Living a compassionate life begins by taking compassionate, loving care of your health and your self. This is the 2nd Compassion enabling each us to achieve The Great Healing – for ourselves and for our planet. This weekly 9-part series excerpts and adapts Chapter 2 of the new book, The Great Healing – Five Compassions That Can Save Our World.
The nutritional advice provided by Joel Fuhrman, M.D., in this section is an original essay he wrote as a contributor to The Great Healing. He has written six New York Times bestsellers including Eat To Live, Super Immunity, and The End of Diabetes.
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Doctors are very well trained to treat the symptoms of disease — but not the cause.
Diabetes is preventable. It is also reversible.
Doctors are taught to manage diabetes. Insulin is a hormone and as I’ve mentioned, insulin resistance is the base cause of type 2 diabetes. All of its symptoms are related to elevated blood sugar. Using insulin and other drugs, doctors can manage patient’s blood sugar levels, yet these drugs do not eliminate the sugar, they just shift it into the organs and muscles of the body. Therefore, while their patient’s blood sugar levels seem to be under control, their diabetes is actually progressing.
Jason Fung, M.D., is a nephrologist who specializes in kidney disease. He has witnessed the tragic failure of this standard approach of managing diabetes. In his book, The Obesity Code, he is candid, and he is certain: “I can make you fat. Actually, I can make anybody fat. How? By prescribing insulin. It won’t matter that you have willpower or that you exercise. It won’t matter what you choose to eat. You will get fat. It’s simply a matter of enough insulin and enough time… At the very beginning of obesity, a person will manifest little insulin resistance, but it develops over time… Persistent high insulin levels lead gradually and eventually to insulin resistance… Excessively high insulin resistance is the disease known as type 2 diabetes… That high insulin levels cause both obesity and type 2 diabetes has profound implications. The treatment for both is to lower insulin levels, yet current treatments focus on increasing insulin levels, which is exactly wrong.”[i] In the compelling 9-part documentary series, iThrive! Rising From the Depths of Diabetes & Obesity, Joseph M. Mercola, D.O., concurs, stating with regard to people in the early stages of type 2 diabetes, “If you are a type 2 diabetic, and 95% of diabetics are, and you are prescribed insulin, you are absolutely, unequivocally accelerating your path to death… When you give someone insulin you only make insulin resistance worse. It’s the worst thing you can do.”[ii]
This epidemic of premature death, disease, and misery — all of this loss of life expectancy, of human potential, of quality of life while suffering through and enduring worsening diabetes — is avoidable. 80% of our health care spending goes toward chronic diseases that are not only reversible but preventable.[iii]
But doctors are inadequately taught how to cure diabetes by addressing its cause, and no less importantly, how to advise patients, including children and their parents, on how best to avoid becoming diabetic when, like Brady, their physicals and blood panels indicate they are heading in that direction.
Doctors do not receive proper nutrition training. 105 medical schools were surveyed across the United States in 2010 to quantify the number of required hours of nutrition education for each medical student. It found that only 25% of the institutions even had a required nutrition course. Medical students received, overall, just 19.6 hours of nutrition instruction during the entire multi-year span of their medical school careers. The report came to this obvious conclusion: “The amount of nutrition education that medical students receive continues to be inadequate.”[iv]
Dr. Hyman has an apt analogy for this: “Disregarding the underlying causes and treating only risk factors is somewhat like mopping up the floor around an overflowing sink instead of turning off the faucet.”[v]
Dr. Fuhrman is candid in his assessment: “A serious problem in our country — and in the modern world generally — is the lack of acceptance that chronic, dietary-induced diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and dementia are almost totally preventable through proper nutrition. Our economy is being weighed down by an expensive and largely ineffective medical system — a system that relies on expensive tests, treatments, and last-minute heroics to combat the effects of a nation poisoning itself with a rich, disease-causing diet.”[vi]
Once Brady is residing in the city named Type 2 Diabetes, and has a doctor who is convinced that managing his blood sugar levels is the best way to mitigate his dis-ease, Brady will embark on a lifelong, very costly path of increasing drug use which will succeed, not in healing him, but in undermining his quality of life as it reduces his life expectancy.
I sense a villain afoot.
Dr. Fuhrman does as well.
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Excellent health and ideal weight are not the results of genetics or luck. The reality is that our dietary choices directly affect our health.
Joel Fuhrman, M.D.,[vii] is a board-certified family physician with over 25 years of experience practicing nutritional medicine. Six of his books are New York Times bestsellers. His eating plan incorporates the latest advances in nutritional science. It is designed to empower you to reach your ideal weight and best enable you to avoid or reverse chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, migraines and even some early-stage cancers.
Dr. Fuhrman coined the term “Nutritarian” to describe an eating plan that is nutrient-dense, plant-rich, and includes anti-cancer superfoods, which also facilitate weight loss. These foods supply both the right amounts of macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) and the vital micronutrients (vitamins, phytochemicals, and minerals) that unleash the body’s incredible power to heal itself and slow the aging process, giving the body renewed vitality.
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Advances in Nutritional Science Save Lives
by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
In spite of lip-service to eating and living healthfully, the facts are that physicians in America today are part of the problem, not the solution. We are a nation eating ourselves to a premature death with lots of needless suffering before we die. Headaches, body aches, mood disorders, fatigue, asthma, hundreds of different autoimmune diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and atherosclerosis plague our modern population; and the answer of the medical profession is more prescription drugs. Our population is ubiquitously deficient in antioxidants and phytonutrients from the lack of vegetables in their diet and they continue eating foods with sweetening agents, white flour, oil, salt and way too many animal products.
We are a green vegetable dependent primate whose immune system is dependent on green and other colored vegetables for normalcy.
While the public clamors for better and less expensive access to medical care and drugs, we must be aware that medications are synthetic chemicals that increase cancer rates and do not and cannot remove the cause of the problem; they just cover up the symptoms while the underlying disease process from eating the wrong foods continues to fester and advance. The public is still not aware that proper nutrition does not just prevent disease; it is therapeutically more effective to reverse disease, because it addresses causation — that is why the problem developed in the first place. If you are overweight or have a medical problem, you should consider eating sufficiently healthfully to get rid of it and not take drugs to control it while you stay sick the rest of your life. Prescription drugs can confound and magnify the problem and themselves be a leading cause of cancer and premature death.
Every person should be aware that advances in nutritional science presently enable over 90 percent of our population to avoid cancer and heart disease. We can age slower, live longer, and live healthier if we adopt a Nutritarian diet-style — a diet style with a robust exposure to high nutrient plants with documented efficacy to prevent cancer. And, when you regularly consume these nutrient-rich, anti-cancer foods, you lose weight easily, drop to a favorable weight, and your heart disease and type 2 diabetes resolve. In other words, food is your best medicine, and the same foods — G-BOMBS — are the foods most protective against all common diseases.
G cruciferous greens
B beans or legumes
O onions and scallions
Each one of these foods is dramatically protective against cancer by itself, but when you put them together in a dietary portfolio that includes them all — the magic happens. In other words, our body does not create disease when we feed it optimally. Our genetic and epigenetic weaknesses become suppressed, repaired, or controlled by optimal nutrition. For example, we may have a genetic weakness to get lung cancer — but that will not matter if you don’t smoke cigarettes. You may have a higher genetic risk of developing high blood pressure or diabetes, but they will not happen if you eat right, avoid salt, and stay slim.
The thousands of people who have reversed their serious chronic illnesses and the medical research published to support this eating style are overwhelming. These people found as their health improved, their mood improved, and even their ability to be creative and think clearly was heightened, and their taste and smell also improved so the food actually tastes better. They learned to really enjoy the recipes and flavors of this new style of eating. The Nutritarian Eating Plan[viii] uses no gimmicks or fads. There’s no yo-yo dieting. You’ll achieve your ideal weight while maintaining excellent muscle and bone mass for the rest of your life. Following it will pay incredible dividends in your life and in the lives of those you love. In short, the Nutritarian Eating Plan can help you achieve optimal health and longevity.
I hope you learn about and embrace a new way of eating with more high nutrient plant foods and you avoid the commercialized, disease-causing “Frankenfoods” that most of our population eats so much of. Your health is truly in your hands as nutritional excellence can give you the power to control your health destiny and live disease-free and robust to approximately 100 years old.
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“The ambitious book’s five chapters highlight compassionate approaches toward animals, self, the land, community, and democracy. Erickson’s writing displays passion, clarity, and a grasp of every topic he tackles.”
— Kirkus Reviews
The section above written by Joel Fuhrman MD is an original essay he wrote as a contributor to The Great Healing.
[i] Jason Fung, M.D. The Obesity Code, British Columbia, Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2016 pg. 78
[ii] Joseph Mercola, D.O., as stated in iThrive! Rising From the Depths of Diabetes & Obesity, 9 part documentary series, Executive Producers:Jonathan Hunsaker, Jonathan McMahon, Michael Skye, 2017, iThrive Publishing LLC, https://go.ithriveseries.com/
[iii] Mark Hyman, M.D. Food – What the Heck Should I Eat?, New York, New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2018
[iv] Adams KM, Kohlmeier M, Zeisel SH, Nutrition Education in U.S. Medical Schools: Latest Update of a National Survey, Academic Medicine – Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, Sep., 2010 Acad Med. 2010 Sep;85(9):1537-42. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181eab71b. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20736683
[v] Mark Hyman, M.D. Eat Fat, Get Thin, New York, New York: Little, Brown and Co., Hachette Book Group, 2016 pg. 111
[vi] Joel Fuhrman, M.D. Fast Food Genocide, New York, New York: Harper Collins, 2017 pg. 77.