LOS ANGELES, March 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Environmental advocate and author Suzy Amis Cameron knows Americans have deep concerns about climate change and worry about consuming adequate protein. Founder of OMD—One Meal A Day (For the Planet), she has an elegant solution: plant-based eating. In a recent report by The Lancet, scientists confirmed that one key way to fight climate change is with a plant-based diet. And the New York Times reported that a number of large observational studies "have linked high-protein diets with an increased incidence of cancer, heart disease and other ills." Cameron champions green eating to heal the planet and ourselves, and OMD has introduced its Green Meter Eater that helps consumers calculate in real time how their food choices translate to environmental savings.
According to Cameron, we mistakenly feel we need to eat significant amounts of protein daily; in fact, we overconsume, she writes in OMD: The Simple, Plant-Based Program to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, and Save the Planet. David L. Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and author of The Truth About Food, has shared that a lifetime eating a very high protein diet can harm the liver, kidneys, and skeleton. The amount of protein we require to function well is much lower than commonly thought.
"Men require about 56 grams of protein daily, and women need 46 grams. Today, men eat about twice their requisite (100 grams) and women almost as much (70 grams). And we think meat protein is the best, if not the only way to build muscle," says Cameron. Tell that to 100% plant-based eating ultra-athlete Rich Roll, known for competing in double Ironman triathlons, or strongman Patrick Baboumian, a German who holds the world log lift record.
Why do we believe in the meat myth?
"Advertising has convinced us that meat equals protein, but we can get everything we need—including protein and calcium—from a green diet free of animal products. And, more importantly, we need to challenge the myth because too much protein is unhealthy," says Cameron.
The New York Times notes a study of more than 6,000 nationally-representative adults led by Valter Longo, director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, which found that that a low protein diet was associated with a major reduction in cancer and that "those who ate a high protein diet between the ages of 50 and 65 were four times more likely to die of cancer than those who consumed less protein."
Cornell University professor emeritus T. Colin Campbell, PhD, set out to research the effect of high consumption of meat, cow's milk, and eggs on overall health. He found that the young people in his ten-year study who ate the highest-protein diets were those most likely to get liver cancer. Casein, the main protein in milk and cheeses, was found to promote all stages of cancer growth. "Conversely, plant edibles supply proteins that do not encourage cancers," says Cameron.
Green sources rich in proteins
High-protein plant foods include wheat, oats, soy products (such as tofu, tempeh, and edamame), nuts, and legumes, including chickpeas, lentils, peas, kidney beans, black beans, and more. Further, a 2018 study in Nature magazine reported that "the global food system is a major driver of climate change," and estimated that changes toward more plant-based eating could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts "by 56% and 6-22%, respectively," as noted in the cited study.
Cameron suggests a spiced bean and grilled veggie burrito instead of a beef burrito. Pour almond or soy milk on your breakfast cereal instead of cow's milk. "For a plant-based meat option, I love Beyond Meat beef crumbles for meaty taste and their sausage is incredible. My kids devour Beyond Burgers, and Alpha Foods' Alpha Dogs are so tasty my family from Oklahoma swore they were real-meat hot dogs. Good Catch fish-free tuna and crab-free cakes are a great way to introduce delicious plant-based eating."
Forget the meat myth, save the planet
Beyond breaking the meat protein myth for our own well-being, Cameron has noted, we have an obligation to our future to replace our meat-based proteins with healthier, less harmful plant proteins. "My personal message is about making the world a better place for all our children to grow up for generations to come. Especially on the tails of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and dire warnings of the National Climate Assessment issued by 13 federal agencies that we have until 2030 to turn things around, we have to make a stand to do what we can to ease the threat of global warming—which is not a myth."
Suzy Amis Cameron is an environmental advocate, former actor and model, and the author of OMD: The Simple, Plant-Based Program to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, and Save the Planet.
The OMD movement is about growing, supporting and catalyzing a community of people who care about what's on our plates. Each meal has the power to transform our bodies. And each meal has the power to directly impact our community, our family and our planet. One person. One planet. One meal a day.
SOURCE One Meal a Day for the Planet