By now you likely have heard about the incredible power of a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet in reversing chronic disease and and maximizing health. Recently I have come across several anecdotal lists of individual centenarians in which some of their least healthy habits are encouraged and glorified, as if the reason they lived a long time was their consumption of small amounts of animal foods, whiskey, cigars, etc – when the reality is that they managed to overcome these bad habits because of their modest appetites, tendency to have certain favorite high-antioxidant plant foods such as prunes and chocolate, and regular physical activity. Thus overall they eat much less of the foods that cause chronic disease.
Studies of centenarians reveal that their lifestyles are much more conducive to healthy aging: they maintain significantly lower BMI and total cholesterol. For example in a 2016 study of Italian, Japanese and Spanish centenarians over 50% had a BMI that was considered “underweight” and another 43% or so had “normal” BMIs – very few make it to 100 carrying extra weight. A sea of caloric restriction studies back this up – yet few can or would want to successfully starve themselves, so many choose to instead eat whole plant foods, achieving the benefits of fulfilling food at a much lower kcal cost, thus the success of those whom follow the advice of pioneering plant-powered doctors.
As you can see below, a more recent 2018 study shows that centenarians had a significantly lower total cholesterol, only 179 – much closer to the ideal of 150 and below, which the Framingham Heart Study has elucidated as the level at which no artery disease occurs (because it is a clear sign that animal foods and grease are rarely being consumed).
The longest lived people of the world eat a plant strong diet and are active, and anyone can experience the same benefits by maximally limiting animal foods and oil. If we give our bodies room to heal, the results are always amazing. Just check out Ruth Heidrich, an early McDougaller that beat cancer and became an endurance athlete. Inspiration galore! Have fun! 🙂 It’s never too late to get healthy – Ruth had full blown breast cancer but chose to be a nutrition rebel instead of giving up. Cheers to your health!
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