Going vegan in 2013

We imagine this chicken is saying, "Please don't eat me!"

Being vegan is no longer an unconventional way of life, and that’s due in no small part to the “Forks Over Knives” book and documentary. Now comes “Forks Over Knives — The Extended Interviews,” featuring even more evidence supporting the elimination of animal-based and processed foods to maintain health.

We asked one of the film’s experts, Cornell University nutritional scientist T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., for all the dirt on this Earth- and body-friendly lifestyle.

Why is a vegan diet healthier than a nonvegan diet?

I don’t [even] use the word vegan. Vegans can eat processed food as long as it contains no animal elements. I call it a whole food, plant-based diet. In my studies, the evidence is overwhelmingly positive. In just two weeks, we have found that cholesterol levels drop; aches disappear. Many changes occur. It’s not just about preventing disease, but treating disease.

But isn’t animal protein necessary to health and survival?

People have been advised that for a long time. A whole food, plant-based diet supplies all the protein we need and at an ideal level, about 10 percent of our calorie intake. That’s enough. But animal protein takes it up to about 70 to 80 percent. Early studies found that animal protein sped up growth rate, so it was called high-quality protein. But it also speeds up growth of cancer cells. Plant protein is slower.

If you want to switch to this diet, are there some tiny tweaks you can start making right away?

Eliminate dairy. Evidence was found in 1925 that the protein in dairy, casein, pushes up cholesterol levels. Dairy protein is a more prominent problem than animal fat.

You’ve said that low-fat milk is worse than whole milk. That seems counter-intuitive.

In the 1940s and ’50s, milk fat was deemed to be the culprit and people were told to switch to low-fat. But in low-fat milk, the protein level is increased. So, people ate more dairy protein, making the problem worse.

What about soy? Is there evidence that it is linked to breast cancer?

Soy beans contain estrogen, and estrogen is linked to breast cancer. But the studies show that high levels of estrogen are the problem. The soy bean has estrogen at such low levels that they become anti-estrogenic. They are actually beneficial in preventing breast cancer.

You’ve said that some diseases immediately heal when you eliminate animal products. How does that happen?

Our body is always trying to restore health. When a whole food, plant-based diet is adopted, it quickly adjusts in the direction of health. As long as there isn’t permanent damage from disease, the right food can reverse disease.

Take baby steps

The Mondays Campaign, the organization behind Meatless Mondays, offers the following stats on why a plant-based diet even just once a week has benefits.

It limits your cancer risk: Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk, and both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer.

It cuts your risk for heart disease: A Harvard study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (for example, meat and full-fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19 percent.

It helps fight diabetes: Research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.

It curbs obesity:
People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have lower body weights and body mass indices.

What about exercise?

Whether you’re becoming or already are a
vegan, you need a fitness plan that complements your plant-based diet. “The Vegan Athlete” boasts strength-building workouts and over 20
protein-rich recipes to keep you in tip-top shape.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Protesters say new Met Opera is anti-Semitic

Protesters, including a former mayor and governor, gathered outside of the Metropolitan Opera on Monday afternoon to protest the opening of “The Death of Klinghoffer.”

Local

Brooklyn girl's death ruled a homicide

The New York City Medical Examiner has ruled the death of a Brooklyn toddler a homicide. Jeida Torres, 3, was found bruised and unresponsive Saturday…

Local

New York City continues to prepare for Ebola…

New York City continues to prepare for the possibility of Ebola. There have been numerous scares, but no confirmed cases. Representatives from about 150 unions…

Local

NYPD nabs alleged serial bank robber

  The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for multiple Manhattan bank robberies this month. Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they…

Entertainment

We the Economy: Morgan Spurlock's new crusade

If Morgan Spurlock gets his way, you won't be able to avoid We the Economy, the series of 20 shorts films curated by the "Super…

Arts

3 Parody plays lampoon your childhood, adulthood and…

Whether you loved the source material or you're going in blind, these parody plays have something for every audience member. We rate three of NYC's hottest satirical shows.

Gossip

Who has more power: Harry Styles or Amal…

Amal Clooney comes in fourth on The Evening Standard's Most Influential Londoners list.

Music

#AskPaul McCartney reveals his love of American pop…

For an Englishman, Paul McCartney's pop culture tastes would fit right in stateside. The former Beatle (@PaulMcCartney) revealed that he has a real thing for…

NFL

John Idzik: 'We did a ton of background'…

Given John Idzik spent the previous five years with the Seahawks before he joined the Jets last January, there is a comfort level for the organization.

NFL

Jets add sizzle to struggling passing game with…

The Jets’ trade for Percy Harvin may have an air of desperation on the surface, but at 1-6 this season is hanging only by a thread.

NFL

Jason Pierre-Paul: 'We've got to regroup' during bye…

“We’ve got to regroup and figure out what went wrong,” said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. “When we come back, we want to be a great team.”

NFL

Breno Giacomini: Media blowing up Golden Tate-Percy Harvin…

According to Breno Giacomini, the fight between Golden Tate and Percy Harvin during Super Bowl week was over by the time the lineman turned around.

Education

Is a 'gap year' after high school for…

It’s a familiar script that millions of students follow each year: Graduate high school and then immediately start college. But more and more students are…

Parenting

New news about Kate Middleton's pregnancy

The Palace released a statement about Kate Middleton's pregnancy.

Parenting

Cool book for kids: 'The Princess In Black'

"The Princess In Black" will change the way girls view princesses.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…