Eat Well, Stay Well

Eat Well, Stay Well

By: James Igani

We’ve been hearing from all types of so-called experts about the need for most
Americans to hop on the healthy eating bandwagon. Each cites his/her own reasons for
the necessity of such a change in lifestyle, but few help us understand what our current
diets are doing to our bodies. While we are free to choose what we eat, within reasonable
and lawful limits, we fail to listen to our bodies when they tell us something is wrong. If
we do listen, we tend to medicate ourselves or eat foods supported by Madison Avenue.
By understanding how dangerous the Standard American Diet is to our bodies, the
faster and easier it will be for many to make the change to a plant-based diet.

For example, approximately one-third of adults over 20 years of age are obese, diabetes
strikes one in 13, and one out of three Americans are taken down by heart disease (Yum
Universe, n.d.). What people don’t know is that cow’s milk was created to feed baby
cows (not people) from the time they’re born until they reach 1,000 pounds. However,
cows in the United States are fed GMO corn, dead animals, and even candy which is why
Americans who drink milk or eat any dairy products are getting sick; because cows get
sick, too (Yum Universe, n.d.). In order to keep those cows alive and producing absurd
amounts of milk, they are loaded up with hormones and antibiotics which winds up in
all those dairy products and meat that Americans consume. Add to that the
environmental factors such as being raised in fecal matter, suffering physical abuse and
stress, and cows have become chemical cocktails whose products and by-products wind
up on your dinner table.

While the mavens of advertising tell you that strong bones require milk and protein
from cows, the truth is that those products and by products are extremely acid-forming
which leads to loss of calcium in the bones (Yum Universe, n.d.). Remember, the human
body is an alkaline environment, which means that acidic foods do serious damage to
that environment. In The China Study, a massive study of human nutrition that was
done via Cornell University, Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventative
Medicine, it was noted that 90 percent of the protein consumed in rural China comes
from vegetable sources and the incidence of bone fractures is about one-fifth the
number that occurs in the United States (Campbell, 2006). Further, in several animal
studies that were peer reviewed, researchers found that increasing or decreasing the
amount of casein from cow’s milk in the body could turn on or off the growth of cancer
cells (Campbell, 2006). This is further proof that plant-based diets help heal the body
and keep it healthy especially when we stop consuming foods created by science and/or
genetically modified foods.
The Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. treated 18 patients who were
diagnosed with established coronary disease using a whole foods, plant-based diet. The
dietary intervention not only stopped the the advancement of the disease, it opened the
clogged arteries of 70% of the patients (Yum Universe, n.d.). This makes sense when we
realize that internal tissue and external skin loses collagen when it ages which leads to
wrinkles and sagging. Plant-based foods are high in antioxidants, vitamin C and lysine,
all of which boost the production of collagen and beta-carotene which adds a healthy
glow to the outer skin without having to spend time in the sun slathered in suntan
lotions. According to Libby Baker (2013), “removing dairy from the diet can eliminate
acne, according to research by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Adopting

a dairy free, low glycemic diet (high in fresh fruits and vegetables, low in processed
foods) can reduce acne and heal acne related scarring.”
Internally, vegetables high in vitamin A slow down aging of the eyes, which often affects
night vision, and according to a study in the BMC Ophthalmology Journal, age-related
macular degeneration is prevented by a diet loaded with antioxidants and fatty omega 3
acids (Baker, 2013). Leafy greens contain anti-oxidant caretenoids, lutein and
zeaxanthin which prevent cataracts by fighting off free radicals in the central retina
(Baker, 2013). Additionally, muscle loss attributed to aging is slowed and even reversed
by a plant-based diet combined with low-resistance exercise. Fruits and vegetables are
generally easy to digest and process in the body which means you have more energy for
the things you love to do. If you’re into mental gymnastics, try eating broccoli,
cauliflower, they don’t just “look like brains . . . they are packed full of brain-powering
nutrients to keep your mind active, healthy and your memory sharp, even as you age”
(Baker, 2013).
Bill Patterson was an athlete all during his growing-up years. When he was in high
school, he was recruited to play football (linebacker), but he had to gain weight. While
working part-time in a local ice-cream store, Patterson drank one milkshake per hour to
put on the pounds, which he did—165 pounds became 215 unhealthy pounds (Patterson,
2014). He continued to eat foods that were high in fats and simple sugars to maintain
his linebacker weight. When he played football in college, his weight hit 240 pounds, he
was training, and he claims he felt great (Patterson, 2014).
However, when he was done with college sports and started his own business and a
family, Patterson couldn’t get rid of those extra pounds, no matter which diet he tried. If
he did lose weight, it came right back and exercising didn’t make a dent on his excess

weight. As expected, his health suffered as well—aching joints, burning feet, high
cholesterol, blood work that revealed poor health, and heart and lung issues, and an
overall sense of feeling horrible (Patterson, 2014). Doctors did nothing but prescribe
medication. When the retirement of his wife meant the loss of their health insurance,
Patterson found out he couldn’t get an individual plan and the family had to pay $2,790
per month for three family members (Patterson, 2014). That’s when he decided to opt
for a plant-based diet. “He lost 40 pounds in six months, feels better, and is stronger
and fitter than when he was competing in football. The response from friends and
coworkers has been overwhelming. I can eat until satisfied and never find myself
hungry, cranky, or fatigued” (Patterson, 2014). The best news was the doctor’s report on
his blood work, which was perfect. While he was told he would never lower his
cholesterol without statin medications, he did and his monthly health insurance
premiums are now $809 which saves him approximately $2000 per month. Thanks to
the plant-based diet, Patterson takes no prescription medications. If his story doesn’t
convince you, nothing will.

References
Baker, L. (2014). How Eating Plant-Based Has the Power to Keep You Aging
Healthfully. Retrieved from http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/how-
eating-plant- based-has- the-power- to-keep- you-aging- healthfully/
Campbell, T. M. (2006). The China Study. Retrieved from
http://www.easybib.com/cite/form
Patterson, B. (2012). Plant-Based Diet Made Me Healthier While I Saved Thousands on
Insurance. Retrieved from http://www.forksoverknives.com/plant-based- diet-made-
me-healthier- while-i- saved-thousands- on-insurance/
Yum Universe. (n.d.). Why Consider a Plant-Based Diet? Retrieved from
http://yumuniverse.com/learn-more- about-a- plant-based- diet/

2018-01-10T17:44:58-07:00

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