Dr. Padma Garvey

The plant-based Doctor Mom 

The Plant-Based Doctor Mom



Your Diet and Hospital- Acquired Super Bugs

I have begun to view our association with antibiotics as a torrid, love affair.  It was brief; it was exciting while it lasted; but in the end we will be left devastated.  I use to think antibiotic resistance was something we could fix or eliminate.  Now I see it as battle we had lost from the very beginning.    Antibiotic resistance has been around for a long, long time and many of our current health problems are due to the slow burn of the antibiotic age.  While we may have eliminated major causes of death from acute infections that plagued us in the past, we have only replaced them with chronic conditions that might be linked to overuse of antibiotics and with infections from multi-resistant super bugs.   Scientists have actually analyzed the bacteria from epidemics as far back as the 1920s and found that those bacteria contained the genes for resistance to antibiotics that had even been discovered yet.  About 6 months after penicillin was first used, reports of penicillin-resistant bacteria were in the medical journals in 1940.


Bacteria have ALWAYS been several steps ahead of us in this game. What this means for us in our everyday lives is that we need to harness our own internal forces.  Bacteria are powerful but so is a healthy immune system.  Eating a low fat, whole grain, plant-based diet is the safest and most effective way to nurture our own good bacteria as well as our immune systems.  This is especially important for people in hospitals.  Hospitals are filled with bacteria, many of which are resistant to antibiotics.  Some of these resistant bugs are due to overuse of antibiotics in patients but many of these bugs are from the meat and dairy that is served on the hospital tray.  The vast majority of antibiotics used today are used on animals for consumption.  If you or a loved one is in the hospital, then opt for a plant-based diet.  This has no side-effects, causes no harm, may actually decrease your exposure to resistant bacteria, and may actually encourage some good bugs to grow in your gut. your paragraph here.

Type 2 Diabetes

The conference had a lot of information on diabetes.  There have been so many studies done throughout the years showing that a plant-based diet is highly effective in preventing and reversing diabetes.  In 2001, the prestigious Banting Lecture which showcases the best research in diabetes every year, was given by Dr. McGarry from the University of Texas.   Dr. McGarry’s research proved that the cause of insulin resistance, the cause of prediabetes and diabetes is an accumulation of fat in our cells.  This fat accumulation or lipotoxicity blocks our cells from responding to insulin.  The problem with elevated levels of glucose in our blood is a SYMPTOM of diabetes not the cause of it.  Note all the pharmaceutical treatments and dietary interventions that are promoted focus on the symptom and not the cause. 

One of the speakers at the conference was Dr. Hana Kahleova  who presented her  study that was published  in the journal  Nutrients Feb 2018.  They took two groups of overweight people who are not on a plant-based diet.  Half the group was placed on a low fat, vegan diet that was 75% carb, 15% protein, and 10% fat.  The other group was not told to change their eating habits.  Both groups were instructed not to change their physical activity.  Prior to the start of the trial, both groups had their insulin resistance levels measured.  After 16 weeks, the following differences were found.  The group on the low fat, vegan diet lost 14 pounds, the other group lost no weight.  The low fat vegan group had a marked improvement in their insulin resistance whereas the other group did not. 

I went on to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) website just to check out what they are recommending.  Though it is well hidden on their website, it is widely  known that many of the board members of the ADA are from the pharmaceutical industry, the fast food industry, etc.  The ADA site is still talking about carb counting, is still making Americans afraid of whole grains.  They say we can eat cheese in small amounts but don’t actually say how much.  Though diabetics are at high risk for heart disease and need their serum cholesterols to be lower than nondiabetics, the site is still talking about meat that diabetics SHOULD eat.  They make it seem like plant-sourced proteins come with the pitfall of carbohydrates even though we know that it is the fat in the diet that is the root cause of diabetes.  But the thing that made me angry the most was what they said about dairy.  The dairy council has a lot of influence on the ADA.  The ADA says that nonfat milk is an excellent source of high quality protein.  An 8 ounce glass of nonfat milk has 12 grams of simple sugar in it, accounting for 60% of the calories.  Seems strange from a site that is warning people about carbs, including whole grain, high fiber carbohydrates.  A baked potato with the skin has just as much protein as an 8 ounce glass of milk.  It also has lots of complex carbohydrates and fiber. 


Try something new.  Plan ahead.  Healthy eating is doable with some practice.  Check out my recipes.

 Listen to my latest interview with Carol.  Carol had been suffering from severe constipation her whole adult life.  Find out how fast a plant-based diet worked for her.

What To Know About Pregnancy

Eat a healthy, unprocessed, whole grain, low fat plant-based diet.  Your diet should be rich in green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and beans like tofu, lentils, and legumes.  

Take a folic acid supplement as recommended by the American College Of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  I will say, however, that if you eat a healthy plant-based diet, you will get all the folic acid you need through your diet.  But taking a folic acid supplement is harmless.  

Take a vitamin B12 supplement daily.  This is important for everyone to do nowadays whether or not they are pregnant and regardless of diet.  

Use vitamin D fortified plant-milks.  Getting just 15 minutes of sun exposure every day can help add to your vitamin D levels....and it makes you happy.

Incorporate foods high in omega 3 fatty acids into your daily diet, like flax seeds.  Vegans have no difficulty making all the DHA they need from the consumption of plant-based omega 3 fatty acids.

The Connection Between Meat and Vaginal Infections and Urinary Tract Infections

Bacterial vaginosis, vaginal yeast infections and UTIs are a big problem. A healthy vagina has lots of bacteria called lactobacillus. The lactobacillus produces lactic acid which prevents yeast and bacteria like Ecoli from overgrowing in the vagina. The lactobacillus also produces hydrogen peroxide which prevents the overgrowth of bacteria like gardnerella. Animal carcasses are washed with solutions of lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide (even organic meat) by the meat industry as a way of decreasing bacterial contamination. But doing this encourages the growth of bacteria that are resistant to lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide. When you eat the meat, these lactic acid resistant and hydrogen peroxide resistant bugs colonize your gut and vagina. Your body's natural defense mechanisms against these types of bugs no longer works. By eliminating meat consumption, you can, in fact, prevent your recurring vaginal infections and UTIs.ere.

Have a question?  Contact me and I will be happy to help

Recommended Reading and Viewing

Forks Over Knives (documentary)

The China Study (book)

How Not To Die (book)

Missing Microbes (book)

Epidemic of Absence (book)

​The Blue Zones (book)

Look For Me 

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Listen to Simon Jay of Plantproof.com interview me for his podcast

What's New Today?

Check out my recent article in the Pittsburgh Patrika

Climate Impact of Excessive Dairy Consumption

Global Warming

The same diet works for the earth and our health.  Win win all around