07 April 2014

Ian Gawler Blog: How long before you are paid to eat vegetables?

Government and Health Insurance funds that pay the public to eat more vegetables are likely to save a fortune! The latest evidence shows that if you eat enough fruit and especially vegetables you dramatically reduce your risk of contracting an expensive and debilitating disease and you are 50% less likely to die early.

This week we find out what is best to eat, as well as examining a collection of the latest research. For those of you who love science like me, research is now confirming what I have been recommending in practice for years and makes offering guidelines for family and friends easier to give confidently. Its here for all. Maybe this is a post to share with those you care about!

So as we follow on from last week’s post that was more specifically focused on cancer prevention, there is also more news of the workshop at Warrnambool coming up Sunday May 4th and the Cancer residential program Ruth and I will present in Auckland May 16 – 23, but first

Thought for the day
Every thing we have, every thing we use,
touch, eat, possess, see, smell,
everything is gifted to us from the Earth.
How long can we keep taking without thought and respect?
It is time to rethink our ways and only take what we need - not what we greed.
Each time you shop whether for food or anything, ask yourself,“Do I really need this?" regardless of fashion or what people think. 

It is time for us to help our Earth Mother not only for the earth
but to ensure there will be enough for the next seven generations.
                                   Anne time – relax; Facebook

How would you like to halve your risk of dying? A recent study conducted over 12 years in England showed that the more vegetables and fruit you eat, the more you cut your risk of dying from all causes, and specifically cancer, heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, stroke and obesity.

Eat just 1 – 3 portions of vegetables and fruit; reduce the risk of dying from all causes by 14%. Sounds helpful. But eat 3 – 5 portions and reduce the risk by 29%. Better. However, eat 7 portions per day and the risk of dying drops 42%. And all that is needed is to eat sensibly!

And yes, there is more! Those who ate the highest amounts of fruit and vegetables in the study, cut their risk of cancer by 25% and heart disease by 31%.

Regularly eating canned and frozen fruit INCREASED the risk of dying by 17%, while drinking fruit juice appeared neutral.

Three things to do
1. Tell your friends. We all have the possibility of being social activists. This may sound a little grandiose, but I think how much I would have liked to know about all this stuff before I developed cancer back in the seventies. So consider sharing this post and maybe last week's one as well.

2. Tell your politicians and health funds. Seriously. Lobby them. I wrote a related blog on “How long before you are paid to meditate” some while back. Clearly our health system is heading for major dysfunction as the chronic degenerative disease spiral out of control.

Prevention is the cure. Surely we are not far away from incentives being provided to encourage more people to make intelligent, healthy choices, to reward those people who are prepared to look after themselves and to penalise/gather funds from those making poor choices. Not the “nanny state”; just inevitably, sooner or later due to common sense and economic forces we will be paid to eat good food and meditate.

3. Start now – it seems the more fruit and vegetables you eat, and the less meat and dairy, the more likely you and those you love are likely to enjoy good health and a long life.

If you are new to this, try meat free days more often. Buy a vegetarian cookbook - Eat Well, Be Well  is excellent. Consider starting a vegetable garden. Learn to enjoy eating lots of vegetables and fruit.

Personally, I love all things fruit and vegetable, but remember, whatever you do often enough you get used to and you can enjoy! Bring on the brussels sprouts!

4. Not convinced yet? Read some of the recent, related research:

Animal products linked to cancer – just as much as tobacco ! (see the recent post, Eating meat or smoking? Which is worse for your health?)
This vast study examined 21 different cancers in 157 countries and found that consumption of meat and other animal products is strongly linked to several types of cancer. In fact, it claimed the association between animal product consumption and the risk of developing cancer was as strong as that linking tobacco and cancer.

Possible mechanisms for risk include the way animal products promote growth and their high iron and fat content. The author notes that animal product consumption has been recognized as a cancer risk for more than a century.

Grant W. A multi-country ecological study of cancer incidence rates in 2008 with respect to various risk-modifying factors. Nutrients. 2014;6:163-189.

Red and Processed Meat Endangers Health
Red and processed meat products increase women’s disease risk, according to a recent Harvard study. As total red meat consumption increased, C-reactive protein (a biomarker of infections and diseases including heart disease and cancer), haemoglobin A1c (an indicator of diabetes risk), and stored iron (a mineral which in excess is associated with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes) also increased.

Weight and calorie intake also increased with increased intake of red and processed meat products.

Ley SH, Sun Q, Willett WC, et al. Associations between red meat intake and biomarkers of inflammation and glucose metabolism in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;99:352-360.

Animal based diet linked to bacteria that causes inflammatory bowel disease
In this small Harvard study, people on an animal-based diet had an eight-fold increase in the gut population of a bacterium that may cause inflammatory bowel disease, Bilophila wadsworthia. Growth of this bacterium may be stimulated by the digestion of dairy products.

In addition, gut concentrations of a compound linked to liver cancer, deoxycholic acid, rose in the animal-based diet group. The authors note that diet may contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel disease via changes in gut microbes.

David LA, Maurice CF, Carmody RN, et al. Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome. Nature. 2013;505:559-563.

Vegans have lower cholesterol and less risk of heart disease
From Europe this time - those who consume vegan diets have better cholesterol levels than people who eat meat, fish, dairy, and/or egg products. They also consumed the most fiber, the least total fat and saturated fat, and had the healthiest body weight and cholesterol levels, of all the diet groups.

A previous analysis from the same study (EPIC) found that vegan and vegetarian groups had a 32 percent lower risk of hospitalization or death from heart disease.

For more information on diet and cholesterol, visit PCRM.org/Cholesterol.

Bradbury KE, Crowe FL, Appleby PN, Schmidt JA, Travis RC, Key, TJ. Serum concentrations of cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-I and apolipoprotein B in a total of 1694 meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014;68:178-183.

Vegetarians have less diabetes
Now we go off to Taiwan where Buddhist women and men who avoided all meat products were approximately 33% and 50% respectively less likely to develop diabetes.
The lead author notes that those in this study classified as “omnivorous” still consumed a predominantly plant-based diet with little meat and fish, suggesting that even modest animal consumption can increase the risk for diabetes.

Chiu THT, Huang HY, Chiu YF, et al. Taiwanese vegetarians and omnivores: dietary composition, prevalence of diabetes and IFG. PLOS One. Published online February 11, 2014.

Vegetarians have lower blood pressure
Finally, America and another meta-analysis, this one including Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine president Dr Neil Barnard that examined 39 studies and showed those who follow a vegetarian diet when compared with omnivorous diets (including meat, dairy etc) have a systolic blood pressure about 7 mm Hg lower and diastolic blood pressure 5 mm Hg lower than those who eat meat.

This review is consistent with other studies and stresses the significance of a dietary approach to preventing and reducing the risk for hypertension.

Yokoyama Y, Nishimura K, Barnard ND, et al. Vegetarian diets and blood pressure: a meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 24, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.14547
Direct link

Books: You Can Conquer Cancer -  There is so much about prevention in this book. I would love it if more people who were well were to read it.

Eat Well, Be Well – the excellent vegetarian recipe book from the staff at the Gawler Foundation – highly recommended!

CD:  Mind Training – How the mind works and how we can use it to best advantage – including developing healthy habits

How long before you are paid to meditate

Cancer prevention – it’s all in the mind - and the booze and the shopping!


Having been kindly invited to speak 

in Warrnambool in a few weeks time

Warrnambool:  Sunday May 4th, 2014

The heart and science of 

Health, Healing and the Mind


A day where we get to share all the best I have learnt over the last 30 years!

Dissolve every day stresses; experience mindfulness, relax effortlessly, meditate profoundly
Discover the practical, life changing implications of neuroplasticity, epigenetics and telomere        research
Clarify your questions; be confident of eating well and living well – and enjoying it!

Ideal for people interested in evidence based health and wellbeing, disease prevention and management, for health professionals and for those seeking profound healing

Date:         Sunday May 4th, 2014 : 10am (arrive 9.30) to 4pm

Venue:      St Brigid's Community Center, 186 Port Fairy - Koroit Rd, Crossley 3283

Cost:         $130, conc $90 includes morning tea.  Please bring lunch to share.

Enquiries: Integrative Health Services - Rosemary Gleeson : 0447 6177 68
                    or email rosemarygleeson@ymail.com

Bookings: Online CLICK HERE    Telephone with Visa, Mastercard : call Angela on (03) 5966 6130

Cancer, Healing and Wellbeing  AUCKLAND, NZ.  May 16 - 23 , 2014

This 8 day cancer recovery program residential program is evidence based and will be highly experiential. We will cover the full range of Integrative Medicine options, with the emphasis on what people can do for themselves – therapeutic nutrition, exercise and meditation, emotional health, positive psychology, pain management, the search for meaning and so on.

I will personally present the majority of the content but along with Ruth, participants will have the additional support and experience of Liz Maluschnig and Stew Burt; two very experienced and committed New Zealanders.

For details on this and the other cancer related residential programs for 2014 CLICK HERE

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