Tag Archives: plant-based diet

Live longer with plant-based diet

A young adult in the U.S. could add more than a decade to their life expectancy by changing their diet from a typical Western diet to an optimized diet that includes more legumes, vegetables, whole grains and nuts, and less red and processed meat, according to a new study.

Gains are predicted to be larger the earlier the dietary changes are initiated in life. For older people, the anticipated gains to life expectancy from such dietary changes would be smaller but still substantial. The message is clear. You’re never too young to start on a plant-based diet, and you’re never too old to benefit from it.

According to the study, young people starting out at age 20 could, on average, add 10 years to life expectancy for women and 13 years for men. Starting at age 60, it could add 8 years, on average, for women and 9 years, on average, for men. Even 80-year-old women and men could add 3 years, on average, to their life expectancy.

This should come as no surprise. The Journal of the American Medical Association says that diet is the number one risk factor for disease in the United States. Among the 10 leading causes of death (before COVID) are heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease, all of which a plant-based diet can help prevent and treat.

According to the study, an optimal diet had substantially higher intake than a typical western diet of whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.  Yet, many doctors treat nutrition as a side issue. Of course, they were offered little to no training in medical school.

Of course, we don’t say that nutrition is the only relevant factor in life expectancy. For instance cigarette smoking has a large impact, along with access to medical care. Nevertheless, the nutritional effect  on health is considerable and offers a wide ranging opportunity for increasing life expectancy.

Viking star Sam Corlett is vegan

A Sam Corlett selfie!

Twenty-six year old Australian actor Sam Corlett went vegan while he was in acting school, “to live more in line with his values” he says.  While his body was not naturally muscular he needed to appear so, first as Caliban in the Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and more recently as Leif Erikson in Vikings: Valhalla.

In order to get as big as possible, he feasted on massive stir-fries that included microgreens, veggies, tempeh and kimchi, along with chickpeas, black beans or tofu, and relevant spices depending on the cuisine he was trying to create.  He also did heavy lifting sessions in the gym along with more restorative yoga practices, to help him bulk up. He was able to gain 22lbs and the expected physique of a Viking!

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Saving Americans trillions!

Let’s save the country trillions of dollars! How you ask? By adopting a vegan diet. Here’s why.

Diet is the number one risk factor for the disease and disability burden in the United States, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. That’s number one! According to cardiologist Dean Ornish, “More than 75% …of the annual U.S. healthcare costs (mostly sick-care costs) are from chronic diseases, which can often be prevented and even reversed by eating a plant-based diet, at a fraction of the costs – and the only side-effects are good ones.”

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Vegan diet saves money

A vegan diet can save you money, according to a new study. More and more people are interested in going vegan, yet there’s long been the notion that plant-based diets are inherently more expensive than following a more traditional omnivore diet – which is why some people may be hesitant to make the switch.

The study, published in a medical journal, found that eating a healthier and more sustainable vegan diet could actually slash up to a third off your food bill if you live in a high income country – like the US, Britain or Europe. The results came as a bit of a surprise for the researchers. If you look solely at the costs of the ingredients, a vegan diet actually costs a third less than the current “western” diets with high amounts of meat and dairy that many people consume in high income countries.

To put it into perspective, they estimated that the typical western diet costs about $50 per week per person. In comparison, vegan diets cost as little as $33. That means, over the course of a year, you could save almost $800 per person by switching to a plant-based diet.

However, the data used refers to the costs of basic ingredients – such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. They didn’t include ready-made meals or highly processed foods such as plant-based burgers. That means, if you want to realize these savings, go for minimally processed foods and try out some new recipes. Prepared foods do offer convenience, but there’s an additional cost.

Book cover for shopping guide

Of course, being a savvy shopper is key to saving money. Our shopping guide, In Pursuit of Great Food, will help you, or someone you know, reorient your kitchen around a plant-based diet.

Reduce your risk of stomach cancer

Medical studies show that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of stomach cancer while meat increases it.

Cancer is often most easily treated when detected early, but some cancers aren’t easy to catch early. One of them is stomach cancer.  Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, begins when cells in the stomach start to grow out of control. By the time it’s detected it has usually spread to other parts of the body. Treatment is most often ineffective or of limited benefit in these cases.

So when it comes to stomach cancer, prevention is even more critical. What can be done to reduce the risk? It turns out a vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of stomach cancer. For instance, one study showed that vegetarians have a 63% reduced risk of getting stomach cancer. Another study showed that vegetarians had 56% reduction in the risk of dying from stomach cancer.

Results from several studies suggested that a diet rich in vitamin C was particularly protective. Sources of vitamin C include fresh produce, such as green and yellow vegetables and fruit. Several studies have also reported the protective role of allium vegetables, such as onions and garlic, in preventing gastric cancer.

There’s another advantage vegetarians have when it comes to stomach cancer. Most cases of stomach have a bacteria, H.Pylori, as one of the causative factors. However, a vegetarian diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent or suppress infection with H. Pylori.

While a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of getting stomach cancer, processed meat such hot dogs and bacon increase the risk, as does red meat such as steaks and hamburgers. The choice for prevention is clear. Put a healthy vegetarian diet to work to reduce the risk of stomach cancer.

Parkinson’s Disease – the important role of the food we eat

Parkinson’s Disease is second only to Alzheimer’s as the most common human neurodegenerative disorder in the United States. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system that affects physical movements and over the years causes a progressive disability that can be slowed or even temporarily improved but not halted. So far no therapy has been proven to stop its progression.

Not surprisingly, diet is a major risk factor. The western, meat-centered diet, especially from meat fat, dairy and eggs, increases the risk of getting Parkinson’s, while plant fats do not increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease. In fact, consuming plant foods decreases the risk of getting Parkinson’s disease. There are two main processes where plant foods can help.

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Veg Diet doesn’t protect against Covid 19

A recent article from a study in India found an association between nonvegetarian diets and an increased risk of getting the virus that causes the current pandemic. Unfortunately, this study lacks the specificity to draw any reliable conclusions. It also only showed a relative effect that is not even in the same galaxy as immunity from the virus!

However, some people are falsely claiming that this study shows that vegetarian and vegan diets confer protection from the virus. Don’t fall for this false notion.  R.V. Asokan, secretary general of the Indian Medical Association, told AFP that there is “absolutely no truth” in the claim.

It is vitally important to understand that a plant-based diet is NOT a substitute for the vaccine for Covid-19. While we have written and spoken on the many different health benefits of a plant-based diet, protection from getting the Covid-19 disease is not one of them!

The vaccines that are approved for use in the United States have proven safety and effectiveness with minimal side effects, and while nothing in medicine is 100%, the degree of protection is very high. To protect yourself and your friends and family, we recommend that all adults get the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible, even if you’ve already had the disease.

The only exception is where specific individuals have been advised by their doctor not to do so, such as those who are immunocompromised. Even if you think that you’re unlikely to get sick yourself, please consider the possibility that you could transmit the virus to others who are more vulnerable and unable to get the vaccine because of their health status. By having a high percentage of the population vaccinated, we help reduce the amount of virus circulating and thus the number of people getting sick. The sooner this happens, the sooner we can all get our lives back to normal.

After a heart attack

What do you do after a heart attack? Cardiac rehabilitation is the recommended treatment, and the good news is that following a plant-based diet during rehab leads to a better outcome.

OK, so what is cardiac rehab? Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program designed with the goal of halting or reversing the progression of cardiovascular disease and improving outcomes. It can be an essential component of care for patients with coronary artery disease. Several studies have shown that participation in CR after a heart attack, getting a stent, or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, significantly reduces the disease, risk of dying, and hospital readmission rates in a cost‐effective manner.

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Osteoarthritis – A plant-based diet can help

Osteoarthritic hip joint

Do your joints hurt? Maybe you have osteoarthritis? The good news is that a plant-based diet may be able to help.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine. Osteoarthritis has often been referred to as a “wear and tear” disease. But besides the breakdown of cartilage, osteoarthritis affects the entire joint. It causes changes in the bone and deterioration of the connective tissues that hold the joint together and attach muscle to bone. It also causes inflammation of the joint lining.

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Kelly Osbourne Loses weight on Plant-based diet

Kelly Osbourne is a British actress, singer and model, who is the daughter of Ozzy Osbourne (70s heavy metal rock star).  She has appeared in the reality TV show “The Osbournes”, had various acting and judging roles in TV shows, and won 3rd place in Dancing with the Stars.

She struggled with her weight after recovering from a drug addiction, saying: “I replaced the drugs with food and just got fatter and fatter. I’m an emotional eater. When I get upset, my diet goes out the window.”

While she lost 30lb after appearing on Dancing with the Stars in 2009, it wasn’t until she went plant-based in 2012 that she lost the majority of her weight. She credits her plant-based diet with enabling her to lose 84lbs and maintain a healthy weight since then.

Speaking about her new lifestyle, she said, “Once I learned how to work out right and eat right, it’s one of those things that you just have to commit to a life change rather than being on a diet.”  Keep up the good work, Kelly!

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