The American diet causes disease. It is composed of 25 percent animal products and 62 percent processed foods and only 5 percent of calories from fruits and vegetables.(1) We could not have designed a more effective cancer-causing, heart-attack-causing diet if we had scientifically planned it. Our nation's food choices have produced a population with widespread chronic illness and health care costs spiraling out of control. You cannot escape from the biological law of cause and effect -- food choices are the most significant cause of disease and premature death. We cannot win the war on these diseases by putting more money into medical interventions or drugs. We must unleash the disease-fighting artillery in our own kitchens.
The key to excellent health and longevity is to eat a high ratio of micronutrients to macronutrients. Macronutrients contain calories -- fat, carbohydrate and protein -- thereby supplying us with energy. Micronutrients -- vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals -- don't contain calories, but have other essential roles. Thousands of these compounds work synergistically to detoxify carcinogens, deactivate free radicals, enable DNA repair, and maintain immune defenses. Lack of phytochemicals due to a low-micronutrient diet has an inevitable consequence: chronic disease. Low-nutrient foods also stimulate overeating. Low-nutrient, high-calorie food is known to be physiologically addictive, having effects on the brain similar to those of illegal drugs.(2) Dieting by portion control doesn't work because one is constantly fighting addictive drives. However, the drive to over-consume calories is blunted by high-micronutrient food.
I describe the basic principle of nutritional science with my Health Equation:
Health = Nutrients / Calories (H = N / C)
Your future health can be predicted by the nutrient density of your diet
The human body is a miraculous self-healing machine, but those self-repair systems require a nutrient-dense diet. It is normal for my diabetic patients to become un-diabetic, and for my patients with heart disease to have the plaque in their arteries shrink and slowly disappear -- these high-nutrient foods are powerful medicine:
Doesn't every American have the right to know they don't have to suffer a heart attack or a stroke? They can protect themselves. They could choose otherwise, but shouldn't they be informed of the most effective lifestyle to protect against cancer? Should they just be given drugs for diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure and more or should they know they have the opportunity for a complete non-drug recovery? I believe the time is now to take action and improve the health of our country. If we mobilize our resources to educate people of all ages, we can win this critical war against heart disease and cancer, which we are presently losing. We don't need to find the cure, it has already been found and it is sitting there on the shelves of our grocery stores.
Dr. Fuhrman is a best-selling author, nutritional researcher and board certified family physician specializing in nutritional medicine. Visit his informative website at DrFuhrman.com.
1. USDA Economics Research Service, 2005. ; www.ers.usda.gov/publications/EIB33; www.ers.usda.gov/Data/FoodConsumption/FoodGuideIndex.htm#calories
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Scripps Research Institute (2010, March 29). Compulsive eating shares addictive biochemical mechanism with cocaine, heroin abuse, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100328170243.htm
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