The consumption of animal products can wreak havoc on your cardio-vascular system, creating calcifications in your arteries and raising the risk of a heart attack. It can also create other significant health issues, such as obesity and diabetes. A plant-based diet is considered a preventive and reversive approach to these diseases.
Used with permission from Dan Piraro at Bizarro
Did you know that cholesterol is only found in animal derived foods? LDL is the bad form of cholesterol and the more of it you ingest, the harder it is for your body to break it down. Family history plays a part, but heavy animal consumption only makes it worse. If there's enough blockage in the arteries from the LDL, you are at risk of a heart attack.
As a result, high profile cardiologists and many other doctors advocate for a vegan diet as the main form of heart disease prevention and reversal. Watch this CNN report with Dr. Gupta (47 minutes.)
Resistance to antibiotics and ingestion of growth hormones
Factory farmed animals (cows, pigs, turkeys and chickens) are often treated with serious doses of antibiotics to prevent diseases that would otherwise naturally occur under their cramped and unhealthy living conditions. The Centers for Disease Control has confirmed a link between routine use of antibiotics in livestock and growing bacterial resistance that is killing at least 23,000 people a year.
These animals are often also administered sex hormones in order to promote ongoing birth and milking cycles and/or growth hormones to fatten them up to unnatural sizes. When you ingest their meat or milk, these added hormones are transfered to your own body. Researchers have also been connecting the consumption of these animal products to the onset of early puberty in girls, and with the elevated levels of estrogen, a higher risk for developing breast cancer.
Obesity and diabetes
The high amount of saturated fat from animal derived foods can create serious health problems including obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Watch the TED Talk by Dr. Dean Ornish of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute for a comprehensive review of this issue. He is a leading expert on fighting illness
Milk: It’s bad for you
- The dairy industry has convinced consumers through their extensive years of marketing that milk is good for the bones. Did you know that the sugar in lactose has actually been found to leach calcium from your bones? This is one reason why they fortify milk with Vitamin D.
- The human body is only physically equipped to digest lactose during the first few years of life, when we are meant to be breast-feeding, after which the lactase digestion enzyme disappears. This is why we have an overpopulation of adults who are considered "lactose-intolerant." In fact, everyone is lactose intolerant by varying degrees. (Read the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's report on this issue.)
To illustrate the contrast in health benefits between animal derived products and plant-based options, check out almost any vegetarian brand's web site and it will likely offer a nutritional comparison chart between its products and the usual animal-derived counterparts. You'll notice that the plant-based versions are equally high (or higher) in protein; lower in fat and calories; and contain ZERO cholesterol. (Check out a hot dog and veggie dog comparison chart posted on our blog, for example.)
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