by Phyllis Kennemer
Our bodies are amazing! These bodies we live in come with their own internal aptitude for perfect health; they are always striving to maintain balance within the system. Think about a small cut or scratch on the skin and how quickly it heals. Then think about the things you usually don’t think about — air going into and out of your lungs, your heart pumping blood, and your food digesting.
The body is created to maintain perfect health. If our natural state is optimum health, why do so many people contract chronic diseases as they age? Can we avoid dealing with hypertension, strokes, cancer, osteoarthritis, diabetes and other ailments associated with our aging population?
Cory D. Carroll, M.D., a family doctor for over twenty years in Fort Collins, Colorado, is dedicated to changing our thinking about health and aging. He maintains that disease is preventable if we make conscious choices about what we eat. He believes the solution lies in embracing a Whole Food Plant Based Diet.
He began to draw conclusions about the relationship between diet and health during three trips to Nicaragua. He observed that most of the people there were healthy. Diseases such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes were rare or nonexistent. Two things caught his attention. First, there were no cars or motorized vehicles, so people walked everywhere, and second, they ate mostly fresh fruits and vegetables — no meats or dairy products.
As Carroll was mulling this information over in his mind, he discovered a book which became the basis of his philosophy and medical practice. The China Study by T. Colin Campbell is based on a comprehensive study of disease and diet conducted in China. The findings clearly indicate that people are healthier in areas where they eat a plant-based diet.
He was also influenced by the film, Forks over Knives (available as a DVD), which is based on the findings of the China study. The film includes correlations relating foods people consume to their health. The China study shows that those who consistently eat a diet of rice and vegetables remain healthy well into old age. The film concludes that people should eat fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. It recommends that they avoid “all meat, poultry, fish (anything that has eyes or a momma), dairy products and processed foods.”
Carroll expressed concern that medical schools are devoted almost entirely to teaching about diagnosis and treatment of diseases. They devote little, if any, time to teaching about nutrition and prevention of disease. Carroll is concerned that the medical and pharmaceutical industries seem to have more interest in treating people for ailments than they are in the prevention of the symptoms in the first place. He said, “There is no money to be made from healthy people or from dead people, so it is more profitable to continue to treat people for chronic diseases.”
Every person’s body is miraculous and unique. People need to find the best foods and types of movement to maintain and enhance their own healthy lifestyles. Carroll is counseling his patients to move toward a more plant-based diet. He recommends that they limit their intake of processed foods and all meat products. He noted that patients who follow his advice “have been able to totally give up medications or they have been able to reduce the amount they take significantly.”
Carroll has established a program called “Paradigm Shift for Health” in which he conducts classes and advises people on ways to implement a Whole Food Plant Based Diet as part of a new lifestyle. More information can be found on his website: www.paradigmshiftforhealth.com.