According to an article in the November 2005 issue of National Geographic titled “The Secrets Of Longevity (What Do They Know That The Rest of Us Don’t?),” long life seems to be the most abundant in three specific regions of the world.
One group of long-living people who were studied were located in the mountain villages of Sardinia, Italy. Another group researched was a tribe of people who live on the island of Okinawa, Japan. Finally, the article examined a group of Seventh-Day Adventists who reside in Loma Linda, California. According to the article, Adventists “rank among America’s longevity all-stars.”
In order to answer the conundrum “What do they know that the rest of us don’t?” the article examined the lifestyles of the three groups. What do they all share? The article concludes that it is their antiquated emphasis on a healthful diet.
The Sardinian, Okinawan and Adventist diets all steer clear from the modern, mass produced foods that most Americans digest every day. Their food is usually homegrown. Fresh grains, vegetables and fruits are the main parts of their diet. Sweets are scarce and the meat is not laden with growth hormones or chemicals. Very rarely do they cook with heavy oils, fats or butters.
A very natural process of food consumption can be witnessed among the groups. Disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, obesity, osteoporosis, heart and kidney failure, and many other problems are not common in these regions.
However,diseases and health problems associated with meat consumption are all too familiar for most Americans. Contrary to popular belief, Biological factors are shown to only play a small role in controlling American’s physical and mental health.
Meat is a part of every meal for the majority of Americans, and in order for meat producers to keep up with the demand, US companies have been using artificial hormones, chemicals and even cloning to get their product on people’s plates.
Consequently, England has resolved to have nothing to do with US meat, and Japan recently reinstated its ban on US beef in January 2006.
In an article called “Animal Products and Food Borne Illness,” Professor Walter J. Veith states, “Food borne illness is on the increases worldwide and, in most cases, animal products are implicated as the main source of infection.”
Nationally renowned radio commentator Paul Harvey, in October 2003 stated, “Society must rethink vegetarianism as a safer form of eating. It is a rational consideration, a rational consideration that can be life-saving.”
Harvard studies on meat consumption and its relationship to cancer showed that daily meat eaters are three times more likely to acquire cancer than your occasional meat eater. In addition, the American Cancer Society states, “The scientific evidence is clear: eating meat increases your risk of cancer.”
Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from meat, with some exceptions of animal byproducts (eggs, milk, cheese, butter, and honey). Vegans, a different class of vegetarian, eliminate all forms of animal products including their byproducts.
A Vegan diet, according to the Vegan Resource Library, “can provide more than enough nutrition if properly planned.” The American Cancer Society suggests vegetarianism to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and “certain types of cancer.”
Perhaps the answer to the question of longevity can be found in the lifestyles of those who live to be very old: a vegetarian diet