What you should REALLY be eating for a stronger body and longer life
The nuttier (so to speak) elements of the natural products industry are breathless with excitement about what they call a new “megatrend of plant-based eating.”
On the surface, they try to make a plant-based diet seem like a good thing. After all, I’m always telling you to eat more fruits and vegetables. But two alarming new reports show there’s a more sinister intention behind this popular plant-based eating concept.
Instead, this manufactured “megatrend” is a thinly disguised effort to promote unbalanced diets and fake vegetarian “foods” that are unhealthy for both you, and the planet.
Read on and I’ll tell you what you really need to know about this bogus new diet—and what you should be eating instead.
The dangers of promoting worldwide vegetarianism
The first report in favor of plant-based eating comes from DuPont Nutrition & Health.
DuPont surveyed 1,000 Americans and concluded that 52 percent are consuming more plant-based foods and beverages. And almost 60 percent hope their vegetarian diets become permanent.4
Meanwhile, a new report from a Stockholm-based nonprofit—unironically called EAT—calls for a “Great Food Transformation” by 2050 in order to improve the health of both people and the planet.5
This transformation is, not surprisingly, a plant-based diet.
The EAT report, which was done in conjunction with the medical journal Lancet, says people around the world should slash their meat consumption in half, eat fewer than four eggs a week, and consume one or NO servings of dairy a day.
This frighteningly unsafe eating plan is thankfully already getting backlash.
John Ioannidis, chairman of disease prevention at Stanford University, told the Associated Press that the report’s recommendations don’t actually reflect the current science about nutrition and health.6
But that doesn’t mean that the pressure to go vegetarian or vegan will let up anytime soon—especially since there’s money to be made in unhealthy, manufactured plant-based “foods” and beverages.
Some in the nutrition industry are salivating over this new plant-based diet. In fact, the hypesters at DuPont (whose slogan is ironically “better living through chemistry”) are deploying monthly updates about this trendy dietary preference. One of the latest updates highlights soy, naming it the number one “natural” food perceived by consumers.
However, most soy grown in the U.S. is genetically modified (GM)—far from what I’d call “natural.” Soy, specifically, and GM foods in general, cause a great deal of damage for both the humans who eat these foods and the soil in which it’s grown. (More on that in just a moment.)
Other major types of recommended plant-based products include cereals, “energy” and “sports” bars, protein powders, meat substitutes, and dairy alternatives.
Sounds sort of healthy, maybe. But from all of the science I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a lot), these “foods” and beverages don’t promote nutrition and health—for you or the environment.
Let’s take a look at two of the top offenders.
1) Plant protein powders. Consumers are reportedly rushing out to buy pea, hemp, and quinoa protein powders because they consider them to be healthier than animal proteins. But proteins from plants are typically “incomplete”—meaning they don’t contain the full range of different amino acids needed to properly nourish the body.
As I often report, animal proteins are the best source of amino acids. And time and time again, the science shows that protein deficits in the diet usually occur because people don’t eat enough full fat dairy, meat, and seafood.
And all of the plant protein in the world can’t fix this key aging-related nutritional challenge, according to the serious science.
2) Nut “milks.” Common dairy alternatives like soy and nut milks are thought by some people to be healthier for them and the planet.
Nuts, of course, are a great source of essential fatty acids and other nutrients. So while they’re not necessarily better for you than dairy, they’re still a healthy choice.
But they’re a disaster for the environment. Almond milk in particular is making the California drought much worse. Research shows it takes 15 gallons of water to grow just 16 almonds.7
Debunking more major vegetarian myths
People who are fans of vegetarian diets claim they give you more energy, improve digestion, and are effective in helping you eat “cleaner,” safer foods and beverages. This makes for some nice promotional hype, but what does the science have to say?
Well, as I just discussed, basic nutritional science shows that plant-based diets are low in energy-rich essential fatty acids and proteins. So I’m not sure how following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet will make you feel more energetic.
And improving digestion is all about following a balanced diet that supports the countless strains of beneficial probiotic bacteria in your GI microbiome. Sure, plant-based foods can do that. But you also need prebiotic foods to feed those probiotics, and many of those are dairy-based.
Plus, reducing chronic (and deadly) inflammation between your GI system, your brain, and the rest of your body relies on a wide range of nutrients that can’t all be found in plants.
Not to mention that study after study shows that balanced diets with diverse food groups include optimal levels of all nutrients. And that’s the number one way to prevent and reverse chronic diseases—hands down.
Why vegetarianism can be bad for the planet
Despite what the vegetarian gurus say, you—and the planet—won’t avoid toxic chemicals simply by eliminating animal-based foods from your diet.
As I briefly mentioned earlier, conventionally grown crops are laden with pesticides that can destroy your health and the health of our soil, water, and air. This includes GM crops, and more and more are being planted around the world each year.
In fact, I’d argue that the reality of plant-based crops today is largely an unprecedented environmental disaster. And GM crops are the worst new global environmental problem of them all.
When it comes to livestock, there are also some very valid concerns about how farm animals are raised and the amount of methane gas they emit into the environment.
I’m quite concerned about the ethics of how we treat animals. There’s much needless cruelty to animals in both the medical and agricultural realms. Back when I was working in Washington, DC, I volunteered with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which works to end animal abuse.
I’m also an advocate for raising livestock on grassland rather than in feedlots. This is not only healthier for the animals—and for your health— but it’s also key for maintaining the sustainability of vast areas of land not suitable for growing crops.
One other thing worth noting: There’s growing scientific evidence that plants manifest some kind of consciousness, and may “feel” things too. Many studies show that plants can respond to stimuli, including emotional energy from humans, as well as environmental factors.
So while we can’t do much about plants’ feelings, we can solve many of the other issues I just discussed by eating organic plant and animal foods. Organic regulations don’t allow crops to be grown with pesticides or GM seeds. They also require that farm animals are treated humanely. This includes at least 120 days of pasture grazing per year.
Bottom line: Cutting out animal products but still eating conventionally grown plants isn’t going to make you or the environment any healthier.
The one good thing about plant-based diets… and it’s not what you think
As you know (and the science shows), a balanced diet that includes plenty of full-fat dairy, fish, and meat, as well as nuts, fresh fruits, and vegetables, is much healthier than a vegetarian diet.
That’s because if you only eat plants, you can easily end up with serious deficiencies in protein, B and D vitamins, and minerals like iodine—especially as you get older.
Which leads me to the good thing about vegetarian diets. I’m only half kidding when I say they’re a boon for the dietary supplements industry. The more people who fall victim to the plant-based megatrend hype, the more need for high-quality nutritional supplements. All from people eliminating entire categories of healthy foods from their diets.
Science-based supplement suppliers will continue to formulate herbal remedies (which are necessarily plant-based) based on the burgeoning science showing their benefits for health, as well as optimal nutrition.
What the plant-based diet megatrend really means
Sadly, this new plant-based diet hype is just another industrialized approach to capitalize off human nutrition, with product ingredients that are much less expensive (and thus more profitable) than healthy, whole foods.
As people get wise to the profitable but deadly sugar industry, food manufacturers are moving on to other fake foods under the guise of “plant-based,” “natural,” and “healthy.” But don’t be fooled…
The bottom line is this: Skip all the useless protein drinks, powders, potions, “energy” bars, meat substitutes, and other unnatural confections and concoctions playing to the manufactured plant-based diet megatrend. Stick with a balanced diet and the high-quality, science-backed dietary supplements I’ve been recommending all along. Because when it comes down to it, science never lies, no matter what’s trending at the moment.