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Diet and Your Health

Diet and Your Health

Two years ago, almost to the day, the World Health Organization announced the findings of a panel of experts it had convened. The headlines were a shock to this Meat and potatoes lover. The WHO had come to the conclusion that eating processed meats (hot dogs, ham, bacon, some deli meats, and sausage) raised the risk of developing colon cancer. Processed referred to meat that was treated in some way to flavor or preserve it, such as curing, fermenting, smoking, or salting it. They also classified red meats (beef, pork, lamb or goat) as a probable carcinogen. The press ran with this story like hot cakes and I began to want to know more information. So, after consulting with some of my colleagues and mentors I picked up a few books. The information I found was fascinating and horrifying at the same time.

Check out these books

The books I referenced were “The China Study” and “Whole.” Both books were authored by T. Collin Campbell PhD, a world-renowned author and researcher in nutrition and health. He has spent a fair amount of his life researching nutrition and cancer development. In the China Study he writes about the ground-breaking project that led him to the conclusions found in the research. Over and over the same conclusions found that people that ate the most animal based foods got the most chronic disease. People who ate the most plant based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. His research further concluded that three major causes of morbidity in the United States, namely Obesity, Diabetes and Heart Disease can, be reversed by a diet of plant based origin. Other research showed that certain types of cancers, brain and vision disorders, autoimmune diseases, healthy kidney function, and even bone health are all improved with the right diet. The diet that has, over and over again, been proven to be the best path to improve and promote optimal health is a whole food plant based diet.

In the book “Whole”, Campbell writes about the ideal diet being one of consuming foods that are plant based and as close to their natural out of the ground state as possible. The list includes fruits, vegetables, raw seeds and nuts, legumes, beans and whole grains. Avoiding foods that are heavily processed and are animal product based is critical. He recommends staying away from sugar, oil, and salt. Eating more plant based proteins and staying away from animal based proteins, meats and milk included.

More fascinating information!

One other thing that I found fascinating in this book was the notion that you cannot take a vitamin or mineral out of its source, make it into a capsule and consume it to get the same result you would get if you ate a plant or vegetable with the mineral or vitamin naturally occurring in it. The chemistry of the plant or vegetable and the way our body processes the food is entirely different. I would encourage anyone interested in improving their health and their diets in checking out these books. The information is fascinating. It, in turn prompted me to see what we could do to improve our health.

 

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