“The science is clear. If you want to be healthy, change your diet.” – The China Study

Dubious about the idea of not eating meat or dairy? Think you couldn’t possibly cut it out for good or at all?

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to cut out meat or dairy completely. However, you do need to consider the fact that eating a plant-based diet is healthier for you, according to many studies, and that you will probably live a longer, healthier life as a result.

The China study is one such study and is “Recognized as the most comprehensive nutritional study ever conducted on the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.” Source

Here are the facts about the benefits of eating a plant-based diet:

1. Animal protein promotes the growth of cancer. The book author T. Colin Campbell, PhD., grew up on a dairy farm, so he regularly enjoyed a wholesome glass of milk. Not anymore. In multiple, peer-reviewed animal studies, researchers discovered that they could actually turn the growth of cancer cells on and off by raising and lowering doses of casein, the main protein found in cow’s milk.

2. The study findings are bulletproof. After years of controversial lab results on animals, the researchers had to see how they played out in humans. The study they created included 367 variables, 65 counties in China, and 6,500 adults (who completed questionnaires, blood tests, etc.). “When we were done, we had more than 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, diet, and disease variables.” In other words, there’s no arguing with the findings, Meat Council of America. Sorry.

3. The results are simple: Eat plants for health. “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease. People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest.”

4. Heart disease can be reversed through nutrition. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., a physician and researcher at the best cardiac center in the country, The Cleveland Clinic, treated 18 patients with established coronary disease with a whole foods, plant-based diet. Not only did the intervention stop the progression of the disease, but 70 percent of the patients saw an opening of their clogged arteries. Dr. Dean Ornish, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, completed a similar study with consistent results.

5.  Plants do it better. “There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants.” Protein (YES, PROTEIN!), fiber, vitamins, minerals—you name it, they’ve got it, and the health benefits. —Lisa Elaine Held


6. Meat, cheese and dairy are addicting. According to the research done by Dr. Neil Barnard, MD, “Analyzing samples of cow’s milk, they found traces of a chemical that looked very much like morphine. They put it to one chemical test after another. And, finally, they arrived at the conclusion that, in fact, it is morphine. There is not a lot of it, and not every sample had detectable levels. But there is indeed some morphine in both cow’s milk and human milk. Morphine, of course, is an opiate and is highly addictive.” –PCRM.org

” Furthermore, people are super attached to their animal products: “Meat-lovers defend their food of choice with remarkable ferocity. An April 2000 survey of 1,244 adults revealed that about one in four Americans wouldn’t give up meat for a week even if they were paid $1,000 to do it.”

(I highly recommend Dr. Barnard’s book “Breaking the Food Seduction” about the addictive properties of cheese, meat, dairy and sugar.)

7. A plant-based diet will help you lose weight and keep it off. 

8. You will have better moods and have less of a chance of depression if eating a plant-based diet as compared to meat and fish eaters.

9. Less toxicity: Plant sources are safer than animal sources, especially when eating organic.

10. It’s more sustainable for the planet: it requires less energy and farmland to feed a vegetarian and raising livestock for slaughter is one of the top contributors to greenhouse gasses.

11. You’ll save money: Plant foods are less expensive, period.

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Jenna Pacelli is a Holistic Health Coach and yoga teacher at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She coaches yoga practitioners and busy professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area and all over the world. She assists her clients in having more energy, curbing cravings naturally, losing weight and keeping it off without dieting, reducing stress levels, and living from a place of joy and authenticity. Her clients create lasting change and fully embodied health and wellbeing.