She spoke of the Blue Zones of the world (which includes Okinawa, Japan, and Sardinia, Italy) where people live healthy active lives into their 90's and beyond. Some of the steps she mentioned to help us achieve this increased level of long term health include: eating less, moving more, eating primarily unprocessed foods, eating more plants, eating less meat, and eating homemade food more often.
She also spoke of 10 steps to take to build and achieve an optimal plant based diet. These steps include:
1. making whole plant foods the foundation of the diet
2. focusing on complex carbohydrates/whole grains rather than refined carbohydrates/grains
3. boosting fiber intake
4. enhancing healthy gut flora balance
5. aiming for healthy forms of protein (i.e. legumes over processed replacement meat products)
6. focusing on healthy saturated (i.e. coconut oil), monounsaturated (i.e. olive oil), and polyunsaturated (i.e. flax oil) fats
7. choosing a wide variety of anti-inflammatory foods (including antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables) over pro-inflammatory foods (including deep fried and fast food)
8. aiming for certified organically grown food when possible
9. ensuring we are meeting our nutrient requirements
10. maintaining a healthy body weight
I really like that Brenda Davis pinpointed a number of practical and relatively easy steps/changes for us to make in our daily lives/routines - even working on a few of them at a time will support and strengthen our overall health.
Friday, March 13, 2015
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
and the MD + nuts group was found to have a 25% lower risk of having a cardiovascular event (heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular event) than the control group. Further secondary analysis of the data divided the groups differently and found the participants who followed a MD most closely were 48% less likely to have a cardiovascular event than the participants who followed it least closely. As well, people in the MD + olive oil group were found to have a 38% lower risk of developing atrial fibrillation than the control group. Carotid artery ultrasounds were done at the outset of the study and 2.4 years into the study, and the people in the MD + nuts group were found to have improvements in their results with less plaque buildup seen (there was no change seen in the MD + olive group and the control group's ultrasounds had worsened). The wealth of information gathered from this study points to the importance of integrating extra virgin olive oil and nuts into our regular routine and aiming to closely follow MD guidelines.