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Friday, February 17, 2006

Ornish Challenged To Acknowledge Other 'Healthy' Diets Besides Low-Fat

I got an e-mail response today about my blog post regarding an article written by low-fat diet advocate Dr. Dean Ornish in Newsweek this week. It was sent by one of Ornish's lackeys at the Preventative Medicine Research Institute and it was about as original as a dollar bill!

The response came from a woman named Donna J. Platt who, according to this staff directory, handles any questions about "lifestyle interventions and current studies" on the low-fat diet. Unfortunately, Platt's robotic response fails to address ANY of my concerns about the overriding low-fat philosophy that Ornish STILL solely supports despite the overwhelming evidence that clearly shows his ideas are ancient history and are a dismal and utter failure!

Nevertheless, Platt tried to convince me otherwise with THIS incredulous e-mail response today:

Dear Jimmy:

Thank you for contacting Dr. Dean Ornish and the Preventive Medicine Research Institute. Being a non-profit research institute, we are unable to provide specific medical advice. We also recommend seeking advice from your personal physician or nutritionist before making any lifestyle modifications. Nor can we absolutely guarantee everyone will experience the same results. However, Dr. Ornish has successfully proven that modifying one's diet and lifestyle to include healthier choices may not only help reduce the risk of heart disease, but in many cases reverse it. His studies have now expanded to include certain types of cancers.

Suggested reading includes: Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease; Eat More, Weigh Less; Everyday Cooking with Dr. Dean Ornish; and Love and Survival. An updated edition of Reversing Heart Disease is due out later this year.

Following is a list of websites which will provide additional information: www.pmri.org (includes hospital sites, and current nutritional guidelines) and www.ornish.com (Dr. Ornish's portion of WebMD). Additional relaxation related materials can be found at www.abundantwellbeing.com. Unfortunately, we are no longer offering short-term retreats.

Prostate related sites are: www.capcure.org and www.prostateforum.com. We suggest reading the book Prostate Cancer Protection Plan, by Bob Arnot. Results of our prostate cancer study were recently published in the Journal of Urology in an article entitled "Intensive Lifestyle Changes May Affect the Progression of Prostate Cancer", Vol. 174, Sept. 2005. We have not as yet released the specifics of the diet itself, but the basis for this study was modeled after the strictest recommendations in Reversing Heart Disease taken even one step further -- it is a vegan diet (no animal products whatsoever), with added soy intake.

Additionally, our office has a list of physicians who have expressed support of Dr. Ornish's lifestyle recommendations, as well as groups that might be able to provide you with some encouragement and guidance. If you would like that information, please call (800) 775-7674, M-F, 9-5, PDT, ext. 224.

We wish you much success as you continue your journey towards a more healthful way of living! I am glad you found something that works for you. Not everything works for absolutely everybody!

Sincerely,

Donna J. Platt
Preventive Medicine Research Institute


Rah rah, yippeyayaeeee, yippeyayaooooo! Isn't everything just so great in low-fat land?! Sheez, could Platt be any more sappy in her response?!?!?! Why do I CARE about all those "resources" she lists (unsolicited, by the way!) when NONE of them even acknowledges the healthy benefits of a controlled-carb lifestyle? NOT A SINGLE ONE!

Instead, it's just more of the same old low-fat propaganda we've been fed for years. But those walls have now come tumbling down after the release of last week's 8-year study about low-fat diets and despite the "list of physicians who have expressed support" for it and Dr. Ornish.

But the reality is that low-fat's a goner as a lifestyle because NOBODY (and I mean nobody!) can possibly eat a low-fat diet for the rest of their life and remain sane. If you can, then MORE POWER TO YA! But to what end since studies have shown there is NO BENEFIT to eating that way either from a weight management or disease prevention standpoint.

However, a lot of people fail in their dieting attempts because they can't handle eating in an abnormal way, such as a low-fat diet. That's why low-carb is appealing to more and more people and, as most of you know, it singlehandedly saved my life. My life so radically changed for the better since I started livin' la vida low-carb two years ago and I will never be the same again.

Let's get one thing straight. I have never claimed that "everything works for absolutely everybody" as Platt so smugly puts at the end of her e-mail, but I have stated over and over again that the LOW-FAT LIE has unfortunately monopolized the health recommendations for far too long. Perhaps Platt can put some actions behind those words to prove she's serious.

Since Platt seems to agree with me that there are other healthy ways to eat healthy and lose weight, how about we encourage her and the Preventative Medicine Research Institute led by Dr. Ornish to lead the way in sharing MANY different ways for people to achieve better health?

Low-fat, low-calorie, and YES, even low-carb should be included on that list! If there's such a unanimous consensus that there are MANY ways to lose weight and improve health, then why would Platt and Dr. Ornish disagree with spreading this message so openly and freely?

Let's tell Donna J. Platt and Dr. Dean Ornish know how much we support their efforts in spreading information about VARIOUS kinds of nutritional approaches available and urge them to immediately begin posting that information on their web site as a true sign of their commitment to the health and well-being of the general public.

Send your e-mails to info@pmri.org. LET THEM HEAR FROM YOU TODAY!!!

If they are being forthcoming in their desire to share a muliplicity of approaches for weight loss and improved health, then now is the time for them to step up to the plate and put their words into action.

Are Platt and Dr. Ornish up for this challenge?

1 Comments:

Blogger vegtampabay said...

I did the low carb, vegan diet of my own making and it worked beautifully. Nuts, high fiber grains (like hemp bread), tempeh, nearly all mock meats (very low carb), lots of veggies, earth balance butter, and that kind of thing. I lost 27 lbs. in a couple months. One of the things with all low fat, or all low carb, is that there is no balance, but you can have fat (flax seeds have good fat), and you can have whole foods, and green veggies, and fruit in the morning, have a mixture of both basically. Now, I haven't gained anything back, but I'm into vegan baking, so I haven't lost anymore weight either. But it's been fun!! I'm back on my system and doing more walking (I'm a computer geek, so lack of movement gets me).

Once you learn about what is in meat (carbon monoxide, arsenic in chicken, mercury in fish, etc.), I would suggest, as the Sierra club advises as well, to buy organic, family farmed meat, and not factory farmed meat. It's good to support small farmers and more sustainable practices.

I'm a full blown vegan now, but, just like religion, it's not possible to force another view on someone. But I do believe there can be more mindfulness as far as farming practices go. Factory farming is nasty to the animals, the earth, and to humans.

"[T]he costs of mass-producing cattle, poultry, pigs, sheep and fish to feed our growing population…include hugely inefficient use of freshwater and land, heavy pollution from livestock feces, rising rates of heart disease and other degenerative illnesses, and spreading destruction of the forests on which much of our planet's life depends."
— TIME Magazine
Visions of the 21st Century, “Will We Still Eat Meat?”

3/01/2006 2:39 PM  

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