Break Up with Abusive Food Relationships!
You know the story. As the saying goes, “What’s good to us is not always good for us.” How does this apply to food? The quality of our Standard American Diet (SAD) has declined in the last several decades with the takeover of agriculture and food production by big businesses. Most importantly, our federal government heavily subsidizes the meat and dairy industry while they spend billions in marketing and advertising so that we will continue to buy their products. These government subsidies exist even though the research and health studies, the American Medical Association (AMA), and the FDA dietary guidelines all now recommend a diet of primarily whole plant foods. However, the recommended foods, including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices, which can prevent and reverse chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and common cancers, are not subsidized. Although the FDA has been slow to take meat and dairy off their annual food pyramid recommendations, they now list them as optional and emphasize plants as the most important foods we should eat. By contrast, the Canadian government has actually removed meat and dairy from their food guide altogether because of the known health risks and in the interest of public health.
Canada removed meat and dairy from its recommended food guide in 2019.
(Photo Credit: Health Canada & PHAC Twitter)
We now know that meat and dairy products create inflammation in our bodies, leading to increased risk for chronic illnesses, including breast, prostate, and colon cancer. These diseases are all linked to systemic inflammation. The American Society of Clinical Oncology published a study in 2019 that said a balanced, low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables cuts post-menopausal women’s risk of dying from breast cancer by 21%. We also know that meat and dairy products increase the risk of prostate cancer in men. Most alarming is the fact that processed meats like the bacon we feed our families, and the cold cuts we pack in our kids’ lunches, are known to be cancer-causing; however, they continue to be advertised and marketed to families and children!