By LeRoy Kopp, owner of New Horizons Healthy Foods
The Bad News
Heart disease is and has been the #1 killer of Americans for over 100 years. At present over 40% of Americans will die prematurely from heart disease.
Type 2 diabetes is a growing problematic health condition. The number of Americans with Type 2 diabetes is soaring and is even beginning to become common in our youth, which is a very scary trend. Type 2 diabetes can lead to a long list of health complications, including increasing your risk for other chronic diseases.
The Good News
Both heart disease and Type 2 diabetes are completely preventable with a whole foods plant based diet along with other positive lifestyle choices like regular exercise and stress management techniques. Both have even been scientifically and clinically proven to be able to be reversed with a whole foods plant based diet.
Heart Disease has many risk factors such as smoking, stress and lack of physical activity. The primary dietary risk factors are excess cholesterol and saturated fat in the diet, which over time help contribute to atherosclerosis of the blood vessels. Yes cholesterol and saturated fat play important roles in the body, but your body has the ability to produce all the saturated fat and cholesterol it needs without the need to consume them through diet.
Type 2 Diabetes also has many risk factors including lack of physical activity and poor dietary choices. Perhaps the most significant dietary links are large amounts of added refined sugars, lots of processed foods, and perhaps even more significantly, too much saturated fat in the diet. In brief, when too much saturated fat is in the blood, insulin cannot effectively transport glucose (sugar) into the muscle cells because the muscle cell insulin receptor sites are gummed up with saturated fat. This leads to prolonged elevated blood sugar levels in the blood, which over time can lead to Type 2 Diabetes. Thus decreasing saturated fat is critical for preventing and reversing Type 2 diabetes.
Foods to Maximize for Prevention of Heart Disease & Type 2 Diabetes
- Fresh Fruit
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Whole Grains
- Some nuts and seeds
Foods to Minimize:
- Animal Products including:
- Processed Foods
- Deep Fried Foods
- Sugary Drinks
- Sugary Foods