Addiction Sameness

Alcohol, Opiates, Fat and Sugar are all Addictive Substances: this blog is about that "addiction sameness".

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Meat eating may shorten your life: Would you give up eating meat if it meant you would live longer?

Would you give up eating meat if it meant you would live longer? Candy Sagon/THE WASHINGTON POST
Sun Oct 30 2011 10:29:37 GMT+0400 (Arabian Standard Time) Oman Time

A more realistic strategy would be to take baby steps in that direction. Recent research shows that even one small daily change can make a difference

How about if you didn’t have to give it up entirely, maybe just once a week to start, or even once a day?

These are the choices facing many of us as a growing number of studies show that eating red meat daily can raise our risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.

For president Bill Clinton, who recently talked publicly about his decision to give up eating meat, eggs and dairy, the choice was clear: If he didn’t do something drastic, his steadily worsening heart disease was going to kill him.

The former president, who has a family history of heart disease, got his first wake-up call in 2004 when he needed quadruple bypass surgery for blocked arteries. Afterward, he cut back on calories and tried to eat less fat to reduce his cholesterol. But six years later he needed stent surgery.

“I essentially concluded that I had played Russian roulette,” Clinton told CNN’s Sanjay Gupta. Even though he had made moderate changes to his diet, plaque had built up again in Clinton’s artery, and that signalled more serious changes were needed.

The answer, for Clinton, was to go vegan, which means giving up all animal-based foods in favour of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, soy and beans.

His goal now is to avoid any food that could damage his blood vessels, he says. He follows a low-fat, plant-based diet recommended by several doctors, including California physician Dean Ornish, 58, founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, who also worked with Clinton during his presidency to include more low-fat food on White House menus. The change in Clinton was particularly dramatic, given his past battles with his weight and his legendary love for fatty junk food.

At 65 he’s now 24 pounds lighter, energetic, happy, travelling around the world and apparently much healthier. With Clinton’s family history and years of unhealthy eating, a vegan diet is probably good for him, but many people can find it hard to stick to. A more realistic strategy would be to take baby steps in that direction. Recent research shows that even one small daily change can make a difference.

Consider the latest findings:

A Harvard study found that eating red meat every other day, instead of daily, can substantially cut your risk for heart disease. Women who ate two servings of red meat a day had a 30 per cent higher risk of heart disease compared with women who ate it just three or four times a week.

A study of 200,000 men and women ages 25 to 75 found that replacing just one serving of red meat a day with either nuts, grains or low-fat dairy lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 20 per cent. Conversely, eating just one hot dog or sausage or two strips of meat daily increased the risk for diabetes by 51 per cent.

Harvard researchers who followed 84,136 women ages 30 to 55 found that eating one serving per day of nuts instead of red meat was linked to a 30 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular heart disease; subbing one serving of fish for red meat meant a 24 per cent lower risk, poultry a 19 per cent lower risk; and low-fat dairy a 13 per cent lower risk.

There are other important reasons to cut back on meat consumption: from saving global resources like fresh water and fuel, to reducing the amount of antibiotics and hormones in your diet from factory-farmed meat.

On the other hand, you want to make sure your diet isn’t too low in protein, iron and zinc. When you cut out meat protein, you need to swap in plant proteins like beans, lentils and chickpeas, which provide essential nutrients and also keep you from feeling hungry. And anytime you make a change in your diet, be sure sure to consult your doctor.

So what’s the best way to slowly but steadily cut back on eating red meat and processed meat? Here are some practical suggestions:

Meatless Monday. Sid Lerner, 80, gets the credit for reviving a successful campaign used during both world wars to get people to reduce their consumption of meat to aid the war effort. In 2003, Lerner started pushing the concept to get Americans to take one day off from eating meat; not because of a war, but for their own health. The goal is to help people reduce their meat consumption by 15 per cent. Vegan before dinnertime. Avoid meat at breakfast and lunch, but anything goes at dinner.

Try the four R’s: re-portion, reinvent, refresh and redirect. Registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, who blogs about nutrition for USA Today and is the author of The Flexitarian Diet, is a big believer in slowly increasing the amount of vegetables and beans in your diet, while still including some meat, poultry and fish.

Here’s her four R’s:

Re-portion your plate by making it 50 per cent veggies, 25 percent meat, poultry or fish and 25 per cent whole grains.

Reinvent old favourites by taking your current favourite recipes and swapping out all or part of the meat with fibre-rich beans. (For each ounce of meat, substitute 1/4 cup beans instead.)

Refresh your recipe repertoire by trying one new vegetarian recipe a week. Check out magazines, cookbooks and websites for ideas.

Redirect meaty cravings. To get that meaty sensation in your mouth, but without the meat, look for dishes that include ingredients like soy sauce, mushrooms, potatoes and tomato sauce.


Heart disease gene altered by eating raw fruits and veggies.

Raw fruits and veggies can alter heart disease gene:
 by Kathleen Blanchard RN on 2011-10-12

Dr. Dean Ornish, a pioneer in heart disease treatment, said “Your genes are not your fate”. Now researchers, supporting what Dr. Ornish has been teaching for years, say one of the strongest genes for heart disease can be altered by eating a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables.

Raw fruits and vegetables can weaken heart disease gene

Researchers at McMaster and McGill universities conducted one of the largest gene studies to date showing how eating your fruits and vegetables can weaken the 9p21 gene, which is linked to high risk for heart disease.

For this study, the researchers analyzed the effect of diet on heart disease in over 27,000 people that included European, South Asian, Chinese, and Latin American and Arab ethnicities.

The finding suggests a diet rich in green, yellow and orange vegetables and berries can lower heart disease risk for people with the 9p21 genotype to the same level as those without the high risk gene.

The gene is linked to double the risk of having an early heart attack and a 74 increase in the chances of abdominal aortic aneurysm, compared to people without the gene, Jamie Engert, joint principal investigator of the study and researcher in cardiovascular diseases at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and associate member in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University said though researchers know the gene puts people at risk for cardiovascular disease, 
..."it was a surprise to find that a healthy diet could significantly weaken its effect."

More than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day could keep heart disease at bay Sonia Anand, joint principal investigator of the study, and a researcher at the Population Health Research Institute and a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University said, “Our results support the public health recommendation to consume more than five servings of fruits or vegetables as a way to promote good health.”

Anand says people who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables remained at low risk for heart disease even though they had the high risk gene.

The study shows genes really are not our fate. Lifestyle changes can alter the way genes are expressed. Anand says the study means family history of disease can be modified.

“Despite not being able to change our genetics, if we are able to modify the effect or expression of our genes. That's exciting."

Dr. Ron Do, who conducted the research, said more studies are needed to understand how fruits and vegetables interact with the heart disease gene.

For people with a strong family history of heart disease, eating a prudent, versus a typical Western diet, can lower the chances of heart disease. For the study, a prudent diet consisted of raw fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy, nuts and other heart healthy foods, which was shown to weaken the 9p21 gene that is a strong predictor of who will have an early heart attack.

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Medicare covers lifestyle approach to healthcare - Heber Springs, AR - The Sun-Times

Medicare covers lifestyle approach to healthcare - Heber Springs, AR - The Sun-Times:

"When we think of advances in medicine, we usually have in mind something high-tech; It may be a new drug, a new laser, or a surgical intervention. We have a hard time believing that what Dr. Dean Ornish advocates can have a powerful effect. Simple choices we make each day—what we eat, how we respond to stress, whether or not we smoke, how much we exercise and the quality of our relationships can make a powerful difference in our health, our well-being, and our survival, according to Ornish."

It was in 1977, in his first year of medical school, when Ornish wanted to launch a study looking at the effects of yoga and a vegetarian diet on patients with heart disease. The supervising physician made fun of him. Sixteen years later, he met with a director of Medicare, a chain-smoking, 280-pound man to see whether his approach to treating heart disease could be covered under the program. He was told, “If we do this, anyone with a crystal and a pyramid will want us to pay for what they do.”

Finally, on January 1, 2011, Ornish’s Medical Research Institute in Sausalito, CA, along with the similar Pritikin program, are being covered by Medicare part B. It has taken 34 years for medicine to accept the simple fact that what we do, our diet, exercise, management of stress—how we live is the major factor affecting health; and that changing it is much less expensive than the high tech methods which have held their attention for so long.

Ornish, in conjunction with insurance companies, proved that by directing patients in lifestyle changes instead of heart surgery, they could save $30,000 per patient, not to mention the miseries associated with surgeries.

In a talk he gave at the Mayo Clinic, Center for Innovation entitled “Thinking Differently about Healthcare”, Ornish said by teaching and encouraging heart patients to eat a healthy diet, exercise, learn to manage stress, and have healthy relationships, patients would not have to take drugs for life—saving 20 billion dollars on Lipitor alone. He said heart disease is 90 percent preventable. He said our genes can predispose us to a disease but our genes are not our fate. You may listen to Dean Ornish’s entire message delivered at Mayo at I encourage you to do so.

Admittedly, Ornish’s vegetarian, high complex carbohydrate, very low fat diet is controversial. There are others who advocate lifestyle changes that include animal protein and healthy fats. A one-diet-fits-all may not be the best approach. What they all have in common is they eliminate the processed junk food that is what most Americans eat. You can do that yourself without the help of Medicare.

Included in the Ornish program, and sometimes neglected in others, is attention to meditation, relaxation, and developing close and satisfying relationships. Ornish has written several books, including Reversing Heart Disease and Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy. They are all available at discounts on

One of the many websites about Preventive Medicine Research Institute, discusses what motivates people to change their lifestyle. Talking about “prevention” or “risk-factor reduction” or living longer is either scary or boring to most people. It doesn’t work well. Ornish writes, “Sometimes, people say, ‘I don’t care if I die early – I want to enjoy my life.’ Well, so do I. That’s the false choice – is it fun for me or is it good for me? Why not both? It’s fun for you and good for you to look good, feel good, have more energy, think more clearly, need less sleep, taste better, smell better, and perform better athletically–and sexually.”

He says, “When you eat a healthy diet, quit smoking, exercise, meditate (they use yoga), and have more love in your life, then your brain receives more blood and oxygen, so you think more clearly, have more energy, need less sleep. Your brain can grow so many new brain neurons in only three months that your brain can get measurably bigger! Your face gets more blood flow, so your skin glows more and wrinkles less. Your heart gets more blood flow, so you have more stamina and can even begin to reverse heart disease.”

How often do I hear someone say, “I have been bad” when they have eaten unhealthy food. Eating bad food does not make you a bad person. Ornish says, “The language of behavioral modification often has a moralistic quality to it that turns off a lot of people (like ‘cheating’ on a diet). It’s a small step from thinking of some foods as ‘bad’ to seeing yourself as a ‘bad person;’ at that point, might as well finish the pint of ice cream.”

Have you heard about Medicare coverage of Ornish’s clinic on television? I have not and we may not. Its goal is actual healing, instead of patching up with surgery and a lifetime of drugs. Considering who supports TV with ads, I doubt it will be widely publicized. However, as a friend once said, “You can’t hide the truth forever.”

Copyright 2011 The Sun-Times. Some rights reserved

The Dietary Supplement Scam Continues | NationofChange

The Dietary Supplement Scam Continues | NationofChange:
Now we learn that most of those oils, minerals, exotic fruit extracts and herbs don't help us any more than would a sugar pill, and some actually do harm. Furthermore, all those Earth-themed bottles have little to do with hippies offering cures from nature. They are part of a nearly $30-billion-a-year U.S. industry. Behind it stands an unusually unpleasant team of lobbyists tasked with ensuring that we're never sure what's actually in those pills, threatening politicians who call for their regulation and paying off those who stop said regulation. Makes me want to occupy something.

In addition to possibly doing harm in high doses, the poorly regulated supplements pose two other dangers, Marion Nestle, a food and nutrition specialist at New York University, told me. They may contain impurities from the manufacturing process. And they may not have the active ingredient on the label. A person who eats "reasonably well," she added, doesn't need any dietary pill unless a test shows a deficiency.