Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

A Whole Foods Lifestyle Prevents Cancer
June 28, 2012

Cancer and disease thrive off of an acidic internal environment but we can control our internal environment by the foods we eat. In particular, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, and high blood pressure are affected by our internal climate. Vegetables and fruits are alkaline foods but refined grains, sugar, dairy (super acidic) and meats are all acidic foods. Regularly consuming acidic foods causes chronic inflammation internally, which is precisely how disease begins growing. When you go for a treat, think about what it is doing to your internal climate. Not only is it adding to the waist, but it’s wreaking havoc inside, causing cellular imbalance and feeding disease. It’s no wonder we don’t feel good after eating junk!

ImageJillian McKee, an avid health promoter, describes the power in a vegetarian lifestyle in preventing disease:

“Vegetarianism has often been associated with some of the stranger subcultures in our society, but over the years many people who suffer from diabetes and heart problems have found this regimen of thinking and eating to be the answer to their prayers. As our knowledge base has grown through the years, it is easier to find foods within vegetarian guidelines that provide the necessary nutrients that once could only be found in animal products.

Those with cancer often have many challenges regarding the foods they eat. With treatments such as chemotherapy, it can be difficult to keep food down. It is also important to find the right balance within the foods we eat so that our bodies can fight without the cancer becoming strong as well. Breast cancer or mesothelioma cancer can take such huge tolls
on our bodies that those afflicted can benefit from the comfort, soothing and healing effects of many foods found in a vegetarian diet. Studies have found that the antioxidant properties and abundance of nutrients found in many fruits, vegetables and grains are key factors in fighting cancer.

William Harris, M.D. states that our DNA is what decides which cancers might develop in our bodies. While DNA does have reparative properties, damage can still persist and cancers can then form. In his estimation, a vegetarian diet is necessary in fighting various types of cancer.”

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Whole Food, Plant-Based Lifestyle Summary: The Facts
January 2, 2012

From my personal experience, my favorite benefits of a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle is the increased clarity of mind and energy levels. I can feel it that I am consuming what my body wants and needs on a cellular level. I love feeling overall so clean and good.  A plantbased diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. It also reduces or eliminates meat and dairy intake.

Several benefits of a plant-based lifestyle include:

  1. Cancer protection. Studies of vegetarians show that death rates from cancer are only about one-half to three-quarters of those of the general population.  While a plant-based diet prevents cancers and diseases, it is even so powerful as to reverse the diseases after diagnosis.
  2. A healthier heart. Specifically, since cholesterol is only found in animal products such as meat and dairy, they have lower cholesterol levels, and heart disease is less common in vegetarians. They also consume less saturated fat, keeping arteries plaque-free.
  3. A healthy blood pressure. An impressive number of studies show that vegetarians have lower blood pressure than nonvegetarians.
  4. Lower blood sugar levels. Diabetics can often reduce or even eliminate the need for medication by adopting a plant-based lifestyle.  Low blood sugar levels are also good for weight management.
  5. Increased fiber and decreased unhealthy fat. This keeps you clean and free of risky plaque and fat build-up, reducing risk for heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
  6. Loaded with phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are cancer-fighting substances.
  7. Less likely to form either kidney stones or gallstones.
  8. Lower risk for osteoporosis. Further, those that eat little or no animal protein are at even lower risk for osteoporosis. A high intake of animal protein encourages the loss of calcium from the bones. Replacing animal products with plant foods reduces the amount of calcium lost. It’s true — people who live in countries where the diet is typically plant-based have little osteoporosis, even when calcium intake is lower than that in the dairy-consuming countries.

 

Control your quality of life by consuming a plant-based diet. Filling your plate with fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains is the best means for disease prevention and even disease reversal. Equally important, a plant-based diet is the best means for feeling good inside and out, everyday. While it keeps your arteries clean and your cells happy, it also brightens your skin, eyes, and hair. Weight management is just an added bonus.

Eat your vegetables! A few consistent musts for your grocery list: broccoli, spinach, apples, and blueberries (I like the frozen bag at Costco). Also, try steaming kale and adding it to soup. Try quinoa! Add black beans to dishes and salads! There are endless options for a delicious, healthy, plant-based lifestyle. Wholefoodmommies.com is a great resource for recipes.

Wild Rice Mushroom Soup

 

Last week a friend of mine made the comment that “everyone gets cancer now!” He then proceeded to ask why. He is right; cancer rates are skyrocketing and it is now the second leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease (which is also closely linked to diet and lifestyle).

According to “Cancer Facts and Figures 2011,” “Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. Scientific evidence suggests that about one-third of cancer deaths expected to occur in 2011 will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition and thus could also be prevented. About 1,596,670 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2011. In 2011, about 571,950 Americans are expected to die of cancer, more than 1,500 people a day. In the US, cancer accounts for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.”
While vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains are the emphasis of a plant-based, whole-food lifestyle, limiting meat and dairy is also an important aspect. But, why? The science is consistently clear and unmistakable that meat and dairy consumption promote cancer growth along with many additional health concerns (high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and etcetera). Doctor T. Colin Campbell led the China Project, the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted, and discovered that cancer growth could literally be turned on or off by controlling animal protein consumption.

1. Milk and Dairy.

About 20 percent of our milk is genetically engineered, technically known as rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone), which contains high levels of a natural growth factor known as IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor one). This survives digestion and is readily absorbed from the small intestine into the blood. Increased levels of IGF-1 have been shown to increase risks of breast cancer in 19 scientific publications, risks of colon cancer in 10 scientific publications, and prostate cancer in seven scientific publications. Of further concern, increased IGF-1 levels block natural defense mechanisms against cancers.

2. Meat.

US cattle are implanted with natural or synthetic sex hormones 100 days prior to slaughter in order to increase their meat yield. Not surprisingly, our meat is contaminated with high levels of sex hormones, which cause certain cancers, particularly breast cancer and prostate cancer. Based on these concerns, and as warned by the Cancer Prevention Coalition and five leading national experts, our meat poses increased risks of hormonal cancers, which have escalated since 1975: breast by 23 percent, prostate by 60 percent, and testis by 60 percent. These hormones are causing breast cancer and prostate cancer to be the leading sites for all cancer cases and deaths in the United States (250,000 cases for prostate cancer and another 250,000 cases for breast cancer in 2011). Meat has not been and is still not monitored for sex hormone levels by the USDA or FDA. Breast cancer rates are dramatically lower in countries where diets are plant-based. When people from those countries adopt a Western, meat-based diet, their rates of breast cancer soar. Vegetarians also have significantly lower rates of colon cancer than meat-eaters. Colon cancer is more closely associated with meat consumption than any other dietary factor.

“Increasing animal-based protein consumption up to dietary levels … associates with higher blood cholesterol levels and more atherosclerotic plaque (even more than saturated fat), greater risk of cancer (caused by multiple mechanisms), greater bone loss of calcium and higher risk of osteoporosis, greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and greater formation of kidney stones, to name just a few chronic diseases.” – T. Colin Campbell

 

Though cancer and disease rates are on the rise, adoption of a whole-food, plant-based diet is also rising. On December 1, 2011, the article “New Diet Changes Lifestyles” was a front-page story of Brigham Young University’s “The Daily Universe” and discussed benefits of a plant-based diet.  My health professor commented that this is not a new diet, but actually an ancient diet that we have simply strayed from through Westernization. The New York Times December 29, 2011 front page contained an article titled “No Meat, No Dairy, No Problem.” Nutritional confusion has overwhelmed the public for several decades, but nutritional truths are becoming more widely known and accepted. The consistent evidence of sound scientific research has become impossible to ignore. Start your whole-food, plant-based journey now!

The Danger of Dairy
April 12, 2011

Sound, credible research is all over that dairy products are dangerous for our bodies.  Yet, we see and hear everywhere “3-a-day.” The clencher is that the dairy industry funds that advertising. Thus, 3-a-day of dairy is not on every billboard in hopes of improving your health, but in hopes of making a few more bucks. Take time to do your research; it is important as it will influence the very quality of you and your family’s lives.

Here are a few of my favorite points from an article published by the Harvard University Gazette. The entire article can be reached through this link.

Hormones in milk can be dangerous

By Corydon Ireland
Harvard News Office

Ganmaa’s topic was lunch-appropriate: the suspected role of cow’s milk, cheese, and other dairy products in hormone-dependent cancers. (Those include cancers of the testes, prostate, and breast.)

“Among the routes of human exposure to estrogens, we are mostly concerned about cow’s milk, which contains considerable amounts of female sex hormones,” Ganmaa told her audience. Dairy, she added, accounts for 60 percent to 80 percent of estrogens consumed.

Milk from a cow in the late stage of pregnancy contains up to 33 times as much of a signature estrogen compound (estrone sulfate) than milk from a non-pregnant cow.

In a study of modern milk in Japan, Ganmaa found that it contained 10 times more progesterone, another hormone, than raw milk from Mongolia.

In traditional herding societies like Mongolia, cows are milked for human consumption only five months a year, said Ganmaa, and, if pregnant, only in the early stages. Consequently, levels of hormones in the milk are much lower.

“The milk we drink today is quite unlike the milk our ancestors were drinking” without apparent harm for 2,000 years, she said. “The milk we drink today may not be nature’s perfect food.”

Cancer rates linked to dairy can change quickly, said Ganmaa. In the past 50 years in Japan, she said, rising rates of dairy consumption are linked with rising death rates from prostate cancer – from near zero per 100,000 five decades ago to 7 per 100,000 today.

Butter, meat, eggs, milk, and cheese are implicated in higher rates of hormone-dependent cancers in general, she said. Breast cancer has been linked particularly to consumption of milk and cheese.

In another study, rats fed milk show a higher incidence of cancer and develop a higher number of tumors than those who drank water, said Ganmaa.”

“But steps can be taken now to reduce the amount of hormones in milk, said Ganmaa. Because hormones reside in milk fat, drinking skim milk is one option. Getting calcium from green leafy vegetables is another.”

The China Study
April 12, 2011

Not sure what to think of whole foods? Well, do your research. The China Study is the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted. The study draws implications regarding diet, weight loss, and long-term health.

The China Study links diet to cancer risk; more specifically, the study links consumption of animal products to high cancer risk and whole foods consumption to low cancer risk.  The science is clear. The results are unmistakable.