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veggie still lifeNutrition Bites
veggie still life
Compiled by Angela McIntosh and Dr. Robert McIntosh, MD

April 20th, 2005

Nutrition Bites for March 30th, 2005

Nutrition Bites for September 30th, 2005

Click for Photos
of Dr. and Mrs. Campbell and Dr. and Mrs. Esselstyn, Brenda Davis RD, and Vesanto Melina RD
 when they visited us for the Okanagan Health Forum in April 2005

How Exciting!! After a wonderful success in 2005,   the Okanagan Health Forum is back in 2007!
Read about the great new presenters!

Dr.Esselstyn's new book will launch in February 2007!!

The hard work of the Okanagan Health Forum organizing committee and other local volunteers paid off!!  Many health professionals and large numbers of the general public were able to attend one of the many events held in Penticton and Kelowna during the Okanagan Health Forum week in 2005.  What an amazing thing to see what citizen action can do (Way to go Margie Coulclough and Kelowna volunteers, Lauren and Sinekka!!)  We had a wonderful time hosting Dr. and Mrs. Esselstyn during much of their week here.  It was a delight and an honor getting to know them after reading for many years about their tremendous work helping people to reverse serious heart disease using plant-based diets. We were also thrilled to have Dr. Campbell and his wife at our home and we really would love to having them back to visit one day.  How about if we could have a national conference to prevent and reverse chronic western diseases for Physicians and for the government and health-care administrators in Canada?!?  Wouldn't that be something?   We were delighted to host all of the amazing presenters and some volunteers for an informal after the conference wind-up dinner at our home.  We had a fabulous heart healthy dinner of whole-grain breads and bean dips and tomato bruschetta, followed by an entree of Hawaiian Baked Beans and corn with cole-slaw and fresh greens and followed up with a delightful fruit crumble and the Esselstyn's famous all-fruit icecream which used bananas, mangoes, Okanagan cherries, and blueberries.  What a treat!  It doesn't have to be unhealthy to taste great!

The truth is in the pudding.  After renowned nutritionist Dr. T. Colin Campbell saw the research results from his work showing the link between chronic degenerative western disease and  its connection to our standard western diet, Campbell, having grown up on a dairy farm and doing his Ph.D. dissertation on how to more efficiently raise beef so we can eat more meat, felt compelled to move to a totally plant-based diet and so did.

Dr. C. Esselstyn Jr., MD, who spent a life-time developing his skills as a renowned surgeon, moved to preventive cardiology so he could make a positive contribution to society, also made the same dietary switch.  He decided to eat the same low-fat totally plant-based diet that he told his patients to eat in order to stop and reverse their serious heart disease and it worked.  With on-going nutrition counselling to not add one drop of fire to their heart disease, the patients in his study,
by eating a low fat vegetarian diet, had tremendous success in avoiding worsening heart disease as they lowered their total cholesterol to less than 3.88 (150).  In the 8 years prior  to making dietary change, his 18 adherent patients had 49 coronary events, but in the 20 years after learning to eating nutritious, no added oil, no nut,  plant foods, only one patient had a coronary event and it occured in a person who refused to comply with the dietary orders.  After the incident this one patient returned to the group and improved after returning to a plant-based diet.  In Dr. Esselstyn's review article  "Resolving the Coronary Artery Disease Epidemic Through Plant-Based Nutrition" in the Journal of Preventive Cardiology, he points out how our cardiovascular epidemic is threatening 1 of every 2 Americans and that by 2020 it may become the largest health problem in the world.  In his article in the American Journal of Cardiology he reminds us again that we must remember what was learned in the Framingham study--we must lower cholesterol to less than 3.88 as this is the level below which almost noone would ever develop heart disease.  Also pointed out by Dr. Esselstyn was that while many different trials have shown that some studies using low-fat non-vegetarian diets have reduced the progression of cardiovascular disease, his, using the lowfat vegetarian diet, is the only one that has clearly shown a halt and reversal of coronary artery disease.   If you developed this serious disease (and apparently if you are over 20 years old and have been eating a standard north American diet you already have but just aren't symptomatic yet) do you want to just slow it down or do you want to stop it dead in its tracks??  If you developed lung cancer would your doctor tell you to excercise moderation and just cut back on smoking or would he out and out tell you to quit!  We are not sure why but doctors in North America have been reluctant to give the message to their patients.  Come on people, it's time to give patients all of the facts.  They got themselves into this dietary mess and they're grown-ups.  Let them decide the lengths to which they wish to go to reverse their life-threatening disease.  And reverse it by diet they can, as Dr. Esselstyn has so wonderfully shown  us with his 20 year study.

We have had a very interesting time in Penticton this month.  With the wonderful Okanagan Health Forum (see links at healthyeating.html )  there were several opportunities for health professionals to attend conferences and hear about the work of Dr. Esseslstyn and Dr. Campbell.  Apparently a few physicians were quite taken with the fantastic nutrition information and they too are making the switch to plant -based diets, the same diet they should and hopefully will be recommending to their patients.  Now comes the real work--time to follow up and offer recipe information to all of those making the switch.  We would definitely recommend that they see our recommended resources and I guess we're going to be busy putting together more patient handouts and organizing more Penticton Healthy Eating Group Meetings with healthy potluck dinners and educational presentations.

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