Sunday, September 23, 2012

Eating for Health, Not Weight

ALMOST half of Americans are on a diet — not surprising, since two-thirds are overweight or obese, a frightening statistic that inspired Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to push through a ban on large soft drinks in New York City. The country is preoccupied with calories. McDonald’s, for instance, is now posting them.

In 35 years of medical research, conducted at the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute, which I founded, we have seen that patients who ate mostly plant-based meals, with dishes like black bean vegetarian chili and whole wheat penne pasta with roasted vegetables, achieved reversal of even severe coronary artery disease. They also engaged in moderate exercise and stress-management techniques, and participated in a support group. The program also led to improved blood flow and significantly less inflammation which matters because chronic inflammation is an underlying cause of heart disease and many forms of cancer. (..)
Also, we found that it changed gene expression in over 500 genes in just three months, “turning on” genes that protect against disease and “turning off” genes that promote breast cancer, prostate cancer, inflammation and oxidative stress. 
 It’s not low carb or low fat. An optimal diet is low in unhealthful carbs (both sugar and other refined carbohydrates) and low in fat (especially saturated fats and trans fats) as well as in red meat and processed foods. 

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