Category Archives: Health

Heart Disease – No. 1 cause of death

Artery scanning

Dr Chan Hwang scans the carotid artery of a Vegfest attendee.

Heart disease is still the number one cause of death for both men and women. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. A plant-based diet can reduce your risk of a heart attack by 40%. If you wish your doctor knew about this, we want you to know that we do too! That’s why we wrote a letter to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. They recently published an Expert Consensus Decision Pathway on the role of non-statin therapies for lowering LDL Cholesterol, but they “forgot” to include the plant-based diet!  We told them about their omission, and we published it as an open letter, complete with references to all the latest research on the topic.

The most common cause of a heart attack is cholesterol-laden plaque that builds up and clogs the coronary arteries that feed the heart. This plaque either cuts off the heart’s blood supply, or it destabilizes causing a blockage which leads to a heart attack. A plant- based diet can stop the build up of plaque in the coronary arteries and even tack it back a bit.

Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack from clogged arteries, and for a significant portion of those victims their first heart attack will be fatal. The necessity of undergoing surgery to bypass clogged coronary arteries or to insert a stent, or even just the threat of being at risk for a heart attack, has given many a man and woman more than just a few sleepless nights.

Coronary artery bypass surgery enables many patients to live significantly longer, but it is very invasive and entails some risks and complications. Blood vessels from other parts of the body are used to create detours around the clogged arteries, but eventually these new pathways become blocked as well. Stents to help keep the artery open still involve surgery and can reclog.

But there’s a better solution to this problem – a vegetarian solution. Scientific studies have shown, time and again, the power of a healthy vegetarian diet to prevent and treat heart disease. Texas cardiologist Dean Ornish took patients destined for bypass surgery and placed them on a vegetarian diet instead of the standard meat-centered diet they were following. The results were striking. Their blockages started reducing in size, and the arteries opened up a bit. The heart’s ability to pump started to improve in only 24 days. There was a 91% reduction in chest pain. Within a year, his patients were literally hiking up mountains.

The beneficial effects to heart health seem to be long lasting. Recent research has also shown that the arteries become less inflamed and more flexible leading to much better blood flow to the heart muscle.

Other doctors tried testing a vegetarian diet on their patients and achieved the same results as Ornish. At this point, countless patients around the world have been “rescued” by the humble yet powerful vegetarian diet.

It turns out that plant foods work even better than medications in many cases. Studies have shown that a low-fat vegetarian diet, by itself, is at least as powerful at lowering the cholesterol levels of patients, as the American Heart Association Diet combined with a cholesterol-lowering drug.

The reason for this is simple. A vegetarian diet is much lower both in the saturated fat that promotes cholesterol production in our own livers, and in cholesterol itself. A vegan diet goes a step further and includes no cholesterol at all. As an extra bonus, the plant foods that are so plentiful in a vegetarian diet have also been shown to reduce blood pressure. Just as important, while you’re cleaning out your coronary arteries, you’ll also be cleaning out the arteries that lead to your brain and even your legs, thus preventing or reversing the most common kind of dementia and the painful legs that many people get when walking.

The beauty of the vegetarian solution is that it is available to everyone. You don’t need a prescription or even a doctor’s note to change your diet today. Come to Vegfest and find out how your arteries are doing, with our free artery ultrasound scans and blood pressure screenings, and try some of the heart-healthy food you’ll find there. We think you’ll find that getting healthy never tasted so good.

See professional level information on hypercholesterolemia, and the treatment of coronary artery disease.

Five ways a vegetarian diet protects against colon cancer

man-eating-healthyA plant-based diet is a powerful way to substantially cut your risk of colon cancer. It’s long been known that vegetarians have a very significantly reduced risk of colon cancer. Several studies have shown that vegetarians reduce their risk of colon cancer by 46%-88%, they have a 54% reduced risk of polyps, and a 200% reduced risk of advanced polyps which can become malignant. Since colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, these percentages are very important. While we’ve known this for quite a while, we didn’t know why until recently – now we do! Read more

Salicylate – the vegetarian’s secret ingredient for health

Aspirin bottleTake two aspirin and call me in the morning is the common refrain we often hear from doctors. Aspirin, aceta-salicylic acid as it’s technically known, is rapidly metabolized to salicylic acid in the body. Doctors have determined that salicylic acid is responsible for many of aspirin’s beneficial effects.  It turns out that salicylic acid is present in many plant foods and are easily absorbed by the body. One study showed that some vegetarians have the same amount of salicylates in their blood as people who take daily low dose aspirin. Read more

What am I to believe?

man-biting-dog

Man Bites Dog!

Are you confused about nutrition and health? If you are, you’re not alone. We’re flooded nutritional information these days.  Websites, articles in the newspapers, new books being published, scientific studies on the benefits or harm caused by one ingredient or another – it’s hard to keep up with it all, and so much of it seems contradictory or just doesn’t make sense.  Many of us wonder just what to believe!  So we’d like to share with you some pointers to help you sift through the minefield. Read more

The Paleo Fantasy – update

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall – Anthropologist

Scientists have recently discovered settlements of vegetarian Neanderthals in Europe. It seems that they lived on a plant-based diet and ate no meat at all. This should come as no surprise since everyone from Charles Darwin to Clifford Roberts, the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology, to the famous anthropologist Jane Goodall, tells us that we are designed by anatomy and physiology to be vegetarians.

“The human species does not have the physical attributes of a carnivore.  If everyone knew and faced up to all the facts, most would either opt for drastically cutting their meat consumption or giving up meat altogether.“

– Jane Goodall, Author of Harvest for Hope

Paleo man didn’t eat as much meat as has been hyped and some ate none at all. Since the mistaken notions and thinking behind the Paleo Diet have continued since our last posting debunking it, we thought we would add a little more refutation to it.

Read more

Strength and Endurance

Strength and Endurance – Scientists tell us what we already know

 

Scientists at the University of Arizona have just confirmed through a rigorous study what many vegetarian athletes already knew. Vegetarian athletes have just as much peak muscle strength, and even more endurance than their meat-eating counterparts. This is borne out by the many athletes who are choosing to be vegetarian or vegan these days, because they find that it improves their performance.

David carter 3

David Carter, defensive lineman with Jacksonville Jaguars

Take football player David Carter, a defensive lineman with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and formerly with the Oakland and Dallas teams, for example.  He became enthusiastic about his vegan diet after seeing the results and learning about the effect of his food choices. Eating an entirely plant-based diet, David experienced more energy and his stamina went through the roof. All his numbers in the weight room actually went up. Read more

Trouble in the Bathroom – Constipation

Let’s talk about constipation. It may be an embarrassing topic, but did you know that there’s a big vegetarian advantage when it comes to preventing and treating constipation, and some more serious colon health problems, that are so common in our meat-centered society? When it comes to constipation, the sales figures for laxatives tell the story as well as anything. No one should have to pay to poop, yet Americans spend over $1 billion dollars on laxatives every year to do just that. The culprit, as with so many other health problems, is the low-fiber, meat-centered, American diet. This is where, as with so many health issues, a healthy vegetarian diet can come to the rescue. Read more

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