Tag Archives: plant based diet

Defeating Diabetes – cooking classes

Are you worried about diabetes or prediabetes? 

Amanda cooking feature 1.1Join us at our “Defeating Diabetes” series of classes, four Saturday mornings starting Saturday Nov 5, 10am, at East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue.

Register here

Plant foods are powerful medicine for diabetes (Type II or Adult Onset). Medical researchers have discovered that a plant-based diet is very effective for both preventing and helping to reverse diabetes and pre-diabetes. In some cases it’s even more powerful than medication.

You can reduce your risk of getting diabetes by just taking the following medicines: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and nuts. The more you take, the more protection you can get. For instance, researchers found that those following semi-vegetarian diets, pesco vegetarian, lacto ovo-vegetarian, and vegan diets, reduced their risk of diabetes by 28%, 51%, 61% and 72% respectively. The pattern here is clear: the more plant foods you eat, the more protection you get.

What about if you already have diabetes? Even here plant foods are powerful medicine. In one study, conducted at George Washington University, 46% of diabetics were able to stop or significantly reduce their medications in only 6 months. Even more impressive is how the powerful plant-based diet reduced blood sugar by about 25% more than the usual treatment – the drug metformin combined with the standard American Diabetes Association diet.

If you’d like to learn more, we’re here to help.  Amanda Strombom, a certified Food for Life instructor, is teaching a special “Defeating Diabetes” series of classes.

On four Tuesday evenings, starting May 31st, you can learn more about how a plant-based diet can help treat and prevent diabetes, and discover delicious new foods and recipes.  Each class will focus on a different aspect of plant-based foods, with an informative short video and a delicious cooking demonstration where you can enjoy tasting all the different recipes. Get all your questions answered.

All are welcome. A small fee of $12.50 per class, or $40 for the series, helps us cover the costs, but scholarships are available.

See professional level information on Type 2 diabetes

Please note our articles and classes are for educational purposes only. Consult your physician before making any changes to your health care.

Vegfest helps Doctors!

AppleRXHow many times have you wished that more doctors knew how plant-based diets can help prevent and even treat a wide variety of diseases? We know just how you feel, so we decided to do something about it!

We are holding our first Medical Seminar for doctors and medical students, taught by board certified specialists in areas such as cardiology, oncology, preventative medicine, infectious disease and OB/GYN, on Saturday April 9 at 6:30pm, in the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. It’s part of our new Prescribe Vegetarian Campaign whose mission is to help practicing doctors learn about how to use plant-based diets with their patients, and to include it as part of medical school training.

While this event is open only to doctors and medical school students, if you know of a doctor you think would like to attend, please invite them to register at seminar.seattlevegfest.org.  Doctors can learn more about the use of Plant-Based diets in our medical blog, The Vegetarian Prescription.

If you’re not a doctor, you’ll still have an opportunity to hear the latest on health and nutrition from many of the same specialists including OB/GYN, cardiology, oncology, internal medicine, preventative medicine and more. They’ll be speaking to the general public throughout the weekend at Vegfest. See the schedule of speakers. We also have lots of free health screenings available. You’ll find carotid artery ultrasounds, bone density testing, diabetes and cholesterol testing, blood pressure readings, and new for this year, we’ll even have dental health screenings from our dentists!

Breast Cancer – Plant Foods are Powerful

breast cancer 6October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to remind women and the men who love them that a plant-based diet is the best diet for both avoiding and battling the disease.

Breast cancer is a very complicated disease but here are just a few of the ways that a veg diet helps. Cancer, including breast cancer, can be caused by toxic chemicals found in the environment, called carcinogens, that greatly concentrate in animal tissue and then get transferred to us when we eat animal-derived foods. Also, other carcinogens called heterocyclic amines, or HCA’s for short, form when meat is cooked. By consuming a plant based diet you can avoid almost all of these dangerous carcinogens. Read more

Vegan Diet offers hope for Triple Negative Breast Cancer Patients

breast cancer 2A plant-based diet offers some hope for a hard-to-treat form of breast cancer, when it’s combined with a new treatment currently under investigation.

A vegan diet naturally supplies lower amounts of an amino acid called methionine, which is oversupplied in meat-centered diets, and so it may help slow the growth of tumors in patients who have what is known as “triple-negative breast cancer” cells, according to scientists at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, reporting in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. The reason the vegan diet helps is because it primes the cancer cells to be more easily killed by a targeted antibody treatment, a new form of immunotherapy currently undergoing clinical trials.

Patients with triple negative breast cancer currently have limited treatment options because their tumor cells lack the three receptors — estrogen, progesterone and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) — commonly targeted in hormone or chemotherapy. “What’s particularly exciting about our findings is that they suggest that a dietary intervention can increase the effectiveness of a targeted cancer therapy. We still have much to learn, but we believe that uncovering the molecular effects of specific nutritional interventions like a low- methionine diet will open up new treatment options for cancer,” says Vincent Cryns, the lead researcher. The hope for immunotherapy responders is that diet, combined with the new treatment, will boost the survival time.

The best part of using a plant-based diet to boost the effectiveness of this breast cancer treatment is that it’s both safe and has no side effects, and in the meantime reduces the risk of other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Important note: if you are undergoing treatment for breast cancer, you should not make dietary changes without consulting your doctor.

Gall Stones – reducing your risk

This disease can really hurt. When severe it can double you over and send you to the emergency room. We’re talking about the pain from gall stones. Well over 25 million Americans have gall stones, 700,000 surgeries are performed every year to remove them, and the price tag for all of this is well over $6 billion dollars a year.

Now for the good news. By following a vegetarian diet, you can cut your risk of getting gall stones by half. It gets even better. If you avoid saturated fat, such as that found in dairy, and skip alcoholic beverages, you can cut your risk even more. Interestingly, adding an ounce or two of tree nuts per day takes it down by another 30%.

Now some people have a different kind of gall stones which just cause occasional grumbles and pains. However, these too can emerge as major pains at any time. So it’s good to know that a vegetarian diet also cuts the risk of this type of pesky stones developing by 50%.

With 1 million new cases every year, this problem is not going away any time soon. But you can help protect yourself by following a plant-based diet, the miracle drug of the 21st century.

See professional level information on Cholelithiasis

Fish Oil and Wishful Thinking

Fish Oil pillsThe waste of money on the false notion that fish oil helps prevent heart disease is staggering. Americans spend $1.2 billion dollars on the stuff despite all the evidence that it does no good. An amazing 10% of Americans use fish oil supplements in the hopes of warding off heart disease, among other things.

We’ll give it to you straight though in doctor speak: “accrual of high-level evidence” indicates “that the supplements lack efficacy across a range of health outcomes for which their use is advocated.”  In plain English the stuff just doesn’t work as hyped. Commenting on the latest study published in Internal Medicine, former American Heart Association president, Robert Eckel, said “Almost all studies of fish oil supplements show no benefit.” Read more

Diabetes – Now you can do something about it

Vegan mealPlant foods are powerful medicine for diabetes (Type II or Adult Onset). Medical researchers have discovered that a plant based diet is very effective for both preventing and helping to reverse diabetes and pre-diabetes. In some cases it’s even more powerful than drugs.

It’s a good thing too. America needs strong medicine when it comes to pre-diabetes and diabetes. With 11 percent of people over  the age of 20 having diabetes, plus 23 percent with pre-diabetes, over a third of the country either has diabetes or is on their way to getting it. As if diabetes itself wasn’t bad enough, the complications can be even worse. Diabetes raises the risk of other health problems, ranging from heart disease to kidney damage, to blindness.

But now for the good news. You can reduce your risk of getting diabetes by just taking the following medicines: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and nuts. The more you take, the more protection you can get. For instance, researchers found that those following semi-vegetarian diets, pesco vegetarian, lacto ovo-vegetarian, and vegan diets, reduced their risk of diabetes by 28%, 51%, 61% and 72% respectively. The pattern here is clear: the more plant foods you eat, the more protection you get. Vegetarians also had the best scores for the seven major risk factors for pre-diabetes.

What about if you already have diabetes? Even here plant foods are powerful medicine. In one study, conducted at George Washington University, 46% of diabetics were able to stop or significantly reduce their medications in only 6 months. Even more impressive is how the powerful plant-based diet reduced blood sugar by about 25% more than the usual treatment – the drug metformin combined with the standard American Diabetes Association diet. Washington state physician Gregory Scribner MD, an internist specializing in diabetes, tells his patients, “A switch to a healthy vegetarian diet can reverse many of the complications of diabetes, even in advanced cases, and can often prevent the disease from occurring in the first place.”

It turns out that plant-based diets can even help with some of the most difficult to treat complications, such as the painful peripheral neuropathy that diabetics can get which causes pain in the extremities. For instance, in one study, 81% of those following a low fat, high fiber, vegan diet had very significant improvements in only one month.  These research studies seem to translate well into the community. For instance one man, who attended one of our free Vegetarian Solution classes a couple of years ago, decided to give a vegetarian diet a try to help his diabetes symptoms.  Within a couple of months he was delighted to find his neuropathy pain had abated.  He came back to our next class to learn more and to tell us about how it had helped him.

The message is clear – vegetarian, and especially vegan, diets are powerful medicines when it comes to diabetes. If you’d like to learn more, we’re here to help.  We have classes coming up in January 2015, including a free Vegetarian Solution class, and a full Food for Life Diabetes series of classes, where you can learn more about how a vegetarian diet can help and enjoy delicious cooking demonstrations.  Additionally, our recommended health books page can give you some suggested reading.

See professional level information about Type 2 diabetes

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