Some Insights from the “Nutrition in Medicine” Conference held at the Fetal Medicine Research Institute, Kings College Hospital, London
1. High regard for the plant-based diet
There was an overwhelming amount of evidence presented that indicated that vegetarians and vegans have better life outcomes than meat eaters. A plant-based diet full of high quality plant food was the recommended diet in terms of both optimal health and disease prevention.
A whole food plant-based diet was shown to have been beneficial in Ischaemic heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, stroke, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, infections, inflammatory diseases, kidney disease and depression.
These experts are now actively prescribing a plant-based diet both in combination with other treatments and as a stand alone –
Dr Alan Desmond claimed that active Crohns disease can be cured successfully with a diet that restricts animal protein, animal fat, n-6 PUFAs, dairy, emulsifiers and food additives while providing some dietary fibre. His research indicates that environmental factors are key.
Dr John Allman presented some real life case studies where he has both prescribed and cured patients with a plant-based diet and lifestyle diagnosis.
2. High regard for a 360% approach to health
Dr Andrew Davis, Intensive Care Physician and Clinical Researcher from Frankston Hospital, Melbourne Australia gave us some frightening insights into both the state of his patients in his Intensive Care unit and their outlook.
He went on to list the background illnesses that many of his critically ill patients have had before – diabetes, hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol..that have all attributed to these lifestyle diseases.
He recommends a combination of plant-based eating, mindfulness, meditation, endurance exercise, good relationships and sleep in order to keep people out of his ICU unit.
Davis has been hugely interested in nutrition in regard to the servicing of his ICU patients in last few years. Most of his work centers around getting them to eat in the first place. Patients are being fed synthetic foods that are being made in factories.
He would like to make a difference by giving patients in combination one green smoothie, of 200 ml, by dripping it into them for 2 hours. He believes that this would make a positive impact and that it would be very beneficial to their inflammatory system etc. Davis is currently investigating this and hopes to set up a study in the next 6 months to test the effects of this.
3. Recommendation to keep tabs on micronutrient intake
Inadequate micronutrient intake can lead in the short-term to a higher risk of infection and in the long-term to a increase in the risk of heart disease and cancer. Dr Conor Kerley highlights the importance of taking steps in order to ensure that your diet covers all bases.
One example that a lot of people living in northern countries tend to forget is the intake of vitamin D. Dr Kerley recommends that it is a good idea to supplement – 1000IU a day is recommended.
4. Soya is highly advised, especially for menapausal women
Menapause is a time when women are vulnerable to chronic disease risk and need to take extra precautions. Dr Hannah Short advised to limit caffeine, salt and alcohol, to have plant-based whole foods, non-dairy calcium sources and to embrace Soy foods.
5. Know when to use Organic and when not to use
Check out The Dirty Dozen List to determine what the foods that you need to eat organic.
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