Diets that “add about a decade to our lives can also prevent environmental damage”
Here is a new perspective: a recent ecological study found if populations switched from omnivore diets to either Mediterranean, pescatarian (no meat except fish) or vegetarian diets, it could improve life span, reduce diabetes by 25%, cancer by 10% and heart disease by 20%. Furthermore, food production greenhouse gas emissions would reduce in amounts equal to what all cars, trucks, plans trains and ships currently emit.
PositiveTip: Model healthy eating and reduce food consumption that taxes our planet.
Vegetarian diet associated with less greenhouse gas production and improved life expectancy.
Researchers at Loma Linda University are providing an environmental incentive to going vegetarian. Compared to non-vegetarian diets, a plant-based diet required 30% less greenhouse gas production. Factory farming approaches to meat production take more energy and produce more waste than plant farming. In addition, researchers found mortality rates for vegetarians were 20% lower than non-vegetarians.
PositiveTip: Consider the effects of your eating choices. Will they sustain you and the planet for the long term?
A whole diet approach is most effective in reducing cardiovascular disease
While low fat diets can reduce cholesterol, they're less effective in reducing heart attack risk. New meta analysis of diet and heart disease research from the past 50 years reveals it takes a diet overhaul. Changing the whole diet to something like the Mediterranean diet (lots of fruit and veggies, legumes, and whole grains) has much greater success in reducing heart disease.
PositiveTip: If you're serious about a healthy heart, get serious about your whole diet.
Babies can be healthy on a well-balanced vegetarian diet.
Many vegetarian mothers and fathers wonder if a vegetarian diet is adequate for their infant? Vegetarian Infants, a free resource from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides guidelines for vegetarian parents in making healthy choices for their infant. Supplements for mom and baby, guidelines for choosing a formula, and when to introduce solid foods are all discussed.
PositiveTip: Inform yourself about wise dietary choices and be a confident vegetarian parent.
It is not hard to get enough choline from plant foods.
Can a vegetarian diet provide sufficient choline? This nutrient is found in cell membranes, and is necessary for nerve function, works with folic acid during pregnancy to aid proper development of the infant's nervous system, and supports good liver function. A balanced vegetarian diet containing lots of whole foods will ensure enough choline, as it is found in many plant foods in smaller amounts than eggs and meat. Download an excellent handout from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
PositiveTip: Meet your choline needs by eating plenty of whole foods.
Diverticular disease lower in vegetarians with high fiber diets.
A British study of vegetarians and non-vegetarians found that vegetarians have a 31% lower risk of developing diverticular disease and in those consuming greater than 25.5 grams of dietary fiber had 41% less risk compared with those consuming less than 14 grams. Death rates from diverticular disease was 4.4% in meat eaters versus 3% in the vegetarians.
PositiveTip: A plant-based diet lowers the risk of diverticular disease along with many others.
Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest medieval philosophers, recognized that gluttony involved more than eating too much. He developed a list of other ways in which a person might “abuse” food to the point of gluttony. Here are the different ways in which a person can be gluttonous.