For Your Health
And what about your health? The average New Zealander on a Western diet typically consumes double the protein our bodies actually need. Meat in moderation is a great source of protein, iron, zinc, niacin and key vitamins, but the scientific evidence is increasingly clear that over indulging in meat – partucularly red and processed meat – increases our risk of chronic preventable conditions which have reached epic proportions, like heart disease, stroke, cancer, liver and kidney disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Vegetarian meals are naturally low in saturated fat, high in fibre, and full of vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting compounds. Meat, dairy products and eggs, on the other hand, are low in fibre and high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can make us overweight and lead to clogged arteries and heart attacks. Here’s what we have to look forward by reducing our nation’s meat intake:
Reduce Heart Disease – Beans, peas, nuts and seeds contain little to no saturated fats. Reducing saturated fats can help keep your cholesterol low, and cut risk of cardiovascular disease. Recent data from a Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (for example, meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%.
Limit Cancer Risk – In 2007 the World Cancer Research Fund report recommended limiting the consumption of red meats such as beef, pork and lamb because of a ‘convincing’ link with colorectal cancer. We Kiwis top the charts as having the highest rate of this preventable cancer in the world. Hundreds of other studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables can reduce cancer risk.
Fight Diabetes – Research suggests that plant-based diets – particularly those low in processed meat – can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Eat cleaner – chickens, cows, and pigs aren’t always fed what they’re designed to eat. In many cases they are fed what’s cheap and what makes them grow incredibly fast, including grains, hormones and rendered animals.Curb Obesity – People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices. A plant-based diet is a great source of fibre (absent in animal products). This makes you feel full with fewer calories, i.e. lower calorie intake and less overeating.
Live Longer – Red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality.
Improve Your Diet – Consuming protein rich vegetables like peas, beans and lentils results in higher intakes of fibre, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.Just what the doctor ordered!