. Contend for your freedom if it costs you everything you’ve got. Some may call you neurotic. Others may avoid your company. Still others may ridicule your commitment and entice you to consider moderation, but don't give into the voice of the enemy.
 


If you give in, you are undone. If you “wait until tomorrow” . . . . the truth is tomorrow never comes, because food addiction grows stronger with each compromise.   

I'm a bit passionate, I know. But in order to give food addiction black ‘n blue eyes, and ruthlessly disable it from ever coming after me again, I've had to be.

One day I hit a wall. I saw the seriousness of what the addiction was doing to my marriage and family, my health, my sanity, and my talents; and knew that I had no other option but to radically commit to Eat to Live to stop its destruction. I was willing to pay any price to get free. 

 

Willingness to commit to carefully following the plan in Eat to Live (aka total abstinence) is the key to long-term success. Once one is willing, no obstacle will be in the way as obstacles are just the welcome excuse to continue in addiction.

Emily Boller afterI'll never give up the fight. I'll never quit contending for my own freedom and health, and the freedom and health of my fellow man, no matter what, for life.

 

 

The image at the top of this post is a picture of me the day before I committed to abstinence from the standard America diet.

HDL: is higher really better?

We usually refer to LDL (low-density lipoprotein) as “bad cholesterol”, and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) as “good cholesterol”.  Observational studies, such as the Framingham Heart Study, have shown that low HDL is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.1  Thus it is thought that raising HDL may reduce risk, but it’s not that simple.  

Cholesterol is packaged into lipoproteins when circulated in the blood – LDL transports cholesterol to the cells, and HDL picks up excess cholesterol and delivers it back to the liver where it can be broken down.  Theorectically, having more HDL would mean that more cholesterol would be disposed of, and as a result LDL would decrease, and therefore cardiovascular risk would decrease.  So raising HDL when LDL is high would make sense, but what about raising HDL when LDL is not high?  Would there be any benefit?

Pills. Flickr: melloveschallah

High-dose niacin (vitamin B3), is one substance that can raise HDL, and a government funded clinical trial (the AIM-HIGH trial) was undertaken in 2006 evaluating the use of niacin together with an LDL-lowering drug (a statin) for preventing heart attacks and strokes. The individuals selected for the trial had favorable LDL levels (below 80 mg/dl; due to the statin drugs), but were considered to be at risk for heart attack and stroke based on low HDL levels, high triglyceride levels, and a history of cardiovascular disease.   This study sought to determine whether raising HDL would decrease their risk.

The subjects that took niacin in addition to a statin drug indeed did experience an increase in HDL and decrease in triglycerides.  However, the clinical trial was stopped early because the subjects taking niacin plus the statin were just as likely to have a cardiovascular event as those taking a statin plus placebo.  Furthermore, the subjects who were taking niacin had a small increase in the rate of strokes.2 Niacin is not the first drug that has raised HDL levels and failed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. A few years ago, an HDL-elevating drug called torcetrapib was found to increase the risk of cardiovascular events, presumably because it raised blood pressure and impaired endothelial function.3 Pfizer’s development of the drug was halted during clinical trials.

This is yet another study showing that raising HDL does not reduce risk in patients with already favorable LDL levels.  Often, adopting a healthful diet reduces both HDL and LDL, and this is often a source of concern.  But the truth is that it is not harmful – there is simply less need for HDL when LDL decreases, and the body adapts to this change by producing less HDL.

LDL and HDL numbers on a blood test are simply markers that indicate the development of cardiovascular disease.  They are not necessarily an accurate depiction of the extent of the disease, and they are not the only factors that take part in the disease process. The development of atherosclerotic plaque is complex, involving elements of inflammation and oxidative stress in addition to cholesterol.  Manipulating cholesterol levels with drugs is simply not enough to resolve cardiovascular disease and prevent future heart attacks and strokes.  This 52 million dollar study has confirmed what we already know: drugs don’t restore cardiovascular health.  Only healthy living can restore health.

 

References:

1. Castelli WP, Garrison RJ, Wilson PW, et al: Incidence of coronary heart disease and lipoprotein cholesterol levels. The Framingham Study. JAMA 1986;256:2835-2838.

2. NIH stops clinical trial on combination cholesterol treatment. 2011. NIH News. http://www.nih.gov/news/health/may2011/nhlbi-26.htm. Accessed June 14, 2011.

3. Connelly MA, Parry TJ, Giardino EC, et al: Torcetrapib produces endothelial dysfunction independent of cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibition. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2010;55:459-468.


 

Reasons to Get Social: The Correlation Between Our Health and Relationships

It was my birthday last week and as such, I contemplated which activity would give me the most satisfaction and provide me with a lasting memory.  Other than venturing to the movies to soak up the last Harry Potter movie installment (it’s release date was the same day as my date of birth- score!), I thought of all my family members and friends who make my life truly worthwhile and whom provide me with happiness each and every day.  I concluded that the celebration of my birthday was really a celebration of them, because seriously, I wouldn’t be my happy, healthy self without these people in my life.  I realize this is a pretty sappy thought, but it’s an objective truth.  It then dawned on me that the best birthday activity I could do was take a seat and begin writing cards to the people I appreciate in my life and tell them why they are so special to me.  Instead of relishing the thought of people writing cards to me and giving me gifts, I wanted to do this for others.  Admittedly, the Harry Potter movie was thrilling, witty, and had terrific special effects, but I had just as much fun, if not more so, shopping for presents for my friends and family. I dare say it’s one of the coolest birthday ideas I’ve ever had. 

Okay so what does my birthday idea have to do with nutrition and health and why blog about my birthday revelation on DiseaseProof? Well I’ve got a whopping lot of reasons. Our health is influenced by many things, diet being one of the most important.  Yet, what would we have to live for if not for the other people in our lives and the meaning and joy we get from those relationships? The relationships we have with others are a significant part of our well-being and status as healthy, vibrant, disease-free individuals.  We could eat the most nutrient dense diet in the world, but die a lonely, likely premature death simply by being a hermit.  The people in our lives give us reason to want to be disease free and in turn, the act of having relationships themselves help keep us healthy. 

Research shows just this.  Loving relationships have an extraordinary ability to prevent stress-induced illness, significantly contribute to healing and repair from injury and inflammation, and add years to our lives.  I know the influence of relationships on our health might seem like an awfully cumbersome subject to study given their variability, intangibility and uniqueness, but researchers in the field of positive psychology have managed to make some fantastically impressive headway.  Take, for example, a study of almost ten thousand healthy married men at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.  The researchers found that the men with high risk factors for heart disease, like elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and electrocardiogram abnormalities, were more than twenty times as likely to develop angina (chest pain indicating heart disease) during the next five years.  But get this, all the men were asked, “Does your wife show you her love?” and those men than answered “yes” had less heart disease even when they had high levels of risk factors.  

Stress is known to be a slow grim reaper.  People who experience high stress levels at work, with finances, their health, or through toxic relationships have a greater risk of dying than those who maintain a stress free existence.  However, relationships have been shown to mitigate the negative health consequences of a high stress lifestyle. Yet another study was conducted demonstrating that people who report to have a dependable network of intimacy- a spouse, family members or close friends- were shown to be buffered against the negative health effects of stress and, under these supportive conditions, there turned out to be no relationship whatsoever between high stress levels and premature death.

Apparently I was onto something with my birthday celebration idea and its ability to uplift my spirits.  We should all acknowledge the people who contribute to our lives as much as we can and tell them how much they mean to us; it is a two way reward system which affords benefits to our happiness levels, and  to prosperous health.  To all of you on the journey to beaming health and a disease-free existence, seek out people who show that they care about you, care about your health, and support your healthy eating lifestyle.  Your body will thank you just like it thanks you with every wholesome bite of salad.  Each and every day, not just on one’s birthday, it is a great idea to recognize how much friends and family members make every year true gifts.    

Interview with a Nutritarian: David

David was your typical, athletic American who thought he was relatively “healthy” . . . until he had his first heart-related incident before the age of sixty. Thankfully he heard Dr. Fuhrman on the radio, and today his health and energy have been restored. Welcome to Disease Proof David! 

 

What was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian eating-style?

At age 59, I’ve lived a good life; happily married, manager for a Plastics Company, and a daily runner for the past 30 years. I’m also a golfer and very active as my wife and I have three grown sons who keep us pretty busy! I lost my father to a massive heart attack when I was young so I’ve always been aware that my health was important. However, I felt fairly invincible since I exercised so much, and I thought I was eating pretty healthy. 

However, as a runner I knew I was getting out-of-shape, because it was getting harder for me to run each day. I was slowly gaining weight despite running six mile runs everyday. Then in September 2010, I had chest pains that led to the installation of a stent in my right coronary artery that was 100% blocked. Fortunately, the other two arteries were 100% clear, and I didn’t have a heart attack. This experience was a wake-up call, and I struggled for answers as to how this could have happened. Plus, I did not like all of the drugs I was suddenly required to take. 

 

How did you find out about Eat to Live?

In late January 2011, I was in the middle of a long drive home from a business meeting, and by sheer chance I heard Dr. Fuhrman on Sirius radio having a discussion on the NYC Docs show about nutrition. His message on eating high-nutrient foods hit me hard. When the show was over I immediately called my son in California, who is a vegetarian and nutritionally committed, and asked him about what I had just heard. He said that what Dr. Fuhrman was talking about was the same thing that he’d been trying to get his mother and me to listen to for years. When I got home I ordered the book. 

 

How do you feel now?

Today I’m 44 lbs lighter and still losing – which is about a 30% weight reduction so far! I now weigh what I did in high school, and I can run like the wind, which is basically effortlessly! My cholesterol numbers have nose dived, my angina is gone, my energy level is up, and I‘ve cut back on many drugs and expect to eliminate all of them shortly. I’ve discovered Dr. Fuhrman's predictions in Eat to Live to be totally true; and it’s only been five months! 

 

Do you have any success tip(s) to share with others?

  • Get the refined sugar out of your life, along with the Diet Coke.

  • Eat all of the vegetables, beans and fresh fruits that you want – don't worry about calories or counting things, except for the limited amounts of nuts and seeds.

  • Give this nutritional eating style a chance to take hold. The first few weeks are tough, but hang in there, because the results are worth it.  

 

In a nutshell, what has nutritarian eating done for you?

It’s given me a chance to help my body and has produced a lot of physical freedom. (The compliments on my weight reduction are pretty fun as well!) Plus, I now have new clothes to wear that were sitting around unused for a long time! More seriously, I don't worry about having a heart attack any longer. 

At 5’8” my weight has dropped from 190 to 145, and my goal was 165 lbs! 

 

before

after

Total cholesterol

166

 98

LDL

121

 49

HDL

 32

 62

Triglycerides

173

 87

 

Congratulations David ~ keep up the great work!