Beware of 'expert' advice on healthy living
It is heartening to see in your special section Jan. 17 on Healthy Living an emphasis on the inclusion of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains in one’s daily diet. This information, if put into practice, would reap health benefits for everyone.
What is troubling is the content of an article by Molly MacMillan, also in the special section, in which Kim Westcott, medical nutrition therapist at Beebe Healthcare, is reported to endorse animal products as part of a healthy diet. In her position at Beebe, Ms. Westcott may be required to follow the ill-conceived USDA guidelines that include animal products, but it does not prevent her from keeping up with the professional literature in her field of nutrition.
For example, she should be aware that leading health advocates such as the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have demonstrated for years the importance of eliminating all animal protein and processed foods while consuming a whole food plant-based diet for the prevention and reversal of chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, obesity and some cancers.
Also, in addressing the skyrocketing occurrence and cost of preventable diseases, Kaiser Permanente in its Spring 2013 Journal advised its physicians that “healthy eating may be best achieved with a plant-based diet, which we define as a regimen that encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy products and eggs as well as all refined and processed foods.” This same information is presented in the outstanding documentary film Forks Over Knives, cited by Don and JoAnn Szczepkowski of Rehoboth Beach in their informative letter in the Jan. 17 Gazette.
My husband and I once loved our steaks, but have since eliminated all animal products and processed oils from our diet and as a result have been happily enjoying renewed health and vigor. I now teach classes at no cost to community groups wishing to learn about the importance of diet in combating chronic diseases. For more information on this way of healthy eating see my blog Plant-based Living at greetplantbased.blogspot.com.
Dorothy P. Greet