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and answers

How does following the FastTrack programme reduce my risk / reverse my heart disease or diabetes?

We have read the science and taken into account how people in Bluezones eat. Based on that information we developed the FastTrack programme.

To summarise the science, a plant-based nutrition plan:

  • Reduces the risk of heart disease by about 40%
  • Reduces the risk of stroke by about 29%
  • Reduces the risk of developing of metabolic syndrome by half
  • Reduces the risk of developing of diabetes by half
  • Reverses atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries that leads to heart attack and heart disease)
  • Decreases cholesterol
  • Decreases blood pressure

We don’t actually have published evidence for the FastTrack programme specifically, because it is new and one-of-a-kind. We are however collecting evidence so that we can add to the scientific knowledge pool and show just how well FastTrack works. If you have a Health Conditions Assessment at the beginning of your FastTrack experience, and then after at least 12-weeks of following the programme, we’ll be able to add your information to the knowledge pool and build the evidence.

Will following the FastTrack programme make me live longer and be happier?

Well we hope so, but we can’t say for sure. The FastTrack programme is partly based on the nutrition guidelines followed by people who live in Bluezone communities. People who live in Bluezones live the longest and are potentially the happiest people on earth. Nutrition is just a small part of their overall lifestyle.

Bluezone communities live by nine principles and the combination of those nine factors lead to their longevity and happiness. We can support you to include Bluezone principles in your life through services available at The Centre for Health.

How strictly do I have to follow the FastTrack programme?

The more closely you follow the programme the better the benefits. The programme includes an ‘off day’, one day out of seven when you do not have to follow the programme. On your ‘off day’ you can eat anything you like. We include the ‘off day’ so that you can wean yourself off some of the foods that are not part of the programme but that you like eating or that you feel it will be difficult to remove completely from your lifestyle. The ‘off day’ does reduce the effectiveness of the programme, but it might help you to stick to the programme long-term so we think it is a good compromise.

Can I eat red meat on the 'off day'?

There are no rules for the ‘off day’ so if you feel like you want to eat red meat then you can. However, the science does say that even when red meat is eaten only once a week, the effect on things like blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose isn’t as good as when there is no red meat at all. It all depends on why you are doing the FastTrack programme. We would recommend no red meat at all (except of special occasions perhaps) if you have heart disease or are at high risk of having a heart event like a heart attack.

I thought eggs were healthy. Why is there a limit of four eggs on the FastTrack programme?

Eggs are a complete protein source which contain numerous vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. There is definitely an argument about the health impact of the fat content of eggs. However, they are a natural source of protein and Bluezone principals include a small consumption of eggs each week.

There is no mention of poultry in the FastTrack programme. Can I eat poultry?

Poultry falls into the animal fats category. Therefore does not conform to the plant-based nature of the FastTrack programme. In addition Bluezone communities do not consume poultry in day to day nutrition except on special occasions. So apply the same rule of limiting intake as with red meat.

Will I get enough protein on the FastTrack programme?

Yes. Every meal contains a plant source of protein. Protein from plants is more easily broken down during digestion compared to animal protein. So you will get more benefit from the protein available from FastTrack.

Should I follow a plant-based diet if I am pregnant or breast-feeding?

Yes you can, but it’s always good to talk to your health care professional when you are pregnant to get an overall view of your health and wellbeing before making a decision. You will probably end up eating more vegetables on the FastTrack programme then you ever have. The increased intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants will benefit both you and your baby. Not to mention the lack of sugar and processed foods.

Can my children follow the FastTrack programme too? Are there any risks for children?

FastTrack is a family friendly programme for all ages. A high consumption of vegetables and plant-based sources of energy is known to improve mood, concentration levels and learning capability in children. They will be eating real food without any refined sugar or artificial flavourings. Many families do include a ‘side’ of meat for children in the beginning stages of the programme but it is not necessarily needed if your children are otherwise fit and well

I'm not sure that I have the discipline to strictly follow the FastTrack programme. Is a plant-based diet the only way to reduce my risk / reverse my heart disease / diabetes?

Following a plant-based diet is an effective way to reduce heart disease and diabetes. If you are at a high risk, we recommend that you follow the FastTrack programme for 12-weeks and then based on assessment results (cholesterol, blood sugar etc) decide how strict you need to be. As we have already said, Bluezone communities (the people who live the longest and are the happiest in the world), follow a plant-based diet.

I want to try and live like a Bluezone person. Can you help with that?

We can support you to implement the other bluezone principles into your daily life. It is important to remember that our societal structure means that it can be more challenging to live like a bluezoner in NZ. However, we can tailor a plan that works for you.

Is FastTrack gluten free?

Yes. FastTrack is essentially gluten free we do have sourdough as an addition in some recipes so simply choose a gluten free option.

How flexible is it? Am I locked in?

Our subscriptions are flexible and will automatically ensure that you get new meal recipes weekly. We encourage a four week sign up to ensure you experience Fasttrack. You can however pause or cancel If you wish.