“Eating a high-protein dietis like pouring acid rain on yourbones,” according to one researcher.When you get your protein from plantsources, you get all the amino acidsthat you need, without all the saturatedfat and cholesterol found in meat,eggs, and dairy products.According to a study publishedin the
American Journal of ClinicalNutrition
, vegetarians do not havehigher levels of anemia than meat-eaters do. Iron is found in numerousplant foods,includingbeans, nuts,whole grains,and leafy greenvegetables.Fifty yearsago, most people got theirvitamin B12 from bacteria in theirdrinking water or on their fruitsand vegetables. Now that wateris purified and vegetables are sothoroughly washed, most people gettheir B12 from the bacteria on meator in dairy products, but all commonmultivitamins have ample amountsof B12 (all of them from non-animalsources), as do fortified foods likebreakfast cereals and soy milk. TheB12 in pill form and fortified foodsis actually much better absorbedthan that found in animal products.
According to Dr. T. Colin Campbell,nutritional researcher at CornellUniversity and director of thelargest epidemiological study inhistory,
“The vast majority of allcancers, cardiovascular diseases,and other forms of degenerativeillness can be prevented simplyby adopting a plant-based diet.”The American Heart Associationreports that vegetarians “havea lower risk of obesity, coronaryheart disease (which causesheart attack), high blood pressure,diabetes mellitus, and someforms of cancer.”Scientists have found thatvegetarians have stronger immunesystems than meat-eaters do;this means that they are lesssusceptible to everyday illnesseslike the flu. Vegetarians are also farless likely to be overweight; in fact,meat-eaters are nine times morelikely to be obese than vegans.Meat, dairy products, andeggs are completely devoid of fiber and complex carbohydrates,the nutrients that we’resupposed to consumemore of for good health,and they are loaded withsaturated fat andcholesterol, which canmake us overweight andtired in the short term andlead to clogged arteries andheart attacks in the long term.
What About Protein,Iron, and Vitamin B12?
According to medical authorities,vegetarians get plenty of protein withouthaving to pay particular attention totheir diets. Healthy vegetarian proteinsources include whole grains, oatmeal,beans, peanut butter, brown rice, peas,lentils, tofu, soy milk, nuts, seeds,mushrooms, and vegetarian burgers andhot dogs. By contrast, consuming toomuch animal protein has beenscientifically linked to osteoporosis—according to a 2003 U.S.Department of Agriculture(USDA) report,vegetarian womenhad strongerbones thanwomenwho atemeat.
Leading health experts agree that a vegetarian diet provides optimal nutrition for both childrenand adults. The largest nutritional and medical organizations, including the American DieteticAssociation, confirm that balanced plant-based diets are healthier than diets that include meat.
Anyone who eats fish for health reasons shouldthink again:
The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) revealed that women who ate fish just twice aweek had blood mercury concentrations that were seventimes higher than those of women who didn’t eat fish.A woman who eats just one can of tuna per week will be30 percent over the EPA cutoff for safe mercury levels.Mercury is known to cause severe health problemsfor humans, including brain damage, memoryloss, and damage to a developing fetus. One study showed thatwomen who regularly ate fish were more likely to have babies whowere sluggish at birth, had small head circumferences, and haddevelopmental problems. Women who consume even low levelsof fish contaminated with PCBs, mercury, or other toxins havea more difficult time conceiving. Some of these chemicalsremain in the body for many years. Plant foods like walnutsand flax seeds and and vegetarian DHA capsules containthe essential fatty acids that we need without theharmful toxins found in fish flesh.
Ask the Experts
I call them “the ‘make yourself sick’ diets”because they cause the body to go into ketosis—a state that occurs when we are seriously ill.I also use that designation because the very foodsrecommended—meat, chicken, bacon, eggs, andcheeses—are the foods the Heart Associationand the Cancer Society say cause our mostdreaded diseases. ... There is only one way to fully satisfy yourappetite with delicious foods and stay trim and healthyfor a lifetime—that’s a low-fat vegetarian diet withfruits and vegetables and a bit of exercise.
Dr. John McDougall,
medical directorof the McDougall program
Ask the Experts
“What do you think of ‘low-carb,’ meat-based diets?”
Dr. Neal Barnard, authorof
Foods That Fight Pain
“Isn’t fish a health food?”eating
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You can get all the calcium thatyou need from theplant world
—broccoli, beans,many leafy greenvegetables,almonds, soymilk, tofu, and calcium-fortified orange juice areall good sources.
The Hazards of Eating Chicken
Because chickens are now bred and drugged to grow solarge, chicken flesh today contains three times as muchfat as it did just 35 years ago. The most toxic form of thepoison arsenic is used in chicken feed because it promotesfaster growth. The National Institutes of Health warns thatthis cancer-causing chemical is then ingested by peoplewho eat chicken flesh.
magazine rankedchicken as the number one food you should never eatbecause of its high rate of bacterial contamination.
No species naturally drinks milkbeyond the age of weaning, andno species would naturally drinkthe milk of a different species.For humans, drinking cow’smilk has been linked to heartdisease, some types of cancer,diabetes, and even osteoporosis,the very disease that the dairyindustry claims its products aresupposed to prevent! The highanimal-protein content of milkactuallycausescalciumto beleachedfrom the body.Accordingto a Harvard Medical Schoolanalysis of the evidence, milk doesnot protect against osteoporosis.One egg contains a staggering 220milligrams of cholesterol, whichclogs your arteries and leads toheart disease.
What’s Wrong WithMilk and Eggs?