It is completely ridiculous how easy it is to be a healthy person. Furthermore, it is absolutely preposterous how brainwashed the average person is about proper nutrition by the commercial food industry. Ask anyone what is the purpose in eating meat and consuming dairy, and they will respectively respond to obtain protein and calcium. Not many people have been able to avoid “milk does a body good” commercials, or “beef, its what’s for dinner”, their entire lives; and here’s another, “pork, the other white meat”. All slogans Paid for by their industries and backed by the USDA. In health classes in schools across the country our youth is learning the food pyramid; a better guide than the four basic food groups taught not so many years ago, but still very wrong in its recommendations. Erroneous advice that is responsible for many preventable deaths. The simplicity in good health is, eating as we were evolved to eat. Before conventional medicine, before illness, before giving up altogether; eat the right food. Adopting a plant based diet is a lifestyle change that reverses and prevents innumerable diseases, and is as simple as taking a well-educated bite.
The American culture today is conditioned to believe they need meat and dairy to live, to literally live. Ironically, since the time Americans started eating large amounts of animal protein, the rates of chronic illness, heart disease, obesity (once a rich person’s affliction; possibly more meat?), and cancer have sky-rocketed. The general public was raised on the idea that humans are carnivores and at the top of the food chain; this is not true and is pure human arrogance. More correctly humans are herbivores/frugivores/veggivores and opportunistic carnivores. With our higher intelligence and thumbs we have made ourselves many opportunities to eat meat, and its killing us.
Our digestive systems from mouth to anus are designed to digest and process plant based fibrous foods. Carnivores excrete their meals quickly whereas with humans the meat lingers and becomes rancid. The consumption of animal protein and more specifically animal fat is directly responsible for the increased incidents of heart disease and stroke, as well as obesity and related diabetes. An article in WebMD list the following cardiac conditions as being able to be prevented or reversed by plant based nutrition; high blood levels of total cholesterol, high levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides, high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, metabolic syndrome (a group of risk factors: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat), and diabetes . It is more than a matter of just consuming less calories, it is about reducing the amount of fat in your blood. People do not realize that the same congealed fat in the bacon frying pan, is the same thing as the warmed fat that floats around in our blood clogging up our arteries. Eliminating the fat from our diets allows the “fat free” blood to, in a sense, erode away the built up plaque in the arteries, to the point of reversal of most cardiac conditions. The same WebMD article goes on to list benefits recorded from switching to a plant based diet; 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. Furthermore, the time spent in the intestines allows for humans to absorb more toxins from the polluted meat.
Commercially raised meat has a very high free radical content because the animals are given antibiotics, vaccines, and fed a mostly grain feed grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. These free radicals can aid in the growth of cancer by causing oxidation in the body. The excess toxins in the food also force the liver to work overtime and focus less on its primary mission of metabolizing fat. This makes meat a double whammy, in the sense of putting fat directly into the blood stream and impeding the removal of it later. Meat truly is delectably evil. The poor fat metabolism is a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic in the United States, which is also linked to cancer.
Obesity alone is linked to many various diseases and chronic conditions, and it is an outrage that people are obese when it is as simple as minimizing animal protein intake. An article in The Salem Heath Journal says that, “studies [found] populations that eat a diet rich in fatty foods, especially animal fats, have higher rates of cancer than populations that eat a plant-based diet high in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes”. Not only does consuming a plant based diet help an individual to lose the health threatening weight, but certain compounds found in plant based foods have been found to actually combat cancer cells. Along with these compounds, other antioxidants and phytochemicals help the body stave off cancer by protecting cells from the aforementioned free radicals.
This leaves to question if humans should consume animal protein at all? There is information regarding vitamin D3 that leads this author to believe that some animal protein, in the form of omega fatty acids, is essential to optimal health. This however does not give the green light to chow down on meat, but does give good credence to the Mediterranean diet.
The Mediterranean diet was ranked number one as best plant based diet on the US News Health site, and goes on the explain the myriad of health benefits gained from the diet. The article also reports the diet to be nutritionally sound, cost effective, and beneficial to heart health and lowering the “bad” LDL cholesterol in blood. The diet is based on the Mediterranean food pyramid. Unlike our food pyramid that gives daily requirements and portion suggestions for animal protein, the Mediterranean food pyramid gives animal protein requirements in daily, weekly, and monthly suggestions. The recommendations for the types of meat decrease inversely to the fat content. The diet is heavily based in plant foods, and very simple by which to live. Daily meals would have small amounts of egg or dairy; fish would be part of a weekly meal (possibly “Fish Fry-days”, but no actual frying); and red meat in a monthly meal (possibly a meat day; an event of sorts, or for holidays that month). The minimal consumption of animal fat allows for good cardiovascular health, but allows for the receipt of omega fatty acids needed to synthesize Vitamin D3.
The average American should be outraged, because they are fat and sick and do not have to be. Though it is true changing one’s lifestyle involves a lot of intestinal fortitude, it is easier once presented with the information. Excess animal protein in the American diet is as bad as any other carcinogen people are exposed to in life, but can be controlled and avoided quite simply. The Mediterranean diet also gives an easy floor plan to follow in order to achieve optimal health and prevent many chronic conditions. Living healthy does not have to be a mystery; people just have to see through the commercial haze.
Heart Disease Health Center. (2005-2014). Retrieved June 2014, from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/plant-based-diet-for-heart-health?page=1
Hiatt, K. (2013, December 12). Health and Wellness. Retrieved June 2014, from US News and World Report: http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/mediterranean-diet
Hill, J. F. (2010). Phytochemicals. Magill’s Medical Guide.
Richer, A. C. (2008). Nutrition and cancer prevention. Salem Health: Cancer.