The Facts About What We Eat and Our Future!

Wellness Wednesday

We all know that eating healthy, exercising, not smoking or using drugs, and decreasing stress levels leads to a longer life.  Yet, most people in America continue to eat meat and dairy, smoke, become obese and inactive, and work hard/play hard even knowing the reality of that lifestyle.  I’ve compiled some interesting facts to help put things in perspective.  Just give it some thought.

“Studies indicate that vegetarians often have lower morbidity and mortality rates… Not only is mortality from coronary artery disease lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians, but vegetarian diets have also been successful in arresting coronary artery disease. Scientific data suggest positive relationships between a vegetarian diet and reduced risk for…obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and some types of cancer.”
– American Dietetic Association Position Paper on Vegetarian Diets 

“In a world where an estimated one in every six people goes hungry every day, the politics of meat consumption are increasingly heated, since meat production is an inefficient use of grain — the grain is used more efficiently when consumed directly by humans. Continued growth in meat output is dependent on feeding grains to animals, creating competition for grain between affluent meat eaters and the world’s poor.” -Worldwatch Institute

Number of people whose food energy needs can be met by the food produced on 2.5 acres of land:

If the land is producing cabbage      23 people
If the land is producing potatoes     22 people
If the land is producing rice            19 people
If the land is producing corn           17 people
If the land is producing wheat         15 people
If the land is producing chicken       2 people

If the land is producing milk                            2 people
If the land is producing eggs                            1 person
If the land is producing beef                             1 person

Where most Americans get their information about foods: Advertising
Amount spent annually by Kelloggs to promote Frosted Flakes:

 

Amount spent annually by dairy industry on “milk mustache” ads:

 

Amount spent annually by McDonald’s advertising its products:

 

Amount spent annually by the National Cancer Institute promoting fruits and vegetables:

 $40 million

$190 million

 

$800 million

 

Just $1 million

Average cholesterol level in the United States: 210
Average cholesterol level of U.S. vegetarians: 161
Average cholesterol level of U.S. vegans: 133

Most common problem for which people go to doctors in the U.S.: High blood pressure
Ideal blood pressure (without medication): 110/70 or less
Average blood pressure of vegetarians: 112/69
Average blood pressure of non-vegetarians: 121/77
Incidence of high blood pressure in meat eaters compared to vegetarians: Nearly triple

Patients with high blood pressure who achieve substantial improvement after switching to a vegetarian diet: 30%-70%
Incidence of high blood pressure among senior citizens in the U.S.: More than 50%
Incidence of high blood pressure among senior citizens in countries eating traditional, low-fat plant-based diets: Virtually none

Risk of dying during bypass surgery: 4.6%-11.9% 
Risk of permanent brain damage from bypass surgery: 15%-44%
Recipients of bypass surgery for whom it prolongs life: 2%
Risk of death during angioplasty: 0.4%-2.8%
Risk of major complication developing during angioplasty: 10%
Studies that have found that angioplasty prolongs life or prevents heart attacks: Zero

DIET AND CANCER

Death rate from breast cancer in the United States:
Death rate from breast cancer in Japan:
Death rate from breast cancer in China:
22.4 (per 100,000)
6.3 (per 100,000)
4.6 (per 100,000)
Primary reasons for difference: 
People in China and Japan eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer animal products, weigh less, drink less alcohol, and get more exercise than people in the United States.

Number of lives lost to colon cancer each year in the United States: 55,000

Risk of colon cancer for women who eat red meat daily compared to those who eat it less than once a month: 250 percent greater
Risk of colon cancer for people who eat red meat once a week compared to those who abstain: 38 percent greater

Risk of colon cancer for people who eat poultry once a week compared to those who abstain: 55 percent greater
Risk of colon cancer for people who eat poultry four times a week compared to those who abstain: 200-300 percent greater
Risk of colon cancer for people who eat beans, peas, or lentils at least twice a week compared to people who avoid these foods:50 percent lower

Impact on risk for colon cancer when diets are rich in the B-vitamin folic acid: 75 percent lower
Primary food sources of folic acid: Dark green leafy vegetables, beans, and peas

Most common cause of cancer mortality worldwide: lung cancer
Number of lives lost in the U.S. to lung cancer annually: 150,000
Impact on risk of lung cancer for people who frequently eat green, orange and yellow vegetables: 20%-60% reduction
Impact on risk of lung cancer among people who consume a lot of apples, bananas and grapes: 40% reduction

Most common cancer among American men: prostate cancer
Risk of prostate cancer for men who consume high amounts of dairy products: 70% increase
Risk of prostate cancer for men who consume soy milk daily: 70% reduction
Risk of prostate cancer for men whose intake of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, mustard greens, turnips) is high: 41% reduction

Diet Costs Economy More than Smoking:
Annual medical costs in the United States directly attributable to smoking:
Annual medical costs in the United States directly attributable to meat consumption:
$65 billion
$60-120 billion

“Five to ten percent of all cancers are caused by inherited genetic mutations. By contrast, 70 to 80 percent have been linked to [diet and other] behavioral factors.”
-Karen Emmons, M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

Countries with the highest consumption of dairy products: Finland, Sweden, United States, England 
Countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis: Finland, Sweden, United States, England

Calcium absorption rates
(according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition):

Brussels sprouts  63.8%
Mustard greens    57.8%
Broccoli               52.6%
Turnip greens       51.6%
Kale                    32%

 

Primary source of E. coli 0157:H7 infections: Hamburgers and other forms of ground beef
Potential consequence of ingestion of deadly E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria in humans: Devastating illness with multiple organ failure and high death rate 
Long-term afflictions suffered by many survivors of E. coli 0157:H7 poisoning: Epilepsy, blindness, lung damage, kidney failure

 

Leading cause of kidney failure in U.S. and Canadian children: Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
Cases of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome that are caused by E. coli 0127:H7: 85%

 

Americans sickened from eating Salmonella-tainted eggs every year: More than 650,000 
Americans killed from eating Salmonella-tainted eggs every year: 600 
Increase in Salmonella poisoning from raw or undercooked eggs between 1976 and 1986: 600 percent

 

Annual Salmonella cases in Sweden: 800 
Annual Salmonella cases in the United States: More than 1 million

 

Leading cause of food-borne illness in the United States: Campylobacter
People in the United States who become ill with Campylobacter poisoning every day: More than 5,000
Annual Campylobacter-related fatalities in the United States: More than 750 
Primary source of Campylobacter bacteria: Contaminated chicken flesh
American chickens sufficiently contaminated with Campylobacter to cause illness: 70 percent 
American turkeys sufficiently contaminated with Campylobacter to cause illness: 90 percent 
Number of hens in three flocks screened for Campylobacter by University of Wisconsin researchers: 2,300 
Number of hens that were NOT infected with Campylobacter: 8

 

Antibiotics produced in the U.S. annually: 25,000 tons
Antibiotics administered to livestock in the U.S. annually: 10,000 tons

Antibiotics allowed in U.S. milk: 80

Antibiotics found in soy milk: 0

Total global area planted in genetically engineered crops, 1995: Negligible 
Total global area planted in genetically engineered crops, 1996: 4 million acres 
Total global area planted in genetically engineered crops, 1997: 27 million acres 
Total global area planted in genetically engineered crops, 1998: 69 million acres 
Total global area planted in genetically engineered crops, 1999: 99 million acres

Do yourself a favor……love yourself……and give up the meat and dairy that is leading to health problems.

-Kristen

Choosing healthy living over dying :)

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