This headline-grabbing news from the three-day conference in California, was the results of a clinical trial--published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which found that primarily plant-based diets can reduce risk of heart disease by 30%. But that's only the tip of the iceburg. Vegetarians have lower blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, lower BMIs, lower blood sugars, and a lower risk of developing cancers. These facts were repeatedly stated by speakers at this event from 750 delegates from all over the world.
One particular speaker, Gary Fraser, PhD, presented findings from an analysis of data using 96,000 adults in the US and Canada that have been monitored since 2002. The results showed that vegetarians, especially vegans, have much lower BMI than non-vegetarians, as well as all the other reasons stated above.
The research has also shown: Contrary to popular belief, vegetarians consume about the same levels of many key nutrients of concern as meat-eaters. Concerns about nutrient deficiencies in the vegetarian diet were dispelled by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showing vegetarians' intake of calcium, vitamins D, C, A, e, magnesium and iron are no lower than those of their meat-eating counterparts.
More data revealed that switching to a vegetarian diet is more a more sustainable approach to weight loss than diets focused on calorie restriction. The data has shown it is much easier to follow a vegetarian diet than to constantly be counting calories, fats, carbs, etc. That just isn't necessary when following a plant-based diet.
As I stated in the beginning, this comes as no surprise to me....all the research available from Harvard, Berkeley, Cornell, and the Cleveland Clinic, (my personal sources of information), have been revealing this information over a period of years. This information came out of this convention on February 25, 2013 as BREAKING NEWS....It's not breaking news to me, but I'm so excited that it's reaching so many physicians and health care providers that really are not versed in how powerful nutrition can be--much more powerful than any medication pharmaceutical companies can manufacture!! And that's a fact....
This recipe comes from the book, Forks Over Knives..it's quick, easy and delicious!
SPICY CHICKPEAS AND FENNEL
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T minced oregano
1 1/2 t ground fennel seeds
1 t crushed red pepper
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
4 c cooked chickpeas, or 2 15 oz cans, drained and rinsed
Chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
Place the onions and fennel in a large saucepan, saute over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add water 1-2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking. Add the garlic, oregano, fennel seeds and crushed red pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas and bring the pan to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered for 20 minutes.
This is really good served over brown rice.