- Principle #1 Nutrition represents the combined activities of the countless of food substances. The chemicals we get from the foods we eat are engaged in a series of reactions that work in concert to produce good health. These chemicals are carefully orchestrated by intricate controls within our cells and all through our bodies and these controls decide what nutrient goes where, how much of each nutrient is needed and when each reaction takes place.Our bodies have learned how to benefit from the chemicals in food as they are packaged together, discarding some and using others as they see fit.
- Principle #2 Vitamin supplements are not a solution for good health. It is not that these nutrients aren’t important. They are, but only when consumed as food, not as supplements. Isolating nutrients and trying to get benefits equal to those of whole foods (foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed) reveals an ignorance of how nutrition operates in the body
- Principle #3 There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants.
As you can see, plant foods have dramatically more antioxidants, fiber, and minerals than animal foods. Animal foods, on the other hand, have much more cholesterol and fat. They also have slightly more protein than plant foods, along with more B12 and vitamin D, although the vitamin D is largely due to artificial fortification in milk. Of course, there are some exceptions: some nuts and seeds are high in fat and protein (e.g., peanuts, sesame seeds) while some animal-based foods are low in fat, usually because they are stripped of their fat by artificial processing (e.g., skim milk). But if one looks a little more closely, the fat and the protein of nuts and seeds are different: they are more healthful than the fat and protein of animal foods. They also are accompanied by some interesting antioxidant substances. On the other hand, processed, low-fat, animal-based foods still have some cholesterol, lots of protein and very little or no antioxidants and dietary fiber, just like other animal-based foods. Since nutrients are primarily responsible for the healthful effects of foods and because of these major differences in nutrient composition between animal- and plant-based foods, isn’t it, therefore, reasonable to assume that we should expect to see distinctly different effects on our bodies depending on which variety of foods we consume?
- Principle #4 Genes do not determine disease on their own. Genes function only by being activated or expressed, and nutrition plays a critical role in determining which genes, good and bad are expressed. Genes give us our predispositions. We all have different disease risks due to our different genes. But while we will never know exactly which risks we are predisposed to, we do know how to control those risks. Regardless of our genes, we can all optimize our chances of expressing the right genes by providing our bodies with the best possible environment-that is, the best possible nutrition.
- Principle #5 Nutrition can substantially control the adverse effects of noxious chemicals. Our nutrition primarily determines whether we will have a disease or not. It is useful to think of this principle in another way: a chronic disease like cancer takes years to develop. Those chemicals that initiate cancer are often the ones that make headlines. What does not make headlines, however, is the fact that the disease process continues long after initiation, and can be accelerated or repressed during its promotion stage by nutrition. In other words, nutrition primarily determines whether the disease will ever do it’s damage
- Principle #6 The same nutrition that prevents disease in its early stages (before diagnosis) can also halt or reverse disease in its later stages (after diagnosis). I believe that an ounce of prevention does equal a pound of cure, and the earlier in life good foods are eaten, the better one’s health will be. But for those who already face the burden of disease, we must not forget that nutrition still can play a vital role.
- Principle #7 Nutrition that is truly beneficial for one chronic disease will support health across the board. Good nutrition will generate health and prevent diseases across the board. Even if whole foods, plant-based diet is more effective at treating heart disease than brain cancer, you can be sure that this diet will not promote one disease while it stops another. It will never be “bad” for you. This one good diet can only help across the board.
- Principle #8 Good nutrition creates health in all areas of our existence. All parts are interconnected. Our food choices have an incredible impact not only on our metabolism but also on the initiation, promotion and even reversal of disease, on our energy; on our physical activity, on our emotional and mental well-being and on our world environment. All of these seemingly separate spheres are intimately interconnected.
- Live longer • look and feel younger • have more energy • lose weight • lower your blood cholesterol
- Prevent and even reverse heart disease • lower your risk of prostate, breast and other cancers • preserve your eyesight in your later years
- Prevent and treat diabetes • avoid surgery in many instances • vastly decrease the need for pharmaceutical drugs
- Keep your bones strong • Avoid impotence • avoid stroke • prevent kidney stones • keep your baby from getting Type 1 diabetes
- Alleviate constipation • Lower your blood pressure • avoid Alzheimer’s • beat arthritis • and more
These are only some of the benefits, and all of them can be yours. The price? Simply changing your diet to a healthier one.