The solution to losing weight is a whole foods, plant-based diet, coupled with a reasonable amount of exercise. It is a long-term lifestyle change, rather than a quick-fix fad, and it can provide sustained weight loss while minimizing risk of chronic disease.
Perhaps it is a testament to the power of modern marketing savvy that an obese man with heart disease and high blood pressure became one of the richest snake oil salesmen ever to live, selling a diet that promises to help you lose weight, to keep your heart healthy and to normalize your blood pressure.
Good health is about being able to fully enjoy the time we do have. It is about being as functional as possible throughout our entire lives and avoiding crippling, painful and lengthy battles with disease. There are many better ways to die, and to live.
Much of my early career was spent working with two of the most toxic chemicals ever discovered, dioxin and aflatoxin. I initially worked at MIT, where I was assigned a chicken feed puzzle. Millions of chicks a year were dying from an unknown toxic chemical in their feed, and I had the responsibility of isolating and determining the structure of this chemical. After two and a half years, I helped discover dioxin, arguably the most toxic chemical ever found. This chemical has since received widespread attention, especially because it was part of the herbicide 2,4,5-T, or Agent Orange, then being used to defoliate forests in the Vietnam War.
I know of nothing else in medicine that can come close to what a plant-based diet can do. In theory, if everyone were to adopt this, I really believe we can cut health care costs by seventy to eighty percent. That's amazing. And it all comes from understanding nutrition, applying nutrition, and just watching the results.
So, what is my prescription for good health? In short, it is about the multiple health benefits of consuming plant-based foods, and the largely unappreciated health dangers of consuming animal-based foods, including all types of meat, dairy and eggs.
What made this project especially remarkable is that, among the many associations that are relevant to diet and disease, so many pointed to the same finding: people who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease. Even relatively small intakes of animal-based food were associated with adverse effects. People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored. From the initial experimental animal studies on animal protein effects to this massive human study on dietary patterns, the findings proved to be consistent. The health implications of consuming either animal or plant-based nutrients were remarkably different.