Sunday, April 29, 2012

DR. DEAN ORNISH on healthy choices for longer and better quality of life. First speaker interviewed by the Food Revolution Summit

The Food Revolution Summit already started and goes on from April 28-May 6 with 3 speakers per day.

April 28, Day #1:The Science of Healthy Eating
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I am very excited to start presenting in this blog portions of the series of interviews to reknown authorities in the field of health, prevention and reversal sponsored by the online Food Revolution Summit. The first doctor interviewed was to Dr. Dean Ornish, M. D.

Words of the Food Revolution Summit:
Dr. Ornish started things off, telling us many people have the belief that there's a false choice between what's good for us and what's fun for us. But it's not true. Better diet can lead to better sex and more energy and a happier life. In his words:
"I can't tell you how many patients who have told me that if they knew they wouldn't live a day longer, they are still grateful for the changes they have made because their life is more fulfilling. It's a very simple idea, but a very radical idea, that when you eat better, love more, exercise more, and don't smoke, you'll be happier. When people realize that you just feel so much better, that's what makes it worth doing."
Ocean Robbins:  Welcome to The Food Revolution Summit where we explore how you can heal your body and your world with food. This is Ocean Robbins and I am joined by my dad, John Robbins, in welcoming our guest Dr. Dean Ornish.  Dr. Dean Ornish is Founder of the Preventative Medicine Research Institute and he has been a leading researcher on diet and health for more than 30 years.  His program is the first based in comprehensive lifestyle change as opposed to drugs or surgery to ever be covered by Medicare. The author of six bestselling books, Dr. Ornish has been a physician consultant to President Clinton since 1993 and to several bipartisan members of Congress.  He was chosen by Life Magazine as one of the fifty most influential members of his generation and by Forbes as one of the seven most powerful teachers in the world.  For decades now my dad and I have been lucky enough to know Dr. Ornish as both an inspiring luminary in our work and also a treasured friend in our lives.  So now Dean, my dad and I are so excited to have this time with you.  Here to interview you is my dad, John Robbins.

John Robbins: I want to share with our listeners’ one of my very favorite quotes of yours. I don’t know where you originally said this or wrote it but I refer to it often because I think it is so telling. You said, “I don’t understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced, vegetarian diet is considered drastic while it is medically conservative to cut people open or put them on powerful cholesterol lowering drugs for the rest of their lives.  These products are the main culprit of what is killing us. We can absolutely do better and live better lives without them.”

Dr. Dean Ornish:   I said radical, not drastic, because it is radical, radical meaning to the root of something.  So yeah, but it is so topsy turvy in that way.  We pay for things that are dangerous, invasive, expensive and largely ineffective and we have a hard time believing that these simple choices in our lives that we make each day like what we eat and how we respond to stress and how much love we give each other and how much we exercise can make such a powerful difference in how dynamic they can be.  But they really are.  That is probably our unique contribution is to use these very high tech, expensive, state-of-the-art measures working with first rate scientists to show how powerful these very simple and low tech, low cost interventions can be at a time when 3/4s of the 2.7 trillion dollars that we spend each year on health care in this country, which is really largely sick care, is for chronic diseases that can often be prevented or even reversed by simply making these same kinds of changes.  It is not like there is one diet and lifestyle intervention for heart disease and a different one for prostate cancer and a different one for Type II Diabetes and a different one for changing your genes or making your telomeres longer or whatever it happens to be.  It is really just to the degree that you move in that direction, we found there is a corresponding benefit.  It is not all or nothing.  Being a vegan is too much for some people, so you say, “Okay great.  Just do what you can.  What matters most is your overall way of living.” This whole idea of once you call foods good or bad, it is a very small step to thinking of yourself as “I am a bad person because I eat bad food so I might as well just bring out the cheeseburger at that point.”  Wait a minute.  In every one of our studies, the more people change their diet and lifestyle, the more they improved and I thought it would be the opposite.  I thought the younger people with milder disease would be more likely to show improvement but I was wrong.  It wasn’t how old or how sick they were, the more they changed, the more they improved and the better they felt which of course makes it more likely for them to keep doing it, whether it was their PSA level, their degree of prostate tumor inhibition, their telomerase, their gene expression, their degree of blockage in their coronary arteries.  Again, it was the more they changed, the more they improved.

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