By Dean Ornish, MD
Preventive Medicine Research Institute and
University of California at San Francisco
More and more information is emerging that documents the benefits of eating increased amounts of vegetables and substantially reducing consumption of red meat and other animal products.
A Plant-based diet
A plant-based diet is also low in oxidants like iron (it has enough iron without having too much) and high in antioxidants like betacarotene and vitamins A, C and E. Also, meat contains virtually no dietary fiber, which is high in a plant-based diet.
During the past few years, scientists have discovered and documented new classes of chemicals that help prevent illness and slow the aging process. These include bioflavonoids, carotenoids, phytochemicals and other substances that are high in a plant-based diet and low in a meat-based diet. In other words, there are more and more reasons to eat a plant-based diet.
The major reason for changing your diet and lifestyle, however, is not just to live longer or reduce the risk of illness or heart problems years later. It's to improve the quality of life right now. To me, there's no point in giving up something that I enjoy unless I get something back in return that is even better.
Dean Ornish, MD, author of several books including Everyday Cooking with Dr. Dean Ornish. HarperCollins.
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