Just by adopting a Whole Plant Nutrition (WPN) lifestyle and staying active, I went from 214 down to 149 pounds and dropped my Total Cholesterol (TC) from well over 193 to 132 and my Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) from over 138 to 75; all without ever taking any drugs. My Body Mass Index (BMI) went from 30 to 21 and my pants size went from 40x32 to 32x32. At age 63 I am 5'11".
Often the term "Whole-Food Plant-Based" (WFPB) is used though some people have argued that "Plant-Based" doesn't necessarily mean 100% plants but merely principally plants. I use the term "Whole Plant Nutrition" and the initialism "WPN" since it removes any doubt. WPN and WFPB refer to the same nutrition.
A vegetarian diet often includes animal products such as dairy or eggs whereas a vegan diet has no animal products whatsoever. WPN improves upon a vegan diet in that it excludes processed foods such as white flours and oils which are not whole foods. The term "whole" simply means "unprocessed" and is found in nature. For example, an apple is a whole food or plant since it comes from an apple tree. Apple juice is not a whole food or plant since there is no apple juice tree. Apple juice comes from a factory since it is processed. Processing removes nutrients and fiber. Another common example is oil. Olive oil is processed though some may argue that "pressing" is not much of a process, olive oil, as all other oils, have no fiber and practically no nutrients, just 100% fat. At least an olive has fiber and nutrients.
The term "SOS Free" refers to foods that have no added salt, oil, or sugar. Whole foods are of this type whereas some vegan foods may not be SOS Free, and are considered vegan "junk" foods such as sodas and chips.
Until TC and LDL levels are below 150 and 57 respectively, consumption of highly caloric whole foods such as olives, coconuts, avocados, and even seeds and nuts should be limited so that one's daily total fat consumption is about 10% of one's daily caloric intake. This comes out to be about 25g for me. Dr. Michael Greger gives evidence that consuming one ounce of nuts per day is very beneficial and the added 20g of fat surprisingly does not adversely degrade one's low-fat objective. This allows me to consume about 45g of fat, practically all of which is unsaturated.
The term WPN is best used with the word "lifestyle" instead of "diet." The problem with the word "diet" is that it suggests a temporary period in which a goal is to be reached and when the diet has achieved its purpose, it is no longer needed. The benefit of keeping to a WPN regimen is that it is a diet for life. It works for all conditions (with a very few food exceptions for a very few specific diseases) and mitigates, prevents, or even reverses all of the top diseases that kill Americans. It is the ideal lifestyle that everyone, worldwide should eat at all stages of life after being weaned. Until then a mother's breast milk is ideal.
WPN is a "high-carb" regimen. Remember, only "whole foods" or "whole plants" are considered. "Whole" means "not processed." Ironically from the perspective of avoiding added sugars, sodas, white flours, white breads, and most donuts, bagels, cookies, chips, crackers, popcorn, candies, and milk chocolate, the faddish "low carb" diet has it right. WPN advocates agree wholeheartedly with all of this since these foods are "processed," that is, all of their fiber and nutrients have been removed. However, low carb advocates have it wrong when they exclude the rest of the carbohydrates, the good unprocessed carbohydrates and instead promote fats and protein. These good carbohydrates are the carbs with fiber that have not had their fiber processed out of them. Note that no animal products have fiber. A WPN high carb diet means that the only other two substances that humans can digest, fats and proteins, must be kept low, and that is the case. Keeping these below 10% apiece insures that one gets 80% carbs. High levels of fat clogs blood vessels at all levels, arteries, veins, and capillaries. Not only does the decreased blood flow lead to cell loss resulting in dementia and even back pain, there is a drop in sexual performance. Consumption of too much fat often leads to excessive weight gain and insulin resistance that results in diabetes.
With respect to protein, keeping protein consumption to about 10% of one's daily caloric intake is also important since excessive protein consumption is not healthful and has been shown to shorten lifespan. That comes to about 70g per day for me. WPN easily meets this recommendation and can easily go well over this amount if desired. For example, most vegetables have between 10% and 20% protein with beans having about 25%. In fact, all fruits and vegetables have at least 6% protein which is exactly what the human body requires. This makes it impossible for persons eating only plants to have a deficiency in protein when consuming the recommended number of calories a day. A protein range of 8% to 12% is given by Dr. T. Colin Campbell since lactating women and athletes may require levels closer to 12%. Big strong muscular animals like gorillas seem to have no problem getting enough protein and calcium for strong muscles and bones by eating only plants. It is noted that unless stated otherwise, all consumption percentages are with respect to kilocalories (kCal) or as colloquially spoken, "calories" since basing one's input upon the actual weight of the food and not its energy/fat producing capability is meaningless. It is important to note that adopting a WPN lifestyle means there is no need to count calories or go hungry since WPN foods are naturally low in calories. The only requirement is to eat a variety of food, include a daily tablespoon of ground flax seeds for Omega-3s and a B12 supplement.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) rates foods according to their nutrition per calorie on a scale from 0 to 1000. Foods with the highest nutrition and lowest number of calories per serving such as mustard/turnip/collard greens, watercress, and cooked kale earn the top ANDI score of 1000. On the other end of the scale, sodas, for example, have an ANDI score of 1 and granulated white sugar, 0.
Health = Nutrition / Calories = ANDI score is the formula used for choosing the best foods for good health.
For example, Whole Foods Market embraces this concept:
Smoking was the original Big American Deceit version 1.0 (BAD v.1.0) 65 years ago. It was so effective that it took half a century to remove that nonsense from the American psyche. Incredibly, the AVERAGE American smoked 1/2 a pack of cigarettes per day in the 1950s. Practically everyone smoked from actors and celebrities to even doctors. Everyone was told that smoking was healthy. Those few saying otherwise were considered freaks. Now 60+ years later comparatively no one smokes and doing so is looked down upon. For those few who do smoke, mostly the uneducated, they are only allowed to smoke outdoors, if at all, in places where others are present such as the workplace, restaurants and airplanes.
Now, there is BAD v.2.0 and it is reaching a tipping point. Like BAD v.1.0, this version affects practically all Americans who are now dying from bad nutrition and not so much from smoking as was the case with BAD v.1.0.
But a lot happens in half a century, both good and bad. For example, a half a century comprises two generations, so most people alive today were not around to witness BAD v.1.0. This is good for the proponents or villains and bad for the victims. This time around to pull off BAD v.2.0 effectively, the villains are not spending millions of dollars but billions of dollars. This is also bad for the victims. But here is the good news for the victims: there was no Internet and social media half a century ago. The power of the Internet cannot be underestimated. No longer can the truth be suppressed for so long. No longer must the American People express its desires through controlling channels and big political and corporate machines which are beholden to the big money of rich special interests. The Internet is the ultimate tool for democracy. I firmly believe that the power of the Internet will bring the truth about BAD v.2.0 directly to the light of day and no number of billions of dollars will stop it. American democracy is enhanced by the Internet.
Like BAD v.1.0 in which we were told that smoking was healthy, we are now being told that eating animal products such as meat, milk, cheese, and eggs is healthy. And like smoking at the time, practically everyone does it. And like those who did not partake in smoking at the time who were considered odd-balls, those who don't eat meat and dairy products today are also considered odd-balls. But those who did not smoke back then, are alive today and similarity, those who don't eat meat and dairy today will be alive and well much later on.
So here we go again with a fresh generation of unsuspecting victims. How many more millions of people must die until eating badly, like smoking, is abandoned? With BAD v1.0 the greedy villain was the tobacco industry and its political, lobbying, and advertising cohorts. With BAD v.2.0, the greedy villains are the livestock, dairy, drug, and even medical industries along with, again, their advertisers and lobbyist and political pawns. Fortunately unlike last time, the Internet with its YouTube, social media, and Wikipedia information systems and today's technological advances in nutrition will make revealing the truth, the science, much more efficient.
There is so much information on the Internet. YouTube, Wikipedia, and the world-acclaimed TED (Technology Entertainment, Design) Talks at ted.com are wonderful sources. I subscribe to many YouTube channels and turn on notification so that I am alerted as soon as something is posted.
Listed below are some of the doctors at the forefront of the WPN revolution, some of my favorite yougthful WPN proponents, and a collection of my favorite websites, Apps, books, documentaries, YouTube videos, and channels.
Some of my favorite doctors at the forefront of this revolution are:
Dr. T. Colin Campbell
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
Dr. John McDougall
Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Dr. Neil Barnard
Dr. Michael Greger
Dr. Janice Stanger
Dr. Michael Klaper
Dr. Milton Mills
Dr. Dean Ornish
Dr. John Westerdahl
Dr. Tel Oren
Dr. Richard Oppenlander
All have websites, books, videos, and often courses and retreats.
Some of my favorite youthful WPN advocates: (all on YouTube)
"Bite Size Vegan"
"Mic. the Vegan"
"Happy Healthy Vegan"
"Those Annoying Vegans"
"Plant Based News"
"Guilt Free TV"
"Plant Based Science London"
Books: (your local library, Amazon new/used)
1-The China Study (Campbell)
2-Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease (Esselstyn)
3-The Starch Solution (McDougall)
4-Eat to Live! (Fuhrman)
5-Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes (Barnard)
6-How Not to Die (Greger)
7-The Perfect Formula Diet (Stanger)
Videos: (Netflix and YouTube)
1-PlantPure Nation (Netflix)
2-Forks Over Knives (Netflix)
3-Cowspiracy (Netflix) (This was the video that caused me to abandon meat products overnight back on WE18NOV15 when my vegan neighbor texted me this link.)
5-Food, Inc. (Netflix)
6-Fed Up (Netflix)
7-Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (Netflix)
8-Food Matters (Netflix)
9-Hungry for Change (Netflix)
10-Mad Cowboy at https://youtu.be/piZmH4gzyqs
11-What the Health
13-Eating You Alive Its official trailer:
and its website: https://eatingyoualive.com
14-Eating Our Way To Extinction
15-The Game Changers
17-Live and let Live
19-Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days
1-Dr. T. Colin Campbell, PhD, such as his TED Talk at https://youtu.be/1CN7PF10RKo and his presentation on protein at https://youtu.be/G7rshjAZuzg. Also this great video summarizes his book The China Study: https://youtu.be/MMYqZH8Dkis
3-Dr. McDougall, MD, such as his TED Talk at https://youtu.be/d5wfMNNr3ak or https://youtu.be/4XVf36nwraw where he explains why we are starch-based or https://youtu.be/-KBicWwnCdg where he is invited to speak and http://youtu.be/7KeX1UjV2Uc where he is "fired" by the establishment.
6-Dr. Michael Greger, MD, such as https://youtu.be/Lh_kVT5Mtr4 in which he gives a 2014 presentation in NYC on the 15 top causes of death in America and how a WFPB diet prevents, reverses, or even cures all of these! At a similar presentation he gave at Google in JAN16 (skip to time 47) https://youtu.be/7rNY7xKyGCQ he explains how what is happening today regarding the Standard American Diet (SAD) occurred over half a century ago with smoking when the average American, as incredible as it seems, smoked half a pack a day! You just can't make this stuff up! It is time to join the crusade against SAD!
7-This is an excellent video on the dangers of excessive protein by Dr. Janice Stanger, PhD, speaking at the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii at https://youtu.be/2R07FL1wVo4 In this video, Dr. Janice Stanger, PhD, dispels some common myths: https://youtu.be/INbMToQCFHg
Additional helpful videos:
I also found this TED Talk by Registered Dietician Julieanna Hever at https://youtu.be/vgCSunBfREQ to be useful.
Also check out the "Guilt Free Vegan" (Jeff Morgan) who shows how to make many oil-free vegan dishes such as his oil-free vegan blueberry pancakes at https://youtu.be/pRaaiSh1zc4
I found this video from Marc Jaoude about osteoporosis very helpful and clear: https://youtu.be/-mc4VBxrGQM
One of my fellow nutrition students suggested watching this video about the "truth" about cancer: https://youtu.be/KqJAzQe7_0g
My favorite FREE Apps:
1-Lose It! (tracks nutrition and weight)
2-Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen (a nutrition reminder)
3-lighter.world (pick a guru and get his recommended meals and recipes)
This is my top site for nutrition information. Dr. Greger just kills it. He and his team go through all the English language studies and cull out what we need to know and invite anyone who has information to the contrary to point them to the study that contradicts their findings in order to find the truth.
This is an awesome website. I just learned about it MO26SEP16 from a Dr. Greger tweet and it provides meal suggestions and recipes. This website uses the new ".world" top level domain (TLD) of ".world" instead of ".com" so don't get confused. It also uses the increasingly more popular "https" secure protocol. In keeping with saving money, I just use the free level and pick Dr. McDougall's son, Dr. Craig McDougall since he, like his dad advocates no oil. I also pick Dr. Greger, of course, since he is just the bomb! Some other "nutrition" gurus sometimes advocate vegan protein powder but I find it very difficult to keep my protein level low in the safe range as it is without resorting to that even though I live a 100% WPN lifestyle.
3-http://www.fatfreevegan.co Suggested by Dr. Stanger, many fat-free vegan recipes from which to choose.
1-Drink: water (1/2 your weight in ounces/day)
2-Sleep: 8 hours/day
3-Move: walk; don't sit hours in front of TV/PC
4-Eat: WPN (no soda or oil for starters!)
5-Smart: no smoking, alcohol, drugs (like duh!)
6-Know: your numbers! (TC, LDL, BMI) (TC less than 150 and LDL less than 70) BMI between 18.5 and 23 (per Dr. Fuhrman). BMI is computed by taking one's weight in kilograms (which is pounds divided by 2.2) and then dividing it by one's height in meters (which is inches times 2.54 then divided by 100) and then dividing it again by one's height in meters. For example, for me it would be taking my weight of 150 pounds and dividing it by 2.2 to get 68.2 kilograms and then dividing it twice by my height in meters which is 71 inches times 2.54 divided by 100 for 1.80 meters. This gives 68.2/1.80/1.80=21.0 resulting in a BMI of 21.0.
7-Friends: Stay connected; socialize! Spread the good news! This WPN movement is picking up steam like a locomotive! Grocery stores are changing, restaurants are changing, fast food chains are changing, food delivery services are changing, even the USDA has and continues to change! After we reach the 10% tipping point, like smoking, the change throughout the whole world will be inevitable!
This is very easy considering no (1) heart disease, (2) stroke, (3) diabetes, (4) cancer, and (5) dementia, all of which are among the largest American killers! Think of all the open heart surgery, amputations, mental and sexual dysfunction, and suffering that will NOT happen!
Step 1: Do the 7 health tips above.
Regarding health tip #6:
Step 2: Get a physical and get blood drawn: You might as well get everything checked!
•Lipid Profile measures fat levels such as TC, LDL, High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), and triglycerides.
•Complete Metabolic Profile (CMP) for glucose and electrolytes. CMP rules out fatty liver disease, kidney and other problems.
•Complete Blood Count (CBC) checks for infections
•Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) •Urine Analysis (UA) to rule out kidney or bladder cancer.
•Chest X-ray to rule out lung cancer.
Step 3: Learn about nutrition by viewing the videos, reading the recommended books, and going to the suggested sites.
Step 4: Implement the WPN plan. The lighter.world site makes it fun and easy. Basically, as the scientists and doctors in the studies report, simply do not eat animal-derived foods (it's called eating "vegan") and no processed foods such as oil. The good news is that 60 years ago, 75% of the world ate that way. Now, with the exportation of all things American, from blue jeans to cigarettes to movies and of course the Standard American Diet (SAD), that number has declined enormously. However, in those many areas of the world that are still eating that way, the top 15 diseases that kill Americans are practically nonexistent! It's not that hard. Remember, if President Bill Clinton can do it, ANYONE can!
Step 5: You're done! Just monitor your progress to make sure you're staying on track and check with your doctor to show him how amazing your blood levels are becoming. If you want, you can use the free Apps suggested above to keep track of your nutrition, that is, low fat, low salt, no excessive protein or sugar, and high fiber. I average well over 100g of fiber a day! Get your blood checked periodically to ensure that your TC and LDL are at least below 150 and 57 respectively. This is often achieved without drugs by eating less than 10% of your daily calories from fat. The Lose It! App uses your weight, height, gender, and age to compute your daily calorie allowance. Keeping your fat (before 1oz of nuts) and protein levels around 10% each is all that's needed. A supplement of B12 and, if the blood levels require, D3 should be taken. Also highly recommended is taking one or two tablespoons of ground flax seeds a day as a super source of Omega-3s.
We are definitely living in an exciting time! mvproject.com
T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell of Cornell University