Mind Your Body TV Episode 42 with Sharon Palmer, R.D.
Power to the (plant) people! If registered dietician and food and nutrition journalist Sharon Palmer could be granted a couple of wishes, one would be that we all “eat more whole plants” and follow a plant-based diet. The other would be that we read her terrific new book, “The Plant-Powered Diet, The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today.”
Why a plant-based diet
At 412 super-informative pages, Palmer’s book reminds us in accurate detail of the dangers of eating too much meat. Meat consumption has doubled between 1909 and 2007. Red meat represents 58 percent of the meat we consume, she says.
To begin to cut your appetite for it, consider the environmental issues that include “antibiotic resistance, caused by overuse of antibiotics in farm animals, to toxic manure lagoons that pollute local waters and spread foodborne pathogens.”
Then consider these.
Cut back on (or cut out) meat
1) It can hurt your heart: People who eat red meat are more likely to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
2) It ups your risk of type 2 diabetes: Enough said.
3) It may pump up inflammation: That can promote a strong of chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, Palmer writes.
4) It raises your risk of metabolic syndrome: The term refers to a collection of unhealthy factors that include a large waist circumference, high triglyceride levels, low HDL or “good cholesterol,” high blood sugar and high blood pressure.
5) It may boost your toxin load: Cooking and processing some meats produces dangerous, carcinogenic compounds. Many toxins are also stored in the fat of animals.
6) It can promote antibiotic resistance: This is thanks to overuse of antibiotics in farm animals, as above.
7) It may escalate your risk of cancer (especially colorectal).
8) It can add pounds: Meats are higher in calories and fat than most whole plant foods.
9) It may cut your lifespan.
10) It magnifies your carbon foot print.
Eat more plants
These are your friends for a plant-based diet: vegetables, cooked beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds. You can add them into your diet slowly, and soon, you won’t miss that meat. Bon appetit!
(Photo courtesy: © Robert Lerich | Dreamstime.com)