The World's Finest Diet
Episode 2. Why Eat Mostly Plants?
Let's begin with the basics. We need fuel for our bodies and this includes three major nutrients; carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Yes, we need all three to live and eating them in the right proportion. In addition, we need micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients. A whole plant-based diet contains all the above nutrients in the right proportions so long as it is sufficiently varied and balanced. A whole-plant diet offers roughly 80% carbohydrate 10% fat and 10% protein with plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients, the perfect diet. The typical Western diet as found in America and largely now in the UK is composed of a combination of meat, dairy, eggs, fish, and processed foods and provides approximately 40% carbohydrates 40% fat and 20% protein. Besides this, it provides very little fiber, vitamins, minerals or phytonutrients. As you see, it does contain an excess of fat, cholesterol and animal proteins which are all linked to major health problems.
The World’s Finest Diet. Episode 2. Why Eat Mostly Plants?
Let's begin with the basics. We need fuel for our bodies and this includes three major nutrients; carbohydrates, fat and protein. Yes, we need all three to live and eating them in the right proportion. In addition we need micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients. A whole plant-based diet contains all the above nutrients in the right proportions so long as it is sufficiently varied and balanced.
A whole plant diet offers roughly 80% carbohydrate 10% fat and 10% protein with plenty of vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients, the perfect diet.
The typical Western diet as found in America and largely now in the UK is composed of a combination of meat, dairy, eggs, fish, and processed foods and provides approximately 40% carbohydrates 40% fat and 20% protein. Besides this it provides very little fibre, vitamins, minerals or phytonutrients. As you see, it does contain an excess of fat, cholesterol and animal proteins which are all linked to major health problems.
So why should you eat a whole plant diet? Here are just a few of the possible reasons for this advice.
- A whole plant diet will provide you with the balance of all the nutrients body requires.
- There is sufficient evidence now to suggest that a whole plant diet not only can protect us from major chronic diseases, but may reverse many of these serious ailments.
- International studies of cultures that subsist mainly on a whole plant diet demonstrate excellent health and great longevity with little or no chronic diseases found in the West.
- Observation of people migrating from countries that predominantly eat a plant diet to America or other countries in the West show they develop the same frequency of chronic disease that we experience, the major change causing this being their diet.
- There is a widespread concern that the whole plant diet will not give adequate protein for our needs, in fact a whole plant diet provides all the protein we need.
- Detailed scientific research by Dr. T Colin Campbell, the author of the China Study has suggested that animal protein consumption along with insufficient whole plant food is a key reason for most of our chronic diseases.
- Finally our typical Western diet is now demonstrated to be unsustainable, we do not have sufficient water or land to provide such a diet for the entire world. Some estimate we would need the nine planets to have sufficient land and water to allow everyone to eat the typical western diet. The United Nations have reported that we require a shift towards a plant diet to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change.
- You may have other reasons for wanting to move in this direction with your diet, they may include wanting to lose weight, protecting yourself from health problems which run in the family, a desire to reduce the need for animal farming, as an alternative to drug therapy or any other possible reason. What you can be assured of is that such a move to a whole plant diet will probably meet all your requirements and more.
There is a growing acceptance of the urgent need for a shift from our traditional western diet, towards more vegetable, fruit and grain diet for global survival reasons that include a few of the following problems.
- World Hunger and Starvation. There is insufficient land and natural resources to provide a typical Western diet to the entire world this is largely because it requires on average more than ten times as much land water and energy to produce a diet based on animal foods rather than one based on plant foods.
- Healthcare Costs Escalating. Our current dietary regime in the West is in fact generating ever-increasing health-care costs to all the Western economies. It has been estimated that 80% of medical costs are lifestyle related with diet being a huge part this, a shift in our dietary choices will bring this unsustainable cost under control.
- Water Scarcity. Freshwater supply will be the key problem for our future. Freshwater will be more valuable than oil. One of the main reasons for this is that it takes an excessive amount of freshwater to provide animal-based food compared with plant-based food and that the supplies globally of freshwater are not only limited but are currently being exhausted at a severe rate.
- Environmental Damage. Valuable fertile land is a limited resource on the planet and due to soil erosion and deforestation this is being rapidly depleted. The destruction of rainforests is another factor in the problem that not only reduces the biodiversity found in such forests but impacts severely on climate change.
- Climate Change. This is now recognized as a reality that is a problem that has to be addressed with urgency, but the fact that the raising of livestock generates more greenhouse gases than all transportation combined has not been brought to the fore as a key issue. This may be partly due to the fact that any organization suggesting the reduction of meat and dairy in our diets will be unpopular with the majority of the public.
- Fossil Fuel Dependency. This is a second major contributor to global warming and climate change and any approach to try to eliminate the use of fossil fuels replacing them with solar panels and other eco-friendly energy systems will take a massive investment and many decades to effect any substantial change. The fact that livestock industry already uses massive amounts of fossil fuels to grow transport and feed the animals is a faster and more effective way of reducing the demand for fossil fuels in the near future.
- Species Extinction. It is now clearly seen that the rate of species extinction is ever increasing primarily due to our human activity and raising of livestock. Not only do we know that there is a complex inter-relationship of all fauna and flora on the planet for the health of the planet that needs to be preserved for sustainability we should realize that we too may be susceptible to species extinction once the planet becomes unfit for human habitation.
- We must come to see that this is not a global problem that can be dealt with by governments but involves each and every one of us throughout the world understanding the need to care for and protect this unique planet we live on.
It will require a total shift in attitude towards living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle both for individual humans and for the planet at large. This is the positive hope for the future that this change of heart, change of thinking and change of lifestyle will become the norm over the next decade.
I hope that the information presented so far is sufficient to give you the answer to why we should eat mostly plants and that you will now listen to Episode 3, resolved to make a start for yourself on this journey of improved health for yourself and the planet.