OK, you guys, and the gals who care about them, we need to talk about a disease that’s all too common – prostate cancer! The good news is that there’s something you can do to prevent it, and even help treat it if it’s a mild case in its early stages. Let’s start with prevention first.
The risk of prostate cancer in vegetarians is less than half that of non-vegetarians. While plant-based foods have been shown to decrease the risk of prostate cancer, animal-derived foods increase the risk. Intake of saturated fat and cholesterol found in animal-derived foods are independent risk factors for prostate cancer, contributing further to the higher risk that non-vegetarians have. Read more
Bodybuilder Karl Bruder went vegan in March 2016. By July 2016, he was on a winning streak, destroying the competition at the WABBA Grand Prix by taking first place in his category of Tall Men up to 180cm. He has also placed sixth at Mr Universe and fourth at PCA Physical Culture.
As a competitive bodybuilder, Karl does have to travel, but this isn’t an issue, it just takes some preparation. “I always make sure I have my own food whilst travelling and that I have access to vegan food where ever I go” he explains. This means he never has to compromise. At home, he manages to cook up interesting food. “I love to cook and experiment with all sorts of plant-based foods and create amazing meals” he says. “I eat a lot of lentils, nuts, beans of all different types and your basic carbohydrates too.” This fuels his training which includes the gym on six days per week. He also looks after his rescue horses which involves physical work, and plenty of walking.
He’s proud of how much he has achieved on a vegan diet:
“I have put on 6kg since I have been vegan in 20 months. I never achieved this amount of muscle prior to being vegan in 6 years in competitive bodybuilding. So when someone says you built most of your muscle on animal based products, I tell them I have made a lot more progress and faster on a plant-based diet. I have never been in such good shape and conditioned all year round as I am now. So the fact is, being vegan has massive benefits to my sport and my health.”
Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for intercourse. Erectile dysfunction (ED) has considerable impact on the quality of life of middle-aged and senior men, and is a significant global health problem affecting millions of men throughout the world.
It’s very important to note that men with ED are at significantly increased risk of a heart attack. There is consistent epidemiological evidence which links ED with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cholesterol levels. We know that a plant-based diet greatly reduces the risk of those diseases and so it follows that it also greatly reduces the risk of ED. Other evidence shows that the lower BMI (Body Mass Index) that vegetarians are more likely to have also helps reduce the risk of ED, as does the reduction of saturated fat intake and increased fiber intake.
One study found a 10% reduced risk of ED with each additional daily serving of fruits and vegetables consumed. Another study showed that phytonutrients, nutrients besides vitamins and minerals which are found only in plant foods, were a major reason for the reduced risk. A long term study of a diet rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and olive oil was associated with an improvement in erectile function.
They’ve even done a small experiment on erectile function. Three athletes were tested overnight after different meals. The experiment showed that erectile function was improved after a plant-based meal. Smoking cessation and exercise increased the effectiveness of the dietary intervention in several studies.
While diet and diet-related diseases are major causes of ED, there are other factors such as psychological problems and medication side effects which can also have an impact. However, switching to a plant-based diet is a safe way to reduce your risk of ED and it forms a vital role in its treatment.
The evidence is in. There’s strong evidence that plant-based diets are good medicine for the prevention and treatment of many diseases. But patients have been complaining for years that doctors don’t know anything about this. Their doctors complain that they didn’t learn it in medical schools or even in continuing education classes. This situation has caused too many patients to be deprived of better health and longer lives, while frustrating their doctors every time a patient asks for help. Nothing changed, until now.
Our Prescribe Vegetarian Campaign is designed to change both the medical schools’ curricula and doctors’ continuing education to include the prevention and treatment of disease with a plant- based diet. If you support this campaign, please consider making a tax-deductible donation by clicking on the button below. Vegetarians of Washington is a 501(c)3 organization, registered in the state of Washington. Here’s our plans, and what we’ve achieved so far:
Dr Chan Hwang scans the carotid artery of a Vegfest attendee.
Heart disease is still the number one cause of death for both men and women. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. A plant-based diet can reduce your risk of a heart attack by 40%. If you wish your doctor knew about this, we want you to know that we do too! That’s why we wrote a letter to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. They recently published an Expert Consensus Decision Pathway on the role of non-statin therapies for lowering LDL Cholesterol, but they “forgot” to include the plant-based diet! We told them about their omission, and we published it as an open letter, complete with references to all the latest research on the topic. Read more
Rocky Luedeker of Oak Creek, Arizona, is a 62-year-old record-breaking powerlifter. She started lifting competitively four years ago and now holds 13 world records, and 26 state and national records.
According to Luedeker, “My best curl is 45 pounds, my best squat is 124 pounds, my best deadlift is 184 pounds.” She does all of this on a plant-based diet. She loves beans and rice, with lettuce every day. “A common myth is we [vegans] don’t have enough protein, and we have more than enough protein” she said.
But it also takes the right attitude to break records. “If I don’t get it this time, I will practice harder and get it next time,” she said. She has inspired her daughter, Bianca, also a vegetarian, who is now in training for the 2024 Olympics. “Definitely, lifting has greatly increased my confidence,” Bianca said. She is proud to be part of the “Lifting Luedekers” and proud of her powerlifting mom.
A new position paper from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) highlights the benefit of a plant-based diet for both health and now the environment. The paper says plant-based diets are more environmentally friendly and sustainable than diets rich in animal products, noting that they can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50 percent.
“Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage” the Academy says . “Becoming vegetarian can be beneficial to personal health and the environment,” says Vandana Sheth, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.”
More and more dietitians are publishing articles on the connection between our food choices and environmental sustainability. To learn more of how a veg diet protects the environment, see our many articles, or our printable Eating Green brochure.