While eating my essential Sailors Daily Oatmeal yesterday, I watched weatherman Al Roker on the Today Show interviewing Dr. Roshini Raj, a contributing medical editor of Health Magazine. He led off by saying:
“According to the American Heart Association, 80% of heart disease is preventable.”
Well, it’s not going to happen by following the lame advice that was handed out on this program. While there was some good advice about more exercise, fruits, veggies, & grains along with not smoking; once again confusion beat clarity by a score of about 49 to 7. (Go Pats)
They organized the discussion by age group; providing tailored advice for people in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Of course, it was all pretty much the same advice for each group—except the older groups were encouraged to see their doctor more often, watch those risk factors and take a lot more tests.
What about food? When Al asked her the direct question about how can we make sure we’re eating healthy enough to prevent heart disease, the very first word out of her mouth was FISH. “Think fish, lean cuts of meat, and chicken without the skin.”
She then sandwiched an emphasis on fruits and vegetables between her opening with all of the healthy “protein” and the importance of dairy and getting all of that essential calcium.
So, how much heart disease do you think was prevented during this Today Show segment? My guess is zero. Here’s why:
- The whole thing was confusing with different sets of instructions for each age group.
- The dietary advice was extremely weak, with two out of three of her recommendations missing the mark—and recommending the very foods (meat and dairy) that cause heart disease in the first place.
- Most of the discussion was focused on seeing your doctor, managing those risk factors, and having a host of tests done every few years.
All of these “system” generated shows are the same. They all imply that if you don’t have any risk factors that you can simply eat what you want as long as you see your doctor periodically to make sure you haven’t developed any risk factors since the last visit. Just think how many lives could be saved if this program had consisted of nothing but Dr. Raj writing this simple message on the blackboard forty times:
1. Along with regular exercise, focus every day on maximizing the percentage (at least 50% or more) of your calories from whole, plant-based foods, still in nature’s package.
2. Along with regular exercise, focus every day on maximizing the percentage (at least 50% or more) of your calories from whole, plant-based foods, still in nature’s package.
40. Along with regular exercise, focus every day on maximizing the percentage (at least 50% or more) of your calories from whole, plant-based foods, still in nature’s package.
Clarity and Repetition; that’s all we need to change the world!
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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