Can we lead a disease free life?
And by that, I mean a life without
or other chronic conditions that we face such as RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS,
CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY BOWEL CONDITIONS,
BREAST CANCER, PROSTATE CANCER
COLON CANCER, and
DEPRESSION (just to name a few).
What if you already have one or more of these conditions?
Can we reverse these conditions by starting now, no matter our age?
This is the question I used to often wonder and get asked quite often
As a physician and an epidemiologist (trained in the basic science of disease prevention), the first lesson I learned was that diseases do not happen in a vacuum.
There is a reason why some people get diseases, while it is completely nonexistent in certain populations.
We actually have tremendous power over our health destiny. Yes, you heard that right. We have POWER over our HEALTH.
By health I don’t mean mere absence of disease. Health means you have the ability to think clearly, and the energy to do the things you love with the people that matter. It is not a privilege reserved for those with money, power or social standing. It is one of the fundamental rights of every human being. It is abundant and attainable to all.
And coming back to the question, the answer is YES – we can prevent these chronic lifestyle diseases or reverse them by choosing what we put in our mouths.
To demonstrate the power that diet and lifestyle can have over our health, I would like to tell you the story of Mary:
Mary was 60 but she felt as though he was 120 years old when he came to see us. She had so much stiffness in her hips and knees that she could barely get to the kitchen, the bed, and the sofa. That was about it!
She felt she had everything that you could think of. Her weight was on bust. Her sugar readings were 25mmol/L (450mg/dL) going to bed. She already had two heart surgeries for blockages in her heart blood vessel. She was on 15 different medications plus high dose of insulin altogether.
She was so hopeless about her health. Even her family physician, dietician, diabetes specialist and cardiologist did not know what to do with her because her conditions were getting worse despite being on maximum doses of many medications.
Mary heard from her friend that there are two crazy doctors teaching people how to be on this stupid “Plant Based Diet” which has no butter, no cheese, no eggs, no oils, no chicken, no moose and not even fish. But people were feeling better, getting rid of their medications, and getting freedom from their diseases.
Mary was not too excited about giving up all her favorite foods although she was determined to get off of her medications. She debated whether she would be able to adopt the plant-based way of eating, until she tasted some plant-based tuna salad (made with chickpeas), and taco cups made by one of her friends … she couldn’t get over how good they tasted.
So she decided to give it a try. With the help of her friend, she arranged to get some plant based meals delivered to her house for one month.
When she woke up on the morning of day 2 of eating plant based meals she was shocked! She could not believe that her blood sugar readings had went down from 25 to 9. He couldn’t remember the last time she saw her sugar readings in single digits. She was over the moon! Within 3 days of eating this way she noticed that her energy levels were up, the stiffness in her joints were easing up. Her acid reflux was gone, and she was able to move around much more freely.
Within 3 weeks she was able to give up 8 different medications; 30 units of insulin, four diabetic pills, two blood pressure pills, and one medication for acid reflux. she was down 19 pounds, and was able to walk freely for one hour per day.
In 3 months, she gave up 80% of her medication, down 35 lbs., her A1C was down to 6.7, and her cholesterol was 1.5.
Now, 8 months on this journey, she had so many happy problems. He had to change her wardrobe give away clothes as they were too big. She lost a total of 65 lbs. She is now walking 10 kilometers a day, 7 days a week. Before she had no strength in her legs whatsoever.
So what happened here?
When Mary decided to try varieties of PB meals made from whole grains, beans and lentils, fruits & vegetables, nuts and seeds and stayed away from meats, diary cheese, and oils, her whole life turned upside down.
You may be wondering what is wrong with meats, dairy, and eggs, and why do we make such a big deal about the plant-based foods?
Let’s take a look
There are different nutrients in animal-based foods that promote sickness.
- Animal protein promotes continuous growth of cells which increases the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, causes bone and calcium imbalance, kidney dysfunction, liver problems, worsening of heart disease, early puberty (which is a risk factor for hormone-related cancer), can shorten your life altogether.
While 2% increase in plant protein consumption can cut your cancer risk to 23%, delay puberty by several months.
2. Animal fat (especially cholesterol and saturated fat) is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. While vegetables, fruits, beans and grains are less than 10 percent fat, and plants never contain cholesterol.
3. Animal products promote the formation of toxic chemicals like TMAO and Neupogen 5C. Together these 2 toxic molecules and heme iron increase risk of heart disease, inflammation and cancer.
4. Animal products never provide fiber or protective antioxidants while plants provide you with fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals.
When we choose whole, natural, unprocessed plant based foods such as whole grains, legumes (beans, lentils, peas), fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds or even get 80% of calories from wfpbd, we are off to a vibrant health. By the way, this information is not something new. We already knew in 1975 that diabetes can be reversed or treated when people suffering with diabetes for 20 years taking up to 32 units of insulin were able to go off of insulin within 2 weeks (1). Yet today millions of people endure diabetes for years, loose limbs, and die from complications because no one had told them about pbd.
Just like Mary, if you or someone you know is diagnosed with Diabetes, high blood pressure or any other chronic illness, you are told the answer is take medications. So how long do you have to take these medications for. Is it for a week, a month, a year? No, it’s forever. How does your doctor know that you have to take these medications forever? Because Despite taking these (dangerous and expensive) medications precisely as you have been instructed, you still have the disease (forever).
We have seen many people lose weight they thought they would never lose, regain mobility they thought they would never have again, and get off medications they thought they would have to be on forever.
So today we ask you to take a small action. No matter whatever your diet is just add 2 more servings of vegetables to your diet. That’s a good start.