Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One Worthy Diet

Since I'm mentioning Dr. McDougall's and Dr. Esselstyn's diets ...

I challenge anyone who wants to lower their cholesterol, lower their blood pressure, lower their blood glucose, lose weight, reduce inflammation, et al., to try their eating style.* For those who follow it exclusively, I've never seen it fail.1

Here's Dr. Esselstyn's book. Lots of positive feedback in the comments.

From Esselstyn's website:
"The patients in Dr. Esselstyn’s initial study came to him with advanced coronary artery disease. ... The 17 patients in the study had 49 cardiac events in the years leading up to the study, and had undergone aggressive treatment procedures. Several had multiple bypass operations. After beginning the eating plan, there were no more cardiac events in the group within a 12-year period.

After 5 years on Dr. Esselstyn’s plant-based diet, the average total cholesterol levels of his research group dropped from 246 milligrams per deciliter to 137 mg/dL This is the most profound drop in cholesterol ever documented in the medical literature in a study of this type."
* Fat-free, plant-based (vegan) diet. Excludes all meat, fish, eggs, and dairy - cheese, yogurt, butter, etc. It's not a typical vegan diet since it excludes added fat/oil and there are no packaged/processed foods, e.g. foods made from flour (bread). It is essentially a diet of whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits.
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1 I don't believe this is necessarily the best diet for all people, in all age groups and circumstances. Long-term vegan diets have shortcomings. But as a means to lower weight, lipids, BG, BP, and risk for chronic diseases, it's exceptional.

4 comments:

Manu said...

hmmm interesting... some of the vegan diets I see are packed with processed stuffs like tofu and soy burgers, some of the meat substitutes taste just like meat... that can't be natural, can it?

What are the staples recommended by this diet? types of beans and fruits

Bix said...

Staples:

Green leafy: kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, collards, lettuces, mustard greens, turnip greens, Swiss chard, watercress, dandelion greens, rapini

Other vegetables: celery, cauliflower, asparagus, tomatoes, onion, leek, garlic, scallions

Roots and tubers: sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, beets, turnips, rutabagas.

Squashes: acorn, kabocha, buttercup, butternut, pumpkin, yellow squash, green squash (zucchini)

Whole grains: Brown rice (not white), wild rice, barley, corn, quinoa, millet, oats (rolled too), wheat berries, amaranth, spelt

Beans: adzuki, black, garbanzo, lentils, kidney, pinto, navy, split peas, whole peas (fresh or dried), string beans

After that it depends on which particular Dr. you follow. Fruits (apples, bananas, berries, citrus, melons, peaches, pears) are usually limited to 2 or 3 a day. And dried fruits more sparingly. There's a real debate in these communities over nuts - many say to limit them (no more than 1 oz./day), perhaps because of the particular fat they provide.

Lots of soups, stews, porridges, pilafs, salads. Whole grain tortillas (corn, wheat) for roll-ups.

Bix said...

I agree with you. All these permutations on soy are not natural. And not healthful, especially the way they are processed and packaged with other ingredients, like gluten.

Go back and eat the whole bean, and don't concentrate on any one bean, like soy.

Manu said...

I would like to at least try a strict vegan diet... what kept me from doing it thus far is that whenever someone serves me vegan food is always some frankenfood with a roll of ingredients that matches all the non vegan processed foods... "it tastes just like a turkey burger doesn't it?" yes it does, and it shouldn't. But it's settled I shall look into the book you recommended and at least for a month or so go strict vegan