The French Paradox – The Myths

‘Everyone knows’ about the French Paradox – that is, the French consume lots of saturated fat in the form of meat, butter, cheese and eggs and yet have a low risk of heart disease. This proves that the health advice regarding the role of fats and saturated fats in causing heart disease is wrong.

The French Paradox has only been with us for a short period of time but it quickly resonated with the general population – we no longer need to be concerned about the amount of meat, butter, cheese and eggs that we consume.

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Japanese Diet, Cuisine and Health

Japan is at the top of the list for life expectancy and health. There are strong regional variations although the diet in recent decades has become more westernised and the variations in diet are becoming less distinct throughout Japan.

A wide variety of dipping sauces accompany most meals. Udon is a thick wheat flour noodle and yakisoba is a buckwheat noodle. Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat.

Despite the increase in dairy, egg and meat consumption in recent decades, Japan (according to the National Health and Nutrition Surveys) still consumes a predominately plant-based diet.

Hookaido had the lowest percentage of plant-based foods at 74.5% in 1980 and 82.2% in 2012. In 1980, Kanto II had the highest percentage at 78.2% with Hokuriku topping the list in 2012 with 84.5%.

Australia and the US consume approximately 30% of their diet from plant-based sources.

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Global Burden of Disease 2010

The Global Burden of Disease Study commenced in 1990 as a World Bank-commissioned that measured the health impact of disease and injuries. It introduced the term disability-adjusted life year (DALY) as a new measure to quantify the burden of diseases and injuries.

It is managed by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington with the purpose “understanding the current state of population health and the strategies necessary to improve it.”

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When Vegan Diets Do Not Work

It is not uncommon for people to claim that they have tried a vegan diet and it simply did not work for them. Not all vegan diets are healthy.

Much publicity is given to the longevity of the people of Japan and Okinawa (an archipelago that stretches from southern Japan to Taiwan). However, the population with the longest lifespan and the highest levels of health on the planet is the vegan Californian Seventh-day Adventists.

People are not predisposed to vegan diets or otherwise. When it comes to nutrition, we are pretty much the same – allergies being one significant difference.

Below are components of a healthy whole-food, plant-based diet. Many people on a unhealthy vegan diet are missing a number of important components of an optimal diet.

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