This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

January 15, 2020

Eating Like Your Life Depends On It

Recently one of our subscribers (Kevin Field) sent me a note about a body of knowledge called "Evidence-Based Eating;" I immediately signed up for a weekly/monthly email from NutritionFacts.org---and promptly forgot about it. When I was on the MV World Odyssey for almost four months, there was a film shown on the closed-circuit system called Fork over Knife. This documentary detailed how a couple of enlightened doctors had worked with a small group of very ill patients to help them become healthier from heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure simply by embracing a plant-based diet. Weeks later, when I finally had time to begin to look at the NutritionFacts.org material, I joined Kevin in being "stunned." In recent years, there has been an explosion in the number of studies about food, nutrition, and timing of eating. I am blown away by the number of double-blind studies (the most reliable) and overwhelming evidence that most physicians are simply not aware of. This Herman Trend Alert is the first of many I will write as I piece together a diet and lifestyle that works for me and may work for you.

A benevolent physician is behind it all
Dr. Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM (Fellow of the American College of Legal Medicine) is the glib genius and prolific author who founded the website and continues to deliver his videos and insights free of charge. Greger describes his website as a tool designed to help make the switch to a healthier lifestyle easier; I would add a whole lot more compelling! Greger believes that the American diet is the number one cause of death in the United States---and I add, throughout the developed world.

Myth: People are pre-programmed by their genes to develop disease
Many people believe that due to our genetic make-up, we are destined to develop diseases and suffer from age-related degenerative diseases. Actually, the science shows that at most, genes account for only 10 to 20 percent of the risk. Think about what happens when people from low-risk countries move to high-risk countries, their disease rates invariably change to those of the new region. They embrace a new diet and not surprisingly, end up with new diseases. This fact means that health seems to have less to do with genetic inheritance than it has to do with the diet of the area. Likewise, people who move to so-called "Blue Zones" where people tend to live longer, and embrace that healthier lifestyle and diet, they are likely to live longer than if they had not moved.

What Does Make a Difference?
However, numerous studies in well-respected, peer-reviewed medical journals also tell us that what we eat and when we eat it makes a profound difference in the body's ability to maintain health. This field is called "Evidence-Based Eating." Moreover, the evidence tells us that a diet high in plant foods, predominantly fruits and vegetables, has a higher likelihood of supporting health than a diet high in fats and animal proteins like red meat.

The scary truth about processed foods
The insidious nature of processed foods is perhaps the best kept secret in the world. Higher in fat, salt, white flour, and sugar than whole foods---not to mention chemicals and preservatives, processed foods are responsible for most of the obesity in the US and elsewhere in the world. Consumers pay dearly for the convenience of eating food that has already been processed.

Dr. Gregers's Daily Dozen
On the website NutrtionFact.org, Dr. Greger lists his daily dozen checklist, a list of foods and activity, e.g., Exercise, that he encourages people to eat (and do) every day. Here is Dr. Greger's list: Beans, Berries, Other Fruit, Leafy Greens, Cruciferous Vegetables, Flax Seeds, Nuts, Spices, Other Vegetables, Whole Grains, Beverages, and Exercise.

The Future of Staying Healthy
Many of us believe that we are moving towards a world where there will be no clean animal protein. When you look at the results of Consumer Reports and studies on the effects of plastics on seafood, it is not difficult to believe this nightmare scenario. For me and those I love, the future of staying healthy is definitely to eat more fruits and vegetable. In the future, this Herman Trend Alert will offer more insights with research back-up. But in the meantime, take a look at Greger's website, NutritionFact.org. I think you will be "stunned," too!

Special thanks to reader Kevin Field for raising our consciousness to this body of knowledge.


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