LMK Health Group Notes

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:
Heart Defects
Neural Tube Defects
Down Syndrome
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)
Frozen corn
Corn Meal
Whole corn flour
Corn Starch
Corn flakes
Corn Oil
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:
Cruelty to animals
Global warming
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.

2.1 Food
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.
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:
Jaggery vs refined sugar
Red wine vs other alcohols
Olive oil vs other oils
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
Even Disease
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

pasted image 0.png
pasted image 0.png
WhatsApp Image 2023-01-04 at 5.46.59 AM.jpeg
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.
As humans have evolved over millions of years, food was never as plentiful as it is today and our diets have become rich in protein and most people are eating diets excessively rich in protein. In these circumstances it is difficult to justify the beneficial effects of dairy over the harm it might do. Besides the risk of cancer identified by Dr. Colin Campbell, consuming dairy products can have the unwanted health effect of increasing your LDL cholesterol levels also.
Diet & Lifestyle Guidelines
As we discuss the diet and lifestyle needed to cure chronic diseases, we must focus on bigger things first and foremost. The goal in this group is to improve the level of your health from wherever it is currently, to an order of magnitude better and definitely get you off medications. My focus is on making the instructions very simple and easy to remember. Once we reach our goal of getting off all medications, we will start paying attention to some finer details.
Following are my Daily Dozen recommendations for diet and lifestyle:
No animal food. No Seafood. No eggs, and no dairy based milk or milk products (yogurt, cheese, butter or any other milk products). Nut based milk, yogurt and other products are fine.
No refined or highly processed foods. No oil or sugar. If you are not on any chronic medications, or do not wish to reverse the disease (just maintain it at the current levels), two tsp. of ghee/oil and two tsp. of sugar maximum are allowed per day as an exception.
Eat from all five food groups:
beans & legumes
grains and
nuts & seeds.
Herbs & spices are highly recommended and should be eaten regularly. As a rule of thumb consume one fifth of your daily caloric intake from each food group. It can vary from day to day. If you want to lose weight faster, eat only the minimum recommended from the Nuts & Seeds group.
Eat a minimum of 1% of your body weight in fruits (must include berries) and a minimum of 1% of your body weight in vegetables (half in green leafy vegetables) daily. Those who are trying to reverse diseases or reduce weight, need to consume more from this group.
Watch for three key nutrients: Omega-3, vitamin D-3 and vitamin B-12. To make sure that you are getting enough Omega-3: Eat 1 tbsp. Flaxseed (ground) and/or Chia Seed and five walnuts each day. If you are trying to reverse disease you can eat more. Eat as much variety as you can; try to include one Brazil nut each week and men must eat pumpkin seeds. Take vitamin B-12 supplement; 50-100 mcg daily or 2,000 mcg weekly. It is best to get Vitamin D-3 from the sun. Take a D3 supplement only if you are deficient and you don’t get in the sun much. Do not take any other supplements.
Keep your body hydrated at all times. Drink a minimum 1/2 liter of warm water first thing in the morning before brushing teeth and one glass, an hour after dinner and one glass before going to bed. Rest of the day, eat your water as much as possible by consuming fresh fruits and vegetables rich in water.
Practice 16:8 Intermittent Fasting daily. Slowly reduce your eating window to 8-10 hours. Finish you dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime and preferably before it gets dark outside.
Do therapeutic water only for 36 hours every two weeks (Ekadashi) and one or two 9 day water fasts each year. For 9 day fasts you can have one 500 calorie low protein (under 5%) meal each day before sunset.
Stay active and get out in the daytime for some time even if there is no sun. Walk 10,000 steps or more daily. Do some cardio, stretching and stress exercises also. Do not exercise at night.
Sleep a minimum of 7-9 hours daily. If a deficit develops during the week, make up for it on the weekends. Switch off all blue light emitting devices at least one hour before bedtime, or apply filters to TV, computer screens and cell phones.
Love your family and friends unconditionally and stay connected.
Pray regularly and have a positive attitude full of gratitude. Who you pray to is not important, but that you pray is.
No other restrictions. Eat a variety of foods; everything you like and some that you don’t. Eat as much as you feel like but do not force yourself. No portion control is necessary. After 6 months on the PBWF/IF/10K program you should be able to rely totally on your body’s instincts to choose food and how much to eat.
Some Additional Comments:
One rule of thumb is that at least half of your total calories intake should come from uncooked foods. If you follow the recommended guidelines, it will happen naturally. You can eat some sprouted beans to increase the percentage of raw food.
Most Indians feel lost because they don’t know how to cook subji without ghee/oil. Here are a few suggestions:
You can sauté onions and spices in a few tablespoons of water or use vegetable stock. Watch the video below.
You can add ground mustard seeds or nut butters like peanut or cashew butter.
Use air fryers to replace deep frying or bake.
Mix avocados into dough to make stuffed parathas. Avocados are 80% fat.
Please watch the linked videos. 👇

Please understand that in my recommendations you are allowed nut or seed butters (pastes). These should be added after you have sautéed the onions in vegetable stock or water. After adding nut butters, you can add all spices. It is best to first add all spices in a cup and add some water and mix them then pour in the cookware over sautéed onions and nut butters while stirring constantly. After that follow your normal procedure. All dishes will come out perfect including Pulao and Khichri.
The only dishes not possible this way are the deep fried ones but for them you can use the air fryers.
Here is a video that shows how to make nut or seed butters
Please understand that paste made from any nuts or seeds (often called as butter like peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter etc. are allowed and can be added to food preparations in place of oil or ghee).
Except for deep fried dishes, you should not have any problem in cooking. Here is a video on how to make nut and seed butters.👇

No Animal Food?
I have noticed that after reading my diet & lifestyle guidelines, some people leave the group because they find it unacceptable to eliminate animal food and dairy from their diet. I have recently learned that some conservative Christians believe that God made animals as food for humans and not eating meat would be defying God. Also I have found that some Hindus believe that not having milk, yogurt and ghee would somehow be insulting to the mother cow and not following Lord Krishna’s footsteps.
All I want to say to these people is to do the best you can. As mentioned in my guidelines, a sense of gratitude is very important and I have no desire to come between you and your God.
Of the 12 guidelines only one restricts animal food. Even if you follow the other 11. you will see significant improvements in your health. Try to reduce animal food from your diet as much as you can without offending your God.
Within animal food all highly processed foods like ham, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, salami, bologna, hotdogs etc. are recognized by the World Health Organization as Group 1 carcinogens (same category as smoking) so those should definitely be avoided. The least harmful among animal foods is fresh water fish like salmon, trout, tilapia, eel etc. or sardines. Replacing beef, goat, lamb and chicken with fish and shellfish is also a big improvement. One must keep in mind that meat and fish are very rich in protein so the serving size needs to be restricted to under 3 ozs (85 grams) maximum each day. Learn to prepare your meat and fish with lots of vegetables added, as Chinese do.
Another suggestion is that on days you are consuming animal food try to minimize protein intake in other foods. The research by Dr. Gopalan and Madhavan of National Institute of Nutrition and by Dr. Colin Campbell suggests that the safest way to consume animal protein is if the total protein in the diet for the day is kept under 8% of the total calories. Please watch the video linked below. 👇
Milk & Dairy Products
Research by two Indian scientists from National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad: Gopalan and Madhawan in 1967 had demonstrated that protein found in cow’s milk (Cassein) causes cancer cancer tumors to grow rapidly. This research was most counterintuitive to the prevailing wisdom at the time and surprised the scientific community worldwide. Dr. Collin Campbell whose PhD thesis was on importance of animal protein for human development even wrote to the editor suggesting that by mistake the data might have been switched. He was told otherwise and he later replicated the study and found the findings to be true. This led him to totally reverse his own thesis and his life’s work now is based on this discovery. Today he is renowned for this hallmark research, as the number one nutritionist in the world (Gopalan and Madhawan have been reduced to a footnote). In the documentary Forks over Knives this subject has been covered in great detail by Dr. Campbell. Humans are the only creatures on earth who consume (1) milk of another species and (2) who continues to consume milk beyond infancy. I do not know how it got started. I suspect it happened thousands of years ago, during a period of famine, when people were dying of hunger. Some body tried drinking cow’s milk and survived. From then on it must have become a common practice and led to domestication of cows. I must confess that this is one topic where I felt most conflicted. All doctors in the current PBWF Food movement are opposed to consuming dairy and there are numerous studies that justify that but Ayurveda, Indian cultural heritage and ancient wisdom recommends it strongly. Most recommendations of PBWF doctors are compatible with Ayurveda with few exception like milk and Ghee.
The milk today is not the same as milk our ancestors consumed. Here are some observations:
1. The way the cows are raised in today’s industrialized world is very different from even 50 years ago in India. Some key differences are:
The dairy cows are kept pregnant through artificial insemination.
They are fed pesticide ridden food which is unfit for human consumption.
They are injected with growth hormones to increase milk yield and
They are injected with high dosages of antibiotics to keep them infection free in otherwise poor unhygienic conditions. All these toxic chemicals do show up in the milk they produce and are very harmful to human health.
The indigenous varieties of cows in India (ones with a hump on their back) produce milk (A2) which is genetically different and lower in fat content, besides some other differences. This milk is less harmful than buffalo milk but harmful never the less.
In olden periods there were few carcinogens in the environment and cancer diseases were rare. So even if Casein was consumed in diet, it didn’t result in ill health.
The life expectancy in olden days was low and age of 75-80 was considered long life. Very few lived beyond that (I am not talking about puranic period where there are stories of people living for 400 years). Today we are talking about increasing life expectancy of retired people (over 65) to 100+ years. In Blue Zones around the world like Okinawa Japan, Sardinia Italy and Loma Linda California, many people live to be 100+.
I have discussed this subject face to face with Dr. Colin Campbell, Dr. Esselston, Dr. John Mcdugall and Dr. Gregor. They all are against consuming milk or milk products in today’s world. Dr. Collin Campbell conceded that if total protein in diet is less than 8% then milk may be okay, as long as it is procured from grass fed, free range cows. Total protein intake of 8% (from all sources) is the cutoff point where tumor begins to grow. What this essentially means is that during periods of famine, the milk would not be harmful.

Why No Dairy? All mammals produce milk at the time of infant birth and nurse their infants for a short period that varies from species to species. The composition of the milk is commensurate with the growth rate of the specie’s infants. Duration of pregnancy varies among various mammals and ranges from 20 days in a mouse to 645 days for an African elephant. Cow is pregnant for 9 months. A new born calf weighs about 70 pounds and doubles its weight within 2 months and matures within 2 years to a weight of over 1,000 pounds. That is a 14 fold growth in 2 years. In comparison a human infant doubles his weight in 4-6 months and matures in 12-14 years. Due to these differences in growth rates the composition of cow’s milk is very different than human milk. It has higher levels of protein and fat. It also has higher levels of growth hormones like IGF-1 (Insulin like Growth Factor-1). This hormone promotes rapid growth. Milk may have served a purpose in older times when we faced periods of famine regularly and may have saved many communities from perishing. Even modern research has shown that milk when consumed in communities where there is shortage of food, can play a positive role but such cases are rare indeed in today’s civilized world.
Here are various reasons why milk and other dairy products are unhealthy for humans.
There is no evidence that milk reduces bone fracture. In fact there is evidence that suggests otherwise. Countries like Africa which have lowest rate of milk consumption have lowest rate of osteoporosis. Whereas countries consuming maximum milk have highest rate of hip fractures. A 2003 Harvard nurses study of 70,000 women for 18 years demonstrated that there was no protective effect on bone health among dairy consumers.
Dairy consumption increases body’s level of IGF-1 hormone and estrogens which are known cancer promoters and implicated with prostate and breast cancer risks.
According to a 2006 study of Harvard researchers, in which 10,000 women aged 26-46, participated, women who consumed most dairy products were at higher risk of breast cancer. Another 2014 study has shown that milk and dairy products consumption increases the risk of breast, lung and ovarian cancer.
Additional growth hormones (synthetic Bovine hormones) injected in cows to increase milk production interfere with normal hormone functions in human body.
Milk is one of the largest sources of dioxins which can affect the central nervous, immune and reproductive systems of the human body.
Milk and cheese can cause acne.
Dairy is full of saturated fat which is implicated in cardio vascular diseases.
Dairy aggravates Irritable Bowl Syndrome.
Dairy is a cause of auto immune diseases like arthritis.
Three fourth of the world population is lactose intolerant and genetically unable to properly digest milk. In most children after the age of five, the enzymes that help digest lactose decline, making them lactose intolerant.
Dairy consumption in childhood is a leading cause of Type-1 diabetes.
Dairy is also implicated in chronic constipation.
Other problems associated with dairy are allergies and sinus issues.
Milk can also increase men’s risk of having Parkinson’s disease. The main reason for this is that cows milk is contaminated with pesticides which cows consume with their grain fed diet.
Here are some additional points that support my view against dairy.
Many of my health group members have reported curing asthma, nasal congestion, seasonal allergies, digestive problems, constipation, and even headaches after giving up dairy.
Dr. Neil Bernard had filed a lawsuit against US government’s campaign “Milk Does the Body Good” and he won. The advertisements had to be stopped by court order.
US government has been recommending 3 glasses of milk a day in it’s dietary guidelines but these guidelines are politically biased and not based on science. Head of nutrition at Harvard school of public health is one of the most vocal critic of these guidelines and has called them “utterly ridiculous”.
If one must consume some dairy, the least harmful products are ghee (butter oil), buttermilk, yogurt and kefir. One must find organic sources which are growth hormone (RBST) free. This hormone is banned in Europe, Canada, Japan, Argentina and Australia.
So this is how I have resolved this conflict it in my life. I do no drink milk or eat milk products on daily basis. I consume small amount of cultured yogurt occasionally (with khitchri, pulao, or Kadhi). I eat on average 1/2 scoop of ice cream per month to make my grand kids happy. In essence what I am saying is that use milk products as exception only. You have to make your own exceptions. Once you are off all medications and reasonably healthy you can make some exceptions. But if you are like Bill Clinton with open heart surgery and multiple stents or you are suffering from stage 2/3 cancer please refrain totally.
This article has more to avoid milk.

Videos on Dairy Products
How Do I Get Calcium?
After discussion about milk the following question always is “how do I get my calcium?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions I face. Even though it is covered in the very first documentary I recommend “Forks over Knives” and the second video by Dr Janice Stranger about the food myths. The two reasons for this question are that it is ingrained in our mind that calcium is needed for strong bones and secondly that milk is the best source of calcium. Both of which are incorrect. The bones do not become strong by eating calcium. Calcium is actually very brittle as any body who has ever used a chalk to write on a black board would know. Bones are made of collagen which are fibrous proteins comprising a honeycomb structure, and an inorganic bone mineral in the form of small crystals. The strength in bones comes from putting stress on this honeycomb structure which we do when we exercise. The more stress we put on the bones the stronger they become. Milk is not the best source of calcium. On the contrary milk is acidic in nature like all animal foods and causes acidosis. To neutralize this acid the calcium in the body is utilized and this leads to depletion of calcium. Osteoporosis is most common among the countries that consume most dairy. These include US, Canada, Denmark and Sweden. The best sources of calcium are green leafy vegetables. Here are some videos worth watching that deal with the subject
Paste a YouTube video URL in the first column, then see the video automatically show up in the Video column. Click on videos to watch them directly from here, then take notes—all in one place.
Clear sample data
Videos on how to get Calcium
Typical Indian Meal Plan
This is a typical meal plan of a vegetarian Indian. There are many problems with it.
As you can see, anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of the calories are coming from ghee/oil, sugar and dairy, which are all devoid of fiber.
All calories coming from oil, ghee and sugar are empty calories without any micro-nutrients. This is a big problem.
Also please note that eating window is 15 hours and I haven’t even shown the glass of milk at bedtime. This is very harmful as we will see later when we discuss chronic diseases.
Fiber as Nutrient
Fiber as an important nutrient was recognized much later than most other nutrients. Dr. Burkitt was the first to emphasize it’s importance in a book titled “Don’t Forget Fiber in Your Diet” published in 1979.
For many years fiber was thought only to improve your bowl movement and satiety. Both of which are true but latest research has brought many more important benefits to our attention.
There are two types of fiber; soluble and insoluble. The two comments above are true for insoluble fiber. The microbes in our gut microbiome feed on fiber to produce metabolites which help protect us from high BP and in many other ways. Active research is on going in this field.
Soluble fiber helps reduce blood glucose levels and thereby reduces the risk of diabetes.
Some of the other benefits are:
control body weight
control and possibly prevent hypertension
help balance cholesterol levels in blood
regulate bowel movements and prevent hemorrhoids
regulate your body’s satiation signals, which let you know when you’re full
lower risk of colon cancer
lower risk of breast cancer
require more chewing, which slows down your meals and aids digestion.
Please watch the linked videos on the subject.👇

Fiber & Protein in PBWF
A question that often gets asked is that for those people who go to gym and workout a lot, should they take extra protein or protein supplements. Here is my response to that. 👇
Human body recycles 85% of the protein. An average person has a wear and tear of 200 grams a day, so 170 grams gets recycled and 30 grams need to be replenished. This happens because some proteins can not be recycled like nails, hair, dead skin etc.
When people work out more in Gym the wear and tear is more but the protein lost in nails, hair, skin etc. remains the same. So their recycle rate is better than 85%. Secondly, heavy workout means more calories spent which in turn means these people consume more calories in food. So these extra calories are already providing extra protein. So the composition of the diet doesn’t have to have more protein; 8% is more than enough.
As you can see in table above there is more than enough protein in PBWF diet to satisfy everyone’s needs. I have repeatedly maintained that there is not a single case of protein deficiency in the civilized world. If you are getting enough food, you for sure are getting enough protein.
There are some people who are extra cautious and like to worry about things. They really should be focusing on how to get fiber and HOW NOT to get too much protein. That is lot more challenging. On the days we fast we should break our fast with a diet low in protein. So finding PBWFood with low protein is a much bigger challenge.
How much Fiber
A question was asked in one of the health groups about what is the daily requirement for fiber. In US the recommendation is 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women, aged under 50.This reduces for older people. But in US some recommendations are not based on pure science and instead influenced by what people are likely to do. Recommendation for daily exercise is also so influenced. The thought behind this is that, why recommend something that is totally going to discourage the public at large. When it comes to fiber there is sufficient evidence that shows that our ancestors ate more than 100 grams of fiber each day. Even today in many parts of Africa people eat over 100 grams of fiber each day. In rural China this figure is 77 grams. On a related subject it is interesting to note that how many times we poop and how much we poop each week has direct correlation with heart health. In one of the studies it was found that residents of Manhattan score lowest on both these criteria and have the highest heart attack rates. The following videos pertain to this subject.

Green Juicing
Some observations: Based on my experience in several health groups, I want to share four observations:
Somethings are easier said than done. Eating green leafy vegetables and not eating oil/ghee are two such advice. The only way we Indians know how to eat green leafy vegetables is by making saag which cannot be made without ghee.
It is often difficult to give up our favorite foods even after we have learned that they are unhealthy. It is lot easier to add foods and specially foods that are tasty. When we add healthy food it crowds out the unhealthy food.
When we make changes slowly the improvements are not noticeable and one often looses confidence. So it helps to make some changes which are dramatic and remain in our conscious mind.
One conscious change often leads to many unconscious changes and benefits accrue. To give you one example, once I started walking for an hour every day I started rejecting caloric dense food like cookies and donuts because I was conscious that it would wash off my one hour worth of effort.
Juicing Documentaries
Before we move on to the subject of “How to Eat”, I request all to watch a documentary “”. This is available on Netflix. The second documentary “” is available on YouTube and linked above.
Green Juicing
I had discussed in the dietary guidelines that we need to consume a minimum 1% of our body weight in vegetables and half of that should be in green leafy vegetables. In fact Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn recommends 6 servings of green leafy vegetables each day to all his heart patients including Bill Clinton.
We Indians don’t know how to eat these leafy vegetables without adding ghee or oil. Eating as salads is most uncommon. It is for this reason I recommend juicing them and adding some other essential ingredients to make juice both healthier and palatable.
I do want to make it very clear that juicing is only the second best option to eating greens as raw, blanched or boiled.
In the two documentaries on juicing you must have observed, how by going on a juicing diet, people were able to loose weight, lower blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol and get off all or most medications. What they did was rather drastic. 60 day juice fast in “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” and 28 day juice fast in “Super Juice Me”. After seeing the first documentary I ordered my juicer the same day and started green juicing. We did only five day juice fast to kick off our dietary changes. The results were remarkable.
The main goal is to consume large quantities of green leafy vegetables (fruits should be eaten as a whole or to just make vegetable juice tastier). Juicing makes it easy.
How much Juice?
You want to start with a juice fast for 3 to 5 days at least. The longer the better. You will be drinking only juice for these days. Try four to five glasses (8-12 ounces depending upon your size) per day or more if you wish. After that continue with three glasses per day; 15-20 minutes before each meal, till you are off all medications. After that one or two glasses a day is sufficient. The 15-20 minute gap allows juice to empty your stomach and move on to your small intestines. This way it doesn’t get stuck in a digestive cycle with fruits and food.
During juice fast you might experience some withdrawal symptoms which may be due to your caffeine addiction or other food addictions. You can have some black tea or coffee to alleviate those.
Other juicing notes
For patients who are critically ill, it is advisable to offer juice with minimum pulp. It is light on their stomach and for same amount of feeling of fullness, they can consume more nutrients. Specially for cancer therapy.
A question often asked is “aren’t you removing fiber in juicing?” The answer is that there are two types of fiber soluble and insoluble. Juicing preserves all the soluble fiber and some of the insoluble fiber as well.
One should eat fruits as a whole and juice only vegetables. You can add some fruit to enhance the taste and yes Granny Smith apples because they have enzymes that help digest green leafy vegetables. It is a good idea to strain the juice through a fine strainer.
There is a saying: First thing in the morning, if you poop before you finish peeing; you are in good health. You soon will experience that.
Here is a typical green juice mixture. See in the picture from left to right:
Romaine lettuce
7. Cucumber
Raw Turmeric root
Green apple
Green Juice Recipe
One point to understand before understanding juice recipe is that there in no requirement from chemical composition point of view.
Many of you are accustomed to very precise recipes as often recommended in Ayurveda etc. Here operate very differently. The main goal is to consume green leafy vegetables and juice should be tasty so you do not feel that you are drinking some bitter concoction only for health reasons. Everybody’s taste is different so recipe can be varied freely depending upon taste. The idea is to prepare a juice which a guest after drinking a small glass would ask for more.
Think of juice recipe as comprising of three groups of vegetables and some seeds.
The first group is "Granny Smith (or any other juicing) apples(4), lemon(2) and ginger(2 thumb size pcs.)
The second group is "Celery (one bunch), cucumber (one large English or two medium regular) and/or lettuce. This group provides most of the water. You can also double the amount easily without any problem.
The third group is any one, two or three of the following (or any other) green leafy vegetables like kale, chard, spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens, beet root greens, cabbage etc. (2-3 bunches)
The third group can also be replaced with carrots and beetroots for a second juice recipe.
Add some flax seeds or Hemp seeds into juice. This takes care of some of your Omega-3 requirement and also provides some fat which helps absorption of nutrients from juice.
How much juice this would make is function of the juicer type and quality. Please feel free to add other non starchy vegetables also like bottle gourd, Karelia, raw turmeric etc.. There are no restrictions.
Juice vs. Smoothies
This is one of the most frequently asked questions and there clearly is big confusion on this subject, so I have decided to dedicate a post to this. Before proceeding I want to make it clear that eating leafy greens raw as salad or blanched is the best option. The chewing action in the mouth mixed with saliva provides the most nutrition and absorption. Fruits of course should always be eaten as whole fruits except some green apples (Granny Smith variety in US as they have enzymes that help digest green leafy vegetables) which should be added to green juice. So the question is only, what is the second best option.
Smoothies require high speed blending, this makes the air oxidize the nutrients. So you have some nutrient loss due to oxidization.
Because you have to mix a cup of water to start the process and because the pulp is retained, there are only half as many nutrients in a glass of smoothie as opposed to a glass of juice.
Because of air and insoluble fiber you can not consume much smoothie and make up for reduced nutrients by drinking more. On the contrary the juice feels less filling than smoothie.
A good juicer retains most of the soluble fiber in juice. Some of the insoluble fiber is also retained in small particles that go through the screen. The remaining insoluble fiber which is rejected, has little nutrient left. It is also not needed for bowl movement because one gets more than enough from juice.
Juice does not stay in stomach much and passes through to small intestine quickly. Smoothies need to be digested and remain much longer in the stomach. Smoothies are not good to do juice fast.
Juice has much longer refrigerated shelf like. You can juice only twice a week and store in airtight glass bottles. It can also be frozen so one can reduce juice making to even once a week.
Juice can be stored in refrigerator for up to 72 hours in air tight bottles which are filled to the rim. Juice also can be frozen easily and kept for weeks, but you need to leave space for expansion. Many people ask what to do with the pulp that is ejected from the juicer. If the juicer is good quality, the pulp does not have any nutrition value and should be thrown away or used to make compost. If the pulp is wet it can be run a second time. You will know soon if additional juice is extracted from it. It is not recommended that you consume this pulp to make any food preparations. Always use additional fresh produce to do that as that would be richer in nutrients.
Choosing a juicer
The best juicers are as following and in that order:
Two step hydraulic juicers like Norwalk and Pure ($2,100). They are slightly more cumbersome due to the two step process. But the pulp is the driest.
Double Helical Screw type: Angel ($1,400) and GreenStar ($600). Their yield is almost as good as the hydraulic juicers and they are a little easier to operate.
Single Augur juicers: These are most commonly sold and there are many makes ($200-400). Some are made by specialty companies who have primarily made juicers for a long time and some are kitchen appliances companies who also make a juicer to complete their line of product offerings. The following three stand out among them:
The last category is of High Speed centrifugal juicers like Breville which I do not recommend as they oxidize nutrients easily and don’t juice well leafy greens.
Of the first three groups you can buy any juicer. Buy the best you can afford. The better yield of hydraulic or double helical screw type juicers can justify spending more money specially if you do not have a maid to do this chore for you. Because you, not only save in the cost of the produce, you also save on time. It is my understanding that Pure and Angel are now available in India also.
You can tell the quality of these juicers by measuring the moisture in the pulp that is thrown out. The videos I have attached compare many of these models. There are many more videos on the YouTube which may be worth watching. The yield from different juicers can vary by as much as twice. Considering that you buy juicer once and produce every day and your time is also valuable, you can recover the extra cost within a year. Specially in US, if you are paying a maid to come twice a week to take out juice, just the labor cost becomes about 100 dollars per week. Organic produce is also expensive.
I recommend that you buy the best juicer you can afford.
Special Price on Juicers
LMKHealth has negotiated a special discount from two leading international brands of cold press juicers operating in India – Hurom and Kuvings.
Hurom Hurom has two models for domestic users viz., H-AA and HP Series (further details on Following are the prices for Hurom juicers:
HP Series model: Rs. 16,750/- (strainers for juicing and smoothie)
H-AA model: Rs. 24,000/- (strainers for juicing, smoothie and sorbet; pulp level adjustment)
Members interested in Hurom juicers can call Mayur Bansal on 981 123 4748 giving reference of LMKHealth and place their orders. Hurom offers free home delivery; and accepts payment on delivery by Paytm, Googlepay, Phonepe or cash! They do not accept debit card or credit card payment.
Kuvings is the other brand which is offering equally good and robust juicers. Their base model for domestic use is B1700 and the negotiated price is as follows:
Kuvings B1700 Cold Press Juicer, special Offer Price: INR 16,900/- Promocode: KUVPBWF.
Kuvings B1700 Cold Press Juicer with Smoothie and Sorbet Strainer, special offer price: INR 18,900/ Promocode: KUVPBWFSS
Orders for Kuvings juicers can be placed directly on their website ( Payment by NEFT or other payment cageways but no debit or credit cards. LMK Health group members should use the following promo-codes to avail the discounted offers.
Juicer Videos
Organic vs Non-organic
The question of pesticides on fruits and vegetables always comes up and the problem is worse in India than in US.
All fruits and vegetables need to be cleaned and washed properly. You can make your own wash by adding one teaspoon of baking soda in one liter of water. There are other solvents also like vinegar.
I have also heard of rock salt and Turmeric being added to wash water. I am not an expert in this area. India has its own problems because after the rinse you can’t wash fruits and vegetables in tap water as even that is contaminated. You may have to use boiled water or RO water for final rinse.
Coming back to produce. I recommend that you find good sources of organic produce. See if there is a farmers market. Some organic farms have now started delivering fresh produce at home. There are also community farms who deliver produce every week.
I strongly recommend that you befriend your grocer more than your doctor. He is more important in your life. Next Diwali give him a box of dry fruits. He will tell you if a particular produce is not good and should be avoided.
Do not avoid fruits and vegetables for the fear of contamination of pesticides. Fruits and vegetables with pesticides are still healthier than no fruits and vegetables. See Dr. Greger’s and other videos on the subject.👇

Organic foods
Stomach Issues on PBWF
As you change your diet to a PBWF diet and specially green smoothies or juicing, you may experience some stomach issues. These would depend upon what was your previous diet and lifestyle. If your diet was deficient in fiber, you might experience changes in your bowel movement. Some of the signs and symptoms that you may be consuming too much fiber too quickly are:
Excess fiber can cause constipation or diarrhea. Think of fiber as bulk that attracts water in the GI tract. If you don’t have enough fluid in your system, dehydration of the GI tract can occur, leading to hardening and difficulty passing the stools. This is especially common when the fiber is primarily soluble fiber. On the other hand excessive insoluble fiber can lead to diarrhea and loose stools. Although adding insoluble fiber to your diet can be a good treatment for constipation, too much consumption of insoluble fiber can lead to diarrhea and loose stools—especially if you increase your intake, all of a sudden, which will push the contents.
BLOATING:Consuming too much fiber can also create uncomfortable symptoms like bloating. This most often happens when you eat too much fiber too quickly because most of the fiber won’t be digested or broken down while moving through the GI tract. Bloating is also quite common when you consume smoothies as their is air mixed finely in the smoothies.
3GAS PROBLEMS When we increase consumption of fiber it feeds the bacteria and other micro organisms in our microbiome in the colon. The bacteria feeds on the fiber and releases a gas by-product.
ABDOMINAL PAIN: Along with the change in bowel movements, gas, and bloating, cramping can also occur with too much fiber. This results from too much fiber causing digestion to slow down or stop.
MINERAL DEFICIENCIES: Fiber is a binding agent, meaning it can also bind to nutrients and cause them to be eliminated before the body has a chance to absorb them. This process most commonly affects iron, chromium, copper, zinc, and calcium absorption. According to some studies it may be possible to offset this by ensuring that you consume adequate amounts of vitamin C.
What to do Generally stomach stabilizes within few days or weeks. If it persists you may be eating too much fiber, consuming it too quickly, consuming the wrong kind of fiber, or be in need of some extra vitamin C. I suggest you try the following:
Try and find out what specific food is causing the problem and eliminate it.
Reduce the amount of juice and other fiber intake and increase it slowly.
If you’re experiencing constipation, try switching to insoluble fiber. If you’re experiencing loose stools, try switching to soluble fiber.
If you are experiencing constipation, ensure that you’re drinking enough water.
Skin Issues When people loose lot of fat, sometimes they may experience some skin issues like pimples. These also go away over time. Human body can hide away some toxins in fat and this fat is released to provide energy during ketosis, the toxins are released in the process and skin tries to get rid of them.
Headaches Headache is a different matter. It is associated with the withdrawal symptoms. Food is also an addiction. Besides commonly known substances like caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, certain foods are also addictive. Some of the most addictive foods are:
Potato chips and French fries
Ice cream
Breakfast cereals
Biscuits and cakes
The two documentaries I suggested “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” and “Super Juice Me” cover this in some detail. I hope all who have chosen to do juice fast have at least seen these documentaries.
My Oatmeal Recipe
Oatmeal is one of the finest grain for breakfast. It is very rich in fiber low in glycemic and insulin loads and keeps you full for extended period of time. I recommend it to all and specially diabetics.
Here is my recipe for a serving for two:
4 tbsp. Steel cut Oatmeal
2 tsp. Ground Flaxseed
1 tsp. Chia Seed
1 tsp. Sesame Seed
2 or 3 Dates
1 tbsp Raisin
Almond Milk 1/4 Cup
5 Walnuts
1/4 tsp. Ground Ilaychi
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 cup sliced Banana or Blue Berry or Mango or any other fruit of your choice.
Mix the first 7 ingredients with two cups of water and boil for 10-15 minutes. When ready add ilayachi, cinnamon, walnuts and fruits. The good thing about this breakfast is that it takes care of your daily requirement of nuts, seeds and omega-3. It tastes great and when combined with a glass of green juice and bowl of fruits, your breakfast takes care of two other food groups for the day.
During the last week while we were waiting for the discussion to start, I had recommended that certain documentaries be watched. Some of you who joined late might have missed that post. My interest in PBWF started after watching a documentary on Netflix on January 1st 2013, “Forks over Knives”. I require all members to watch this documentary. Most documentaries are available on subscription sites like Netflix or Amazon Prime or on YouTube. Some are free and others you may have to rent. Here is a list of 10 documentaries I recommend. You can watch them at your convenience but please watch Forks over Knives ASAP.
1. Forks over Knives
2. Forks over Knives: Extended Interviews
3. What the Health
4. Fat Sick and Nearly Dead
5. Super juice Me
6. Death By Medicine by Garry Null.
7. The Game Changers.
8. Eating
9. Hungry for Change
10. H.O.P.E.
Synopsis of Week-1
We have completed one week and the following summarizes what we have covered so far:
Diet and lifestyle are the root cause of all chronic illnesses. When we change them chronic illnesses get cured.
At the cellular level only two things matter; deficiency and toxicity. Once we address them the illness goes away.
There are five pillars of health; food, detoxification, physical activity, emotional support and spiritual balance. Of these food and detoxification are by far the most important.
There are many myths about food some long held beliefs and some propagated by self serving lobbyists of food, drug or health care industries.
Of these myths the worst is the myth about protein. Proteins are made with amino acids and only plants make amino acids using water and sunlight. All animals get their protein from plants or from eating animals who eat plants.
Recommended guidelines for diet and lifestyle.
Discussion about importance of fiber as nutrient.
Why dairy is very harmful and should be avoided. Dairy is not a good source of calcium.
The typical vegetarian meal plan of Indians is very unhealthy as bulk of the calories come from three unhealthy foods; sugar, oil and dairy. They create deficiencies in micro nutrients.
Consuming refined oil and animal fats are very unhealthy. Omega-3 and 6 fats are essential and need to be consumed daily but in proportion.
Some recommendations for the healthy meal ideas were shared.
As it is difficult to consume large quantities of green leafy vegetable, juicing is a convenient way to consume them.
We will spend next week continuing with the discussion about food; the first pillar of health. Macro and micro nutrients; role of antioxidants. Should one take supplements? Acidic vs alkaline foods. How much water, salt, soya and gluten? Best ways to cook food, choice of cookware etc.
Nutrients We Need
Human body needs nutrients to survive. Besides water all nutrients can be subdivided into two groups:
MACRONUTRIENTS: These provide energy. There are three macronutrients:
Proteins: 1gm = 4 cal
Carbohydrates:1gm= 4 cal
Fats: 1gm = 9 cal.
MICRONUTRIENTS: Theses do not provide energy but are essential to human body. These include:
PROTEINS: Proteins are chains of amino acids. Certain amino acids can not be made by the body and must be consumed and that is why they are called essential amino acids. The protein we consume is first broken down to amino acids and different cells of the body use these amino acids to make new proteins each day. Human body is good in making proteins and it makes all the different protein (over 2 million) it needs from the various amino acids. All essential amino acids are made only by plants and move up the food chain.
CARBOHYDRATES: Carbs are naturally occurring sugars, starches and fiber in food. Plants make carbs by combining carbon dioxide from air and water.
FATS: Similar to proteins human body is good at making fats (fatty acids). In fact all excess energy, whether it was consumed as fat, protein or carbs, is converted into fat in our liver and stored in our fat cells throughout the body but specially around the belly. The number of fat cells after adulthood do not change, only the amount of fat in each cell changes as one gains or looses weight. The only fats our body can not make are Omega fats and therefore they need to be consumed daily. Of various Omega fats Omega-3 is only available in limited amounts and therefore requires special attention. Human body needs Omega-3 and Omega-6 in equal amounts but in nature Omega-6 is available in abundance but Omega-3 is not. Human body has preference in absorbing Omega-3 as a result some variance can be accommodated. The disproportionate consumption of Omega-6 over Omega-3 is believed to be the cause of many chronic illnesses. It is recommended that this ratio should be in 2-3 range. Most vegetable oils have this ratio in 1,000 to 100,000 range. Among cooking oils (as opposed to non cooking oils like olive, flaxseed, walnut), Mustard oil is one exception where this ratio is under 3. Ghee also has a good ratio but the amounts are lot less.
VITAMINS: Among Vitamins, most are available in plenty in plant based food however there are two that require special attention:
Vitamin B-12 is found in nature in soil. It is in natural streams and rivers and well water. When we work with dirt with our hands and legs or walk bare feet the body absorbs it. As we have moved away from such activities and chlorinated our municipal water, all natural sources have been blocked. That is why this is the only food supplement that pbwf doctors recommend.
Vitamin D-3 is made by human body under sunshine. As we have reduced venturing out in the sun some people face deficiency in this vitamin by the time they reach their 40s. If you are deficient and you do not spend some time in the sun, you will need to take supplement. Vitamin D from sunshine is healthier than supplements, because of the way they are processed in body. There is evidence that vitamin-D supplement can exacerbate the bone problems instead of curing them.
MINERALS: There are over 60 different minerals that our body needs. We have only focused on few macro minerals so far like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chlorides. Other minerals are required in very small amounts and lumped as trace minerals. Among these iron, magnesium, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, iodine, fluoride and selenium have been studied. More research is going on but the effect of many is still not well understood.
ANTIOXIDANTS: These are substances that inhibit oxidation. Some are well studied like vitamin C and E but others are still being studied.
PHYTONUTRIENTS: These are chemicals produced by plants which play a key role in our health. Only in recent past we have started paying attention to these and lot needs to be further studied. It is a generic name that covers thousands of different chemicals including flavonoids. Flavonoids are the largest group of chemicals in Phytonutrients exceeding 8,000 varieties.
I think this gives you an idea of how complex is the nutrient base and how many different chemical reactions take place in the human body every second. Just because we haven’t yet studied the impact of these nutrients doesn’t mean they are less important. It is only the wise among us who realize how much there is to be known. Others think they know it all. It reminds of the proverb “A fool thinks himself to be wise but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
FIBER: Fiber should be of concern to those who are eating diets rich in oil, sugar and dairy or animal food. None of these foods have any fiber. US fiber guidelines are less than half of what an average African native eats and even then 97% Americans fall short. Do not think we Indians get enough fiber simply because we eat daal, roti, rice. Typical Indian gets half of his calories from ghee, oil sugar and dairy, none of which have any fiber.
WATER: Even though water has no calories or micronutrients, it plays a very important role in our daily consumption of nutrients. We will discuss it separately.
Protein Fat & Carbs - What and How much ?
I discussed earlier that there are only three macronutrients that provide calories for energy: Proteins, Fats and Carbs. So the question comes what should be consumed and how much. My purpose in this post is to clarify this confusion.
We have already covered this in detail and established that one only needs 6% of the daily caloric value in protein and considering that all plant based whole foods have proteins so it is not a nutrient of concern. Hopefully you all have seen the Utube video entitled “Dangerous Truth About Protein”. If not you must do it now.
US government had established over 70 years ago, that minimum requirement of protein in our diet is 5-6% (by calories) and recommended daily allowance is 8-10%. We also know that our body can not store protein as such and any access consumed protein burdens our liver and kidney to convert protein into fat and/or Carbohydrates and Uric Acid.
Our body is good at converting all excess calories we consume into Fat. It is a way for body to store energy during periods of fiests so that we would have it available during periods of famine.
There are three types of fats;
Saturated (animal, coconut oil and palm kernel oil),
Mono Unsaturated (nuts, avocados, olive oil and mustard oil) and
Polyunsaturated: Omega-3 found in dark leafy greens, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, mustard seeds and Omega-6 found in most vegetable oils (corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil cotton seed oil etc.).
Our body converts all excess carbs and proteins into fat and stores in fat cells. There are only two fatty acids that our body can not make and they therefore are known as essential fatty acids. These are Omega-3 and Omega-6 and they need to be consumed daily. Besides these there really isn’t any essential fat. Fat is found in all plant based foods. So consumption of 10-15% fat is more than sufficient.
Omega-3/Omega-6 Ratio:
As there are limited sources of Omega-3, human body has preference for it and even if your food has a higher ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 the body absorbs them in required amounts. The problem comes when our food has disproportionately high amounts of omega-6. This happens when we start consuming most vegetable oils with the exception of mustard oil, canola oil and ghee.
In PBWF the consumption of oil is discouraged as it is not whole food; the fiber has been removed. If one is ill with any chronic illness and wants to reverse it then one must follow the recommendations of PBWF to a T and avoid oil altogether. For those who are otherwise healthy (meaning not on any medication) I suggest you can make an exception and consume two teaspoons of oil and/or ghee per day.
To ensure that one is getting enough Omega-3 one must consume five walnuts and one tablespoon of Flaxseed and/or Chiaseed every day.
Carbs: The energy our body needs is for two functions; one to keep our brain and other organs functioning and second for physical activity. Human brain alone, consumes almost half the daily caloric requirement. Brain uses glucose. So you can see that bulk of our caloric requirement has to come from Carbohydrates. All carbs need to be consumed in natural form which is complex carbohydrates. All five categories of food that we need to consume are :
Beans & Daals
Nuts & Seeds
With the exception of nuts and seeds, all these foods are rich in Carbs. The problem comes when we start eating refined foods. Unfortunately the Food Industry that wants you to eat meat, dairy, poultry, fish and eggs have maligned the Carbs and they give examples of sugar, white flour, soft drinks, Canned juices, potato chips, cookies, cakes, bread and all the other processed foods, which shouldn’t be eaten any way. They are not food. They are food like products.
There is lot of money riding on this. Processed food industry along with Meet, Dairy Poultry and Fisheries Industries deliberately confuse you to eat low carbs and more of their products. They fund research that deliberately confuses you. More than 94 percent of research today is funded by food industry. They fund writers to write books or buy the books which serve there interest, making them best sellers. The Grain Brain and Wheat Belly are books that deliberately confuse you. Do not fall into their trap.
Fat Yes but no Oils
This is the hardest guideline for Indians to comply. Practically all Indian recipes begin with pouring oil (ghee is butter oil) in the pot or pan. There seems to be lot of confusion and misunderstanding and misleading articles on social media, google and YouTube. Most of these suffer from the same confusion as I discussed in my earlier post titled “Healthy vs Unhealthy”. Many terms you come across are:
Hydrogenated fats or Trans fats
Saturated fats
Monounsaturated fats
Polyunsaturated fats
The other differentiation is based on the length of the Chain of carbon atoms:
Short chain
Medium chain
Long chain
Extra long chain
As you can see, if we multiply the two types, their can be 16 different types of fats. It is not my intention to discuss these. All I want say is that our body is good at making fat and it convert all extra calories into fat to be stored in fat cells under our skin and around internal organs (known as visceral fat). There are only two fats our body can not make Omega-3 and Omega-6 and that is why they are called essential fats. To make things easy to understand and remember, I want you to learn that there are only four types of fat.
Great fats: Flaxseed, Chiaseed and Walnuts
Good fats: Plant based Whole Foods like avocado and nuts
Bad fats: Animal Food, eggs and Dairy
Killer fats: Trans Fats
Trans fats are the worst kind of fats we can consume. This is when vegetable oil is converted into saturated fat by hydrogenating it. It is also called vegetable shortening and was sold as Dalda in India for many decades beginning in 1937. This product has now been banned in the US and many European countries. It is the worst food product for human health.
It is important to differentiate between fats and oils. Plant based fats in natural form, are embedded in fibers and are healthy for the body. Fats provide energy as they are released from the fibers over time. During this time the body is also spending energy so a balance is maintained without raising the level of triglycerides in the blood. When oil is consumed, it quickly gets absorbed in the blood, increasing its triglycerides level. High triglycerides level causes body to store fat in fat cells. That is why it is said “the fat you eat is the fat you wear”. It really applies to refined fat meaning oil and ghee. Natural fat is found in all plant based foods. Rich sources are nuts and seeds. Avocado is unique in its fat composition as it is 80% fat and therefore very useful for PBWF diet recipes. (You can mix them in dough to make oil free rotis and stuffed parathas). Peanuts and coconuts are also very rich in fat and very healthy; you should use them freely in your cooking but not their oils.
It has lately become fashionable in India to eat olive oil. People ask me about eating olive oil in salads and they talk of extra virgin olive oil. Please note that all olive oils are unhealthy no matter how many virgins are attached to it. Olive oil is not stable at high temperatures so can not be used for Indian cooking. Considering that, if you are a healthy individual, spending your budget of two teaspoons a day (as discussed in my post earlier), why would you want to waste that on salad dressing. The only reason for making an allowance is, so that Indians can at least make some indian style vegetable (subji) dishes.
Another question that often gets asked is “Isn’t it true that we need some fat with green salads to absorb the nutrients well?” The answer is yes you need some fat but no oil. Firstly all greens have some fat in them and secondly you should add avocados, nuts and seeds to your salad and not oil. Even boiled chickpeas can be added as they are rich in fat. They also make good hummus.
If one must use oil, I recommend butter oil (ghee) or mustard oil as they have the best (lowest) ratio of Omega-6 to omega-3. Consumption of omega-6 in disproportionately high amounts is very harmful.
Mustard Oil: US government does not approve of mustard oil as in their opinion, it has not been tested sufficiently on humans. It is a different matter that we Indians have eaten it for thousands of years. There is lot of politics in food. We will cover that in detail separately during week 4. Canola Oil (can in canola stands for Canada) is made from a seed of the same family as mustard. It is highly refined. All oils are unhealthy.
As far as freshly made whole food, nut butter is concerned all are fine; peanut, walnut, pecan, cashew, almond.
How to wean off oil and increase compliance to PBWF ?Here I have listed some practical suggestions.
Use freshly made nut butters and coconut butter (not oil).
Those who have maids at home, who do the cooking, should try mixing some water in their mustard oil and ghee. Tell the maid that this is a special liquid given by the doctor to add to the oil/ghee and the bottle should be mixed thoroughly before taking out oil. She can continue with her recipes but the total oil/ ghee consumption will go down. You can start with 50/50 mixture and later increase the percentage of water.
Other approach is to calculate the total allowance for the month and give only that much oil/ghee on the first of each month and tell her that she must stretch till the end of the month. So for a family of 3 at two teaspoons a day it comes to one oz per day or 30 oz (840 ml) per month.
These approaches have been tried by members in the previous groups successfully.
It is also important that we change our vocabulary and stop thinking in terms of cooking and replace that word with “preparing”. Ask yourself what am I going to prepare tonight instead of cooking.
Why is Oil Bad?
A persistent question, that keeps popping up, is why oil is bad. Specially when I say that fats in natural plant based whole foods are not bad. In my post “Fat: Yes but No Oils”, I covered it only partially. I also realized that most videos on the subject do not make it very simple to understand. Today I will attempt to explain “WHY” part of this puzzle in more detail.
Let me preface it by first repeating what I had mentioned in my very first post. We humans evolved over millions of years consuming what grew around us naturally. As a result our body evolved to digest that food well and absorb it. When we process and refine this natural food it’s composition changes and the body needs to adjust and compensate for it. The manners in which it compensates, lead to other affects which become cause of chronic illnesses. Here are the 10 leading reasons why oil is unhealthy:
Consumption of oil (where fiber, in which it was embedded, has already been removed) increases triglycerides levels quickly in the blood and makes it more viscous. This requires heart to pump harder and increases blood pressure. Higher BP has many negative effects on the body as we have discussed separately. This higher BP is not the same thing as the one caused by atherosclerosis which was discussed in the post on Hypertension (refer post 7.3) This higher BP is only for a few hours while your body is trying to get rid of the triglycerides by putting them into your fat cells. But during those few hrs the high BP is doing its job of harming your kidneys and other harms to capillaries throughout the body like the brain, lungs etc. If you were to just have one oily meal and be done with it, not much harm is done. But if you are having three oily meals a day and snacks in between, and day after day, this harm becomes chronic.
2. Most cooking oils have disproportionately high amounts of omega-6 compared to to omega-3. Omega-6 is inflammatory (omega-3 is anti inflammatory) and bad for cardio vascular system and leads to CVD. This is what we call atherosclerosis. (refer post 7.1)
Oil is bad for blood vessel’s endothelial function. It interferes with the endothelial cell’s (which make the internal lining of the blood vessels) ability to release nitric oxide.
Increases LDLcholesterol level. Your body makes as much cholesterol as it needs. If you are inflaming it more (as in 2 above), it needs to make more; because cholesterol is used to heal the inflammation. Thus a higher level in blood.
Increases insulin resistance by causing intramayocellular lipids, which are deposit of tiny fat cells in muscles. This makes it difficult for insulin to do its job of depositing glucose into muscle cells. As a result more insulin is released by the pancreas to do the same job. This increases the level of insulin in the blood. This is called insulin resistance. This is the precursor to diabetes, also known as pre-pre-diabetes. (Please refer to my post 8.2 Type-2 Diabetes)
Excess of omega-6 fats changes cellular function. Fat becomes more reactive to oxygen, causing oxidative stress. (Please refer to my post 2.28 Antioxidants: Herbs & Spices)
Though in US, FDA has banned all hydrogenated trans fats (also known as vegetable shortening or Dalda) effective June 2018, it may still be sold in other countries including India. Presence of Trans fats in some oils is extremely harmful. (Refer to my post 3.4 GRAS and Crisco)
Saturated fats in oils directly clog arteries and can cause stroke and heart attack in people who are already suffering from Atherosclerosis.
Something about oil damages the epithelial cell (which make the lining of our G-I track wall), which leaves it vulnerable. (Refer to my post 10.10 Leaky Gut Syndrome)
As you can see above, oil increases risk factors for many different diseases besides cardio vascular diseases for which it is widely acknowledged, including diabetes, cancer, stroke, asthma and arthritis.
Anti-Oxidants - Why Do We Need Herbs & Spices
Human body is made up of over 10 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. Some of this waste is collected by the lymphatic fluids in our body which flow through a complex web of vessels kind of like blood vessels. I had discussed this in my post on the importance physical activity.
Some of the waste released by the cells is in the form of unstable atoms and molecules which are formed when they gain or loose electrons. These are called Free Radicals. These are very unstable; typically highly reactive and short-lived. They are capable of damaging the surrounding cells if not removed quickly. The Lymphatic system is not suitable for removal of this kind of waste. To handle this problem body utilizes a mechanism that neutralizes these free radicals right then and there. Certain nutrients in our food have this capability and these are called Antioxidants.
When the cell’s environment, which i