How A More Plant Based Diet Could Save Your Health And The Environment

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Remember Morgan Spurlock 's cascading series of health problems as he got deeper into his one-month experiment of eating nothing but fast food in "Super Size Me"? Much of his trouble could be attributed to two things: the high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol found in hamburgers, cheeseburgers, french fries, milkshakes and more. In fact, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), all the saturated fat and cholesterol in the animal products we eat can be blamed for about 63,000 fatal heart attacks each year in the U.S. alone. Bottom line: Americans are eating way more meat, eggs and dairy than we once did, and it 's showing in our health ... or lack thereof. In 1909, for example, according to the CSPI 's…show more content…
Most people around the world weren 't ever -- or are even now -- eating the way some of us do every day: steak-and-egg sandwiches for breakfast, quarter-pound cheeseburgers for lunch, two whole chicken breasts or a half-pound pork chop for dinner. And you know what? They were, or are, often healthier for it (if their diets provide adequate calories and nutrients for basic health, of course). Consider some of the studies reviewed in "Six Arguments," for instance: In one study, vegans (people who eat no meat, fish or dairy products) who added 8 ounces of beef to their daily diet saw their average blood cholesterol levels rise by 19 percent in just four weeks. In another, long-term, study, the American Cancer Society found that the people who ate the most beef, pork and processed meats (bacon, sausage, etc.) also had the highest risks of rectal cancer. And Harvard 's Nurses ' Health Study found that women who drink two or more glasses of whole milk a day substantially increased their risks of a heart attack. On the flip side, a community health program in California found that participants who switched to a low-fat, near-vegan diet -- and also boosted their physical activity -- saw their levels of bad cholesterol drop by 14 percent, their rates of high blood-pressure cut in half, and their weight reduced by an average of 7 1/2 pounds. In other words, meat
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