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Vegan lifestyle good for the heart, body, soul and mind

Posted by Tara Burner 0 comments

By: Marianne Harris, guest columnist
Thursday, March 9, 2006


So, you want to lose weight. You want to live healthier. You want
fewer visits to the doctor. Normal blood pressure and cholesterol
levels. Clear, unclogged arteries. Pain-free days and nights. A good
night’s sleep – good digestion – a sharp memory with good
concentration. Sexual vitality. Well, stop looking in the pharmacy
section. Start looking in your own kitchen. The answer is simple.
Veganism. Check it out.

Veganism is a lifestyle free of animal products or by-products – a
plant-based diet – which advocates health and compassion.

The first question that comes to mind is “how do you get enough
protein?” Let’s take a look at this protein issue. Joel Fuhrman,
M.D., in his book “Eat to Live,” states that an easy way to calculate
your own daily protein requirement according to the U.S. RDA is to
multiply 0.36 (grams) by your body weight. This translates to about
44 grams for a 120-pound woman and 54 grams for a 150-pound male.
In the Know: Famous Vegans
Alicia Silverstone, actress
Dr. Benjamin Spock
Brandy, singer
Bryan Adams, musician
Carl Lewis, Olympic track star
Coretta Scott King, civil rights activist
Ed Begley Jr., actor
Elizabeth Berkley, actress
Fiona Apple, singer
Grace Slick, singer
Joaquin Phoenix, actor
Keenan Ivory Wayans, actor
Kevin Nealon, Saturday Night Live veteran
Lindsay Wagner, actress
Moby, singer
Mohandas Ghandi, humanitarian
Russell Simmons, rapper/designer
Shania Twain, singer
Tea Leoni, actress
Tom Lenk, actor
Weird Al Yankovic, comedian/singer
Woody Harrelson, actor
Source: www.famousveggie.com

Too much protein is a more common problem. The average person in
America consumes foods containing 100 to 120 grams of mostly
animal-derived protein daily. This puts a great deal of stress on the

Plant-based diets include protein from a wide variety of whole foods
consisting of beans, whole-grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and
seeds, along with products made from these natural foods, such as
tofu, tempeh, and meat substitutes. Those who believe plant protein
is inferior to animal protein may be surprised to learn that plant
proteins contain the same 23 amino acids as animal proteins. It is
unlikely that a vegan would be protein deficient.

Let’s consider our country’s health issues. The three leading causes
of death in the United States are heart disease, cancer and stroke.
Diet and nutrition are a common denominator of these diseases. In
“Diet For A New America,” John Robbins states “Researchers compared
other nations that cannot afford the rich animal diets. The findings
were that the United States and Finland had the highest consumption
of animal products, the highest consumption of saturated fats and
cholesterol – and the highest death rate from heart disease.”

Heart disease is common in societies where much meat is consumed,
such as the U.S., Canada, western Europe and Australia, but
practically unheard of in societies where meat consumption is low.

Atherosclerosis is a disease that kills almost as many human beings
in the industrialized world as all other causes of death combined.
The fats of animal flesh, known as saturated fats, do not break down
well in the human body, and instead begin to line the walls of the
blood vessels. Eventually the blood vessels get more and more
constricted. This places a tremendous burden on the heart which has
to pump harder to send the blood through the clogged arteries.

Roughage and fiber of a plant-based diet actually helps lower the
level of cholesterol. Meat, dairy and eggs are the chief sources of
saturated fats and have no fiber. The only plant foods containing
saturated fats are coconuts, palm kernel oil and chocolate. The
average vegan cholesterol level is about 133, while the average
vegetarian cholesterol level is 161. And the average meat-eater’s
cholesterol level is 210. The recommended cholesterol level is 160.

Cancer is the second killer in our nation. Just to be clear, it’s not
fat and cholesterol that contributes to cancer; it’s animal protein.
Fat and cholesterol contributes to heart disease.

Approximately 55,000 people die of colon cancer in the United States
each year. The human intestine has a very hard time handling the
putrefying bacteria, high levels of fat, and lack of fiber in meat,
dairy and eggs products.

Do you have to give up a lot to live a healthy, vegan lifestyle? Just
ask any vegan – the answer is no. Choosing a plant-based diet means
effectively lowering the risks of a diseased life. Your life matters:
it matters how you treat others, how you treat animals, how you treat
yourself. Most of all – if you are what you eat – it matters what you

Marianne Harris is a local vegan.


If interested in converting to vegan or vegetarian,
check out WholeBodyAndSpirit.com

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