Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dr Garth Davis explains (re What the Health documentary)

For the love of GOD, I am about to lose it. It is just getting so friggin ridiculous out there. I don't know why I don't just give up and treat the typical western diseases and stop trying to educate. The stupidity that is out there is just beyond me and not sure how I can show people the facts when they are so inundated with nonsense from biased and inexperienced pseudo experts!
Nina Teicholz is a journalist, and yet she has the friggin nerve to have a website called Diet Doctor. She has ZERO experience with scientific research and yet acts like she is the Queen and all actual nutritional scientists have no idea what they are talking about. She also is a frequent speaker for the different animal industries.
She made a post that the What The Health has no evidence. I happen to have a book with hundreds of studies backing every statement in the movie (except the thyroid cancer anecdotal cure). Just because she hasn't read the studies doesn't mean they don't exist!!
Lets look at her ridiculous conclusions!!!
1) No human population has ever lived on a vegan diet. She must have missed the Seventh Day Adventist vegans:…/jamainternalme…/fullarticle/1710093
The Seventh Day Adventists have one of the longest life spans recorded on average and also have one of the largest populations of vegetarians and vegans, many life long.
Also, Huang et al did an excellent meta analysis of studies on vegetarians, albeit of various duration, which showed vegetarians had lower incidence of heart disease and cancer.
Now if you deep dive into Adventist Health Studies you will see that vegans tend to weigh less, have less cancer, and less heart disease than vegetarians. SO saying that there are no vegan populations is not entirely true, and the implication that because there are no vegan populations, it must be bad for you, is just plain false.
2) She claims that a vegan diet is nutritionally insufficient. She must have missed these studies that vegetarian diets tend to have the best nutrient profiles.
And, while not looking at vegan diets, studies have shown that when comparing low carb vs high carb, more nutrients are found in high carb diet.
These facts have lead Kaiser to instruct their doctors to recommend plant based diets:, and has lead the ADA to say that a vegetarian diet can be nutritionally complete.
Now she draws attention to the only real deficiency which is B12. Now, she seems to miss the fact that even meat eaters have B12 deficiencies.
B12 comes from bacteria. Eat food from dirt and you should get B12 but these days that can be dangerous.
That being said, I don't see some wide spread vegan epidemic of B12 related diseases. Take a small supplement once a week. Easy
The MOST ridiculous claim she makes is that vegans are deficient of heme iron. I damn well hope so!!!!! Heme iron is toxic and can cause damage to vessels and pancreatic islet cells. A recent review found meat to be associated with all cause mortality and specifically found heme iron to be an independent risk factor.
In fact, high iron stores have been associated with diabetes…/10…/1741-7015-10-119, and many more
Heme iron is also directly associated with heart disease
There are many studies but this is a great review:
3) A vegan diet causes HDL to drop and triglycerides to rise so therefore vegans should have more heart disease. BUT THEY DON'T. In fact they have less!!!!!!!
HDL is a carrier protein and if you eat less fat and cholesterol you get less HDL with no untoward effect. In fact, the lowering of HDL, seen clearly with vegan diet, is the primary indicator of reduction in heart disease., I can go on and on with HDL
As far as the triglycerides, it is a transient rise after eating and as mentioned before, has no effect in heat disease in vegans, who continuously show lower heart disease rates.
4)Finally, she pulls the tired old, weak argument that there are vegetarians in India and they stick have western diseases. This population has been studied over and over. There are actually studies showing the vegetarians have LESS heart disease.…
Very important to note that these "vegetarians" eat very unhealthy processed food diets. They have exceptionally high butter and saturated fat intake. HUGE. They also eat lots of sweets, and little actual vegetables. They are also very poor and get very little health care.
What a ridiculous group to use as an example.
In conclusion, Nina does not know the science behind a plant based diet. She has made a career pushing for fat and would do so regardless of what studies contradict her narrow world view. She is not an expert, she has never treated a single patient, and her arguments are intellectually and factually barren.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

7 Amazing 30-Minute Meals

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Try these tasty family-friendly meals you can make in 30 minutes or less. 
Burrito Bowl
Burrito Bowl
This dish comes together quickly when you use leftover grains and whatever beans you have on hand. Top with avocado, tomato, and fresh herbs.
View the Recipe
Chickpea Avocado Salad
Chickpea Avocado Salad
Garlic, lime, avocado, and cilantro combine beautifully with the nutty flavor of the chickpeas. Serve over greens. 
View the Recipe
Easy Thai Noodles
Thai Noodles
An exotic Thai noodle dish made from mixed vegetables, lime, scallions, peanuts, and crunchy mung bean sprouts.
View the Recipe
"No-Tuna" Salad Sandwich
"No-Tuna" Salad Sandwich
Serve this tangy chickpea salad between two slices of your favorite bread for a quick and yummy meal.
View the Recipe
Mediterranean Vegetable Spaghetti
Mediterranean Vegetable Spaghetti
For this simple but sophisticated dish, cook the tomatoes, red pepper, and herbs first, before adding the fresh veggies and pasta. 
View the Recipe
Garlic Hash Browns with Kale
Garlic Hash Browns with Kale
These crispy, no-fat hash browns are great any time of the day. The crushed garlic adds an enticing depth of flavor.
View the Recipe
Orange Black Bean Taquitos
Orange Black Bean Taquitos
The whole family will enjoy these zesty, orange taquitos. They're good for entertaining too!
View the Recipe

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Who is Dr Caldwell Esselstyn?

Dr Caldwell Esselstyn is a force of nature. At 82, he still directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, and travels around the US regularly (hopefully he’ll come to Australia one day!), spreading his message that coronary artery disease is a reversible condition, even when it’s so advanced that mainstream cardiologists have given up on you and sent you home to die.
I’ve covered the key elements of Dr Esselstyn’s heart disease reversal program in my 2014 International PBNHC Round-up video and discussed some of the myths about heart disease that Essy busts in a previous post.
In brief, he teaches his patients to eat a wholefood, plant-based (i.e. vegan) diet with no added oil; no nuts or seeds except a tablespoon of ground flax/linseed each day; no avocado; and no added salt; and with the addition of green leafy vegetables at every meal and snack. You can find all the details in his book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, and his wife Ann and daughter Jane have authored several recipe books that teach you how to make this way of eating enjoyable.
But what I really want to discuss in this post is why more people don’t know about his work, and the implications of that ignorance.
Let’s start with a little background. Caldwell Esselstyn has worked at the Cleveland Clinic, one of the most well-known academic hospitals in the US, since 1968. His surgical training was conducted there; he chaired the Clinic’s Breast Cancer Task Force and headed its Section of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery; he has served as President of the Staff and as a member of the Board of Governors. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Cleveland Clinic Alumni Association in 2009.
He has also served as President of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, was cited in The Best Doctors in America 1994-1995 for his surgical expertise in the categories of endocrine and breast disease, and is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. On top of all that, he is the author or co-author of over 150 publications in peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals.
I’m telling you all of this to make it clear that Dr Esselstyn is not some underqualified nut-job pushing a half-baked theory of his own creation that has never been tested. (There are plenty of contrasts to him in the ‘alternative medicine’ sphere, such as Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, who makes outrageous claims for her GAPS diet based on either no science at all, or badly outdated science that has since been disproven, and who has never published a single paper in the medical literature to document her approach).
No, Essy is the real deal – a highly-qualified and well-respected doctor with an impeccable academic pedigree. So why is that the vast majority of people who undertake his program find out about him through friends, relatives or internet searches, rather than being referred to him by their doctors, including cardiologists who work at the Cleveland Clinic and have known of him, and his work, for decades?
Well, as I discovered recently, it turns out that the Cleveland Clinic actually has a policy that no doctors employed by it are permitted to refer patients to Esselstyn’s cardiovascular prevention and reversal program, even though it operates inside the Cleveland Clinic! Ummmm, whaaaat?
It’s simple, really. The average cost for heart bypass surgery in US hospitals is US$117 000, and being a top teaching hospital, the Cleveland Clinic probably charges more than that. The failure rate for this procedure is high (see my article What Bill Clinton’s cardiologist didn’t know (and why you need to know it), so a significant proportion of people will end up back under the surgeon’s knife, or undergoing other invasive procedures. Even if they don’t, they’ll have to come back for regular check-ups and to get their prescriptions updated, ensuring that they become cash cows for the hospital.
In contrast, Essy charges next to nothing to participate in his program, has detailed the entire program in a book that you can buy online for around A$20, and explains how the program works in numerous videos that you can watch for free on Youtube. People who stick strictly to the program are virtually heart-attack-proof, as he has documented in the long-term follow-up studies that he has published, so they have no need to come back to the Cleveland Clinic, or to Essy personally, for any more treatment.
Follow the money, folks. Treating people with surgery, stenting and medication keeps them sick patients for the rest of their lives, which is highly lucrative; while teaching them how to take charge of their health gets them off the medical merry-go-round, saving loads of taxpayers dollars as well as their out-of-pocket costs.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mainstream media don't want us to know

The documentary ‘What the Health’ exposed how big pharma and food industry groups corrupt public health bodies with their generous donations. There was even a scene in which a hospital administrator was up front in making the point that the hospital derived its income from medical procedures not by giving health advice that might avoid the need for procedures. The donations and financial support from these industry groups is often indirect and very difficult to trace. While donations from meat, dairy, egg and pharmaceutical industries have a powerful influence, there are other reasons why your doctor does not recommend a whole foods plant-based diet for heart disease and your heart charity still recommends eggs as a heart healthy food.
Health professionals and health organisation leaders are real people with personal and cultural food habits and they do not want to hear bad news about these habits as this would damage their esteem and require difficult lifestyle changes. When we tried to introduce Cowspiracy concepts to a local environmental group we hit a wall that stopped them going beyond meat and dairy “in moderation”. A cancer organisation spokesperson responded to the 2015 WHO ‘processed meat is a class 1 carcinogen’ report by publicly stating that he would continue to eat bacon. Health organisations and their experts, like the rest of us, are inclined to save face. After years of arguing that eggs are heart healthy after all, it would be difficult for a heart charity to do an about face and tell us that eggs promote heart disease.
The main reason why more Australian health professionals are not prescribing plant-based diets is that they just don’t know. We wish that more would just find the NutritionFacts website or visit the PlantricianProject. However, in our current paradigm of lean protein and good fats, most would be incredulous of this information. Medical education articles now have even less emphasis on nutrition than they did 20 years ago and the medical media frequently ignores or distorts research that suggests that plant-based eating is optimal. For example, a couple of years ago they missed the discovery of a major new cardiac risk factor – TMAO (you can learn about it at NutritionFacts). It often seems that the experts who provide the medical education don’t know either, and are unaware of ground breaking research published in peer reviewed journals – reversing heart disease, stopping prostate cancer growth, and favourable modifying the gut microbiome in 3 days with a plant-based diet.
The stunning findings of the BROAD study - a randomised controlled trial in a community setting, where participants lost 11.5kg in 6 months (and kept it off at 12 months) with a low fat whole food plant-based diet and no portion control or exercise program - have not been reported in any Australian medical media since it was published in a peer reviewed journal two months ago, despite being a local (New Zealand) study. While this freshly published study was being ignored, there were editorials in the medical media suggesting that no diet is any better for weight loss, an industry-friendly view that has become more pervasive in mainstream nutrition.
If our health professionals understood the power of whole foods, plant-based nutrition and had tried it themselves, then no amount of industry funding would stop them from recommending it to their patients.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016

No Oil

The facts that you should know about olive oil and other vegetable oils (including coconut oil) are:
  • Vegetable oils have more than twice the calorie density of refined sugar
  • Vegetable oils contain almost no vitamins, minerals or fibre
  • Olive oil is harmful to your arteries 
  • The Mediterranean diet was healthy because it was mainly plant based
  • Whole plant foods contain all of the essential fats that our bodies require

Olive Oil

“Isn’t olive oil good for you”?  Is the surprised reply we get when we say “no oil, not even olive oil”. Doctors, dieticians, nutrition advisory groups and the media all promote olive oil as the good oil, the heart friendly oil, the key ingredient of the Mediterranean Diet. How could they collectively get this so wrong? The following is a summary of some of the evidence that olive oil is not a healthy addition to your diet.
The ultimate junk food?Olive oil is a highly processed food – it is olives stripped of their fibre, minerals and vitamins (with the exception of vitamin E). Oils have the highest energy density of any food, more than twice that of sugar (oils =9 calories/37kJ per gram; sugar =4 calories/16kJ per gram). One Australian tablespoon olive oil =160 calories/680kJ; 100ml =810 calories/3400kJ. Even the addition of small amounts of oil to food promotes weight gain and reduces nutrient intake: e.g. 100g wholemeal pasta (uncooked) = 332 calories; add 1 tablespoon olive oil: 160 + 332 = 492 calories. That’s 50% more calories for little nutritional benefit. You could have added another 48g pasta to the meal for the same number of calories. An extra 50g pasta would give you 4.9g fibre, 2mg iron, 31mg calcium, 0.7mg zinc and 42mg magnesium. The tablespoon of oil gives you none of those nutrients, so it could be said that olive oil “displaces” nutrients. See related pages: Energy Densityand Nutrient Density.
oil tabspNB 1 tablespoon olive oil has the same number of calories as a 375ml can of Coke.

Vitamin EOlive oil contains vitamin E. In fact, many vegetable oils are high in vitamin E because it’s a fat soluble vitamin that is retained when the fats are extracted from their whole plant-food source. Vegetable oils appear high in vitamin E because they are a food concentrates – on a per calorie basis, they are no higher than the plants from which they were made. Many whole plant foods, including whole grains, are rich in vitamin E, and our digestive systems evolved the capacity to absorb this fat soluble vitamin long before the invention of salad dressing.
Fatty acid Composition:
The term “good fats” is often applied to Olive oil. This description does not stand up to scrutiny unless you are comparing olive oil to animal fats. Olive oil consists predominantly of omega 9 monounsaturated fats which are not required by humans other than as a concentrated source of calories. It may surprise you that olive oil is moderately high in saturated fats – 15% – and therefore no amount of olive oil added to the diet will bring the proportion of saturated fats down the target of less than 10% of calories.
We need some dietary fats – the omega 6 and the omega 3 essential fatty acids. The omega 6 series are found widely in food and it’s thought that the Australian diet provides far too many omega 6 fats relative to omega 3’s compared to the suggested optimal ratios of 4:1 or less. Olive oil contributes excessive omega 6’s with less than 1% omega 3’s and a ratio of 13:1.
Polyphenols are anti-oxidant phytochemicals with health supporting effects which include protection against heart disease. strawberries 100gExtra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is promoted as healthy because it contains polyphenols. Most of the olive oil used in cooking is not polyphenol rich EVOO and there are many whole plant foods that have a much higher polyphenol content than EVOO. This table shows the polyphenol content of popular plant foods, and also shows the content per 100 calories. Compare eating 100g strawberries (235mg polyphenols; 26 calories) with a 20ml tablespoon EVOO (12mg polyphenols; 160 calories).

Polyphenol content of food

Source: Perez-Jimenez et. al. (2010)

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet of Crete:
Observations of the people of Crete post World War II found a low incidence of heart disease. The people there were physically active and their diet consisted of grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes and small amounts of olive oil, wine and fish. Not exactly the Australian version of the Mediterranean diet. Fifty years later a follow up study found that those individuals who consumed the most olive oil had the most heart disease (see Vrentzos et al. 2007). A similar positive association between olive oil and heart disease has been found in Greece.
The Lyon study:
This is the study that really launched “The Mediterranean diet”, and by proxy, olive oil, as heart healthy. The study group were instructed to make healthier food choices, including eating more vegetables. The vegetable oils used were not exclusively olive oil but included omega-3 enriched canola oil.
The PREDIMED study
The study is widely seen as ‘proof’ that a Mediterranean diet with olive oil is more heart healthy than a low fat diet. However the “low fat diet” group were really a control group on a high (37%) fat diet and there was not a statistically significant reduction in heart events – although there was a small reduction in strokes in both the added nuts and added olive oil intervention groups. It cannot be determined whether the olive oil or the nuts produced these health benefits as these groups also received dietary coaching and consumed more legumes, vegetables and fruits – factors which are known to reduce cardiovascular risk. The olive oil group were provided with a weekly supply of polyphenol rich olive oil, not the ordinary stuff that most people buy in the supermarket. The data collected in this study has resulted in over 100 published research articles and whenever we read “Mediterranean diet is better than a low fat diet” it’s usually based on PREDIMED.

Effects of oil on arteries

HDL cholesterol:
Olive oil and polyunsaturated oils raise HDL cholesterol, however changing the value of a biomarker for disease does not always translate into reduced disease risk. Dr Lawrence Rudel (Rudel et al 1995) compared the effects of saturated fat vs olive oil on African Green Monkeys (which have similar fat metabolism to humans). The monkeys eating olive oil had higher HDL and lower LDL than those eating saturated fat. But at the end of five years both groups had exactly the same amount of coronary artery disease. It is interesting to note that drugs that artificially raise HDL have also failed to protect against heart disease.
Endothelial function:
Dr Robert Vogel published a study (Vogel et al 2000) on the effect of vegetable oils on the arterial flow. Olive oil reduced arterial blood flow by 31% and canola oil by 10%. It is thought that olive oil blocks the production of nitric oxide by the endothelium. Nitric oxide dilates arteries. This suggests that olive oil impairs the capacity of endothelial cells to produce the vasodilator, nitric oxide.

Australian Dietary Guidelines

The Australian Dietary Guidelines do not support the high intake of olive oil that many of our health professionals are advocating. The guidelines recommend that we choose foods from the five food groups, none of which include olive oil. Vegetable oils are listed outside of the core food groups with a note to “use in small amounts”.
The guidelines recommend that Australians “limit” their consumption of high saturated fat foods rather than just replace them with other fats. Tips to eat less saturated fat include “don’t deep fry foods” and “use small amounts of unsaturated oils if needed”.
The guidelines recognise the role of energy dense foods in promoting weight gain: “Foods with a higher energy density encourage energy intake above requirements” – and recommend that Australians limit the consumption of “energy-dense, nutrient-poor discretionary foods”. Oils are the most energy dense foods, they contain minimal nutrients and are discretionary in that they do not belong to any of the five food groups.

Related pages:


Olive oil:

Coconut oil:

Peer-reviewed studies:

The Mediterranean diet:

How to cook without oil