There’s a fast- growing interest in America to eat healthier. Now I’m pretty sure that no one other than extremists will bend all they way to completely healthy eating because we are so brain-washed and body-conditioned that we are like addicts to the tastes that we love – think bacon! But all that being said, why not start out and try something new and healthy at a very slow pace of just one meal per week that is completely plant-based? It’s only one meal out of 21, and what could it hurt?
So in looking for a way to dip-my-big-toe into healthier waters so to speak, I came across a new how-to guidebook that makes a lot of sense. According to new research and publications by doctorial fellow Micaela C. Karlsen, there are easy pathways to better, more nutritious and healthier eating – and she’s just released a book about it called, “A Plant-Based Life: Your Complete Guide to Great Food, Radiant Health, Boundless Energy, and a Better Body.” Well, heck yeah, I want that, so I read on …
Having a Master of Science and Public Health (MSPH) from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a BA in Psychology from Cornell University along with her current doctorial fellowship at Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Karlsen lays out a pretty convincing argument that switching to a plant-based diet can boost your health, lower blood pressure thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce and even eliminate type 2 diabetes, prevent and help treat certain cancers, lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, help you stay at a healthy weight, protect against several eye disorders and vision problems like cataracts and macular degeneration, and even help with skin conditions like acne.
Karlsen says: “When you build your meals primarily with plant foods, you fill your body with fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and a host of needed chemicals and nutrients that most people simply don’t get enough of. Making the switch is easier if you do it with others who are also committed to a plant-based diet because shared support and the camaraderie will help you achieve success. It’s also easier if you focus on making great food and recipes.”
Soon-to-be Dr. Karlsen’s research reveals that there are five specific rewards that come directly from switching to a plant-based diet:
- Plant-based diets give you the best chance for living a long, healthy life free of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Living longer is great, but most of us want to live better. Plant-based eating offers both.
- A totally plant-based diet free of added sugars and oils is absolutely the easiest path to achieving a healthy weight. Eating nutrient-rich, calorie-dense whole foods with plenty of fiber fills you up on fewer calories without feeling hungry. So you can eat until you feel full every time and still drop the excess pounds.
- Meat, fish, and dairy products have the heaviest environmental footprint of all food groups due to their effect on greenhouse gas emissions, water, and land use. Avoiding them makes a sustainable future possible for the whole world.
- Whole plant-based foods are affordable! Meat, dairy products, imitation meat and dairy, and processed snacks are expensive, calorie-dense, and lack fiber and many of the micronutrients we need. Eating totally plant-based gives you a bigger bang for your nutritional buck.
- Last, but not least, eating totally plant-based is delicious! Even if your taste buds don’t think so at first, taste preferences are learned, based on what you ate in the past. The more you eat, the more you enjoy, the healthier you get, and the more you eat – it’s a win-win-win cycle!
The latest data offers more confidence than ever before that the results are not due to chance or a limited study on vegetarian and vegan diets and a number of different health outcomes. The key conclusions are that vegetarians and vegans have better BMI (body mass index), total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and glucose levels compared to omnivores. They also have lower rates of cancer and lower mortality from heart disease.
“That’s pretty good encouragement for making the switch,” Karlsen remarks. There are plenty of recipes in Karlsen’s book, “A Plant-Based Life: Your Complete Guide to Great Food, Radiant Health, Boundless Energy, and a Better Body.”
So I read the book and I’m convinced that I should give it a try – that we all should give it a try. Her easy style of writing and her uncomplicated reasons and research as it applies to our daily lives really do make a lot of sense to me. I can’t promise I will stick to it by the letter, as I’m not a person to make life-changing promises lightly.
But what I can promise is that because of her book I will try a recipe or three, and see if I like the tastes. And I can also tell you this – because of her book, I want to learn more – more about the benefits of a Plant-Based Life, and more about the interesting and tasty recipes for better, healthy and more nutritious eating. The hook of living longer did not convince me – but the hook of living better certainly got my attention.
Books available at amazon.com. Click on title to order.
A Plant Based Life: Your Complete Guide to Great Food, Radiant Health, Boundless Energy, and a Better Body
by Micaela C. Carlsen
About Micaela C. Karlsen
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