Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Meatless All the Time?

Meatless Monday with Mindy is taking a different approach this week. I typically share pictures of meatless meals that I have prepared along with the recipe (don't fear, I'll still give you a link to a good recipe), but tonight I would like to share with you some reasons why eating meatless is something you may want to consider if you haven't already. 

Eating just one meatless meal a week certainly has it's benefits, but there is much to be said about eating meatless more often.  According to My Science Academy website "research firmly supports a huge cancer prevention benefit to those who add fruits, vegetables, herbs and tea to their diets." This particular article revealed where case studies on on more than 10,000 women and men found that not only do Aggressive Cancers Hate Plant Based Diets, but eating more plant based foods makes huge contributions to lowering ones chances of dying from heart diseases, and a variety of other chronic diseases, especially lung and prostate cancers. 

Eating less or no meat, and more fruits, vegetables and grains has long been established as a healthier diet. But until the past couple of decades being Vegetarian has been considered extreme or radical by the majority of Americans. However, as more studies are being done about the health benefits of a vegetarian diet and the detrimental affects of eating animal-based foods, more people are adopting a vegetarian lifestyle. Eating more fruits, vegetables and grains (nuts and seeds too) have HUGE benefits, but eating less, or better still no meat, goes a long way toward living a much longer and healthier life. 

"A new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers has found that red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of total cardiovascular and cancer mortality. The results also showed that substituting other healthy protein sources, such as fish, poultry, nuts, and legumes, was associated with a lower risk of mortality." By Todd Datz, Harvard School of Public Health Communications Harvard Gazette 

With that said,  a diet high in animal protein (that includes red meat, pork, poultry, fish, milk and dairy), and high-glycemic foods (refined carbs found in processed foods), makes blood slightly more acidic due to proteins (amino acids). So cutting out red meat is good, but cutting all animal protein is best.

Did you know that Vegetarians have less cases of osteoporosis. Surprised? You shouldn't be.  A high intake of animal protein encourages the loss of calcium from the bones. When blood is more acidic (due to consuming animal protein), the body tries to balance or neutralize it by adding alkaline material the only way it can, by leeching some of the calcium compounds stored in bone. Over time osteoporosis develops. This information came from an article written by Dr. Christiane Northrup, but this information is supported by many more sites where other doctors and nutritionists are saying the same. That saying from the dairy association that says "Milk .. it does a body good"...well, not so much, unless you're a calf.

Dr. Colin Campbell of Cornell University proved through years of research that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and grains switched off genes promoting cancer, while a diet heavy in animal protein switched on cancer promoting genes. The book he wrote about his studies, The China Studies, started other researchers to investigate as well. Studies are popping up all over. the information found is truly fascinating and it's scary that what we've been led to believe for so many years is supposed to be good for us is really what's killing us.

High cholesterol, another big health issue, is not as big an issue when eating less or no meat either.  Vegetarians are found to have much lower cholesterol than meat eaters as well as lower risks of heart diseases.  Eating a vegetarian diet also lowers blood pressure, helps control diabetes, and in some cases reverses diabetes, and helps prevent or even turn off cancers.  

I can attest to the lower cholesterol fact. In just 6 months after starting a vegetarian diet, where I messed up more frequently than I care to admit, I still managed to lower my genetically high cholesterol by 22 points!  I am now considered to have "normal" cholesterol numbers and have managed to avoid taking a statin, a prescription pill to aid in lowering cholesterol.

I know I threw a lot of information at you and it's a lot  to take in on in one reading, but so worth taking heed. There is so much evidence in research and case studies out there to support eating less or no meat, and eating more fruits, vegetables and grains to be beneficial to a long and healthy life. But even better still, living the life we have right now, today, feeling much more energy and healthier than we allow ourselves to believe we can feel. Don't accept low energy, being overweight or having poor health as something we just have to live with as we age.  It's NOT! We can enjoy good health instead of just adapting to mediocre or poor health.

Thanks for staying with me.  As promised, I'm sharing a recipe my daughter shared with me. She served it to me for lunch one day recently and it is very good.  She did not puree the soup as the recipe calls for, instead, she just used a potato masher as her husband prefers chunky. The list of ingredients can look scary at first, but don't let that intimidate you, many on the list are spices and herbs. Tweak as you want or need, but do make this. It is yummy!

The recipe is in the linked title.

Picture and recipe from Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton


Linda Fleck said...

Mindy, Loved reading your post. A lot of good information. As you know I am not vegan or vegetarian, but for the most part I do not eat processed foods (I'm getting much better at this) and always incorporate lots of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts into our diet. The recipe looks wonderful! I have some red lentils. I'm going to make it this week. I'll let you know the results! Love you, Linda

Jenny said...

The recipe is delish! Hubby and I devoured it twice in two weeks! And yes, meatless all the time! I so don't regret going meatless 15 years ago - even when I didn't know how to do it! I love learning about new and whole foods all the time and discovering the satisfying flavors they offer! I can only pray my little one will grow up loving meat free as I do - and that hubby will one day jump onboard!