More and more conversations about optimal diets lead to a vegetarian or vegan approach. There are some important benefits associated with consuming more plants, so the trend is largely beneficial. But does that mean that we must eat on a vegetable basis or not? Some resources are alarming and use dramatic over-interpretations of scientific research to show that climate change and death from myocardial infarction are inevitable results of consuming animal products. Let's pump the brakes to that line of thought and rebalance.
Yes, eating plants is amazing for us.
There is no doubt that the intake of vegetable foods – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, olives, avocado, vegetable oils, etc. lead to health benefits. These foods contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. All of these nutrients help minimize the risk of heart and arterial disease, cancer, blood glucose management, cholesterol management, digestive and immune systems, and a healthy microbiome. Eat more plants for all these reasons. Start with the general recommendation of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and 6-11 servings of whole grains daily (talk to a nutritionist to determine your specific recommendations.) No, eating animal products will not kill us.
A Many scientific studies conclude that the consumption of large quantities of animal products such as meat, eggs and cheese is linked to lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. This can lead many to feel that they have to avoid these products. Before going too far in this direction, consider two very important factors that omit the first results. 1) Many Americans receive less than 1 serving of fruit and 1 serving of vegetables per day, but they do not meet their recommendations. 2) Many Americans eat animal products that go beyond portion sizes and daily recommendations. So, before eating any of your dietary supplements, make sure you're eating enough plants and sticking to the protein serving portions (again, ask your nutritionist to gauge your personal needs!)
Yes, more plants will benefit from this Environment.
It is absolutely true that raising animals from food to food requires more resources (water, feed, well-groomed land, electricity, heat, etc.) than growing plants into food. Global meat consumption has increased by 20% over the last 10 years, and one pound of beef requires an estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water. Considering that we are 7 billion people on Earth, the more we can choose plant foods to meet our calorie needs, the lower is the total energy we put on the planet and the less weight farming practices have on climate change. No, bringing food to our diet in a meaningful way will not lead to the death of our planet.
Studies show that 71% of global carbon emissions were still the result of fossil fuel companies (oil and coal). Documentary films like Cowspiracy seem to indicate that cattle farms are the biggest engine of CO2 emissions. In fact, from 2016, agricultural production will account for about 13.5% of CO2 emissions. While we can help reduce this 13.5% by choosing more plant-based options in our diets, the fight against climate change continues to be to develop far-reaching renewable energy systems as quickly as possible. According to Earthday.org, every American who skims meat just one day a week would be the equivalent of CO2 if they took 7.6 million cars off the road. Let's start there!
Would you like to add more plants to your diet? You might also like: How to Build the Perfect Buddha Bowl