Wednesday, July 11, 2018

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Is Plant-Based Eating Good for Kids?

"The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined.  If beef is your idea of "real food for real people" you'd better live real close to a real good hospital."  
                                                                                     --Neal Barnard, MD

When I work with an adult with uncontrolled diabetes, I start by asking how many medications they take daily.  The answer is almost always ten or more.  Patients with diabetes are told, “once on insulin, always on insulin.”  They are prescribed medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.  They may also be taking meds for neuropathy, depression and sleep.  One way we use to gauge success in reversing diabetes is when the individual can reduce or eliminate prescription medicines because they no longer need them.

Doctors are well trained in writing prescriptions and treating diseases.  Doctors are not trained in using food as medicine to reverse diseases. 

Lentil vegetable soup
The evidence is clear:  a whole food plant-based way of eating is key to good health and reversing diseases such as diabetes.  

Is a plant-based lifestyle healthy for kids?  Absolutely yes!! Is fruit good for kids?  Are vegetables good for kids? Whole grains?  Legumes?  Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are good for everyone! Besides being an ideal way to eat, plant-based eating is also the most ethical way to eat.  On behalf of people, planet, and prosperity, parents should consider the future health of their children by learning about the cruelty inflicted on animals raised for food on factory farms.  Watch "Forks Over Knives" or "What the Health". Kids eating chicken McNuggets, burgers, and dairy products are more susceptible to asthma, gastrointestinal issues, cancer, skin problems, sleep apnea, heart disease, and obesity.    

I have yet to meet a parent who wants their kids to grow up and develop diabetes.  Let's stop the hemorrhaging and insanity caused by the consumption of inflammatory foods like meat and chicken.  Did you know the average American will eat about 222 pounds of red meat and poultry in 2018?  

For delicious recipes and inspiration, check out what Chef Charity Morgan is cooking. She became a vegan chef when her husband, a player for the Tennessee Titans football team, gave up eating meat and became a vegan.  Now half the team is vegan.  Click here to go to Chef Charity's website.  

A must-read book for parents is Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book, Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right.

As an advocate for children's health, I strongly believe in the whole food plant-based lifestyle and its ability to prevent and reverse diseases.  Take a look at the resources I have included in this article and then talk with your family.  Together, we can improve the health - and lives - of America's children. 

With love and gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich, MPH
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.