Not that you've ever questioned your vegan diet, right? But if you have, John McDougall, MD, author of The Starch Solution, shares five important reasons to adopt a plant- and starch-based eating plan.
Meet John McDougall, MD
John McDougall, M.D., a strong advocate for a vegan starch-based diet, has been an internist for over 35 years and wrote the first book on plant-based eating. At the McDougall Live-in Program in Santa Rosa, CA, he cares for patients and teaches medical doctors and students to avoid drugs and surgery by using food to cure common disease. He has spoken before Congress, sits on the advisory board of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and was featured in the award-winning documentary Forks Over Knives. For more information, visit www.drmcdougall.com.
5 toxins in animal foods
Dr. McDougall gives the following five toxic reasons to eschew animal proteins.
Excess protein takes its toll, even when we are strong and healthy. On average, we lose a quarters of our overall kidney function over 70 years of life just from consuming a diet high in animal protein. Protein overload also harms the bones, escalading our risk for osteoporosis and kidney stones.
The body stores dietary fat quite effortlessly as body fat. We also store surplus fat in our liver, heart, and muscles. The accumulation of fat in these organs is a hallmark of a condition referred to as insulin resistance, which in turn contributes to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
When we add to our cholesterol load by eating animal foods, the excess accumulates in our skin and tendons, as well as our arteries where it is a major contribute rot vascular diseases of the heart and brain, leading to heart attacks and strokes. Cholesterol also facilitates cancer development.
When we take in the sulfur-containing amino acid methionine by eating animal foods, we metabolize it into another amino acid, homocysteine, which is a known risk factor for heart attack, stroke, arterial diseases of the legs, blood clots in the veins, dementia, Alzheimers' disease, and depression.
Toxin: Dietary acid
Animal foods are load with dietary acids. After we eat them, our bones release the alkaline materials carbonate, citrate, and sodium to neutralize the acids, maintain the body at the precise pH level needed to sustain life. Over time, this process weakens the bones, leading to osteoporosis. Acids from animal foods also raise body levels of the steroid cortisol, triggering bone loss.
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