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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Who says the standard American diet causes disease?

Answer:  The USA
The Federal nutritional policy is founded on "The Dietary Guidelines for Americans."  The Dietary Guidelines Committee has written a document every 5 years since the 1980's regarding the recommendations for the American diet.  This committee is comprised of several advisory doctors, as well as a member from each the USDA and Health and Human Services.  

Based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, the government has stated that the standard American diet is directly related to the preventable diseases listed below.  The following link is to the pdf file of the document.

Here is an excerpt from pg 3
"The heavy toll of diet-related chronic diseases
Cardiovascular disease 
• 81.1 million Americans—37 percent of the population—have cardiovascular disease.  Major risk factors include high levels of blood cholesterol and other lipids, type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), metabolic syndrome, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, and tobacco use. 
• 16 percent of the U.S. adult population has high total blood cholesterol.

• 74.5 million Americans—34 percent of U.S. adults—have hypertension.
• Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease. 
• Dietary factors that increase blood pressure include excessive sodium and insufficient potassium intake, overweight and obesity, and excess alcohol consumption. 
• 36 percent of American adults have pre-hypertension—blood pressure numbers that are higher than normal, but not yet in the hypertension range.

• Nearly 24 million people—almost 11 percent of the population—ages 20 years and older have diabetes.  The vast majority of cases are type 2 diabetes, which is heavily inluenced by diet and physical activity. 
• About 78 million Americans—35 percent of the U.S. adult population ages 20 years or older—have pre-diabetes.  Pre-diabetes (also called impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose) means that blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes. 

• Almost one in two men and women—approximately 41 percent of the population—will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime.
• Dietary factors are associated with risk of some types of cancer, including breast (postmenopausal), endometrial, colon, kidney, mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus.

• One out of every two women and one in four men ages 50 years and older will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.
• About 85 to 90 percent of adult bone mass is acquired by the age of 18 in girls and the age of 20 in boys.  Adequate nutrition and regular participation in physical activity are important factors in achieving and maintaining optimal bone mass."

An excerpt from pg 16 dispelling the myth that dairy helps with weight management.
"Strong evidence in adults and moderate evidence in children and adolescents demonstrates that consumption of milk and milk products does not play a special role in weight management." 

An excerpt from pp 26-27 regarding dietary sources of cholesterol 
"The body uses cholesterol for physiological and structural functions, but it makes more than enough for these purposes. Therefore, people do not need to eat sources of dietary cholesterol. Cholesterol is found only in animal foods. The major sources of cholesterol in the American diet include eggs and egg mixed dishes (25% of total cholesterol intake), chicken and chicken mixed dishes (12%), beef and beef mixed dishes (6%), and all types of beef burgers (5%).Cholesterol intake can be reduced by limiting the consumption of the specific foods that are high in cholesterol."

An excerpt from pg 45 siting benefits of vegetarianism
Research on vegetarian eating patterns
"The types of vegetarian diets consumed in the United States vary widely. Vegans do not consume any animal products, while lacto-ovo vegetarians consume milk and eggs. Some individuals eat diets that are primarily vegetarian but may include small amounts of meat, poultry, or seafood. In prospective studies of adults, compared to non vegetarian eating patterns, vegetarian-style eating patterns have been associated with improved health outcomes—lower levels of obesity, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and lower total mortality. Several clinical trials have documented that vegetarian eating patterns lower blood pressure. 

On average, vegetarians consume a lower proportion of calories from fat (particularly saturated fatty acids); fewer overall calories; and more fiber, potassium, and vitamin C than do non-vegetarians. Vegetarians generally have a lower body mass index. These characteristics and other lifestyle factors associated with a vegetarian diet may contribute to the positive health outcomes that have been identified among vegetarians."

There are many people, many scientific studies and many resources to support the connection between diet and disease.  There are even resources to help individuals get started on a pathway toward restored health.  Check out this list of inspirational people below.

Inspirational people and their websites

Dr. John McDougall

Dr. Pam Popper - Wellness Forum

Joel Fuhrman

Dr. Neil Barnard

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn

Dr. T. Collin Campbell

Dr. Mercola

Dr. John Clark

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