Came up with that tagline while watching college football this weekend.
In an earlier post, I commented about how we humans tend to focus on the “trivial many” instead of the “vital few.” And I was guilty this weekend as I took time out to play golf in Vermont and watch my Auburn Tigers on ESPN.
Earlier in the week, I managed to waste even more time as I familiarized myself with ESPN’s brand new SEC Network cable channel.
But now it’s past Labor Day and time to get down to the business of relentlessly addressing the “vital few” that affect our own health AND, more importantly, the health of the ecosystem that sustains us. More importantly? Yes, without a healthy ecosystem, what difference will it make how healthy we are when we all run out of food and water?
As for saving the planet’s ecosystem, things continue to get more difficult. Just this week a new study was reported by the New York Times on 9-1-14. Entitled A Call for a Low-Carb Diet, (see link below), it led off thusly:
People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study shows.
Who paid for it? The new study was financed by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It included a racially diverse group of 150 men and women — a rarity in clinical nutrition studies — who were assigned to follow diets for one year that limited either the amount of carbs or fat that they could eat, but not overall calories.
Misleading and Misinformation. Just another example of a lack of clarity in reporting. First of all, the pictures in the article implied that it was healthier to eat sirloin than Swiss Chard. Secondly, none of these studies ever test a genuine health-promoting diet—one where the majority of calories come from whole, plant-based foods and containing less than 20% fat.
I would bet that the average person in the “low fat” group was deriving over 30% of their calories from fat and scored no higher than 1Leaf on our 4Leaf Survey. NOT a health-promoting diet.
And what about the health of the planet? Our tax dollars at the NIH are helping to convince people to eat more meat, dairy, eggs and fish—even though it’s grossly unsustainable—comprised of the very products that are the leading cause of global warming, water scarcity, deforestation and species extinction.
The Bottom Line. What if the animal-rich, low-carb diet was indeed the healthiest diet for humans? It really doesn’t matter, because it’s grossly unsustainable for very much longer. Thankfully, we know what is truly the healthiest for humans and, conveniently, it’s also the healthiest diet for the planet—mostly whole plants.
As for ESPN, now while watching football, I am also thinking about ways to spread that good news around the world in time. Think of it this way, “If I hadn’t watched football this weekend, you wouldn’t be reading this blog now.” Maybe we can get ESPN (The Worldwide Leader in Sports) to add a second tagline for the good of the planet—Essential Saving of the Planet NOW!
- 9-1-14 New York Times. A Call for a Low-Carb Diet
- My 8-28-14 blog. Urgent need for leaders to REALLY promote sustainability
- My “vital few” blog on 8-25-14. Ice Buckets, E-Cigs, & the lack of focus on the “vital few”
- Last year, when Dr. Campbell debated Dr. Eric Westman of Duke on this very same topic, I posted a post entitled: Do you breathe air, drink water and have sex? In it, I covered all of the “big picture” reasons why we should be eating mostly whole plants instead of mostly animal-based foods.
The following five books and one DVD can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.
Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
- What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
- A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
- Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unaware, by Richard Oppenlander.
Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.
Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
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To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf page and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen. Got a question? Let me hear from you at email@example.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.
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As rightly noted by Jim, a <30% fat diet is NOT a low-fat diet. So what happens when such a diet is compared to a true low-fat diet (i.e. a low-fat whole-food plant-based diet)? Consider “A low-fat vegan diet and a conventional diabetes diet in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled, 74-wk clinical trial”, http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/5/1588S.long.
“The conventional diet (15–20% protein, <7% saturated fat, 60–70% carbohydrate and monounsaturated fats; cholesterol ≤200 mg/d) . . . following 2003 ADA [American Diabetes Association] guidelines.” “The prescribed vegan diet (≈10% of energy from fat, 15% protein, 75% carbohydrate) consisted of vegetables, fruit, grains, and legumes.”
Conclusion: “Both diets were associated with sustained reductions in weight and plasma lipid concentrations. In an analysis controlling for medication changes, a low-fat vegan diet appeared to improve glycemia and plasma lipids more than did conventional diabetes diet recommendations.”
Table 4 in the paper showed that the differences in HbA1C, total cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol reached statistical significance, and all these showed that the low-fat vegan diet did better than the ACA diet.
Low-Carb Diets are Harmful. Consider this study from Sweden, from a 2012 article in BMJ: http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e4026
“Low carbohydrate-high protein diet and incidence of cardiovascular diseases in Swedish women: prospective cohort study”
43,396 women, aged 30-49 years at baseline followed for about 15 years.
“Low carbohydrate-high protein diets, used on a regular basis and without consideration of the nature of carbohydrates or the source of proteins, are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.”