The Vegan Diet as Chronic Disease Prevention
Evidence Supporting the New Four Food Groups
The United States is one of the sickest nations on the planet. Most Americans accept degenerative chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer as part of the normal aging process. Find out how a diet based on the New Food Four Groups can help prevent or alleviate the chronic diseases that affect so many Americans—often without the need for pills, surgery, or fad diets. In this thoroughly researched and comprehensive guide, Dr. Kerrie Saunders points the way to new standards of health and health care for the twenty-first century.
Reviewed by Eve Spencer
DR KERRIE SAUNDERS is a certified prevention counsellor, and has a doctorate in natural health from Clayton College, Birmingham, Alabama. Dr Saunders currently provides consultations to professionals and clinic patients at an integrative medicine office in Michigan.
This is an excellent book that Dr Neal Barnard states is a "wonderfully practical guide to using nutrition to prevent and treat a huge range of health problems." Dr John McDougall states that this book "is a compelling and concise argument for the overwhelming benefits to the human being of a pure vegetarian diet ... every person should live by these principles." And they are so right.
I like the way the author gives the background to the various physical conditions, with historical data making fascinating reading. The chapter on related ethical and political issues gives invaluable information, including ecological implications of pesticides and genetically modified organisms. The chapter of Dr Saunders' conclusions must not be overlooked.
There are nine chapters in all, and the chapter headings speak for themselves, including Diabetes and Hypoglycemia; Osteoporosis; Cancer; Atherosclerosis, Stroke, Cardiovascular Disease and Hypertension; Obesity; and Related Ethical and Political Issues.
There is also a full bibliography, an appendix of the PCRM Diet, an appendix of helpful family resources, and a useful appendix of fact sheets showing food sources for all the various vitamins. The book is beautifully indexed, there are footnotes at the end of each chapter, and the text is obviously thoroughly researched and referenced.
The author tells us that in completing the research and literature for this book, she came to the conclusion that ecosystem interconnectedness should be taught in every family, school and business. Dr Saunders says: "If we know a plant-based diet is superior for human health, helps to prevent animal abuse, helps to preserve topsoil, rainforests, air and water quality, and feeds more humans than an animal-based diet, what are we waiting for? What are you waiting for?"
This is such a handy, inexpensive little soft-cover book that anyone coming into contact with students, environmentalists, family or friends can be confident that whatever statements are made about veganism or diet, there is a perfect response here. We often consider that we could do more research, look up details, browse the web for this or that—well, Dr Saunders has done the research herself, and draws on the research of others in the field.
Once you read this book, you will never want to be without it—couldn't be more highly recommended.
10 March 2003
Psychologist and prevention consultant Kerrie K. Saunders posits that America is one of the sickest nations and that many of our diseases can be controlled or eliminated through diet. In The Vegan Diet as Chronic Disease Prevention, she begins with documentation from writings throught history positing that meat and fat are dietary dangers. The diets of other cultures indicate that four food groups constitute a healthy diet: fruits, grains, vegetables and legumes alone and in combination will provide all the essentials for optimum nutrition. While foods are recommended to improve specific conditions, this is not a recipe or meal plan source but rather a series of essays arguing for the vegan lifestyle. Ample citations are provided to support the theories, and charts and boxes break out lists of foods and resources where applicable.