Eating More Healthily Might Be Right For You
Healthy mainly plant-based diet
A plant-based diet can boost your health; it decreases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers, and helps you stay at a healthy weight. It can even lengthen your life, says a recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine of more than 70,000 people.
It seems it’s the benefits of plants – fibre, vitamins, minerals, rather than eating less meat, that makes the difference.
Healthline have an article which gives info on the whole food, plant based diet, including benefits and a sample meal plan.
OneGreenPlanet list 5 key benefits of a plant based diet as:
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol
- Better blood sugar
- Lower rates of cancer
- Weight loss
Why not eat meat?
Ever wondered where the old out of date bread goes when it comes off the supermarket shelves? Well, it goes to a special company and it is all ground together in a giant mincing machine and ground up into crumbs.
This includes the coloured branded plastic bag it came in and the tag on the end. As bread is yeast based it requires further chemicals to stop another fermentation process taking place. It is then sold to farmers for winter feed to cows who eat the crumbs (and the plastic bag and tag). We then milk the cow or eat the beef.
Just to remind you – cows‘ stomachs may be big but they are not designed to eat coloured printed plastic. Yet again another Food Standards Agency and Agricultural Agency getting together to provide winter feed at a cheap cost with no regard for the cow or the consumer.
Continue eating what I eat now
The farmers and scientists are now on a mission to feed the world. Producing fresh food that we can grow quicker, faster, bigger, disease-free and more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. This mass production means that the cost of our mass produced food has reduced over the last 20 years.
Note those going to France will know the French stick you buy today will be rock hard tomorrow and you could fell a burglar with it. Our bread in the UK can last 12 days or more before going off. Why is that? Simple – French bread has nothing in it except dough, salt, yeast and water.
The chemicals that farmers and growers put on the land to grow super-fast things; veg and fruit is so powerful it can double the growth and size in half the time. The pesticides they put on the plants kill everything and anything that lives on a plant, just so we don’t have a marked apple on the shelf.
Then there is the place we grow this food. In the main it’s fields but increasingly sterile poly-tunnels are used extending the growing season to make things grow more and faster in a sterile environment so that insects don’t damage the crop and waste MONEY.
MEAT – is that healthy to eat ?
Well, years ago it was. When animals could go into the fields and eat grass and get normal supplements to keep them fit and healthy. But then big business and scientists started to produce feeds like rocket fuel, the sort of food body builders eat to accelerate muscle and weight.
Can you blame them? Not really: if someone says; “Here’s a food that will treble the size of your animal in half the time, which means you get it to market faster and its cheaper to feed so less cost and more profit”, then who wouldn’t. But then you look at what they feed the animals and think it just doesn’t pass straight through the animal and out the other side, it is absorbed into the flesh. And then humans eat it.
Healthy eating is a personal choice. Most people know take-aways and processed food are not good for you and that a balanced diet is better. For most people and their lifestyles it can be very hard, and the consensus view seems to be:
- Eat less processed food and more natural healthy food.
- Eating during the day makes common sense and gives you chance to burn it off.
- Try and eat less meat – Waitrose indicated that a third of their shoppers were cutting down on meat.
- The key is balance. It’s difficult to avoid processed foods – it’s part of our life. Fresh fruit and veg (organic if possible) plus locally sourced meat (check it isn’t factory farmed) is probably better for you.
• Keep a kitchen wipe board of what your cooking or what you’ve cooked, and review your online shopping list to ensure you have a balanced order that meets your busy lifestyle.
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The Health Foundation have published a paper on healthy living in the UK – access their site here
The NHS have lots of information on eating well
If you can’t stop eating, then Overeaters Anonymous can help you curb your over indulgence and give useful tips on overeating
Groceryaid have information on healthy living
If you have Diabetes then click here for eating tips
Friends of the Earth have a strong position on how we need to eat a sustainable diet
The Health Foundation commissioned a MORI poll for the 2019 general election on health and social care which made interesting reading – download it here
AgeUK have a lot of info on staying healthy as you get older, including sections on healthy eating. Download the paper here.