Are You Missing the Main Point of Eating More Plant-Based Nutrient Rich and Potentially Going Vegetarian or Vegan?
Recently, the great Sir Paul McCartney wrote an article in the Huffington Post called "My Life as a Vegetarian", reflecting on the life of his late wife Linda McCartney, who started a movement with Meatless Mondays, and who like John Robbins, among others leaders in plant-based nutrition, brought to our awareness the fact that eating animals every time we sit down for a meal; for some multiple times per day, has a huge, negative impact not only on our health but on other species inhabiting our planet and the environment.
It's a great article and is accompanied by a new campaign that Sir Paul is coming out with to continue her legacy. Have a read...
That said, many people miss the main point about eating More Plant-Based, Nutrient Rich and 'potentially' going Vegetarian or Vegan.
Let me clarify...
From a 'nutritional' point of view (which is where most people are focused, on health and weight loss...), eating More Plant-Based, Nutrient Rich is not primarily an animal rights or environmental issue. These points of view are directly related, but whole 'other' conversations in and of themselves. And while these are major reasons why many people choose to eat less or eliminate meat or animal products from their diet, reasons I/we as a company do support for switching up the way people eat; they are not the primary reasons we need to be eating more plant-based, nutrient-rich diets. Not understanding the main reason, is also the primary cause of diet, weight and long-term health issues.
Note: We say plant-based, "nutrient rich" because according to Joel Fuhrman M.D. the SAD Standard American Diet is actually a "plant-based" diet with 62% of calories coming from refined plant foods, 25% of calories coming from animal products, and roughly 12% coming from vegetables and fruit (mostly from fries and ketchup), of which, only 5% come from fresh produce!
Translation: If you understand that refined foodstuffs are nutrient-barren, even if they come from plants, then the above statistics reveal that 90% or more of the foods people are eating are nutrient poor- meaning they are devoid of any substantial amount of phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals and health-promoting forms of protein, carbohydrates and fat.
Eliminating or limiting meat and going "plant based" is not enough; not nearly. Even if you eliminate or limit nutrient-poor animal foods from your diet, you may still be eating just a healthier version of the same SAD nutrient barren diet, as many do, resorting to fake meats and an endless variety of refined foods that are not much better than the foods they aim to supplant; which is why we say, "More Plant-Based Nutrient Rich".
"Nutrient Rich" means the foods are whole food of plant origin, not refined (they can be processed, but not refined). Understanding this, is what ensures you will actually be eating healthy. And for many, realizing this prompts them to make the "switch" to 90% or More, Plant-Based, Nutrient Rich, healthy eating, or to at least get on that path, away from how they are eating right now.
So, when we talk about eating More Plant Based Nutrient Rich, we are first and foremost talking about eating in a way that optimizes your health, by eating mostly micronutrient-rich foods--leafy, green, and colored vegetables and fruits, beans, seeds, nuts, and whole grains, small amounts of animal products if you choose to eat them and outright eliminating refined foods which provide no nutritional value whatsoever; in great-tasting ways you like and enjoy.
Eating "nutrient rich" is not 'about' going vegan or vegetarian (although by all means do if you are ready and want to). Few, if any primates are actually 100% vegan (at the very least, they are also consuming insects, etc.). Even though we can thrive very well in being 100% vegan (there is more than enough science to make this point intelligently, and we are in no way discouraging you from going vegan; the main point in eating More Plant-Based, Nutrient Rich and potentially going vegetarian or vegan is about making sure you are meeting all your nutrient needs. In addition, not overwhelming your body with substances that it does not need from foods, and eating foods in as close to their natural state as possible to protect nutrient integrity.
You want to make sure you are in line with The 5 Golden Rules of Healthy Eating.
So, if you are going to go vegan (which can be an ideal way to eat if it's nutritarian or nutrient rich), or improve the way you eat in any way towards that direction, make sure you understand the main point-- its a necessity to eat the More Plant Based Nutrient Rich foods for purposes of staying healthy!
Nutrients, Nutrient Diversity and Nutrient Quality. Learn More, next.