- Adults overweight : 65%, obese: 31%, youth especially vulnerable
- During any given week 50% of us take at least 1 prescription drug; 80% take some kind of medication
- Adverse drug reactions and other medication errors are the number 3 cause of death (225,000 in the USA)
- Per capita US medical care costs are number 1 in the world. The UK follows closely
- Most disease-related deaths are preventable by diet
Health trumps disease if we act early enough. So how can we create health?
In my book “Connection” I have tried to bring together the many elements that are linked to health, including good body mechanics, good diet, good breathing, a good state of mind, a supportive family and community, a healthy environment and even cosmic factors, however the simplest, and today the most important of these, is nutrition.
If it is the food we choose to eat that can lead to excellent health but our diet is the main reason for our sicknesses, why do we not change the menu?
There are many reasons including addiction to whatever gives most pleasure regardless of long-term consequences, just a long- term eating habit that we never questioned, and lack of reliable consistent information about diet. Government agencies are reluctant to publish and advise the public on health risks from diet because of powerful lobbying from agriculture, the food industries, and other vested interests.
Where should we go to seek advice on healthy lifestyle and diet? Most would naturally talk to their doctor about this though unfortunately most doctors have had little or no training in nutrition or any natural health promoting systems. All their training was devoted to the thorough study of disease and its’ treatment. What we now know from over twenty-five years of clinical research and from the most extensive epidemiological research ever undertaken on diet and health (The China Study) is that:
- Animal proteins increase blood cholesterol; plant proteins decrease blood cholesterol
- Lactalbumin (milk protein) increases atherosclerosis
- Animal protein compromises vitamin D status & increases prostate cancer
- Animal proteins increase IGF-1: plant proteins decrease this. (IGF-1 promotes experimental tumor development)
- Breast cancer is associated with high animal fat intake
- Colon cancer is associated lack of with multiple fibre in our diet
- Total blood cholesterol is associated animal/plant protein ratio
- Vitamin C deficiency is associated with stomach cancer
- Animal protein is linked to liver cancer
The table below gives nutritional content of two major food groups, whole plant foods and animal based food. (From “The China Study” chapter 11 – Eating Right: Eight Principles of Food and Health – by T. Colin Campbell PhD, with Thomas M Campbell II, MD)
The key messages the above analysis give us are that plant based foods have:
- No cholesterol (we don’t need any)
- Low but adequate levels of fats
- The same amount of protein as animal based foods
- High levels of fibre (essential for a heathly gut)
- Ten times more iron and magnesium than animal based foods
- Twice the calcium content as animal based foods and most important of all;
- Animal based foods provide none of the complex vitamins found in abundance in plant based foods that are so essential for our health
It has taken over fifty years for smoking to be acknowledged as a serious health hazard, will it take another fifty years for the medical establishment and government to accept the role of diet in health and disease? More importantly, are you willing to wait that long for the message to get through to every doctor or will you take steps to shift away from our affluent western diet of meat, dairy and processed foods towards the finest diet in the world, a whole plant diet?
Michael Lingard BSc. DO Cert.WPN
Visit thefoodconnection.org.uk for more information and videos by leading doctors in the USA who are using food as their first choice of medicine rather than drugs!