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Is Plant- Based Eating Going Mainstream?

I have been following a plant-based eating plan for about 2 months now, For the last 4 days I deepened the journey and am doing a 30 Day Raw Food Challenge. It is something I have always wanted to do but I knew I needed support. Well, the support arrived in the form a a group starting The True Health Lifestyle Program, and so I jumped on board. CLICK HERE to learn about the program I am following.

It seems it is more popular than I realized. At several Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers in California, doctors, nurses, and other staff are learning about plant-powered eating so they can pass along the information to their patients. Some of the medical staff are even adopting plant-powered diets long-term.

Kaiser is the largest healthcare organization in the U.S., and it is focusing on plant-powered eating.

In 2013 Kaiser Permanente published a nutritional update for physicians, which advised doctors to recommend plant-based diets, “to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.”

They list the health benefits of a plant-based diet as:

  • Lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
  • Reversal or prevention of heart disease and diabetes.
  • Longer life.
  • Healthier weight.
  • Lower risk of developing cancer and diabetes.
  • May slow the progression of certain types of cancer.
  • Improved symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Fewer medications.
  • Lower food costs.

They add that plant-based diets are also good for the environment. Plus, plant-based eating can be a tasty, affordable, and enjoyable way to eat.

What kind of plant-based diet is Kaiser talking about? On Facebook, they say  a plant-based diet, “emphasizes plant foods in their whole, unprocessed form, such as vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, nuts, whole grains, and small amounts of healthy fats.”

Follow my blog for more about this Plant-Based Eating revolution and why it is happening

PART 1 – Oral Wellness 101 – The Mouth-Body Connection

Do you think a physician who suspected heart disease or diabetes would refer the patient to a gum specialist? That is definitely not the current “standard of care”. Well. Based on research, that might change!

Research is now showing strong links between mouth health and body health.  In one recent study, people with serious gum disease were 40% more likely to have a chronic condition.

The connection between your gums and your health is inflammation. Inflammation is a normal reaction your body has to infection or injury. So if you have gum disease, your gums may become inflamed and bleed.

Three Conditions Affected By Your Oral health

The working relationship between diabetes and periodontitis may be the strongest of all the connections between the mouth and body. Inflammation that starts in the mouth seems to weaken the body’s ability to control blood sugar.

Diabetes

Diabetes and periodontal disease go hand in hand. Inflammation of the gums is known to negatively impact the body’s ability to process and use insulin. In this particular case, the conditions will exacerbate each other — diabetes causes the body to lack ability to fight infection, including gum infections, while inflammation inhibits the ability to regulate sugar.

Heart Disease.

Up to 91% of patients with heart disease suffer from periodontal disease, compared to 66% of people with no heart disease.  — a high enough correlation to take precautionary measures. While the cause still isn’t clear, there is some speculation that having periodontitis raises the risk for developing heart disease.

Osteoporosis

It’s a natural warning sign that both osteoporosis and periodontal diseases are forms of bone loss. Osteoporosis tends to impact more women, while men have a higher incidence of gum disease. However, some researchers today are testing out the theory that gum disease inflammation may trigger bone loss in other areas of the body, besides the jaw.

Sources

  • Bensley L, VanEenwyk J, Ossiander EM. Associations of self-reported periodontal disease with metabolic syndrome and number of self-reported chronic conditions. Prev Chronic Disease 2011;8(3):A50. http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2011/may/10_0087.htm.
  • Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine: “Periodontitis: A risk for delivery of premature labor and low-birth-weight infants.”
  • Stroke: “Periodontal Disease as a Risk Factor for Ischemic Stroke.”
  • American Dental Association: “Bleeding Gums.”
  • American Diabetes Association: “Diabetes and Oral Health Problems.”
  • Cleveland Clinic: “Can Your Mouth and Gum Disease Really Cause Heart Problems?” “5 Things to Do Daily to Keep Your Heart Healthy.”
  • Harvard Health Publications: “Treating gum disease may lessen the burden of heart disease, diabetes, other conditions.”

NOW READ PART 2 – titled “Oral Wellness 101″

Sugar Linked To $1 Trillion In U.S. Healthcare Spending

Sugar addiction concept as a human head made of white granulated refined sweet cubes as a health care symbol for being addicted to sweeteners and the medical issues pertaining to processed food.

An article in Forbes magazine in 2013 highlighted the Credit Suisse report on sugar which is worth highlighting.

30% – 40% of healthcare expenditures in the USA go to help address issues that are closely tied to the excess consumption of sugar.” Credit Suisse Report

Assuming a U.S. National Healthcare Expenditure of $3 trillion per year – and further assuming we simply take 33% (the lower end of the Credit Suisse range), the calculation is easy. Basically, the U.S. healthcare system spends about $1 trillion per year (and possibly more) fighting the effects of excess sugar consumption.

The health effects around that excessive consumption of sugar include coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Other known risks – mostly around being overweight and/or obese – include osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gout, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cancer. A broader summary list of findings in the 40 page report include these:

The 2012 Global Burden of Disease report highlighted obesity as a more significant health crisis globally than hunger and/or malnourishment.

More than half a billion adults (over age 20) worldwide are obese.

The world average daily intake of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is now 70 grams (17 teaspoons).

A scientific statement issued by the American heart Association in 2009 recommends that women take no more than six teaspoons of added sugar a day and men no more than nine.

A single, 12 ounce can of regular soda has about 8 teaspoons of sugar.

While the toxic health effects of sugar are generally well known, there is mounting evidence to suggest that sugar has addictive properties as well.

“Sugar may not pose the clear addictive characteristics of illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin, but to us it does meet the criteria for being a potentially addictive substance.” Credit Suisse

SOURCE : FORBES