For people who have been in a high-calorie and micronutrient-deficient diet, switching to a plant-based diet might seem very difficult because of how dependent you have been to the instant gratification and addictive feeling these unhealthy foods give.
But did you know that there are 3 nutrition studies which could change all that and make you want to shift into a vegan diet?
Dr. Neal Barnard explains three surprising plant-based studies on diabetes, heart disease, and cancer; how following such diet could help you have a healthier heart, prevent and maybe even survive cancer.
Type 2 Diabetes
In 2003, The National Institute of Health funded the Physicians Committee, to make a study on a low-fat vegan diet as well as a more conventional Type 2 Diabetes diet.
Usually, when people have diabetes, the notion is there is too much sugar in the blood, and the first recommendation that comes to mind is to have a conventional diet; a diet avoiding sugar and carb-rich diet that turns into sugar and if weight loss is needed, cutting calories is a must.
To see if a complete shift to a plant-based vegan diet with no calorie and carbohydrate limit would be more effective as compared to the conventional one, these doctors did a series of tests. And in the year 2006, the first results were announced and found astounding results.
In the scientific study made, the control group involved are the people who did not make any changes in medications and went on with a conventional diet while the second are those in a plant-based diet.
The measurement used to determine blood glucose control is called AC1 or Hemoglobin AC1 and done for about 3-month period. The former group’s blood glucose control improved 0.4% absolute percentage points while the latter, 3 times more, by 1.2% percentage.
This study shows how significantly effective a vegan diet is as compared to pharmaceutical means.
But the question is, what happens when people follow it over the long term?
In 2009, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the long-term results and found that with a conventional diet, people tend to get back to where they started. But those in a vegan diet, there was a few cravings to the previous lifestyle, but they were still healthier after the follow-up period than they were at the beginning.
Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. is a surgeon but as he tells people, would rather not have to operate on them at all, but rather get to the cause of heart disease instead.
He brought in people who had existing heart disease and at risk of premature death and many of them were on a long list of medications, and what he said was to go to the cause, the cause of cholesterol.
To eliminate or improve cholesterol levels, he removed the animal fat found in meat, dairy products, and even fish in his patients’ diets and ultimately switched to a plant-based diet. It was challenging considering how addictive their previous diets were, but over time, eating greens, beans and healthy vegan food that has no cholesterol and animal fat became enjoyable and the effects drastically improved.
Not only were their cholesterol levels falling, their blood pressures improving, their weights melting away and arteries starting to open up again, but their chest pains also decreased, and their risk of premature death lessened as well.
It is true that people may need medical treatments of all kinds, but the number one treatment is still a healthy diet. And by adhering to this program, there is indeed a guaranteed positive result, and this is what this study of Dr. Esselstyn’s proved.
Dr. Dean Ornish made an important research study that proves it is possible to reverse heart disease through a program of lifestyle changes including a healthy diet. And soon after, set his sights on Prostate Cancer.
With Prostate Cancer killing men particularly in their later years, Dr. Ornish brought in a group of men, half of them were in the control group getting the treatments their doctors recommended, while the other half began a completely vegan diet. With a vegan diet established as good for the heart, will it also be beneficial for cancer?
Among the people in the former control group, about 6 of which had to leave to undergo various treatments, radiation therapies, or surgeries before the study was over because their cancer was progressing too quickly.
But in the latter vegan group, nobody needed treatment in this yearlong study because they were tracking their blood tests and Prostate Specific Antigen or PSA and it shows that their cancer was not progressing and PSA levels dropped by approximately 4% over the year.
With all these studies proving how having a vegan/plant-based diet could help you in many ways unimaginable, are you still going to try following such a lifestyle?