|What a handsome man with such a tiny fish!|
If you have read The China Study or watched Forks over Knives you already know where I am going with this. Plant-based diets may be the fo-shizzle as far as healthy diets are concerned. The research behind these diets cannot be ignored. Even more so, the research does not have a financial interest behind it. Who would benefit financially from us eating more plants? The broccoli farmers? They certainly do not have the Benjamins to back research of this caliber.
The research suggests that consuming higher amounts of animal proteins may "turn on" cancer production while consuming fewer will "turn off" the same trigger. Animal proteins are the major source of saturated fats and dietary cholesterol (only source) in our diets. Therefore, reducing the amount consumed will also benefit our hearts and cardiovascular systems.
Plant foods contain more vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients than other more calorie-dense foods. Therefore, by eating the same amount of calories of fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and legumes as you would of meats, dairy and other processed foods will provide you with more viable nutrients.
We typically consume meats as a source of protein in our diets. However, reaching your protein needs for the day is achievable through eating only plant-based foods (tofu may not even be required). Vegetables, grains, beans and legumes are sources of protein too! Most Americans consume significantly more protein than they need anyway (even most athletes do too).
Another little fun fact that I heard on The Today Show (yes, very reliable source): if everyone on earth consumed a plant-based diet, no one would go hungry. So much of the food that is produced goes to feed animals that calorie for calorie, we would have MORE food if we did not use our crops and farmland to feed livestock.
I'm not saying NEVER eat meat. But if you do one thing for your health, just try to consume more fruits, vegetables and other plants and a little bit less meat. Try to not base your meals solely on your protein, but think about your "sides" as your focus.
Remember that moderation is the key to everything. LIFE IS ALL ABOUT BALANCE.