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July 20, 2018

By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor
and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Doctors and Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and
other members of our Editorial Board.]





Earlier this year, I crossed a line. This line was one I had
been edging closer to for years but had not been willing to
completely cross. The line is between staying a meat-eater of
becoming a vegan.  On January 17, I finally decided to just
jump over the line. I gave up eating all forms of meat and
dairy ---anything that comes from animals.  I stayed in the
vegan camp for two months before I decided to add back in
some fish and my beloved salmon. Okay, nobody's perfect.


Many people, including many respected nutritionists consider
veganism an extreme diet. For many years, I agreed. But
what prompted me finally to cross that line was reading the
China Study, Professor Tolin Campbell's landmark study on
why some

The other thing that pushed me over the line was a simple
observation. We humans are primates. We're the smartest
primates on the planet but primates we are,nonetheless.
That puts us in the same genetic spectrum (but not the same
species) as apes, chimpanzees and monkeys.

But if you look at the natural eating regimes of all primates
except humans, you will discover that all other primates are
vegetarians. They eat plants, berries and get along just fine
for all their lives. "The diets of nearly all monkeys and apes
(except the leaf-eaters) are composed of fruits, nuts, leaves,
insects, and sometimes the odd snack of a bird or a lizard ",
wrote biologist Dr. Rob Dunn of North Carolina State
University in the
2012 blog for Scientific American.































Then Dr. Dunn nails it shut. "The majority of the food
consumed by primates today--and every indication is for the
last thirty million years--is vegetable, not animal. Plants are
what our apey and even earlier ancestors ate; they were our
paleo diet for most of the last thirty million years during
which our bodies, and our guts in particular, were evolving.
In other words, there is very little evidence that our guts are
terribly special and the job of a generalist primate gut is
primarily to eat pieces of plants. We have special immune
systems, special brains, even special hands, but our guts are
ordinary and for tens of millions of years those ordinary guts
have tended to be filled with fruit, leaves, and the occasional
delicacy of a raw hummingbird".


This way of eating seems to protect the heart from heart
attacks brought on by blocked arteries. In humans,
cornoraty heart disease triggered by blocked arteries is the
lading cuase of death, and has been so in teh United States
in every year since 1900, except one. That year was 1918,
teh year of the worldwide Sanish flue pandemic that killed
millions around teh globe.  But this type of artery blockage is
practically unknown in chimpanzees and other apes.

Looking at the arteries of chimpanzees in post-death
autopsies, scientists from the University of California, San
Diego noted in 2009 that "although mild to moderate
atherosclerosis was observed in the aorta and other major
blood vessels in some of the chimpanzee necropsies, no
major blockages of the coronary arteries were observed in
any case".

Now on to blood pressure. First, a personal story. My blood
pressure has been pretty good for years, since I started
adding in lots of antioxidant-rich foods and spices and of
course featured plenty of vegetables.  I ate eat but I
doctored the heck out of it with wine and other antioxidants.
Normally, I clocked in at 120/72. Most Americans, especially
those over 50, are on at least one blood pressure medication
and I am not.

Still, occasionally, my blood pressure would go up when I
ate the slightest amount of salt. I had to really watch it. On
those bad days, I could see my blood pressure rise to 135,
even 140.  I learned how to tweak things to bring it back
down but it was extremely sensitive to changes.

Now that I have become a vegan, my blood pressure is
116/67.  And it stays that way. If I eat something with a
little more salt than usual, my blood pressure just shrugs it
off and carries on at 116 to 119/67 to 70.  I love the
consistency.

Even Sedentary Vegans Have Lower Blood Pressure  Than
Endurance Athletes Who Eat Meat


Here is a study that is the kicker. In 2007, scientists from the
Washington University School of Medicine compared the
blood pressure levels of three groups of people. Sedentary
vegans, endurance athletes who ran an average of 48 miles
per week and just ordinary people following a Western diet
that most Americans consume.

The vegans had been vegans for an average of 4.4 years.

Which group would you guess would have the lowest blood
pressure?

Head to head, in terms of blood pressure, the vegans who
did not exercise at all won.

Vegans. Their blood pressure averaged 104/62.

Endurance Athletes. The endurance athletes who ran 48
miles a week had average blood pressure readings of
122/72.

Your Average Person. Worse of all, the people followed the
Western diet had average blood pressure levels of 132/79.



Few studies make a point so plainly. To lower your blood
pressure, you can either run 7 miles a day or you can make
up your mind to eat like you were naturally built to eat
---plants, nuts, berries and an occasional  bird or fish.
































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Foods That Lower Your Blood Pressure

How Much Is Too Much Salt?

Sugar-The Disease Connection

Are Diet Sodas Bad for Your Health?

Ideal Breakfast for Diabetics / Ideal Breakfast for Arthritis
/
Healing Foods Links /  Foods That Shrink Your Waist /
Foods That Lower Cholesterol/ VLDL-The Other Cholesterol/
Foods That Reduce Blood Pressure

Index of Articles on
This Site


Snoring Linked to
Stroke

How to Stop Bad Breath

BRAIN HEALTH



DIETS AND FITNESS

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH
SALT

HOW MUCH SALT IS IN MY
FOOD

SALT CONTENT OF COMMON
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150,000 DIE FROM EXCESS
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I HAVE HIGH BLOOD
PRESSURE!

FOODS THAT LOWER YOUR
BLOOD PRESSURE

QUINOA-THE NEW
SUPERFOOD

INFLAMMATION INSIDE
THE BODY

FAT--IT'S ALIVE!

WHY WE GO SOFT IN THE
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