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Vegan Nutrition II

In his foreword to Dr. John McDougall's book, The McDougall Plan (1983), Nathan Pritikin wrote:
"My dietary recommendations permit a maximum of three ounces of animal protein a day for the general population. For those with heart  disease, diabetes and hypertension, I restrict animal protein to three ounces a week. In essence, my strict diet is practically a vegetarian diet, and I have personally been on it for over 25 years. As a former heart disease victim, I'm not interested in cholesterol clogging my arteries.
"For those who would like to follow a diet completely free of animal protein, the McDougall  plan is the best that I have seen, both in practicality and scientific rationale. The plan, due to the extensive documentation, can be used by physicians and health professionals as a reference source.
"This book establishes vegetarianism as a healthful way of life based on the latest scientific data and should give comfort to those considering making this dietary change."
Keith Akers, in A Vegetarian Sourcebook (1983), wrote: 
"For the most part, we know what causes heart disease; we know what causes cancer. Through dietary reform we could probably cut the incidents of heart disease and cancer by 60% to 80%...
"Meat in particular, and animal products in general, have three nutritional disadvantages: they contain too much fat, they contain too much protein, and they contain no fiber at all... Carbohydrates, which are the primary constituent of most whole plant foods, are almost entirely absent in most animal products... only milk has significant amounts of carbohydrate.
"And the carbohydrate of milk is in a form -- lactose -- which is unusable by much of the world's population, which cannot digest it after infancy. Lactose provides no fiber and is nutritionally equivalent to table sugar...
"Some vegetarians may be somewhat offended to find that dairy products and eggs are... part of the nutritional problem. Eggs, milk, cheese, meat, fish, and fowl, all have about the same high quantities of fat and protein and about the same dearth of fiber.
"A vegetarian diet -- especially a total vegetarian (vegan) whole foods diet -- is low in fat and protein, and high in fiber, and would greatly reduce the incidence of all these diseases."
Keith Akers writes in A Vegetarian Sourcebook (1983): 
"There is no question that lacto-ovo-vegetarians easily obtain enough vitamin B-12; dairy products and eggs are generous suppliers of vitamin B-12. The controversy pertains only to those who live on plant foods and do not eat any animal foods at all -- the 'total vegetarians' or 'vegans.'...The evidence shows, however, that there are numerous sources of vitamin B-12 other than animal foods, and that vitamin B-12 is not a particularly difficult vitamin to get. In short, the Great Vitamin B-12 Controversy, like the protein controversy, is largely generated by lack of information concerning already available research data.
"Only incredibly small quantities of vitamin B-12 are thought to be needed in the diet. According to the National Research Council, 3 micrograms daily will meet the body's requirements. but Victor Herbert, a noted authority on the subject, puts the requirement at 0.1 micrograms, making even the National Research Council's microscopic figure 30 times in excess of the actual need."
John Robbins, author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America (1987), says that vitamin B-12 is found naturally around us: on the dirt on a carrot pulled out of the ground, in rainwater, etc., but we live in a sanitized society, removed from nature. 
Keith Akers similarly observes:
"Vitamin B-12 has been found in rainwater and in many plant foods. In small quantities, Vitamin B-12 has been found either in or on various foods such as the roots and stems of tomatoes, cabbage, celery, kale, broccoli, leeks, and the leaves of kohlrabi. An ounce of the roots of leeks, beets, and other vegetables will provide 0.1 to 0.3 micrograms of B-12, which is more than a day's requirement.
"There are other plant foods which provide 'massive' quantities of vitamin B-12--'massive,' that is, in relation to human requirements for the vitamin. These include nutritional yeast, tempeh, seaweed, algae, kelp, and fermented soy sauces."
Dr. John McDougall writes in his 1983 book, The McDougall Plan:
"To date, research points clearly, consistently, and overwhelmingly to rich foods in the form of meats, dairy products, eggs, sugars, processed foods, and refined grains, and to lifestyle practices involving smoking, alcohol, caffeine, as the major causes of death and disability. The money interests behind these industries aren't looking for more damaging research to expose the dangers of their products. Not surprisingly, a great deal of money is actually pumped into research projects that attempt to disclaim health hazards and, in fact, insist that their product (be it cigarettes, coffee, cream, or sugar) is good and good for you.
"Research completed over the past eighty years not only supports the role of diet and lifestyle in the cause and prevention of disease, but clearly shows that most of these same diseases can be treated more effectively by removing the causes than by using any of the drugs and surgical practices available today...
"The prevailing misconceptions about health and nutrition do not only cause illness; they promote it. They continue to exist because of one-sided, profit-oriented messages that attest to the advantages of a particular product and ignore the hazards..."
Dr. John McDougall writes in his 1983 book, The McDougall Plan.
"The diet that best supports health and healing for humans is a pure vegetable diet centered around starch foods with the addition of fresh fruits and vegetables. We will refer to this diet as a starch-centered diet and as a health-supporting diet...
"First the history of human diets tells of most people living successfully on a variety of starch-centered diets: rice for Asians, corn for Indians of North and Central America, bread and potatoes for Western Europeans, sweet potatoes in New Guinea, and various grains and beans in South America and Africa. Even in prehistoric, preagricultural eras, the diets of humans consisted largely of plant foods. Except for the wealthy few in these societies, people did not suffer from the diseases commonly found in affluent societies today.
"Prior to the Industrial Revolution, about one hundred years ago, and the subsequent large scale economic advancement of masses of people in western societies, diets were largely based on a variety of starches... This is still the case in developing countries today. The people living in these underdeveloped societies suffer mostly from illnesses caused by starvation and poor sanitation..."
John Robbins writes in his 1987 Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America that historically, "mankind has eaten whatever it could find, or grow, or kill, or raise. Issues of what might be the optimum diet, and what the health consequences might be of various diets, were never studied in any depth. Such thoughts were a luxury to which we had not yet attained."
John Robbins writes:
"Because the question of what might be the optimum diet is an emotionally charged one for many people... I want to emphasize that what follows is the result of the most conscientious research, as reported in established and reputable publications such as the New England Journal of Medicine, the British Medical Journal, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Journal of Pediatrics, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the Journal of Immunology, the American Journal of Digestive Diseases, the British medical publication Lancet, and other sources of equal stature...
John Robbins writes:
"...It took a while for medical researchers to grasp the full implications of what was being learned, because the emerging truth rquired them to do a complete about-face from their well-entrenched assumptions.
"The meat, dairy and egg industries, meanwhile, were not exactly eager to support the researchers' new findings. They financed numerous studies which attempted to vindicate their products and discredit (the other side)...
"You might think that with the growing evidence indicating saturated fat and cholesterol as killers of more Americans than all the wars in our nation's history combined, the meat, dairy and egg industries would be hard-pressed to maintain control over our food and nutrition policies. But the cards are stacked. They may not have interests of public health on their side, but their lobbying groups and political action committees are well financed, battle-hardened veterans of political in-fighting.
"Opposing them are scientists and medical researchers whose skills don't lie in the political sphere, and who have little financial backing compared to what the industries provide their representatives. The fight is far from fair...
"Of course no advertising mentions the disadvantages of the product it promotes. But time and time again, these industries have drawn the ire of consumer groups, the courts, and medical researchers for their flagrant disregard of fact..."
The health advantages of a vegetarian diet are well-known in the American medical community, but are just beginning to gain acceptance in mainstream society.  The ethical, nutritional and environmental arguments in favor of vegetarianism have been well documented by author John Robbins in his 1987 Pulitzer Prize nominated book, Diet for a New America, which makes veganism seem as mainstream as recycling.
It’s healthier to be a vegetarian.  During the period of October 1917 to October 1918, war rationing forced the Danish government to put its citizens on a vegetarian diet.  This was a “mass experiment in vegetarianism,” with over three million subjects.  The results were astonishing.  The mortality rate dropped by 34 percent.  The very same phenomenon was observed in occupied Norway during the Second World War.  After the war, heavy consumption of meat resumed, and the mortality rate shot back up.
Studies done at Yale University by Professor Irving Fisher demonstrated that flesh-eaters have less endurance than vegetarians.  A similar study done by Dr. J. Ioteyko of the Academie de Medicine in Paris found that vegetarians have two to three times more stamina than flesh-eaters and they take only one-fifth the time to recover from exhaustion.
In recent years, there has been concern about osteoporosis, which is widespread in America, especially among older women.  The popular myth has been to solve the problem by consuming more calcium.  Yet this doesn’t attack the root of the problem. 
Osteoporosis is caused by excess consumption of protein.  Americans overdose on protein, getting one and one-half to twice the  protein than their bodies can handle.  The body can’t store excess protein, so the kidneys are forced to excrete it.  In doing so, they must draw upon calcium from the bloodstream.  This negative calcium balance in the blood is compensated for by calcium loss from the bones:  osteoporosis.  The calcium lost in the bones of flesh-eaters is five to six times greater than that lost in the bones of vegetarians.
Excessive protein intake also taxes the kidneys; in America, it is not uncommon to find many over 45 with kidney problems.  A strong correlation between excessive protein intake and cancer of the breast, prostate, pancreas and colon has been observed.
It must be pointed out that meat, fish, and eggs are the most acidic forming foods; heavy consumption of these foods will cause the body to draw upon calcium to restore its pH balance.  The calcium lost from the bones gets into one’s urine and often crystallizes into kidney stones, which are found in far greater frequency among flesh-eaters than among vegetarians.  Studies have found that vegetarians in the United States have less than half the kidney stones of the general population.
The high consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol leads to artherosclerosis—more popularly known as “hardening of the arteries.”  Plant foods contain zero cholesterol and only palm oil, coconuts and chocolate contain saturated fats.  Lowering the cholesterol and fat intake in one’s diet lowers the risk of heart disease — America’s biggest killer.
As early as 1961, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that “A vegetarian diet can prevent 97% of our coronary occlusions.”  
Much has been said about the advantage of polyunsaturated fats as a means of lowering cholesterol in the blood.  Unfortunately, this also has the adverse side effect of driving the cholesterol out of the blood and into the colon; contributing to colon cancer.  The best way to prevent heart disease is to avoid foods high in fat and cholesterol.
Up to 50 percent of all cancers are caused by diet.  Meat and fat intake are primarily responsible.  The incidence of colon cancer is high in regions where meat consumption is high and low where meat consumption is minimal.  A lack of fiber in the diet also contributes significantly to colon cancer. 
Unprocessed plant foods are high in fiber and carbohydrates, while animal flesh has none.  The highest incidence of breast cancer occurs among flesh-eating populations; meat eating women have a four times greater risk of developing breast cancer than do vegetarian women.  There is also a greater risk of cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancer—all linked to diets high in fat.  Men who consume large quantities of animal fat also have a 3.6 times greater risk of getting prostate cancer.
Diabetes is known to be treatable on a low fat, high fiber diet.  Incidence of diabetes balloons among populations eating a rich, meat-based diet.  Hypoglycemia is caused by the excessive consumption of meats, sugar and fat.  Multiple Sclerosis is also treatable on a low-fat diet.  MS is prevalent among populations where consumption of animal fats is high and is least common where such consumption is low.  A brain tissue analysis of people with MS found a high saturated fat content.
Ulcers occur most frequently in diets which are acid forming, low in fiber and high in fats.  Meat, fish, and eggs are the most acid forming of all foods, and animal flesh has no fiber and excess fat.  Low fiber, high-fat diets are the principle cause of hemorrhoids and also diverticulosis—which affects 75 percent of Americans over the age of 75.  Similarly, 35 percent of Americans are afflicted with some form of arthritis by the age of 35.  Over 85 percent of all Americans over age 70 have arthritis, yet it is treatable on a fat free diet.
Excess cholesterol forms gallstones.  Gallstones, as well as gallbladder disease and gallbladder cancer are usually found in people with low-fiber, high cholesterol, high fat diets.  Hypertension is virtually unknown in countries where the intake of salt, fat and cholesterol is low.  At the University Hospital in Linkoping, Sweden, even severe asthma patients were found to be treatable on a vegetarian diet.  Flesh foods in America are also contaminated with coliform bacteria and salmonella.  Healthier alternatives exist.
From The Pritikin Plan (1982) to A Vegetarian Sourcebook (1983) to The McDougall Plan (1983) to the Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America (1987) to Vegan: The New Ethic of Eating (1997) to Dr. T. Colin Campbell's The China Study (2005) to Please Don't Eat the Animals (2007) to the DVD Forks Over Knives (2011) to Vegucated (2012), the growing body of evidence indicates that the optimum diet for humanity is a vegan diet:
The following points and facts are excerpted from Please Don't Eat the Animals (2007) by the mother-daughter writing team of Jennifer Horsman and Jaime Flowers:
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." 
--Albert Einstein
"Each year, the meat industrial complex abuses and butchers nearly nine billion cows, pigs, sheep, turkeys, chickens, and other innocent, feeling animals just for the enjoyment of consumers.  
"Each year, nearly 1.5 million of these consumers are crippled and killed prematurely by heart failure, cancer, stroke, and other chronic diseases that have been linked conclusively with the consumption of these animals.  
"Each year, millions of other animals are abused and sacrificed in a vain search for a 'magic pill' that would vanquish these largely self-inflicted diseases."
---Alex Hershaft, PhD, president, Farm Animal Reform Movement
When analyzing 8,300 deaths in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany among 76,000 men and women in five different, large studies, researchers concluded that vegetarians have a 24 percent reduction in death from heart disease.
Similarly, in the famous Oxford Vegetarian Study, where 6,000 vegetarians were compared with 5,000 meat-eaters over nearly two decades, scientists found that the rate of death from heart disease was 28 percent lower in vegetarians than in meat-eaters.
One study analyzed eighty scientific studies in leading medical journals.  The analysis found that vegetarians had lower blood pressure, and were less likely to suffer from stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure.
A large German study of nearly 2,000 vegetarians found that deaths from heart disease were reduced by over one-third, and that heart disease itself was far less than that of the general population.
Another large study examined the coronary artery disease risk of young adults ages 18 to 30 and vegetarians were found to have much higher levels of cardiovascular fitness and a greatly reduced risk of heart disease. 
"The process of gradual blocking of the coronary arteries begins not in adulthood but in childhood... and the main cause of this arteriosclerosis is the steadily increasing amount of fat in the American diet, particularly saturated animal fats such as those found in meat, chicken, milk and cheeses.  If there was another disease that caused half a million deaths a year, you can be sure that the public would be acutely aware of the danger, and that the cure or prevention would be universally practiced."
--Dr. Benjamin Spock, author, child expert
"I don't understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open and put them on powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs for the rest of their lives."
--Dr. Dean Ornish, author, Reversing Heart Disease
Stroke is the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.  Vegetarians have a 20 to 30 percent reduced risk of having a stroke.  Stroke, like heart disease, is associated with diets high in saturated fats, and the vegetarian diet is naturally low in these fats.
The Oxford Vegetarian Study found cancer mortality to be 39 percent lower among vegetarians when compared with meat-eaters.  The European Prospective Investigation of Cancer found vegetarians suffer 40 percent fewer cancers than the general population. 
Studies have shown that decreasing a woman's animal fat intake can reduce the chances that she will die from breast cancer.  A large-scale, long-term study in the Netherlands found a powerful connection between  the amount of animal fat consumed and the rate of prostate cancer.  A review of a dozen studies found dietary fat strongly correlated with prostate cancer.
Ovarian, uterine, and endometrial cancers have all been shown to be strongly correlated to the amount of animal fat in one's diet, and vegetarian women have significantly lower rates of these cancers.
"The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all the natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined."
--Dr. Neal Barnard, Executive Director, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
"Vegetarians have the best diet.  They have the lowest rate of coronary disease of any group in the country.  They have a fraction of our heart attack rate and they have only 40 percent of our cancer rate."
--William Castelli, MD, Director, Framingham Heart Study
"Human beings are not natural carnivores.  When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings..."
--Dr. William Roberts, editor-in-chief, American Journal of Cardiology

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