Reported by Robin Quivers of the Howard Stern Show
Feb 23, 2011
Recently, Oprah did a
show about 378 members of her staff going vegan for a week. One week of
vegan eating isn't much in a lifetime of poor eating habits, but it's
something. What small improvements did a vegan diet make to the staffers'
health in that short period of time?
It's my contention that anyone
eating the standard American diet eats far too much protein, sugar and salt,
takes in too many calories and doesn't eat enough fruits and vegetables. So,
right away, the balance between protein from meat, fish and dairy and the
intake of vegetables shifted for Oprah's staffers in a positive direction.
Even the government now says we need more plant foods in our diets.
The standard American diet is also low in fiber. That's why Americans can't
poop. The staff testimonials included several people saying they were in the
bathroom a lot more than usual. Others reported weight loss and an increase
in energy. We don't think about it, but digesting food uses energy.
Digesting meat in particular takes a lot of energy. Why are energy drinks so
popular? Because everyone feels sluggish after a nice, hearty, meat-based
Some of the diet-related changes not reported but possibly
noticed include a change in skin condition, improved body odor and better
breath. Just releasing a small amount of the toxins we accumulate from diet
and the environment can improve skin color and tone and reduce body odors
and bad breath. That's a pleasant thought.
There are also the
negative things the staffers avoided for a week, like saturated fats and
cholesterol. They reduced their risk of E. coli and salmonella infections.
They were not taking in hormones, antibiotics or mercury from the cows,
chickens and fish we consume. They also probably noticed that they didn't
bloat after meals and were less likely to overeat. A high fiber diet and the
fact that you actually have to chew your food leads to a feeling of
satisfaction before you've consumed too much.
I hope that many of the
people who participated in this experiment noticed at least some of these
positive effects and wanted to continue. It's great that the people of Harpo
took this on and reported their results to the audience. Let's continue the
dialogue; we need to stop leaving it to the food manufacturers and the
pharmaceutical companies and remember that we are responsible for our own
health and well-being.