Plant Based – What’s With all the Hype?
In my quest for health, I sucked up TONS of books, read countless studies and spoke to many experts. The only message that was continuous and stayed consistent throughout countless sources was that a plant based diet greatly lowered my risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, alzheimers and countless other diseases.
I understand that we have been programmed for DECADES to believe that we need meat in order to be healthy but reality is – we don’t. We do not need to consume animal products and in fact, most diets contain WAY too many of them. Those critter products are causing our nation to become increasingly more obese and unhealthy each year.
But don’t just take this from me – let’s look at some of the science that backs this up:
In a study conducted by The Mayo Clinic, the organization states the following: A National Cancer Institute study of 500,000 people found that those who ate 4 ounces (113 grams) of red meat or more daily were 30 percent more likely to have died of any cause during a 10-year period than were those who consumed less.
Dr. T. Colin Campbell – author of The China Study – one of the most groundbreaking studies of diet and nutrition in our history, states the following: At various times throughout our lives, we all have cancer cells that will pop up in our bodies, but what “feeds” the cancer and fortifies it is, among other things, animal protein. Why is that? Because animal protein (meat, dairy and eggs) alters the mix of hormones and modifies important enzyme activities, causes inflammation and cell proliferation and creates an acidic atmosphere in the body—all of which create and ideal environment for cancer to thrive.
The USDA published the following: Cancer protection is just one of many potential health benefits of a plant-based diet. Eating an abundance of vegetables, fruits and other plant foods may protect against heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension and birth defects. Soluble fiber from grains and legumes may help lower blood cholesterol. Antioxidants in plant foods may help prevent cataracts, and carotenoids specifically appear to prevent deterioration of the retina of the eye. A plant-based diet can also contribute significantly to reducing obesity, a risk factor for cancer and other diseases.
The American Journal of Cardiology published a nice pile of research in 2009 that stated the following: Persons who consumed a plant based diet had noticeable increases to their health including: :
- Lower levels of triglycerides
- Lower concentrations of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP)
- Lower blood pressure
- Decreased body weight and body mass index (BMI)
- Decreased risk of death from any cause, including heart disease
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Better blood sugar control in patients with diabetes
I could go on and on, stating my sources for supporting a plant based diet however, that gets boring. Hopefully there is enough stated here that I have at least grabbed your attention.
Now, let’s deal with all of those pesky myths that try to convince unknowledgeable people that they HAVE to have meat in their diets in order to be healthy:
If you are considering making improvements to your own health, seek knowledge and don’t just buy in to industry hype.