There’s no denying the nutritional benefits of meat; but alongside the protein, vitamins, and healthy fats, hide the pitfalls of accumulated pollutants. Which begs the question: given such a build-up of toxins – is meat a genuinely healthy option? Or is it closer to poison? Let’s dive into the details to better understand the potential hazards we face, while considering vegan & vegetarian diets a healthy alternative.
Food Source, or Source of Toxicity?
Livestock is frequently fed with GMO’s – genetically modified organisms – such as soya, corn, wheat and peas; each of which can lead to cancer in humans. Then, on top of said GMO’s, this same livestock receives growth factors and growth hormones during rearing to speed growth, improve weight gain, and increase milk production.
Yes, the approach has economic benefits. However, it also dramatically increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancers in women, and prostate cancer in men.
A case in point lies in a recent report which highlighted the presence of a toxic pesticide in millions of eggs distributed for public consumption across Western Europe: likely a direct result of feed contaminated with arsenic and other toxins.
Then, there’s farmed fish: treated with antibiotics, fed animal bones and flour – they suffer from similar issues. So, is wild fish better? Yes, but there are other inherent risks: species are frequently contaminated with environmental pollutants (dioxins, for example), toxic heavy metals (such as mercury, lead, arsenic and nickel), even plastic derivatives.
All these pollutants can cause cancers as well as other neurodegenerative diseases. So, what to do?
The solution is to focus the diet on herbs, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fruits and soy-derivatives, taking into account the possibility to include, from time to time, fish, eggs & dairy products.
The Alternative – Vegan & Vegetarian Diets
Given the facts, it’s little wonder that a study looking into the mortality rate from cardiovascular disease and incidents of cancer among 124,706 patients suggests that those following a plant-based diet are at significantly lower risk of such outcomes.
Notably, when compared to non-vegetarians, those following a plant-based diet have a:
- Significantly lower ischaemic heart disease mortality rate (29%)
- Lower overall incidence of cancer (18%)
- Lower prevalence of being overweight or obese, with lower cholesterol
- Lower risk of diabetes
- Lower risk of diverticular disease
- Reduced incidence of cataracts
Going Healthy All the Way
But it’s important to note, while vegan and vegetarian diets are extremely healthy, they have their shortcomings.
They can lead to certain deficiencies in basic micronutrients and other nutritional elements; meaning those on a plant-based diet could benefit from nutrient supplements that include Iron, Vitamin B12, Omega-3, Iodine, L-Carnitine, Zinc and Calcium.
It was for this very reason that Dr Naim created VeSmart: to cover the specific nutrient needs of vegans and vegetarians alike. If you’d like to learn more, you can find the story behind the VeSmart products here.
An organic vegan diet genuinely helps lower blood toxicity but must be followed with the appropriate diligence – and supplements are a proven way to cover any possible nutrient deficiencies.
So, check your intake, and be sure to make the most of your plant-based lifestyle.