A top UK nutritionist is due to help the European natural, organic and health food industry put together a 'manifesto for health'and says that a vegetable rich vegan diet is a key part of a recipe for optimum health
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Natural Products Europe Manifesto for Health
Yvonne Bishop-Weston a leading UK nutritionist with a clinic in Harley Street, London announced today, that “Armed with a bit of basic nutrition knowledge and a bit of common sense wholefood based , Plantarian style, vegan diets can be one of the healthiest on the planet. “
Yvonne was talking ahead of speaking at The Natural and Organic Products Europe in London at Olympia, on the Health of the Nation where organisers hope to put together a UK manifesto for health.
40% More Interest in Vegan Diet
Yvonne was responding to concerns by Doctors and Dieticians over reports that interest in vegan diets has risen dramatically in the last few years with a big 40% spike in the UK following the European horse meat scandal in February 2013. She said “Dietitians have to stop claiming meat is an essential part of a healthy balanced diet, it’s simply not true!”
The horse meat scandal prompted investigations that finally proved that consumers could no longer be sure that the meat in their shop bought processed dinner recipes up to their expectations or what was insinuated on packaging. “This has resulted in a 30% increase in sales of meat free alternatives in some cases” say organisers of Vegfest UK who saw 40% more visitors at their first show of 2013
Whole Food Not Half Food
Yvonne does concede that the main potential of a vegan diet can be compromised by simply replacing like for like. There are vegan alternatives for everything now. Even realistic vegan smoked salmon, vegan caviar and vegan blue cheese is now available. It is easily possible to replace a diet of sugar and fat rich dairy ice cream, doughnuts, fried burgers and chicken nuggets, French fries and milkshakes with dairy free, meat free equivalents washed down with cola. “Apart from a little bit of extra fibre and a less saturated animal fat the main benefactors of equivalent vegan fast food substitutes would be the environment and to animal welfare, not necessarily human health.” says Yvonne.
Vegan Diet Main Ingredient in Recipe for Health
She explains “Dramatic health benefits of a vegan diet come from following President Bill Clinton’s example and eating more vegetables, more beans, more salad, more berries, more mushrooms, more kale. Oxford University research shows noticeable health benefits kick in when you reach 8 portions a day of fresh fruit and vegetables. This naturally tends to happen when you move away from the traditional concept of meat and two veg . Providing you save the now ubiquitous vegan cupcakes for treat food and not as a breakfast staple you notice measurable differences in your body’s performance”
Vegan diets have been used in compelling research to find ways to both combat and treat heart disease (Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Dr John A. McDougall, Dr Dean Ornish) , type 2 diabetes (Dr Neal Barnard) and cancer (Dr. T. Colin Campbell)
“For therapeutic use, Vegan whole food or complete food principles need to be applied to fats as well as carbohydrates. Omega 3 and 6 essential fats are very delicate and oxidise easily. Wherever possible, dietary calories from fat should be eaten in their whole raw form. For example as sunflower seeds rather than as processed sunflower oil for frying” says Yvonne “To process essential fats your body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals that come in a nut or seed but are processed out of the oil
4 Easy Health Principles - Eat to Live with Foods for Life
Yvonne’s key four principles to follow to attain optimum health are;
1) Plant based not meat & dairy based
2) Wholefood not half food (applied to fats as well as carbohydrates)
3) Low GL (avoiding overdosing on food and drink that has a high Glycaemic load such as corn syrup, cola and fruit juice drinks )
4) Eat a rainbow every day – (thus ensuring a good intake of antioxidants and a variety of vitamins and minerals from berries and vegetables)
“If people find the task of changing their diet daunting they should just start with one day a week and then work up from there. They’ll gradually get to the stage where their body will stop crisis managing their appetite with cravings for sugary, fatty foods in a desperate attempt to get more vitamins and minerals” advises Yvonne.
The best place to learn about how easy, delicious, healthy and sustainable a vegan diet can be is to visit one of the Vegfest UK festivals. Vegfest Bristol is at the end of National Vegetarian Week in May and Vegfest London at Olympia is on Oct 5th/ 6th .