Hey folks,

Welcome to this edition of The Truth According To..Thursday!  I'm very excited to bring you this edition because there is some VERY valuable information contained here.  Last week, I asked for your testimonies on how you overcame a food addiction.  Mark Sutton of Soul Veggie, is the first to step up to the plate.  I'm so glad he did and I IMPLORE you to read this in its entirety- the links and all for some great information to really think about.  I'm learning more and more lately about eliminating the use of oil from the diet and I've already begun taking steps to do this myself.  Please be sure to visit the links at the bottom to learn more about Mark. 


It'll be four years this coming late February that I gave up added oil in my 10 year vegan diet (20 years before that, vegetarian). I was in the process of preparing to interview Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn by reading his book, "Reverse and Prevent Heart Disease," for the Mad Cowboy Newsletter (which I edit for Howard Lyman), when my father had his first heart event.

This shook me considerably. During the interview:

I hit Essy with every argument I could, against his 20 years of peer-reviewed research that showed a no-added fat vegan diet can reverse heart disease. I'm no softie. For example, I've worked at NASA on two Earth Science Satellite missions at the Goddard Space Flight Center.

He relished the fight, and he won me over. It was clear that added oil promotes development of plaque in your blood vessels, and actual measurements show that even one added fat meal constricts your endothelium:

... for several hours. Over the years, the constant abuse takes it's toll:

He also convinced me that oil isn't even real food (I often joke about never seeing an "olive oil pool" in nature...). In reality, it's highly processed nutritionally vapid goop. Along with Drs. McDougall, Barnard, McDougall, and T. Colin Campbell, Essy noted that "moderation kills."
So, to prove to my father it can be done, and to test what Dr. Esselstyn said about it taking 12 to 14 weeks or so to "re-calibrate your taste buds" to no longer have a taste addiction to fat (added oil), I went cold turkey.

It was a bit tough at first (at that time I craved garlic, olive oil, basil and pasta! French fries... fried tofu). But, after a few months of dedication and learning new ways to cook without added oil, I totally lost my desire for added fat and I've maintained that successfully ever since. I have absolutely no craving for added fat or oil. Lost weight, gained extra energy, and my cardiovascular system is in great shape (hint: I don't need viagra to have a good time).

I will never go back. A no added fat vegan, with lots of raw fruit/veggies is the healthiest diet in the world and addresses a key issue in how even vegans get heart attacks, obesity, diabetes, and Altzheimer's disease (just going vegan might give you better odds, but the odds are still there).

Anyway, I got used to being ridiculed a lot by other vegans (and vegetarians), kept blogging about these issues, joined the fat free vegan yahoo group, and hung in there. Gotta admit, though, the absolute high point for me was even former President (junk food aficionado) Bill Clinton got on board to the SAME diet recommendations ('cept for fish once in awhile).

Websites like:

 ...helped immensely, as did various cookbooks. Even Isa's caught on with her "Appetite for Reduction" cookbook, although she's still using oil. My father has cut back on meat, oil and dairy, but by no means enough. Probably has slowed down the degeneration, but his current diet won't reverse it.

 Finally, a new documentary about it all, predominantly featuring Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Campbell: will be released in a few months. The word's getting out, and the vegan community needs to get, well, real about how many of our major diseases (obesity, diabetes, Altzheimer's, and Heart) are "food borne." It's NOT just the meat and dairy, it's also the fat, whether from animals or plants. And we have the ability to take control in our lives, of our lives, adapt our dietary lifestyles, and drastically reduce the possibilities of succumbing to those "diseases."

Ultimately, the sooner the vegan community embraces the research and recommendations of Drs. Esselstyn, Barnard, Campbell, and McDougall, realizes how much useless added oil/fat is in products like "Daiya Cheese, Teese, etc.) and gets rid of their taste addictions to fat, salt, and sugar (the unholy trio), the sooner they will be able to truly embrace good health and a truly healthy heart.

Best regards,



  1. Very nice commentary, Mark! The work you have done and continue to do is an inspiration and
    a blessing. Not everybody can be Howard Lyman's
    right-hand man, and you have aptly demonstrated
    that yours is a powerful voice for a viable future.

    Robert Cohen

  2. Mark rocks! What a great example. :-)

  3. Yes- such valuable information. Thanks for reading!!


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