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A Whole Food, Plant - Based Diet Is Good All Around
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A Whole Food, Plant  -  based Diet is Good All Around

A new diet has started to pick up in popularity thanks to the work of doctors and researchers such as T. Colin Campbell and Doctor Caldwell Esselstyn. This diet seems unnatural to many people, but a whole food, plant-based diet is good for your wallet, animals, and the environment, as well as good for your body.

A whole food, plant-based diet is good for your wallet. The staple foods in this diet are grains, legumes, and potatoes. All of these are low cost, can be purchased in most grocery stores as well as bulk warehouses, and are highly nutritious. And as an added bonus, if you are cooking a meat-based meal for other people in the house, your main dish will make a great side dish for them.

A whole food, plant-based diet is good for the animals. Obviously, if you are not eating animals, that is good for them. But what happens to animals in our industrial food complex is by some standards, criminal. If you treated your dog the way the average dairy cow is treated, you would be arrested in my state (Texas). I am not going into details here, but there are plenty of resources online where you can find firsthand accounts, as well as videos, of the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses. Warning, these videos are not for the squeamish.

A whole food, plant based diet is good for the environment. Raising cattle for food takes 2.6 pounds of grain and 435 gallons of water for every pound of beef. The petroleum costs are up for debate, so I won't address that here. Also, since most cattle are fed corn - not their preferred diet; it is mixed with vitamins, antibiotics, and hormones to make them grow faster without getting sick. All of this has the effect of turning their waste unsuitable for use as fertilizer, meaning it is toxic to plants. And since the average, full grown cow will produce around 150 pounds of waste (about 100 pounds of which is water), that is a lot of toxic stuff. And don't get me started about poultry.

Of course a whole food, plant-based diet is good for your body. Vegetables, fruits, and grains are lower in calories, high in fiber, and very nutrient dense. They fill you up (because of the fiber) without leaving you feeling bloated or uncomfortable. By eating foods as close to nature as possible, you avoid so many of the complications that processed foods bring. Take white flower; by stripping the bran and the germ from the wheat grain, you lose all the valuable fiber and nutrients - nutrients that are far better for you than the chemical ones most flour is "enriched with. And the loss of these components confuses your body, making it think it hasn't taken in enough nourishment when it has, in fact, taken in too much. In general, all processed foods work this way, while meat is nothing but fat (not the good kind), protein, and a few trace vitamins and minerals. Our bodies were not designed to eat meat primarily; our digestion track more closely resembles an herbivore - not a carnivore.

You can find a lot of help with adopting a whole food, plant based diet. There are wonderful books (Quantum Wellness by Kathy Freston and the China Study by T. Colin Campbell) and documentaries (Forks over Knives and Planeat) to help increase your understanding of the benefits. The benefits to your health, your pocketbook, the animal kingdom, and the planet in general are still being measured.


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