Reduce The Risk Of Every Major Chronic Disease By Eating Vegan
The leading killers in the Western world today are all caused by our diet and lifestyle decisions. Thankfully this means they can also all be prevented and reversed by avoiding animal products and processed junk foods. For a long and healthy life, focus the diet around fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.
Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, strokes, hypertension, and cholesterol all have a common enemy: the vegan diet! The purpose of this page is to accumulate and distill the scientific research about nutrition and diet and present it in easily consumable chunks that real humans can understand.
For example, often when reading scientific research I run across a sentence like this:
- Regarding cause-specific mortality, men and women had elevated risks for cancer mortality for red (HR, 1.22 [95% CI, 1.16-1.29], and HR, 1.20 [95% CI, 1.12-1.30], respectively) and processed meat (HR, 1.12 [95% CI, 1.06-1.19], and HR, 1.11 [95% CI 1.04-1.19], respectively) intakes. Furthermore, cardiovascular disease risk was elevated for men and women in the highest quintile of red (HR, 1.27 [95% CI, 1.20-1.35], and HR, 1.50 [95% CI, 1.37-1.65], respectively) and processed meat (HR, 1.09 [95% CI, 1.03-1.15], and HR, 1.38 [95% CI, 1.26-1.51], respectively) intakes. Source
Although to most people this means nothing, it can be translated from scientist-speak to human. What it really means is:
- People who ate the most red meat were 20% more likely to die of cancer and at least 27% more likely to die of heart disease than those who ate the least. In women who consumed the most meat, the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was 50% higher.
Obesity, Heart Disease, Diabetes, & High Blood Pressure
The links between all of these diseases are too strong to separate, but the outcomes are impossible to ignore. A vegan diet protects against all of these deadly conditions.
- Key, Davey, Appleby. Health benefits of a vegetarian diet: Vegetarians have a lower mean BMI (by about 1 kg/m2), a lower mean plasma total cholesterol concentration (meaning they are less susceptible to diabetes), and a lower mortality from coronary artery disease (by about 25%).
- Craig, Mangels, ADA. Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets. Vegetarians have lower cholesterol, 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.
- Le, Sabate. Beyond Meatless, the Health Effects of Vegan Diets: Findings from the Adventist Cohorts Vegetarian diets confer protection against cardiovascular diseases, cardiometabolic risk factors, some cancers and total mortality. Compared to lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets, vegan diets offer additional protection for obesity, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular mortality.
- Fraser. Vegetarian diets: what do we know of their effects on common chronic diseases? Vegetarians have lower rates of coronary heart disease, largely explained by low LDL cholesterol, probable lower rates of hypertension and diabetes mellitus, and lower prevalence of obesity. Overall, their cancer rates appear to be moderately lower than others living in the same communities, and life expectancy appears to be greater.
- Trumbo, Shimakawa. Tolerable upper intake levels for trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. The three boosters of bad cholesterol (transfat, saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol) all stem from eating animal products and processed junk foods.
- Craig. Health effects of vegan diets Vegans tend to be thinner, have lower serum cholesterol, and lower blood pressure, reducing their risk of heart disease.
- Boening, Bechthold, Bub, et al. Critical review: vegetables and fruit in the prevention of chronic diseases Increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of hypertension, cornary artery disease, stroke, cancer, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
- Wang, Beydoun. Meat consumption is associated with obesity and central obesity among US adults Participants in the study who consumed high amounts of meat were 33 percent more likely to have central obesity.
- American Diabetes Association. Nutrition Recommendations and Interventions for Diabetes The American Dietetic Association, the world’s largest organization of nutrition experts, maintains that vegetarians have less obesity and lower rates of chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.
The Extreme Effects of Red Meat
- Pan, Sun, Bernstein, et al.Red meat consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes - A substitution of one serving of nuts, low-fat dairy, and whole grains per day for one serving of red meat per day was associated with a 16-35% lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Red meat consumption, particularly processed red meat, is definitely associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Sinha, Cross, et al. Meat intake and mortality: a prospective study of over half a million people - People who ate the most red meat were 20 percent more likely to die of cancer and at least 27 percent more likely to die of heart disease than those who ate the least. In women who consumed the most meat, the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was 50 percent higher.
Processed Meats Cause Cancer
- American Cancer Society. Known and Probable Human Carcinogens - The World Health Organization classifies processed meats like ham, hot dogs, and bacon as Group 1 Carcinogens, which means they are harmful to humans. This places processed meats in the same category as other harmful substances like Cigarettes and Plutonium.
The Links Between Dairy & Cancer
- Chan, Stampfer, et al. Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians' Health Study. - Dairy products and associated with a greater risk of prostate cancer. Compared with men who had less than half a serving of dairy per day, those who ate more than 2.5 servings had a 34% higher risk of prostate cancer.
- Barnard. Milk Consumption and Prostate Cancer - Men who avoid dairy products are at lower risk for prostate cancer incidence and mortality, compared to others.
But Doesn't Dairy Protect My Bones?
- Feskanich, Willett, & Colditz. Calcium, vitamin D, milk consumption, and hip fractures - Total calcium intake is not related to a lower risk of hip facture. However, women consuming 12.5 miligrams of Vitamin D had a 37% lower risk of hip fracture.
Meat leads to diabetes and going vegan treats diabetes better than conventional medication!
- Fung, Schulze, et al. Dietary patterns, meat intake, and the risk of type 2 diabetes in women - An increase in intake of red meat and processed meats is directly correlated with an increase in Type 2 Diabetes. For every 1 serving increase in red meat per day, women are 26% more likely to get Type 2 Diabetes. 1 serving of processed meats? 43%! 1 serving of bacon? 49%!
- Fung, Schulze, et al. A low-fat vegan diet and a conventional diabetes diet in the treatment of type 2 diabetes - A low-fat vegan diet improves glycemia and plasma lipids more than conventional diabetes diet recommendations.
Veganism is just as effective as dangerous statin drugs
- Jenkins, Kendall, et al. The Garden of Eden--plant based diets, the genetic drive to conserve cholesterol and its implications for heart disease in the 21st century. - Plant-based diets lower cholesterol just as effectively as statin drugs, without the side effects. A diet of leafy vegetables, fruit and nuts lowered LDL choloesterol by over 30%, equivalent to the standard cholesterol-lowering medications.
The Problem With Paleo
Research suggests that Paleo and Atkins diets (low carb, high fat and high protein) help you lose weight in the short-term, but in the long-term there's is no scienitifc proof that they help people keep weight off.
- Wang, Beydoun. Meat consumption is associated with obesity and central obesity among US adults. - There is a consistent correlation between meat consumption and obesity among U.S. adults. This may suggest diets that promote high meat consumption, such as the Atkins diet, might lead to higher BMI, waist circumference and obesity. There is no proof that the Atkins diet is effective beyond 6 months; there is no clear evidence that Atkins style diets are better than any others for helping people to loss weight; and the long-term effects on health and disease prevention are unknown