Dr. Neal Barnard

The Physicians Committee
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Dr. Neal Barnard

Dick Cheney: Plant-Based Diets Can Prevent a Medical Odyssey

Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s new book, Heart: An American Medical Odyssey, describes his harrowing 30-year battle with heart disease, including five heart attacks and having to say goodbye to his family when he feared he would die from the disease. His excellent team of physicians and surgeons has provided him lifesaving medical care and he is on the mend. But I wrote to him today and asked that as he promotes his book he let people know that adopting a plant-based diet can prevent and reverse heart disease and the traumas he and his family endured.

Oct. 18, 2013

Fecal Chunks in Pork: The Other Contaminated Meat

The USDA is moving forward with its plan to cut the number of meat inspectors at pig slaughterhouses nationwide, despite reports of increased fecal contamination from facilities currently testing the program. Similar guidelines are currently in place at dozens of chicken processing plants, resulting in fewer inspectors examining a greater number of carcasses at faster speeds for visible fecal matter.

World Alzheimer’s Day 2013: Who Takes Care of the Caregivers?

Imagine you’re on an airplane. Your child is in the seat on your left. Your aging mother on your right. The plane hits some turbulence. You jostle in your seat. The plane hits significantly more turbulence, and the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling. You slip on your mask, as instructed. But then you look from your child to your mother, wondering which one to help first. Nearly half of adults in the United States are in a parallel situation every day.

Healthful Fish Is a Myth

Terri MacLeod of Access Hollywood and I recently discussed just how toxic fish can be. Since there are many myths about fish being healthful, I want to share Ms. MacLeod’s column on bad fats and fish:

Healthy Hollywood is still reeling over the idea that fish might not be the best thing for your diet.

After years of eating and loving fish, I was in shock when vegan guru and author of “Power Foods For The Brain,” Dr. Neal Barnard, compared fish to a “low tar cigarette.”

Plant-Based Prescription for Blocked Arteries

Former President George W. Bush’s prognosis is good following his surgery to open a blocked artery, and we wish him a quick recovery. If there is a silver lining to a public figure’s health struggle, it is that it brings a serious issue back into public awareness. What people need to know is that heart disease is not caused by age or genes for the most part. Rather, it comes from things we can control, with meaty diets and smoking at the top of the list.

Congress Gets Healthy with 9-Year-Old Vegan Chef Noah Koch

The Physicians Committee recently hosted its second standing-room-only “Healthy on the Hill” luncheon on Capitol Hill for more than 120 staffers, interns, and journalists—and even a couple members of Congress—interested in learning more about the benefits of a plant-based diet. The presentation featured a vegan lunch and an interview with 9-year-old vegan chef Noah Koch, who recently won a White House recipe contest. Here is Noah Gittell, our director of government affairs, recapping the event:

Baby Boom + Fast Food = Dementia Boom

Fast food is causing the dementia boom—and it’s projected to get worse. Almost 3.8 million people 71 or older have dementia, according to a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. The rise in Alzheimer’s is partly due to the aging of baby boomers. But there is another reason. When these senior citizens were teenyboppers, the fast-food craze was just taking off: The first KFC franchise opened in 1952, the first Burger King in 1954, and the first McDonald’s and Dunkin’s Donuts in 1955. As these foods caught on, America’s meat and cheese intake soared.

Diabetes Dilemma: Unlocking the Solution for 100 Million Americans

Imagine how a key works with a lock. If the lock is jammed with gum, the key won't work. Diabetes occurs when fat—from cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and other junk foods—gums up cells. That fat stops insulin from moving sugar out of the blood and into muscle, fat, and liver cells—where it’s needed. It also increases the risk of heart disease, amputations, and blindness. There’s a simple way to treat the 100 million Americans who suffer from diabetes and prediabetes. And it doesn’t come in a syringe or pill bottle.

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