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THE CHOLESTEROL FACTOR—If you want to have a good heart, you need to bring your cholesterol level down to 150 or below. Yet the American Medical Association, in spite of the fact that its journal announced in 1961 that "A vegetarian diet can prevent 97% of our coronary occlusions," has, under pressure from the meat industry, only told its doctors to tell their patients to "eat less red meat, watch the intake of fat, and cut down on eggs," in the hope of getting their cholesterol down to the "normal" 200 level. But a 200 level, maintained over a period of time, can kill you.

Over 5,000 residents of Framingham, Massachusetts have been studied since 1948. Researchers have been looking for risk factors of coronary heart disease. In all that time, they have not found a single person to have a heart attack whose blood cholesterol was below 150! Remember that. Above that number, people have them—without any advance warning.

"Eat all the meat you want, but just don’t eat much fat," is what you hear every day. But a study (in Italy during 1980) of 127 people put on a "low-fat" (25% of caloric intake as fat) diet containing meat—only lowered their cholesterol by a statistically insignificant 2.8% after four weeks. Then the subjects in the study were placed on soybeans instead of meat for two weeks—and no patient had less than a 10% drop (G.C. Descovich, "Multicenter Study of Soybean Protein Diet for Outpatient Hypercholesterolemic Patients," Lancet, 2:709, 1980).

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE—Hypertension is a complicating factor in both cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. It is the most common reason for a visit to a doctor in America, and more prescriptions are written for hypertension than for any other disease. Young people happily eat their meat and fat; but, as the years pass, their arteries narrow from cholesterol deposits. This eventually leads to fatal heart attacks or strokes.

Repeatedly, studies have been shown that meat eating is a major cause of high blood pressure. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine compared 115 vegetarians with the same number of meat eaters. The systolic blood pressure (when the heart contracts) of the vegetarians was 9.3% lower than that of meat eaters. The diastolic (when the heart relaxes) was 18.2% lower (New England Journal of Medicine, 292, 1975).

REVERSING CORONARY DISEASE—Dr. Dean Ornish has a program for reversing the course of coronary disease with a truly low-fat (10% fat) plant-based diet. The only animal products allowed are nonfat milk, nonfat yogurt, and egg whites. After a year on the program, 82% of his patients demonstrated some measurable average reversal of their coronary artery blockages. Those were people who knew they were going to die soon if they did not change their ways. Those who went on a vegetarian (vegetables without meat) diet did far better.

BYPASS SURGERY—Another "benefit" of meat eating is heart bypass surgery. Years on a meat diet clog the tiny coronary arteries which nourish the heart muscle. A major study was done on 780 heart patients. Half had a bypass operation and the other half did not. It was found that longevity rates were not improved by surgery! (Julian Whitaker, Reversing Heart Disease, p. 25). It is well-known in the medical field that other organs, especially the brain, are damaged during bypass operations. This apparently is due to the fact that, during the operation, the blood must be pumped through the body through a heart-lung machine. Nearly all patients are damaged to one extent or another; most suffer problems which last for the duration of their lives (Julian Whitaker, Reversing Heart Disease, pp. 36-37). It is far better to live in such a way that you do not need to have bypass surgery! 


MEAT AND CANCER—The evidence is abundant and clear: Meat is a leading cause of cancer.

German vegetarians: Over 1,900 vegetarians were studied by the German Cancer Research Center, which found that they had only 56% of the usual amount of all types of cancer (R. Frentzel-Beyme, et al., "Mortality among German Vegetarians: First Results after Five Years of Follow-up," Nutrition and Cancer, 11 (2), 1988, pp. 117-126).

American Adventist men: The study, cited at the beginning of this book, mentions that half of the Seventh-day Adventist men were vegetarian; they ate an average of 50% more fiber than the general population and suffered 55% less prostate cancer than other American males.

COLON CANCER—The Association for the Advancement of Science found that people who eat meat are far more likely to develop colon cancer. Meat and cholesterol in the colon are the major causes of colon cancer, which is rapidly becoming a leading form of carcinoma (cancer) in the Western world (Science, February, 1974).

The National Cancer Institute investigated deeper into the matter, in order to determine the amount of danger in each type of food. It found that the incidence of colon cancer was over a hundred times worse when any of a variety of dead animals were eaten. Beef, pork, chicken, shellfish, crabs, river or ocean fish, shrimp; it matters not. They all produced colon cancer (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, December 1973, p. 1771).

BREAST CANCER—Many animal studies have shown that a high-fat diet promotes breast cancer tumors. Human breast cancers were implanted in mice, which were then fed various diets. Tumors in mice on a high-fat diet grew and spread much more quickly. The best diet was one high in cruciferous vegetables—broccoli, cabbage, collards, brussels sprouts (Robert, Kradjian, Save Yourself from Breast Cancer, 1994, pp. 51-52).

Nations like Thailand and El Salvador, which have a comparatively low-fat, plant-based diet, have the lowest breast cancer mortality rates. The highest rates of breast cancer are in the "high-fat countries": America, Netherlands, Britain, Denmark, Canada, and New Zealand (Robert, Kradjian, Save Yourself from Breast Cancer, 1994, p. 44).

OTHER CANCERS—Results of a 36-country study were reported in 1991. A strong and direct correlation between consumption of dairy and animal fat and the incidence of prostate cancer, rectal cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer was clearly shown (Michio Kushi, The Cancer Prevention Diet, 1994, p. 241).

Seventh-day Adventists in the U.S. have markedly lower rates of cervical and ovarian cancer than the rest of the population. A 1989 Harvard study found that women who ate more dairy products had more ovarian cancer (Kushi, p. 226).

In 1982, the National Academy of Sciences made this statement: "In summary, the incidence of prostate cancer is correlated with other cancers associated with diet, e.g. breast cancer. There is good evidence that an increased risk of prostate cancer is associated with certain dietary factors, especially the intake of high fat and high-protein foods, which usually occur together in the diet. There is some evidence that foods rich in Vitamin A . . and vegetarian diets are associated with a lower risk."—National Academy of Science, 1982 statement, quoted in Kushi, p. 241. 


DIABETES—According to the Loma Linda study, Seventh-day Adventists have about half the risk of developing diabetes. A study of diabetics revealed that those placed on a high-fiber vegetarian diet required 73% less insulin therapy than those on standard diets (D.A. Snowden and R.L. Phillips, American Journal of Public Health, 1985, p. 75).

Checking into this, it was found that diabetics often need insulin shots—not because their bodies do not produce enough insulin, but because the insulin produced fails to function properly—because there is too much fat clogging the blood stream. It was concluded that a low-fat, high-fiber diet can do more to help most diabetics than insulin pumps and medication (J.W. Anderson, "Plant Fiber and Blood Pressure," Annals of Internal Medicine, 1983, p. 98).

Throughout the world, "diabetes is rare or nonexistent among peoples whose diets are primarily grains, vegetables, and fruits. If these same people switch to rich meat-based diets, their incidence of diabetes balloons."—Robbins, Diet for a New America, 1987, p. 277.

OSTEOPOROSIS—Older people suffer greatly from bone loss. It is caused by a lack of calcium in the diet, so the solution is to drink a lot of calcium-rich milk. Right? Wrong. Oddly enough, eating meat or drinking milk tends to aggravate the problem (Cox, The New Why You Don’t Eat Meat, 1992, p. 153).

The Chinese eat almost no dairy products and get all their calcium from plant sources, yet they rarely have osteoporosis. Only 6% of their diet is from animal protein (Robbins, pp. 193-194).

Eskimos do not drink milk, but do eat a calcium-rich diet of meat and fish;—yet they have a very high rate of osteoporosis (Robbins, p. 194).

Bone loss was examined in 1,600 women, half of whom ate meat while the other half were vegetarian. By the time they reached the age of 80, vegetarian women had lost only about half as much bone mineral as meat eaters (Cox, p. 153).

There is a reason for this: Because the human body cannot store excess protein, it excretes it through the urine, taking calcium with it. Excess proteins load the body with acids which cannot easily be eliminated. In order to chemically neutralize the protein, so it can be excreted, calcium must be taken from the blood and bones and united with the acids. This effort to excrete those acids overloads the kidneys and weakens them.

What should you eat in order to obtain an adequate calcium diet? Eat a variety of calcium-rich vegetarian foods: green, leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and kale, are among the best. Also good are almonds, sesame seeds, molasses (blackstrap is the richest), garbanzo beans, and tofu.

GALL BLADDER PROBLEMS—What about the few people who eat meat and fat, and are still able to maintain lower cholesterol levels? They have a superior ability to excrete it into the liver, but research had disclosed that the fat builds up there and causes gallbladder and gallstone problems (90% of gallstones are made of cholesterol).

ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM—There are several types of strong acids in meat: uric acid, pyruvic acid, etc. These must be eliminated from the body. But, over a period of time, those acids tend to settle in the muscles and joints, where they work great damage. This can lead to painful and even crippling muscle aches and joint problems in later years. Gout and other forms of arthritis are especially traceable to meat eating.

OTHER DISEASES—Eating a low-fat vegetarian diet will reduce the risk of ulcers, intestinal disorders, hypoglycemia, kidney stones, gallstones, asthma, impotence, and even anemia (McDougall, The McDougall Program for a Healthy Heart, 1996, p. 24).

OBESITY—Everyone knows that being overweight eventually leads to one or more of a multitude of physical problems. The nations whose populations consume a lot of meat are the ones with the most overweight problems. In America alone, $40 billion is spent annually on various "diets" to reduce weight (Richard Klein, New York Times, July 14, 1997). But in China obesity is extremely rare. Yet it is a remarkable fact that the average Chinese eats 25% more calories than Americans do! But they get their calories in greens, rice, and soybeans (Cox, p. 9).

The U.S. now has the highest obesity rate of any industrialized nation in the world. More than half of all American adults and about one-fourth of all American children are now obese or overweight. These proportions have soared during the last few decades, along with the consumption of fast foods ("Land of the Fat," Time International Edition, October 25, 1999). The rate of obesity among American adults is twice as high today as it was in the early 1960s. The rate of obesity among American children is twice as high as it was in the late 1970s (Science, May 29, 1998).

Today, about 44 million American adults are obese. An additional 6 million are "super-obese"; they weigh about a hundred pounds more than they should. No other nation in history has gotten so fat so fast (Journal of the American Medical Association, October 27, 1999). In 1991, only four states had obesity rates of 15% or higher; today at least 37 states do. "Rarely do chronic conditions such as obesity spread with the speed and dispersion characteristic of a communicable disease epidemic" (ibid.).

To attract more customers, the fast-food meat shops keep offering bigger burgers, fries, and soft drinks. The more that people eat outside the home, the more calories, fat, and protein they absorb—and the less fiber, vitamins, or minerals.

The arrival of McDonald’s in 1971 accelerated the shift in Japanese eating habits. During the 1980s, the sale of fast food in Japan more than doubled; the rate of obesity among children soon doubled, too. Today about one-third of all Japanese men in their thirties (the first generation raised on the new fast-food diet) are overweight. Heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and breast cancer—diseases linked to diets low in fiber and high in animal fats—are becoming endemic ("Decline of the Japanese Diet: MacArthur to McDonald’s," East West, October 1990). The same situation is occurring in Britain and other overseas nations invaded by our quick-meat restaurants ("7,000 Pounds: Fast Food is Taking Over the World," USA Today magazine, May 1, 1999).

CROHN’S DISEASE—Crohn’s disease is often a devastating and incurable intestinal illness. It can cause such symptoms as bloody diarrhea, fever, severe abdominal pain, arthritis, and incapacity, as well as obstruction of the intestines that requires surgery. This disease has bewildered medical scientists for years, as a problem without any known cause.

But recent research has established a link to infection by a germ called mycobacterium paratuberculosis (S.N. Cho, P.J. Brennan, et al., "Mycobacterial etiology of Crohn’s disease: serologic study using common mycobacterial antigens and a species-specific glyColipid antigen from Mycobacterium paratuberculosis," Gut, November 27, 1986. / "Mycobacterium paratuberculosis implicated in Crohn’s Disease," Gastroenterology Observer, November-December 1995).

This bacterium with the long name is extremely common in animals like sheep and cattle. It causes a chronic intestinal disease called Johne’s disease, which affects approximately 25% of U.S. dairy cattle ("Mycobacterium paratuberculosis implicated in Crohn’s Disease," Gastroenterology Observer, November-December 1995).

An ominous aspect of this disease is that healthy-appearing cows can be infected and transmit the germ in their milk. In one study of an infected Ohio herd, over one in four healthy-appearing cows had the germ in their stools and one in 12 had the germ in their milk (R.N. Streeter, G.E. Hoffsis, et al., "Isolation of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis from colostrum and milk of subclinically infected cows," American Journal of Veterinary Research, October 1995). It is a well-attested fact that this germ can survive common pasteurization (I.R. Grant, H.J. Ball, et al., "Inactivation of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis in cows’ milk at pasteurization temperatures, Applied Environmental Microbiology, February 1996).