Optimal Diet – what the experts say

Optimal Diet – what the experts say:

“It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”

--ADA Position on Vegetarian Diets 2009

“I am a cardiovascular surgeon infatuated with the challenge and promise of “high-tech” medicine and surgery.  Nonetheless, I have become convinced that the most overlooked tool in our medical arsenal is harnessing the body’s own ability to heal through nutritional excellence.”--Mehmet Oz, MD

“There is no question that largely vegetarian diets are as healthy as you can get.  The evidence is so strong and overwhelming and produced over such a long period of time that it’s no longer debatable.” --Marion Nestle, former Director of Nutrition policy for U.S. Department of Health, Managing Editor of the Surgeon-General’s Report.

“The concept that western diseases are lifestyle related, and therefore potentially preventable and reversible, is the most important medical discovery of the 20th century.”

–Denis Burkitt, MD, (discoverer of Burkitt’s lymphoma)

“For the two out of three adult Americans who do not smoke or drink excessively, one personal choice seems to influence long-term health prospects more than any other: what we eat.”Nutrition and Health, C. Everett Koop, MD, U.S. Surgeon General

“Genetics loads the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger.”Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD, Cleveland Clinic

“. . . implementing a diet of simple whole foods (lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products and legumes, and some seeds and nuts), devoid of any animal products, offers the greatest clinical benefit and the potential to reverse disease.”--The Optimal Diet, Darlene Blaney, MSc, NCP and Hans Diehl, DrHSc, MPH, FACN

“Studies around the world have clearly shown that those populations consuming the most animal protein and fat and the least starchy calories have the most overweight and diabetes.”Hans Diehl, DrHSc, MPH

“There appears to be no threshold of plant-food enrichment or minimization of animal product intake beyond which further disease prevention does not occur.  These findings suggest that even small intakes of foods of animal origin are associated with significant increases in plasma cholesterol concentration, which are associated, in turn, with significant increases in chronic degenerative disease mortality rates.” -T. C. Campbell and C. Junshi, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 59 (5 supp.) 1153-61S

“Medical and scientific research has established clear links between dietary factors and the risk of developing coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, several cancers, osteoporosis, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.  This knowledge is now sufficiently strong to enable governments to assess national eating patterns, identify risks, and then protect their populations through policies that make healthy food choices the easy choices.” World Health Organization (WHO) Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases, 1990

“By eating these whole foods, and getting away from processed foods, getting away from the dairy, and anything with a mother, anything with a face – meat, fish and chicken – it’s incredible how powerful the body can be.  If we are going to have a seismic revolution of health in this country, which is really right at our fingertips, then the major behavior that has to change is our food.  That is absolutely the key card, it trumps everything.” Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD

“A natural plant based diet can not only help prevent heart disease and other chronic illnesses, but help to reverse it, even in its most advanced forms.”

Baxter Montgomery, MD

“Most families have become concerned about the fat content of meats and are choosing the lower-fat cuts. I would encourage them to go a step further and get their nutrition from vegetables, grains, beans, and fruits, rather than from meats, poultry, fish, or dairy products. Children who grow up getting their nutrition from plant foods have a tremendous health advantage and are much less likely to develop health problems as the years go by.” Benjamin Spock, MD

“Now if I would have put everyone on a vegetarian diet and drive their numbers down by diet, we would get rid of all the atherosclerosis in America.” William Castelli, MD

“And for the same fall in cholesterol, if you get there with diet you get twice the shrinkage of the lesions than if you do it with drugs.” William Castelli, MD

“There is ample evidence linking diet and disease: in plant-based cultures such as rural China, the Papua highlanders in New Guinea, central Africa, and the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico, coronary artery disease is virtually nonexistent. Conversely, plant-based cultures that adopt Western, animal-based nutrition promptly develop coronary artery disease.” Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD

“Eat predominantly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and soy products. These foods are rich in good carbs, good fats, good proteins, and other protective substances. There are at least 100,000 substances in these foods that have powerful anti-cancer, anti-heart-disease and anti-aging properties.” Dean Ornish, MD

“Vegetarians have the best diet [and] the lowest rates of coronary heart disease of any group in the country.” William Castelli, MD – Former Director of the Framingham Heart Study 

I don’t understand why asking people to eat a well-balance vegetarian diet is considered drastic while it is medically conservative to cut people open or put them on powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs the rest of their lives.”–Dean Ornish, MD

“The optimal diet consists of grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit, with <10%-15% of its calories coming from fat.  This diet minimizes the likelihood of stroke, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, rectum, uterus, and ovary.  There are no known adverse effects of such a diet when mineral and vitamin contents are adequate.”

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD, Cleveland Clinic

“Well-planned vegan, lactovegetarian, and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy and lactation.”American Dietetic Association Position on Vegetarian Diets 2009

“The diet which affluent people generally consume is everywhere associated with a similar disease pattern – high rates of heart disease, certain forms of cancer, diabetes, and obesity.  These are the major cause of death and disability in the United States . . . The question to be asked, therefore, is not why should we change our diet but why not?  What are the risks . . . ?  There are none that can be identified and important benefits can be expected.”D.M Hegsted, MD, Harvard School of Public Health

“A plant-based diet is more likely to produce good health and to reduce sharply the risk of heart problems, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, gallstones, and kidney disease.”

–T. Colin Campbell, PhD

“Cancer is most frequent among those branches of the human race where carnivorous habits prevail.”Scientific American, Jan 1897

“We should all be eating fruits and vegetables as if our lives depend on it – because they do.”Michael Greger, MD

“. . . in switching over to a plant based diet, most people are able to reverse their heart disease, decrease their cholesterol, lower their blood pressure, cure type II or significantly improve type I diabetes, effortlessly reduce their weight, and eliminate their chronic and nagging aches and pains.”- Alona Pulde, MD and Matthew Lederman, MD

“. . . the health needs of the population are best met by a high carbohydrate diet.  Such a diet is characterized by a frequent consumption of vegetables, fruits, cereals and legumes.” World Health Organization (WHO)Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases, 1990

“The results of an evidence based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease.  Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians.  Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates.” American Dietetic Association Position on Vegetarian Diets 2009. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009; 109: 1266-1282

“Heart disease is a food-borne illness.” Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD

“[P]oor nutrition trumps tobacco, alcohol, and sedentary lifestyles as the primary cause for the development of chronic illnesses. We cannot ignore the reality that what we eat is totally within our control, and our choices are what determine the level of risk we have of becoming ill.” Baxter Montgomery, MD

“Vegetarian-style eating patterns have been associated with improved health outcomes — lower levels of obesity, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and lower total mortality. Several clinical trials have documented that vegetarian eating patterns lower blood pressure.” 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans

“Conclusive scientific evidence supports a low-fat, plant-based diet for optimal health. Peer-reviewed studies find that people who avoid meat cut their risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease — the No. 1 cause of death in America. Researchers have found that low-fat, plant-based diets can even help reverse type 2 diabetes and heart disease after these diseases have already set in.” Susan Levin, MS, RD

“Numerous research studies have shown that cancer is more common in populations consuming diets rich in fatty foods, particularly meat, and much less common in countries with diets rich in grains, vegetables, and fruits.” Neal D. Barnard, MD

“Ecologic, case-control, cohort, and randomized, controlled studies have demonstrated the benefits of a low-fat, high-fibre diet for breast and prostate cancer survival. A plant-based diet, generally low in fat and high in fibre, may offer survival benefits for both breast and prostate cancer.” Ethnicity & Disease 2007 Spring; 17(2 Suppl 2):S2-18-22.

“We have the science to suggest that if you can make three changes -– give up all meat, all dairy, and refined foods including free oils — you can avoid dying from cancer and heart disease.” Mehmet Oz, MD

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