When I made the decision to go vegan, I decided that I would aim to make it a healthy change. If I was going to put in the effort to change habits I might as well replace my old ‘bad’ habits with healthy new ones. I don’t want to replace one unhealthy lifestyle that includes the use of animals as products with another unhealthy vegan one.
Along with working to live a cruelty-free life for the sake of my fellow earthlings, I want to live a healthy life – for me. I have started with my diet.
Nutrition is Confusing and Coca Cola Really Does Care You Cynic
Trying to figure out what actually makes up a healthy diet could give you whiplash and it is all too easy to get lost in the weeds. Which is why I am so glad that I found this guy – Dr. Greger.
He is vegan and a medical doctor. His full-time job appears to be trolling through nutrition studies to make sense of what the data means for vegans. He then translates this into digestible, coherent chunks of information for ordinary people without a Phd in chemistry.
He runs this hugely useful website – nutritionfacts.org.
This video (below) is a longer talk he gave on the link between the leading causes of death in the United States and diet. While he is specifically talking to North Americans, you can compare his list with NZ statistics. According to the Ministry of Health these are, in order: cancer (all), ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, trachea, bronchus and lung cancer, diabetes mellitus, female breast cancer, prostate cancer, intentional self-harm, motor vehicle accidents and melanoma of the skin (p.5).
One vital point Greger brings up towards the end of the video, and which could go some way towards explaining all the nutrition confusion, is buried deep in the fine print of the research process. Where is the money coming from, or more importantly, who is paying the people who decide what research to fund?
Believe it or not Coca Cola funds nutrition research! No, you did not misread that. I didn’t believe it either, so I looked it up. Their website is called, and I swear I am not making this up, the Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness. The tagline on its website reads, “A Resource for Health Professionals on the Science of Beverages, Hydration & Active Healthy Living”.
Here is a great take on what happens when corporations with a vested interest start trying to muddy the nutritional waters.