Why Eating Plant Based Food Is Good For You
When I lived in Florida, I found a doctor who didn’t believe that a pill would solve your health problems. He believed fueling your body with as many natural foods as possible would lead to a healthier lifestyle, cutting down on stroke, heart attacks and diabetes. He had a book in his office I was reading while waiting — hurry up and wait — that piqued my interest, so I asked him about the book ended up buying it after he explained. I read the book and it made a lot of sense. My on again, off again approach of eating after I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, and after years of dieting only to gain the weight back, I made the decision to eat plant-based food. I have more energy and feel so much better. Now, it is a way of life for me.
Nowadays people have big stomachs from eating too much and eating the wrong foods. We have become a society of overeaters. Let’s face it, people are sick, tired and over-medicated. Every 53 seconds someone in the United States dies of heart disease, which happens to be the nation’s number one killer that claims about 600,0001 lives per year. I can attest to at least one, my cousin who died of a stroke. Cancer is the next leading cause of death and takes the lives of more than 1,5002 people per day! And 10 percent of the population has diabetes 3.
Let’s face it, walk around a grocery store and look at everyone pushing their carts with their children following. Most of carts are filled with processed foods. Children are obese and are being diagnosed with ADD and other forms of neurological disorders. Obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years.4 Gasp!!!! Just stand outside an ice cream parlor and watch, obese parents with their obese children ordering huge ice cream sundaes or banana splits!!!
My dad was on a total of 21 pills a day, my mom 15 pills a day. My dad had diabetes and other neurological disorders. Some I’ve never heard of. However, his ailments manifested after the age of 65, after he retired. My mom suffered horribly toward the end of her life with depression, body pain, arthritis and other maladies.
So let’s talk about the good things eating plant-based foods can do for you.
- It can prevent and reverse leading chronic ailments such as heart disease and diabetes;
- It can help you lose weight;
- It improves mental clarity and cognitive function and protects against Alzheimer’s disease;
- There are positive side effects such as better mood, sleep sounder, more vibrant skin;
- You experience a sense of well-being and empowerment because you are in control of your health;
- Saves you time and money or health care expenses and fewer trips to the doctor.
Now, let’s talk about medications and the side effects.
- Blood pressure medications increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer. (Counterproductive; right?)
- Cholesterol-lowering medications including statins affect cognitive dysfunction, diabetes, falls, muscle pains and long-term liver damage. (Who needs this?)
- Bypass surgery, brain damage and cognitive dysfunction.
- Diabetes medications can increase risk of heart attack and fracture risks. (Just keeps getting better and better)
- Chemotherapy, really toxic with severe side effects. (We all know what those are)
- Mammograms include false positives and over diagnosis leading to unnecessary radiation treatment, chemotherapy or mastectomy. (Personally, I hate mammograms and can’t tell you how many false positives I’ve had)
- Bone density scans can have erroneous diagnosis leading to more unnecessary treatment.
- PSA testing, over diagnosis leads to what? You guessed it, more unnecessary treatments causing impotence and incontinence.
Is anybody else bothered by the statistics? Since eating plant-based, I have discontinued three of my medications and I’ve lost three pounds. Not a big loss thus far, but I’m not starving myself, either. The old saying “you are what you eat” is no joke. Most “die-ts” work for a short time because of portion control which leads eventually to diet failure, which then leads to gaining back twice the lost weight. Think how your body feels, big portion, little portion, big portion, little portion. What the heck???
Your body no longer distinguishes between too much food or too little food, it’s confused as it tries to process the food , sending nutrients through the body; to the brain, liver, kidneys, blood and the bones. Eating plant-based foods doesn’t rely on portion control, but eating healthy and eating until you are “comfortable” not after your stomach feels like a brick wall. Over time your body begins to process food better. Overall whole, plant-based foods have lower calorie density than animal products and processed foods which means you will need to eat larger not smaller portions.
If you are reading this post and are under the age of 65, it’s not too late to change what you eat, and if you are over the age of 65, it’s not too late. I’m proof of that. It’s nice to be able to see my toes again!
Alan S. Go, Dariush Mozaffarian, Veronique L. Roger, et al., “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2013 Update: A report from the American Heart Association” Circulation 127 (January 1, 2013): e6-e245; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Heart Disease Facts,” 2014, http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm.
2 American Cancer Society, “Cancer Facts & Figures,” 2012, https://www.cancer.org/.
3 American Diabetes Association, “Fast Facts: Data & Statistics about Diabetes,” 2013, http://professional.diabetes.org.
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Childhood Obesity Facts,” 2013, http//www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm.