I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives and this lead to my curiosity about a Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet. It seems to be logical that something in our environment is making us sick. Most doctors tell us how to treat symptoms, but they do not investigate the root of the disease and look into our food and lifestyle.
Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn wanted to understand the effect of nutrition on health and the underlying causes of some diseases. Through their years of research, they came to the conclusion that a Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet can significantly decrease your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and other chronic illnesses and will allow you to reduce the amount of medicine you take. It can also reverse and eliminate your disease.
What is a Whole-Foods Plant-Based (WFPB) Diet?
A whole-food plant-based diet consists of foods that come from vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts. It does not allow bleached flour and highly refined foods such as sugar and oil.
Brief on some of the history of this research
First, to look at some of the research, Dr. T. Colin Campbell Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University and author of the The China Study came to know of Indian study conducted on rats to see the effects of animal protein. Dr. Esselstyn was doing similar type studies on disease.
Additionally, Dr. Campbell did a similar experiment by feeding rats 20% protein and another group of rats 5% protein. Over 12 weeks, the rats eating the high protein diet had early liver tumor growth and the rats eating 5% protein had no tumors growth. After, he decided to take the test further so instead of keeping the rats in two groups he put the rats in one group and switched between 5% and 20% protein. Tumor growth increased for the rats that were on the 20% protein. Finally, he switched them back to 5% protein in 3-week intervals for 12 weeks. He noticed when he decreased the protein level to 5% on the same rats, the tumors shrunk. In conclusion, Dr. Campbell research found if you starve the cancer cell of the animal based protein nutrients, you can stop the cancer from growing and spreading and even reverse the process.
Another doctor investigating links to disease and nutrition was Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn physician and author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. He researched the death of prostate cancer in Japan in 1958. There were only 18 autopsy proven deaths of prostate cancer on a population of 92.3 million, which is very low. In the US in the same year with a population of 174.8 million, the number of prostate cancer deaths was over 14,000. He also looked at heart disease in the 1970’s in rural China and discovered it was 12 times lower than that of the US. Consequently, his research showed that countries that had a lower death rates from prostate cancer and heart disease had one thing in common, their diet was mainly absent of animal products, dairy and processed foods.
Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn and other doctors showed through research and test groups that animal protein, dairy, and oil can affect your health and increase your chances of disease and chronic illness.
What are the foods to avoid on a whole-food-plant-based diet
- Animal products: Excess of animal protein can increase carcinogens. Carcinogens are substances or agents capable of causing cancer. We are only supposed to consume around 10% of our calories from protein and we consume twice that because of animal products.
- Dairy: Some studies have shown that dairy protein promotes growth hormones which increase tumor growth.
- Processed foods: Processed foods such as packaged meals, cakes, pastries, processed rice and pasta, etc. lack their original minerals, vitamins and fiber. Also, these processed foods convert to sugars in the blood. This increase the risk for cancer, insulin resistance, heart disease and weight gain.
- Oil: Shockingly all oil including olive oil is not allowed. According to Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn explained in his book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease oil injures the endothelium, the innermost lining of the artery. The injury of that artery instigates vascular disease. Dr. Esselstyn in this video emphasized no oil:
So, what next?
We all have culture, religious and community ties to our food, but maybe we do not treat our agriculture and animals the way they were intended to be treated. So, this may have affected our health. Since we have access to all this information now, maybe we should do more research on the whole-food plant-based diet and how to adopt it more in our life.
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