The world is shifting at an incredible pace, and that is being reflected in what advice is given for the healthiest way to eat. When I got into macrobiotics in the 1980’s the medical establishment was recommending daily meat and dairy consumption, plus as much sugar as you liked – looking back this seems unbelievable to us now.
In the 1980s it was realised that a diet high in saturated fats from meat, dairy and processed foods was the main cause of heart disease and strokes. In the noughties it became increasingly clear that a poor diet is the main cause of many if not most types of cancer, and the present obesity epidemic, and the resulting expansion of diabetes from affecting about 1 in a 100, to 1 in 50 people, and now approaching 1 in 10 people in many countries of the world.
The diet recommended by the UK’s NHS (National Health System) has shifted enormously, and is now plant-based – read more here.
And here is its Eatwell Plate, advising eating less meat and more beans and regular fish instead, saying that dairy foods are optional and can be replaced with alternatives, and refined sugar has been moved out of the ‘necessary’ foods altogether.
When these recommendations came out about three years ago I almost fell off my seat! I was really excited, here was confirmation of what we have been banging on about for decades in the macrobiotic movement. If everyone in the UK (or in the whole of Europe, north America, India, China etc) adopted this way of eating, there would be a dramatic drop in many degenerative illnesses.
It’s so simple, no extra costs, no research needed, better health, less strain on the health systems of the world, more food to go around, and this would be an enormous contribution to reducing all of our carbon footprints as well.
One of the reasons I feel so strongly about this is that I see so many people and give a lot of health consultations to people with a wide range of health problems, I see a lot of suffering from painful, debilitating, life-limiting illnesses, which in most cases is just unnecessary. Until recently the predominant thinking about illness is that if you get ill, its just hard luck, there’s nothing you could have done to prevent it, and there is nothing you can do yourself to help your own healing. The only option is to seek out someone else who can offer a drug or treatment to ‘cure’ you.
And yet the opposite is true, our health is mostly in our own hands, and when we do become ill, there is often a lot we can do to get ourselves well again. Many people are realising the truth of this now, and are seeking out ways of taking better care of themselves, though changes in eating, exercise and lifestyle. As I see it this trend is going to grow and grow in the coming decades, with more and more people seeing the sense of taking care of their own health. And I urge everyone to take this step now, rather than waiting until you get a real health scare to motivate you. If you want to take a good step in the direction of a plant-based diet, do come to one of our 2 day Love Health Love Cooking courses, in which you will learn lots of plant-based recipes to use at home. You do not have to dramatically change everything you eat at one time, rather every step you take towards eating a more plant-based diet will bring you benefits to your health.
Here are a few of the benefits that I have heard a lot of people give on changing to a plant-based way of eating.