Meat and cheese may be as bad for you as smoking

“Crucially, the researchers found that plant-based proteins, such as those from beans, did not seem to have the same mortality effects as animal proteins. Rates of cancer and death also did not seem to be affected by controlling for carbohydrate or fat consumption, suggesting that animal protein is the main culprit.”

 

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That chicken wing you’re eating could be as deadly as a cigarette. In a new study that tracked a large sample of adults for nearly two decades, researchers have found that eating a diet rich in animal proteins during middle age makes you four times more likely to die of cancer than someone with a low-protein diet — a mortality risk factor comparable to smoking.

“There’s a misconception that because we all eat, understanding nutrition is simple. But the question is not whether a certain diet allows you to do well for three days, but can it help you survive to be 100?” said corresponding author Valter Longo, the Edna M. Jones Professor of Biogerontology at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and director of the USC Longevity Institute.

Not only is excessive protein consumption linked to a dramatic rise in cancer mortality, but middle-aged people who eat lots of proteins from animal sources — including meat, milk and cheese — are also more susceptible to early death in general, reveals the study to be published March 4 in Cell Metabolism. Protein-lovers were 74 percent more likely to die of any cause within the study period than their more low-protein counterparts. They were also several times more likely to die of DIABETES.

But how much protein we should eat has long been a controversial topic — muddled by the popularity of protein-heavy DIETS such as Paleo and Atkins. Before this study, researchers had never shown a definitive correlation between high protein consumption and mortality risk.

Rather than look at adulthood as one monolithic phase of life, as other researchers have done, the latest study considers how biology changes as we age, and how decisions in middle life may play out across the human lifespan.

In other words, what’s good for you at one age may be damaging at another. Protein controls the growth hormone IGF-I, which helps our bodies grow but has been linked to cancer susceptibility. Levels of IGF-I drop off dramatically after age 65, leading to potential frailty and muscle loss. The study shows that while high protein intake during middle age is very harmful, it is protective for older adults: those over 65 who ate a moderate- or HIGH-PROTEIN diet were less susceptible to disease.

The latest paper draws from Longo’s past research on IGF-I, including on an Ecuadorian cohort that seemed to have little cancer or DIABETES susceptibility because of a genetic mutation that lowered levels of IGF-I; the members of the cohort were all less than five-feet tall.

“The research shows that a low-protein diet in middle age is useful for preventing cancer and overall mortality, through a process that involves regulating IGF-I and possibly insulin levels,” said co-author Eileen Crimmins, the AARP Chair in Gerontology at USC. “However, we also propose that at older ages, it may be important to avoid a low-protein diet to allow the maintenance of healthy weight and protection from frailty.”

Crucially, the researchers found that plant-based proteins, such as those from beans, did not seem to have the same mortality effects as animal proteins. Rates of cancer and death also did not seem to be affected by controlling for carbohydrate or fat consumption, suggesting that animal protein is the main culprit.

“The majority of Americans are eating about twice as much proteins as they should, and it seems that the best change would be to lower the daily intake of all proteins but especially animal-derived proteins,” Longo said. “But don’t get extreme in cutting out protein; you can go from protected to malnourished very quickly.”

Longo’s findings support recommendations from several leading health agencies to consume about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day in middle age. For example, a 130-pound person should eat about 45-50 grams of protein a day, with preference for those derived from plants such as legumes, Longo explains.

The researchers define a “HIGH-PROTEIN” diet as deriving at least 20 percent of CALORIES from protein, including both plant-based and animal-based protein. A “moderate” protein diet includes 10-19 percent of calories from protein, and a “low-protein” diet includes less than 10 percent protein.

Even moderate amounts of protein had detrimental effects during middle age, the researchers found. Across all 6,318 adults over the age of 50 in the study, average protein intake was about 16 percent of total daily calories with about two-thirds from animal protein — corresponding to data about national protein consumption. The study sample was representative across ethnicity, education and health background.

People who ate a moderate amount of protein were still three times more likely to die of cancer than those who ate a low-protein DIET in middle age, the study shows. Overall, even the small change of decreasing protein intake from moderate levels to low levels reduced likelihood of early death by 21 percent.

For a randomly selected smaller portion of the sample – 2,253 people – levels of the growth hormone IGF-I were recorded directly. The results show that for every 10 ng/ml increase in IGF-I, those on a HIGH-PROTEIN diet were 9 percent more likely to die from cancer than those on a low-protein diet, in line with past research associating IGF-I levels to cancer risk.

The researchers also extended their findings about HIGH-PROTEIN diets and mortality risk, looking at causality in mice and cellular models. In a study of tumor rates and progression among mice, the researchers show lower cancer incidence and 45 percent smaller average tumor size among mice on a low-protein diet than those on a high-protein diet by the end of the two-month experiment.

“Almost everyone is going to have a cancer cell or pre-cancer cell in them at some point. The question is: Does it progress?” Longo said. “Turns out one of the major factors in determining if it does is is protein intake.”

 

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304125639.htm

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From Omnivore to Vegetarian to Vegan

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Hello everybody who finds and reads this blog!

I would never point fingers to people who are willing to learn and change, yet the other day I was considering my own life, beliefs and lifestyles over the years, and the finger is now pointed on me. I was raised like most people in the western world as an omnivore, milk was believed to be the best and healthiest thing, and nobody in my family would have ever considered a vegetarian or vegan diet acceptable. I was quite the odd one in my family (still am 🙂 when I decided to be a vegetarian at about 11 years of age. Everybody thought it was a “phase” and that it was almost “embarrassing”, which I now look back and am grateful most kids nowadays have so much more information available and could argue facts much more than I could. All I said was I would not eat meat again without any further explanation. Over the years I would be constantly asked about my health and why I was a vegetarian, I had no answers, I just was, there was no reason really, I just did not want meat! There was a short time of my 20 something years of vegetarianism, that I ate meat again, for maybe 1 year, because social pressure, brainwashing, marketing, advertising and the people I possibly tried to impress were a huge influence in my life and I thought “why not?”.

After that 1 year I was not feeling or thriving on a meat diet, I was feeling horrible physically. At the same time I started to look into charity work, where I realized I would be a huge hypocrite if I ate meat yet wanted to help animals. So I became a vegetarian again. I was so proud of myself to cut meat out of my life, yet I ate fish, dairy and eggs, and considered myself such a good person. I thought I was informed, and could sleep with a clean conscious. Little did I understand and know at that time. 

A few more years later I read a book “skinny bitch” and immediately went Vegan, for the right reasons, and that was for the utmost compassion for animals, yet I was not prepared nor was I educated on the subject and didn’t know how to get or ask for help and support. I checked every label for their ingredients and found hardly anything without milk, cream, eggs etc. Going for dinner I would ask the server if the salad dressing was vegan, they did not know what vegan meant, I said no honey, no dairy, no eggs, no cream, no butter etcetera… and they seriously didn’t have one item at the restaurant (at that time where I lived), that was vegan, it was a social nightmare and I felt so helpless because I didn’t know how to cook or prepare vegan food, all I knew was to eat fruits, veggies, chips and tofu. I am so grateful for all the vegan cookbooks available nowadays as well as many great Facebook groups!

Another few more years down the road, around Christmas, I had a lot of time off and started to read books about animal rights and a plant-based diet, I liked pages on Facebook and joined groups that involved veganism, either animal or food related. I read more and more and realized, what a hypocrite I was, how I could have ever considered being a vegetarian something superior than a meat-eater. The dairy industry (milk, cheese, veal) and the egg industry are most probably the worst of all offenders. For the first time in my life it “clicked”, I realized what was going on and connected, it was as if a lightbulb went on and I could connect the dots. Hazed by misleading advertising and large corporations, false and outdated scientific researches and health information, I could finally find my way to the truth. It was time to set new standards, rules, researches and point of views. After only 3 months I had noticed my asthma being completely gone, after over 30 years of every single drug or therapy nothing helped but going vegan did! I have more energy and I feel better than when I was 10 years younger, my blood work, heart rate, blood pressure are out of this world amazing. I have battled bad skin my whole life, everything is clear and perfect now. However these are all side effects, all I wanted to do with going vegan was to stop my part in this horrible torture, slavery and exploitation of innocent animals.

And going vegan made me a perfect target to be ridiculed and belittled. Yet it did not affect me because I was educated on the subject and had every counter fact ready available, and seriously if someone is willing to have a productive and knowledgeable talk without letting emotions and old beliefs come in their ways, the person questioning a vegan will be left with loads of information to think about, and there is no argument to be won on the subject of protein, health, animal welfare, environment, pollution, “naturalism”, history, tradition etc… 

I feel that everybody has the right to their opinion, but everybody should start at the same point when getting into an argument. If you want to discuss veganism, please read up on it and read both sides and we will both eventually come to the same conclusion. 

We have become a society of over consumption and poor health. We abuse whatever resources we have and rely on TV commercials and other large corporation advertising. 

If we raised every kid to be compassionate for ALL living beings, we would foster acceptance of every race, religion, sexual orientation, gender and species. Why would anybody consider that extreme or laughable?

I encourage every person who rather close their eyes to the terrors of hell that are going on in every animal transportation or slaughter house, be it from your organic, pasture raised, free range, certified humane or factory farmed animals, to watch the documentary “Earthlings”. There is no “humane” in killing. Don’t think you can sleep sound at night because you let a “label” fool you. And why would you want the animal to have a beautiful life to afterwards be killed? 

 

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“There is NO fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.”

― Charles Darwin

Let me be honest, YOU (anybody who isn’t a vegan who thinks others are at fault for all the problems) are the problem not the farmers, not the corporations, not our governments. You fill all their pockets by demanding a product that not only kills billions of animals but causes world hunger, environmental pollution and health problems. With your own money you pay someone else to do the horrible dirty jobs of raising animals, impregnating them, transporting them and killing them.

If you love your dog, consider him being bred, tortured, killed, butchered, packaged and sold. 

I don’t want to point fingers or sound elitist but I would like to point out the facts, and I would like to be able to bring forward arguments I wished someone pointed out to me when I felt I was doing all I could. 

Slaves were once acceptable, women’s rights were non existing and smoking was allowed in hospitals, consider the changes and steps forward we have made. No matter where you are in this world, if you consider that you alone can do nothing, you can make a choice each day by deciding what to put on your plate. 

Please consider your kids or future kids, what world do you want to leave behind? Compassion for all living beings is the world we wish for all people on earth. 

 

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