* Please be advised that there are multiple, heavily sourced articles at the bottom of this one with a wealth of information about vegetarian/vegan diets. Please check them out if you’re interested and want to further your research.
Proper nutrition is essential for good health, and it’s disturbing how little doctors learn about it in medical school. As a result, they are unable to educate their patients on how to use nutrition to improve their health, or they offer advice based on science paid for by food corporations. The studies in this area are also not as strong as they could be, and that’s simply because they modern day medical industry is very invested in chemical medication.
The scientific literature these corporations use to indoctrinate us from an early age has been exposed as fraudulent, as countless studies have emerged showing the many problems with the modern day diet, which is the generally accepted diet. The problems with mass marketing and the manipulation of science require serious attention. After all, what exactly are we supposed to think when multiple editors-in-chief of peer-reviewed journals come out and blatantly say most of the research published these days is completely false? What are we supposed to think when new publications constantly offer a different narrative than the ones presented by major food corporations?
A recent FOIA investigation actually uncovered documents that show how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) manipulates media and science press. This is hardly a surprise, as government agencies have long been involved with media manipulation, and several mainstream media journalists and news anchors have revealed this fact time and time again.
So, have we been completely misguided about nutrition and human nutritional requirements, which is why it’s so great to see more and more people becoming aware of this fact and taking their health into their own hands. It’s not a mystery why disease rates keep rising. While there are multiple factors at play here, the evidence points to mass meat consumption as a major one.
A Healthy Heart and How It Relates to Diet
“Studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.” (source)
From a scientific/biological perspective, the benefits of a meatless diet are inarguable. It makes one wonder why there is such a harsh resistance to this lifestyle. Skeptics will often point to the theory that we’ve been doing it this way for thousands of years, but that’s not true. Many experts in that field have repeatedly argued that our ancestral diets were mostly plant-based, that meat was a ‘rare treat,’ and that our digestive systems aren’t really built for digesting meat on a daily basis. Some of our ancestors had, as anthropologist Katherine Milton describes them, “different yet successful diets.” She says some hunter-gatherer societies obtained almost all of their dietary energy from plants, and others obtained it from “wild animal fat and protein,” but that “does not imply that this is the ideal diet for modern humans, nor does it imply that modern humans have genetic adaptations to such diets.” (source)
An article by Rob Dunn written for Scientific American titled “Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians” explores this issue from an evolutionary perspective, revealing how our guts might be evolved to perform best on a vegetarian diet, with perhaps the occasional piece of meat here and there as a rare treat.
The point is, it’s not all cut and dry like we’ve been made to believe.
There are many aspects to good health, and a vegan/vegetarian diet has proven to have benefits in several different areas. It’s particularly notable when we look at heart health. The number one cause for death in the United States, it is directly impacted by diet.
“Our standard American diet, also known as SAD, has put our country at the top of the list in the world for obesity, which increases the risk for serious health problems. Overwhelming scientific evidence links the consumption of meat and meat products to numerous diseases. . . . The World Health Organization (WHO) now places red and processed meat at the same danger level as cigarettes and asbestos. Meat is the new tobacco.”
– Dr. Joanne Kong (source)
Take a look at the graphic below regarding heart disease, the number one killer of Americans today. The risk of death from heart disease is significantly lower in vegetarians, and even lower in vegans.
Even the American Dietetic Association has weighed in with a position paper, concluding that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”
These diseases include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.
There is a lot of science to back this up now, so much so that even the President of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Kim A. Williams, has adopted a vegan diet. Talk about heart health…
He often sees patients who are overweight and struggling with hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol. One of the things he advises them to do specifically is to go vegan. He is also the Chairman of Cardiology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. His enthusiasm for a planet-based diet comes from his interpretation of medical literature, having cited several studies proving that people who pursue vegetarian diets live longer than meat eaters and have lower rates of death from heart disease, diabetes, and kidney problems. (source)
It’s great to see more and more professionals realize this, as the science shows that a vegan/vegetarian diet can halt and even reverse multiple diseases.
Research carried out by Dr. Dean Ornish, who found that patients who were put on a program that included a vegetarian diet had less coronary plaque and fewer cardiac events, is also commonly cited.
And there’s plenty more where that came from.
Another heart surgeon who has done a lot for awareness, Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, explains:
“Veganism is a very fine form of nutrition. It’s a little extreme to tell a person who is using flesh foods that you’re going to take everything entirely away from them. When I was in practice in medicine, I would tell the patients that the vegetable-based diet was the healthy way to go, and to keep away from the animal products as much as possible. People are very sensitive about what they eat. You can talk to people about exercising relaxation, good mental attitude and they will accept that. But you talk to them about what they are eating and people are very sensitive about that. If an individual is willing to listen, I will try to explain to them on a scientific basis of how I think it’s better for them.” (source)
This trend is inciting further scientific inquiry as its popularity grows. At least 542,000 people in Britain now follow a vegan diet — up from 150,000 in 2006 — and another 521,000 vegetarians hope to reduce their consumption of animal products. It is evident that veganism has become one of the fastest growing lifestyle choices.
One of the most comprehensive studies ever performed on this subject is “The China Study,” conducted by Drs. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell. Their findings showed direct correlations between nutrition and heart-disease, diabetes, and cancer, proving that cultures that eat primarily plant-based diets have lower to no instances of these diseases and that switching to a plant-based diet can successfully reverse diseases already established in the body.
The Common Criticisms of This Type of Lifestyle Change
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
– Carl Sagan
The problem with many of the truths we hold as universal, not just about nutrition, but all aspects of our world, is that we’ve been bombarded with beliefs from biased sources for years and then accepted those believes as truth. And when someone believes something for a long enough time, if they encounter information that conflicts with that belief system, they do everything in their power to defend it. It’s called cognitive dissonance, and it’s why it can be extremely difficult to talk to a meat-eater about the benefits of veganism/vegetarianism.
The bottom line is, humans do not require meat, and a vegan/vegetarian diet, or a diet severely restricted in meat consumption, is a far healthier option.
This growing awareness is part of a shift in human consciousness that’s taking place on several different levels. Transparency is emerging within not only the food industry, but our health industry, the financial industry, our political systems, and more. We are finally learning that the truth truth regarding so many different topics has been skewed.
Please check out the articles below:
Why Women’s Health Is Fracked Up
- The Facts:
Fracking is having a negative impact on our environment and our health. Specific to women, fracking can increase the risk of breast cancer, disrupt hormones and cause pregnancy problems.
- Reflect On:
If you live near areas where fracking is done, it is beneficial to think about how you can offset or avoid some of these potential health issues. We also can become active in asking our governments to stop this procedure.
Article was originally published on karamariaananda.com/ and is being re-published here by the author.
One of the greatest growing threats to women’s health today is the environmental and social devastation caused by fracking.
The landscape of the United States is changing irreversibly and rapidly. Over the past 20 years I have driven back and forth across this country from coast-to-coast 7 times and have seen first-hand the increasing devastation caused to our environment from the boom in gas and oil wells, and 95% of new wells are being fracked.
Hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, is on the rise in the United States in a shocking way. This is the process of injecting pressurized water, sand, and a dangerous cocktail of hundreds of industrial chemicals deep into mined gas or oil wells in the Earth to stimulate greater production.
Over 12 million people in the United States currently live under a half-mile from active gas and oil wells, facilities, and processing plants today, in the highest threat radius, including nearly 3 million children in schools and daycares.
Modern high-volume hydraulic fracturing was only developed 20 years ago, and in the past decade it’s increased at a rapid fire rate due to advanced fracking technology and horizontal fracking practices, that even run right under the homes and neighborhoods of communities around the country.
The long-term repercussions of fracking on our health are unknown and may take decades to truly reveal themselves, as diseases like cancer can take many years to develop, and the consequences of pregnant women being exposed to extreme toxins will be passed on to the future generations.
What A Waste
A single fracking operation can use more than 9 million gallons of freshwater, and there are over 1.3 million active drilled gas and oil wells in the US today.
Over 700 chemicals are used in the drilling and fracking process and most are undisclosed due to proprietary trade secrets, yet many of the detected chemicals are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, and cause environmental pollution.
The wastewater from fracking is even more toxic and dangerous than the process itself, as it creates an enormous volume of radioactive toxic fluid that must be disposed of somewhere, and is not safe for humans, animals, or the environment.
The water is usually either trucked to treatment plants to filter it, or dumped back into the earth through deep well injection at high pressures which can lead to earthquakes and groundwater contamination, while a small amount is recycled into other fracking operations.
In addition, there can be contamination of the environment by the leaking of fracking fluids from the thousands of trucks used to transport the toxic liquid from the drilling sites to the treatment plants and disposal wells. In some cases, these trucks travel extensively between states, such as how much of Pennsylvania’s used fracking fluid is being trucked to Ohio, which has more deep injection wells. In other cases, such as in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, used drilling liquids are actually sprayed directly on public roads for de-icing.
There have been many recorded incidents of wastewater spills and explosions, as well as illegal dumping of wastewater and radioactive “filter socks”, which are used to separate solids from the post-fracking liquids.
The irreversible and immediate pollution of our water resources by fracking causes devastating environmental impacts, and effects all life and future generations, while the operations also cause significant air and noise pollution, as well as a myriad of health concerns.
We are facing a global water crisis today, and billions of gallons of water are being destroyed and removed from our water system by fracking. Yet, the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act, a federal law to protect public drinking water, does not apply to fracking operations, and fracking wastewater is exempt from federal hazardous waste regulations.
Water is the blood of the Earth that sustains all life, all plants, all people, and is recycled through our whole planet’s biosphere. Our health depends upon access to clean fresh water for drinking, food, and washing.
One of the biggest dangers to human health from the byproducts of fracking is reproductive and developmental toxicity, which disproportionally impacts women’s health in communities near gas and oil wells.
Due to the sensitivity of women’s reproductive organs to environmental triggers, exposure to industrial chemicals may lead to increased breast cancer, infertility, and fetal abnormalities, among other complex systemic health issues.
The toxic soup created by fracking is full of endocrine disruptors which mimic female sex hormones and disrupt hormones. This can result in not just reproductive and developmental problems, but also interfere with immune functioning and cause neurological disorders.
Fracking negatively impacts women’s health on many levels from the destruction of our homes and environment, the polluting of our water, air, food, and land, to the wide-scale sex trafficking, assault, and prostitution happening in “man camps” in large oil production sites.
It’s noteworthy that the term “frack” has also become a slang word for having sex with or taking advantage of someone. This exemplifies the connection between the violent raping of the Earth’s natural resources and fossil fuels, to the abuse of women’s bodies, health, sexuality, and lives even in the name itself.
Intensive oil and gas drilling and fracking operations bring thousands of workers to the areas, who are mostly single young transitory men, and many registered sex offenders, which results in drastic increases in violence, murder, rape, prostitution, and sex trafficking in the local regions.
The male workers are housed in vast “man camps”, which are often huge areas of mobile houses, RV’s, and barracks set up by the energy corporations.
In North Dakota, over 100,000 men have flooded in recent years to set up home in the man camps of the Bakken Shale, resulting in skyrocketing violence and sexual assault, particularly targeting the indigenous women and youth from the region, many who have become victims of rape, assault, and sex trafficking.
Native women and children are being murdered and disappearing at devastating rates, due to the complacency of the oil companies, and the government is doing nothing about this.
Sex trafficking is crime upon humanity, that affects women, children, families and communities, and disproportionally effects the indigenous population. Due to the man camps proximity to reservations, and the reduced legal prosecutorial abilities of Native governments, cases are less likely to be tried, even if a sexual abuser is known and identified.
Studies have also shown increased rates of sexually transmitted infections in areas with fracking. Research at the Yale School of Public Health has shown that Ohio counties with large-scale fracking have 21% higher rates of gonorrhea and 19% higher rates of chlamydia than the same state’s counties without high shale gas activity.
Increased Risk of Breast Cancer
New research has been released showing that prenatal exposure to fracking chemicals caused abnormal mammary gland development and pre-cancerous lesions in the female offspring of mice (Endocrinology). The scientists tested various levels of chemical exposure on the mice, from the potency that would be found in drinking water in areas near fracking, to the level found in wastewater pools on sites, and every level resulted in breast abnormalities.
In Texas, there are highly elevated breast cancer rates in the counties that have active fracking sites, despite statewide reductions in the overall breast cancer rate. Yet this is considered inconclusive evidence to show direct causation, and the Texas Department of State Health Services insists there is no reason to be concerned.
Proximity to fracking operations has been associated with multiple challenges with fertility, menstruation, pregnancy, and infant health. Exposure to fracking chemicals, has been linked to decreased sperm count, miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth, and low birth weight.
Studies in Pennsylvania have found a 25% increase in low-birth weight and decreased infant health with babies born to mothers living near active fracking sites. In response, a spokesperson for the Marcellus Shale Coalition insisted that “It’s dangerously misleading and inflammatory to suggest that natural gas development has done anything but improve public health.” (Science)
Tragically, the health problems from exposure to these chemicals during gestational periods aren’t always evident during pregnancy, birth or infancy, as seen with the mice in the breast cancer study, whose offspring didn’t develop breast lesions from prenatal exposure to fracking chemicals until puberty and maturation.
Pass On The Gas
It’s absolutely essential that the United States government and concerned citizens work together to stop this violent destruction of our environment and health due to fracking. Otherwise, we are set to experience an increasing boom of oil and gas fracking, that will destroy our land, homes, water, air, health, and future, and spread into new states.
Women are leading the way in environmental activism to address the concerns about fracking, yet are more likely to be dismissed, belittled, and threatened.
A study in the UK showed that 58% of men supported fracking, while only 31% of women did. In response, the chair of UK Onshore Shale and Gas made the claim that the reason more women were opposed to fracking than men were because they were more likely to be uneducated and lacked understanding of the science. This kind of belittling sexism is rampant from fracking proponents.
We must stop the spread of fracking in the US and invest into renewable forms of energy, divest money from big banks that support fossil fuels, and demand that the U.S. government protects our water, air, and communities now.
It is clear that fracking disproportionally affects the health and lives of women, and women’s health is a vital marker for the health and future of a nation. If we seek to grow a thriving country, we must prioritize the wellbeing of women and protect the children who are the future of this land.
This boom has been lauded by the energy companies and lobbyists as an answer to cheap and domestic energy production, reducing our dependency on foreign oil, as well as causing less air pollution than the coal industry. But is cheap energy today worth thousands of years of radioactive waste, the destruction of our precious water resources, and the compromising of the health of our people?
This article was originally published on http://karamariaananda.com/ and is being re-published here by the author.
Being Near The Ocean Gives Many Clues About Our Well-Being
- The Facts:
There are many reasons that most of us feel more relaxed, happy, even creative after spending some time near the ocean.
- Reflect On:
What can we learn about ourselves and what we need in our lives by examining the impact that being near the ocean, or water, usually has on us?
It is not a big stretch to say that we know ‘intuitively’ that being near the ocean can lead to improvements in our health and well-being, because so many of us have had the actual experience when we have gone to the beach. Feelings of serenity, calm, happiness and balance seem to arise in us as naturally as the waves that crawl rhythmically onto the shore and immerse our toes with refreshment.
There is some science to support this. An English study analyzed data from 48 million people ‘which indicate that good health is more prevalent the closer one lives to the coast.’
Water Is Essential To Life
To say that water is essential to life, as we know it, is not an overstatement, it is a fact. That’s why NASA’s motto in the hunt for extraterrestrial life has been “follow the water.” And here at home, water is the conduit for many of the processes essential for complex biological life. For human beings, it makes up over half of what we are physically. Up to 60% of the adult body is water, with the brain and heart at 73%, and the lungs at about 83%.
It’s no wonder that we are drawn to water, even as being fully immersed in it would cause us to drown. We have the need to be close to water at times just to feel good, to see it, to touch it, to drink it, to have it splash upon our body. If I ever get blocked or feel my thoughts getting confused while writing, my healing salve is a warm shower. It inevitably returns me to calm clarity, where my ideas become more supple, integrated, and ultimately creative.
Being in the presence of the ocean, then, would seem to be the quintessential place of healing and rejuvenation. It’s why people have always flocked to the beach. Yes, many like to lie on the sand and take in the sun, but far fewer people would take the trouble to go to the desert to do that. There is a feeling that sun-worshipping usually goes hand in hand with a refreshing plunge in the water, if only a brief one.
And even if one is laying down with eyes closed, there is the rhythmic sound of the waves advancing and receding, that attunes us to the in-and-out cadence of our breathing, our source of life. This immense presence is there, and we can feel it even when we don’t look at it. There is a gravity, a pull from the center of this big body, and the feeling that we are resting with this gentle pull upon us is both relaxing and energizing.
By The Shore
Many, many go to the beach to simply walk for miles and miles along the shore, the meeting point of earth and water. This meeting point seems like home for many of us, as we experience our human lives as occurring in a meeting point between conscious and unconscious, between matter and spirit. The water inside of us is put into calm and balanced movement, and entrains itself to the rise and fall of water on the shore that we see and feel.
Just looking out at its immensity seems to give us comfort, a feeling that we are part of something much bigger, something that connects us all. It both reminds us that we ourselves are not as significant as our worries would have us believe, and yet confirms that we are much deeper and more vast than we appear.
Then of course there is the deep blueness of the ocean, which of all the colors in the spectrum is known to most evoke happiness and creativity. Ernest Hemmingway loved to look out at and be near the ocean to help foster his creativity and imagination. Marine Biologist Wallace J. Nichols also notes that looking out on the ocean,
“…the visual input is simplified. When you stand at the edge of water and look out on the horizon, it’s visually simplified relative to the room you’re sitting in right now, or a city you’re walking through, where you’re taking in millions of pieces of information every second.”
If You Can’t Reach The Ocean
Of course, not everyone has the luxury of living Oceanside or even has the means to visit the ocean on a regular basis. Still, we can take many clues from what the ocean provides us and how it makes us feel to understand what we need in our lives to live in a balanced and happy way. Lakes, rivers, even ponds have something to offer us, and we may want to take more opportunities in our busy lives to sit quietly near them and gaze upon them, in a state of openness and curiosity about what the experience has to offer us.
Ending The Debate About The Ketogenic Diet – 9 Studies You Must Be Aware Of
- The Facts:
The Ketogenic diet is a popular fad diet that promotes quick weight loss and symptom management for bodies that are dealing with poor lymph, kidney and digestion health.
- Reflect On:
Based on the studies that are emerging, is our desire for quick weight loss more important than living a long and healthy life? Are we learning about these diets primarily through those with strong ties to upholding these diets?
The ketogenic diet has popped up as a popular approach to weight loss in the last few years. Is it successful at that? Sure, it is. I’ve experimented with the diet myself years ago when I was looking to lose some belly fat. I was entering into ketosis in a different way than most, as I was not eating any animal products, but it does in fact work.
But like any animal product based diet, what are the consequences of eating so much food that does not truly jive with our human bodies? Not only that, is fast weight loss more important than keeping our morality rate down?
In the last few years, we’ve reported a lot on the Keto diet and the various ways it can be done. We have explored the studies, the results and in some ways, we supported it. But lately, I have been thinking about how supporting this could actually be encouraging people to jump into these diets, including the paleo diet, when in reality these diets increase mortality rates and are not healthy for the human body.
It became a thought in the back of my mind, I have always strived to put the best information out that I can through this platform to promote good health. And so we must look at that, even if that means upsetting some people who currently are on paleo or keto and are seeing some good weight loss or symptom management. The truth is, like the many people I’ve seen crash on these diets after a few years, I want people to know the truth of what’s going on out there. And how we can get beyond diets that symptom manage, and instead get onto diets that truly heal.
Anytime we have fad diets, which paleo and keto are, we see products and bias pop up all over the place to support the continuation of these trends. It becomes less about health and more about upholding an identity or a business.
So as I recently looked into what experts are saying about these diets, I came upon two important videos I think everyone should check out. Both have been embedded below. Remember, it’s not that I care what you choose in your own life, or that I feel there is a right or wrong, it’s that I believe we should be informed and I wish to use this platform to promote as best a message as I can.
Thanks to Plant-Based News for creating such a good channel and resource of information on YouTube.
In this video, several plant-based health experts talk through 9 nutrition studies that would be of interest to low carb keto diet proponents. To read the 9 studies, click here.
Next up, Dr. Kim Williams (past President of the American College of Cardiology) shares his insights about the ketogenic.
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