So what's with all this 80s stuff? Meet Vegan Vince

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Inflammation is the body’s defense system responding to some kind of irritation. Acute Inflammation is usually in response to some infection or injury and is marked by the easily recognized red, hot, swollen, and painful signs we all know. This outward manifestation shows the body defending itself against a perceived threat. It is part of the healing process.

Chronic Inflammation is different. It is a constant, low-grade response to a long-standing, sub-clinical irritant. It amounts to the body basically turning on itself. This isn’t normally marked by the classic signs of acute inflammation, but the damage is there, slow and insidious, destroying the balance in the body and leaving us more susceptible to diseases and accelerated aging. Chronic inflammation is difficult to recognize until enough harm has been done to become clinically significant. It’s like corrosion or termite damage tearing away at the infrastructure, but in the human body this slow destruction contributes to problems like heart disease, cancer, arthritis, COPD, and dementia.

There are a number of known general causes of chronic inflammation, like being overweight, a bad diet, sedentary lifestyle, chronic stress, smoking, chemical toxins, and even gum disease. You could write a book on each of these, so I’m just going to deal with the basics of dietary stress. First of all, I want you to know that with regards to chronic inflammation, diet can either be the culprit or the solution.

The Standard American Diet – or acronym SAD – is the number one culprit. And it is just that, SAD! Sometimes it’s called the Meat and Sweet Diet or the Fast Food Diet. No matter what it’s called, this diet is overly high in animal fats (meat and dairy), extremely processed foods, and a ton of sugar. It’s also lacking in fiber, complex carbohydrates, and plant-based foods. The SAD Diet creates free-radicals that attack our cells, aging them or interfering with their function. The results: 1 in 2 people die of heart disease, and 1 in 3 die of cancer.

What is the solution? Cultures that eat the opposite of the SAD Diet have much less cancer and coronary heart disease. By eliminating meat, dairy, and eggs from the diet and increasing the intake of fiber, fruits, and vegetables, you can cut the heart attack risk by over 90%.

While science looks for drugs and surgery to treat the diseases caused by chronic inflammation, the solution is right there, on your plate. Joy Houston, celebrity vegan chef, says, “Eat like your life depends on it. It does!” She’s a smart woman. Eat only the best foods and give up the Standard American Diet. Choose not to be SAD. Be a Sunwarrior instead.

Learn more about Dr. Steve Weston"

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