16 November 2014
The American Diet
Getting a fat whopper from McDonalds, large fries and a coke is seen as an average meal for Americans. There are many diets out there like the Paleo diet, and the Atkins diet and the standard american diet which all revolve around the consumption of meat, dairy and fats. The very thought of an American eating a vegan plant based diet is seen as extreme and often questioned. Eating no meat, or products derived from animals automatically makes one an extreme animal rights activist that solely lives on salads. Nutrition is often overlooked by doctors but it may be the underlying issue of a spectrum of problems. ...view middle of the document...
Dr. McDougall, a promoter of a plant based diet, states that humans were naturally designed to eat a plant based diet and that meat, dairy, and processed foods were only introduced into our diets due to wealth(DeNicola). Studies have shown that animal protein increases “serum cholesterol, enhances the development of heart disease and cancer”(Campbell). An excess of the animal protein called casein is the cause of several health problems which is also found in our milk. Milk is often encouraged to be consumed by children as it is portrayed to be the best source of calcium to develop strong bones. We are the only mammals who consume milk after infancy and we are also the only mammals that consume milk of a different species. Many Americans are lactose intolerant that is because they are unable to digest the sugar in milk called lactose. Lactose is broken down by an enzyme called lactase which infants possess but they lose the ability after the age of two (Campbell). It is evident that milk is not a natural food to be consumed by Americans. Calcium from milk is barely absorbed by the human body and studies have shown that milk actually reduces calcium since calcium is used to neutralize the acidifying effects of milk(). Nutritionists who conducted studies on the effects of nutrition on health studied individual nutrients rather than how nutrients interact with each other which is why we are so misinformed. Colin T Campbell used to conduct studies by focusing on one vitamin, one mineral and one fat at a time which caused great distortion in nutrition. Campbell believes in studying how nutrients work together since the body is a complex biological system which is why he believes many studies are flawed such as a study on how saturated fats cause cancer when in fact it is the protein of animals (Pope).
There have been cases where a plant based diet has shown to be able to detox, heal, and clean ones body from years of nutritional abuse. Eating a low fat plant based diet has shown to work wonders in reversing several illnesses. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a surgeon, was able to successfully deter and reverse heart disease in patients who were ill and nearly too sick for surgery. A plant based diet is able to “keeps the lining of the blood vessels free of the dangerous blisters or bubbles or cholesterol-laden plaque that causes heart attacks” (Martin). It is more likely that people who adopt a plant based diet will not have a heart attack regardless of their family medical history. Heart disease is a “foodborne illness “and it an epidemic that we will never solve with bypass surgeries, stents (tubular support inside a blood vessel), and drugs because “none of it is treating causation of the illness"(Martin). Dr. McDougall has also witnessed arthritis, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and heart disease be cured because of a plant based diet (DeNicola). Dr. Campbell, author of the China Study, conducted a study on rats after months of consuming the equivalent...