Six years ago New York Times food writer and columnist Mark Bittman decided to change his eating habits for good. He was 40 pounds overweight and was diagnosed with high blood sugar and high cholesterol. Bittman knew that his risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes would increase if he continued to eat the way he had been over the last 57 years. So he came up with a new strategy to get fit and be healthy without taking drugs. He emphasized plants, whole grains and fruits instead of meat and processed foods in his diet and watched as the weight melted away.
Bittman has shared his new food mantra with the masses in his latest book “VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00." It’s a simple plan that anyone can follow, he says in an interview with The Daily Ticker.
“What the science is really telling us is that we don’t eat enough plants,” he says. “We eat too much junk food. We eat too much meat. We eat too many animal products in general. The whole strategy is shifting a portion of your diet – not all of it – but a tolerable part of it to plants.”
Bittman promises that his “VB6” diet is not another weight-loss gimmick. Breads and carbs are allowed (whole grains preferred) and dessert can be eaten – as long as it’s after 6pm.
“You’re delaying gratification but not eliminating it,” Bittman notes. “This is a really good diet.”
The prevalence of obesity in the U.S. and the world has become one of the most serious health issues facing governments and health officials. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 60 million U.S. adults, or 30% of the adult population, are now obese. About 17% of U.S. children and adolescents are obese. The American Journal of Preventive Medicine estimates that the national obesity rate could jump to 42% by 2032 and a 2012 study by Trust for America’s Health found that the projected increase in obesity rates will cost the U.S. $550 billion between now and 2030.
Bittman believes his part-time vegan diet could help individuals drop the weight, improve their overall health and restore their energy. “It’s a commitment for life,” he says, but if you “emphasize low-calorie foods you’re going to lose weight."
In the video above, watch as Bittman reveals the one non-vegan guilty pleasure that he just can't give up.
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