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7-a-day offers health benefits and protection from cancer. Eat the MND way and get 17-a-day

Earlier this week, there was a lot of noise in the press concerning news released by University College London (UCL) about a study they conducted, the findings of which suggest that the UK guidelines for eating fruit and vegetables should be raised from 5-a-day to 7-a-day. I am sure you have heard about this in the press, so I just thought I would share a few of my MND thoughts with you.

Summary of this post:

  • Eating much more veg could CUT a QUARTER of all CANCER deaths
  • Vegetables are much more beneficial than fruit
  • The UK government should subsidise organic vegetables through tax breaks, and add tax on to sugar and junk food
  • MotherNaturesDiet offers ALL the benefits you need – lots of vegetables and good protection from cancer and heart disease
  • I personally eat an average of 17 per day, if you follow MND in full, you should too

Firstly, there seems to have been a lot of resistance to this new proposal, many members of the public complaining that they don’t like this idea. I find such resistance strange – I mean, why don’t people want to know how to be healthier, not get sick, and live longer? I would welcome any advice in those areas, not reject it. The results from the report conclude: Quote “Eating seven or more portions reduces the specific risks of death by cancer and heart disease by 25% and 31% respectively. The research also showed that vegetables have significantly higher health benefits than fruit.”

WOW, just WOW. I don’t see any reason why people are not leaping up and down with untold joy at this information. Cancer and heart disease are the two biggest killers in our society. Cancer is an utter scourge on humanity, it wrecks lives and hurts us all, we all know someone, we’ve all lost someone we love to cancer. And here, research proves almost beyond question, that ensuring you eat lots of vegetables is one way to STOP a QUARTER of all cancer deaths. HOLY SHIT BALLS. You know how “Cure cancer” is one of the great quests of the human race – EAT VEGGIES. That’s a quarter of the problem already solved. WOW, be excited, isn’t that an AMAZING conclusion!!!

It’s incredible!! If a drug company patented a new drug tomorrow and took it to market claiming “Will cure 25% of all cancer over the next 4 decades” they would make BILLIONS from it and every doctor in the land would be prescribing it, and every cancer patient or pre-cancer scare/high-at-risk patient would want that drug. Well, that drug is here, and it’s called broccoli. It’s called kale. It’s called cabbage. Just eat your veggies.

Why are people resistant to this information?

common_Sense_icon_largeI’m just throwing it out there now, but maybe a large part of the benefit, is that people who consume 7 portions of fruit and veg every day, are NOT eating “something else”. Let’s look at it another way. Let’s assume Mother Nature designed our bodies to eat, say, 10 portions of fruit and veg per day, but over the last 200 years, we have dropped lots of those, and started eating processed foods instead – breakfast cereals, cakes, bagels, white bread, pasta, pizza and so on. Compared to the people STILL eating 10 servings of veg per day, the way Mother Nature intended the ‘human animal’ to eat, those that have dropped all the fruit and veg and replaced them with novel, processed foods, are now 50% more likely to die of cancer and heart disease. This is a core central line of thinking behind MotherNaturesDiet. Stop eating garbage, because it’s screwing up the human race, and go back to eating just REAL whole fresh foods, because that’s what Mother Nature designed us to do.

I’ll just leave that with you for a minute for you to think about.

Secondly, and more alarmingly, it seems that in fact the majority of the British public are already failing to reach the 5-a-day suggested target that has been in pace for the last couple of decades. Surveys suggest that only 30% of the public are meeting the current guideline of 5-a-day. A few years ago, I read that it was 40%, so perhaps this is a trend we are seeing, that in fact fruit and veg consumption is trending downwards, not upwards. Worrying indeed. I also read that in Denmark the recommendation is 6-a-day, in Australia it’s 2+5 (2 fruit, 5 veg), in France it is 10-a-day and in Japan, it is a massive 17-a-day (though official ‘portion sizes’ are a little smaller in Japan, so it is equivalent to more like 12-or-13-a-day at UK guideline levels). In Japan, they also recommend three quarters of that be veg, and only 20% or 25% is fruit.

So what represents a ‘portion’ in the UK?

The NHS publishes a booklet to act as a guide, to accompany the 5-a-day advice. A portion, or serving, in the UK is 80 grams (it’s 50 grams in Japan). If you want to count dried fruit, then a portion is just 30 grams. The booklet covers hundreds of items, so I’ll just list a few here. For my own convenience (in writing this post) I will highlight the foods I personally eat the most often. The following items represent “one portion” or “one serving”:

  • Apple (1 medium)
  • Avocado (half an avocado)
  • Banana (1 medium)
  • Blackberries (9 or 10)
  • Blueberries (2 handfuls)
  • Grapefruit (half of one)
  • Grapes (1 handful)
  • Orange (1 medium)
  • Pear (1 medium)
  • Raspberries (2 handfuls)
  • Strawberries (7 fresh)
  • Tomato (1 whole fresh)
  • Aubergine/Eggplant (one third of a whole)
  • Broccoli (2 spears)
  • Cabbage (2 handfuls sliced)
  • Carrot (3 heaped tablespoons of sliced carrots)
  • Courgette (half on 1)
  • Cucumber (2 inch chunk)
  • Kale (4 heaped tablespoons)
  • Leek (1 whole leek, white portion only)
  • Lettuce (1 small bowl)
  • Mushrooms (3 to 4 heaped tablespoons)
  • Parsnip (1 large)
  • Pepper (half of one)
  • Spinach (fresh, 1 bowl of leaves)
  • Sweet potato (1 large)
  • White potatoes do not count in the UK – too much starch, not enough nutrients. To be fair, potatoes can deliver some Vitamin C, a vital anti-oxidant, but Core Principle 1 of MND recommends dropping white potatoes from your diet because, just like processed grains, they tend to be dense in energy (lots of bulky calories) but low in nutrients
  • Fruit juices – the UK government does include fruit juice, but I don’t. MND guidelines see fruit juice as “all the sugar, none of the fibre” so best to eat whole fruit most of the time. Making your own freshly extracted juice now and then is fine, but guzzling shop-bought commercial fruit juice is not an option

The study from UCL came out with some interesting statistics. They noted that people who eat an average of 7 portions of fruit and veg per day are 42% less likely to die (all ages, all causes, all demographics) than people who on average eat ‘less than one’ whole portion of fruit and veg per day. See graphic (graphic from BBC website). Percentage safer

Now of course, the researchers know that there can be many factors that influence such findings – perhaps the kind of people who eat lots of fruit and vegetables on a regular basis, are the kind of people who care about their health, and hence they don’t smoke, drink less alcohol, avoid junk food and take regular exercise. The official press release for the study claims that they have monitored for these factors:

Quote “Compared to eating less than one portion of fruit and vegetables, the risk of death by any cause is reduced by 14% by eating one to three portions, 29% for three to five portions, 36% for five to seven portions and 42% for seven or more. These figures are adjusted for sex, age, cigarette smoking, social class, Body Mass Index, education, physical activity and alcohol intake, and exclude deaths within a year of the food survey.” The study was large, covering over 65,000 people, so we can probably assume they covered a good diverse spread of the population.

Veggies better than fruit – much better

Now here is the bit I find most interesting, and it completely supports what I have been saying through MND for a long time. Vegetables are much better for you that fruits. Now I don’t want people to get over excited and use this as a reason to stop eating fruit. Fruit has numerous uses. I have blogged about fruit before – see this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUR1ESblOWg – and at some point, I will be publishing a long post “The definitive word on fruit”, but just remember there are some good things going on with fruit:

  • It provides a sweet food, enough of a treat to help a lot of people avoid sweets, cakes, biscuits and chocolate
  • It provides soluble fibre
  • Fruits are mostly rich in vitamins, some minerals, digestive enzymes and bioflavonoids

 

BUT, fruit is sugary, so should be eaten in moderation, and perhaps seasonally, and eating lots of fruit is NOT AS beneficial as eating lots of vegetables.

This UCL research showed that – quote “The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, found that fresh vegetables had the strongest protective effect, with each daily portion reducing overall risk of death by 16%. Salad contributed to a 13% risk reduction per portion, and each portion of fresh fruit was associated with a smaller but still significant 4% reduction.”

portions per day 2

(Graphic from Telegraph website)

Clearly, there are considerable long term health benefits to eating lots of vegetables, including fresh raw salad vegetables (I personally eat salad every day for the warm half of the year, and if you are following MND, then I recommend that you do too) but the benefits of lots of fruit, while still benefits, are far less significant. The consumption of a lot of fruit, is partially offset by the high sugar content.

Also, I suspect that a lot of respondents in the survey/study, reported “a portion of fruit” when they had drunk fruit juice. The study showed that consumption of fruit juice conferred even less benefits. Indeed, another quote: “The researchers found no evidence of significant benefit from fruit juice, and canned and frozen fruit appeared to increase risk of death by 17% per portion. The survey did not distinguish between canned and frozen fruit so this finding is difficult to interpret. Canned fruit products are almost four times more popular than frozen fruit in Europe, so it is likely that canned fruit dominated this effect.”

So the message is clear – if you want to live long and be healthy then eat your vegetables!!!

 

common_Sense_icon_large

 

Wow, 65 thousand people filled in a survey, and UCL spent tens of thousands of pounds collating and analyzing the results, and all we had to do was ASK OUR GRANDPARENTS and they could have told us that for free.

Eat your vegetables.

I seem to remember my mother saying this to me roughly every day of my childhood.

Not exactly NEW, is it? 

Even better, grow our own vegetables in our gardens so that they are organic, and the benefits will be even greater.

But so few do

It deeply concerns me that so few people in the UK are eating their 5-a-day, especially as 5 is far too low, in my opinion. I often see DREADFUL labelling/marketing on foods in the shops – cheap kids juice drinks full of sugar labelled as ‘one of your 5-a-day’ when this just IS not TRUE.

fruit shoot shite 2fruit shoot shite 1

 

These kids juice drinks are NOT one of your 5-a-day.

I’ve heard people say they squirted tomato puree into the spaghetti Bolognese, therefore that’s 1 of their 5-a-day. NO. Tomato puree on a pizza base? NO! Ketchup?!?! NO!!!

I suspect that of the masses who do not eat 5-a-day or more, many are likely eating more fruit than veg, and many are counting a fruit juice as “a portion of fruit” when we now know that in fact, fruit juice should not count, because it confers no benefit.

Yet here it is, one of the leading brands of fruit juice, right front and centre on their own website:Tropicana marketing bullshit own site

 

 

 

 

 

And right on the website of one of our biggest retailers – one of your 5 a day. WRONG! False advertising! Un-proven health claims right there!!

Tropicana marketing bullshit

I could go on and on with examples…but you get the point.

The future cash-crunch in our National Health Service

In the UK, the NHS faces a grave future if things carry on the way they are currently going. The rising financial burden of the obesity/diabetes situation is on course to cripple the NHS in the next couple of decades. Cancer drugs and heart disease treatments are insanely expensive, as drug companies profit enormously from people living longer but in poorer health. If the government wake up, start taxing junk foods and sugar (pay-per-calorie on sugar and additives, and pesticides) and offer tax breaks to organic farmers and micro-farming, and offer tax breaks to farm shops, farmers markets and other “eat local” initiatives, in just a decade we could shift billions of pounds of tax revenue to help consumers make healthier choices.

When the hole in the ozone layer and global warming were top of the political agenda, a system of carbon credits was initiated across Europe, and all countries saw cuts in emissions. The carbon credit trading market quickly became one of the largest derivatives trading markets in the world. It IS possible, massive change at a national, political and economic level can happen, and it just takes political will and public support.

At the moment, we live in a country where junk food is cheaper than health-giving food.

In the UK, a Big Mac costs approximately £2.59 – image thanks to BurgerLad.com website.Big Mac Price

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Big Mac packs almost 500 calories:

Big Mac Nutrition

So junk food calories are CHEAP. Eating a Big Mac is costing approximately 5 pounds per 1000 calories.

By comparison, organic broccoli in Tesco costs £4.17 per kilo.

Organic broccoli Tesco

A KILO of broccoli delivers roughly 340 calories.

broccoli nutrition data

 

So you would need to eat almost 3 kilos of broccoli to get 1000 calories from it (and boy would you get a lot of lovely Vitamin A and Vitamin C from that!) and at over £4 per kilo, those 1000 calories would cost about £12 pounds.

So this is the problem we face.

  • 1000 calories of organic broccoli costs £12 pounds
  • 1000 calories of Big Mac junk costs £5 pounds

But eating more vegetables is better for you, will keep you alive longer and will cure 25% of all cancer without any drugs or surgery or doctors’ appointments, no hospitals and ambulances, no NHS required. Just imagine how we could ease the burden of state-provisioned quality healthcare if we could reduce the NHS cancer burden by 25% for the next 50 years, and if we could reduce the burden of heart disease by 31% over the next 50 years. And I suspect these measures would also dramatically cut the burden of obesity, diabetes and numerous other chronic degenerative conditions.

The government needs to stop pussy-footing around and make the tax system work NOW in favour of long term good health. I propose that ultimately the UK Treasury will SAVE SUBSTANTIALLY over the next 40 years if they act now – place a tax burden on sugar and junk food, and give tax breaks to organic farmers. Cut taxes on organic fruits and vegetables, incentivize people to buy local and encourage farmers markets and more small-scale localized organic farming. Ultimately, the NHS will crash under its own financial burden unless they act now to ensure a healthier nation tomorrow.

What can YOU do now?

Quite simply – MotherNaturesDiet

That’s what you can do. I can’t claim ‘MND is/has ALL the answers to ALL problems’ and I can’t claim that living the MND way ‘will cure cancer or heart disease’ – but looking at all the evidence, I think it’s got to help.

While I was writing this post, I looked at my own food intake for 2 days. These are absolutely normal, typical days for me, eating the way I always do, eating MND style.

My food on 2nd April 2014:

  • Breakfast – 4 servings fruit (2 banana, 1 grapefruit)
  • Snacks – 1 serving fruit (apple)
  • Lunch – 8 servings all veg (6 spears broccoli, half green pepper, mushrooms, tomato, spinach, 1 serving cabbage)
  • Dinner – 4 servings all veg (half sweet potato, 1 whole large courgette, half of 1 leek, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms)

17 total. 12 veg, 5 fruit.

 

My food on 3rd April 2014:

  • Breakfast – 2 servings veg (Spinach, mushrooms(half), cabbage (half))
  • Snacks – 3 servings fruit (1 grapefruit and 1 apple)
  • Lunch – 8 servings all veg (6 spears broccoli, half green pepper, mushrooms, tomato, spinach, 1 serving cabbage)
  • Dinner – 4 servings all veg (half sweet potato, 1 whole large courgette, half of 1 leek, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms)

17 total. 14 veg, 3 fruit.

On any typical day, I eat 17 servings of fruit and veg per day, typically 70% to 75% vegetables, and the remainder from fruit.

Recently, someone questioned/challenged me that “How do I know that, eating my MND diet, I am not nutrient deficient inside?” Well, it’s an excellent and interesting questions.

  1. I researched online all common nutrient deficiencies, and looked at the list of symptoms for every one, and certainly I suffer none of the listed symptoms in any way
  2. I have been tested in a number of ways (blood, cholesterol, etc.) and I show 100% excellent good health according to all tests
  3. I look the best I ever have, feel the best I ever have and I am super fit (running marathons, etc.)
  4. I never get sick and I always have masses of energy

But still, as this person pointed out, despite those points/facts, I cannot know for sure if I am not slightly nutrient deficient inside, for one micronutrient or another. True, I cannot know this. This person suggested that tracking my intake of food over a set period would be an excellent way to understand my nutrient intake, which would then give us another excellent way of estimating my internal nutrient balance. I think the fact that my MND diet includes an average of 17 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, on average often a dozen or more of them being veg, I think I can probably say that I am fairly comfortable knowing that I am consuming a diet rich in nutrients and anti-oxidants that should help me benefit from all the life extending properties of good nutrition. I buy organic as much as I can, and I buy local and seasonal for much of my food.

Why I believe MND is the way to go

MotherNaturesDiet is not about ‘getting by’ in life, it’s about living to your utmost full potential, it’s about thriving, not just surviving, it’s about being your best, it’s about achieving optimum health, the stated goal of MND is to live with supreme natural good health and abundant energy.

I already told you (this video was recorded a year ago) that eating the MND way would help protect you from cancer as best as possible: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7-GDl-Ce6w

And I have explained before that MND is the way for abundant good health! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBRewO7M-lk

Eat your veggies people, it’s SO SIMPLE.

 

Links:

UCL: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0414/010413-fruit-veg-consumption-death-risk

BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26818377

Telegraph (nice graphic): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10735633/Healthy-diet-means-10-portions-of-fruit-and-vegetables-per-day-not-five.html

 

 

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