The Plant-Based Way of Life
Leading health experts agree that adopting a plant-based diet is the single-best thing we can do for ourselves and our families. Healthy vegetarian diets support a lifetime of good health and provide protection against numerous diseases, including our country’s three biggest killers: heart disease, cancer, and strokes. The American Dietetic Association states that vegetarians have “lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; … lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer” and that vegetarians are less likely than meat-eaters to be obese.1 Well-planned vegetarian diets provide us with all the nutrients that we need, minus all the saturated fat, cholesterol, and contaminants found in animal flesh, eggs, and dairy products.
Research has shown that vegetarians are 50 percent less likely to develop heart disease, and they have 40 percent of the cancer rate of meat-eaters.3,4 Plus, meat-eaters are nine times more likely to be obese than vegans are.5
The consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy products has also been strongly linked to osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, asthma, and male impotence. Scientists have also found that vegetarians have stronger immune systems than their meat-eating friends; this means that they are less susceptible to everyday illnesses like the flu.7 Vegetarians and vegans live, on average, six to 10 years longer than meat-eaters.8
A plant-based diet is the best diet for kids, too: Studies have shown that vegetarian kids grow taller and have higher IQs than their classmates, and they are at a reduced risk for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other diseases in the long run.10,11 Studies have shown that even older people who switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet can prevent and even reverse many chronic ailments.
Read our top nutrition tips for maximizing the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. It's never too late to turn over a new leaf—you can take control of your health today by going vegetarian.
"With a mountain of facts, figures, research and obvious conclusions it would be the biggest gift you could give to yourself by embracing a plant-based diet" William Najger
Go to GoVeg.com for much more information
1 Ann Mangels, Virginia Messina, and Vesanto Melina, "Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian Diets," Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Jun. 2003, pp. 748-65.
2 Neal Barnard, M.D., The Power of Your Plate, Book Publishing Co.: Summertown, Tenn., 1990, p. 26.
3 Elizabeth Somer, "Eating Meat: A Little Doesn't Hurt," WebMD, 1999.
4 Neal Barnard, M.D., The Power of Your Plate, Book Publishing Co.: Summertown, Tenn., 1990, p. 26.
5 John Robbins, The Food Revolution, Conari Press: Boston, 2001, p. 58.
6 Neal Barnard, M.D., "Doctor in the House," PETA's Animal Times, Fall 2004, p. 7.
7 Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine with Amy Lanou, Healthy Eating for Life for Children, New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2002, p. 49.
8 Robbins, p. 14.
9 Benjamin Spock, M.D., Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care: Seventh Edition, New York: Pocket Books, 1998, p. 333.
10 Charles Attwood, M.D., Dr. Attwood's Low-Fat Prescription for Kids, New York: Penguin Books, 1995, p. 84.
11 Robbins, p. 85.