Over the last several years we have seen an increasing amount of fad diets being promoted that are high in animal products- i.e. saturated fats. The authors of such diets have backed up their claims with pseudoscience and dubious data as they try to sell their books, etc. Their claims have flown in the face of over 100 Years of nutritional science. Finally, the American Heart Association decided it had heard enough and released a press statement late last week to set the record straight. This statement was much needed however it fell short of giving Americans clear guidelines on what is the healthiest diet.
The American Heart Association continues to speak in secret code by using words such as “saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated.” When I ask patients to define any of these terms less than 5% are able to do so. The key point for the public to understand is that almost all plant based products are healthy for them – limit the use of oils. Saturated fats are bad and come from animal products and coconuts/coconut oil.
Meat and dairy products and foods with added sugar are responsible for most of the illnesses seen in medicine today. Of the top 15 + most common causes of death in the United States the risks for all of them is substantially reduced with a plant based diet.
- Heart disease
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases
- Unintentional injuries (accidents)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Kidney disease
- Flu and pneumonia
- Intentional self harm (suicide)
- Septicemia (blood poisoning)
- Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Pneumonitis (inflammation of lung tissue) due to solids and liquids.
Consuming a plant-based diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular events equivalent to that of a Statin – cholesterol-lowering drugs.
The average American is consuming less than two servings of vegetables per day. We know that a plant based diet is also very effective for addressing obesity – which is the mother of most chronic diseases. A simple strategy for getting started is to begin consuming two vegetables with each meal. As you lose weight and begin to feel better, your belief and subsequent motivation will increase. This will create a positive feedback loop and give you momentum to continue with your lifestyle changes. Make sure to consult with a physician if you are on prescription medications as your need for these will diminish.
I have included the American Heart Association article in the link below. There are some good things in the article and it’s worth the read.
To your health!
David R. Miloy MD