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  • It all started with my grandma.

  • I was just a kid when the doctors sent my grandma home in a wheelchair to die.

  • Diagnosed with end-stage heart disease, she had already had so many bypass operations

  • that the surgeons essentially ran out of plumbing.

  • Confined to a wheelchair,

  • crushing chest pain, her doctors told her there was nothing else they could do.

  • Her life was over at age sixty-five.

  • But then she heard about Nathan Pritikin, one of our early lifestyle medicine pioneers,

  • and what happened next was documented in Pritikin's biography.

  • It talks about Frances Greger, my grandma.

  • It was a live-in program where everyone was placed on a plant-based diet and then started

  • on a graded exercise regimen.

  • They wheeled her in, and she walked out.

  • Within a few weeks she was walking 10 miles a day and went on to live another 31 years

  • until age 96 to continue to enjoy her six grandchildren, including me.

  • Her miraculous recovery not only inspired one of those grandkids to pursue a career

  • in medicine, but granted her enough healthy years to see him graduate from medical school,

  • so it's really all thanks to her.

  • During medical training I was shocked to find out that this whole body of evidence on reversing

  • chronic disease with lifestyle changes, opening up arteries without drugs, without surgerywas

  • being largely ignored by mainstream medicine.

  • Wait a second, if effectively the cure to our #1 killer could get lost down some rabbit hole and ignored,

  • what else might there be buried in the medical literature that could help my patients?

  • I made it my life's mission to find out.

  • That's what led me to start NutritionFacts.org and that's what led me to write the book "How Not to Die."

  • Surveys show people wildly overestimate the power of pills and procedures to keep them healthy.

  • For example, patients believe cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are about twenty times more effective

  • than they actually are in preventing heart attacks.

  • No wonder most people continue to rely on drugs to save them.

  • But our leading killers aren't caused by drug deficiencies.

  • The dirty little secret is that most people surveyed said they wouldn't be willing to

  • take many of these drugs if they knew how little benefit these products actually offered.

  • Whereas cleaning up our diets is not only safer and cheaper

  • but can be more effective in preventing, arresting, and reversing some of our leading causes of death,

  • because you're treating the actual cause of the disease.

  • Each year, the CDC compiles the 15 leading causes of death and so I have a chapter on

  • each: How not to die from heart disease, how not to die from lung disease, how not to die from brain diseases,

  • digestive cancers, infections, diabetes, high blood pressure, liver diseases,

  • blood cancers, kidney disease, breast cancer, suicidal depression, prostate cancer Parkinson’s

  • disease and how not to die from so-called iatrogenic causes, which is essentially death by doctor.

  • That's the first half of the book and the good news is that we have tremendous power

  • over our health destiny and longevitythe vast majority of premature death and disability

  • is preventable with a plant-based diet and other healthy lifestyle behaviors.

  • I didn't want to just write a reference book, though.

  • Yes, there's thousands of citations to peer-reviewed scientific papers,

  • but I also wanted it to be a practical guide on translating this mountain of evidence into day-to-day decisions, and

  • so that's what became the second half of the book.

  • First, I start out with a Traffic Light system to classify everything into red light, yellow light, and green light foods.

  • Though there are exceptions that I talk about, the best available balance of evidence suggests

  • the healthiest diet is one that minimizes the intake of meat, eggs, dairy, and processed

  • junk, and maximizes the intake of fruits, vegetables, beans (split peas, chickpeas and

  • lentils), whole grains, nuts and seeds, mushrooms, herbs and spices.

  • Basically, real food that grows out of the ground.

  • Those are our healthiest choices.

  • Some foods, though, have particular medicinal qualities and so I then center my recommendations

  • around a Daily Dozen checklist of all the things I try to fit into my daily routine.

  • So for example, I recommend a quarter teaspoon of the spice turmeric a day, a tablespoon

  • of ground flax seeds, berries every day, greens every day,

  • I talk about the healthiest beverages, the healthiest sweeteners, how much exercise to get.

  • The whole Daily Dozen list with recommended serving sizes is available as free apps for

  • both Android and iPhone, just search for Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen.

  • There is only one diet that's ever been proven to reverse heart disease in the majority

  • of patients, this plant-based diet.

  • If that's all a plant-based diet could doreverse the #1 killer of men and women,

  • then shouldn't that be the default diet until proven otherwise?

  • And the fact that it can also be effective in treating, arresting, and reversing other

  • leading killers like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, would seem to make the case

  • for plant-based eating simply overwhelming.

  • Most deaths in the United States are preventable and related to nutrition.

  • According to the most rigorous analysis of risk factors ever publishedthe Global Burden

  • of Disease study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,

  • the #1 cause of death in the United States is our diet.

  • The #1 cause of disability is our diet, which has now bumped tobacco smoking to #2.

  • Smoking now only kills about a half million Americans every year, whereas diet kills hundreds of thousands more.

  • So obviously, nutrition is the #1 thing taught in medical school, right?

  • The #1 thing your doctor talks to you about at every visit, right?

  • How could there be such a disconnect between the science, and the practice of medicine.

  • Doctors, have a severe nutrition deficiencyin education.

  • Most doctors are just never taught about the impact healthy nutrition can have on the course of

  • illness and so they graduate without this powerful tool in their medical toolbox.

  • There are also institutional barriers, such as time constraints and lack of reimbursement.

  • In general, doctors aren't paid for counseling people on how to take care of themselves.

  • Of course the drug companies also play a role in influencing medical education and practice.

  • Ask your doctor when's the last time they were taken out to dinner by Big Broccoli.

  • It's probably been awhile.

  • It's like smoking in the 50s.

  • We already had decades of science linking smoking with lung cancer, but it was largely ignored

  • because smoking was normal.

  • Most doctors smoked.

  • The average per capita cigarette consumption was 4,000 cigarettes a year,

  • meaning the average American smoked a half pack a day.

  • The American Medical Association was reassuring everyone that smokingin moderationwas just fine.

  • There was this same disconnect between the science, and public policy.

  • It took more than 25 years and 7,000 studies before the first Surgeon General report against

  • smoking came out in the 60's.

  • You'd think maybe after the first 6,000 studies they could have given people a heads up or something?

  • It was a powerful industry.

  • And today's meat, sugar, dairy, salt, egg, and processed food industries are using the same tobacco industry tactics

  • to try to twist the science and confuse the public.

  • Until the system changes, we have to take personal responsibility for our own health, for our family's health.

  • We can't wait until society catches up to the science again, because it's a matter of life and death.

It all started with my grandma.

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HOW NOT TO DIE BY MICHAEL GREGER, M.D. - ANIMATED SUMMARY

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    kelven posted on 2017/08/30
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