Nutrition And Heart Health
The first and the most important pillar of health is food. Plant Based Whole Food doctors believe that food accounts for 70% of our health. One can split this into two separate pillars; food and detoxification.
Human body is made up of over 30 trillion cells. Cells are the fundamental building blocks of all organisms. A cell consists of a cell membrane, nucleus and the rest of the stuff inside called cytoplasm. The cell membrane which is made of cholesterol, separates the cytoplasm and nucleus from its external environment.
The external environment contains the nutrients that the circulating blood provides every second. Our heart beats once each second bringing fresh nutrients to every cell. After nutrients penetrate the cell membrane, they are metabolised and turned into energy that fuels the cell’s life functions. The by-products of this metabolic activity are waste that needs to be removed from the cell through the same cell membrane.
DIET & LIFESTYLE MYTHS
As we grow from a 2 year old child who has just been weaned, we are exposed to foods that our parents and/or grand parents thought was healthy. The information they inherited from their parents or acquired through education or through media or through interactions with their doctors. The doctors in their education learn a lot about diseases and medicines but are not taught much about nutrition. At the Most a medical college provides less than a few hours of lectures on the subject of nutrition. The result is often a blind leading a blind.
There are many myths about nutrition and there are a lot of vested interests in propagating these myths.
Some common myths about food are :
1. Everything in moderation is good: No, when you do that you get disease also in moderation and we blame it on old age. Diseases we associate with old age have little to do with old age and more to do with our faulty diet and lifestyle.
2. You can wait to change your diet: No, one must implement the corrective changes in diet and lifestyle without delay. Diseases can progress to a point of no return if delayed too long.
3. Exercise can make up for an unhealthy diet: No, this is a very common myth among young people who go to gym. About half the people who die of a first heart attack have normal blood chemistry and no symptoms.
It only removes some fat and so other problems remain. Also browning meat and chicken is carcinogenic. 15. A glass of Red Wine is good for you: No, it is only less harmful than white wine or other alcohol drinks. Avoiding all alcohol is the safest. 16. Artificial sweeteners are good for diabetics and overweight people: No, they cause weight gain. They may cause bladder cancer. 17. We should dissect our food into protein, fat, carbs, vitamins and minerals and monitor their consumption: No, handling nutrition in reductionist fashion is flawed. One should think in terms of Whole Foods as nutrition.
The nutrient of concern therefore should be fibre and not protein. This has been highlighted by Dr. Collin Campbell and Dr.Janice Stanger, who speak about it at conferences and in various documentaries and on YouTube videos.
Contrary to this pervasive obsession with high protein, the Nobel Prizes for 2016 and 2018 point out that occasional periods of protein deficiency detoxes our body and helps build immunity by a process called autophagy.
Dr. Honzo (2018 Nobel Laureate) has demonstrated that prolonged fasting or feeding cancer patients a diet devoid of protein for stretches of 5-10 days can help build immunity to fight cancer.
Protein is so abundant in nature that almost all plant based foods have it. Potatoes have 5-6 percent, rice has 7-8 percent, watermelon has 7 percent.
The lesson from the above is this:
“One should just stop worrying about protein while on a pbwf diet and focus on fibre instead.”
Another misconception about protein is that eating protein builds muscles. Muscles develop when you exercise them. The famous gladiators of the Roman period 2,000 years ago, who had to fight for life every day, were all vegans. Please watch the documentary “The Game Changers”. This is also discussed in the documentary “Forks over Knives”.
The Dangerous Truth About Protein” – Janice Stanger, Ph.D
Protein is the most misunderstood and overhyped nutrient. Popular myths hide basic facts: what protein is made of, how many kinds of protein there are, what happens to excess ……
For those of us who think we need proteins and heaps of it.
The Perception Problem with Protein – Dr. McDougall
Protein is one of the most misunderstood nutrients in our diets today. While it receives an incredible amount of attention, there is little justification for this level of attention and concern.
Healthy vs Unhealthy
Often questions get asked about certain foods being healthy. You may come across articles in the media where they compare the benefits of one food over another. Some such examples are:
- Jaggery vs refined sugar
- Red wine vs other alcohols
- Olive oil vs other oils
It is important to understand that there is a difference in some food being healthy or healthier. If a food is healthier, it does not mean it is healthy and you should start eating it. All it means is that compared to some other food this food is less harmful. Let me explain this in comparison to the above three foods.
- Jaggery is not healthy. There are many articles that tout the benefits of jaggery but they all are with reference to refined sugar. If you do not consume any sugar except in natural fruits and vegetables you must not from tomorrow start eating jaggery. It will harm you. Eating sugar cane is any day better than eating jaggery.
- There is a lot of press coverage about red wine having resveratrol which is health promoting. It does not make red wine healthy. All it means is that if you must have alcohol (imagine you have been kidnapped and held hostage and given only three options red wine, white wine and scotch. Water is not an option) choose red wine because at least it has some redeeming value. The World Health Organization is very clear about it and states that if you do consume alcohol, please do not start drinking red wine. Only those who consume alcohol and can’t give it up should switch to red wine. Amount of resveratrol you get in a glass of red wine, you can get by eating a few red grapes.
- I hear a lot of Indians now saying that, “I take extra virgin olive oil; I understand it is healthy”. Olive oil is not healthy, it is only less unhealthy than butter. For Indians olive oil makes no sense. Indians need oil to cook and that requires heating oil to high temperatures. Olive oil and some others like flaxseed oil are unstable at higher temperatures and should not be used for cooking. The best oil for Indians is Mustard oil but there again only if you must use oil. Eating olives is much healthier than olive oil and eating mustard seeds is healthier than eating mustard oil.
Everything in Moderation
There is a popular myth that says eat everything in moderation. The problem with this is that eating in moderation gives diseases also in moderation. Moderate diseases like BP, mild arthritis, mild asthama, mild diabetes etc.; lot of diseases we take for granted as signs of old age. Eating more gives you serious illnesses like heart attack, cancer, COPD, Kidney and Liver diseases.
When we follow the PBWF guidelines strictly we experience a life without any old age disease. Your BP comes down to 120/75, you suddenly feel more energetic.
There are certain diets which make you age at the chronological rate, there are others which age you less than chronological rate but PBWF/IF regimen actually helps reverse your age. It truly is amazing.
Better Safe Than Sorry
What does this mean to you? One of the most common myths is the myth about “better safe than sorry”.
Many people believe that it is safer to continue taking some medications than to experience an occasional elevated BP or blood sugar or blood cholesterol reading.
WHAT IF THE REVERSE WAS TRUE?
All the evidence we have today and especially about the politics of PHARMA, FOOD and HEALTH CARE industries, and the GOVERNMENT and MEDIA, points to the contrary.
This thinking is old and flawed and there is a trend among progressive doctors that we have overdone on use of medications and on specialisations, creating a tunnel vision with a total disregard for quality of life.
Human body is very smart and knows how to cope with the diet and lifestyle it is subjected to. These raised levels of BP or blood sugar or cholesterol markers are the result of the body’s compensatory response.
What the body does not know is how to deal with those synthetic medications. They are foreign to the body and interfere with the body’s compensatory mechanisms. Besides, they have to be processed by the liver and the kidney and strain them in ways not fully understood.
So if you want to “be safe than sorry”, then you are better off letting the body do its job and raise those markers as and when necessary, while you focus on correcting the diet and lifestyle.
Please try to watch these documentaries:
- Forks over Knives
- Forks over Knives: Extended Interviews
- What the Health
- Fat Sick and Nearly Dead
- Super juice Me
- Death By Medicine by Garry Null.
- The Game Changers.
- Hungry for Change