Sept. 22, 2011
Hi Herbies! Today we have a guest post from Julieanna Hever, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. Julieanna received her Bachelors degree from UCLA and Masters of Science in Nutrition at California State University, Northridge, where she also completed her Dietetic Internship. She has taught as part of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s eCornell Plant-Based Nutrition Certification Program.
My favorite ideology about eating can be summed up by the Father of Modern Medicine, Hippocrates, when he said: “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”. I propose that this epitomized standard for medicinal consumption can be realized by a whole food, plant-based diet.
But what is a whole food, plant-based diet? It may at first glance seem to resemble a meal plan where the participant grazes on grass all day long, similar to a cow. Or perhaps it sounds like the cuisine of Adam and Eve. In truth, it is a way of eating that is indeed synergistic between nature and your body…a diet that creates health; prevents and even reverses disease; assists with effortless weight loss; and enhances energy, endurance, and strength.
There is, at this time, a vast enormity of scientific data confirming and substantiating the fact that a whole food, plant-based diet supports all of these aforementioned claims. Decades of evidence show that the Standard American Diet (SAD; high-fat, high-protein, high sugar, low nutrient) is the cause of the ballooning incidence of overweight and obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and many other chronic diseases. Ultimately, no matter what your genetic destiny, many of these diseases can be prevented and reversed. An incredibly persuasive factor is what you place at the end of your fork…
There are two components to eating for health…what you choose not to eat and what you choose to include in your diet. The worst products to put into your body includes animal products, fat, processed “foods”, artificial colors/flavors, preservatives, and chemicals. On the other hand, what your body and immune system need to thrive and protect itself is a variety of plants, namely: grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits…considered the new four food groups.
Research demonstrates that: Animal protein itself (including that from eggs, dairy, fish, fowl, red meat, and pork) may have the ability to turn on and off carcinogenesis (cancer formation). Processed meats are associated with colorectal cancer. Dairy has been linked to type 1 and type 2 diabetes, prostate cancer, allergies, and more. The further you get from nature (meaning, the more processed the food), the closer you get to disease formation.
Conversely, plant-based, whole foods are full of phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are nutrient-dense and flood the body with usable compounds to build immunity, fight disease, re-build, detoxify and maintain health. The more of these nutrients you consume, the stronger your immune system will be.
Learn everything you need to know about the why's and how's of whole food, plant-based nutrition in my new book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, available online, in stores, and on my website, www.PlantBasedDietitian.com.