I recently attended a seminar hosted at King's College which explored a well-discussed topic among the vegan community - ' Can a Plant Based Diet Save Modern Civilisation?'. When sharing that title with my non-vegan friends, the response was a mixture of smirks and looks of bewilderment.
While many of us understand the importance of cutting out meat, mainly because we've done it. Having reaped the benefits and have the blood tests to prove it, the majority of our society simply refuses to believe the facts in front of them. Regardless of how much sound scientific evidence they are shown, it seems to fall on deaf ears.
Let's begin at the end...
Before I begin to share the stark reality, backed up by Dr. William's research, let me share the ending. One simple question; 'What food tastes better than your health?"
While this presentation gave damning evidence against sugar and alcohol, both of which are consumable as part of a vegan diet, much of the warning signs were placed over meat, fish, dairy and eggs. Overall, there is very little that can be said of the health benefits of eating any of it.
On the other hand, a plant-based diet rich in complex carbohydrates, whole-grains, fruits and vegetables was found to significantly and positively impact patients at risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Heart & Circulation Disease, and can reduce mortality rate by up to 27%.
Let's delve a little deeper into Dr. William's presentation.
Why are we gambling with our lives for the sake of bacon?
Obesity in the UK is a problem that needs to be addressed, with expectations that 50% of our population will be obese by 2030. And bacon isn't the only problem.
It's a fact that we do not need to eat meat. Many major athletes thrive on a plant-based diet and credit this lifestyle to their success. Arnold Schwarzenegger has teamed up with James Cameron and leading sports women and men to discuss the protein myth. If I have to take advice from you and your bacon jokes, or Schwarzenegger, the strongest man in the world, Djokovich (the list goes on!!), I think I know where I'm at...watch the trailer...
Where do you get your Zzzzzzzzz....so over it...
Now for the Science
Instead of actually preventing disease, we keep inventing medicines and devices such as pace makers to deal with the symptoms. My own father had one fitted back in 2009, it was one of the scariest moments of my life. He now relies on this device to keep his heart ticking and has to visit the hospital every year.
Cancer, heart conditions and diabetes. Instead of curing the problem from the beginning by eating better and moving more - we just wait until the inevitable and hope to find a solution. A high protein low-carb diet has been shown to be dangerous for health. Stop worrying about protein and start worrying about the side affects from your sources of protein.
If Shwarzenegger and Jackie Chan can't convince you, and Djokovisch, Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams don't either, perhaps I should share some sobering evidence, courtesy of Dr. Kim Williams and share some of the bad news discussed in his lecture.
Facts we Should Take Note Of.
The lecture discussed the facts based around the possiblity of preventing diseases such as Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), Heart/Pulminary Disorders, Cancer and Diabetes Type 2. Comparisons were made between subjects from various clinical trials and studies who followed a plant based diet, to participants who followed a meat-based diet.
I could write for hours on this subject, there is so much out there with regards to factual based information and evidence. For the sake of cutting down on time, here are the main facts that I gathered from the lecture, those which I found most valuable to share. If you would like further information, sources and detail on the individual studies, you can see the video of the lecture underneath, it's well worth a look!
1 - Sugar, Alcohol, Meat and Dairy are a direct cause of CVD, Heart/Pulmonary Disorders, Cancer and Diabetes Type 2. Omnivorous participants showed significant raises in mortality rate when compared to those on a plant-based diet.
2 - The diseases mentioned above have caused more death worldwide than in all wars on earth in history. Heart disease is now increasing in our population worldwide, despite a dip in previous years.
3 - The leading dietary factors for disease risk increases are: saturated fat, simple carbohydrates (white rice, bread, pasta), sugar, alcohol, sodium, low intake of whole grains and low intake of fruits and vegetables.
4 - High-protein/low-carb diets such as the Keto diet showed significant increase in CVD potential risks (please do your research before committing to any kind of diet).
5 - Egg consumption showed increased risk of cholesterol leading to increased risk of CVD (egg yolk).
6 - Plant protein linked to lower risk of heart failure.
You can watch the lecture in full here:
Takeaway (Excuse the pun).
There are no healthy sources of meat-based protein. For the level of protein obtained from meat, the long-term effects of eating it far out-way any benefits.
The truth is, we're addicted to animal products. We have learned over hundreds of years to prepare it in a way that has become so irresistible, so delicious, so normal, that we can not see through it all for the sake of our health, and that of our family.
We need to start thinking very seriously about our future. Animal agriculture is killing our planet, consuming these animals and their secretions is killing us, and the animals are subjected to the most abhorrent terror we would never want to endure ourselves. All for a moment of pleasure.
And so, I ask you again, what food tastes better than your health? Or your loved ones?
Written by Kim Lewis: blogger at Lifebymslewis.com / instagram.com/life_by_ms_lewis
Information: Dr Kim Williams and sources
With thanks to:
Dr. Kim Williams - Speaker
Dr. Shireen Kassam - Organiser and President of Plant Based Professionals UK
Dr. Alan Desmond - Panel Speaker
Dr Sue Kenneally - Panel Speaker
The Happy Pear & Bosh TV - Contributing Speakers
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