Why is a plant-based diet so advantageous?
You don’t have to count calories, weigh your food, or limit food intake in order to lose weight and get all the nutrients your body needs to be healthy!
When you look at plant foods as a food group and animal foods as a completely different food group and consider their “nutritional totality” as a group, you will see that their nutrient compositions are completely different. Although animal based foods provide nutrients, they do not provide nutrients that possess significant positive chemical and biological effects on the body. When you look at plant foods as a whole they supply all of the nutrients we need as well as disease protection. (The China Study, T. Colin Campbell PhD, 2006, p. 230 - 231)
Antioxidants work by protecting our cells from free radicals. Animal-based foods when they are metabolized by our bodies produce free radicals. (The China Study by T. Colin Campbell PhD, 2006, p. 219) As many health agencies, such as the National Cancer Institute have pointed out, free radicals are very damaging to our body, and among other damaging effects, may lead to Cancer. Plant-based foods are packed full of antioxidants. Antioxidants have color and these colors are very visible in fruits and vegetables. (Eat to Live, Joel Fuhrman, M.D., 2011, p. 120)
Also, plants contain thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of nutrients and phytochemicals which are critical to the various functions of cells within our bodies. Think of our cells as little factories, little “power houses,” if you will. The more nutrients we feed our bodies, the better our cells function. Every system in our body is made up of cells and when these cells receive high quality nutrients, they function at peak performance. Through their research, experts such as Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Neal D. Barnard, and Dr. John A. McDougall believe that plants possess more nutrients, and better quality nutrients than animal foods. This research has demonstrated that plant nutrients have nourishing and sustaining effects, and animal foods create bad effects on the human body. (See Books & Links page for more on these experts.)
In summary, plants are high in fiber, contain antioxidants, and possess hundreds of thousands of different nutrients and phytochemicals that are very beneficial to our bodies. Research shows that although animal based foods do contain nutrients, their effects are more harmful than good.
The goal: strive for at least 90% of total calories consumed coming from whole food plant-based sources.