April 28, 2008 2:49pm CST
What's your opinion about vegeterianism is it healthy, unhealthy. I actually think it could be but find veganism to be extreme excluding all products just because they came from an animal is extreme to me. I do eat meat like my chicken and steaks a lot but also eat soy.
6 Jun 08
You will hear different opinions on this but look to the facts, facts that are supported by properly conducted scientific research. The evidence is overwhelming. In the American Dietetic Association’s 1997 Position Paper on Vegetarian Diets, they stated that, "scientific data suggest positive relationships between a vegetarian diet and reduced risk for several chronic degenerative diseases and conditions, including obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and some types of cancer.” 1. The British Medical Association (BMA) The BMA was one of the first to distill the growing volume of research on diet and health in its 1986 report (3). It said: “Vegetarians have lower rates of obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, large bowel disorders, cancers and gall stones. Cholesterol levels tend to be lower in vegetarians.” It went on to say that when meat eaters change to a vegetarian diet it can actually lower their cholesterol levels. It concluded by saying that vegetarians obtain all the minerals they need and that folate levels are higher than meateaters. 2. The China Study The initial results of this combined Chinese -U.S. - British study, which began in 1983, were announced in 1989 (4). It was a massive piece of work which looked at the health and eating habits of 6,500 people in real life situations. Its conclusions were accurately summed up a New York Times headline on May 8, 1990: “Huge Study of Diet Indicts Fat and Meat.” In short, it found that the greatest single influence on the growth of degenerative diseases such as coronary heart disease, cancer and diabetes was the amount of animal fat and protein eaten - the more you eat, the greater your risk. It highlighted some extraordinary dietary differences between affluent and not so affluent societies. Animal protein itself raises the risks of cancer and heart disease. These are the two biggest killers in the West but there are others, such as diabetes, strokes, obesity and high blood pressure which are associated with the West's affluent lifestyle. They are degenerative diseases and the China study found that they increased alarmingly as people changed from a more simple, predominantly vegetarian or vegan diet, to a Western diet based on meat and dairy products. The study also found that the West's preoccupation with promoting meat as the main source of iron was wrong. The Chinese diet was predominantly vegetarian and yet adults consumed twice as much iron as an adult in the U.S. The Chinese diet also contained three times more fiber than a U.S. diet but there was no evidence that these high levels interfered with absorption of iron or other essential minerals. The conclusions were unequivocal - that a plant-based diet is more likely to promote good health and reduce the risk of degenerative diseases. 3. The World Health Organization Next came an even more detailed report from the WHO in 1991. It was interpreted by many as a call for the world to go vegetarian - and that's precisely what it was (5). It stated that a diet rich in animal products promotes heart disease, cancer and several other diseases. It confirmed the BMA's and China Study's list of degenerative diseases and added others - osteoporosis, and kidney failure as being related to meat eating. It said that diets associated with increases in chronic diseases are those rich in sugar, meat and other animal products, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, and added: “If such trends continue, the end of this century will see cardiovascular (heart) disease and cancer established as major health problems in every country in the world.” And, of course, its predictions have been proved true. But it went even further and condemned the years of public urgings by governments to eat animal products. It went on to say that in future: “Policies should be geared to the growing of plant foods, including vegetables and fruits, and to limiting the promotion of fat containing products.” The large quantities of cheap meat, which have adversely affected health, are only available because of intensive, factory farming and the WHO also had plenty to say about that: “Farming policies which do not rely on intensive animal production systems would reduce the world demand for cereals. Use of land could be reappraised since cereal consumption by the population is much more efficient and cheaper than dedicating large areas to growing feed for meat production and dairying.” That advice has also been ignored. In fact, as development takes place in previously undeveloped countries there is a shift towards a more affluent diet, the report says. As a consequence, there is a dramatic increase in the incidence of diet related diseases. 4. The Oxford Study In early 1995, an interim report was issued by Oxford University scientists working on another huge piece of research, commonly known as the Oxford Study (6). It is ongoing and is examining the diets of 11,000 people over a period of 13 years. The interim report confirmed lower rates of cancer and heart disease among vegetarians but added a new twist - 20% lower premature mortality. 5. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) PCRM is a highly-respected group of 5,000 doctors. It includes William Roberts, editor of the American Journal of Cardiology, as well as the late Benjamin Spock (7). In 1995, PCRM confirmed the lower rates of disease among vegetarians and urged the government to recommend a vegetarian diet to U.S. citizens. Before this, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines had never made any mention of vegetarianism. The following year they did so for the first time, stating: "...vegetarians enjoy excellent health: Vegetarian diets are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines and can meet Recommended Daily Allowances for nutrients. Protein is not limited in vegetarian diets ...” (8). The PCRM report reviewed over 100 pieces of published work from across the world and was in no doubt about what we should be eating: “The scientific literature supports the use of vegetables, fruits, legumes (peas, beans, chick peas) and grains as staples. Meats, dairy products and added vegetable oils should be considered optional.” It was another clear and unequivocal statement that humans do not need to eat meat and are healthier for not doing so. 6. American Dietetic Association The ADA is probably one of the most respected health bodies in the world and, in its most recent report on vegetarianism, it kicked off with the words: “Studies indicate that vegetarians often have lower morbidity and mortality rates from several chronic diseases than do non vegetarians” (9). It confirmed that vegetarians are less at risk from the major degenerative diseases, including kidney disease and diabetes, and states that a vegetarian diet can arrest coronary artery disease. The ADA spells out the reason for this by saying that vegetarian diets offer disease protection benefits because of their lower saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein content and often higher concentrations of folate, antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, carotenoids (vitamin A) and phytochemicals (plant nutrients). all the best urban
4 Jun 08
Veganism is extreme, vegetarianism can be heatlhy. Afterall your body need all kinds of nutrients which cannot be supplied just by plants, fruits, seeds or grains. For vegetarians, milk is an essential requirement. I think anything followed in extremes can be dangerous or unhealthy.