Jun
06
2009

Why Plant-Based?

Research cited in “The China Study” by T. Colin Cambell, PhD, the largest human epidemiological study ever conducted, suggests that animal protein consumption has a direct association with cancer. The most striking association with cancer was with casein, a protein found in cow’s milk and other cow dairy products. This association was also reproduced amongst other categories of chronic disease, such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Vegetable proteins were not associated with increased chronic disease at all in this study.

Research published in Diabetes Care in 1988 showed that cooked animal protein is just as potent a stimulator of insulin as is pure glucose in type 2 diabetes. Insulin is the hormone released by the pancreas in response to a high sugar meal, and high levels are implicated in type 2 diabetes, obesity and a variety of other disoreders. This information combined with epidemiological data suggesting a direct correlation between intake of animal protein and incidence of diabetes and other insulin disturbances points to a significant role of cooked animal products in the causation of these disorders.

This information is in direct contrast to that provided by proponents of the many high animal protein diets currently available. Certainly, most holistic physicians would advocate the exclusion of refined carbohydrates such as white sugar and refined grains as part of the journey to wellness. Furthermore, certain people have a constitution with a greater need for protein and fat (eg fast oxidizer and parasympathetic metabolic types) than others, however experienced clinicians such as Dr Gabriel Cousens M.D. in Arizona, USA, have found that using concentrated plant-based protein superfoods such as spirulina, chlorella, bee pollen, hemp protein and fermented rice proteins (which are up to 80% complete protein) can provide the effect needed to balance their metabolism, without the higher rates of cancer and chronic disease.

Dr Joel Fuhrmann in his book “The Eat to Live Diet” quotes the nutrient density of various commonly eaten foods according to their concentration of health-promoting nutrients. On a scale of 1 to 1000, almost all animal-based foods rated in the 1 to 100 bracket, while dark green vegetables like kale rating over 900 on the scale.

In addition, a multitude of spiritual traditions from around the world, including the yogic, Buddhist and Essene traditions have described the plant-based diet as the most beneficial diet for personal spiritual evolution.

Recent data on Greenhouse gases has also suggested that methane as well as nitrous oxide from animal agriculture not only plays a very significant part in Global Warming, but in effect may be more significant than carbon dioxide production, as backed up by research from James Hansen, the pre-eminent researcher in the field.

The message is simple: consider a plant-based diet for health, spiritual, ecological and ethical reasons.

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