Nutrition & Health
Dr. Paden is especially passionate about nutrition and health, because keeping your whole body healthy has significant benefits for your eyes. He has dedicated much of his spare time to increasing awareness about healthy diets and misleading nutrition advice in the media. He believes the bulk of this advice is completely wrong; however, it is popular because it allows us to continue to eat the "western diet" that we are familiar with and enjoy. To bring clarity to these issues, Dr. Paden has provided a variety of helpful and reliable resources about diet and nutrition, including recommended reading and Dr. Paden's recipes.
According to Dr. Paden, there are two problems with the "western diet":
- If a recommended diet does not differ dramatically from the standard American diet, then the resulting health outcomes will not dramatically differ from the current situation (worst health outcomes in history, much worse in affluent countries than in the parts of the world where, by choice or by necessity, the people eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet).
- "Research" to justify these nonsense diets comes from those whose huge incomes depend on the status quo: The beef and dairy lobby (backed up by the US Department of Agriculture), the drug companies, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetic Association, the American Cancer Society, Kraft Foods, Kellogg’s, etc.
Data: From the United Nations and the NIH
Chart credit: p. 60 Eat to Live, Copyright © 2003, 2011 by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. Little Brown.
Look carefully at the above graph. It shows clearly why this section of our website was written. Now, let’s examine a few of the most popular nonsense diets:
The Paleo Diet: They get rid of dairy and refined foods, especially grains. This diet, for these reasons, is a little better than the standard American diet. For this reason, they have a few (true) stories about people who benefited from a change from a truly awful diet to the very suboptimal Paleo diet. They have no serious research and missed the dramatic message in the above chart. They got the "unrefined" part but missed the "plant-based" part of the formula. Dramatic health improvements are possible, but not if you only get it partly right. It’s like dialing 3 out of 4 numbers correctly on a combination lock.
In 2011, US News & World Report rated 25 diets for weight loss, heart health, diabetes, and other health measures. Twenty five different diets, and at the drop-dead bottom of the list: the Paleo diet. Their experts concluded that concerned people are "better off looking elsewhere."
"Junk" vegans and their famous health problems: They get the plant-based part correct but miss the “unrefined” (whole foods) part. Again, that combination lock won’t open.
There is a diet that results in: ("diet" here means what you eat, not a short-lived attempt to starve yourself thin)
- Heart-attack proof, down > 98.5%
- Ischemic strokes down > 98%
- All cancers down > 90%
- Osteoporosis gone
- Obesity and type 2 diabetes gone
- Dementia rare, and not a "normal consequence of aging"
- Arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, like type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis, nearly eliminated
Benefit to the individual who decides that personal responsibility trumps faith in our failed health care system: Read the above list again. You should decide the value of these proven benefits for yourself: nearly total elimination of our most common, most deadly chronic diseases.
Benefit to the US federal budget: 3½ Pentagon budgets saved each year (numbers calculated by the US government’s Centers for Disease Control). That is real money.
We benefit individually. We benefit as a nation.
Do not listen to nutritional nonsense. It is only your intellect, your mobility, your heart, your kidneys, your legs, your brain, and your life that are at risk.
Philip Paden, M.D.
The books on this list can teach you how to look and feel better, think more clearly, and live longer and healthier lives on fewer medications. This recent body of knowledge puts an end to the conflicting nutritional nonsense that we have been subjected to over the past 20-30 years. You can trust all the recommendations and conclusions in these books.
The books are based on the properly done studies of the relationship between human health and what we eat. If you change your life based on what you have learned here, I ask that you drop me a note letting me know. Please mark the letter “personal” and send to the address above.
This is not a book, but a documentary video (available as a DVD in my office, online, and NetFlix). It is entertaining and completely on the mark. It is your introduction and inspiration to read the following books.
By T. Colin Campbell, PhD
New as of May 2013. Dr. Campbell gives the most incisive analysis of our “health care” disaster and why misinformation is easier to come by than the health-promoting real science.
By Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.
The inside view of the most amazing heart disease story from the US’s best regarded interventional cardiac facility. A "how-to" book with many good recipes. This book presents the MOST STRICT version of the ideal diet, but remember that he was treating the very sickest heart patients.
By Joel Fuhrman
This has been the ultimate "how to" book to reverse type 2 diabetes and easily and permanently lose weight. Type 2 diabetes goes away in weeks and all medications are stopped. Proper food choices (and eating more if you wish) is the ONLY way to eliminate the vascular risk (heart attack, stroke, dementia, etc.) that goes along with medically-treated diabetes.
Slightly annoying is the author's implication that he "owns" or "invented" the message. We all stand on the shoulders of giants and should not forget it. Also, I am sure that animal products should be eliminated, or limited to 2-3 times a month, not 2-3 times a week. Fuhrman actually agrees with this and recommends NONE while you are getting rid of heart disease or diabetes.
By Joel Fuhrman
This book is quite new and reflects what Dr. Fuhrman has learned in the years since he wrote Eat To Live. The message is similar, but refined by his ongoing clinical experience. I particularly appreciated the references to research articles that support the recommendations he makes in the book.
By T. Colin Campbell
This book is the scientific basis of all the other books and gives the inside view of food politics in Washington DC. It is long and technical but overall a WOW. It is not a how-to book, nor does it have any recipes.
Below are other excellent books documenting and recommending the same nutritional approach. All these authors are the superstars of American medicine:
- The Starch Solution (McDougall)
- Power Foods for the Brain (Barnard)
- Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes (Barnard)
- The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick (O'Brien)
- Super Immunity (Fuhrman)
- Foods That Fight Pain (Barnard)
- Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook
- The Engine 2 Diet (Rip Esselstyn)
- McDougall's All-You-Can-Eat Cookbook
- The China Study Cookbook (LeAnne Campbell)
All books can be found on Amazon.com, in most bookstores, and many are available at my office.
Read in good health,
Philip Paden, MD
Almost every whole food, plant-based recipe that we have tried is good, but some stand out as excellent. The key to perfect health is perfect nutrition and that is only achieved if one can sustain the new food choices. That is why this recipe section exists: we all want to enjoy meals in the company of family and friends. As you will see, foods that actually lead to a long and healthy life can be very delicious.
We have selected the best of a huge number of very good recipes. They will keep you healthy and happy, and allow you to entertain friends and family who may or may not have changed their food preferences.
*Links will take you to Amazon where you can buy these books*
From Caldwell Esselstyn’s Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease:
- Caribbean Black Beans with Mango Salsa over Brown (or Wild) Rice (page 223)
- Tortilla Pie (page 229)
From Rip Esselstyn’s The Engine 2 Diet:
- Raise-the-Roof Sweet Potato-Vegetable Lasagna (page 202)
(Try garnet yams instead of sweet potatoes, and skip the tofu if you wish)
From LeAnne Campbell’s The China Study Cookbook:
- Best Broccoli Salad (page 82)
- Sesame Noodle Salad (page 112)
(My wife, Debbi, makes this without the noodles and we like it just as well…)
From Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live (2011 Revised Edition):
- Black Bean Hummus (page 254)
Note: Grind the cumin fresh from dried seeds in a mortar and pestle. Aromatic! Tahini is optional and the hummus is excellent either way.
Dr. Paden's passion for a healthy lifestyle, based on eating whole foods that have the power to heal and truly nourish our bodies, has led him to create a few recipes of his own, including a delicious fruit smoothie. Dr. Paden’s original recipes can be found below, featuring delicious and wholesome ingredients you can find easily in your grocery store or local farmer's market.