The American Dietetic Association has finally conceded it—a vegetarian diet can supply all the necessary dietary ingredients to maintain health. The prestigious Mayo Clinic endorses a plant-based diet. More and more researchers, physicians and nutritionists are beginning to echo the same “Go plant-based!” Eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts will prevent many diseases and cause others to disappear, largely through anti-inflammatory properties.
A plant-based diet assures you of getting the most antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals with the least number of calories. Talk about eye-popping appeal to stimulate the appetite! Those brightly colored plant pigments of red, orange, yellow, blue, deep-green, have a bonus—they fight disease! All these beautiful pigments are abundant in health-giving phytochemicals!
Worried about Protein? Don’t be. It can be obtained from many sources other than risky, often disease-ridden meat. Peas and a variety of beans are excellent sources, especially when combined with a whole grain such as brown rice, whole wheat, oats or corn. Nuts are also rich in protein but eat them sparingly. A cup of vegetarian baked beans has a whopping 12 grams of protein! Even vegetables such as broccoli and potatoes contain protein. A diet high in meat and cheese provides too much protein, which along with animal fat, stimulates atherosclerosis leading to heart disease. Large quantities of protein can also overwork the kidneys and produce kidney disease.
Carbohydrates contain the energy for every day optimum work performance. High carb foods are energy foods. However, eliminate the “bad carbs”—table sugar, refined grains like white rice and white flour, desserts, sweetened cereals, and pastries. Minimize candies and soft drinks from the diet. Complex carbohydrates— “good carbs”—are the best. Good sources include potatoes, brown rice, whole grain breads and whole grain cereals.
- Consider a plant-based diet
- Increase daily protein intake
- Limit or eliminate bad carbohydrates
- Increase good carbohydrate intake
…..To be continued in the next issue. Look out for it!