Food as Medicine :Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet without drug

What we eat greatly influences our personal health. Plant-based diets could save so many millions annually if people adopt vegetarian diet by cutting down meat consumption. Imbalanced diets, such as diets low in fruits and vegetables, and high in red and processed meat, are responsible for the greatest health burden globally.

 Today, the food industry uses the tactics: supplying misinformation and twisting the science. Few governments are willing to prioritize health over big business. A powerful corporation can sell the public just about anything.

veg1Image: Anthony Acosta, Flickr, Creative commons license.


High blood pressure (BP)

High blood pressure affects one in three of us, and as we age, our pressures get higher and higher, such that by age 60, it strikes more than half. Since high blood pressure is the #1 risk factor for stroke it is very important to control BP proactively.

Researchers measured the blood pressure of a thousand people in rural Kenya, China and India who ate a diet centered on whole plant foods. Whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruit, and dark green leafy vegetables. Up until age 40, the blood pressures of rural Africans were about the same as Europeans and Americans, down around 120/ 80(The highest pressure when your heart beats and pushes the blood round your body/The lowest pressure when your heart relaxes between beats), but as Westerners age, their pressures creep up such that by age 60 the average person is hypertensive, exceeding 140 / 90. But what about those who eating plant-based? Their pressures improved with age; not only did they not develop hypertension, their blood pressures actually got better.

The American Heart Association has pointed out, the only folks really getting down that low are strict vegetarians, coming in at about 110 / 65.

We’ve known for decades that food of animal origin was highly significantly associated with blood pressure. If you want to test this, In fact you can take vegetarians and give them meat and you can watch their blood pressures go up.

A recent analysis showed that vegetarian diets were good, but strictly plant-based diets may be better. Based on a study of 89,000 Californians, those eating meat-free diets appeared to cut their risk of high blood pressure in half. But those eating meat-free, egg-free, and dairy-free had 75% lower risk. Also a cup of hibiscus tea with each meal significantly lowers blood pressureTwo cups of strong hibiscus tea every morning were as effective as the drug.

Diabetes & vision loss:

That study that purported to show that diets high in meat, eggs, and dairy could be as harmful to health as smoking supposedly suggested that people under 65 who eat lots of meat, eggs, and dairy are four times as likely to die from cancer or diabetes.

Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable middle-aged blindness. So, we can slow down your blindness, but a half-century ago, Kempner at Duke proved you could reverse it with an ultra-strict plant-based diet of mostly rice and fruit. 44 consecutive patients with diabetic retinopathy and in 30% of the cases, their eyes improved. It has been observed that patients going from being unable to even read headlines to normal vision.

The most efficient way to avoid diabetic complications is to eliminate the diabetes in the first place, and this is often feasible with a healthy enough diet.

A review of all such studies found that those following plant-based diets experience better improvements compared to those following diets that include animal products. Diet centered on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans was more effective in controlling diabetes than any other diet.

Doctors put 20 diabetic patients who take insulin to control diabetic in to strict plant based diet. The result showed that overall insulin requirements were cut about 60%, and half were able to get off insulin altogether. How many years did this take? Was it five years like the other study? No, 16 day.

So, we’re talking diabetics who’ve had diabetes as long as 20 years, injecting 20 units of insulin a day and then, as few as 13 days later, they’re off insulin altogether, thanks to less than two weeks on a plant-based diet. Diabetes for 20 years, then off all insulin in less than 2 weeks!

And as a bonus, their cholesterol dropped like a rock—in 16 days to under 150.

Those eating a lot of animal protein (meat, eggs, and dairy )didn’t have just four times more risk of dying from diabetes, they had 73 times higher risk of dying from diabetes.

A similar reason was found for the leading cause of vision loss (cataracts) among the elderly.

The bottom line is that plant based diet that may help prevent the other dreaded diseases—cancer, heart attack, arthritis, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and vision loss—may also help prevent brain loss as well.

IMG_0483Image: shaundon, Flickr, Creative commons license.



Why do African Americans get more colon cancer than native Africans? Why study Africans? Because colon cancer is extremely rare in native African populations; like more than 50 times lower rates than Americans, white or black.

So if they’re sedentary like all of us, eating mostly refined carbs, few whole plant foods and little fiber—like us, why do they have 50 times less colon cancer? Well, there is one big difference. The diet of both African-Americans and Caucasian-Americans is rich in meat, whereas the native Africans’ diet is so low in meat and saturated fat they have total cholesterol levels averaging 139, compared to over 200 in the U.S.

Animal protein consumption causes an increase in blood levels of a cancer-promoting growth hormone called IGF-1. But, remove meat, egg whites, and dairy proteins from our diet, and our bloodstream can suppress cancer cell growth about eight times better.

The sponsoring university sent out a press release with a memorable opening line: “That chicken wing you’re eating could be as deadly as a cigarette,” explaining that eating a diet rich in animal protein during middle age makes you four times more likely to die of cancer than someone with a low-protein dieta mortality risk factor comparable to smoking.

fruitImage: Takashi H, Flickr, Creative commons license.

Is Drinking Milk good for health?

If you don’t drink milk then what would happen to your bones? That’s a marketing ploy. Studies showed that Hip fracture rates are highest in populations with the greatest milk consumption.

A hundred thousand men and women followed for up to 20 years, and milk-drinking women had higher rates of death, more heart disease, and significantly more cancer for each daily glass of milk. Three glasses a day was associated with nearly twice the risk of death. And they had significantly more bone and hip fractures too.

Interestingly, the study also found that fermented milk products (cheese and yogurt) significantly decreased mortality and fractures among these women.

OK, so where does that leave us? What are the common threads? If you look at four of the major dietary quality scoring systems, which have all been associated with extending lifespan and lowering heart disease and cancer mortality, they all share only four things in common: more fruit, more vegetables, more whole grains, and more nuts and beans. They are all built on a common core of diets rich in plant foods.

You think second hand smoke is bad, increasing the risk of lung cancer 19%. Drinking one to two glasses of milk every day may be three times as bad—62% higher risk of lung cancer OR doubling the risk by frequently cooking with oil, or tripling your risk of heart disease by eating non-vegetarian, or multiplying your risk six fold by eating lots of meat and dairy.”

This reminds me of nitrosamines, a class of potent carcinogens found in cigarette smoke. They are considered so toxic that carcinogens of this strength in any other consumer product designed for human consumption would be banned immediately. If that were the case, they’d have to ban meat. One hot dog has as many nitrosamines and nitrosamides as five cigarettes. 


What about eating EGG:

Eggs are the #1 source of choline, which can be converted by gut bacteria into a toxin that increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, and death. Eggs are also the #1 source of cholesterol.


In the absence of effective federal regulation, the meat industry uses hundreds of animal feed additives, with little or no concern about the carcinogenic and other toxic effects. Today, virtually the entire population consumes—without any warning, labeling, or information—unknown and unpredictable amounts of hormonal residues in meat products over a lifetime.

Doctors no longer hold a professional monopoly on health information. There’s been a democratization of knowledge, and so until the system changes, we have to take personal responsibility for our own health and for our family’s health. We can’t wait until society catches up with the science, because it’s a matter of life and death.

8176352932_7db026ce8a_zImage: Tony & Wayne, Flickr, Creative commons license.


Further reference: For more detailed information this subject please refer Dr. Greger documents on

Credit: This content is sourced from Dr. Greger’s writing under creativecommons license.

Featured Image credit: liz west and Mark Turnauckas, Flickr, Creative commons license.


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