The Standard American Diet (SAD) is literally killing millions of Americans who are paying the ultimate price for what they choose to eat. We’re talking heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes – all conditions that can be mitigated and even reversed by turning to a plant-based diet.
The facts are in, they’re conclusive, and so there’s only one question: Why wait?
So, let’s hear what one of the leading authorities on nutrition, Dr. Michael Greger, has to say. Dr. Greger, by the way, whom the Ultra Fit Over 50 team has seen in person, went to college at Cornell University of Agriculture and then got his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine.
We should also point out that Dr. Greger is not supportive of the Atkins Diet and other low carb forms of eating.
Dr. Greger writes on his website, NutritionFacts.org:
“A significant convergence of evidence suggests that plant-based diets can help prevent and even reverse some of the top killer diseases in the Western world and can be more effective than medication and surgery.
• Alzheimer’s disease — Practically non-existent a century ago, Alzheimer’s disease is now the #6 killer in the U.S. Poor cardiovascular health may clog cerebral arteries, cutting off blood flow to the brain and leading to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Other dietary components that may increase the risk of cognitive dysfunction include pork consumption, hormones and steroids in dairy, blue-green algae supplements, spirulina, copper (in meat), glycotoxins (found mostly in chicken), the neurotoxin, BMAA, (found mostly in fish), aluminum (in cheese), and iron (in supplements).
• Heart disease
• High cholesterol
• High blood pressure
• Parkinson’s disease
“Additionally, plant-based eating may have a positive effect on:
• Abdominal fat
• Childhood IQ
• Gut flora
• Kidney stones
• Metabolic syndrome
• Menstrual breast pain
• Multiple sclerosis
• Oral health
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Waist circumference
• Weight control (better than diet pills)
“Plant-based eating also appears to help prevent:
• Abdominal aortic aneurysm
• Age-related macular degeneration
• Crohn’s disease
• Hiatal hernia
• Kidney stones
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Ulcerative colitis
• Vaginal infections
“Eating meat and other animal products may be associated with weight gain (even after controlling for calories), a shortened lifespan, and other negative effects. Meat also contains a high amount of saturated fat, to trans fats, sulfur dioxide arachidonic acid, and heme iron. Meat, fish, dairy, and eggs may also increase our exposure to dietary antibiotics, industrial toxins, mercury and other toxic heavy metals, advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), cadmium, xenoestrogens in fish, and estrogenic meat carcinogens.
A plant-based diet can detoxify the body of these pollutants. Even just a step towards eating more plant-based might lengthen lifespan.
“Contrary to popular myth, vegans have healthy bones and higher blood protein levels than omnivores. Most vegans get more than enough protein. In one study, within a matter of weeks, participants placed on the plant-based diet experienced improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin levels, insulin resistance, and C-reactive protein levels.
Vegans may have fewer nutrient deficiencies than average omnivores while maintaining a lower body weight without losing muscle mass.
“Those eating plant-based diets appear to experience enhanced athletic recovery without affecting the benefits of exercise. The arteries of vegans appear healthier than even long-distance endurance athletes and those on low-carb diets. In fact, the Paleo Diet may increase the risk of toxin contamination, DNA damage, and cancer.
“There are two vitamins not available in plants: vitamins D and B12. There is a serious risk of B12 deficiency if no supplements or B12-fortified foods are consumed. Two other nutrients to monitor are iodine and zinc. Yeast- or algae-based long chain omega 3 fatty acids may also be beneficial.
“If significantly more people moved to plant-based diets, medicare costs could go down by billions of dollars. Plant-based diets may also help lessen greenhouse gas emissions and have a smaller impact on the environment.”