I hope this health post finds you happy and healthy and that your day is going well. In fact, that’s why I send out these e-mails each week – to give people information to help and encourage them to be happier and healthier. After all, our greatest wealth is our health, and our days always run more smoothly when we are happy and healthy. What it takes to make each of us happy differs from person to person, but when it comes to health, I tell people again and again, THE RULES ARE THE SAME FOR ALL OF US.
What do I mean by the rules are the same for all of us? Well, what I mean is that regardless of age, weight, sex, or body type, we all need to eat a healthful diet, and we all need to exercise. There’s no disputing that we need to exercise, but when it comes to diet, there’s much contention about what we should be eating and how much and when. There are many different schools of thought out there on what a healthful diet really is, and many people trying to get healthier just end up confused. Still others aren’t concerned about diet at all because they eat whatever they want and never gain a pound. Therefore, they reason that they must being doing okay in the diet department. Nothing could be further from the truth. Body weight is only one marker for health. There are many more.
One may appear to be healthy on the outside, but if they are eating a high fat, low nutrient density, low fiber diet, even if they exercise and maintain a “healthy” weight, their arteries still may be clogged with atherosclerosis, or they may be developing other health problems. While maintaining a healthy weight is good, it’s not the only marker for health, not by a long shot. Exercise doesn’t shield you from suffering the consequences of making poor dietary choices, even if you’re happy with the number on the scale. You can’t outrun your fork, so don’t even try.
As far as exercise is concerned, there is still the misconception out there that if you can maintain a healthy weight without it, then you don’t need it. Another misconception concerning exercise is that as long as a person exercises regularly and maintains a healthy weight, they can pretty much eat anything they want. I hear this in the gym all the time, “I come here so I can eat and drink whatever I want.” These people may think they’re getting away with it because their bathroom scale says what they want it to say, but I’m here to tell you that there’s more to the story.
The story I’m about to share with you comes straight from my heart and straight from the research. I share this information because it has helped me and thousands of others regain their health, but it’s a story that many people still haven’t heard yet. Just like many people erroneously believe they can eat whatever they want as long as they exercise and maintain a healthy weight, there are many other old, disproven beliefs that many still harbor, even though current research has yielded results contrary to popular belief or common medical advice.
There is much research that I’ve come across that is incredible and needs to be shared, yet few people know about it. There’s also other research that has been either poorly done or misrepresented in twisted, sensationalized headlines such as “Butter is Back!” Dr. John McDougall says, “People like to hear good news about their bad habits.”
I know those of you reading this care about your health and your habits that affect it and are working hard every day to be even better. You want to know what’s new, so that’s why I like doing these health posts. I know you already know some of what I share with you, but you’re grateful for the reminders. I also know there’s much that I come across that is new to you, and you appreciate that even more because many of you tell me. Even if some of the information doesn’t pertain to you, you may have a friend or loved one that may benefit from it. When that’s the case, please feel free to pass these health posts to anyone you feel might benefit from them.
For the next few weeks, I’m going to be tackling some common health myths. I’ll be sharing research as well as videos you or your loved ones might find interesting. Even if these conditions don’t affect you, please read and watch anyway, because you never know when you may encounter someone with whom you can share this information. I can’t think of anything more sad than to know of someone who could’ve been helped, but they weren’t given the right information. Will you help share this information with others?
“Just because you have a gene for a particular illness, doesn’t mean you are going to get that illness. Genes are like a light switch; we can turn them on, and we can turn them off. We are not slaves to our genes. Our decisions count.” This is a quote from Dr. Saray Stancic, and she knows what she’s talking about. You see, Dr. Stancic was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis during her medical residency program when she was only 28 years old. She was put on multiple drugs (10-12) with many side effects that she took for several years. By chance, she happened upon an article about blueberries and MS. She says it was a poorly designed study and had no real significance. However, it started her thinking about how diet may affect her disease. She began to look around for research concerning diet and MS and found the work of Dr. Roy Swank.
Dr. Swank was a doctor in Montreal, Canada who began a study with 144 MS patients in 1950. He put them on a very low fat diet – between 1-15 grams per day. He followed these patients for 34 years! Within the first year, patients had a 70% reduction in exacerbations with 5% per year after that until it reached 95% total. This reduction in fat was effective even in those patients with more advanced MS. These results remained constant for 16 years. He reported that only about 1 in 500 patients did not respond to treatment. Other results from his studies are as follows:
• 95% of those consuming the low saturated fat diet remained normal or only mildly disabled at the end of 30 years;
• only 5% of those patients died
• 80% of patients consuming the higher saturated fat diet died of MS during that period
Dr. Swank published additional studies documenting his success with over 5000 patients, and other researchers corroborated his work and also showed strong links between cow’s milk consumption and MS. Today, Dr. John McDougall continues the work of Dr. Swank. For more information and articles, click here:
You may be wondering about Dr. Stancic. She is now in her early 50s and is doing great. I actually saw her at a nutrition conference last year, and she was friendly and vivacious and had pep in her step! Years ago, she switched to a whole foods plant based diet and is now taking no medications whatsoever for her MS. She is still seeing patients, giving lectures, graciously doing interviews, and running regularly. She also has a documentary film called “Code Blue” coming out in October. Here’s a link to the trailer of her film that I can’t wait to see:
If you want to see and hear her story for yourself, click on the link below. She’s an incredible doctor with an incredible story!
While there may be many who poo-poo the work of Dr. Swank and still say that diet has nothing to do with healing disease, isn’t it at least worth trying? That’s what Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn thought about heart disease. Dr. Esselstyn was a surgeon who says he felt great satisfaction at being able to remove a diseased body part. However, he realized he was doing nothing to prevent disease and that because of that, many of his patients ended up on his operating table just a few short years later. This was very disconcerting because he went into medicine to help people get well.
What he would do next did just that. Dr. Esselstyn began a study with 24 patients with heart disease. He says the patients the cardiologists referred to him were much sicker than he had anticipated and a few had actually been sent home to die because their doctors felt there was nothing else they could do for them. This did not deter Dr. Esselstyn. He put them on a very strict, low fat diet. In fact, many doctors said they would not recommend such a diet to their patients because it’s too extreme, and patients would never do it. To that Dr. Esselstyn remarks that he feels having one’s chest sawed open and having bypass surgery is pretty extreme! Between the 24 patients, there were 15 cases of angina (chest pain), 13 cases of disease progression, 7 bypass surgeries, 4 heart attacks, 3 strokes, 2 angioplasties, and 2 worsening stress tests. They were very sick people!
Though his patients started out seriously ill, he achieved the following outstanding results:
• Cholesterol lowered from average of 246 to below 150
• Disease progression had been stopped and many had experienced reversal
• Angina improved or eliminated
• Exercise capacity increased, sexual function restored
• No further cardiovascular events, drugs or procedures in compliant patients
There were 6 patients who left they study, and they experienced the following:
• 4 cases of angina
• 2 cases of ventricular tachycardia
• 4 bypass surgeries
• 1 angioplasty
• 1 case congestive heart failure
• 1 death
Dr. Esselstyn has an ongoing study with 198 patients with a 90% compliance rate. There is a 0.6% incidence rate among those who are compliant and a 62% incidence rate among the non-compliant.
If you want to learn from Dr. Esselstyn how to make yourself HEART ATTACK PROOF, click here:
Many of you know I eat and promote a whole foods plant based diet, and these studies and many more like them are my why. Though I never suffered any serious health problems like the people in these studies, I still had issues from which I needed relief, and I found that relief when I changed my diet. Through my research I found that the diet that helped me helps many conditions because an optimum diet allows the body to heal. When we STOP re-injuring our bodies with unhealthy food, and feed them healthy foods, we get reversal of chronic disease. We all have genetic predispositions, but we do not have to be victims to our genes. As Dr. Stancic said, “our decisions count.” Adding to that, Dr. Esselstyn reminds us, “genetics load the gun, but we pull the trigger.” As you will see in the coming weeks, there is much research out there about how an optimum plant-based diet can help improve and even reverse many conditions. Please continue to read these health posts and share them with others who haven’t heard the great news that they don’t have to suffer. Let’s take back control of our health! Who’s with me?