Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mark Bittman Offers a Rational "Part-time Vegan" Solution at the Northwest Kidney Centers 2013 Breakfast of Hope

If eating healthfully and maintaining a normal weight were, well, a piece of cake, we'd see less End Stage Renal Failure - fewer people on dialysis!

Why? Because the two leading causes of CKD-Stage 5 (End Stage Renal Failure) are Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension (high blood pressure). And there's no question that both of these conditions are linked to overweight and obesity.

Mark Bittman, well-known author of many cookbooks and a NY Times columnist, presented his practical solutions at the NW Kidney Centers Breakfast of Hope on May 14, 2013.

Bittman, author of "How to Cook Everything," faced his own dilemma several years ago when his doctor pointed out that his weight was climbing and his cholesterol numbers needed improvement. His doctor suggested, "Become a vegan." (Vegans are a strict group of vegetarians who won't eat "anything with a face.") There go Ben & Jerry.

Taken aback, Bittman came up with an alternative: become a part-time vegan - or more specifically, "Be Vegan Until Six."

VB6 means that you eat vegan until 6:00 pm everyday - and then relax a bit.

It worked for Mark Bittman, as he watched his weight normalize and his laboratory values improve.

Is it the only way? Of course not! But Bittman presents a reasonable view: it's not "all or none." It is likely sustainable over the long term.

There are many ways to lose weight, but keeping it off is trickier. Google up the National Weight Control Registry, or read Ann Fletcher's masterful "Thin for Life" for more advice.

Remember, this is a marathon - not a sprint.

Thanks to Mark Bittman for his outstanding presentation and contribution to the Northwest Kidney Centers Breakfast of Hope.

Take care,
Linda Gromko MD