My Plantcentric Journey

Posts tagged ‘Blood Pressure’

2012 Poll Shows Baby Boomers Go Vegetarian for Health Benefits

More baby boomers live vegetarian lifestyle to improve health
BY ALLYSON KOERNER AUGUST 22, 2012

You’ve heard the term baby boomers, right? More than likely you’ve connected the expression with people who were born between 1946 and 1964, who are known for growing up with “Leave it to Beaver,” experiencing the Vietnam War and seeing John F. Kennedy serve as president. Well, now baby boomers may be remembered for living a vegetarian lifestyle.

According to a 2012 Harris Poll conducted for the Vegetarian Resource Group, about 2.5 million Americans over the age of 55 have adopted a vegetarian diet. The big question is “why are baby boomers choosing a plant-based diet?”

One of the main reasons is to improve health issues. The Washington Post reports that doctors say “this demographic group is heading into prime time for health issues and sees vegetarianism as a way to protect their bodies.”

It is known that strokes are more prevalent in middle-aged people; older women are more prone to osteoporosis; and the more red meat consumed, higher the risk for cardiovascular disease. So, embracing fruits and veggies over meat can help in these areas.

All sorts of research exists out there, but here’s one example showing how forgoing meat is good for the body. Harvard researchers discovered in April 2012 that the more red meat one person eats the easier it is to develop heart disease. By adding just 3 ounces of meat to your daily diet, in addition to what you already consume, the risk of cardiovascular diseases increase 16 percent.

“Vegetarianism can be used as a way to combat many conditions that plague boomers: heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity. We now know, for example, that such a diet can lower your blood pressure,” John Salge Blake, Boston University’s registered dietician, said.

Some of the most famous vegetarian baby boomers include former President Bill Clinton,Sir Paul McCartney, Michelle Pfeiffer and even talented actor Sir Ian McKellen.

As you know, Clinton suffered great health risks and after having a heart attack and undergoing a quadruple bypass surgery he quickly switched over to a vegan diet. He turned his life around and reaped the health benefits of saying sayonara to animal products.

Are adults over 50 taking note from these public figures? This just could be.

For further information on baby boomers and other statistics, visit The Washington Post for the complete article.

Photo Credit: Anthony Correia / Shutterstock.com

About Allyson Koerner

Allyson Koerner is a graduate from Emerson College where she obtained her Master’s in Print & Multimedia journalism. Passionate about writing, reading and entertainment, she is looking to make her way into the journalism profession.

http://www.ecorazzi.com/2012/08/22/2012-poll-shows-baby-boomers-choose-vegetarian-lifestyle/

Advertisements

Baby Boomers Embrace Vegetarianism, But Such Diets Have Risks as Well as Benefits WashingtonPost

I agree that being vegetarian or vegan requires planning.  You can be fat and unhealthy or slim and healthy while shunning animal products.  Consider:  onion rings, fries, cheese on a stick, double cheese pizza, white bread, white rice are all vegan or vegetarian.  Eating “clean,” whole foods: fresh fruits, leafy greens, brown rice, whole grains, fresh vegetables, beans, lentils, tofu, non-dairy milk, nuts and seeds will provide you with optimum nutrients.  Laura

By Marta Zaraska, Published: August 13

For many baby boomers, former president Bill Clinton among them, vegetarian diets — including vegan ones, which eschew all animal products — have become a way of life. Much of the reason for that, doctors say, is that this demographic group is heading into prime time for health issues and sees vegetarianism as a way to protect their bodies. Yet for boomers these diets can carry some risks that don’t concern those in their 30s or 40s. As we age, our nutritional needs change and are harder to meet.About 2.5 million Americans over the age of 55 are vegetarian according to a 2012 Harris poll conducted for the Vegetarian Resource Group, and doctors and researchers say interest in such diets is growing. The prominence of some aging vegetarians stokes this trend: In addition to Clinton (age 65), there is Paul McCartney (70), retired tennis player Martina Navratilova (55) and actor Ian McKellen (73). Less famous but nevertheless impressive vegetarians include Fauja Singh, an India-born Briton who at 101 years old runs marathons.

It’s clear from research that forgoing meat can improve health. “Vegetarianism can be used as a way to combat many conditions that plague boomers: heart disease, Type 2diabetesobesity. We now know, for example, that such a diet can lower your blood pressure,” says Boston University registered dietitian Joan Salge Blake, citing numerous recent studies.

In an article published in 2005, Susan Berkow, a certified nutrition specialist, and physician Neal Barnard analyzed 11 observational studies and found that vegetarians tend to have lower blood pressure than meat-eaters. The reasons behind this are not well understood. According to the authors (both of whom are affiliated with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which promotes a vegetarian diet), probably one of the most important is the generally lower body weight of vegetarians due to the abundance of fiber in their diets, which causes them to feel full faster and helps with insulin control.

Since the risk of death from a stroke in middle age rises significantly as blood pressure rises, it is no surprise that vegetarians tend to face fewer cardiovascular issues than the rest of us. In an article published in April in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Harvard researchersfound that the more red meat you usually consume, the more likely you are to succumb to heart disease. Adding three ounces of meat to your daily diet (above what you normally eat) elevates the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 16 percent. For processed meat (think sausages and bacon), the numbers are even more striking: Increasing consumption by one serving a day — that would be just one more hot dog — elevates the long-term risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 21 percent.

Beyond damaging your heart, researchers tend to agree, eating red meat increases the risk of colorectal and other cancers. Similarly, a 2004 investigation by researchers from the Harvard Medical School found that middle-aged and older women who ate red meat more than five times a week had a 29 percent higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than those who indulged in it less than once per week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated that in 2010 almost 27 percent of Americans over the age of 65 had diabetes.

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/baby-boomers-embrace-vegetarianism-but-such-diets-have-risks-as-well-as-benefits/2012/08/10/becfa7ce-a996-11e1-96ad-ddffdd8199e9_story_1.html

 

Preventing Heart Disease – At Any Age American Heart Association

You’re never too young— or too old — to take care of your heart.

Multi-Generational Family Outdoor Portrait

 

Preventing heart disease (and allcardiovascular diseases) means making smart choices now that will pay off the rest of your life.

Lack of exercise, a poor diet and other bad habits can take their toll over the years. Anyone at any age can benefit from simple steps to keep their heart healthy during each decade of life. Here’s how:

All Age Groups
No matter what your age, everyone can benefit from a healthy diet and adequate physical activity.

  • Choose a healthy eating plan.  The food you eat can decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke.  Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fatcholesterolsodium and added sugars and sweeteners.  As part of a healthy diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetablesfiber-rich whole grainsfish (preferably oily fish — at least twice per week), nuts, legumes and seeds.  Also try eating some meals without meat.  Select fat-free and low-fat dairy products and lean meats and poultry (skinless).  Limit sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Be physically active.  You can slowly work up to at least 2½ hours (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (like brisk walking) every week or an hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity (such as jogging or running) or a combination of both every week. Additionally, on two or more days a week you need muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest shoulders and arms).

In Your 20s
Getting smart about your heart early on puts you far ahead of the curve. The things you do — and don’t — are a tell-tale sign of how long and how well you’re going to live, said Richard Stein, M.D. “There’s no one I know who said: ‘I felt better being sedentary. I felt better eating a terrible diet,’” said Stein, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine. “All these things actually make you feel better while they help you.”

  • Find a doctor and have regular wellness exams. Healthy people need doctors, too. Establishing a relationship with a physician means you can start heart-health screenings now. Talk to your doctor about your diet, lifestyle and checking your blood pressurecholesterolheart ratebody mass index and waist circumference. You may also need your blood sugar checked if you are pregnant, overweight or havediabetes. Knowing where your numbers stand early makes it easier to spot a possible change in the future.
  • Be physically active. It’s a lot easier to be active and stay active if you start at a young age. “If you’re accustomed to physical activity, you’ll sustain it,” Dr. Stein said. Keep your workout routine interesting by mixing it up and finding new motivators.
  • Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. If you picked up smoking as a teen, it’s time to quit smoking. Even exposure to secondhand smoke poses a serious health hazard. Nonsmokers are up to 30 percent more likely to develop heart disease or lung cancer from secondhand smoke exposure at home or work, according to a U.S. Surgeon General report.

In Your 30s
Juggling family and career leaves many adults with little time to worry about their hearts. Here are some ways to balance all three.

  • Make heart-healthy living a family affair. Create and sustain heart-healthy habits in your kids and you’ll reap the benefits, too. Spend less time on the couch and more time on the move. Explore a nearby park on foot or bike. Shoot some hoops or walk the dog. Plant a vegetable and fruit garden together in the yard, and invite your kids into the kitchen to help cook.
  • Know your family history. Shake your family tree to learn about heart health. Having a relative with heart disease increases your risk, especially if the relative is a parent or sibling. That means you need to focus on risk factors you can control by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, not smoking and eating right. Also, keep your doctor informed about any heart problems you learn about in your family.
  • Tame your stress. Long-term stress causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure that may damage the artery walls. Learning stress management techniques benefits your body and your quality of life. Try deep breathing exercises and find time each day to do something you enjoy. Giving back through volunteering also does wonders for knocking out stress.

In Your 40s
If heart health hasn’t been a priority, don’t worry. Healthy choices you make now can strengthen your heart for the long haul. Understand why you need to make lifestyle changes and have the confidence to make them. Then, tackle them one at a time. “Each success makes you more confident to take on the next one,” said Dr. Stein, who is also an American Heart Association volunteer.

  • Watch your weight. In your 40s, your metabolism starts slowing down. But you can avoid weight gain by following a heart-healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise. The trick is to find a workout routine you enjoy. If you need motivation to get moving, find a workout buddy or join American Heart Association Walking Paths and Walking Clubs.
  • Have your blood sugar level checked. In addition to blood pressure checks and other heart-health screenings, you should have a fasting blood glucose test by the time you’re 45. This first test serves as a baseline for future tests, which you should have every three years. Testing may be done earlier or more often if you are overweight, diabetic or at risk for becoming diabetic.
  • Don’t brush off snoring. Listen to your sleeping partner’s complaints about your snoring. One in five adults has at least mild sleep apnea, a condition that causes pauses in breathing during sleep. If not properly treated, sleep apnea can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

In Your 50s
Unlike the emergence of wrinkles and gray hair, what you can’t see as you get older is the impact aging has on your heart. So starting in the 50s, you need to take extra steps.

In Your 60s+
With age comes an increased risk for heart disease. Your blood pressure, cholesterol and other heart-related numbers tend to rise. Watching your numbers closely and managing any health problems that arise — along with the requisite healthy eating and exercise — can help you live longer and better.

  • Have an ankle-brachial index test. Starting in your 60s, an ankle-brachial index test should be done every one to two years as part of a physical exam. The test assesses the pulses in the feet to help diagnoseperipheral artery disease (PAD), a lesser-known cardiovascular disease in which plaque builds up in the leg arteries.
  • Watch your weight. Your body burns fewer calories as you get older. Excess weight causes your heart to work harder and increases the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Exercising regularly and eating smaller portions of nutrient-rich foods may help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke. Heart attack symptoms in women can be different than men. Knowing when you’re having a heart attack or stroke means you’re more likely to get immediate help. Quick treatment can save your life and prevent serious disability.

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MyHeartandStrokeNews/Preventing-Heart-Disease—At-Any-Age_UCM_442925_Article.jsp

How To Find A Plant-Based Doctor #Jeff Novick, MS,RD #Esselstyn, MD

How To Find a Plant-Based Doctor

Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD

Jeff Novick, MS, RD

Introduction

Jeff Novick, MS, RD

Over the last few years, I have been honored and privileged to work with and speak to literally 10’s of 1000’s of people who were looking to change to a plant based diet and lifestyle.  As a result of this work, one of the questions that comes up very frequently is how does someone find a plant based doctor to work with.

While there are several ways to respond to this question, one of the greatest responses I ever heard was from Dr Caldwell Esselstyn during our Q & A sessions at an immersion.   After hearing it, I asked him if we could work together on expanding and drafting his response into a formal article.   What follows is our first draft, which we may update and amend over time, but because of the importance of this, we wanted to put it out now.

Here we go…

How To Find a Plant-Based Doctor

Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD

Jeff Novick, MS, RD

People often despair that they lack a local physician with a plant based focus. It is a common concern we hear often. While ideally it would be best if there were a plant based doctor for everyone who wants one,this is rarely the case.

However, do not despair. Working together we can bring you and your current doctor fully up to speed with knowledge about plant based nutrition. Therefore the first thing that will be important for you to do is to get yourself up to speed on the basics of plant-based nutrition.

One way to do this is by visiting one of the residential or immersion programs** run by one of the recommend doctors. Other ways that can also be of value include reading the recommended books**, watching the recommended DVD’s** or taking the E-Cornell plant based nutrition course**. Of course, nothing can take the place of a live interaction with a knowledgeable plant based doctor.

It is important to continue to work with your doctor and let them realize we are not taking away his/her patient; we are merely focusing on a very important dimension of care -the causation of their illness, which local physicians 1. don’t have the time for 2. don’t have the passion for or 3. lack the training or skill set for.

Also, in the beginning, you do not have to get into the specific details of your diet.  Just let them know you have decided to start eating better and going to make some changes (eat a few more fruits, veggies, whole grains and beans and less junk food and fried foods) and see how things go and that you would like them to keep an eye on your numbers. Even ask them if they have any recommendations.

Then, just keeping following the program. This way, working together with your local physician, he/she will be able to reduce 1. blood pressure meds as the patient’s hypertension resolves 2. reduce cholesterol meds as cholesterol lowers 3. reduce diabetic meds as glucose is reduced.

In addition, once you being to have success and your doctor sees these positive changes, he/she may initiate the conversation with you about what you have done and be far more willing to have the conversation from a more open perspective having witnessed the improvements. And, by doing it this way, you will have helped to educate your doctor about the power of plant based, no oil way of living without having any confrontational interactions.

When we approach it this way, the local MD’s will recognize that those of us in lifestyle medicine are working synergistically in the spirit of cooperative endeavor to have their patients have the full benefit of plant based nutrition to halt and reverse their disease.

**Here is the beginning of the recommended resource list in alphabetical order by last name.

(It will be updated over time with live links to the resources.)

Books

Neal Barnard MD

– Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes

– Breaking the Food Seduction

– 21 Day Weight-loss Kick start

Colin Campbell

– The China Study

Caldwell Esselstyn

– Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease

Rip Esselstyn

– The Engine 2 Diet

Doug Lisle

– The Pleasure Trap

John McDougall MD

– Dr. McDougall’s Digestive Tune‐Up

– The McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook

– Dr. McDougall’s Total Health Solution for the 21st Century DVD

– The McDougall Program: Twelve Days to Dynamic Health

– The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss

– The New McDougall Cookbook

– The Starch Solution

DVDs

Neal Barnard MD

– Tackling Diabetes DVD

– Kick Start Your Health DVD

Caldwell Esselstyn

– Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease

Rip Esselstyn

– Forks Over Knives Presents The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue

Michael Klaper

  1. -Digestion Made Easy

Douglas Lisle

– The Continuum of Evil

– Losing weight without losing your mind

– The Pleasure Trap

John McDougall MD

– Dr. McDougall’s Total Health Solution for the 21st Century DVD

– McDougall Made Easy & Irresistible

– Dr. McDougall’s Money-Saving Medical Advice

– Dr. McDougall’s Common Sense Nutrition

– McDougall Made Irresistible

– Dr. McDougall Disputes Major Medical Treatments

– McDougall Made Easy

– McDougall’s Medicine

Jeff Novick

– Lighten Up

– Calorie Density

– Should I Eat That

– From Oil To Nuts

– Nuts & Health

– Fast Food Vol 1 The Basics

– Fast Food Vol 2 Burgers & Fries

Movies/Documentaries

– Forks Over Knives

– Processed People

Immersions and Programs

– The McDougall 3, 5 & 10 Day Programs

– Dr Esselstyn – 5-hour intensive counseling seminar at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute

– Farms To Forks Weekend Immersions

Online Course

– E Cornel Plant Based Nutrition Course

Additional Material

BOOKS

John Abramson MD

– Overdosed America

Gilbert H. Welch MD

– Should I be tested for Cancer?

– Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health

– Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics

Nortin Hadler MD

– Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

THE BEST RAW VEGAN PLANT BASED PROTEIN SOURCES ON THE PLANET

The Best Raw Vegan Plant Based Protein Sources on the Planet

Woman Running on Beach

Could there be a greater controversy in the health realm than the vegan vs. omnivore debate over protein? If you’ve been living a plant based lifestyle for a while now, you probably chuckle when someone makes a comment like “there’s no way you can get enough protein from vegetables”, or the alternative, you might get a little bit annoyed after hearing it for the 100th time. But let’s face it, there’s a ton of confusion surrounding what we should eat in the world, and some of us have been downright convinced that vegetables are nothing more than water.

My intention is to show what’s possible if you’re choosing to go plant based and opt out of animal protein, for whatever reason. Maybe you’re hoping to heal a dis-ease or health condition, lower your blood pressure, lose weight or increase your energy. These are all common reasons for choosing plants over flesh. But before we get into it, let me be clear that this post is in no way pushing plant based living as the only way to live. In this world, we must live according to our individual paths, and for some of us that means consuming animal flesh and for others it means consuming plants.

My greatest concern when it comes to consuming animals, is the disregard we’ve developed for the animals life, the abuse and suffering that goes on in factory farms, and the inevitable consequences on our bodies when we consume the stress, hormones, anti-biotics and fear based energy of those animals. I could go deeper into why some animal products don’t contribute to healthful living, but this post isn’t about that. For a lot people living in modern urban areas, hunting for food or purchasing from a local organic farmer is not an option. This is a problem, and the solution is going plant based. It’s far safer for you to consume a plant based diet, than to consume factory farmed meat, eggs, milk or dairy.

So What Are Some Reliable Plant Based Protein Sources?

Sprouts

  • Sprouts of all kinds are nutritional powerhouses with a high protein content ranging from 20-35% protein. Not only that, but they’re also excellent sources of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
  • Broccoli sprouts contain 35% protein
  • Pea Sprouts contain 25% protein

Bunch of Pea Sprouts

Bunch of Pea Sprouts

Greens

  • Dark Green Vegetables will serve your protein needs and provide your body with calcium, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and amino acids
  • Broccoli contains 45% protein
  • Spinach contains 30% protein
  • Kale contains 45% protein

Green Kale

Green Kale

Nuts & Seeds

  • Nuts & Seeds are also sources of good healthy fats like omega 3, 6 & 9′s. There is a concern however surrounding the overconsumption of omega 6′s and not getting enough 3′s. For this reason, eating nuts and seeds as part of a raw, vegan or vegetarian diet shouldn’t be considered the main protein source but used in addition to other foods with a lower fat content like sprouts & green vegetables.
  • Hemp Seeds are the only food known to have a perfect harmony of omegas 3,6 & 9. They’re also 22% protein.
  • Pumpkin seeds are 21% protein.
  • Almonds are 12% protein per ounce.

Hemp Seeds

Hemp Seeds

Algae sources

  • Spirulina is about 68% protein and also helps detoxify the body. It’s packed with vitamins and contains EFA’s (essential fatty acids).
  • Chlorella is about 60% protein and is known for it’s rapid tissue repair properties. It’s a great food if you’re very physically active or have higher protein requirements. Use it in your shakes to help speed up recovery times.

Spirulina Powder

Spirulina Powder

Gabriel Cousens discussed the use of spirulina and chlorella for protein supplementation in an interview with Dr. Mercola. He gave an example of someone who wanted to consume 45g of protein per day (which is almost twice as high as what the American Nutritional Journals and World Health Organization recommend). If you were to consume 2 tbsp. of spirulina or chlorella with each meal (let’s say in a juice or smoothie), you would easily hit this mark for protein.

Our Protein Powder of Choice

Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein

Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein

Visual Examples of Fit, Muscular Vegans

I’m excited to share these examples of super fit, muscular looking vegans that Caleb and I have come across in our googling adventures. Since coming across these amazing examples, we’ve begun to connect with some of them as well so we can continue to give you insight into what their diets and lifestlyes really look like. Stick around to watch this protein discussion evolve in the very near future.

Click here to an interview with Frank and CutandJacked.com

Vegan Bodybuilder Frank Medrano

Vegan Bodybuilder Frank Medrano

Click here to read an interview with Marzia Prince and SimplyShredded.com

Female Vegan Bodybuilder Marzia Prince

Female Vegan Bodybuilder Marzia Prince

Ultimately, it comes down to personal choice. There are many different lifestyles you can follow, some will make you look really good and fail you when it comes to nutrition, and some will serve you not only through physical results, but through internal results.

A plant based lifestyle can provide a host of benefits, many of which I touched on already and in aprevious post on protein. Some people will be quick to judge and say this cannot be true, but those same people have likely never tried a vegetarian diet, let alone a raw vegan diet. When we open our mind up to possibilities, we gift ourselves the chance to experience optimal health, whatever that looks like for us. The key is to be open to experimentation. If your current lifestyle isn’t working for you, considering giving a plant based lifestyle an honest shot. Even a 7 day trial is a great place to start!

I’d love to hear some of your favourite protein sources in the comments below!

Learn how to integrate raw foods into your lifestyle in our 3 months course How to Go Raw, Not Crazy!We’re taking a few more student testers, if you’d like more details on how you can get a discount on registration you can  email us with the subject line “how to go raw”.

AUTHOR:Sheleana Breakell -Young and Raw

Sheleana is the co-founder & chief blogger of YoungandRaw.com, a self taught raw vegan chef and big time animal lover. Like many, her path to a high raw and plant based lifestyle came through a series of challenges and discoveries. After healing her body and spirit of chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalance and shedding over 45lbs of weight through raw foods, Sheleana was inspired to help other people take their power back and re-build more sustainable relationships with the food they eat. As the author and co-creator of a 3 month raw food program for beginners called How to Go Raw, Not Crazy! She and her partner Caleb take students on a journey of self discovery, raw food preparation, meal planning, weight loss and conquering cravings. Rather than suggesting everyone be a raw vegan, she simply chooses to share the information that resonates with her at her core in hopes that it will reach the people who are meant to receive it. There is never any pressure to adopt a certain diet or lifestyle 100%. Sheleana is a free spirit and fully embraces all aspects of life’s’ challenges as lessons and opportunities for growth. She knows everyone is on their own journey and what works for her may not work for others. The Young and Raw philosophy is based on unconditional love, self awareness, compassion for all life and radical authenticity.

Me, Give Up Meat? Vegan Diets Surging in Popularity US News

While I don’t agree with the cons, I do agree that you must plan to be sure you are getting all the nutrients needed. Laura

The Pros (and a Few Cons) of Choosing a Vegan Diet

by Angela Haupt

Former President Bill Clinton had a legendary appetite: Hamburgers and steaks. Barbeque. Chicken enchiladas. But after having two stents inserted in 2010—on top of quadruple bypass surgery six years earlier—he radically changed his diet in the name of saving his health. Now a vegan, the strictest type of vegetarian, he has cut out meat, dairy, eggs, and most oils in favor of a super-low-fat diet that revolves around whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. It appears to be working: He has said he’s dropped more than 20 pounds and has never been healthier. In a televised interview with film producer Harvey Weinstein in June, Clinton explained that he’d decided he wanted to live to be a grandfather. “So I just went all the way. Getting rid of the dairy was great, getting rid of the meat was—I just don’t miss it.”

Vegan diets have lately been surging in popularity, thanks in part to the example of celebrities who are publicly forswearing all animal products (Michelle Pfeiffer, Carrie Underwood, Russell Brand, and Ozzy Osbourne, to name a few others). Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have announced plans to open a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles. Vegan-centric books have been flying off the shelf, including Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet and The Engine 2 Diet by Texas firefighter and triathlete Rip Esselstyn, son of retired Cleveland Clinic physician Caldwell Esselstyn, whose research on the merits of plant-based eating inspired Bill Clinton. Vegan food trucks are making the rounds, schools are instituting meat-free days, and colleges are opening vegan dining halls.

While many vegans still take the stand because they believe in animal rights, a growing number are swayed by mounting research showing a profound impact on health. “It’s dramatic,” says Neal Barnard, a nutrition researcher and adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit group that promotes preventive medicine. “We’ve seen people whose chest pain has gone away within weeks, while their weight melts off, blood pressure goes down, and cholesterol plummets.” Barnard’s 2011 book 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart is a three-week introduction to the case for and how-tos of the vegan life. The panel of 22 experts who analyzed 25 diets forU.S. News’s ratings of the best eating plans overall—as well as the best for weight loss, heart health, and diabetes management and prevention—are not universally sold on absolute meatlessness. But without a doubt, the heavily plant-based plans tend to rise to the top of the U.S. News lists.

Exactly how you shape a vegan meal plan is up to you, but you’ll typically aim for six servings of grains from bread and calcium-fortified cereal, for example; five servings of protein-rich foods such as legumes, nuts, peanut butter, chickpeas, tofu, potatoes, and soy milk; and four servings of veggies, two of fruit, and two of healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, and olive oil. (Both of the Esselstyns advocate avoiding all oils, too.) There’s no need to give up dessert, although you’ll be baking without butter or eggs.

It should come as no surprise that becoming a serious vegan is apt to help you lose weight. By loading up on fruits, veggies, and whole grains, vegans tend to feel full on fewer calories, and indeed they tend to weigh less and have a lower body mass index than their meat-eating peers. In a 2006 study coauthored by Barnard, 99 people with type 2 diabetes followed either a vegan diet or a standard diet based on American Diabetes Association guidelines. After 22 weeks, the vegans lost an average of 13 pounds, compared to 9 in the ADA group. Both groups’ control of their blood sugar levels also improved.

The cardiac case. A meatless diet’s power against heart disease also is well documented. “It’s an exceptionally healthy diet, especially when it comes to cardiac health,” says Michael Davidson, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Chicago Medical Center. He notes that cutting way back on saturated fat and eliminating cholesterol is just part of the equation; also key is piling on “cardiac protective” fruits, vegetables, and grains, packed with antioxidants and other phytochemicals that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. The soluble fiber found in plant protein also helps to lower cholesterol. In the 2006 Diabetes Care report, LDL cholesterol dropped 21.2 percent in the vegan group after 22 weeks, compared with 10.7 percent in the group following the meat-allowing guidelines. Triglycerides fell from 140.3 mg/dL to 118.2. In an earlier 12-year study that compared 6,000 vegetarians and vegans with 5,000 meat-eaters, researchers found that vegans had a 57 percent lower risk of ischemic heart disease—reduced heart pumping due to coronary artery disease, which often leads to heart failure—than the meat-eaters. Vegetarians had a 24 percent lower risk.

Read the rest at:  http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/07/24/me-give-up-meat-vegan-diets-surging-in-popularity?page=2

8 REASONS WHY WOMEN SHOULD LIFT WEIGHTS Livestrong

The benefits of resistance training go far beyond sculpting a lean, toned body

Jun 25, 2012 | By Linda Melone

We know: You don’t want bulging biceps or thunderous thigh muscles like Lance Armstrong. No woman does. But that doesn’t mean you should skip the weight room.

Lifting weights has some surprising perks that you can’t get from cardio alone. Research shows that just two strength-training sessions a week can help you burn more fat, sculpt lean muscles, feel more energized, and so much more. Here are eight reasons you should start lifting today.

1. You’ll burn more calories

Although cardio burns more calories than strength training during your 30-minute sweat session, lifting weights burns more overall. It all goes back to building muscle. It takes more energy (calories) for your body to maintain muscle cells than it does fat cells. So by lifting weights to add more muscle mass, you’ll boost your metabolism and turn your body into a more efficient fat-burning machine.

2. You’ll maintain muscle and feel better in your clothes

Research shows that between the ages of 30 and 70, women lose an average of 22 percent of their total muscle. What’s even more upsetting is that over time, the muscle void is often filled with fat. One pound of fat takes up 18 percent more space than one pound of muscle, so even if the number on the scale goes down, your pants size might go up. The best way to stay tightly packed? Keep strength training!

For best results, Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, author of Beat the Gym, recommends two to three total-body strength workouts per week for 30 minutes each session. Include three to four days of cardiovascular exercise, either on the same days or alternate days.

3. You’ll build stronger bones

Lifting weights can be your best defense against osteoporosis—a disease affecting 10 million Americans, 80 percent of which are women, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. “When you lift weights you engage muscles that pull on the tendons which, in turn, pull on the bones,” says Holland. “This added stress makes bones stronger.”

4. Your heart will be healthier

It may seem counterintuitive that weight lifting helps lower blood pressure, since blood pressure actually goes up during and immediately after your strength session. But research shows it’s a powerful way to protect your ticker in the long run. “As muscles contract, blood is pushed back up to the heart,” says Irv Rubenstein, PhD, exercise physiologist and founder of S.T.E.P.S., a fitness facility in Nashville, TN. “The heart then recirculates this oxygenated blood back to the muscles, which keeps the cardiovascular system in better working order.” Plus, maintaining lean muscle mass enables you to do more work overall, further enhancing this effect, Rubenstein says.

5. You’ll remember where you left the keys (and everything else)

Muscles strengthen both your body and your brain. According to a new study published in the May 2012 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, a combination of mentally stimulating activities like using a computer and exercise (which included walking and other cardio as well as strength training and sports activities) helped protect brain functioning in older adults. The combination of computer use with moderate exercise decreases the risk of memory loss more than either one activity on its own.

6. You’ll be happier and less stressed

Move over, runner’s high! Weight training also has the power to induce pleasure by releasing endorphins, the “feel-good” chemical in your brain. Research shows that resistance training can help beat the blues. One Australian study found that people who did three strength workouts a week (chest presses, lat pull-downs, and biceps curls) reported an 18 percent drop in depression after 10 weeks. In addition, exercise reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, relieving feelings of anxiety and agitation.

7. You’ll reduce your risk of diabetes (or improve quality of life if you already have diabetes)

Lifting weights helps improve the way your body processes sugar, which can help prevent diabetes. And if you already have diabetes, research shows that extended periods of strength training improve blood sugar control as well as taking a diabetes drug. In fact, the combination of strength training and aerobic exercise may be even more beneficial than drugs.

8. You’ll improve balance

Ever try to put on one sock while standing on the other leg? Without strength training, this simple act can feel more like a circus trick over time. The reason: fast-twitch muscles fibers we use for strength training deteriorate with age. (Aerobic exercises use mostly slow-twitch fibers.) “The fast-twitch fibers assist in speed and power movements and contract quickly and with sufficient force to catch yourself when you lose your balance,” Rubenstein says. “Resistance training maintains the ability of these fibers to activate.”

Last updated on: Jun 25, 2012

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/557657-8-reasons-why-women-should-lift-weights/#ixzz21T4i7cRJ

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: