The Plant Rx

Your resource for a plant-based diet

Posts Tagged ‘Diabetes’

Dr. McDougall Nutrition Bill Passed in Senate Committee (VIDEO) – Vegsource.com

Posted by Jenn on May 7, 2011


Dr. McDougall Nutrition Bill Passed in Senate Committee (VIDEO) – Vegsource.com.

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Success Story of the Week: Anastasia

Posted by Jenn on February 5, 2011


My name is Anastasia I. D. Brown, also known as The Veganbetic.  Here’s my story: In 2007, I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes three days after my forty-fifth birthday.  I like to say the warranty ran out. Of course, I knew a little about the disease because I have high blood pressure and hereditary high cholesterol, and for years I’d heard my doctors say that I was heading for trouble because of my lifestyle. I didn’t listen, natch.  I’ve never liked being told what to do.  Who does?

So, all of a sudden (or so it seemed to me), I had this disease, and—hey, presto!—playtime was over. I was a champion eater in my past.  One pound of pasta…I could eat that for dinner with no difficulty.  A pint of Ben and Jerry’s for dessert was easy. And I loved eating like that.  I absolutely adored it. And it was now kaput.

The first thing I learned about managing diabetes is that doing so is a discipline. Anyone here like discipline? Anyone? Bueller? Naaah, didn’t think so. The second thing I learned about diabetes is that the road to managing diabetes through discipline is the same as the road to hell: it’s paved with good intentions. So I bought the books, joined the websites, got my little medical tag to wear around my neck.  But soon I’d backslide, get rebellious, neglect to take my meds, and would fling myself back into the food orgy.  Then the guilt would smack me in the head, I’d resolve to take better care of myself, and for a few months, I’d be the model diabetic patient.  But then the cycle would start-up again.

Here’s the funny thing:  I am a Zen Buddhist.  No, that’s not intrinsically funny—wait; yeah, it is.  Anyway, my particular Zen Buddhist gig consists of pretty much one thing.  It’s called shikantaza, and basically what it means is to Just.  Freakin’.  Sit. And it’s boring.  Unless you do shikantaza, you have no idea just how horrifically boring it really is.  And it’s uncomfortable, you itch, you have to go to the can, your nose runs, and it just all around sucks at times.  Shikantaza makes doing your taxes look entertaining (I was going to write that it makes going to the Department of Motor Vehicles look entertaining, but then I remembered that visiting the DMV is actually a total scream). But if I could sit for a half hour a day and sometimes longer as part of a discipline which really seems to have no point at all whatsoever (that’s right!  No point, kids!), then why the hell couldn’t I take better care of myself as part of a discipline that has some defined goals—things like heading off lovely little issues such as neuropathy, limb amputation, renal failure, and more?

That’s when I realized that diabetes management is not just a discipline, just as shikantaza is not just a discipline.  It’s a practice.  What’s more, it’s a practice that takes practice.  You have to—as RuPaul says—work it, beeotch.

**** So, for the last three and a half years, I’ve been practicing.  And I’ve been getting better at this diabetes thing. About a year ago, I got me some H1N1 and was very sick.  I hadn’t been taking particularly good care of myself at the time, and swine flu made my Type II go to the outer limits.  Diabetics, prepare to faint: my HbA1c was 14.

Yes.  14!

After two months’ recovery (and because I was too sick to eat everything I could get my hands on), my HbA1c dropped to 12.  My poor doctor was almost in hysterics.  I promised him I’d take care of myself. It was about this time that I went to my local Borders and bought a book called Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program For Reversing Diabetes.  Dr. Barnard advocates a vegan diet in this program.  I read the book and was inspired.  And to inspire a wiseass cynic like me takes a lot. I had toyed with vegetarianism and veganism in my past, switching between both from time to time, but always returning to an omnivorous diet.  I had also been a natural foods chef for a number of years, so I was always preparing food for people who didn’t eat meat or any kind of animal products.  To me, going permanently vegan would also take discipline and be a discipline…but, first, it would be a practice that took practice. Read the rest of this entry »

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Press Release: Doctors Sue USDA, HHS for Ignoring Healthy Alternative to MyPyramid

Posted by Jenn on January 10, 2011


This news release is from PCRM.org 

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Petition Says Agencies Failing to Offer Americans Nutritionally Sound Guideline

WASHINGTON—A nonprofit physicians organization is suing two federal agencies for ignoring a healthier alternative to the confusing MyPyramid nutritional diagram, despite skyrocketing obesity and diabetes rates.  

In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services violated federal law by failing to respond to a PCRM petition offering a simple, plant-based alternative, the Power Plate, to MyPyramid.

“We are asking the government to protect the average American, not special agribusiness interests,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “MyPyramid is confusing, and it recommends meat and dairy products despite overwhelming evidence that these foods are unnecessary and unhealthy. Research shows the Power Plate is a better choice, and it’s simple enough that a child could follow it.”

Since the first Food Pyramid was introduced nearly two decades ago, obesity and diabetes have become commonplace. About 27 percent of young adults are now too overweight to qualify for military service, and an estimated one in three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes.

To address the worsening epidemics of obesity and diet-related diseases, the lawsuit says that USDA and HHS should exercise their joint authority under the National Nutrition Monitoring & Related Research Act to withdraw the MyPyramid diagram and adopt the Power Plate food diagram and dietary guidelines.

The colorful, user-friendly Power Plate graphic is based on current nutrition research showing that plant-based foods are the most nutrient-dense and help prevent chronic diseases. The graphic depicts a plate divided into four new food groups: fruits, grains, legumes, and vegetables. There are no confusing portion sizes and food hierarchies to follow; the Power Plate simply asks people to eat a variety of all four food groups each day. A website, ThePowerPlate.org, offers more information on plant-based diets.

For a copy of PCRM’s legal complaint or to schedule an interview with Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., contact Vaishali Honawar at 202-527-7339 orvhonawar@pcrm.org.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

URL:  http://www.pcrm.org/news/doctors_sue_usda_hhs_ignoring_healthy_alternative_mypyramid_110106.html

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Diabetes? Not on a Plant-Based Diet!

Posted by Jenn on December 21, 2010


(Source: By: Silvie Celiz; 11.01.10; Original URL: http://hlifemedia.com/2010/11/diabetes-not-on-a-plant-diet/)

Nearly 24 million children and adults in the Unites States have diabetes. That is not counting the 57 million Americans that have pre-diabetes and are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and the other 5.7 million who don’t know they have it. The American Heart Association estimates that 59.7 million Americans 20 years and older have pre-diabetes, a condition that more than doubles the risk of death due to heart attack. The worse part is that the death rates due to diabetes continue to increase since 1987. Here is the good news: Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes can be reversed with NO DRUGS by getting informed and adopting a plant-based diet.

Heart disease and stroke are the number one causes of death and disability among people with type 2 diabetes. In fact, at least 65% of people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease or stroke. It’s astonishing that the national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $174 billion, with direct medical costs reaching around $116 billion, and that the total diabetes-related cost could exceed $218 billion (just in the U.S.), while all these can be prevented by your food choices. The most common form of diabetes is type 2, and practitioners like Dr. Gabriel Cousens have confirmed that it can be reversed and prevented simply by eating an unprocessed, vegan, whole foods, plant-based diet with a high emphasis on live (raw) foods. That simple. Diabetes can easily be reversed and your body healed if you change your lifestyle.

So, what is diabetes exactly? Diabetes is a metabolic disorder by which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to use glucose for energy. The body produces glucose from the food you eat.  Diabetes can also be described as an ongoing inflammation, which can affect all organs. Research from scientists at the University of California, San Diego, and Switzerland’s University of Fribourg discovered that inflammation provoked by immune cells calledmacrophages leads to insulin resistance and then to type 2 diabetes. We might want to watch foods that contain gluten (especially the very popular vegan protein seitan, which is pure gluten) because it is pro-inflammatory. In the long term, the development of diabetes can damage your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart. Read the rest of this entry »

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