1.1 Chronic vs Other Diseases
Most health issues can be categorized into five main groups:
Congenital Issues: These are issues that you are born with. Some examples are: Birth defects are caused by genetic problems and exposure to infections and medications or chemicals during pregnancy. Infectious Diseases are disorders caused by microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Some common examples are: Influenza, Cholera, Smallpox, Measles, Bird Flu, Corona virus etc. . Posture or work related issues like repetitive movements. Acute Situations requiring ER treatment like accidents, bone fractures, heart attacks etc. Chronic Issues: Most of these are caused due to poor diet and lifestyle. With some exceptions like type1 diabetes, most are experienced in adult and old age. Major Chronic Diseases are: Hypertension, Heart disease, CVD, Cancer, COPD (asthma), Stroke, Type2 Diabetes, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), Fatty Liver and Cirrhosis, Autoimmune Disease, Arthritis, Alzheimer’s and others.
The focus of this group will be primarily on Chronic diseases. What causes them and how they can be reversed by changing diet and lifestyle.
1.2 What is a PBWF Diet?
Plant Based Whole Food (PBWF) diet consists of following:
Only plant based foods. No Animal Products. No fish, eggs or dairy. No butter or ghee. Only honey is acceptable; that also only after one is off medications and in moderation. No Refined or highly processed foods. No sugar or vegetable oil.
Processing to the extent that you can do at home with your hands is allowed. So peeling, slicing, dicing, juicing, meshing and cooking is allowed.
In the last 100+ years Food and Drug Industries have become very powerful and are able to influence the Government, Media and the Medical establishment. As a result, the information flowing to us is biased in their favor, and the truth is often hidden from us or distorted. Many views we have today about food and health are a result of that distortion.
Our goal in this group is to understand the true picture .
I will tell you what the new thinking is in a certain group of advanced medical doctors who have come to a realization that greed has taken over common sense in the past century. The belief that when you are sick you should take medicine and the disease will be cured, started with the discovery of antibiotics. At the time, most diseases were infectious diseases and antibiotics worked like a charm. Over the years, we got accustomed to the idea of taking a pill when ill.
As the world wars got over, and we became wealthier as a society and even the poor started eating like kings, the chronic diseases, which only affected the rich earlier, became common. It was natural for us to expect miracle drugs from our doctors and they, along with the pharmaceutical industry, were quick to oblige. However, this time, the drugs did not cure the disease, so the doctors came up with the explanation that the lifestyle diseases are not curable and doctors can only help manage them by keeping the symptoms in check through lifelong medications.
Some doctors, who had taken up medical careers with a sincere desire to help humanity by curing diseases, slowly became disenchanted and started looking for answers elsewhere. They observed that just like the wild animals today and our ancestors of 10,000 years ago, human organisms are self healing and symptoms are a natural compensatory response of the body. By depressing the symptoms, we are interfering in the body’s self healing mechanism. They further found, that over the years the profit motive of food industry had changed the nature of food to refined and processed food like products that bore little resemblance to food as we knew and were in fact:
Increasing the toxicity of the body and Creating deficiencies of nutrients.
Use of inorganic fertilizers and single crop farming were depleting the soil of trace minerals and the produce was sumptuous and beautiful looking but lacking in nutrients, especially micro nutrients. Processed and refined food was not only deficient in nutrients but also devoid of natural fibers (to increase the shelf life) and full of preservatives, refined oils and sugars (hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrups).
Deficiencies of nutrients were reducing the body’s immunity by making it more susceptible to diseases. They also found that the abundance of animal food, which was only available to kings and aristocrats earlier, was now available to the masses and causing havoc with their health. These doctors started to speak out, but their voices were muffled by the powerful lobby of the food, drug and healthcare industries and the government which is eager to please lobbyists with deep pockets. The PBWF movement is the outgrowth of these pioneering voices.
1.3 Whole vs Processed
What one has to consider in reviewing foods is how natural it is and is it whole or refined. Not all Whole Foods are healthy especially if they are highly processed. The idea is to eat least processed food. For example, let us talk about corn. The following list summarizes various options available in order of increased processing and refinement.
Corn on the cob (least processed) High fructose corn syrup. This is most processed and refined and most harmful.
The last item here is the most unhealthy. This is what get used in most packaged products to sweeten the taste as it is much cheaper than sugar. Most sugary beverages like Coke and Pepsi use HFCS instead of sugar. It is banned in several European countries.
One’s goal should be to eat least processed and refined food. For example if you have on a buffet table corn on the cob (Bhutta) and corn tortillas and corn flakes eat Bhutta. Of course if you do not like Bhutta but love tortillas then have tortillas (since they are very close in the grade). But if you say I love corn flakes, the answer would be NO.
1.4 Many Reasons for PBWF
The focus of this group is to reverse chronic diseases and get off chronic medications and we have seen that food choices we make help us achieve that. The same food choices also have a great impact on our environment and on the issue of cruelty to animals.
There are many reasons for being Vegan:
My focus has been health but others are equally valid.
highlights the impact on the environment of our choices about food. Paul McCartney said the following about this film:
“This important film highlights the choices we must make to help protect this planet and all its inhabitants.”
1.5 One Diet for All Ills
I will not be recommending different diets for different illnesses. The beauty of PBWF diet is that it cures all illnesses. This is true as long as you have your natural organs. There might be some exceptions for those who have artificial kidneys or electronic pancreas etc. Follow your doctor's advice.
I want you all to get out of the frame of mind that a different medicine for each different disease as in allopathy or even other forms of medicine. That is the beauty of our body. “WHEN BODY HEALS EVERYTHING HEALS.
I have observed many of my members in various groups, making reference to a particular item or the other, which is not at all necessary. I do not believe in medication whether it is Ayurvedic or Naturopathy or Homeopathy or Allopathy. Let the food be your medicine. When food is right you do not need medicine. All food related guidelines will be discussed. They will be summarized in a few days.
1.6 Changes: Big & Small
When changes you make to your diet and lifestyle are significant, the improvements you experience are also significant and you notice them. Not only you, but your friends and family around you also notice them, and pay you compliments.
This has a reinforcing effect on you and you try even harder. This gets you into a positive feedback loop and there is no turning back. You cross over the hump and become self confident.
Remember the words of wisdom. “Nothing Succeeds like Success''. An inflection point comes in life and there is no turning back. PBWF/IF/10K diet and lifestyle is one such habitual change which can help you get to that inflection point. Those who are overweight will find that they are shedding weight without any portion control.
Another motivational source is visualization. After the morning shower when you are standing in front of the mirror, try to visualize where you want to be. Remember your younger years. It is not difficult to get back there. I did it and I know many others in my health groups have done it. It is actually possible to reverse your physical age. It has been proven and currently a lot of research is devoted to that field. I will discuss it later.
Many people are skeptical about what I recommend in such groups. So they only make minor changes. When the changes we make in diet are small, the health benefits are also small and often not noticeable. As a result one looses faith and drops those changes also. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
1.7 Anecdotal Evidence
I recommend all to be very careful when looking at anecdotal evidence and always be sensitive to the issue of causation vs. association. For example George Burns a famous Hollywood actor lived to be 100 and smoked a cigar every day. It would be wrong to conclude that smoking cigars is healthy. May be if he did not smoke cigars he migh have lived to be 110.
I come across many people who say my grandfather had 1/2 liter milk every day and only ate desi ghee and he lived to be 80. This example does not mean any thing. It is possible that if he had green juice instead of milk and ate olives and flaxseeds for fat he might have lived for another 10 years. Our ancestors really did not live a long life. I remember in 1950’s, if some body lived beyond 75-80 his death was celebrated as life well lived. Today I shudder with that thought. 50 years ago people in Blue Zones lived past 90 as a routine and many lived to be 100 - 110.
1.8 Conflicting Views
For every video I post in this group there are ten videos on YouTube that oppose that view. There is too much money riding on these misleading information. Food and Pharma industries are huge and they have great interest in maintaining the status quo. We will discuss the subject of politics of food and pharma in the fourth week.
Many things I say here will be at odds with what doctors and dietitians are taught. But their curriculum is controlled by a governing body which is full of food and Pharma executives and lobbyists.
Dr. Colin Campbell is a giant in the nutrition community. But after his appearance in the documentary “ Forks over Knives”, he practically has been excommunicated. Under the pressure from the food and Pharma industry who fund Cornell university and sit on its board, his course in nutrition was canceled and he was retired.
The fact that medical students are taught not a single course in nutrition is not just an oversight. It is a massively planned campaign and it is apparent because in spite of requests by many PBWF doctors to add a course in nutrition it has been opposed by the authorities that decide on the curriculum. Okay
1.9 Doctors lack nutrition training
The curriculum for medical colleges does not include even a single course in nutrition during their 4 year college or internship. There have been many requests by some PBWF doctors to add one course in nutrition but this request has been turned down repeatedly. It makes one wonder why?
My view on this is that the students who enter medical colleges are some of the brightest people and most conscientious also. If they were taught nutrition, they are not only less likely to prescribe as many medications but also advised against animal and processed foods. This would affect the business of Pharma and the food industry.
On the other hand we as patients have a tendency to put the doctors on a pedestal, as the ones who know it all, and we are constantly asking them for advice on what to eat and what to avoid. Many doctors who are my family members or friends, have confided in me that they are at a loss when asked for such advice. They simply resort to the general knowledge they have acquired from the media. We will discuss later how the articles in the media get published and influenced. The result is that the doctors also become the propagator of the lies the food industry wants us to believe.
I am posting below a blog by Dr. Jason Fung who is a nephrologist in Toronto and from whom I learned about intermittent fasting years ago before it became mainstream. 👇
Quoting Dr. Jason Fung
“Does your doctor talk about nutrition? My guess is no. My feeling, as a physician, is that most doctors know very little about nutrition. Why not? We are in the midst of a huge paradigm shift in the entire way we look at health and disease. It’s happened so gradually that most doctors are not even aware of it. The physician’s path has been corrupted over the last few decades from ‘The person who keeps you healthy’ to ‘The person who gives you drugs and surgery’. Let me explain.
A physician’s job has always been to heal the sick and give advice on how to stay healthy. There were medical treatments, to be sure – leeching, purging, and my personal favorite – eating ground up powdered mummies. Yes. You read that correctly. For thousands of years, eating the ground up mummified remains of long-dead embalmed human beings was considered good medicine. That’s what they taught at them ancient medical schools. The demand for powdered mummies was so great that sometimes hucksters would simply grind up dead beggars and plague victims and sell them as mummies.
The history of medicine is the history of the placebo effect. This mummy-eating practice died out in the 16th century was was replaced by other equally useless procedures – such as the lobotomy to cure mental illness. Hey, let me shove this ice pick through your eyeball and mash up parts of your brain like I’m mashing a potato. The inventor of this procedure received the 1949 Nobel Prize for Medicine. This was the cutting edge of medicine circa 1949. Any criticism of this mashed-brain strategy could be legitimately met by “Did YOU win a Nobel Prize, buddy?”
The paradigm of medicine as a semi-useless and semi-horrifying profession began to shift with the development of antibiotics – starting with penicillin in 1928. Now, all of a sudden, we had an effective treatment for infectious disease, which had been the major medical problem of the 20th century. Doctors, for virtually the first time ever, had something reasonably useful to fight illness. Doctors had something better to offer than mummy extract or shoving sharp metal pointy things in through the eyeball. Yaaayyy!
Similarly, with the advent of modern anesthesia and surgical techniques, we had effective treatments for diseases like ruptured appendices and gallstones and so on. Prior to that, surgery was a grisly sight. There were no effective antibiotics, there was no effective anesthesia, and post operative complications were many. It was really just some guy with a saw, ready to cut your leg off, giving you a rope to bite down on so you didn’t scream. You were just as likely to die of the surgery as of the disease. Surgery was the last option, because the treatment was just as lethal as the disease. You went into the barber shop to see the guy with the rusty scalpel he just picked up off the filthy bloodstained tray. Many times, you never came back out.
By the middle of the 20th century, this all changed. The concepts of germs and the importance of antiseptics were discovered. Anesthetic agents were discovered. Penicillin and other miraculous antibiotics were discovered. Public hygiene and sanitation were improved. So, the doctor patient relationship changed. Now, physicians saw themselves as the fix-it guy or fix-it girl.You have a disease, I give you a pill. You get better. Or – you have a disease, I give you surgery. You get better.
This worked really well from the 1940s to the 1980s. Most of the major health issues were infectious diseases. From bacterial pneumonia, to bacteria like H. Pylori, to viruses like HIV, to Hepatitis C – people were getting better. You can see this clearly in the life expectancy of people 65 years and older (this removes the effect of child mortality and wars etc., concentrating on chronic disease).
During this time, medical school training reflected this new role that physicians saw themselves. We wanted to know about drugs, and surgery, and more drugs and more surgery. Obesity, a dietary disease should be treated with, I know, drugs! If that doesn’t work, then, I know, surgery! To the doctor with a hammer, all problems are nails.
Nutrition training is virtually non existent in medical school. During residency (the 5 years of training after medical school) it was completely non existent. We didn’t learn about it, so we didn’t care about it and we didn’t care to learn about it. Nutrition was just not part of the vocabulary. Being a doctor meant “I don’t care about nutrition” because that’s what the medical school taught me (and everybody else in my medical school class) – not overtly, mind you, but we were the fix-it guys and girls. The drugs and surgery gang. Not the nutritionists. Which was fine, as long as the major health problems were infections and surgical problems.
Things changed by the end of the 20th century. The big problems were no longer infectious diseases. Starting in the late 1970s we had a massive obesity epidemic. Then 10 years later, a massive diabetes epidemic. Our drugs and surgery tools were completely inadequate to deal with this new reality. We tried to apply the 20th century attitude to the new 21st century medical problems, which are largely obesity related and metabolic in nature. We tried – You have type 2 diabetes, let me give you a pill (or insulin). It was a dismal failure. We tried – You have obesity, let me give you surgery. It works, kind of. But there are a lot of complications.
So, we, as doctors, were lost. We were reduced to giving simple, puerile, and utterly ineffective advice like “Eat Less, Move More”, or “Count your calories” or “It’s all about the Calories”. We lacked comprehension of the problem. We didn’t understand obesity and its hormonal nature, and we didn’t know how to treat it. So, most of us gave up. We admitted defeat by trying to pretend that type 2 diabetes is a chronic and progressive disease. We pretended that obesity is a natural consequence of aging even though it had never happened on this scale in human history. Both statements, of course, are completely false. Losing weight often reversed type 2 diabetes, so we told people to lose weight, but we didn’t tell them how to lose weight.
Without any training, we gave the only advice we knew – Eat Less, Move more. This is rather ironic, considering that all available evidence from our studies shows that restricting calories is a completely ineffective method of weight control (see article – The Lack of Evidence for Caloric Restriction). We introduced non-physiologic concepts from physics like calories to try to explain weight loss (see article – The Useless Concept of Calories). We knew that about 99% of the time, this Caloric Reduction as Primary strategy failed, but we didn’t care. It was the best we had, so that’s what we gave.
But there is hope. More and more doctors are starting to recognize that the related conditions of the metabolic syndrome which are all closely related to obesity are treatable, not druggable conditions. This includes obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. You can’t treat a dietary disease with drugs. So the weapon of choice for metabolic problems of the 21st century is not a new drug or a new type of surgery, although there are many who try to medicalize a dietary problem. No, the best option is to treat the root cause. Treat the dietary disease with correction of the underlying diet.
The weapon of choice in 21st century medicine will be information. Information far beyond the simplistic notions of calories. Information about the ancient practice of fasting. Information about reducing refined foods especially carbohydrates. Information about the hormonal basis of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
And the great news is that this information is not limited to doctors, but can be found by anybody with an internet connection. That is precisely the point of this blog, its related books and related podcast – detailed discussion about the science of obesity, the science of nutrition, the science of type 2 diabetes. That is precisely the point of our online Intensive Dietary Management program. Nutrition as a therapeutic option for nutritional diseases. That is the future of medicine.”
☝️Dr. Jason Fung has been treating his diabetes patients with intermittent fasting. He is not a PBWF practitioner and recommends a keto diet which is quite unhealthy in the long run and opposed by all PBWF doctors. I agree with his IF pitch but not Keto pitch.
1.10 Reducing medications
Dr. McDougall, who is my teacher, conducts a 10 day live-in program here in the Santa Rosa suburb of SanFrancisco Bay Area. He asks all his patients to drop most medications on day one. For ten days he feeds all patients nothing but plant based whole food and teaches them about nutrition as I am doing in these health groups. By the 10th day many patients find that their BP, blood sugars and cholesterols have lowered substantially.
We must keep in mind that all these patients are under constant supervision of a doctor.
It is inappropriate for me to suggest such a drastic step.
The most concerned are the folks who are taking insulin for their diabetics. They already know that insulin dose should be reduced based on their blood glucose readings and hopefully they are doing that. I know of few people who totally stopped insulin. Dr. McDougall suggests that blood sugar spikes after meals in the range of 250 to 300 are nothing to worry about. For insulin takers hypoglycemia (low sugar) is a more serious issue than hyperglycemia. One of my batch mates fainted once due to hypoglycemia because he did not reduce insulin dose in spite of experiencing lowered blood glucose levels. Those who are on diabetic medications need to watch carefully. It is only appropriate to reduce medication when your blood glucose reading are coming down.
1.11 Playing with a partial deck
Science is constantly evolving. In 1871 when Dmitri Mendeleev, a Russian Chemist created the first Table of Elements, there were only 28 elements in. It grew to 100 by the time I studied it in 1960. In 2016, four new elements were added to bring the number to 118. I make this point only to emphasize that we are always playing with a partial deck. World has two types of people; some feel elated at new discoveries and feel that now finally they know it all, and some are humbled to realize how much more there is to be known. It reminds me of Shakespeare’s famous quote “A fool thinks himself to be wise but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
I bring this point to your attention to make you realize that most scientific knowledge is incomplete and frankly we have only scratched the surface. There are billions of chemical reactions going on in our body and we don’t even know about thousands. There are materials which I like to call Nynones (Not Yet Known) which more likely than not are involved in our health. Just because we don’t know them yet doesn’t mean they do not exist. This humility is important in evaluating science today.
The first and the most important pillar of health is food. Plant Based Whole Food doctors believe that food accounts for 80% of our health. I split this into two separate pillars; food and detoxification.
Human body is made up of over 30 trillion cells. Cells are the fundamental building blocks of all organisms. A cell consists of a cell membrane, nucleus and the rest of the stuff inside called cytoplasm. The cell membrane which is made of cholesterol, separates the cytoplasm and nucleus from its external environment. The external environment contains the nutrients that the circulating blood provides every second. Our heart beats once each second bringing fresh nutrients to every cell. After nutrients penetrate the cell membrane, they are metabolized and turned into energy that fuels the cell’s life functions. The by-products of this metabolic activity are waste that needs to be removed from the cell through the same cell membrane. Any impairment to a cells ability to let nutrients in or let the waste out leads to cell death by starvation or toxicity. This concept in Yoga is called Prana and Apana.
For good health it is important that each cell receives the nutrients it needs, avoids any toxins, and removes the waste.
This requires consuming the food that has necessary nutrients and avoids any toxins.
Before we discuss food it is important to understand some common myths about food which may have their roots in cultural traditions or financial motivations of the Food and Pharma industries.
2.2 DIET & LIFESTYLE MYTHS
As we grow from a 2 year old child who has just been weaned, we are exposed to foods that our parents and/or grandparents thought were healthy. The information they inherited from their parents or acquired through education or through media or through interactions with their doctors. The doctors in their education learn a lot about diseases and medicines but are not taught much about nutrition. In US, medical college provides less than few hours of lectures on the subject of nutrition. The result is often blind leading a blind.
There are many myths about nutrition and there are lot of vested interests in propagating these myths.
Some common myths about food are :
1. Everything in moderation is good: No, when you do that you get disease also in moderation and we blame it on old age. Diseases we associate with old age have little to do with old age and more to do with our faulty diet and lifestyle.
2. You can wait to change your diet: No, one must implement the corrective changes in diet and lifestyle without delay. Diseases do progress to a point of no return if delayed too long.
3. Exercise can make up for an unhealthy diet: No, this is a very common myth among young people who go to gym. About half the people who die of a first heart attack have normal blood chemistry and no symptoms.
4. A little bit can’t hurt: No, some toxins are cumulative and can hurt in the long turn. Exposure to radiation is one of those. Heavy metal poisoning is also like that.
5. If a little is good, more is better: No many minerals should only be consumed in smaller quantities. There is interference among minerals snd one needs to be cautious. This is why supplements are discouraged. This is also how people start consuming too much protein.
6. One should eat more protein; protein builds muscles: No, this is one of the most common myths. Protein does not build muscles; muscles are built by putting them through stress exercises. Muscles used to stay in shape. If you don’t use them you lose them.
7. Carbs are fattening; low carb diets are healthy: No, carbs are the most important part of a diet and need to be the largest component of your diet (60-80 percent). They should be consumed in complex form which is natural unrefined form.
8. Carbs raise insulin level while protein lowers it: No, this is true for refined carbs: No, unrefined carbs are complex carbs where sugar is embedded in the fibers and it is released slowly.
9. Cow’s Milk is the best source of Calcium: No, cow’s milk causes acidosis which requires bleaching calcium out of the bones to neutralize the acidity. Countries with the most dairy consumption have the highest hip fracture rates.
10. Calcium is what makes your bones strong: No, bones become strong when exposed to stress. Calcium is brittle and weak like a chalk stick used to write on blackboards.
11. You need to eat meat for iron: No, green leafy vegetables are the best source of iron. Meat has many problems.
12. Chicken is healthier than Beef or mutton meat: No, they all are equally bad. Poultry farm chicken are injected with brine making them worse than other meats.
13. Fish have good fat. Fish or fish oil is your best source for Omega-3: it is true that fresh water fish is rich in Omega3 but Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds , Hemp Seeds, walnuts and mustard seeds are also great sources of Omega3 and have no negative issues. Fish Oil fraud has been exposed.
14. Grilling Animal food makes them healthy: It only removes some fat but other problems remain. Also browning meat and chicken is carcinogenic.
15. A glass of Red Wine is good for you: No, it is only less harmful than white wine or other alcohol drinks. Avoiding all alcohol is the safest.
16. Artificial sweeteners are good for diabetics and overweight people: No, they cause weight gain.
17. We should dissect our food into protein, fat, carbs, vitamins and minerals and monitor their consumption: No, handling nutrition in reductionist fashion is flawed. One should think in terms of Whole Foods as nutrition.
Video on the myths of nutrition -
2.3 Protein Myth
There are only three macronutrients that provide energy (calories) to sustain life;
protein, fat and carbohydrates. Of these only protein has nitrogen; rest are only carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. (Water (H2O) provides hydrogen and oxygen to plants, air provides oxygen and nitrogen and soil provides the minerals. Carbon dioxide that we breathe out is absorbed by the plants during daylight and converted into hydrocarbons).
Fats and carbohydrates (carbs) are easily convertible into each other and can be stored in the body. Body’s storage capacity for carbs is only 500 +/- grams. It is stored in muscles and liver as glycogen. Rest of the energy storage is in the form of fat; mostly under our skin (subcutaneous fat) and sometimes adjacent to our internal organs (visceral fat). There is no storage provision for protein in our body. When we eat more protein than needed, which most of us in the civilized world do, (thanks to the myths propagated by the food industry and the ignorant doctors) our body faces a problem. What to do with that extra protein? So the liver, which is the chemical factory in our body, removes the nitrogen from the protein and makes ammonia (NH3). Ammonia is toxic and needs to be gotten rid off ASAP from the body. So the body combines it with water and converts it to uric acid and the kidney filters it out as urine.
This taxes two of our critical organs; kidney and liver. This is a leading cause for kidney and liver diseases at later stages in life in the civilized World.
When there is excess of uric acid, it crystallizes and the body tries to move it as far away as possible from the heart. The farthest point is our big toe and the uric acid crystals are deposited there. This condition is called gout. Many French paintings from the renaissance period show overweight royalties suffering from this pain.
As a society our protein consumption (from meat eggs and dairy) has increased multifold over the past century. This has led to many diseases like Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart diseases, Strokes, Dementia, Kidney and Liver diseases.
Protein as a nutrient was first discovered in 1838. That plants also have protein was learnt only by the end of the 19th century. As a result there has been a bias for animal protein.
Of the various food myths discussed earlier, the one I want to further elaborate on, is misconceptions about protein.
In the 1950’s, my grandfather insisted I take a glass of milk every morning and night. In the morning he would add one egg yolk to my milk (not to mention the sugar which was always added to milk in India in those days). While I hated drinking it, I had no choice in the matter. Little did he know that he was causing me harm. He had the best of intentions and based on the prevalent wisdom, at the time, he was doing the right thing.
Most people know about a project called the “Human Genome Project” which was undertaken during 1990 to 2003 to map genes in the human body. Few people however are aware of the “Human Proteome Project” that was undertaken, a few years later, to study all the proteins in the human body. The science emerging from this ongoing project is called Proteomics. For reasons unknown to me, the findings of the Proteomics project are not picked up by the mass media or social media. I believe it may have something to do with its potential impact on the food industry, especially meat, poultry and dairy consumption.
The human body of a grown up individual makes about 200 grams of new proteins every day and also breaks down about the same amount daily due to wear and tear. The body is very efficient in recycling this protein back into amino acids to make new proteins. Some proteins cannot be recycled such as nails, hair dead skin etc. . New research has shown that about 85% of these proteins get recycled by the body, leaving only a shortfall of 30 grams that we need to consume daily.
In 1947 the US Government established the minimum protein requirements for an adult at 5-6% of our daily caloric intake (25-30gm). However, they established the recommended daily allowance at 8-10% amounting to 40-50 grams. The bias for higher protein consumption was so pervasive at the time that even the government felt the need to recommend almost twice the minimum level. This was due to popular beliefs that physical labor and gym enthusiasts need more protein from higher wear and tear on the body, so to cover a broad spectrum of population a figure of 8-10 percent was arrived at.
The food industry in its zeal to sell more food, distorted these minimum and recommended guidelines and somehow, the recommended daily amount was labeled as the minimum.
A google search on “protein” will reveal that these distortions appear even on prestigious web sites such as Healthline, WebMD and Harvard Health Blog which I quote below:
“The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The RDA is the amount of a nutrient you need to meet your basic nutritional requirements. In a sense, it’s the minimum amount you need to keep from getting sick — not the specific amount you are supposed to eat every day.”
The above statement is a total lie. It may surprise you to note that there is not a single recorded case of protein deficiency in the Civilized World. 97% of all Americans eat too much protein while at the same time 97% of all Americans are deficient in dietary fiber in their diets.
The nutrient of concern therefore should be fiber and not protein. Sadly press coverages on dangers of excessive protein consumption do not exist and the topic is conveniently ignored by the mass media. This is in spite of doctors such as Dr. Colin Campbell and Dr.Janice Stanger speaking about it at conferences, in various documentaries and on YouTube videos.
Contrary to this pervasive obsession with high protein, the Nobel Prizes for 2016 and 2018 point out that occasional periods of protein deficiency detoxes our body and helps build immunity by a process called autophagy.
Dr. Honzo (2018 Nobel Laureate) has demonstrated that prolonged fasting or feeding cancer patients a diet devoid of protein for stretches of 5-10 days can help build immunity to fight cancer.
Protein is so abundant in nature that almost all plant based foods have it. Potatoes have 5-6 percent, rice has 7-8 percent, watermelon has 7 percent. The importance of this lesson is this:
“One should just stop worrying about protein while on a pbwf diet and focus on fiber instead.”
Another misconception about protein is that eating protein builds muscles. Muscles develop when you exercise them. The famous gladiators of the Roman period 2,000 years ago, who had to fight for life every day, were all vegans. Please watch the documentary “The Game Changers”. This is also discussed in the documentary “Forks over Knives”.
Please watch the talk about dangers of excessive protein in the by Dr. Janice Stanger who is a Professor at the University of California, SanFrancisco (UCSF) Read , for those of us who think we need proteins and heaps of it.
2.4 Healthy vs Unhealthy
Often questions get asked about certain foods being healthy. You come across articles in the media where they compare the benefits of one food over another. Some such examples are:
Red wine vs other alcohols
It is important to understand that there is a difference in some food being healthy or healthier. If a food is healthier, it does not mean it is healthy and you should start eating it. All it means is that compared to some other food this food is less harmful. Let me explain this in comparison to the above three foods.
Jaggery is not healthy. There are many articles that tout the benefits of jaggery but they all are with reference to refined sugar. If you do not consume any sugar except in natural fruits and vegetables you must not from tomorrow start eating jaggery. It will harm you. Eating sugar cane is any day better than eating jaggery. There is a lot of press coverage about red wine having resveratrol which is health promoting. It does not make red wine healthy. All it means is that if you must have alcohol (imagine you have been kidnapped and held hostage and given only three options red wine, white wine and scotch. Water is not an option) choose red wine because at least it has some redeeming value. The World Health Organization is very clear about it and states that if you do mod consume alcohol, please do not start drinking red wine. Only those who consume alcohol and can’t give it up should switch to red wine. Amount of resveratrol you get in a glass of red wine, you can get by eating a few red grapes. I hear a lot of Indians now saying that, “I take extra virgin olive oil; I understand it is healthy”. Olive oil is not healthy, no matter how many virgins are attached to it. It is only less unhealthy than butter. For Indians olive oil makes no sense. We Indians need oil to cook and that requires heating oil to high temperatures. Olive oil and some others like flaxseed oil are unstable at higher temperatures and should not be used for cooking. The best oil for Indians is Mustard oil but there again only if you must use oil. Eating olives is much healthier than olive oil and eating mustard seeds is healthier than eating mustard oil.
2.5 Everything in Moderation
There is a popular myth that says eat everything in moderation. The problem with this is that
eating in moderation gives diseases also in moderation. Moderate diseases like BP, mild arthritis, mild asthma, mild diabetes etc.; a lot of diseases we take for granted as signs of old age. Eating more gives you serious illnesses like heart attack, cancer, COPD, Kidney and Liver diseases.
When we follow the PBWF guidelines strictly we experience a life without any old age disease. Your BP comes down to 120/75, you suddenly feel you have more energy at 70 than you had at 30. One of the most common feedback I get is that people stop getting tired. I had started running at the age of 28 but the maximum I had ever jogged was 12 miles at the age 31 before I came down with Cancer.
In 2018 to my surprise I found that I could do a half marathon (13.1 mile jogging not running).
There are certain diets which make you age at the chronological rate, there are others which age you less than chronological rate but PBWF/IF regimen actually helps reverse your age. By that I mean it offsets the excessive aging you may have experienced in earlier part of your life due to poor diet and lifestyle. It truly is amazing.
2.6 Better Safe Than Sorry
What does this mean to you? One of the most common myths is the myth about “better safe than sorry”.
Many people believe that it is safer to continue taking some medications than to experience an occasional elevated BP or blood sugar or blood cholesterol reading.
What if the reverse was true?
All the evidence we have today and especially about the politics of PHARMA, FOOD and HEALTH CARE industries, and the GOVERNMENT and MEDIA, points to the contrary.
This thinking is old and flawed and there is a trend among progressive doctors that we have overdone on use of medications and on specializations, creating a tunnel vision with a total disregard for quality of life and all cause of mortality.
Human body is very smart and knows how to cope with the diet and lifestyle it is subjected to. These raised levels of BP or blood sugar or cholesterol markers are the result of the body's compensatory response.
What the body does not know is how to deal with those synthetic medications. They are foreign to the body and interfere with the body's compensatory mechanisms. Besides, they have to be processed by the liver and the kidney and strain them in ways not fully understood.
So if you want to “be safe than sorry”, then you are better off letting the body do its job and raise those markers as and when necessary, while you focus on correcting the diet and lifestyle. We will discuss later how the cutoff points for prescribing medications are being revised to reduce over medication.
Some people have difficulty in coming to grips with my views on Protein Myth. Here is an article that describes the subject well and you may benefit from reading it. It also has a sizable reference which can be accessed on internet for more information
The documentary “Forks over Knives” is a required viewing for this group. Dr. Colin Campbell explains in this documentary how he changed the direction of his research work after coming across a paper published by two Indian scientists Padambhushan Dr. Gopalan and Dr. Madhawan in 1968. Their research showed that excessive consumption of milk protein creates an environment which is conducive to cancer promotion.
This came as a shock to Dr. Colin Campbell, as his life’s work to that date, was based on the totally opposite premise, that animal protein is healthy for humans.
Dr. Campbell replicated the work of Gopalan and Madhawan and found it to be correct. He dedicated his life to research on cow’s milk. His conclusive research shows that if this protein is consumed in excess (when total protein in diet is over 8% from all sources) it is harmful to health but if consumed in amounts less than 8%, it is beneficial. These research findings come as a surprise to me. Could this be the reason why Yashodha Ma kept milk products away from Lord Krishna’s reach. How did our ancestors know these things? It never ceases to amaze me.
Videos on how to get Calcium
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Videos on Fresh vs. Frozen
Videos on best way to cook