"The fifteen leading causes of death claim the lives of 1.6 million Americans annually. This doesn’t have to be the case," writes Michael Greger MD, in his new book entitled, "How Not to Die."
Chronic disease, disability, and the reliance on prescription medications and medical procedures as one ages is not a normal consequence of growing old. Chronic diseases and their treatments are rare in countries that eat a predominantly plant-based diet. Dr. Greger's nearly 600 page book explains in detail how excellent health and being fully functional well into one's eighties and nineties can be achieved when we avoid the foods that attribute to our nation's fifteen leading causes of death. Dr. Greger begins his book by talking about his grandmother, and how "doctors had sent her home in a wheelchair to die." This incident inspired him to change the course of conventional medicine. His new book describes in detail how "not to die" from:
Diseases of the heart - Chapter 1 focuses on how plant foods lower cholesterol, how they can prevent and reverse heart disease (including atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart attacks), how they lower blood pressure, and how foods from animal sources promote inflammation.
Diseases of the lung - Chapter 2 discusses lung cancer, smoking, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma.
Diseases of the brain - Chapter 3 examines the link between diet and Alzheimer's, how plant foods offer powerful protection against developing dementia, and which foods are suspected of increasing our risk for developing it.
Diseases of the digestive tract - Chapter 4 talks about cancers of the digestive tract which includes cancer of the pancreas, esophagus, and colon. Dr. Greger points out how fiber (which is found only in plant foods) plays a vital role in preventing constipation, colon polyps, hiatal hernia, and diverticulitis. There is also a discussion of the many types of spices which are helpful in preventing various types of cancer.
Diseases from a compromised immune system - Chapter 5 demonstrates how many diseases and infections can be prevented simply by consuming foods which support a robust immune system. Similarly, avoiding animal products greatly reduces the risk of ingesting toxic viruses, bacteria, and antibiotic resistant super-bugs.
Diabetes - Chapter 6 addresses how a diet rich in saturated animal fats encourages insulin resistance and prediabetes. Foods that prevent diabetes and cure diabetic neuropathy are are also discussed as well as the side effects from aggressive drug treatments.
High blood pressure - Chapter 7 emphasizes how a diet rich in whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables prevents, treats, and resolves high blood pressure.
Liver disease - Chapter 8 focuses on hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and liver diseases caused by alcohol.
Blood cancers - Chapter 9 describes how plant foods are associated with a decreased risk of blood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, and how animal viruses are involved in human blood cancers.
Kidney disease - Chapter 10 highlights how animal protein damages the kidneys, is highly acidic, increases the risk of kidney stones, and how plant foods offer protection against cancer of the kidney.
Breast cancer - Chapter 11 cites evidence supporting how alcohol, heterocyclic amines from the browning process of grilled meat, and cholesterol (found only in animal products) stimulates the growth of breast cancer cells. There's also information regarding how plant foods help prevent breast cancer.
Suicidal depression - Chapter 12 offers ways to prevent and treat mild to moderate depression using a diet rich in whole plant foods.
Prostate cancer - Chapter 13 highlights how dairy protein (casein) raises a powerful growth hormone (IGF-1) which is associated with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. Similarly, men who eat eggs have a much higher risk of dying from lethal prostate cancer.
Parkinson's disease - Chapter 14 lists ways to reduce exposure to toxic compounds which can increase the risk of developing Parkinson's.
Iatrogenic causes (conventional medical care) - Dr. Greger's last chapter emphasizes how aggressive medical testing, procedures, surgeries, and pharmacological treatment plans for chronic illness can do more harm than good. While the medical community continues to search for newer surgical procedures and drug therapies to treat the leading causes of death in the U.S., they ignore what Hippocrates recommended — the best cure for disease is at the end of our forks. A growing body of scientific evidence conducted by countries all over the world conclude that a diet based on animal products and processed foods is detrimental to our health, whereas diets based on whole plant foods supports dynamic health, has the potential to increase longevity, is cost-and-side-effect-free, is safe, and is highly-effective at preventing and reversing disease without the use of dangerous drugs. The above medical conditions are known to respond well to a diet based on a wide variety of whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, and some nuts and seeds. Don't just settle for "disease managment" using pills and procedures — using "food as medicine" addresses and resolves the cause of disease, thus restoring true optimal health and wellness.
Dr. Greger, founder of NutritionFacts.org, is one of the foremost authorities on nutrition and health. Every chapter in his book is backed by the latest scientific findings. His "daily dozen" food recommendations have been scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease, add disability-free years to one's life, support a robust immune system, and increase one's chances of survival after a cancer diagnosis. For more information, click on the followiing link to view Dr. Greger's How Not to Die video and book trailer.