- LIMIT CANCER RISK: Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer.
- REDUCE HEART DISEASE: Beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds contain little to no saturated fats. Reducing your intake of saturated fats can help keep your cholesterol low and reduce your risk of heart disease. Recent data from a Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (for example, meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%
- FIGHT DIABETES: Research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- CURB OBESITY: People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices. A plant-based diet is a great source of fiber (absent in animal products). This makes you feel full with fewer calories, ie. lower calorie intake and less overeating. Research has found that eating more plant foods and less animal products may help individuals control their weight.
- LIVE LONGER: Red and processed meat consumption is associated with modest increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality.
- IMPROVE YOUR DIET. Consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.
- REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . .far more than transportation. And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
- MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.
- HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein. Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.
- LIMIT LAND USE. Meat production uses much more arable land than plants, because of the need for pasture or to grow feed. This demand for land is the main factor driving Amazon rainforest deforestation today.
Want more? Check out the Scientific Research page