Dean Ornish: The World’s Killer Diet
Today I went to visit my family in the lovely small town of Roxboro, NC. I was able to visit with my grandparents and while chatting with them, I realized it is in my genes to live a really long time. All of my grandparents are over 90 and are still very able to take care of themselves. My grandfather is 94 and for 30+ years has gone walking around the neighborhood with his friends every morning. My almost 91 year old grandmother still goes to the beach, plays cards with her lady friends, and loves to entertain. And her brother, who at 80+ years old, was still running, has finally retired at the age of 87. My other grandmother, who is also 90, still writes letters, plays BINGO, and walks daily. Tragic accidents aside, I’m hoping to see triple digits and still be in good health.
Anyway, it got me thinking about the importance of health, diet and exercise so when I got home tonight, I decided to watch a few TED videos on health. I watched several good ones but the one I liked the most was a presentation by Dean Ornish. It was a 3:22 video that was to the point, informative, and makes a very valid, simple, and often overlooked point – we control our health. Not pills. Not a quick diet. But our own actions. If you have a few minutes, you can watch the video here, but here are the key points:
1) Cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes are 95% preventable and reversible just by changing diet and lifestyle.
2) Asia, which once had the lowest rates of heart disease and diabetes, in just one generation, has gone to having one of the highest. (They are starting to live like we do.)
3) Cardiovascular deaths equals HIV and AIDS deaths in most African countries.
4) Children may now have a shorter life span than their parents due to obesity and heart disease
Change is hard and I get that. But how can we let something that is 95% preventable AND reversible, put his six feet under well before our time? Life is short enough as it is and I want to see triple digits. I’ll gladly drink spinach smoothies and wake up at 5am to workout if that means I still get to run when I’m 80, travel to the beach when I’m 90, and play cards with my grandkids when I’m 95 🙂
Happy Trails and Happy Running,