I have noticed that talk on the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases has appeared more frequently over the past few years. I didn’t take note at first until four people close to me suffered deadly heart attacks over the course of a single month; unfortunately, only one of my friends survived. It has been heartbreaking and shocking since they all appeared normal the day before. The epidemic of cardiovascular disease is not just something doctors warn you about anymore – it is a painful reality!
We should all take a careful summary of our diets and make the necessary adjustments before being overcome by these albeit terrible, yet controllable diseases. Many people may find that the percentage of animal-based foods, like meat, has increased quite a lot in their diet. Therefore, plant-based foods (such as fruits and vegetables) have become less frequently consumed over the past few decades. The industrialization of the meat industry and the availability of highly processed food has contributed to this major shift in our diet.
Scientific research has proven that high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), (naturally present in the food we consume) are related to the increased oxidant stress and inflammation in our body which end up blocking enzymes that control many functions of our body. Studies have proven that high consumption of meat can induce crosslinking of collagen which can cause vascular stiffening and entrapment of low-density lipoprotein particles (LDL) in the artery walls. Generally speaking, meat has a higher concentration of the AGEs than plant-based food. The amount of AGEs in meat will also increase by about 10 times of the original amount after being cooked in dry heat. It makes a lot of sense that the increased meat percentage in our diet has made us more vulnerable to an array of cardiovascular diseases.
One of the largest human statistical studies which tracked a 20-year period on diet, lifestyle, and potential links to diseases revealed that the maximum amount of meat consumption in one’s diet should be much less than 20%. Do this and you could have that much higher of a chance to avoid the most chronic heart diseases. This scientific conclusion was later verified by further experimentation.
Individuals who have modified their diet to include more whole, plant-based foods and decreased the amount of animal-based food have had amazing results regarding their health. These people reported that they felt more energetic and started to lose unnecessary body weight without even counting calories.