Impressive research presented at the International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition at Loma Linda University in February 2018 consistently linked vegan and vegetarian diets with good health. These dietary patterns were investigated by the Adventist Health Study2, EPIC Oxford Study, and the Tzu Chi Health Study 1, among others.
Reduced incidence of hypertension [high blood pressure], lower LDL levels [“bad” cholesterol], reduced fasting blood glucose, less obesity, lower cardiovascular disease risk, less risk of certain types of cancer, reduced chance of kidney stones, decreased incidence of gout, and fewer cases of cataracts…all these benefits were associated with vegan or vegetarian diets. [Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat no flesh foods, but will eat the products of animals, like dairy or eggs. Vegans consume neither flesh foods nor animal products, eating only plant foods.]
It has been recognized for many years that the healthiest, longest lived people in the US are the Seventh Day Adventists who tend to be vegetarian, and abstain from alcohol. How about some beans and greens on a bowl of al dente pasta for dinner tonight? Whole grain pasta would be great. But, if you prefer to eat like the Italians, know that slightly under-cooking semolina pasta prevents a sudden elevation in glucose.
Bottom line…Eating internationally can be a delicious way to eat a plant based diet, while reducing health risks, and providing a better quality of life. Vegetarian chili, bean/vegetable curry, falafel with pita and tahini dressing, and an Asian stir fry with vegetables and tofu are just a few of the exciting dishes that could on your menu this week. Here’s to your health!
[Dateline: 14 Sunset Dr., Latham, Albany County, NY]