Why eat WHOLE, REAL, plant-based food?Aug 14, 2018
In a nutshell, it is better for you, it is better for the environment and it is better for the animals.
What does ‘whole, real, plant based food’ mean? Foods that when you hear the name, you see a picture in your minds eye. Ingredients such as unrefined fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains. Food that is not processed. Or, minimally processed food that contains fewer than 5 ingredients – ingredients you can pronounce and know by sight. Food that you eat by season, sourced as locally as possible.
This is a way of life, not a diet.
How is it better for you?
Eating in this way can dramatically change your life.
- Feel energized – Food fuels your body. The less energy it takes your body to process food, the more energy you have to use throughout your day. Eliminating animal products lightens your body’s workload and allows you to have more energy.
- Age gracefully – The high water content in fruits and vegetables hydrates your body. Nutritious plants provide vitamins and minerals that will make your skin glow. Reduced intake of processed foods will alleviate puffiness and bloating.
- Lower your risk for and reduce symptoms of chronic disease – Chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and dementia are the nation’s leading causes of death and disability. Half of all American adults currently suffer with chronic disease, with one in four people suffering from two or more. Whole, real food will nurture a healthy microbiome, strengthen your immune system and reduce inflammation, thereby creating a healthier body.
- Eliminate brain fog – Plant food creates a better flow of blood to the brain, allowing important nutrients and oxygen to increase focus and concentration.
When you eat whole, real, plant based food, your body is nourished with vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytonutrients and healthy fats that all work together to make your ‘insides’ run smoothly and your ‘outsides’ glow.
How is it better for the environment?
Eating in this way can dramatically change our world.
- Reduce carbon emissions – Less meat consumption equals less carbon emissions. Emissions from producing beef and lamb are more than 250 times higher than those produced from plants. Livestock produces over 100 other types of polluting gas, negatively affecting the air quality, the oceans and the atmosphere.
- Conserve water – It takes over 2,000 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat; this compared to about 25 gallons for a pound of wheat or about 50 gallons of water for a pound of produce.
- Reduce your carbon footprint – Reducing your intake of meat will reduce your personal carbon footprint in the world. This is one area you personally can make a difference in a big way. Becoming a vegetarian will reduce your carbon footprint by half.
- Improve the oceans and save marine life – There are over 500 dead zones in the ocean. A dead zone is an area at the bottom of the ocean that is depleted of oxygen; marine life can not live. The biggest cause for this is runoff from fertilizer, industrial pollutants and sewage. Further, commercial fishing kills many marine life species as ‘by-catch”. Large fishing nets destroy coral reefs, kill sea turtles and dolphins and wreck many marine life habitats.
How is it better for the animals?
Eating this way can reduce animal suffering.
- Reduce factory farming – Animals born into the life of factory farming exist in a cruel and painful environment. If you are truly interested in learning about factory farming, just google it. No gory photos or videos are here. But understand that unless you hunt and kill your own food, animal flesh sold in any store went through the factory farming process.
- Compassion – eliminating and/or reducing the amount of animal products you consume can save the lives of over 100 animals per year.
Further, animals raised in factory farms are given numerous antibiotics, steroids, hormones, and supplements to increase growth rate. Whatever is put into the animal goes into your body.
When you eat whole, real, plant based food, you are cutting your own carbon footprint, and allowing crops to be grown to feed people instead of animals.
When you eat whole, real, plant based food, every single day, every single meal, you have a chance to make healthy, nutritious, choices that affect not just you, but the world around you.
Vegan? Great, 98% of what we do is for you!
Vegetarian? Great, if you want to add dairy or eggs along the way, feel free!
Meat Eater? Of course you are welcome! If you want to add meat to any of these dishes you can! However, we think you’ll find our recipes so tasty you will not be focused on what is missing!
Somewhere in between? Cool! Let us help. We are here to answer your questions, give you some great tips, suggest ways to incorporate more real whole food into your life to make your journey a success!
Globally Delicious adds more nutrition to your life! We provide whole, real, mostly plant based food recipes, help and ideas. We help you with a plan, for every week, so you can make healthier choices: for you, for your family, for your friends. We are also available for private sessions, private cooking parties and demonstrations and motivational speaking engagements.
Don’t just take our word for it — here are some quotes from reputable and verifiable sources:
In a combined report from the WHO and Farm and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) it is reported that, “Households should select predominantly plant-based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, pulses or legumes, and minimally processed starchy staple foods. The evidence that such diets will prevent or delay a significant proportion of non-communicable chronic diseases is consistent.”¹
The Center of Disease Control (CDC) reports that eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some cancers. Research also has found that replacing foods of high energy density (high calories per weight of food) with foods of lower energy density, such as fruits and vegetables, can be an important part of a weight-management strategy.²
According to the Mayo Clinic, “A plant-based diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes and nuts, is rich in fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. And people who don’t eat meat — vegetarians — generally eat fewer calories and less fat, weigh less, and have a lower risk of heart disease than non vegetarians do.
- Even reducing meat intake has a protective effect. Research shows that people who eat red meat are at an increased risk of death from heart disease, stroke or diabetes. Processed meats also increase the risk of death from these diseases. And what you don’t eat can also harm your health. Diets low in nuts, seeds, seafood, fruits and vegetables also increase the risk of death.”³
The British Nutritional Foundation states that, “Well planned vegetarian and vegan diets can be nutritious and healthy.”4
The American Diabetes Association reports that. “Vegetables are good for everyone, and they’re even more important if you are a vegetarian who has diabetes. A 2012 study of people with type 2 diabetes (who all got about the same amount of calories from carbohydrates) found that those who ate 150 grams or more of leafy greens (that’s about 2 to 4 cups) each day, whether they were eating meat or not, had significantly lower average blood glucose levels over a three-month period.
And excluding meat altogether seems to offer benefits of its own. One meta-analysis (a scientific review of published studies) suggests that a low-fat vegetarian diet can bring A1C levels down. Another study shows a relationship between eating even a modest amount of red meat and higher rates of type 2 diabetes.
Overall, the existing body of research suggests that people with type 2 may benefit from a thoughtfully developed vegetarian eating plan, one that focuses on foods that are high in fiber and have a low glycemic load, which measures the quality and amount of carbohydrate in a food. Some good picks include beans and lentils, greens, and whole grains. The studies suggest a meatless diet can play a role in improving blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride numbers as well as maintaining a healthy weight. Research shows that vegetarians tend to weigh less than meat eaters, and weight control is a central part of type 2 diabetes management, according to the American Diabetes Association’s 2017 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes.”5
It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing those foods. This article reviews the current data related to key nutrients for vegetarians including protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B-12. A vegetarian diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, supplements or fortified foods can provide useful amounts of important nutrients. An evidence- based review showed that vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate in pregnancy and result in positive maternal and infant health outcomes. The results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals. The variability of dietary practices among vegetarians makes individual assessment of dietary adequacy essential. In addition to assessing dietary adequacy, food and nutrition professionals can also play key roles in educating vegetarians about sources of specific nutrients, food purchase and preparation, and dietary modifications to meet their needs.6
World Health Organization (WHO) reported that eating more of a plant based diet is one of the four top actions to reduce health risks from climate pollutants.7
“Growing numbers of people now understand that diets rich in whole-grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables – with reduced consumption of meat and smaller quantities of high-fat and high-sugar foods – are good for our bodies,” explains lead author Carlos Gonzales-Fischer of FCRN.
He said that there is ample evidence showing that such diets have much lower environmental impacts than the unhealthy and unsustainable eating patterns that are increasingly prevalent today. “So by eating well for our own personal health, we’re also doing right by the planet – in essence, it’s a win-win,” he added.
Anna Lartey, Director of FAO’s Nutrition and Food Systems Division, stressed that Sustainable Development Goal 2 makes a clear link between the needs for healthy nutrition and sustainable agriculture. “It’s time that dietary guidelines reflect that relationship,” she said.8