Eat For Health: Dying from a Diet

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

Most Americans are not in good health thanks to the standard, low-nutrient diet in this country. The risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and cardiovascular-related premature death is extremely high for all people who eat this way. Look at these statistics:
  • The lifetime risk for developing hypertension (high blood pressure) is over 90 percent.1
  • High blood pressure has climbed 30 percent over the past decade.
  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an enormous health care burden and is responsible for approximately 40 percent of all U.S. deaths annually.2
There’s nothing pre-programmed in the human genome that says as people get old they automatically get fat and have high blood pressure. They’re getting high blood pressure because their diets are calorie-rich and nutrient-poor. They’re eating processed foods and too much salt, and they’re avoiding physical exercise. Adding to the problem is that people are given prescription drugs that allow them to continue their disease-causing habits while gaining a false sense of security that they are protected from disease. If you eat like other Americans and don’t have a heart attack and die when you are young, you will inevitably develop high blood pressure and then be at high risk for either a heart attack or stroke when you get older. Populations around the world who live and eat differently are found to be free of high blood pressure in their elderly members.3 These diseases have known nutritional causes, and we never need to suffer from them.

Today, two in five are obese, and the vast majority of Americans are significantly overweight. We are in worse shape today, with heavier bodies and thicker waistlines, than at any time in human history. At the same time, we have learned that our waistlines and our weight are the most critical factors governing our health and lifespan. There is an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence that gives us the knowledge, but people are still dying prematurely and living a poor-quality life, with sickness and disability, because they are not questioning their current way of doing things. Heart disease, diabetes, and most cancers are preventable, but prevention requires change. It requires learning from our past mistakes and learning new information. It sounds simple, and it can be simple if you have an open mind and if you let knowledge, rather than habits and emotions, guide you.
1. Vasan RS, Beiser A, Seshadri S, et al. Residual lifetime risk for developing hypertension in middle-aged women and men: The Framingham Heart Study. JAMA 2002;287(8):1003-1010.

2. Black HR. The burden of cardiovascular disease: following the link from hypertension to myocardial infarction and heart failure. Am J Hypertens. 2003;16(9 Pt 2):4S-6S.

3. Freis ED. Salt, volume and the prevention of hypertension. Circulation 1976;54:589.
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Llouise - April 23, 2008 1:36 PM

"It sounds simple, and it can be simple if you have an open mind and if you let knowledge, rather than habits and emotions, guide you."

I think this is it in a nutshell (a raw one)
It's difficult for people to make the switch from emotions to logic, even when they want it. They have to just do it instead of try like you state in Eat To Live. Health requires action!

Too bad it takes having a diabetes or heart disease to get some people's attention; and even then, it doesn't always.

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