Saturday, March 28, 2009

Vegan Nutrition

This is my first blog!  My goal in this  blog is to discuss as much information as possible about the benefits of a 100% plant based  whole foods diet.  I've been a "Vegan" for 20 years now and have learned quite a bit about all aspects of this lifestyle.  The reasons to go Vegan are stronger than ever in today's world.    My personal reasons for starting on this path were more from the ethical side of the issue. I became very involved in the Animal Rights movement 20 years ago and formed a group here in Woodstock , NY  (in 1989) called   WARM, inc...Woodstock Animal Rights Movement. This will not be a blog about Animal Rights but more about the Health and Environmental reasons for eating a  plant based diet.  Right from the very start of WARM, inc, it became obvious to me that the health benefits of a Vegan diet were enormous.  I truly believe it is the healthiest diet in the world...the healthiest way to eat for all humans...and the only way to sustain our growing population.  

I  will show how raising animals for food is the single greatest environmentally destructive activity that humans partake in.  But the primary reason for the blog will still be in the area of health, nutrition, diseases, and prevention.  I will discuss at length many of the questions that relate to this.  Evolution and diet of primates, human physiology, carnivore or herbivore, early human diets, development of wheat and grain in agriculture, when did dairy start, how did we get from there to here..."here" being the typical SAD diet-Standard American Diet-by far, the worst diet in the world , and how can we change and  what should we be eating?   Our diet is now comprised of about 45% percent animal products and 45% processed foods. Both of which, in my opinion, are causing a health disaster of epic proportions. That leaves about 10% for fresh fruits, vegetables, beans ,whole grains, nuts and seeds etc. But most people in the US don't even fill that 10% with the proper nutrition they need. We are literally eating ourselves to death, but not by hunger or starvation...simply by the foods we are eating that we think are "normal" or healthy.  Society thinks it's "normal" to die of a heart attack, the leading cause of death in this country.

If someone gets aids and dies from it, this news can , and often does, make the front page in papers.  But if someone gets heart disease or has a heart attack, we simply accredit it to being normal and part of life.   You have to die of something , don't you?  Cancer is on the rise now and that seems to be getting more attention as a worse thing to have than heart disease.  It can be scarier and more debilitating.   Everyone knows that heart disease is linked somehow to people think they should eat less red meat and less fats, but they replace this  with chicken, fish, dairy ,eggs and more processed and artificial foods. But many cancers are also caused by or directly related to , or enhanced by eating so much animal foods.  Diabetes falls into the same category. Countries that eat less animal products and less processed foods have far less diabetes.  The same statistics hold true for heart disease, many forms of cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, and most other major (and minor) diseases.   
Statistics show that  Obesity is an epidemic now in the US.  65% of all people are overweight and half of them are morbidly obese.  Obesity in itself can kill , but obesity also leads to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and joint weakness, stroke, and all the other major killers.  Generally, overweight people who go on plant based diets start to lose weight very quickly.  Most people on a plant based diet are within the proper weight and are very healthy. They have lower cholesterol, lower LDL, lower rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. It's been shown in medical studies that a Vegan diet can even reverse heart disease and can halt some cancers and make some go into remission.  Vegan doctors claim they can cure diabetes and that it is a reversible disease.

So, to sum up for now, I'll be going into all these aspects of diet and health as they relate to plant based nutrition. I'll give you links to many articles by the top doctors and nutritionists in the field so you can see what others say about all this, and don't just take my word for it. 

The field of nutrition is very complicated and very contradictory. You can do a Google search and come up with articles proving a meat based diet is the healthiest diet to be on...and you can do a Google search and show proof that a plant based diet is the best...and then you have hundreds of hybrid diets and fads in the midst of all of this confusion.

There is only ONE real diet for optimal health , for all humans regardless of culture and heritage and location, and that is a 100% plant based whole foods diet.