Stopping eating meat could prevent up to 200,000 premature deaths each year, according to calculations presented by an expert from Harvard University.
Stop eating meat is becoming one of the goals of many groups around the planet. And I'm not just talking from the food point of view, where diets rich in vegetables and their many variants are gaining more and more ground than the "typical" way of eating, where the consumption of both meat and fish is promoted., always of good origin and as fresh as possible. I also speak from an environmental point of view.
In fact, last year 2016 the Netherlands proposed for the first time in its dietary guidelines to reduce meat consumption to only 500 g per week (300 g in the case of red meat) for environmental reasons, and not for health as such. These recommendations have been changed in Finland for years, and countries like Sweden advise carrying out a total vegetarian diet at least twice a week.
Returning to the point of view of health, completely stop eating meat is not such a crazy thing today, at least if we look at the conclusions of the most recent studies on the matter. This was stated by an expert from Harvard University this month at the Fourth International Congress of the Vatican, according to The Telegraph: stopping eating meat completely would prevent one in three premature deaths.
Stop eating meat, salvation for one in three people
This study follows the line of previous ones where it is not only suggested that enriching the diet with fruits, vegetables and vegetables has great health benefits, something we have known for years, but precisely the fact of eating less meat or stopping eating meat it would totally have a great impact on overall health.
One of these studies, carried out by Maira Bes-Rastrollo and her colleagues from the University of Navarra, endorsed the effectiveness of the now called “flexitarian diet” on health. On that occasion, the conclusion of the study was that partially reducing meat consumption (and instead increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables) would reduce the risk of obesity by up to half. And this, in turn, would also reduce all the risks associated with said obesity, such as premature death.
On this occasion, Dr. Walter Willet, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard University School of Medicine would suggest that plant-based diets would have been underestimated, stating that cutting off meat altogether would save around 200,000 lives each year.
Still, Walter doesn't specifically advocate cutting his losses. That is, although stopping eating meat altogether would have more benefits, this researcher suggests (based on several studies presented in his conference) that it would be enough to increase the number of plants and derivatives in the diet, in exchange for reducing meat. In other words, they re- emphasize the benefits of a “flexitarian diet”.
More “ape” and less “paleo”: the importance of stopping eating meat
Walter affirmed in his conference that carrying out a good diet would have more potential if possible than physical activity or avoiding toxins such as tobacco, and for this reason he affirms that nutrition has been underestimated in public health.
For his part, Dr. David Jenkins of the University of Toronto suggested that the best option for humans is to carry out what he calls a "simian diet, " similar to that carried out by gorillas. A diet based on stems, leaves and fruits; avoiding the " paleo " or cave diet, where carbohydrates are reduced but meat is allowed.
According to Jenkins' calculations, after analyzing the diet of Central African gorillas (about 63 servings of fruits and vegetables per day) and adapting it to a human diet, there was a reduction in cholesterol of 35% in just two weeks, a effect similar to that achieved by anti-cholesterol drugs or statins.
Finally, other speakers, such as Dr. Neal Barnad, Chairman of the Committee for Responsible Medicine, also emphasized the potential of a plant-based diet. A potential far beyond the typical weight loss that is usually associated with this type of diet. According to Barnard, if a flexitarian or even vegetarian diet is well organized, its health benefits are enormous, given that it is a diet low in unhealthy fats, and that it could also improve other types of diseases such as those based on inflammation generalized (such as rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatologic diseases).