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Nutritional Concepts Mid-Week Brief
August 20, 2014
Dear Valued Subscriber,

Did you know that plants communicate with each other? Scientists have discovered a potentially new form of plant communication, one that allows them to share an extraordinary amount of genetic information with one another not only to assure survival, but to proliferate. The finding appeared in this month's journal Science.

 

Have a happy, healthy week. Bonnie and Steve Minsky

Impressionable Doctor Sparks Diet Debate.

bonnie2

Bonnie: Cardiologist Kim Williams, who is becoming the new President of the American College of Cardiology, has sparked a debate by promoting a vegan diet.

 

His unscientific measurement of its benefits and his arrogance in assuming that if it works for him it should work for everyone, is shocking in its naivety regarding the human body.

 

Does Dr. Williams think that Nature made a mistake when humans were given the physical attributes to be omnivores (ability to eat both animal and plant foods)?

 

Does he think we can now genetically change humans into herbivores (eating only plant foods) because he said it's working for him? He even agreed that there are no significant clinical trials proving that a vegan diet is the healthiest way to eat. Until that time, he is irresponsible in promoting a vegan diet to his patients.

These are the facts based upon rigorous clinical research:

  1. Humans are not "one size fits all". Some of us do not genetically utilize plant foods as efficiently as proteins. Even if some of us can handle dried beans, nuts, and seeds efficiently, moving toward soy concentrate foods can have a negative hormonal effect at best, and become a cancer risk at worst. Consuming products from heavily pesticide-laden soy that is then concentrated into a variety of meat substitutes is about as far from Nature as possible, although this is what many vegans opt for if they miss the taste and texture of meat.
     
  2. There have been rigorous trials of a diet that has proven to improve heart health, blood sugar, and weight problems among health compromised adults. Four clinical trials over a span of five years in four countries (one in the U.S.) showed only positive results when a PaleoMediterranean Diet was followed. The emphasis was upon eating healthy fats (such as olive oil, nuts, and seeds); animal proteins including eggs, lean meats/poultry, with a special emphasis upon fish; a wide variety of vegetables (with an emphasis upon dried beans); and several fruits (a 5 oz. glass of dry wine was one fruit option). No grains or cow's milk products were allowed. Refined sugar was kept to a bare minimum with dark chocolate being the preferred choice. I found these clinical trials to be a breath of fresh air because in my almost 30 years of practicing clinical nutrition, I can see that unless allergic or food intolerant, this is a plan that most of my adult clients could thrive upon!
     
  3. There has never been a clinical trial that has shown the benefits of a vegan diet. However, many studies have proven health benefits and disease prevention from eating unprocessed or minimally processed plant foods (vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds). Americans eat too few of these healthful foods.
     
  4. Study after study has shown negative effects from eating trans fats, yet until a few years ago the medical community lauded the use of margarine (high in trans fats) instead of butter.
     
  5. Hundreds of studies have shown that refined sugars are harmful to every aspect of physical, mental, and emotional health. Even the American Heart Association now recommends a maximum of 30 grams of refined sugar daily.
     
  6. No one does well consuming heavily processed, additive, pesticide-laden foods. At least 50% improvement in total health can come from eating REAL FOODS as close to their natural state as possible.
     
  7. Lack of viable protein can cause extreme fatigue, loss of muscle mass, inability to become pregnant or miscarriage among pregnant women, slow healing, inability to concentrate, and depression. Athletes typically do poorly on a vegan diet. It is rare for an elite athlete to be a vegan, but if they are, they use every nutritional supplement and perfect element of a vegan diet to enhance performance.

I have personally never seen a healthy vegan at the outset. Following are the tools that I recommend to anyone who wants to become vegan. I have used these often in my practice to ensure that a vegan diet becomes a safe choice...The following protocol is for NCI Well Connect subscribers.

 

This brings me back to Dr. Kim Williams. Is it really conceivable that he will properly instruct his vegan patients upon how to eat a healthful vegan diet?  I think not. As Arizona cardiologist Jack Wolfson stated in a recent Chicago Tribune article, "Doctors who recommend a vegan diet are experimenting on their patients". I totally agree!

 

Dr. Wolfson, by the way, advocates Paleo nutrition of no grain, no cow's milk products, unprocessed foods and only grass-fed meats as one viable protein choice. Hmm..a PaleoMediterranean Diet keeps looking better and better!

 

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