Taste is very important! We all agree, and if it doesn't taste good no claim of healthiness can persuade many to eat it. However taste is not what's all to consider. In fact, eating something only because it tastes good has been a major factor in the epidemic of lifestyle related diseases that we see so prevalent here in North America (heart disease, diabetes, cancer). Of course I do not want to overgeneralize and be misunderstood to sound as if I am saying that everyone who has a lifestyle related disease made their diet choices based on taste only and not on reason, but, its an undeniable reality that we need to start reforms with regards to what we call food. We need to start eating to live instead of living to eat.
It starts first of all with being open minded. If we as humanity were not open-minded I am sure no university would have a research lab. Being open to something new, (given that it is evidence based), like eating a plant-based meal,is one of the best things you can do to invest in your health. Scientific research actually confirms that eating a plant based diet does a lot of good to you for example: lowering one's risk of having a heart attack or a stroke (Do, et al. 2011). Well, what about the protein?
What about the protein? Many people are under the impression that a plant based diet is deficient in proteins. I used to think like that too until I had the opportunity to be enlightened from facts, evidence based facts! Before I answer this question, lets consider a good objection lesson from nature for a moment; the cows! What about the the cows now? Cows don't eat roasted ribs, or chicken burgers but grass and water, yet do they have protein deficiencies? I know we are not cows so let me answer the questions from a human perspective. Humans typically think that plant based diets are deficient in protein, primarily because when proteins were first discovered they were discovered in animal flesh and not in plants. Hence, people generally believed that if you need protein you need steak but we now know that plants have proteins, and in addition they do not have the negative effects of animal food products like increasing your risk of having colorectal cancer (WHO, 2015). In an article released by WHO in 2015, the said that processed meats are a group 1 type carcinogen (cancer causing agent), and although it doesn't mean equlivalent danger, its interesting to note that the "group 1 type" classification also includes other well-known carcinogenic substances such as tobacco and asbestos. Enough about the bad news.
The GOOD news:
The great wall of China was not built in one day. Small steps you make in your diet do make a difference. Taking one step at a time; here are a few suggestions
1. Consider having a meatless Monday every week.
2. Consider attending a local FREE vegan cooking class. More Details here.
3. Take advantage of the In-Your-Home Vegan Restaurant home cooking service.
4. Stay open minded...!
Do, R., Xie, C.,3, Zhang, X., Ma ¨nnisto, S., Harald, K., Islam, S., Bailey, S., D., Rangarajan, S., McQueen, M., J., Diaz, R., Lisheng6, L., Wang,X., Silander, K., Peltonen, L., Yusuf, S., Salomaa, V., Engert1, J., C., & Sonia S. (2011).The Effect of Chromosome 9p21 Variants on Cardiovascular Disease May Be Modified by Dietary Intake: Evidence from a Case/Control and a Prospective Study. Retrived from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3191151/
World Health Organization. (2015). Q&A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/features/qa/cancer-red-meat/en/