European Research: Restricting Animal Products Reduces Weight Gain, Cancer
In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman warns against eating regular quantities of animal products, refined grains, and oils, urging you instead to get most of your calories from vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, and raw nuts:
Vegetable and fruits protect all types of cancers if consumed in large enough quantities. Hundreds of scientific studies document this. The most prevalent cancers in our country are mostly plant-food-deficiency disease. Raw vegetables have the most powerful anti-cancer properties of all foods.
Research shows that those who avoid meat and diary have lower rates heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.1
Studies have confirmed that individuals consuming a vegetarian diet (one based on plant matter and not dairy or refined grains) live longer than non-vegetarians and almost never get heart attacks.
With this in mind, consider this recent weight loss study from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. The eating habits of 22,000 people, meat eaters and vegetarians, were tracked over five years. In the end results found that all participants gained a few pounds, but individuals who adopted a vegetarian or vegan diet gained the least. Reuters reports:
"The weight gain was less in the vegans than in the meat-eaters and somewhere in between in the other groups," said Tim Key, of Britain's Cancer Research UK charity and the University of Oxford, who conducted the study.
"The lowest weight gain was in people who changed their diet to eat fewer animal products," he told Reuters.
In addition to stressing the importance of physical activity for sustained health, the study also comments on the link between diet and cancer:
[The study] also showed that diet is second only to tobacco, as a leading cause of cancer, and, along with alcohol, is responsible for nearly a third of cancer cases in developed countries.
1. Barnard, N.D., A. Nicholson, and J.L. Howard. 1995. The medical costs attributed to meat consumption. Preventative Medicine 24: 646-55; Segasothy, M., and P.A. Phillips. 1999. Vegetarian diet: panacea for modern lifestyle disease? QJM 92 (9):531-44.