So, over the last couple of months, several of my friends (or their partners) have been admitted to hospital with heart problems. One very sadly passed away and some of them were rushed to ICU with heart attack or stroke symptoms and are now in hospital or in recovery.
Now it’s understandable, after being discharged, for those people to want to kiss the ground, punch the air and thank the NHS, (of course it is) but what I don’t understand is their returning to the same routine and the same diet of meat, dairy and eggs.
DID YOU KNOW that eating just TWO servings of animal meat a week will dramatically increase your risk of suffering from heart disease?
There are a lot of things out there, beyond our control, that can kill us right now but when it comes to our heart health, this is something we are in control of. Our heart is our responsibility and if it’s in a bad way, it’s because we’re allowing it to be.
WHAT CAUSES HEART DISEASE AND STROKES LEE?
The leading causes of heart disease and strokes are:
high blood pressure (hypertension)
smoking and second-hand smoke exposure
high cholesterol levels
high low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
excessive alcohol intake
Now out of these NINE main causes, SIX of them are caused by consuming animal products:
high blood pressure (hypertension)
high cholesterol levels
high low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol is found in trans fats, which is found in processed foods
and naturally in meat and dairy)
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH HEART PROBLEMS LEE?
Everything. The NUMBER ONE LEADING CAUSE of death worldwide is heart disease (causing more than a QUARTER of all deaths in the UK). Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year! Heart disease is responsible for 65,000 deaths each year in the UK alone!
WHAT’S THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE LEE?
Strokes are the SECOND LEADING CAUSE of death globally (each year, almost 14 million people suffer from strokes worldwide; of this 14 million people, 5.5 million will die). Strokes are therefore the third leading cause of disability worldwide.
The British Medical Association, The British Heart Foundation, The University of Oxford, Harvard University, The British Dietetic Association, The American Dietetic Association and many other leading authorities have confirmed that people who consume meat (pigs, cows, sheep, chickens, ducks, fish etc) and eggs and dairy products (milk and cheese), have a greater likelihood of suffering from high blood pressure, blocked arteries, high cholesterol, and inflammation, leading to strokes, type 2 diabetes, diverticular disease, colon polyps, various forms of cancer as well as coronary and ischemic heart disease, than those who don’t.
WHAT IS HEART DISEASE EXACTLY LEE?
‘Heart disease’ is a general term for all types of diseases that affect the heart or blood vessels, and whereby blood flow to the heart, brain or body is reduced. This is due to blood clot (thrombosis) and coronary heart disease (clogged arteries/build-up of fatty deposits inside an artery, leading to the artery hardening and narrowing (atherosclerosis)). These symptoms can cause heart attacks (or myocardial infarction), stroke, heart failure, arrhythmia, heart valve complications, and peripheral artery disease.
THIS IS DEPRESSING LEE!
I know, I know but bear with me… Aside from our ill health, consuming meat and dairy is putting an unsustainable burden on our health services, not to mention our planet, as well as forcing animals to pay the ultimate price.
Substantial evidence from epidemiological studies shows that meat intake, particularly red and processed meat, is associated with an increased risk of premature death from diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers (Pan et al., 2012).
The research analysed data from two large US studies including 37,698 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2008) and 83,644 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (1980-2008), giving a total of 121,342 participants. Over 22 years of follow-up, there were 23,926 deaths (including 5,910 from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 9,464 from cancer). Results showed that a higher intake of both red and processed meat was associated with a significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality:
Just one 85g serving of red meat a day (equivalent to the size of a deck of cards) was associated with a:
13 per cent increased risk of early death
18 per cent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
10 per cent increased risk of death from cancer
One serving of processed meat (one hot dog or two slices of bacon) a day was associated with a:
21 per cent increased risk of early death
21 per cent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
16 per cent increased risk of death from cancer
Now there is only ONE way of eating that has ever been proven to REVERSE these conditions and there are many, many studies to show this… a diet centred around whole plant foods!
‘Researchers have shown that a more plant-based diet may help prevent, treat, or reverse some of our leading causes of death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Interventional studies of plant-based diets have shown 90 percent reductions in angina attacks within just a few weeks. Plant-based diet intervention groups have reported greater diet satisfaction, as well as improved digestion, increased energy, and better sleep, and significant improvement in their physical functioning, general health, vitality, and mental health. Further studies have shown plant-based eating can improve not only body weight, blood sugar levels, and ability to control cholesterol, but also emotional states, including depression, anxiety, fatigue, sense of
well-being, and daily functioning.’ - Dr. Greger M.D. FACLM
(American physician and author of ‘How Not To Die’)
Now if that’s all a whole-food, plant-based diet could do (REVERSE our number-one killer), shouldn’t that be our default diet until proven otherwise? The fact it may also be effective in preventing, treating, and reversing other leading killers, seems to make the case for plant-based eating simply overwhelming!
Meat, eggs, and dairy are high in cholesterol and saturated fats, which build up in the body, clog arteries, and stop the heart from working properly. Now dietary cholesterol intake is a significant risk factor of death and the intake of cholesterol (only found in animal foods), was associated with living a SHORTER life and the intake of fibre (only found in plant foods) was associated with living a LONGER life.
DID YOU KNOW that consuming the amount of cholesterol found in just ONE SINGLE EGG a day, can cut a woman’s life short as much as smoking five cigarettes a day for 15 years?
DID YOU ALSO KNOW that the average total cholesterol level (in mmol/l) is around 3.4 for vegans, 4.2 for vegetarians, and 5.4 for meat-eaters?
ANOTHER FACT: Eating just ONE CUP of oatmeal a day, or just TWO HANDFULS of nuts, appears to extend a woman’s life as much as four hours of jogging a week!
WHY ARE ANIMAL PRODUCTS BAD FOR US THEN?
Why is eating dead animals bad for us? Well, after a meal of eating animal products, our bloodstream becomes awash with bacterial toxins, known as endotoxins (endotoxemia), that are present in the animal products. These dead meat bacteria toxins aren’t destroyed by stomach acid, or pancreatic enzymes or by simply cooking – in fact they’re highly resistant to cooking. So, the reason animal products trigger immediate inflammation is because they’re so loaded with bacteria that can trigger inflammation, dead or alive, even if they’re fully cooked! Saturated animal fat then boosts the absorption of these toxins into our bloodstream. The saturated fat, cholesterol and haem iron in red meat, and salt and nitrites in processed meat, are implicated along with carcinogenic compounds produced by high temperature cooking.
Cholesterol is found only in animal-derived foods – whilst a plant-based diet is 100% cholesterol-free. In fact, its high fibre content also helps wash away excess fatty substances in the body. None of the above conditions are caused by consuming plants. None of them. In fact, a plant-based diet is full of CANCER-BUSTING ingredients such as fibre-filled grains and beans and phytochemical-packed fruits and vegetables.
Vegans are also less likely to suffer from high blood pressure and strokes caused by blood clots preventing blood supply to the brain.
DID YOU KNOW, if you've had cancer, that maintaining a healthy diet can help prevent it from coming back?
Yes. The World Health Organisation (WHO), state that the consumption of red meat, such as beef, lamb and pork has been classified as a GROUP 2A CARCINOGEN by The World Health Organisation which means it can cause cancer. Processed meat (bacon, ham, hot dogs, etc) definitely causes cancer, including 18% of bowel cancer cases and is classified as a CLASS 1 CARCINOGEN by the World Health Organisation. That puts processed meat in the same category as asbestos, arsenic, formaldehyde, and tobacco!
From the largest forward-looking study on diet and cancer ever performed by humanity, the incidence of all cancers combined, was lower amongst vegans to meat eaters, especially some of the fastest growing tumours like lymphomas and leukaemia’s, and for that, the worst meat was chickens. Up to TRIPLE the rates for every 50 grams of poultry consumption. A quarter of a chicken breast TRIPLES your risk!
Meat-eating is particularly linked to colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, lymphoma, and stomach cancer. The reason for this is that animal-derived foods contain many substances that can directly increase our risk of cancer, such as haem, nitrates, nitrites, heterocyclic amines, and polycyclic amines.
WAS THERE A STUDY LEE?
Yes, loads of studies. One was done by The Pritikin Research Foundation, whereby they put people on different diets, drew their blood, and then dripped their blood on cancer cells growing in petri dishes and observed whose blood was better at suppressing cancer growth. Now blood fights cancer (one way the immune system fights cancer is by sending out a special form of white blood cells called ‘T cells’. The ‘T cells’ see cancer as ‘foreign’ cells that don't belong in the body and the ‘T cells’ attack and try to destroy the cancerous cells). However, these studies found that the blood of those eating vegan foods, fought about eight times better!
The blood circulating through the bodies of vegans, has nearly 8 TIMES the stopping power when it comes to cancer cell growth, confirming that the blood of those on a vegan diet was dramatically less hospitable to cancer. Lowering animal product consumption, leads to lower IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1), which leads to lower cancer growth.
DID YOU KNOW that eating one rasher (29 grams) of bacon a day increases your risk of developing bowel cancer by 19%?
Obviously, slowing down cancer growth is great but getting rid of cancer cells is even better and by cutting out animals from your diet, and swapping it for a whole food, plant-based diet, you can make that happen.
What kind of blood do we want in our bodies? What kind of immune system? Do we want blood that’s just going to roll over when new cancer cells pop up or do we want blood that has the power to slow down and stop them, circulating to every nook and cranny within our bodies?
Many studies have proven that vegans have lower rates of cancer, CVD and diabetes and LIVE LONGER than the general population. One Adventist study found that vegetarians and vegans were 12 and 15 per cent, respectively, less likely to die early.
A UK study found vegetarians and vegans combined had a 14 per cent lower risk!
WHAT? VEGANS LIVE LONGER?
Yes. Other large-scale studies in the US, China and Europe have reported the same. The risk of early death increases rapidly at low intakes; just 50g of processed meat a day increases the risk of early death by 18 per cent. Swapping meat for cheese and eggs isn’t the answer as these contain harmful animal protein, saturated fat, cholesterol, and hormones too.
DID YOU KNOW that eating eggs regularly (three to four times a week) is linked to a 17% increase in risk for heart disease and an 18% higher risk of death, owing to their high cholesterol content?
On a global scale, more than five million premature deaths could be avoided by 2050 if guidelines on meat consumption were followed. On a vegan diet more than eight million. Taken together, the research shows a low-fat, high-fibre, vegan diet is the most protective diet against early death.
Now I’m not a doctor (can you imagine?) I’m barely even a comedian but what I have learned is that eating animal meat drastically increases the risk of early death, but by substituting just one serving of red meat a day for a plant-based version, you could reduce the risk by almost 20 per cent!
I know right? I know you love meat and I know you love cheese (I did too – I still do, just not the type made from an exploited pregnant cow’s breast milk!) but you can eat delicious plant-based meats and cheeses right now! They look, feel, and taste the same yet they don’t involve exploitation, cruelty, or a trip to the hospital.
How many people do you know who have been rushed into hospital with heart attack symptoms from eating too many plants?
I promise you this, no one has become ill from eating plants. We NEED to reduce saturated fat intake, which is mostly cheese and chickens, and move to a healthier, more sustainable plant-based diet. The avoidance of red and processed meats (and poultry) and a diet, rich in plant-based whole foods including fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, and pulses, remains a sound, evidence-based recommendation.
Unnecessary animal cruelty aside (despite it being the most important factor here), PLEASE consider moving to a plant-based lifestyle for your own health. Animals and their bodies are not meant to be a part of our diet and were only ever encouraged because people discovered they can make money from them when we buy them. Animals were consumed thousands of years ago in a time of necessity and survival, but that’s all.
We are now currently not in a survival situation; therefore, we no longer need to consume animals. We’re meant to be a nation of animal lovers yet we still pay for them to die horrifically in a slaughterhouse so we can eat them and become ill in the process. How does any of that make any sense?
We cannot morally justify killing animals, nor do we need to.
Plus, medical science overwhelmingly tells us that consuming them is slowly killing us.
I thoroughly recommend watching the award-winning documentary ‘What The Health’ on Netflix and YouTube. Don’t wait, don’t hesitate. Just watch it. Trust me. There’s no animal cruelty in it, just science and intelligence. It’s really entertaining to watch too. If you care about your body and your heart, you need to watch it. If you can’t do it for the animals, and the planet, do it for your health or the health of your loved ones. Encourage them to watch it – they have nothing to lose in doing so.
We NEED to start looking after ourselves, our mental health, and our bodies. If something we KNOW is bad for us, (and we should know if something we’re eating is bad for us) then we need to remove it from our lives, and that goes for all aspects of our lives. Our time here is short and so we should only fill it with the good people and the good things. This is particularly relevant when it comes to what we put in our bodies.
We need to listen to the data, the many peer-reviewed studies and the world’s leading nutritionists, health specialists and scientists telling us what’s right and what’s wrong for our bodies and we must act on it before it’s too late.
Plants heal. They even reverse serious health conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. That’s the truth. The evidence is there. Surely, it’s worth trying it – just in case it helps you?
Being plant-based for over 2 years has already cured my asthma. I no longer have asthma. Imagine that?
A condition I’ve had since primary school. My entire life I’ve been puffing on my inhaler 2/3 times a day yet since I went vegan two years ago, my lungs have healed. No wheezing. No attacks. No tight chest. All gone. All because I changed from cow milk to oat milk and swapped Cathedral City to Plant-based Cathedral City.
It’s so easy!
Going vegan is one of the best ways to keep your heart in shape, lower your cholesterol levels, and decrease your risk of ever having a heart attack. A plant-based diet has also been proven to help you live longer. It also drastically improves your quality of life by helping you stay fitter, healthier, and feeling great - especially because what you’re eating isn’t causing any suffering. People who stick to a diet free of meat, dairy, and eggs regularly report having higher energy levels, a lower incidence of depression, and, of course, a lighter conscience.
If you don’t start looking after yourself NOW… TODAY… you might never get the chance.
Remember, the real leading cause of death is ignorance.
Please take care of yourself and your loved ones... and please look after your heart – you only get one.
Hello! Lee Brace here! Award-winning actor, comedian, writer, photographer and vegan.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org