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  Quotations - General  
[Quote No.59163] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet: Diets have been around for many years. For example, this one from 1863 which limited 'bad' - starchy or sugary - carbohydrates, as well as beer, milk and butter:] It is true I gained muscular vigour, but with it a prodigious appetite, which I was compelled to indulge, and consequently increased in weight, until my kind old friend [Dr. William Harvey] advised me to forsake the exercise. ... The very gradual reductions in my weight which I am able to show, may be interesting to many, and I have great pleasure in stating them, believing that they serve to demonstrate further the merit of the system pursued. ... My diminished girth, in tailor phraseology, was hardly conceivable even by my own friends, or my respected medical adviser, until I put on my former clothing, over what I now wear, which is a thoroughly convincing proof of the remarkable change. ... My other bodily ailments have become mere matters of history." - William Banting
(1797 - 1878), a notable English undertaker. Formerly obese, he is also known for being the first to popularise a weight loss diet based on limiting the intake of carbohydrates, especially those of a starchy or sugary nature, as well as beer, milk and butter. He undertook his dietary changes at the suggestion of Soho Square physician Dr. William Harvey (not THE English physician, William Harvey, 1578–1657, who made the first exact description of blood circulation) who in turn had learnt of this type of diet, but in the context of diabetes management, from attending lectures in Paris by Claude Bernard. These quotes come from his 1863 booklet, 'Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public'.
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[Quote No.59166] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] Food is medicine. We can actually change our gene expressions with the foods we eat!" - David Perlmutter
American neurologist and author.
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[Quote No.59168] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] In general, the public knowledge base and thus decision-making behaviors are far more influenced by advertisement than with current science." - David Perlmutter
American neurologist and author.
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[Quote No.59169] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] The simplest way to look at all these associations, between obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and Alzheimer's (not to mention the other the conditions that also associate with obesity and diabetes, such as gout, asthma, and fatty liver disease), is that what makes us fat - the quality [bad versus good carbs] and quantity [more than we needed for our energy-caloric output and in too short a period of time] of carbohydrates we consume - also makes us sick." - Gary Taubes
American science journalist and author of the best-selling books, 'Good Calories, Bad Calories' (titled 'The Diet Delusion' in the UK and Australia) and 'Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It'.
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[Quote No.59172] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] In 1960, fewer than 13 percent of Americans were obese, and diabetes had been diagnosed in 1 percent. Today [2008], the percentage of obese Americans has almost tripled; the percentage of Americans with diabetes has increased sevenfold." - Gary Taubes
American science journalist and author of the best-selling books, 'Good Calories, Bad Calories' (titled 'The Diet Delusion' in the UK and Australia) and 'Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It'.
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[Quote No.59173] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] The laboratory evidence that [bad – simple, sugary, highly refined] carbohydrate-rich diets can cause the body to retain water and so raise blood pressure [increasing the likelihood of developing hypertension and associated heart attacks and strokes], just as salt consumption is supposed to do, dates back well over a century." - Gary Taubes
American science journalist and author of the best-selling books, 'Good Calories, Bad Calories' (titled 'The Diet Delusion' in the UK and Australia) and 'Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It'.
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[Quote No.59174] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] Even though fructose [the sugar found in fruit, and now being put into most processed food and soft drinks] has no immediate effect on blood sugar and insulin, over time - maybe a few years - it is a likely cause of insulin resistance [metabolic syndrome , which is the start of type-2 diabetes] and thus the increased storage of calories as fat. The needle on our fuel-partitioning gauge will point toward fat storage, even if it didn't start out that way." - Gary Taubes
American science journalist and author of the best-selling books, 'Good Calories, Bad Calories' (titled 'The Diet Delusion' in the UK and Australia) and 'Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It'.
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[Quote No.59175] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] 'Harvard researchers are targeting obesity and its cousin, diabetes' ---- The twin epidemics of obesity and its cousin, diabetes, have been the target of numerous studies at Harvard and its affiliated hospitals and institutions. Among seminal findings was the first study to document the extraordinarily tight connection between the two diseases. Research done by Harvard School of Public Health Professor Walter Willett and his colleagues showed that being even slightly overweight increased diabetes risk five times, and being seriously obese increased it 60 times. ---- When it comes to the nation's growing obesity and diabetes epidemics, the more we know, the more the evidence points to one conclusion: We've been set up. Important findings about humanity's past, about how we live and eat today, and even about how we typically treat type 2 diabetes — with medications that themselves induce weight gain — are providing clues that explain how the past two decades could see an explosion in overweight and obese Americans and skyrocketing cases of type 2 diabetes, which is usually closely tied to the problem. Harvard's extensive research on the subject weaves a story of ancient humans who were both extraordinarily active and able to easily gain weight in times of plenty. It illuminates how a modern diet rich in refined carbohydrates and heavy in red meat has preyed on Paleolithic instincts, creating an obese nation, a health crisis, and what one researcher describes as a hard-to-escape cycle of weight gain, insulin resistance, and weight-retaining diabetic medication, leading to more pounds. 'It's not just a trap, it's a trap and a downward spiral,' said Assistant Professor of Medicine Osama Hamdy, a physician at Harvard-affiliated Joslin Diabetes Center and director of a ground-breaking weight loss program being replicated at Joslin affiliates around the world. Hamdy and hundreds of other Harvard investigators in recent decades have produced a dizzying array of findings on obesity and diabetes. Even a casual look at the years of research on the subject shows a slew of results on how lifestyle affects weight and how weight affects health. It shows new genes discovered, laser surgery to save diabetics' eyesight, new diabetes drug candidates, and advances in using stem cells to replace the insulin-producing beta cells that diabetes destroys. Findings also illuminate humanity's active, running past, to help us understand the problem's roots. Among seminal findings was the first study to document the extraordinarily tight connection between the two diseases. The work, by Walter Willett, the Harvard School of Public Health's (HSPH) Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, and by his colleagues showed that being even slightly overweight increased diabetes risk five times, and being seriously obese increased it 60 times. The study's authors had to push just to get the results in print. 'We had a hard time getting the first paper published showing that even slight overweight greatly increased the risk of diabetes,' Willett said. 'They didn't believe it.' They believe it now. Studies have shown that becoming overweight is a major risk factor in developing type 2 diabetes. Today, roughly 30 percent of overweight people have the disease, and 85 percent of diabetics are overweight. Figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that we live in a nation where skinny and normal-weight people are actually in the minority. A third of us are overweight, and another third are so overweight we're obese. Government figures show obesity rates rising steadily from roughly 13 percent in the 1960s to 34 percent in 2007-2008, with numbers flattening out in recent years. Diabetes cases have risen along with obesity, with prevalence doubling in the past 20 years. Today, 11 percent of adults over age 20 are diabetic, and HSPH Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology Frank Hu said he expects the numbers to keep rising. 'We haven't seen any sign of the epidemic slowing,' Hu said. Not all diabetes cases are linked to weight. Genetics also comes into play. People with diabetic family members are at higher risk. For them, even five or six extra pounds can start a dangerous cycle leading to the disease, Hamdy said. Unlike in type 1 diabetes, where the body directly attacks insulin-producing cells, in type 2 the body's tissues gradually become less sensitive to insulin. This causes beta cells to work harder and eventually break down. Though not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight, it is type 2 — which accounts for roughly 90 percent of all diabetes cases — that has been linked to weight gain. Both forms of the disease disrupt insulin flow. Cells have trouble getting the energy they need to function properly. Meanwhile, blood sugar [which is the same as 'blood glucose'] rises. In untreated diabetes, high blood sugar can cause comas and death. Even when the disease is treated, poor sugar control can damage organs, causing complications. Less severe cases can be treated with medication, diet, and exercise, while more severe cases require insulin injections. Diabetes is the nation's seventh-leading cause of death and a prime cause of kidney failure, blindness, non-traumatic limb amputations, heart disease, and stroke. The government estimates that 26 million Americans had diabetes in 2010, costing $174 billion for direct and indirect costs. There were 1.9 million new adult cases diagnosed in 2010. ---- To know who we are, see who we were: Harvard faculty members' work has shed light on why people are so vulnerable to society's modern temptations by looking at them in ancient times. Daniel Lieberman, chair of Harvard's Human Evolutionary Biology Department, studies our hunting and gathering ancestors, and says that the ability to pack on the pounds when there's a food surplus is a critical part of being human. Humans are born fat compared with other animals — 15 percent body fat compared with a chimp's 4 or 5 percent. Part of the reason body fat is so necessary, Lieberman said, is that our big brains use a lot of energy, 20 percent of our metabolism even when we're sleeping. In addition, human babies' extended helplessness made having a few extra pounds an advantage come lean times. 'Mothers need ... to produce milk even if they didn't eat that day,' Lieberman said. 'Human reproduction required us to have energy on board. The importance of fat for survival has long been paramount in humans. We evolved to crave foods we can convert into fat easily.' Our bodies, adapted to gain weight even on the lean diets of yesteryear, simply balloon amid today's plentiful, refined foods. Our ancient ancestors' diet was heavy on tubers, fruits, and vegetables, and lean meat from game animals. In fact, Lieberman said, if you look at what our ancient ancestors likely ate, you'd wind up with something like the dietary advice coming out of HSPH [Harvard School of Public Health - Refer near the bottom of the article for more specifics]. ---- What amounts to a deadly lifestyle: Drawing on data from three long-running studies of lifestyle and health covering nearly 300,000 people, HSPH researchers have shed light on the importance of a healthy diet and what that looks like. HSPH’s Willett, who chairs the Department of Nutrition, said that getting Americans' diet right can mean the difference between being healthy or ill. Studies have shown that not smoking, eating properly, and keeping a healthy weight — a body mass index {BMI] of under 25 — reduces the risk of diabetes by 90 percent. 'Apart from lung cancer, there is no other disease that can be almost eliminated with simple lifestyle changes,' Willett said. In the years since that first paper linking weight and diabetes, studies by Willett and other Harvard researchers have highlighted the ties between what and how much people put in their bodies and ailments such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. 'About 60 conditions are made worse if you have obesity,' said George Blackburn, Abraham Associate Professor of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, whose work has also shown the benefits of weight loss to diabetics. 'It's astonishing. ... We know exactly what to do to treat this disease: cut calories.' Research has shown that increased consumption of soda and fruit juice has closely paralleled the diabetes and obesity epidemics. It has found that even a little bit of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking 30 minutes a day, lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes by 30 percent. It has found that coffee lowers diabetes risk, that not all fats are bad, and that not all carbohydrates are good. Recent studies have also linked red meat and diabetes, with processed meats such as hot dogs, sausages, and deli meats the riskiest, according to HSPH Professor Hu. ---- Doing something about the problem: Across Harvard's campuses and affiliated institutions, scientists are applying cutting-edge techniques to the problem. Chad Cowan, assistant professor of stem cell and regenerative biology and co-leader of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute's (HSCI) diabetes program, is applying both genetic and stem cell-based approaches to type 2 diabetes. Genetic studies of diabetes are incredibly complex, Cowan said. Initial studies often identify an active area rather than a single gene, requiring more work to discover what specific genes are doing. Researchers then have to figure out whether the genes are active in pancreatic beta cells, muscle cells, liver cells, or fat cells, which all play roles in the disease. 'That's been the very difficult next step, to get to the functional level,' Cowan said. 'That's where stem cells come in.' Cowan has taken advantage of stem cell technology to grow cells from both healthy and diabetic donors. His lab has created cell lines from different tissues that can be compared, genetically manipulated, and even used for chemical screenings to aid the search for new medicines. People with type 1 diabetes and some who have advanced type 2 diabetes are dependent on daily insulin injections to survive. Future therapy, however, may include replenishing the body's supply of beta cells. That is the aim of Douglas Melton, Xander University Professor and HSCI co-director. Melton's lab has made enormous progress in the last five years, inducing stem cells toward beta cells under lab conditions and gaining a better understanding of how to get beta cells to multiply. 'We haven't learned anything to make us believe we won't be able to make bucket loads of cells one day,' Melton said. At the Joslin Diabetes Center, one research team is on the trail of an elusive substance that seems to 'cure' diabetes in those who undergo a particular obesity treatment. Associate Professor of Medicine Allison Goldfine, Joslin's head of clinical research, is examining two kinds of bariatric surgery and comparing them with lifestyle interventions as diabetes treatments. The study, which is still enrolling subjects, is looking at gastric band surgery, where an adjustable band constricts the stomach, and a gastric bypass surgery called Roux-en-Y. The gastric band surgery has helped patients to lose weight and thus improved their diabetes symptoms. But it was earlier studies on the bypass surgery that caught Goldfine's eye. Those studies showed that some patients who received bypass surgery, in which the surgeon makes a small pouch in the stomach and bypasses the rest of it, had blood sugars return to normal too quickly to be due to weight loss alone. Goldfine said the possibility that there might be an unknown metabolic compound at work — one that might be the basis of a new drug — convinced her to take a closer look. 'If a new factor could be identified that leads to diabetes remission, then the magnitude of the benefit could be astronomical,' Goldfine said. 'If it's true, it is clinically extremely important. However, this remains speculative.' Absent a new, high-tech solution, weight loss remains an important goal for type 2 diabetics. Studies have shown that losing just 7 percent of one's body weight can increase insulin sensitivity 57 percent, according to Joslin's Hamdy. The problem, as dieters over the years have learned, is how to do that. Under Hamdy's guidance, Joslin's 'Why WAIT' program has helped 450 people with type 2 diabetes to lose an average of 24 pounds and to keep most of it off three years later. It has improved their disease profile enough that 70 percent were able to reduce their medicine, and 21 percent of those taking insulin were able to stop. Annual total health care savings were calculated at $1,619 per patient, with $996 saved on diabetes-only care. The effort is being replicated at Joslin-affiliated institutions around the world. 'Why WAIT' takes a comprehensive approach, providing nutritional counseling to devise a healthy, low-calorie diet, an exercise program to burn calories, and counseling to help patients modify their behavior. 'Why WAIT' also adjusts medicines to emphasize drugs that either don't encourage weight gain or that promote weight loss. 'You can reverse the cycle if it's early enough, before there's significant damage to the pancreas,' Hamdy said. ---- Encouraging a healthy Harvard: Though answers are emerging from research, government dietary advice has been slow to adjust to the latest findings. That has prompted criticism from some faculty members and resulted in Harvard alternatives to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's food pyramid and its more recent MyPlate graphics, advising consumers on a healthy diet. 'It is sins of omission,' HSPH's Willett said of the government food advice. ''Grains' should emphasize whole grains [the 'good' carb grain rather than the refined 'bad' carb grain]. 'Protein' should emphasize [the 'good' carbs firstly, beans - also called] legumes, [and secondly] nuts, and fish versus red meat.' One place where the HSPH Nutrition Department's advice is getting a friendly reception is in Harvard dining halls, where thousands of students eat each day. Though desserts and other not-strictly-healthy foods remain on the menu, Crista Martin, director of marketing and communications for Harvard University Dining Services, said her department follows HSPH's advice in preparing meals and goes further, trying to spread the word to diners. 'We work to pass along their research and recommendations to students and café customers through various educational tools: posters, brochures, nutritionists visiting the dining halls,' Martin said. 'We've also done things like eliminate trans-fats, lower sodium, provide sugarless or naturally sweetened drinks, and emphasize healthy fats and oils. Our menus include a huge array of options: whole grains, beans, fruits and veggies, and lean proteins.' Diet, of course, is just half the equation. Our ancient ancestors not only ate leaner whole foods, they also were extraordinarily active, Lieberman said. The average hunter-gatherer walked or ran between 9 and 15 kilometers a day. When they were in one place, they worked to prepare food, climbed after fruit, dug for tubers, and the like. 'Can you imagine if everyone walked 9 to 15 kilometers a day? Would there be obesity today? Absolutely not,' Lieberman said. Harvard students looking for exercise don't have to pick their own fruit or dig their own potatoes. They can participate in interscholastic, intramural, and club sports. Likewise, faculty and staff can run, walk, or bike along the Charles River, row on it, take classes on everything from aqua-aerobics to kickboxing, or pump iron at the Malkin Athletic Center or the Hemenway Gymnasium. Dawn Stenis, Harvard Recreation's area fitness program manager, has even created a program, the Harvard Slim Down, for people not comfortable going to the gym. The program provides nutritional counseling, a personal trainer, and a taste of several activities also offered in longer courses. For those who like to move outside, Harvard President Drew Faust two years ago announced a community program called Harvard On The Move, offering walks and runs through the neighborhood for faculty, staff, students, and members of the broader community. Jeanne Mahon, director of Harvard's Center for Wellness, said the three-times-a-week walks and runs have drawn a regular crowd, including 50 now sporting free T-shirts after attending six sessions, which meet on the Malkin Athletic Center steps several times during the week and at 10 a.m. on Sundays. Attendance ranges from a handful to as many as 40 for a Sunday run that featured Lieberman — an avid runner whose research fueled today's barefoot running craze — doing gait analysis. 'There's no medicine that's more important than exercise,' Lieberman said." - Alvin Powell
Harvard University Staff Writer. Published in the Harvard Gazette, March 7, 2012. [http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/03/the-big-setup/ ]
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[Quote No.59177] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:-] 'Harvard nutritionists take aim at sugary drinks' - Comparing the nation's obesity epidemic to a house on fire, Harvard nutrition experts took aim at sugar-sweetened beverages Monday (April 20), recommending the creation of a new, low-sugar alternative and urging adults and children alike to quench their thirsts the natural way — with water. Walter Willett, chair of the Harvard School of Public Health's Nutrition Department, and Lilian Cheung, who directs the department's Nutrition Source Web site, said Americans are getting fat because they're eating more, consuming about 300 calories a day more today than they did 30 years ago. About half of that comes from soda, fruit juice, and other sugary drinks. 'We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic. The rates of obesity in children have increased three- to fourfold during the last 30 years. At this time about two-thirds of the adults are either overweight or obese,' Willett said. 'This is critical, the house is on fire, because we know there are huge adverse health consequences of overweight and obesity.' The negative health effects of obesity are well known, with links to diabetes, heart attack, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, liver disease, and osteoarthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A study by HSPH researchers published in April showed that women who drank more than two servings of sweetened beverages a day had an almost 40 percent higher risk of heart disease than women who rarely drank them. The obesity epidemic, Willett said, could undo the gains in health and life expectancy made over recent decades. 'This is a very serious problem; we really have to take this on directly,' Willett said. Though Willett and Cheung said water is the best beverage option, they said Americans might need to be weaned from their super-sugary tastes. After a survey of current beverages on the market, they found very few available that have a low level of sugar. They proposed the creation by manufacturers of a new class of slightly sweetened beverages having no more than 1 gram of sugar per ounce — about 70 percent less than most soft drinks today — and that do not rely on artificial sweeteners. Willett said the typical 12 ounce can of soda has 10 teaspoons of sugar, while the common 20 ounce size contains 17 teaspoons of sugar. 'If you could imagine gulping down 17 teaspoons of sugar, it makes you want to gag,' Willett said. Willett and Cheung also called for a society-wide effort to reduce the consumption of these drinks, recommending that the government force companies to list the total number of calories per can — rather than per serving — on a container of soda or other beverage and levy sales taxes on the beverages. They said that schools and workplaces should offer healthy beverage choices, in smaller serving sizes, and make sure water is available. They also called on individuals to make healthier choices at home and on family food shoppers to cross soda and fruit drinks off their shopping list. Cheung said that the key to such an effort will be for Americans to retrain their palates away from sugary drinks and toward healthier alternatives. That may take some doing, since four out of five children and two out of three adults consume the drinks daily, while a typical teen boy drinks more than a quart of sugary drinks a day. Cheung and Willett didn't recommend replacing sugary drinks with artificially sweetened ones, saying those substitutes have been on the market for years and have had no impact on the obesity crisis, probably because they don't force us to retrain our palates. 'We as individuals ought to drink more water. Water is free and it has no calories,' Cheung said. The Harvard School of Public Health's Nutrition Department has added information on sweetened beverages and new recommendations on beverages to its Nutrition Source Web site to help consumers make healthy choices." - Alvin Powell
Harvard University Staff Writer. Published in the Harvard Gazette, April 23, 2009. [http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2009/04/harvard-nutritionists-take-aim-at-sugary-drinks/ ]
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[Quote No.59178] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] The thing to keep in mind about the USDA [Food] Pyramid is that it comes from the Department of Agriculture, the agency responsible for promoting American agriculture, not from the agencies established to monitor and protect our health. ... You deserve more accurate, less biased, and more helpful information than that found in the USDA Pyramid." - Dr. Walter C. Willett
Walter Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H. is an American physician and nutrition researcher. Currently, Willett is the Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and the chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. Quote from the book, ‘Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating’, published July 7, 2005, and written by M.D. Walter C. Willett (Author), P.J. Skerrett (Contributor).
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[Quote No.59179] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] No single food will make or break good health. But the kinds of food you choose day in and day out have a major impact." - Dr. Walter C. Willett
Walter Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H. is an American physician and nutrition researcher. Currently, Willett is the Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and the chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health.
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[Quote No.59180] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] If you step back and look at the data, the optimum amount of red meat you eat should be zero." - Dr. Walter C. Willett
Walter Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H. is an American physician and nutrition researcher. Currently, Willett is the Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and the chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health.
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[Quote No.59181] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] A diet rich in fruits and vegetables plays a role in reducing the risk of all the major causes of illness and death." - Dr. Walter C. Willett
Walter Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H. is an American physician and nutrition researcher. Currently, Willett is the Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and the chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
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[Quote No.59182] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] The evidence that folic acid reduces the risk of heart disease is pretty strong. [...] And fruits and vegetables are a major source of folic acid." - Dr. Walter C. Willett
Walter Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H. is an American physician and nutrition researcher. Currently, Willett is the Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and the chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health.
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[Quote No.59183] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] There's a lot of evidence that fruits and vegetables are beneficial for reducing the risk of stroke. " - Dr. Walter C. Willett
Walter Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H. is an American physician and nutrition researcher. Currently, Willett is the Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and the chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health.
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[Quote No.59184] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] We see clear evidence repeated in many studies that higher intake of trans fats is associated with higher risk of heart disease, and with many other conditions, such as diabetes and infertility. ... Even the relatively small amount of trans fats are likely to be causing around 7,000 premature deaths from heart disease per year. ... Trans fats really are a metabolic poison." - Dr. Walter C. Willett
Walter Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H. is an American physician and nutrition researcher. Currently, Willett is the Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and the chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health.
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[Quote No.59185] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet: 'good' carbs - non-refined, non-processed, complex carbohydrates. For example:] - Whole Grains 101 - ----- Whole grains have many health benefits: Health experts advise everyone – men and women, young and old – that grains are a healthy necessity in every diet, and that it's important to eat at least half our grains as 'whole grains.' But what IS a whole grain? And why does it matter? ----- Whole Grains: Whole grains include grains like wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, rye – when these foods are eaten in their 'whole' form [i.e. - A whole grain is a cereal grain that contains the germ, endosperm, and bran, in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm]... Whole grains even include popcorn! You may already be eating whole grains. When you munch popcorn in the theater, or give Toasty-O's to your toddler, or enjoy a bowl of hot oatmeal, you're probably focusing more on the delicious taste than on the fact that these foods are whole grains. ----- Antioxidants, Vitamins and Minerals: Consumers are increasingly aware that fruits and vegetables contain disease-fighting phytochemicals and antioxidants, but they do not realize whole grains are often an even better source of these key nutrients. Moreover, whole grains have some valuable antioxidants not found in fruits and vegetables, as well as B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber. ----- Health Benefits of Whole Grains: The medical evidence is clear that whole grains reduce risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Few foods can offer such diverse benefits. People who eat whole grains regularly have a lower risk of obesity, as measured by their body mass index and waist-to-hip ratios. They also have lower cholesterol levels. Because of the phytochemicals and antioxidants, people who eat three daily servings of whole grains have been shown to reduce their risk of heart disease by 25-36%, stroke by 37%, Type II diabetes by 21-27%, digestive system cancers by 21-43%, and hormone-related cancers by 10-40%. " - wholegrainscouncil.org
[http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101 ]
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[Quote No.59187] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:-] When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need. " - Jeff Novick, MS, RD

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[Quote No.59188] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet: sometimes doctor-monitored, therapeutic fasting can be helpful:] Health is the normal state. Most chronic disease is the inevitable consequence of living a life-style that places disease-causing stressors on the human organism. Fasting gives the body an interlude without those stressors so that it can speedily repair or accomplish healing that could not otherwise occur in the feeding state. Fasting stops the continual work of the digestive tract, whose activity can drain the body of energy and divert the healing processes. [pp. 7-8] ... The innate wisdom of the body is such that, while fasting, it will consume for its sustenance superfluous tissues, carefully conserving vital tissues and organs. The body's wondrous ability to autolyze [or self-digest] and destroy needless tissue such as fat, tumors, blood vessel plaque, and other nonessential and diseased tissues, while conserving essential tissues, gives the fast the ability to restore physiological youth to the system. [p. 16] ... The body will not starve or in general even be hungry while fasting because it is 'eating'. It is consuming the substances the individual consumed last week, last month, last year that have been converted into body tissue. In fact, the symptoms of hunger generally disappear by the second day of the fast. This illustrates that the body has entered a fasting, and [lean] tissue-sparing metabolism. [p. 12] ... The average individual [not overweight] would have to [water] fast for approximately 40 days or more to exhaust nutrient reserves. [p. 13] ... Normally, if we don't eat for a day or two, we start to utilize muscle tissue to make the glucose needed by the body, since glucose can be manufactured from amino acids stored in our muscles. If we continue to fast, however, the body senses what is occurring and attempt to conserve its lean muscle mass by a few different mechanisms. ... A special adaptation occurs in the fasting state [called ketogenesis] whereby the brain can fuel itself with ketones instead of glucose. By the third day of total [water only] fast, the liver starts generating a large quantity of ketones from the body's fat stores. ... This significantly limits muscle wasting. ... With severely restricted diets, like juice fasts [which has fructose sugar that easily converts to glucose - the body's primary carbohydrate-based energy system rather than its backup fat-based ketone system], the body does lose weight, but the brain and other organs do not subsist mainly on ketones. Therefore, proportionately to weight lost, juice fasts and severely restrictive diets cause to lose more lean body tissue and less fatty tissue than do total fast. [pp. 11-12] ... Juice fasting also does not have the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of the pure water fast that are essential for recovery in autoimmune illnesses. [p. 9.] ... Only when there is total abstinence from all calories [by using water only fasts rather than say juice fasts that have calories in the form of fructose sugars] do we observe waste products being heavily excreted from the breath, the tongue, the urine, and the skin. ... This kind of dramatic detoxification cannot occur with supplemented eating plans. [p. 10] ... levels of vitamins and minerals are exceedingly stable during the fast and, if normal to begin with, remain normal throughout the period of fasting. ... Even in prolonged fasts (those lasting from 20 to 40 days) no deficiency develops, illustrating that the body has the innate ability to utilize its stored reserves in a highly exacting and balanced manner. [p. 9)] ... True hunger is a mouth and throat sensation, felt in the same spot that one feels thirst. Gnawing in the stomach, stomach cramping, headaches, and generalized weakness from not eating or skipping a meal or two are experienced only by those who have been eating the standard American diet with all its shortcomings. ... Those who have been consuming healthier, low-fat, low-protein, plant-based diet [refer his book, 'Live To Eat' for a detailed discussion of this type of nutritional diet] for months prior to the fast typically experience no such typical hunger pains when they fast. ... Symptoms traditionally thought of as hunger symptoms, are not really symptoms of hunger. ... These symptoms are signs of withdrawal that indicate healing is beginning when the body has the opportunity to rest from the continual intake of food. [p. 18] ... " - Joel Fuhrman
Quoted from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's first book, 'Fasting and Eating for Health', published 1995.
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[Quote No.59189] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet: Why not try to eat a rainbow - ROY G BIV BW - daily?] - 'Eat a Rainbow' - Fruit and vegetables fall into five different colour categories: red, purple/blue, orange, green and white/brown. Each colour carries its own set of unique disease fighting chemicals called phytochemicals. It is these phytochemicals that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colour and of course some of their healthy properties. ----- What's in a colour? --- R - RED: Red fruits and vegetables are coloured by a natural plant pigment called lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of cancer and keep our heart healthy. [For example: Tomato, Red capsicum, Radishes, Strawberries, Rhubarb, Cherries, Red grapes, Raspberries, Watermelon, Red apples, etc] --- OY - ORANGE/YELLOW: Carotenoids give this group their vibrant colour. A well-known carotenoid called Betacarotene is found in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots. It is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Another carotenoid called lutein is stored in the eye and has been found to prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness. [For example: Carrots, Rockmelon, Lemons, Sweet potato, Pumpkin, Pineapples, Mangoes, Corn, Oranges, Squash, Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Grapefruit, etc] --- G - GREEN: Green vegetables contain a range of phytochemicals including carotenoids, indoles and saponins, all of which have anti-cancer properties. Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are also excellent sources of folate. [For example: Spinach, Asparagus, Avocados, Broccoli, Peas, Green apples, Green grapes, Limes, Kiwifruit, Green beans, Lettuce, Cabbage, Celery, Cucumber, Green capsicum, etc] --- BIV - PURPLE/BLUE [Blue-Indigo-Violet]: The plant pigment anthocyanin is what gives blue/purple fruits and vegetables their distinctive colour. Anthocyanin also has antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage and can help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease. [For example: Beetroot, Red cabbage, Eggplant, Purple asparagus, Blackberries, Blueberries, Purple grapes, Plums, etc] --- BW - BROWN/WHITE: White fruits and vegetables contain a range of health-promoting phytochemicals such as allicin (found in garlic) which is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Some members of the white group, such as bananas and potatoes, are also a good source of potassium. [For example: Cauliflower, Brown pears, Mushrooms, White peaches, Garlic, Bananas, Potatoes, Dates, Onions, Ginger, Parsnips, Turnip, etc] Offering a wide range of colours in children's food not only looks great but also ensures that children are receiving a great variety of nutrients. Here are some healthy ways you can interest children into the marvellous, colourful world of fruit and vegetables: -- Create your own Fruit and Veg Rainbow: A great way to keep track of the colours children eat each day is to create a fruit and veg rainbow poster. Every time the children eat a colourful fruit and vegetable they can place a corresponding coloured sticker on the rainbow or get them to colour in a small section on the rainbow. This is also a great activity that parents can do with their children at home. -- Create a Rainbow on Your Plate: Make a tropical rainbow fruit salad with fruits of each colour: oranges, strawberries, mango, rockmelon, kiwifruit, bananas, and blueberries. Stir fry your own mix of vegetables using each colour: red onions, carrots, baby corn, broccoli and mushrooms. -- Read a book – 'I Can Eat a Rainbow' by Annabel Karmel: I can eat a rainbow teaches kids how to eat healthily by enjoying a 'rainbow' of food, from purple plums to red apples to greens like spinach and celery. Each two-page spread focuses on food of a different colour. [An internet search will find books for adults about 'rainbow'-colour based diets.]" - nutritionaustralia.org
[http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/eat-rainbow ]
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[Quote No.59190] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet: critical, skepticism is important in the search for Truth:] - 'The Information Myth: Is More (Always) Better?' - Every day, like never before in history, we are overwhelmed with information and much of it is stories about diets, foods, nutrients, and diseases, good and bad. Much of the news is confusing and conflicting. One day, coffee causes cancer. The next day, coffee cures cancer. Here are 4 points to consider in regard to understanding all this info. ----- 1) The Signal to Noise Ratio: According to IBM, 90 percent of the data in the world was created within the last few years. So one problem is what we call the signal-to-noise ratio — the amount of meaningful information relative to the overall amount information is declining. We're not that much smarter than we used to be, even though we have much more information — and that means the real skill now is learning how to pick out the useful information from all this noise. This means people have to work harder to consume it: categorizing information, sorting facts from opinions, and putting everything in context. Unless we take the time to do that, and have the skills to do it well, we could actually be less knowledgeable. ----- 2) The Chemical Soup: Recently, researchers identified 40 common food ingredients that had articles reporting on their cancer risk. Of 264 single-study assessments, 72% concluded that the tested food was associated with an increased or a decreased risk. However, 75% of the risk estimates were very weak or had no statistical significance. When all studies on a item were combines for their overall risk was very week and had little to any significance. In other words, the relative risk for most items we hear featured in the news, when properly analyzed was basically non existent. In layman's tens, many single studies highlight implausibly large effects (which get reported in the media), even though evidence is very weak. When all the studies on an item are pooled together, the effect sizes shrinks to basically nothing (which does not get reported in the media). ----- 3) Failure to Replicate: One very key factor in science is that if I do a study and find a result, that someone else can 'replicate' it and get the same result. However, A number of empirical studies show that 80-90% of the claims we hear about in the news, fail to replicate. ----- 4) How Science Really Works: Outside of the media hoopla on these topics through its various outlets, a real scientist and student of health should not be swayed by the results of any one study - ever. The reason is, true science is really a slow-moving unfolding of information that builds on what is known and adds to it little by little over time. It also looks for and acknowledges its own flaws and weaknesses. It makes conclusions based on established and proven methods that deal with methodology, power, strength and levels of significance. It doesn't suddenly jump from one place to another every time a new study comes out. Eggs didn't go from bad to good this week and neither did coffee and no, butter is not back on the menu. Science is not determined by popular vote, public opinion, religious beliefs, (individual experience) or marketing and advertising. Science is determined by careful and critical consideration of the evidence and the strength of that evidence. Scientists are not polled for their opinions and the ideas of the majority put forward as the scientific reality." - Jeff Novick, MS, RDN
[http://www.jeffnovick.com/RD/Articles/Entries/2015/2/13_The_Information_Myth__Is_More_(Always)_Better.html ]
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[Quote No.59193] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:- the quality and quantity of nutritional food is vital for good health and healing:] The right raw materials can...double or triple the protective power of the immune system." - Joel Fuhrman
Quoted from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book, 'Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body's Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free'.
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[Quote No.59196] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] You need to know the truth about food and why eating the right way can save your life." - T. Colin Campbell
Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University and co-author of 'The China Study'.
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[Quote No.59213] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] The medical literature tells us that the most effective ways to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and many more problems are through healthy diet and exercise. Our bodies have evolved to [eat a diet we no longer eat enough of and to] move, yet we now use the energy in oil instead of muscles to do our work!" - David Suzuki

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[Quote No.59220] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet: When changing your eating routine for the better remember:] It is often said, 'It takes 4 weeks for you to see your body changing; it takes 8 weeks for your friends and family; it takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world.' So don't become discouraged. Persist! It takes time to do anything really worthwhile. Keep going. One small step after another!" - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59223] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet: Beware of emotional, comfort eating. If you aren't feeling great, remember...] Food is the most abused anxiety drug. Exercise the most underutilized antidepressant. " - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59236] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet: Beware of emotional, comfort eating. If you aren't feeling great, remember...] Let exercise be your stress reliever, not food." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59273] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet: when you are tempted to break your nutritious diet, remember...] Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels!" - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59278] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet: why?] Take care of your body. It's the only place you will ever have to live in. " - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59280] Need Area: Food > General
"A healthy, natural diet ...doesn't get in the way of my life...It adds to the quality of it." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59286] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet: Why? Because...] You can't exercise your way out of all the damage done by a bad diet." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59288] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] Remember 'fast food' should really be pronounced and spelt without the 's'." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59291] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] When you eat healthily, it is appropriate to wear black. After all you are going to a funeral ...for your fat! " - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59293] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet: Why?] Part of the good feeling after eating healthily is not feeling guilty for not eating healthily." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59302] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] Focus on health, not on weight." -

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[Quote No.59305] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] What you eat IN PRIVATE eventually is what you wear IN PUBLIC. Eat clean, Look lean!" - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59309] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] Only exercise and eat healthy on days you want to feel happy." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59321] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet and exercise:] Eat like a nutritionist. Train like an athlete. Sleep like a baby. Feel like a champion." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59325] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." - Jim Ryun
(1947 - ), American track and field athlete who won a silver medal in the 1968 Summer Olympics in the 1,500 metre run. He was the first high school athlete to run a mile in under four minutes.
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[Quote No.59328] Need Area: Food > General
"[Exercise and a healthy, natural diet and exercise: Why?] Exercise is 1 step forward...BUT, a poor diet is 2 steps back! You can't compete with what you eat." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59329] Need Area: Food > General
"A healthy, natural diet should not be just a short term diet. Ideally, it is a long term lifestyle change for the better!" - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59336] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] Eating healthy makes me happy." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.59340] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet: Why? - Many of the macro and micro-nutrients that our body needs can only be gotten naturally from eating vegetables or legumes, fruit, grains nuts, berries and seeds. Alarmingly...] If you don't count French fries, ketchup or pizza as vegetables, more than half of Americans eat no vegetables at all? [This has been called the SAD or MAD diet meaning the Standard American Diet or the Modern Average Diet. It is indicative of some of the nutritional problems (ie under-consuming healthy foods while over-consuming unhealthy foods)at the root of so many so called 'lifestyle' diseases which are now the major cause of easily preventable illness, disability and death worldwide.]" - John and Ocean Robbins
Quote from the book, written by John and Ocean Robbins, entitled 'Voices of the Food Revolution: You Can Heal Your Body and Your World with Food!', published 2013.
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[Quote No.59344] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] A Nutritional Update for Physicians was published in the official journal of Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed care organization in the United States. It told physicians that healthy eating may best be achieved with a plant-based diet, defined as a regimen that 'encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy and eggs as well as all refined and processed junk. ...too often, physicians ignore the potential benefits of good nutrition and quickly prescribe medications instead of giving patients a chance to correct their disease through healthy eating and active living. Physicians should therefore consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.' " - Michael Greger
Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on a number of important public health issues. [Refer https://foodrevolution.org/blog/food-and-health/plant-based-diets-the-new-normal/ and http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2013/spring/5117-nutrition.html ]
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[Quote No.59348] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet and daily exercise routine:-] I continue to be amazed by our bodies' ability for self-repair. ... Our bodies want to be healthy, if we would just let them. That's what these new research articles are showing: Even after years of beating yourself up with a horrible diet, your body can reverse the damage, open back up the arteries - even reverse the progression of some cancers. Amazing! So it's never too late to start exercising, never too late to stop smoking and never too late to start eating healthier." - Michael Greger
Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on a number of important public health issues.
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[Quote No.59349] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] We should all be eating fruits and vegetables as if our lives depend on it - because they do." - Michael Greger
Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on a number of important public health issues.
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[Quote No.59350] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] If [you are] over the age of 10, the question isn't whether or not to eat healthy to prevent heart disease, it's whether or not you want to reverse the heart disease you already have." - Michael Greger
Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on a number of important public health issues.
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[Quote No.59351] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet: 'Good' carbohydrates are very helpful, even necessary for good health. For example:] Vegetables and fruits contain the anti-carcinogenic cocktail to which we are adapted. We abandon it at our peril." - John Potter M.D.
Epidemiologist. Quote from the book, 'Beet The Odds' by Nathan S Bryan and Carolyn Pierini.
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[Quote No.59352] Need Area: Food > General
"[Good food is important, for happiness as well as health:]Happiness: a good bank account, a good cook and a good digestion!" - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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[Quote No.59355] Need Area: Food > General
"[A healthy, natural diet:] - Dean Ornish, M.D. 'Simple and Proven Breakthroughs That are Changing the World' - Dean Ornish, M.D., is one of the greatest medical pioneers in the world. His research has demonstrated - for the first time - that integrative changes in diet and lifestyle can reverse heart disease, turn on health-promoting genes, slow aging, and slow or even reverse early-stage prostate cancer. Medicare and many of the largest insurance companies have made his program the first lifestyle-based approach they have ever covered. Chosen by Forbes as 'one of the seven most powerful teachers in the world', Dr. Ornish's work is changing the face of medicine. Dr. Ornish challenges the myth that you have to choose between what's good for you and what's fun for you. His research proves that better diet can lead to better sex, more energy, and a happier life. -------- --------- --------

John Robbins: Your results have been extraordinary. Patients in your program see their angina reverse or decrease as early as the first few weeks. Blood flow to the heart improves, often in a month or less. After a year, even severely blocked coronary arteries become measurably less blocked. It seems that as the years go by there is even more reversal and more improvement. Have you seen comparative improvements in patients following the more moderate American Heart Association Guidelines or any other program that you know of?

Dr. Dean Ornish: Moderate changes may be enough to prevent heart disease in some people, but they are usually not enough to reverse it. We were able to show in a scientific way that most traditional recommendations didn't go far enough. The more you change your diet and lifestyle, the more you improve in virtually every way we can measure, whether it is your heart disease improving, your PSA coming down, or your gene expression changing. We found that over 500 genes were changed in just three months, with the up-regulating or turning on of genes that prevent disease, and down regulating or turning off of genes that help promote disease. Particularly what are called the RAS oncogenes that promote cancers of the prostate, breast, and colon were down regulated. These processes are much more dynamic than anyone had realized. The more we look, the more we find. Some people think taking a pill is easy and everyone will do it, but that changing diet and lifestyle is difficult, if not impossible, and hardly anyone will do it. What we're finding is actually the opposite. Adherence to most medications, whether they are cholesterol-lowering drugs or blood pressure pills, is only about 30 percent at three or four months. But we are getting 85–90 percent adherence after a year in Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, even though West Virginia leads the United States in heart disease. The reason is that the pill may not make you feel better, but changing your diet and lifestyle will. The better you feel, the more you want to keep doing it so you get into a virtuous cycle. That is one of the reasons people are continuing to do it - not just to live longer, but to live better.

John Robbins: So they enter the program because they have some medical problem that they want to alleviate and they end up changing their life in a way that creates benefits across the board. It seems as though you have found an entry point into people’s lives that is healing in a profound sense.

Dr. Dean Ornish: Well it is, and that is why I love doing this work. You know, we are all going to die of something. The mortality rate is still 100 percent, it is one per person. But the question is not just not how long we live, but also how well we live. There is a belief that you have to choose between what is good for you and what is fun for you. But we're saying you can have both. You can have more fun, have better sex, sleep deeper, enjoy your food more, and not have all those aches and pains. The ancient swamis, rabbis, priests, monks, and nuns didn't develop techniques like meditation, yoga, and so on to unclog their arteries or lower their blood pressure. But it turns out that they developed some really powerful tools for transformation that are also physiologically healing. I can't tell you how many patients have said things to me like, 'Even if I knew I wouldn't live another day longer I would still make these changes now that I know what they are like because my life is transformed.' What is most meaningful to me is how we can work with people to use the experience of suffering in whatever way they are feeling it as a catalyst and a doorway for transforming their lives. For some, it is physical suffering, because they have angina or chest pain. For others, it is the suffering of depression or isolation. If we can work at that level, then we find that people are much more likely to make lifestyle choices that are life enhancing rather than ones that are self-destructive. To me it is really about transformation, and then on a physical level, just about everything we measure tends to get better. We're seeing dramatic improvements in things that were never measured before. We found that even telomerase increased by 30 percent in the first three months.

John Robbins: Why it that important?

Dr. Dean Ornish: Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn won the Nobel Prize in 2009 for her co-discovery of telomerase. Telomerase repairs and lengthens our telomeres, which are the ends of our chromosomes. Telomeres control aging, which in turn controls how long we live. So as your telomeres get shorter, your life gets shorter. She had done a pioneering study with women who were caregivers of parents with Alzheimer's or kids with autism. The more stress the women reported feeling and the longer they reported feeling that way, the lower their telomerase and the shorter were their telomeres. It made headlines because it was the first study showing that even at the genetic level, chronic stress can actually shorten your life. What was one of the more interesting findings of this study is that stress is not simply what happens to you, it is how you deal with it. You could have two women who were in very comparable life situations, but one was coping much better than the other. It wasn't the objective measure of stress that determined its effects on telomerase; it was the women's perception of it. So when people learn how to meditate and do yoga and use other methods to manage stress, they can be in the same job or the same family or the same environment and react in different ways.

John Robbins: I am hearing two things. I am hearing that your research is showing that the kind of lifestyle changes you recommend actually affect gene expression, turning on disease-preventing genes and turning off genes that promote cancer, heart disease, and other diseases. I am also hearing that there is evidence that these same lifestyle changes have an affect on aging, because they actually impact the telomerase.

Dr. Dean Ornish: Yes, we found that the telomerase increased by almost 30 percent in just three months, and ours is the only intervention to date that has been shown to do that. We are now looking to see the effects on telomere lengths.

John Robbins: That is astounding information and a major breakthrough.

Dr. Dean Ornish: It is a radically simple idea that when you eat healthier, when you love more, when you manage stress better, when you exercise moderately, and when you don't smoke, you are happier and your life is more fun.

John Robbins: You have become primarily known for your nutritional wisdom and research, but you have also written in great depth about the healing power of relationships and intimacy. We live in a culture where loneliness probably kills more people than cigarettes. What are you learning about the connection between relationships and health?

Dr. Dean Ornish: We get to know each other really well in some of my studies. After a while I asked some of my patients, 'Why do you smoke? Why do you overeat and drink too much and work too hard and abuse yourself? These behaviors seem so maladaptive to me.' They would say: 'You don't get it. You don't have a clue. These are adaptive behaviors, because they help us get through the day.' One patient said, 'I've got twenty friends in this package of cigarettes and they are always there for me.' So it is true that loneliness kills more people than cigarettes, but keep in mind that it is often loneliness that causes people to smoke in the first place. Or they use food to fill the void or alcohol to numb the pain, or they work all the time to distract themselves. To me, the function of pain is to say, 'Hey, listen up. Pay attention. You are doing something that is not in your best interest.' Then we start to say, 'Oh, I have a different choice. I can do this instead of that,' and then it comes out of your own experience, not because some authority figure told you.

John Robbins: I want to take the example of your friend, former President Bill Clinton. He has had serious health problems for a long time. In 2004 he underwent a quadruple bypass to restore blood flow to his heart. A few years later, there were more problems and he had two stents placed inside one of his coronary arteries that had once again become clogged. After that he made a decision that I think you had probably been encouraging him toward for some time. That decision seems to have transformed his life. He has lost more than twenty-five pounds. The last time I heard from him, he said he was feeling healthier than ever. He may have become the world's most famous vegan. What can you share about President Clinton's health journey and your involvement with it?

Dr. Dean Ornish: Well I love President Clinton. I think he is an amazing human being. I began working with the Clintons in 1993 when someone arranged for Mrs. Clinton to meet with me. She was interested in the research that we were doing and after showing her the research she said, 'Would you work with the chefs who cook for us?' And I said, 'Excuse me?' She repeated it and I said, 'Of course, I would be honored to.' So I brought in some of the top chefs that we have worked with over the years. We went to the White House and we worked with the chefs who cooked for the President. We also worked with the chefs from Camp David and from Air Force One. It was a great privilege to be able to do that. I also began working with the President on his own health. He did make some changes in the way he was eating and it did lead to some benefits, but when his bypass clogged up, there was a press conference in which it was announced that it was all in his genes and his diet and lifestyle had nothing to do with the bypass clogging up. So I communicated with him and said, 'The friends that I value the most are the ones who tell me what I need to hear, not necessarily what I want to hear. What you need to know is that it is not all in your genes. I say this not to blame you, but to empower you, because if it were all in your genes, you would just be a victim. There is a lot you can do. Again, that is the opportunity. It is not a criticism in any way. It is out of great respect and love.' I sent President Clinton some of the research and a couple of books that I have written on the topic, and when we met a week or so later, he said that he had decided to do it. I was really happy that he did that because I care about him so much. I was also happy because I think, whatever your politics, when the President of the United States -- especially one who was known earlier in his life for eating particularly unhealthful -- makes a choice to eat a lot healthier, that sets a great example for everyone. So, as you say, he may have become the world's most well-known vegan. Whatever other considerable good that he does in the world, he will have added to it substantially by showing that this is possible.

John Robbins: I want to share one of my favorite quotes of yours. You said, 'I don't understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced, vegetarian diet is considered radical, while it is medically conservative to cut people open and put them on powerful cholesterol lowering drugs for the rest of their lives.'

Dr. Dean Ornish: We pay for things that are dangerous, invasive, expensive, and largely ineffective. And we have a hard time believing that simple choices in our lives that we make each day - like what we eat, how we respond to stress, how much love we give each other, and how much we exercise - can make such a powerful difference. But they really do. That is probably our unique contribution: we use these very high tech, expensive, state-of-the-art measures working with first-rate scientists to show how powerful these very simple, low-tech, and low-cost interventions can be. Three-quarters of the 2.8 trillion dollars that we spend each year on health care in the United States is for chronic diseases that can often be prevented or even reversed by simply making these same kinds of changes. In every one of our studies, the more people have changed their diet and lifestyle, the more they have improved. It is not like there is one diet and lifestyle intervention for heart disease and a different one for prostate cancer and a different one for Type 2 Diabetes and a different one for changing your genes or making your telomeres longer. It is really just to the degree that you move in this direction, we've found there is a corresponding benefit. It is not all or nothing. Being a vegan is too much for some people, so we say, 'Okay great. Just do what you can. What matters most is your overall way of eating and living. Foods aren't good or bad, but some are healthier for you than others.' So we have categorized foods from the healthiest (group one) to the least healthful (group five), and groups two through four are intermediate. If you are eating mostly four and five, you are eating mostly unhealthy food. If you feel like making any changes, of course that is up to you. You can say, 'Okay, maybe I will eat a little less four and five and maybe more one through three.' Then you do that and you see if you feel better. If you start to feel better, then maybe you want to make even bigger changes, but again it is coming out of your own experience. The problem with going on a diet is that when you go on a diet, sooner or later you are likely to go off it. Once you go off it, you may feel like you are a failure. Be compassionate with yourself. Just say, 'Directionally I am going to go more towards a plant-based diet because I want to feel better. So if I indulge myself one day, then I will eat healthier the next. If I don't exercise one day, I will do a little more the next. If I don't have time to meditate for an hour, I will do it for a minute.' Just the consistency is more important than anything, and that way you can't fail. It just becomes a way of living in the world rather than just a diet that you go on and off.

John Robbins: It reminds me of the old story, The Tortoise and the Hare. Slow and steady wins the race.

Dr. Dean Ornish: That's true. And it's also true that sometimes people do really well when they make big changes all at once because they feel so much better so quickly, and the effect of their changes is highly visible. For others it is easier to go with slow and steady. We say, 'Here are the risks and the benefits, the costs and the side effects. This is your life, and your responsibility. I am only here to support you and make sure that you have all of the information that you can use to make intelligent choices. I'm here to support whatever you choose to do, whether it is drugs, surgery, lifestyle, or a combination.'

John Robbins: You have been engaged in a dialogue with Medicare for a long time that is now bearing fruit. One would hope that if you do good science it is going to change medical practice. But if there isn't eimbursement, then it might not.

Dr. Dean Ornish: I am grateful for Medicare. They are now covering 'Dr. Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease' as a named program in the clinics, hospitals, and physician's offices where we train and certify. Having seen what powerful changes diet and lifestyle can make over the past thirty-five years of studies, it is great to be able to make them available. Reimbursement is an important determinant of medical practice and even medical education. I learned a painful lesson when we opened a number of sites before we had reimbursement to cover our program. Even though we got excellent clinical outcomes, some of those sites closed down. They didn't close because the treatment wasn't working. They closed because it wasn't reimbursable. If you change reimbursement, then everything follows. Without that even a thousand studies may not be enough to really change things. After sixteen years of reviewing our work internally and externally, Medicare agreed to cover it. Now we can make it available to people everywhere, because most other insurance companies are following their lead. We trained ten hospitals in West Virginia which has been the number one state in the country for heart disease, and 44 hospitals and clinics elsewhere, with many more to come. We trained the St. Vincent de Paul Society homeless clinic in San Francisco in our Spectrum Integrative Medicine Program and they have treated more than 15,000 people through it in the past year and a half. We will be offering our reversing heart disease program there as well which Medicare will reimburse, and then we'll clone it to St. Vincent de Paul homeless clinics throughout the country. We are in the process of training lots of different people in our program and providing a truly integrative paradigm that incorporates the best of drugs and surgery when they are effective, but also addresses the more fundamental causes of why we get sick.

John Robbins: You have become known for advocating a low-fat diet, and yet as you have so often pointed out, low fat is not synonymous with healthy. I have seen studies that purport to measure low-fat diets to see if there are any benefits, but they define 'low fat' as an intake barely less than the norm in our culture, and then don't see benefits. There is barely any reduction in fat consumption, so you see barely any results.

Dr. Dean Ornish: Right, well not only is there barely any reduction in fat, but also they usually put in tons of sugar. I am so sorry that I somehow have gotten this reputation as the low-fat guy. I think it came out of the debates I was in with Dr. Atkins. To me that is the least interesting part of the work that we do.

John Robbins: What would you say is the role of fat in an optimally healthy diet?

Dr. Dean Ornish: It depends. Three or four grams a day of omega-3 fatty acids taken during pregnancy can increase a child's IQ. For adults, they can reduce your risk of sudden cardiac death by up to 80 percent, because they raise the threshold for ventricular fibrillation. They can reduce your risk of prostate or breast cancer. They can help reduce inflammation. They can lower triglycerides. I think that those are good things to have in your diet. If you are vegan, you can get omega-3 fats from the plankton- based supplements, and if you are not, you can get them from fish oil. I recommend that just about everybody take three or four grams a day of fish oil or the equivalent. There is a consensus that trans fats are harmful in a number of different ways. There is a lot of controversy about whether saturated fat is harmful or not. I think it is, with the possible exceptions of the saturated fat that you find in chocolate, which, although it is dense in calories, may actually be good for your heart. Total fat consumption matters in a number of ways, one of which is that fat is the most dense form of calories. Fat has nine calories per gram and protein and carbs have only four. So if you are eating less fat, you are getting fewer calories without having to eat less food. It is the volume of the food that really seems to stimulate satiety more than the caloric density of the food. An easy way to lose weight is to just reduce the amount of fat in your diet, because you are going to be getting the same quantity of food, but it will be less dense in calories, so you are going to be eating fewer of them.

John Robbins: How about coconut?

Dr. Dean Ornish: Coconut is high in saturated fat. I think the jury is out on coconut. I haven’t seen enough good evidence either way.

John Robbins: Olive oil is frequently touted as a health food and the center of the Mediterranean Diet. At the same time, canola oil is getting a bad reputation in certain circles. What do you think of this controversy?

Dr. Dean Ornish: One of the main reasons people think that olive oil is good for you is because of the Lyon Study that took place in France. People consuming what was termed a Mediterranean Diet had an 80 percent lower risk of heart attacks than those who didn't. But if you actually looked at what they were eating on this so-called Mediterranean Diet, they were reducing their intake of saturated fats - meat and butter and dairy and so on. And they were eating a diet that was high in canola oil. What makes canola oil beneficial are the omega-3 fatty acids that are high in canola oil but are very low in olive oil. That is what they were eating in the Lyon study, and so the Mediterranean Diet that was so beneficial was high in canola oil, more than in olive oil. Now olive oil does have antioxidants. It has some good things. The problem with olive oil is that, like all oils, it is so dense in calories. One tablespoon of olive oil has about fourteen grams of fat. People dip their bread in it and soak up large amounts of oil, thinking it is somehow going to be good for them and not realizing that they are getting a lot of calories.

John Robbins: I want to ask you about alcohol. I have always seen you as somebody who wants people to enjoy their life.

Dr. Dean Ornish: Absolutely. What is the point otherwise?

John Robbins: For many people, alcohol is part of their joy in life and their connection with other people. Yet of course, in excess it is addictive and terribly destructive. We are seeing some evidence that moderate alcohol consumption has actual health benefits. What is your take on this?

Dr. Dean Ornish: I think that you should do things you enjoy. I don't prescribe alcohol. I don't proscribe alcohol. I say if you are going to drink, the studies show that it is best to keep it on average under two drinks a day. Two drinks means two glasses of wine, two cans of beer, two shots of whiskey, or the equivalent. The studies show that people who drink moderately can derive some benefit. But these are people who like to hang out with their friends after work. They go to a bar or go to a restaurant for happy hour. It's a great place for people to get social support. So it's hard to separate how much of that benefit is due to the social support, and how much is due to moderate alcohol consumption. Rather than trying to sort out the relative parts, I would say they are probably both important. But I wouldn't tell somebody who is not drinking to start. I think that it is important that people feel like they have lots of ways of increasing their social support or managing stress. Some people may sit around drinking, and other people will do it in other ways.

John Robbins: Medicine is a business and there are powerful commercial forces involved. There is a lot of money at stake, and the incentives haven't always been aligned with patient well-being.

Dr. Dean Ornish: I think that is beginning to change with the Affordable Care Act. Now instead of reimbursement by procedure we're seeing reimbursement by diagnosis. When you say, 'Here is X amount of dollars to take care of someone who has got heart disease,' then suddenly the doctor might be advising doing fewer procedures and helping people to change their lifestyles. We all know that lifestyle is important in preventing disease. But now we're seeing lifestyle as a treatment. It can often work as well or even better, at a fraction of the cost, with only good side effects. There is a convergence of forces that make this the right idea at the right time. The limitations of high-tech medicine are becoming clear. Stents and angioplasties don't work for stable patients, and the surgery for prostate cancer isn't really necessary most of the time. Meanwhile, the power of these very simple, low-tech, low-cost interventions like lifestyle changes have become increasingly well-documented. The opportunities are really ripe now for industries to realize that a new paradigm of medical care can be much more sustainable, and even profitable. Health care costs are reaching a tipping point. They are not financially sustainable for the government nor for many families. Most large businesses are self-insured, and this is coming right off their bottom line. There is a debate between some people who say, 'Let's just raise taxes and let the deficit go up,' and other people who say, 'No, let's just dismantle or privatize Medicare.' I say, 'If 75% of the $2.8 trillion in health care costs are for chronic diseases that can often be prevented and even reversed by making comprehensive lifestyle changes, this can be a third alternative. By teaching people how to change their lifestyles, we can make better care available to more people at significantly lower costs -- and the only side-effects are good ones.'

For more info on Dr. Ornish' work, and to gain access to many resources and opportunities, visit www.ornishspectrum.com.

" - Dean Ornish and John Robbins
Dean Ornish: American physician, president and founder of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and author. John Robbins: American author, who advocates for whole food, plant-based diets, environmentalism, and animal rights. He is the author of the 1987 'Diet for a New America', an exposé on connections between diet, physical health, animal cruelty, and environmentalism. Quote from 'The Real Food Action Guide: Restore Your Health and Save the Planet', By John and Ocean Robbins. [Refer www.foodrevolution.org ]
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