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Diabetic Shares Why He Quit ‘The Ketogenic Diet’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A ketogenic diet might not be as safe and effective in the long term as a balanced whole foods diet, and fasting is a more hazard-free way of promoting fat-burning ketosis in the body.

  • Reflect On:

    Many people are adopting the ketogenic diet for various reasons, completely cutting or drastically reducing their carb intake. But is this safe in all cases?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The ketogenic diet is becoming quite popular. However, many people are promoting it without acknowledging the fact that it might not be safe for everybody. I’m specifically referring to a diet that’s high in fat and low in carbs. Don’t get me wrong, these types of diets are proving to be great interventions for people with cancer, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative disorders. While there is no doubt that this type of diet might be quite an effective health intervention for some, that’s not true for all health issues, and we still have a long way to go with regards to the research to get the full picture.

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I’ve written multiple articles about the benefits of ketones (what your blood produces when your body switches from burning glucose to burning fat). However it must be noted that promoting this fat burning state long term by only consuming fat, and no carbs, can in certain cases have negative health consequences.

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I’ve always been a supporter of  the body producing ketones by going into fat-burning mode. If we are constantly eating, especially carbs, we’re always going to be burning glucose and never really deplete those reserves so we can start burning our fat, much of which is the main cause of a variety of diseases.

Fasting

The difference here is that I’ve promoted fasting as a way to reap the benefits of ketones instead of a low fat, high carb diet. If one fasts a couple times a month for a few days, your body will go into ketosis and experience autophagy. You can completely regenerate your immune system, repair damaged DNA, and even kill cancer when you practice fasting. This does not mean you should eat high fats and no carbs when you break your fasts, you should simply eat a healthy diet full of whole foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables–at least that’s what I believe based on my research.

Fasting (which produces ketones) is what is showing huge promise for cancer patients, as well as people who suffer from diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Combining fasting here and there, or even intermittent fasting here and there with a plant-based whole foods diet, which includes carbs, is extremely healthy. The prolonged state of ketosis might be necessary for cancer patients, but again, there are still a lot of questions unanswered.

Carbs are not the enemy, and this has been shown by multiple studies. A keto diet may cause short term weight loss, obviously (fasting would do the same thing, it’s the same as a keto diet without having to constantly eat high fats and no carbs). However, this may come at a serious price. A 2010 review found that low-carb, animal-based diets increased cardiovascular death by 14%, cancer death by 28%, & all-cause mortality by 23%- trends confirmed in other large studies.

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Animal Proteins The Problem?

This however might not be due to not eating carbs, but simply from the protein found in animal products. Dr. Colin Campbell, is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University and an American biochemist who specializes in the effect of nutrition on long term health. Through his “China study” and other work, he found that over-consumption of animal protein actually “turned on cancer.”  Protein from plants, however, had the opposite effect.

That being said, as mentioned earlier, the ketogenic diet may be used for treatment of various diseases. For example, a study titled “The Ketogenic Diet & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Prolong Survival in Mice with Systemic Metastatic Cancer” explains how it’s already known that the ketogenic diet elevates blood ketones and has been shown to slow cancer progression in both animals and humans. The study also revealed that the ketogenic diet “significantly decreased blood glucose, slowed tumor growth, and increased mean survival time by 56.8 percent in mice with systemic metastatic cancer.”

Just to re-iterate, fasting has the same effect on tumor growth. So why utilize a ketogenic diet when one can utilize fasting instead which also elevates blood ketone levels and slows/kills the progression of cancer? Something to think about. Is it really that healthy to prolong a state of ketosis for so long and completely deprive your body of the nutrients found in many whole foods and plant foods?

Keto diet research is in its infancy, focusing on short-term blood results & body weight – not actual rates of disease or death. And some findings are concerning. LDL cholesterol levels tend to rise (or at best, stay the same) on keto diets. An overwhelming wealth of research shows that the higher the LDL, the higher the risk of cardiovascular disease.

 A keto diet is low in refined grains & added sugar, which is great. But it also can be low in phytonutrients, antioxidants, & fiber, all of which have profound benefits, and it forbids some of the most powerfully health-promoting foods on earth – whole grains, legumes, & many fruits. To me, that’s just not good medicine. – Michelle McMacken, internal medicine physician

The truth is, you can still be on a ‘ketogenic diet’ and eat a whole foods plant based diet. If you throw in fasting periods you are going to get the benefits of burning your fat stores and producing blood ketones anyway. There is no reason to go so strict as to deprive your body of carbohydrates unless you are using it as an intervention for a specific disease, and those interventions still have a lot of science and examination to go.

Dr. Mark Mattson,  Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging and  professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, explains what fasting does to the brain in this great TED talk. Not once does he mention a high fat ketogenic diet, he is only referring to fasting. Here’s a great quote from that talk:

Why is it that the normal diet is three meals a day plus snacks? It isn’t that it’s the healthiest eating pattern, now that’s my opinion but I think there is a lot of evidence to support that. There are a lot of pressures to have that eating pattern, there’s a lot of money involved. The food industry — are they going to make money from skipping breakfast like I did today? No, they’re going to lose money. If people fast, the food industry loses money. What about the pharmaceutical industries? What if people do some intermittent fasting, exercise periodically and are very healthy, is the pharmaceutical industry going to make any money on healthy people?

Recent Study

If we take a look at a recent study from 2014, published in the journal Trends In Molecular Medicineit outlines and confirms what several studies before it have already done:

  • Caloric restriction (diet high in nutrients but low in calories) and its mimetics (CR) improve lifespan and reduce cancer incidence
  • CR and CR mimetics sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy
  • CR and CR mimetics combined with chemotherapy enhance anticancer immune responses

According to the study:

Caloric restriction (CR) is currently the most robust environmental intervention known to increase healthy life and prolong lifespan in several models, from yeast to mice. Although the protective effect of CR on the incidence of cancer is well established, its impact on tumor cell responses to chemotherapeutic treatment is currently being investigated. Interestingly, the molecular mechanisms required to extend lifespan upon reduced food intake are being evaluated, and these mechanisms may offer new opportunities for therapeutic intervention. In addition, new findings suggest a beneficial effect of CR in enhancing the efficiency of tumor cell killing by chemotherapeutic drugs and inducing an anticancer immune response.

None of these studies mention adopting a ketogenic diet.

That being said, in 2010, a case report was conducted on a 65-year-old woman who had a brain tumor causing numerous neurological deficits. In addition to standard care, she was put on a ketogenic diet. After two months, she experienced a complete remission of her tumor, yet when the diet was suspended, the tumor returned. We’ve also seen similar results on cancer growth with just pure fasting.

My way is to just eat healthy, and do a little fasting if you want to experience the health benefits of ketosis. You can eat a plant-based whole foods diet and still deplete your glucose reserves with intermittent fasting if you are looking to lose weight.

Man Shares Why He Quit

I came across this post via Forks Over Knives (a great resource), and while it’s just onme perspective, I thought it was important to share because the best knowledge comes from experience.

Keep in mind I have written about fasting as a tool to manage and even reverse diabetes. You can read that here.

Exercise physiologist and diabetes educator Drew Harrisberg has been amazed at the improvements to his health within a month of going from keto to plant-based. We’ll continue to check in with Drew throughout his WFPB journey, so stay tuned here for updates.

If you’re reading this story in the hope of seeing drastic before and after photos, I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. However, if I could wear my body inside-out, I think you’d find my transformation pretty damn impressive (if I say so myself)! My story is about how a drastic change in my nutritional approach—going from keto to plant-based—allowed me to regain control of my insulin and blood sugar levels and, ultimately, to thrive again.

Health-Conscious History

I’ll start by introducing myself. My name is Drew Harrisberg. I’m an exercise physiologist, diabetes educator, sport scientist, and most importantly, I’m a happy and healthy guy thriving with type 1 diabetes. I’ve not only accepted living with it; I’ve learned to love it and manage it so that it doesn’t manage me.

The diagnosis came unexpectedly when I was 22 years old. It was a moment that changed my life forever. I remember making a conscious decision that I would become an expert in managing my disease and that I would share everything I discovered with the world. So the journey began. I went back to university and completed my second degree to add to my exercise physiology title, this time in diabetes education and management.

Since being diagnosed with diabetes, my life has been one big self-experiment. The cool thing is, I’ve been the subject and the lead scientist. I’ve made countless mistakes and discovered just as many solutions.

My first nutritional triumph came very soon after my diagnosis, when I transitioned from the conventional food pyramid to a mostly plant-based, low carb (50-150 grams per day), Paleo approach. About 70 percent of my diet consisted of low-carb, non-starchy vegetables; nuts; and seeds. Animal foods (meat, fish, eggs, and dairy) made up only about 30 percent of my diet, but I had some animal products with every meal. I ate very minimal fruit (just berries) and almost no grains, legumes, or nightshades. I followed this way of eating for the first seven years of my diabetes journey, and it did help me to achieve some great results: My insulin requirements dropped significantly, my blood sugar levels were tightly controlled, and some physical ailments, such as chronic sinusitis and shin splints, disappeared and never came back. My overall health improved.

Recently, my desire for personal development led me down an entirely different road. All the buzz about the ketogenic diet had me interested, so I decided to try it out in the hope that I could further reduce my insulin requirements and achieve even better blood sugar control.

One Step Forward, 10 Steps Back

Initially, that’s exactly what happened. After two months on a ketogenic diet, I was lean, fit, had great focus and concentration, could go long hours without eating, had stable blood sugar levels, and had lower insulin requirements. At this point, it seemed like keto was a magic bullet, and I was a huge proponent of this way of eating. But after two months, everything took a horrible turn for the worse. I became the most insulin resistant I have ever been. I lost all metabolic flexibility. Sure, I was a very efficient fat- and ketone-burner, but it was at the expense of the ability to tolerate any glucose whatsoever. Not only could I no longer eat the smallest amount of carbs without a massive blood sugar spike but also I was resistant to the insulin that was meant to bring my levels back into the normal range. It would have been easy to blame my high blood sugar levels on the tiny amounts of carbs I was eating, but that would have been a mistake. Here’s why: Even if I didn’t eat anything and my liver dumped glucose into my bloodstream, I couldn’t fix my high blood sugar levels, because I was resistant to the insulin that I was injecting. It felt like I was on my way to developing type 2 diabetes (type 1 is more than enough, thank you). It was a very frightening reality and a huge wake-up call.

I came to an eye-opening realization: The ketogenic diet is a short-term, Band-Aid solution. By removing carbs from the diet, you’re simply removing a trigger that leads to symptoms (hyperglycemia) without addressing the actual cause. Then when you add carbs back in, your body can’t tolerate them, which makes it seem like carbs are “bad” for you, but really they’re the victim of something else. After spending hours and hours down a rabbit hole of research, it turns out that high amounts of intramyocellular fat accumulation cause the cell to become dysfunctional, leading to insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance. I’ve seen numerous keto advocates demonizing carbs because they personally can’t tolerate them. Once again, it may seem like the banana caused your blood sugar to go up, but what it really did was trigger a symptom that was caused by a much deeper problem. After becoming aware that the large amounts of saturated fat I was eating (from eggs, chicken, meat, and full-fat dairy, and coconut oil) was making me insulin resistant, I knew I had to make a change.

Getting to the Root of the Problem

Having made the connection between poor health outcomes and saturated fats, I was hesitant to return to a Paleo diet. I realized that perhaps when I’d previously done well on Paleo, I was just “getting away with it” because of the healthy plant foods that I was eating. Were my positive results on Paleo due to the 30 percent of my diet that was animal products or the 70 percent that was plants? I suspected it was the latter. The only way to truly find out was to start a strictly plant-based approach and track the changes.

So, I decided to embark on a journey to see if removing those foods altogether and eating more carb-rich plant foods would reverse the metabolic damage I had caused. I immediately embarked on a strictly whole-food-plant-based journey.

I dropped my fat intake from 75 percent of daily energy to less than 20 percent. I removed all animal foods and oils. Rather, I focused on getting healthy fats from avocados, nuts, and seeds. I also added whole grains and legumes back into my diet (both of which I hadn’t eaten in nearly seven years since following a paleo approach) and an abundance of all types of fruit. Within 48 hours my insulin sensitivity started to return to normal. Within 1 week my carbohydrate intake was the highest it had been since being diagnosed with diabetes, and my insulin intake was reducing day by day.

As I write this story, I’ve been strictly plant-based for 30 days and the results have been astonishing. I’ve achieved my best ever insulin-to-carb ratio, and it feels like I’ve regained control of my health. What started as a plant-based journey toward personal development and health has turned into something so much bigger. The positive impact I’m having on myself, the people around me, the environment, and animals gives me so much fulfillment and joy. I cannot wait to see where this journey takes me over the long-term.

The Takeaway

Interesting discoveries and findings are often turned into fads. It’s important to really do the research, and listen to what your body needs. Everybody has different requirements, and at the end of the day, completely eliminating carbs from your diet doesn’t seem to be the healthiest choice. Fasting, on the other hand, if done correctly, has shown no adverse health effects and nothing but benefits for the body.

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Most Diabetic, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s Deaths Categorized As “Covid” Deaths (UK)

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CE Staff Writer 10 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to professor of evidence based medicine at Oxford Dr. Carl Heneghan , who is also an emergency GP, most diabetic, heart disease & alzheimer's deaths were categorized as COVID deaths in the United Kingdom.

  • Reflect On:

    How many deaths have actually been a result of COVID? Why is this pandemic surrounded with so much controversy? Why does mainstream media fail at having appropriate conversations about 'controversial' evidence/opinions?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

 Dr. Carl Heneghan has an interesting view on the pandemic, not only is he a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, he also works Saturday shifts as an emergency GP. This allows him to see healthcare from both the academic perspective as well as the healthcare experience, more specifically, it allows him to see COVID from both perspectives.

What Happened: In a recent article he wrote for The Spectator, he writes the following,

It’s hard to imagine, let alone measures, the side effects of lockdowns. The risk with the government’s ‘fear’ messaging is that people become so worried about burdening the NHS that they avoid seeking medical help. Or by the time they do so, it can be too late. The big rise in at-home deaths (still ongoing) points to that. You will be familiar with the Covid death toll, updated in the papers every day. But did you know that since the pandemic, we’ve had 28,200 more deaths among diabetics that we’d normally expect? That’s not the kind of figure they show on a graph at No. 10 press conference. For people with heart disease, it’s 17,100. For dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s 22,800. Most were categorised as Covid deaths: people can die with multiple conditions, so they can fall into more than one of these categories. It’s a complicated picture. But that’s the problem in assessing lockdown. you need to do a balance of risks.

Evidence-based medicine might sound like a tautology — what kind of medicine isn’t based on evidence? I’m afraid that you’d be surprised. Massive decisions are often taken on misleading, low-quality evidence. We see this all the time. In the last pandemic, the swine flu outbreak of 2009, I did some work asking why the government spent £500 million on Tamiflu: then hailed as a wonder drug. In fact, it proved to have a very limited effect. The debate then had many of the same cast of characters as today: Jonathan Van-Tam, Neil Ferguson and others. The big difference this time is the influence of social media, whose viciousness is something to behold. It’s easy to see why academics would self-censor and stay away from the debate, especially if it means challenging a consensus.

This is something that’s been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, a report published during the first wave in the British Medical Journal  titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom, as a result of the new coronavirus, may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May.

According to the data, COVID-19, at the time of publication, only accounted for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.

Fast forward to more recent research regarding lockdowns, and these concerns have grown. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID. You can read more about that here.

These are just a few of many examples. You can read more about the hypothesized “catastrophic” impacts of lockdown, here.

When it comes to what he mentions about academics shying away from debate, especially if their research goes against the grain, we’ve a seen a lot of that too. Here’s a great example you can read about from Sweden regarding zero deaths of school children during the first wave despite no masks mandates or lockdown measures. Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on COVID-19 because of harassment from people who dislike what he has discovered.

Why This Is Important: Heneghan’s words are something that many people have been concerned about when it comes to the deaths that are attributed to COVID-19. How many of them are actually a result of COVID? The truth seems to be that we don’t really know. But one thing we do know is that total death toll caused by COVID doesn’t seem to be quite accurate.

That being said, we do know that people with comorbidities are more susceptible to illness and death from COVID, and that’s something to keep in mind. For people with underlying health conditions, covid, just like flu or pneumonia, can be fatal.

Ontario (Canada) Public Health has a page on their website titled “How Ontario is responding to COVID-19.” On it, they clearly state that deaths are being marked as COVID deaths and are being included in the COVID death count regardless of whether or not COVID actually contributed to or caused the death. They state the following:

Any case marked as “Fatal” is included in the deaths data. Deaths are included whether or not COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death…”

This statement from Ontario Public Health echoes statements made multiple times by Canadian public health agencies and personnel. According to Ontario Ministry Health Senior Communications Advisor Anna Miller:

As a result of how data is recorded by health units into public health information databases, the ministry is not able to accurately separate how many people died directly because of COVID versus those who died with a COVID infection.

In late June 2020, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Public Health tweeted that:

“Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”

It’s not just in Canada where we’ve seen these types of statements being made, it’s all over the world. There are multiple examples from the United States that we’ve covered since the start of the pandemic.

For example, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic:

If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.

Also during the first wave, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had to announce a change to how it tallies coronavirus deaths due to complaints that it inflated the numbers.

As you can see, we’ve struggled to find an accurate way to go about tallying COVID deaths since the start, creating more fear and hysteria around total numbers that are plastered constantly in front of citizens by news stations. That being said, a lot of people who are dying of COVID do have co-morbidities as well. But as the professor says, “it’s a complicated picture” and hard to figure out, and probably something we will never figure out.

There’s been a lot of “fear mongering” by governments and mainstream media, and some believe that lockdowns and masks are simply being used as a psychological tool to keep that fear constant, which in turn makes it easier to control people and make them comply.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of experts in the field who are pointing to the fact that yes, COVID is dangerous, but it does not at all warrant the measures that are being taken, especially when the virus has a 99.95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70. There are better ways to protect the vulnerable without creating even more chaos that lockdown measures have created, and are creating throughout this pandemic.

That said, it’s also important to note that some calls for lockdown measures are focused on stopping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Why do some places with very restrictions see no hospital capacity issues? Why do some places with a lot of restrictions see hospital capacity issues? Why do we also see the opposite for both in some areas? These questions appear to be unanswered still. That being said. Hospitals have always been overwhelmed. This is not a new phenomenon.

The main issue here is not who is right or wrong, it’s the censorship of data, science, and opinions of experts in the field. The censorship that has occurred during this pandemic has been unprecedented.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. COVID-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –  Dr. Kamran Abbasi, recent executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal (source)

This censorship alone has been an excellent catalyst for people to question what we are constantly hearing from mainstream media, government, and political scientists. Any type of information that calls into question the recommendations or the information we are receiving from our government seems to be subjected to this type of censorship. Mainstream media has done a great job at not acknowledging many aspects of this pandemic, like clinically proven treatments other than a vaccine, and therefore the masses are completely unaware of it.

Is this what we would call ethical? When trying to explain this to a friend or family member, the fact that they are not aware of these other pieces of information, because they may be avid mainstream news watchers, has them in disbelief and perhaps even sometimes labelling such assertions as a “conspiracy theory.” This Brings me to my next point.

The Takeaway: As I’ve said in a number of articles before, society is failing to have conversations about “controversial” topics and viewpoints. This is in large part due to the fact that mainstream media does such a poor job at covering these viewpoints let alone acknowledging them. The fact that big media has such a stranglehold over the minds of many is also very concerning, because we are living in a time where independent research may be more useful. There seems to be massive conflicts of interest within mainstream media, and the fact that healthy conversation and debate is being shut down by mainstream media contributes to the fact that we can’t even have normal conversations about controversial topics in our everyday lives.

Why does this happen? Why can’t we see the perspective of another? To be honest, I still sometimes struggle with this. When it comes to COVID, things clearly aren’t as black and white as they’re being made out to be, and as I’ve said many times before when things aren’t clear, and when government mandates oppose the will of so many people, it reaches a point where they become authoritarian and overreaching.

In such circumstances I believe governments should simply be making recommendations and explaining why certain actions might be important, and then leave it to the people to decide for themselves what measures they’d like to take, if any. What do you think? One thing is for certain, COVID has been a catalyst for more and more people to question the world we live in, and why we live the way that we do.

To help make sense of what’s happening in our society today, we have released a course on overcoming bias and improving critical thinking. It’s an 8 module course and you can learn more about it here.

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Lebanese Hospital Becomes The World’s First To Go 100 Percent Vegan (Food)

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CE Staff Writer 7 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A hospital in Lebanon has become the first in the world to adopt a completely vegan menu.

  • Reflect On:

    Are people aware of the physical and emotional torture the majority animals we eat go through? Are people aware that a diet free of animal products can be very beneficial for human health. Are people aware that animal agriculture is destroying Earth?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

At the beginning of March, Hayek Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon became the first hospital in the world to serve 100 percent vegan only meals. Prior to this change, patients had a choice between animal based meals and vegan meals, and included with that was information about the health benefits of choosing plant-based foods versus the dangers of consuming animal products. The hospital made the announcement via their Instagram page, stating that “Our patients will no longer wake up from surgery to be greeted with ham, cheese, milk, and eggs…the very food(s) that may have contributed to their health problems in the first place.”

When the World Health Organization classifies processed meat as a group 1A carcinogenic (causes cancer) same group as tobacco and red meat as group 2A carcinogenic, then serving meat in the hospital is like serving cigarettes in a hospital. When the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) declare that 3 out of 4 new or emerging infectious disease comes from animals. When adopting a plant based exclusive diet has been successfully proven not only to stop the evolution of certain diseases but it can also reverse them. We then, have the moral responsibility to act upon and align our beliefs with our actions. Taking the courage to look at the elephant in in the eye.

Their various statements also point to the role that animal agriculture plays in spawning infectious diseases, citing the Centers for Disease Control’s estimate that 3 out of 4 new or emerging infectious diseases come from animals. “We believe it’s well about time to tackle the root cause of diseases and pandemics, not just treat symptoms,” they note.

This was a great statement. The modern day medical industry only seems to be focused on medications, and only medications that can turn a hefty profit, to treat and cure disease instead of addressing root causes. It’s good to see things changing, but a big problem remains. If a plant that grows in abundance, for example, has the potential to cure a disease, will we ever hear about it? Will the medical industry be interested in it? Probably not, but when a drug is made and patented from that plant in a specific way, that’s when we will. This is not to say that modern day medicine is useless, but today now more than ever a big problem exists, and this problem may be killing more people than it’s helping.

Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), a Harvard professor of medicine and also a former Editor-in-Chief of NEMJ, was frustrated that “the medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” (source)

According to Forks Over Knives,

While Hayek is the first hospital to completely purge animal products from its menu, a number of hospitals have begun offering more plant-based options in recent years. Both New York and California have enacted laws requiring hospitals to offer a plant-based option with every meal. In 2018 NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue launched the Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program to help patients transition to a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle.

The American Medical Association passed a resolution in 2017 calling on U.S. hospitals to provide healthful plant-based meals to promote better health in patients, staff, and visitors. The American College of Cardiology has issued similar recommendations.

In my opinion, “veganism is a very fine form of nutrition” (Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, heart surgeon), and as mentioned above, there is plenty of science to back up that statement.  I’ve written about it many times before from a health perspective.

Here’s an article that goes into more detail and science if you’re interested, it also addresses history, and how our teeth and guts are designed and more. Here’s another one regarding a study that found a strong association between eating animal protein and a premature death from all causes, including multiple cancers and type 2 diabetes.

The studies cited in that article note that meat eating is strongly associated with up to a 75 percent increased chance of early mortality, and that protein from animals may cause harm, while protein from plants may help reverse disease and have a protective effect.

There are hundreds of these studies, and the ones I cite are just a few examples.

This is obviously a very controversial topic in the eyes of many, and it’s not hard at all to find conflicting information on the subject. I am no doubt bias in my beliefs and opinions here.

One thing is for certain, the way we treat animals on this planet is extremely heartbreaking and unnecessary. Animals are separated from their families, raised for slaughter and are kept in torturous conditions on a daily basis. It’s truly unbelievable and horrific. It’s the biggest genocide and example of both physical and emotional torture the world has ever seen. I don’t think anybody can witness what really goes on in most slaughterhouses can come out not being impacted.

On top of this, animal agriculture is one of, if not the greatest contributer to environmental degradation and pollution on our planet. Animal agriculture is actually the leading cause of deforestation. Every single day, close to 100 plant/animal/insect species are lost because of this practice.

Final Thoughts: At the end of the day it seems that, from a health perspective, processed meats, and other meats are no doubt harmful to human health. People can make the argument that other animal products may not be and that we are meant to consume them. People can also make the complete opposite argument. One thing that can’t be argued is, again, the torture, physical and emotional abuse that comprise the source of where animal products come from for the majority of people who eat them.

There is a big split, as with many other topics, amongst people on this issue. There are even vegan influencers who are creating splits within the ‘vegan community’ itself, which is unfortunate. I personally believe that, from a health perspective, animal products are not at all required for anybody and are again, overall, harmful to human health.

The more pressing issue, again, is the treatment of our animal brothers and sisters, and how we are constantly using and abusing them. It’s indicative of world that lacks empathy, compassion, understanding and love, as well as our inability to see ourselves in another. This can be seen in many aspects of the current human experience, be it war, human trafficking and more. That being said, it’s great to see human consciousness shifting towards a more compassionate, empathetic type of awareness. This is evident by the “vegan” movement alone, as it’s become quite large over the past few years and will continue to grow. Some of the biggest animal food producers have already gone out of business, and it’s great to see more people in the health community as well recognize that it’s a win for health, a win for environment, and most importantly, a win for the very emotional, intelligent, animals, who are similar to us in so many ways. We have so much to learn from them.

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Awareness

Caloric Restriction vs. Fasting: Why One Can Result In Weight Gain While The Other Helps Burn Fat

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CE Staff Writer 3 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In the video below, Dr. Jason Fung explains the difference between caloric restriction and sending the body into "starvation" mode compared to fasting.

  • Reflect On:

    Fasting has been used as a health intervention for thousands of years, and is being used today by doctors who are educated on the topic. Why is it completely ignored by mainstream medicine? Is it because "big pharma" can't make any money off of it?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Some would say that the best solution to weight gain is eating right and exercising. I couldn’t agree more. Obesity is one of the deadliest problems humanity faces today, and just as important as diet and exercise is for addressing this issue, even more important are the emotional and personal reasons as to why so many people damage themselves and make themselves more prone to serious disease.

Apart from diet and exercise, initiating a proper fasting regimen can have tremendous health outcomes, especially for overweight people. It wasn’t but a decade ago when fasting to lose weight was considered unhealthy and dangerous. Today, we have a tremendous amount of science that’s been published clearly showing that fasting can be an effective health intervention for people of all body types, especially for people who are overweight and suffer from certain diseases. It’s an excellent way to help your body burn fat. Fasting has been used and is currently being used as an intervention for type two diabetes, cancer and more. Fasting has been shown to trigger stem cell regeneration, autophagy, which in turn can help clear out toxins and damaged cells, repair DNA, improve metabolism, lower blood sugar, boost brain function, reduce the risk of age related disease, lessen inflammation which improves a wide range of health issues from arthritic pain to asthma and more. It’s no wonder why so many ancient cultures from different parts of the world used fasting as medicine and as a health intervention.

As shown in the science, fasting is generally safe for everybody. This many not be true if you already have underlying health conditions or are taking certain medications. This is why it’s important to consult a health professional about it, but the issue is, the majority of health professionals are not well educated in fasting interventions. Those who have educated themselves have been treating their patients with fasting and are drawn to it due to its ability to provide so many benefits.

One of these doctors is Dr. Jason Fung, who on his blog and his YouTube channel, as well as the books he’s written provides a wealth of information and science regarding fasting. I often refer people to the work of Fung, or others like Dr. Valter Longo if they want to begin their own research about fasting. Again, there is a wealth of science and “scholarly” articles available on the subject for anybody who wants to search for it as well. It’s not heard to find.

In the video below, Fung explains why fasting is much different from caloric restriction or having your body go into “starvation mode.”  You can also check out his article, “The difference between calorie restriction and fasting” for some great information as well.

Dive Deeper

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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