The #1 killer of men and woman in the US is heart disease. 2 out of 3 Americans are overweight, obesity is getting worse. The average American consumes about 2-3 pounds sugar each week.
With statistics like this, we really ought to pay attention to who is giving advice on diet. Food can either be the best form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. Knowing how to make food choices is the key to our health. If the government says we need to drink milk, that doesn't make it true. The government subsidizes food production in our country and the dairy industry is massive. Big industry is dictating what the government recommends. If they didn't recommend drinking milk, it would make a lot of people very angry. Same thing with meat and grains.
Has eating a well-balanced plant-based diet ever caused major illness? I have helped many clients transition to a more plant-based diet and the results typically include: lower cholesterol and blood pressure, better sleep, more energy, and weight loss to name a few.
Studies have repeatedly linked heavy meat consumption to higher rates of heart disease, premature death and cancer. The Advisory Committee’s scientific report lumped red meat in with processed meats—stuff like salami and hot dogs—and said that a healthy diet would mean eating “lower” amounts of these foods in order to prevent chronic diseases.
An article in Time states: Since 1980, when the government issued its first set of dietary guidelines, the number of Americans who are obese or have type-2 diabetes has more than doubled. Roughly half of all American adults now live with one or more chronic, preventable diseases, and rates of childhood obesity have reached “epidemic” proportions, according to the National Institutes of Health.
As per Luise Light, one of the nutritionists who worked for the FDA to develop the food pyramid:
When our version of the Food Guide came back to us revised, we were shocked to find that it was vastly different from the one we had developed. As I later discovered, the wholesale changes made to the guide by the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture were calculated to win the acceptance of the food industry. For instance, the Ag Secretary’s office altered wording to emphasize processed foods over fresh and whole foods, to downplay lean meats and low-fat dairy choices because the meat and milk lobbies believed it’d hurt sales of full-fat products; it also hugely increased the servings of wheat and other grains to make the wheat growers happy. The meat lobby got the final word on the color of the saturated fat/cholesterol guideline which was changed from red to purple because meat producers worried that using red to signify “bad” fat would be linked to red meat in consumers’ minds.
Where we, the USDA nutritionists, called for a base of 5-9 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day, it was replaced with a paltry 2-3 servings (changed to 5-7 servings a couple of years later because an anti-cancer campaign by another government agency, the National Cancer Institute, forced the USDA to adopt the higher standard).
Our recommendation of 3-4 daily servings of whole-grain breads and cereals was changed to a whopping 6-11 servings forming the base of the Food Pyramid as a concession to the processed wheat and corn industries. Moreover, my nutritionist group had placed baked goods made with white flour — including crackers, sweets and other low-nutrient foods laden with sugars and fats — at the peak of the pyramid, recommending that they be eaten sparingly. To our alarm, in the “revised” Food Guide, they were now made part of the Pyramid’s base. And, in yet one more assault on dietary logic, changes were made to the wording of the dietary guidelines from “eat less” to “avoid too much,” giving a nod to the processed-food industry interests by not limiting highly profitable “fun foods” (junk foods by any other name) that might affect the bottom line of food companies.
So before you take the government's advice, make sure you know who is benefitting from that advice. Make informed decisions. My challenge to you: try a plant-based diet and test the theory. If you would like help getting started, contact me. I would love to help.
Have you tried a plant-based diet? What has been your experience?