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November 12, 2016

The Top Ten Nutrition Resources

by Anne Paddock

Why don’t physicians offer the plant-based nutrition option to their patients?

1. They are not taught nutrition and are unfamiliar with the efficacy of a plant-based approach.
2. They don’t have time for patient nutritional counseling.
3. They often lack the skill set for behavioral modification.
4. Insurance support for counseling is sparse.
5. The status quo offers a handsome income stream.

~Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, MD

Finding “good” nutritional information is difficult primarily because cultural, educational, economic, political, pharmaceutical, medical and food industry influences get in the way of consumers finding this valuable information.

Everyone seems to have a vested stake in something which can be as simple as preserving family traditions to protecting a billion dollar industry. The July 4th barbecue with processed hot dogs, hamburgers, white buns, potato salad held together with mayonnaise and hard-boiled eggs along with bags of chips and soda, and the traditional Thanksgiving table are no match for the studies that show over and over again the terrible effects of the SAD (Standard American Diet).

The power of the agriculture and dairy industries is immense and greatly influences everything from school lunches to what we put in the shopping cart while the pharmaceutical and the medical industry influence how acute and chronic illnesses are treated. Doctors go through medical school with little or no nutrition education so instead of addressing causes of chronic illness, doctors all too often treat symptoms of lifestyle choices, as pointed out above by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, MD.

All of which make it very hard to question everything you’ve been told or learned about nutrition but that’s what you have to do if you want to learn how nutrition affects your health.  You can look around and see the effects of the SAD. Do you know anyone who is overweight or obese? suffering from heart disease? taking a statin for high cholesterol?  taking inhibitors, blockers, or diuretics for high blood pressure? taking medication for Type 2 diabetes? All of these chronic illnesses/diseases or symptoms that lead to illness or disease are greatly influenced by nutrition but most people either don’t know the truth, don’t want to know, or deny the importance of nutrition in their daily lives.

So, who provides good information? The following websites provide nutritional information with backup: primarily peer-reviewed scientific studies. There is a place for pharmaceuticals and surgery in medicine but nutrition has been relegated to the kid’s table for too long. It’s time for nutrition to have a seat with the grown-ups. Check these websites out – most are written by medical doctors who learned about the power of nutrition after years in the medical industry treating very sick people with medication and surgery that couldn’t heal a lifestyle-induced illness.

Nutrition Facts: Founded by Dr. Michael Greger, MD, this site is my number one choice for nutritional information. Short and to the point, Dr. Greger’s posts on this non-profit website provide historical and current scientific study information in an easy to understand way.  www.nutritionfacts.org

Plant-Based Research: This site was founded by Micaela Karlsen, a doctoral fellow in Nutritional Epidemiology at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. The site’s goals are to provide tools and information to give people better access to research information on plant-based nutrition, to connect the public and the academic communities, and to inspire greater interest in studying plant-based nutrition.  www.plantbasedresearch.org

Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine: The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a non-profit research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., which promotes a vegan plant-based diet, preventive medicine, alternatives to animal research, and encourages what it describes as “higher standards of ethics and effectiveness in research” by conducting detailed reviews of the scientific literature, including meta-analyses. Dr. Neal D. Barnard, MD is behind this site and the current President.  www.pcrm.org

Preventative Medicine Research Institute: PMRI is is a non-profit research institute investigating the effects of diet and lifestyle choices on health and disease. Dr. Dean Ornish, MD is the physician behind this site that bases everything on clinical research.  www.pmri.org

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Program: Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, MD (a graduate of Yale and Western Reserve University) and a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic started following a plant-based diet more than 25 years ago after seeing the effects of diet on his patients. He currently directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.  This site focuses primarily on heart disease although other chronic illnesses are also addressed.  www.dresselstyn.com

Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP Health): CHIP is is an affordable, lifestyle enrichment program designed to reduce disease risk factors through the adoption of better health habits and appropriate lifestyle modifications. The goal is to lower blood cholesterol, hypertension, and blood sugar levels and reduce excess weight. This is done by improving dietary choices, enhancing daily exercise, increasing support systems and decreasing stress, thus aiding in preventing and reversing disease. Dr. Hans Diehl, DrHSc, MPH, FACN is the program founder and Clinical Professor of Preventative Medicine at Loma Linda University. www.chiphealth.com

National Institute of Health:  This is referred to as “PubMed” which is short for Publication Medical:  a site that comprises more than 26 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

Dr. T Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies: The T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies (CNS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Ithaca, NY, home of Cornell University. Started in 2007 by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and Megan Murphy, the Center grew out of T. Colin Campbell’s life work in nutritional research and the recognition of The China Study, the 2005 book co-authored with his son Thomas Campbell, MD. Their mission is to promote optimal nutrition through science-based education, advocacy, and research. www.nutritionstudies.org

Forks Over Knives: This website came about with the release of the movie “Forks Over Knives” (available on Netflix).  This website empowers people to live healthier lives by changing the way the world understands nutrition.   www.ForksoverKnives.com

Dr. Fuhrman, MD: Dr. Fuhrman is a family physician, nutrition researcher and New York Times bestselling author who also has a very informative website where readers can learn about the power of nutrition:   www.drfuhrman.com

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