There have now been thousands of sturdy, scientific, rigorous studies by doctors, epidemiologists, scientists, professors, food researchers, chemists and cardiologists, on millions of people, over decades, proving that a plant-based wholefood diet can significantly and immediately decrease your risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs are heart disease, high blood pressure, TII diabetes, and the main lifestyle cancers of the lung, breast, liver, throat, prostate, stomach and kidneys. We now have another meta-analysis study showing ‘red and processed meat is linked strongly to cancers’. The same thing. Over and over again.
What’s this research all about?
A group of 22 scientists from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France evaluated more than 800 studies from several continents about meat and cancer. The studies looked at more than a dozen types of cancer in populations with diverse diets over the past 20 years. Based on that evaluation, the IARC classified “processed meat as carcinogenic to humans” noting links in particular to colon cancer. It said “red meat was probably carcinogenic,” with links to colon, prostate and pancreatic cancers. Carcinogenic means “cancer-causing”.
Eat more plants = longevity
Eating far more plants and far less meat is one of the key steps for health and longevity. As I detail in my books the longest-lived peoples and cultures all around the world vary in what they eat, but they all eat a predominantly plant-based wholefood diet. Some eat meat, but usually this is saved for a special occasion or ceremony. According to Dan Buettner’s famous ‘Blue Zones’ research, all the ‘super-longevity-champion-cultures’ eat a vegetable-based diet with low or minimal animal products present — and none of them eats processed meat. The authors of many large and peer-reviewed meta-analysis study projects covering millions of people, studied from all across the world, have consistently commented for decades that ‘eating far more plants and far less meat/none at all’ is one of the key steps for health and longevity.
The research is solid and overwhelming
The groups and the studies include the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), the International 2013/2015 Global Burden of Disease Study, the 2010 Heart and Stroke Statistics report as published by the American Heart Association (as compiled by an international consortium of nearly 500 scientists from 187 countries globally), the Harvard School of Public Health, the single most comprehensive report ever issued on cancer: the 351-page World Cancer Report as issued by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and of course, hundreds of studies by international scientists at the World Health Organization (WHO).
I recommend a healthy, balanced, plant-based wholefood diet. Rich in raw locally-grown vegetables (particularly green vegetables); fresh seasonal fruits; soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds; and various cooked and fermented wholegrains and legumes. I recommend at least 50% vegetables for lunch and dinner. I have been primarily eating this way for most of the last 25 years (apart from when I got lazy — and I suffered for it). If you choose to eat animal foods and remain healthy, I recommend you choose fresh oily fish and/or genuine, free-range eggs laid by ‘chickens living a healthy life under the sun eating grasses and bugs.’ And only at around 5% of your weekly food intake. This is in line with some of the centenarian cultures. Remember; the longest-lived cultures of the world (Okinawa, Nagano, Loma Linda, Sardinia, Ikaria…), generally eat meat less than once a week (if at all).
There is a vast amount of evidence that eating a plant-based wholefood diet lowers, and in some cases, reverses, heart disease and hypertension. This has been shown in the fasting studies, the chicken studies, the saturated fats studies, the fibre studies, the plant-based eating studies, and of course, the meat-is-directly-linked-to-heart-disease studies.
A healthy plant-based diet is simply mostly eating ‘plant-based wholefoods’ – such as apples rather than apple juice – as these are plant foods in their natural state, unrefined, and with their natural fibres, antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals intact. Eat mostly plant foods, mostly wholefoods, and you receive the benefits, as the centenarian cultures do:
Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: a Global Perspective (the Third Expert Report – 2019) is a comprehensive analysis, using the most meticulous methods, of the worldwide body of evidence on preventing and surviving cancer through diet, nutrition and physical activity. It builds on the ground-breaking achievements of the First and Second Expert Reports, published in 1997 and 2007 respectively.
Eating meat leads to type II diabetes and modern lifestyle cancers of the breast, bowel, prostate and lungs: References
- ‘News Release Oct, 27, 2015: The World Health Organisation: Processed & Red Meats Linked to Cancer’. A group of 22 scientists from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France evaluated more than 800 studies from several continents about meat and cancer. The studies looked at more than a dozen types of cancer in populations with diverse diets over the past 20 years. Based on that evaluation, the IARC classified processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans,” noting links in particular to colon cancer. It said red meat was “probably carcinogenic,” with links to colon, prostate and pancreatic cancers.
- ALSO; The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), the International 2013/2015 Global Burden of Disease Study, the 2010 Heart and Stroke Statistics report as published by the American Heart Association (as compiled by an international consortium of nearly 500 scientists from 187 countries globally), the Harvard School of Public Health, the single most comprehensive report ever issued on cancer: the 351-page World Cancer Report as issued by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and of course, hundreds of studies by international scientists at the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Study by the University of Washington School of Medicine was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012. Nearly 50% of Native Americans develop diabetes by age 55. The researchers surveyed 2,000 Native Americans without diabetes from Arizona, Oklahoma and North and South Dakota about their diets. After five years, a follow-up survey found that 243 people had developed diabetes. Among the 500 people in the original study group who ate the most canned processed meat, 85 developed diabetes. In contrast, those who ate the least amount, just 44 developed the disease. The people who ate the most processed meats tended also to be heavier with larger waistlines. Canned meat is available freely to many Native Americans on reservations as part of the US Department of Agriculture food assistance program. Dariush Mozaffarian, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and his colleagues conducted a 2009 analysis that found that processed meats were tied to a 19% higher diabetes risk. Article originally titled “’Spam’ meat tied to diabetes risk in Native Americans, study finds” as reported by foxnews.com and Reuters on January 31, 2012.
- World Cancer Research Fund International, ‘Continuous Update Project Report: Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Breast Cancer Survivors 2014.’ Study based on the findings of the CUP Breast Cancer Survivors Systematic Literature Review (SLR) and the CUP Expert Panel discussion in June 2013; total number of women in the 85 studies reviewed was 164,416; WHO. Breast Cancer: prevention and control, 2014.
- The 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study, The Lancet; 2010 Heart and Stroke Statistics Report, The American Heart Association and the WHO.
- Norat, T., Riboli, E., ‘Meat consumption and colorectal cancer: a review of epidemiologic evidence.’ Nutrition Reviews, 2001, 59(2):37–47.
- Esselstyn, C.B. and colleagues, ‘A way to reverse CAD?’ Cleveland Clinic. Journal of Family Practice 2014, 63(7):356–364.
- Dr Michael Miedema, ‘Eating fruits, vegetables linked to healthier arteries later in life.’ The American College of Cardiology and ScienceDaily, 28 March 2014.
- Study by researchers on data from 93,600 women aged 25–42 enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II, Harvard School of Public Health and University of East Anglia, UK. Circulation, 2013.
- Pettersen, B.J., Anousheh, R. and Fan, J., et al., ‘Vegetarian diets and blood pressure among white subjects: results from the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2).’ Public Health Nutrition, 2012, ;15(10):1909–1916. The Adventist Health Study is a cohort investigation that has been tracking since 1974. Researchers at the Center for Health Research, headquarters for the Adventist Health Study, and every scientist, researcher, doctor and professor has agreed that the lifestyle these people follow is amongst the healthiest in the world and it gives the Adventists strong protection against all the deadly diseases that are crippling the modern world while delivering ten times more centenarians than the US average.
- Tonstad, S., Butler, T., Yan, R. and Fraser, G.E., ‘Type of vegetarian diet, body weight, and prevalence of type 2 diabetes.’ Diabetes Care, 2009, 32(5):791–796.
- Tantamango-Bartley, Y., Jaceldo-Siegl, K., Fan, J., Fraser, G., ‘Vegetarian diets and the incidence of cancer in a low-risk population.’ Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Previews, 2013, 22:286–94.
- Key, T.J., Appleby, P.N., Crowe, F.L., Bradbury, K.E., Schmidt, J.A., Travis, R.C., ‘Cancer in British vegetarians: updated analyses of 4998 incident cancers in a cohort of 32,491 meat eaters, 8612 fish eaters, 18,298 vegetarians and 2246 vegans.’ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 4 June 2014.
- B. Armstrong and R. Doll, ‘Environmental factors and cancer incidence and mortality in different countries, with special reference to dietary practices.’ International Journal of Cancer, 1975, 15:617–31.
- Cho, E., Chen, W.Y., Hunter, D.J., Stampfer, M.J., Colditz, G.A., Hankinson, S.E., et al., ‘Red meat intake and risk of breast cancer among premenopausal women.’ Archives of Internal Medicine, 2006, 166:2253–9.
- Swedish study by Bellavia, A., Larsson, S.C., Bottai, M., Wolk, A., Orsini, N., ‘Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause mortality: a dose-response analysis.’ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition online, 26 June 2013.
- Steinmetz, K.A., et al., a review of over 206 epidemiological studies. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 1996, 96 (10):1027–39. Also see, Potter, J.D., ‘Vegetables, fruit, and cancer.’ Lancet, August 2005, 366(9485): 527–30. Also, Smith-Warner, S.A., et al., ‘Fruits, vegetables, and adenomatous polyps: the Minnesota Cancer Prevention Research Unit case-control study.’ American Journal of Epidemiology, 155(12): 1104–13, June 2002.
- Pan, An, et al., ‘Red Meat Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: 3 Cohorts of U.S. Adults and an Updated Meta-Analysis.’ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 10 August 2011.
- Pan, A, et al., ‘Changes in red meat consumption and subsequent risk of type II diabetes mellitus three cohorts of US men and women.’ JAMA Internal Medicine, DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6633.
- Evans, W.J., ‘Oxygen-carrying proteins in meat and risk of diabetes mellitus.’ JAMA, DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.7399.
- “Red Meat Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: 3 Cohorts of U.S. Adults and an Updated Meta-Analysis,” An Pan, et al., was published 10 August 2011 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The large study was led by An Pan, research fellow in the Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition, and Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health. The research included 37,083 men followed for 20 years in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study; 79,570 women followed for 28 years in the Nurses’ Health Study I; and 87,504 women followed for 14 years in the Nurses’ Health Study II.
- “Meats, processed meats, obesity, weight gain and occurrence of diabetes among adults: findings from Adventist Health Studies”, as published in Ann Nutr Metab. 2008;52(2):96-104 and Ann Nutr Metab. 2010;56(3):232., by Vang A, Singh PN, Lee JW, Haddad EH, Brinegar CH from the Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA. This research was “a prospective cohort study examining the relation between diet and incident diabetes recorded among 8,401 cohort members (ages 45-88 years) of the Adventist Mortality Study and Adventist Health Study”.
- “Meat consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies” by Aune D, Ursin G, Veierød MB as published in Diabetologia. 2009 Nov;52(11):2277-87. doi: 10.1007/s00125-009-1481-x. Epub 2009 Aug 7, 2009, by researchers at the Department of Biostatistics, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, in Norway. Åkesson, Agneta, et al., ‘Combined Effect of Low-Risk Dietary and Lifestyle Behaviours in Primary Prevention of Myocardial Infarction in Women.’ Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 167, No. 19, 22 October 2007.
- Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1988–1994, analysed by Rathod, A.D., et al., ‘Healthy eating index and mortality in a nationally representative elderly cohort.’ Archives of Internal Medicine, 2012, 172(3): 275–277.
- Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 136, pp. 2606–2610.
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online, 18 May 2011.
- Public Health Nutrition, 2003, Vol. 6, pp. 453–461.
- Chernomorsky, S., et al., ‘Effect of Dietary Chlorophyll Derivatives on Mutagenesis and Tumour Cell Growth.’ Teratogenesis, Carcinogenesis, and Mutagenesis, 79:313–322, 1999.
- Vlad, M., et al., ‘Effect of Cuprofilin on Experimental Atherosclerosis.’ Romania, Institute of Public Health and Medical Research, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoka, 1995.
- Study analysis from an international retrospective case-control study of acute nonfatal MI, the INTERHEART study, as well as FINRISK, of cardiovascular disease in Finland, by Do, R., et al., ‘The effect of chromosome 9p21 variants on cardiovascular disease may be modified by dietary intake: Evidence from a case/control and a prospective study.’ PLoS Medicine 2011, 9(10): e1001106.
- Hung H.C., Joshipura, K.J., Jiang, R., ‘Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of major chronic disease.’ Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2004, 96:1577–1584.
- P.N. Mitrou, V. Kipnis, A.C.M. Thiebaut, J. Reedy, A.F. Subar, E. Wirfalt, A. Flood, T. Mouw, A.R. Hollenbeck, M.F. Leitzmann, A. Schatzkin, ‘Mediterranean Dietary Pattern and Prediction of All-Cause Mortality in a US Population — Results From the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.’ Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 167, No. 22, pp. 2461–2468.
- Rautiainen S. and fellow researchers, study on the Swedish Mammography Cohort, ‘Total antioxidant capacity of diet and risk of stroke: A population-based prospective cohort study.’ Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2011.
- Study by Dr Frank B. Hu, of the departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, on 833,234 people. BMJ, 2014, 349:g4490, 29 July 2014.
- Daniel Imhoff (ed.), From CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories, Watershed Media and the Foundation for Deep Ecology. A book on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO), 2010.
- Feng He, MBBS, PhD, et al., ‘Effect of longer-term modest salt reduction on blood pressure: Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials.’ Queen Mary University of London, British Medical Journal, 2013, DOI:10.1136/bmj.f1325.
Jason wishes to deeply thank, acknowledge and recognise the effort and contribution that the PIF Foundation has provided on a voluntary basis since 2014, as we educated, motivated and inspired change that helps transform the health, vitality and longevity of people all over the world.