Eating for Life

Some people ignore dietary advice to cut out animal products, perhaps hoping that a “magic pill” will come along that will make their health problems go away. But common sense tells us that prevention is the best medicine. More and more people are finding wonderful ways to tempt their taste buds without tempting fate.

Eliminating animal foods from your diet reduces your risk of falling prey to some of India’s biggest killers, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The World Health Organisation has warned that India is quickly becoming the diabetes capital of the world, and heart disease and cancer are also on the rise. Studies have shown that it is possible to prevent or even reverse these diseases by cutting animal products out of your diet. According to Dr T Colin Campbell, one of the world’s leaders in nutrition research, “The vast majority of all cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and other forms of degenerative illness can be prevented simply by adopting a plant-based diet”.

Scientists have found that the risk of developing heart disease among meat-eaters is 50 per cent higher than among vegetarians.

Researchers have found that vegetarians are 50 per cent less likely to develop heart disease, and adopting a meat-free diet is the only proven measure for reversing heart disease and preventing heart attacks. Going vegetarian also cuts the risk of developing cancer: scientists have found that vegetarians have only 40 per cent of the cancer rate of meat-eaters. It is no wonder that vegetarians live, on average, six to 10 years longer than meat-eaters do!

What makes animal products so bad for your health? Meat, dairy foods and eggs are laden with saturated fat and cholesterol, which make us fat and lethargic in the short term and leads to clogged arteries and heart attacks in the long term. Plant foods, on the other hand, provide all the energy, protein, vitamins and minerals that we need to be healthy and strong, without all the fat and cholesterol.

The fat and toxins in meat can cause a blotchy complexion, which means that vegetarians are more likely to have beautiful skin.

Fish, pigs, cows and chickens accumulate toxic chemicals in their flesh and fat, which is why meat and dairy foods are a major source of toxic residues – dioxin, heavy metals, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics – that we consume. These environmental pollutants are absorbed by animals when they consume contaminated food or water, and the toxic chemicals are stored in their body fat. When we eat meat or drink cow’s milk, all the concentrated contaminants from the animals’ bodies enter our bodies. The toxins in animal products can lead to a range of health problems, including cancer and impaired mental functioning or other mental problems.

Vegetarians live, on average, six to 10 years longer than meat-eaters.

The slaughter of animals is very unsanitary, and meat often is contaminated with dangerous bacteria that can lead to diarrhoea, stomach pain, vomiting and even organ failure and death. The extreme crowding and filth found on factory farms and in abattoirs leads to the spread of diseases such as avian flu, foot-and-mouth disease, mad cow disease and SARS.

It is never too late to change your habits for the better. Cutting meat out of your diet is not nearly as inconvenient as suffering from cancer, diabetes or obesity. Going vegetarian is the single best thing that you can do for your health.

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