The 2015 international news release from The World Health Organisation said: ‘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.’”. As I detail in my books Eat Less, Live Long, and My 20 GOLDEN Rules, 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.
Long term research
When you study these people and then blend that with the best of the modern studies and the thousands of papers and clinical research going back to the 1800s, through the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, right through to the present day, you get some real G.O.L.D.E.N. advice (Genetics Optimized by Diet, Lifestyle & Environment, Naturally). For example, the study by Professor Sabine Rohrmann, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Zurich, and a multinational group of scientists, on 448,568 people in ten European countries as published in BioMed Central (BMC) Medicine, on 6 March 2013; Also ‘Vascular effects of a low-carbohydrate high-protein diet’, released by Harvard Medical School, 17 July 2009; Also W.C. Miller et al., Growth, 1984:48:415; Also J. Kaluza et al., ‘Red meat consumption and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of prospective studies’, a 329,495 participant study as published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, in August 2012; Also A. Pan et al., ‘Red Meat Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: 3 Cohorts of U.S. Adults and an Updated Meta-Analysis’; Also ‘Meats, processed meats, obesity, weight gain and occurrence of diabetes among adults: findings from Adventist Health Studies’, Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2008:52(2):96–104 and 2010:56(3):232.
There are now thousands of comprehensive, 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 heart disease, CVD, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, and even reverse heart damage and lesions of coronary heart disease, as well as significantly lower your risk of the main lifestyle cancers of the lung, breast, liver, throat, prostate and kidneys.
What do the independent world leaders in nutrition, health, diet and longevity say about eating a balanced, plant-based wholefood diet?
“Despite what you hear in the media, the science of healthy eating is well-established and the evidence is incredibly consistent — across years, across cultures, across everything. Instead of following the fads, rely on the fundamentals. Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you”
Dr David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, April 2014.
“The research is staggering and shows clear evidence that regular meat consumption contributes substantially to premature death. By simply replacing meat with other foods, 10% of male deaths and 8% of female deaths could be prevented”
Dr Frank Hu, Harvard School of Public Health, commenting on the 28-year Harvard study of over 120,000 people in March 2013.
“When these patients commit to plant-based nutrition, they can not only halt but they can arrest and on occasion there will be significant evidence of disease reversal. It’s getting to the point where it will be unconscionable for patients with cardiovascular disease not to be informed that this option exists”
Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Retired Surgeon, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, January 2013.
“The evidence is that whether you are talking about bacon, ham or pastrami, the safest amount to eat is none at all”
Professor Martin Wiseman, World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), March 2008.
“These results complement the recommendations by the American Institute for Cancer Research to reduce red meat intake to decrease cancer incidence”
Dr Rashmi Sinha, PhD, National Cancer Institute, March 2009.
“Death in old age is, of course, inevitable, but death in middle age is not. There are five basic types of good behaviours (or virtues), they are: regular exercise, not smoking, alcohol consumption within guidelines, maintaining a low BMI, and eating a predominantly plant-based diet. If one practises four or five of those compared with men who practise none, the reduction in the risk for cardiovascular disease is around 67%; diabetes is 73%; cancer is 20–25%; dementia is 65%; and the reduction in all-cause mortality is 32%”
Dr David Kerr, Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, CBE, MD, DSc, FRCP, FMedSci, and past president of European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), 11 November 2013.
“The more fruits and vegetables consumed in a state, the lower the state is on the obesity rankings”
The Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2012.
“…most of mankind for most of human history has lived on vegetarian or near-vegetarian diets”
The American Dietetic Association.
“Despite having a high genetic risk for heart disease, a diet high in fruits and vegetables can change the genes”
Dr Sonia Anand, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology.
“We estimate that 3.3% of deaths could be prevented if all participants had a processed meat consumption of less than 20g per day [extrapolated out, this equates to a worldwide saving of around two million lives per year]”
Professor Sabine Rohrmann and colleagues from the University of Zurich, 2013.
“We didn’t expect to find that eating fruit and vegetables would prove to be so important in protecting men against cancer”
Professor Max Parkin, Cancer Research UK Epidemiologist, Queen Mary University of London, commenting on the most comprehensive diet and lifestyle cancer study undertaken as published by the British Journal of Cancer, December 2011.
“There is a body of scientific evidence highlighting the health risks of eating processed meat. Our research, published in 2007 and subsequently confirmed in 2011, shows strong evidence that eating processed meat, such as bacon, ham, hot dogs, salami and some sausages, increases the risk of getting bowel cancer.”
Dr Rachel Thompson, World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), March 2013.
“Limit your intake of red and processed meat”
Marjorie McCullough, American Cancer Society, July 2013.
“Substances naturally present in red/blue coloured fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of a heart attack 32% in young and middle-aged women. These foods can be readily incorporated into diets and simple dietary changes could have an impact in reducing risk of heart disease in younger women and keep arteries healthy and flexible.”
Aedin Cassidy, PhD, University of East Anglia, January 2013.
“A low carbohydrate, high animal fat-type diet raises the risk of deadly disease and does not improve weight loss sustainably over the long term”
Study by Stellenbosch University researchers Celeste E. Naude, Anel Schoonees, Marjanne Senekal, Taryn Young, Paul Garner and Jimmy Volmink “Low Carbohydrate versus Isoenergetic Balanced Diets for Reducing Weight and Cardiovascular Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”, a review of 19 international scientific trials on 3,200 people, as published in the international PLOS One journal, July 09, 2014.
“Popular diets in many cases have high proteins. Turns out one of the major factors in cancer growth is protein intake. People need to switch to a diet where their protein sources are plant-based. A high-animal-protein diet is nearly as bad as smoking”
Professor Valter Longo, Director, USC Longevity Institute, 2014.
“We do not have proof that a low-carbohydrate diet is safe and healthy in the long term, and some studies already point towards an increased risk of heart disease and death with low carbohydrate diets. Based on the current evidence we cannot recommend a low-carbohydrate diet to the public”
Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa CEO Dr Vash Munghal-Singh, 2014.
The research, studies and food recommendations from the WCRF & AICR 2018, to help lower your risk of, and to prevent, breast cancer, are built around following; a no-alcohol, plant-based wholefood diet.
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.
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.
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.