Even though rates have been declining recently, heart disease still remains the leading cause of death in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm. Heart disease is also the leading cause of death in women in North America and according to the American Heart Association 43 million women in the US have heart disease. http://www.goredforwomen.org/about-heart-disease/facts_about_heart_disease_in_women-sub-category/statistics-at-a-glance/
February is heart month and given the sobering statistics above, I came across this article in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that could save your heart and your life. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/01/30/ajcn.112.044073.abstract?sid=79c50832-5428-4f5e-ab4a-6356c122c676
The EPIC-Oxford study is the Oxford component of The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition that began 20 years ago. It involves 65,000 men and women living in the UK. The main objective of the study is to examine how diet influences the risk of cancer as well as other chronic diseases.
The latest article to come out of this study showed that vegetarians had a 32% lower risk of ischemic heart disease than did non-vegetarians. Vegetarians were also found to be less overweight, have lower “bad” cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
What makes this study even more powerful is that it has been going on for over 11 years and with time the results become even more powerful.
To those of you diehard meat eaters, this should cause some pause for thought. This added to the many studies which show that animal protein has been associated with increased risks of cancer and other diseases.
For the record, I am a plantaquarian. This means I eat plants and seafood including sea plants and some fish. I live this way because I know the dangers of consuming meat and poultry that are full of antibiotics, hormones, chemicals and pesticides. Added to this is that the cows we eat are routinely fed corn-based food instead of grass options and this too has adverse effects on our health.
Other important issues to consider are environmental ones. CAFOs or concentrated animal feeding operations are well known to be massive toxic waste producers that are affecting groundwater and wild animal life http://www.nocafos.org/. Throw in the massive worldwide deforestation that is going on to feed our insatiable appetite for beef and it gets even worse.
Then of course there are the moral issues of how we raise and treat cattle and poultry. This too should aid in your transition to a more vegetarian existence.
Personally, I struggle with the choice I make to eat fish and, over time, continue to change the fish choices I make and the amounts of fish that I eat. If you are interested in the state of your fish, I highly recommend a very unbiased look at our modern fish choices by Paul Greenberg called Four Fish http://www.fourfish.org/
BECOME MORE VEGETARIAN IN 5 STEPS:
- Eat more plants!
- Be more aware of what you eat.
- Buy only organic or local morally raised beef and poultry produce.
- If you are going to eat meat, poultry and fish, find out about its journey to your plate.
- Reduce your consumption of dairy.
PS Today is blog #100…
THANKS FOR YOUR ONGOING COMMUNITY AND SUPPORT!
*** Minding your body and heart; Embodying your mind ***