Michelle McMacken, MD – What Happens When You Stop Eating Meat (highlights from interview – Part 3)

Michelle McMacken, MD – What Happens When You Stop Eating Meat (highlights from interview – Part 3)


DR. PINEDA OCHOA: You wrote an article about
some things that happen to your body when you stop using animal products. Tell us about
some of those things that happen to your body when you eliminate the eggs, the fish, the
chicken, the organic beef, when you get rid of all of the animal products? What are some
of the changes that we start seeing in our bodies? DR. MCMACKEN: So there’s a few really cool
things that I’ve learned that can happen when you eat that way and eliminate animal
products from your diet. And one that I find very alluring is the amount of inflammation
that we can measure and probably inflammation that we can’t measure. So when you look
at C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation that we can test in the blood,
we know that people following plant-based diets tend to have much lower levels of CRP.
And when people who are eating a traditional Western style diet adopt a plant-based diet,
their levels drop as well. So it’s very powerful. And the reason it’s powerful, inflammation
sounds like it’s a loaded word. And we don’t want — some inflammation is normal. After
you sprain your ankle, that’s a normal type of inflammation for the short term. But living
with inflammation day in and day out is not normal. And that’s exactly what most Americans
and most patients I take care of have. They’re walking around in this low grade
level of inflammation all the time. And it’s closely tied to those same diseases that we
see. It’s tied to diabetes, cancer. It’s tied to Alzheimer’s disease. It’s tied
to heart disease. And so I find it really incredible that we can modify this through
the foods that we eat. So that’s one. I think a lot of people realize that cholesterol
is very tied to our diets. But what I don’t think they realize is that you can actually
lower your cholesterol as much by changing your diet as you can with pills. And I don’t
think a lot of doctors realize that either. And doctors will often see a patient with
high cholesterol and just right away be tempted to prescribe a medicine for them without actually
checking in and saying, what are you actually eating? I have had patients change the way they eat
to a plant-based approach and drop their cholesterol 40%. And you don’t necessarily see that
when you follow one of the nationally recommended diets that might include fish or chicken,
eggs, modest — everything is very modest. But when you eat that way, you get modest
results. So what I’ve seen in my experience and what the literature supports is that,
when people transition to a plant-based diet, they can drop their cholesterol tremendously
and obviate the need, in many cases, for taking a drug. And there’s, of course, only positive
benefits to eating this way, because it addresses so many other things at the same time. Other things that happen when you stop eating
animal products, prevention of diabetes, which we talked about a little bit, is very, very
powerful. And we know that — I think the latest numbers are that 38% of Americans have
a condition called pre-diabetes. So it’s really astounding when you think about it.
And I see it in my practice as well. There’s a tremendous number of people — the
burden that people face, the burden our society faces of future diabetes is astounding. We
think we have it bad now with diabetes. But if 38% of Americans have a condition where
they’re going to develop diabetes, we’re looking at an even worse epidemic down the
road. So eating a plant-based diet, again, the whole grains, which are very powerful
for preventing diabetes, vegetables, fruits, which by the way prevent diabetes as well,
beans — DR. PINEDA OCHOA: You’re not afraid of fruits? DR. MCMACKEN: Not afraid of fruits, yeah.
And I tell my diabetics, eat fruit, you’ll do great, you’ll do really great. Preventing
diabetes, changing the way our genes work. Dr. Dean Ornish has done incredible research
with others showing that, when people eat a plant-based diet, that cancer genes can
change the way that they’re expressed. We talked a little bit earlier about telomeres
in plant-based diets, the caps on the end of our chromosomes that keep them stable and
tend to shorten as we live, we can actually lengthen those telomeres by eating a plant-based
diet. We also talked about the microbiome and how — this is so cool — within a couple
of days of changing to a plant-based diet or changing your diet at all, your microbiome
patterns change completely. It’s very quick. And you eliminate bacteria that make toxic
substances, like TMAO, which is a substance that, if you eat an omnivorous diet, you eat
certain foods, eggs and meat and fish, it’s not just the components of those foods that
cause disease, but it’s also how they interact with your gut bacteria. And they make a substance
called TMAO, which accelerates our atherosclerosis, which is hardening of the arteries. So the
benefits are so vast — these are just a few of the benefits — but the more you learn
about it and the more you practice it and see it, the more you realize just how powerful
it is.

13 thoughts on “Michelle McMacken, MD – What Happens When You Stop Eating Meat (highlights from interview – Part 3)”

  1. 62 yo.  w/heart disease.   Went vegan 4 years ago.   lipids dropped by a huge amount.   TC from 210 to 120.   LDL from 120 to 70.    hsCRP is  < 0.4, consistently.    Dropped 15 pounds without trying and blood pressure dropped as well  None of this under the guidance of my cardiologist or family physician, both of whom just wanted to write scripts.  The medical community is in dire need of more physicians like Drs McMacken  & Ochoa.

  2. A number of studies have shown that plants feel pain, and vegetables are picked and often eaten while still alive. Animal rights activists are often in the news, but has anyone ever protested for vegetable rights? Plus, the start of the video hurt my ears, so why would I watch the rest?

  3. I was vegan for 5 years and followed thr McDougall way. The first 12 months were great, then slowly I got sicker and my blood work got worse and I became severely anemic. I introduced eggs and white meat and I feel amazing! Meat free is not for everyone, and a diet that requires supplements is not a true diet.

  4. I control my father diabetes with intermittent fasting and low carb life style, but no restrictions with vegetables and meat and cheese and he feels great at the age 87. I believe now there is to much wrong information and lots low quality available food make as sick!!! Don't eat to much and frequently in a day that is the secret of better health.
    I forgor,BEWARE refined grains and sugar.

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