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Healthy Living

Eat Your (Organic) Veggies

Mom always told us to eat our vegetables. And now researchers are proving she was right...especially if they are organic.

Vegan Diet Helps Weight Loss

A low-fat, plant-based diet is more effective at helping women lose weight and improve insulin sensitivity than one that includes meat, according to a study appearing recently in The American Journal of Medicine. The study, involving 59 overweight, postmenopausal women, was conducted by Neal D. Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), along with colleagues at Georgetown University Hospital and George Washington University. Half of the study participants followed a vegan diet; the other half followed a control diet based on National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines.

“The study participants following the vegan diet enjoyed unlimited servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other healthful foods that enabled them to lose weight without feeling hungry,” says Dr. Barnard. “As they began to experience the positive effects – weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity – the women in the intervention group became even more motivated to follow the plant-based eating plan.”

Other research has shown that obesity and overweight are far less prevalent in populations following a plant-based diet. In a recent study of more than 55,000 Swedish women, Tufts University researcher P. Kirstin Newby and her colleagues found that 40 percent of meat-eaters were overweight or obese while only 25 to 29 percent of vegetarians and vegans were. Worldwide, vegetarian populations experience lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other life-threatening diseases. Another study appearing in the Journal of Urology in September shows that a low-fat, primarily vegan diet may slow the progression of prostate cancer.

Kids Benefit From Organic Foods

Switching to organic foods provides children “dramatic and immediate” protection from widely used pesticides that are used on a variety of crops, according to a new study. A team of environmental health scientists from the University of Washington, Emory University and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that concentrations of two organophosphate pesticides – malathion and chlorpyrifos – declined substantially in the bodies of elementary-school age children during a five-day period when organic foods were substituted for conventional foods.


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