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Healthy Diet
A healthy, nutritionally balanced diet requires all nutritional needs to be met, via the consumption of certain foods each day, which is often expressed graphically with the food pyramid, which usually includes several or so food groups.

Animal Products

People are generally taught to believe that a healthy diet consists of the following six food groups:
  • fats, sweets and oils
  • dairy products
  • protein rich foods
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • grains, beans and legumes
Animal products such as dairy, eggs and animal flesh, are promoted (by those likely to benefit financially by doing so) as the only source of complete nutrition, when any nutritionist knows, this is far from the truth. Nuts, seeds, grains and beans for example, contain at least as much nutritional value as any animal product does, and therefore renders animal products of any kind unnecessary. Animal products must also be cooked at high temperatures to kill or inhibit the growth and reproduction of pathogens, so as to reduce the possibility of infections and illness due to the wide range of pathogenic germs that all animals (including ourselves) carry. Heating foods to over 118 degrees denatures or destroys nearly all nutrients however, including the enzymes and other co-factors necessary for digesting food and absorbing nutrients. The only nutrients provided by animal products, which the body can digest, metabolise and use, are minerals. But what good do minerals do for the body, if they come with toxic chemicals such as drugs, steroids, hormones and antibiotics?

Commercially produced animal products are commonly derived from animals that were pumped full of fat producing agents, powdered chemical additives, newspaper, garbage fillers, drugs, steroids, hormones and antibiotics. Many of these animals were also fed the remains of other sick, dead or dying animals, and plant foods that were grown using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Dead animals that die before slaughtering time are also processed along with all the other meat, regardless of the animals' condition. The meat is then sent to market, where color enhancers are often added to the certain cuts of meat to make them look more appealing to hungry shoppers. Yet no matter how animals are raised, what they are fed or how the products derived from them are processed and prepared, all animal products are an expensive, unhealthy, unnecessary waste of land, water and other natural resources. For example:

  • It is so expensive to produce and transport animal products, that few could afford to buy them if it weren't for our tax dollars being used to pay government subsidies to commercial producers.
  • Consuming animal products of any kind, especially in excess, can result in a wide variety of negative health effects, including all forms of tumors and cancer.
  • Meats (especially red meats) are more time consuming and difficult to digest than eggs and dairy products, but generally all animal products are more time consuming and difficult to digest than any other food.
  • Most animals contain DDT (a single ounce of which can kill ten million people), while most fish and all seafood contains at least trace amounts of mercury, yet only 1-2 of the 500,000 animals slaughtered every hour in the US are tested for toxic residues.
  • 1 acre of trees are cleared every eight seconds to make way for croplands, not to feed those dying of starvation, but to instead use over half of all US water supplies and 95% of all grain grown in the US for the raising of cattle.
  • Livestock accounts for about one billion tons of un-recycled waste and 16% of all methane gas emissions worldwide every year, resulting in agricultural wastes that end up in our air, soil and water supplies.
  • It takes up to 100 times more water to raise animals for food than to produce the same amount of food from plants, and animals require at least 5-10 times as much space as plants to produce the same amount of nutrients. Twenty vegans and/or vegetarians could in fact be fed on the same amount of land needed to feed one meat eating person.
  • According to the UN, raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all transport vehicles and factories in the world combined.

Vegan and Vegetarian Diets

Vegan diets only include plant foods, such as nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, grains, beans, legumes, sprouts and grasses. Some vegetarian diets include animal products such as dairy or eggs, but all vegan and vegetarian diets have in common the exclusion of animal flesh. It has been said (and promoted by those who benefit financially) that vegans and vegetarians risk malnutrition, because supposedly nutrients such as protein, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin D and vitamin B12 are only found in animal products, except in very minute and imbalanced amounts, which are supposedly not suitable for complete balanced nutrition. Not only is this completely and provably untrue, but death rates in fact rise with increased consumption of animal products, and it is actually animal products, not plant foods, which contain imbalanced or insufficient nutrients. All of the nutrients the body needs can be obtained from plant foods, except for vitamin B12, which does not come from animal products either. While most animals do contain vitamin B12, it is not their own bodies, but rather bacteria on the plant foods they ate which produced it.

Many vegans and vegetarians eat only whole, organic foods, which have not been genetically engineered, modified, refined or processed by commercial food industries. This may exclude much of the food purchased at most grocery stores, but whole, organic foods can also be obtained from other sources, such as health food stores, farmers markets, or better yet, from our own gardens. Growing plants for your own food and medicine really doesn't require a lot of space or resources, especially if animal products are eliminated from the diet. One acre of land would for example, be sufficient to feed two vegans and/or vegetarians, year round. Growing and/or buying locally grown foods also supports local communities, while reducing one's contribution to the environmental and financial costs of refining, processing, packaging, storing and transporting food.

Nutrino Foods

There are five vegan foods that I refer to as 'nutrino foods', which together contain significant quantities of virtually all essential nutrients (except for vitamin B12), and some non-essential nutrients. Nutrino foods include alfalfa (Medigo sativa), barley (Hordeum vulgare), carrot (Daucus carota), soybean (Glycine max), and sunflower (Helianthus annuus). Based on a 2000 calorie diet, 1C alfalfa (leaf), 2C barley (grain, sprouts and grass), 1C carrots, 2C soy (beans, sprouts and grass) and 2C sunflower (seeds, sprouts and grass) would provide all of the nutrients a person needs (not including vitamin B12) for one day. With the addition of probiotics (which can be obtained from prebiotic vegan foods), one could eat nothing but the nutrino foods and meet all nutritional requirements, and then some.

Dietary Changes

A number of diet changes may be necessary to begin and sustain a healthy diet. One of the most important dietary changes one can make is to reduce, or better yet, eliminate animal products, refined and processed foods from their diet. Despite the elimination of such foods, the variety of recipes for preparing vegan and vegetarian foods not be limited. Keep in mind however, that it takes time for the body to adapt to dietary changes, and there are a few things to keep in mind, whether you decide to make dietary changes or not:
  • To help prevent food allergies, healthy diets should include a sufficient variety of whole foods, as any food eaten too often can become an allergen to the consumer.
  • To improve detoxification, digestion, absorption, metabolism of nutrients and increase production of melatonin, serotonin, hormones and other body chemicals, eat larger meals at breakfast than dinner, and eat meals as close to the same times as possible.
  • To help prevent indigestion, malabsorption, heartburn or other digestive disorders, avoid overeating or eating between meals.
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