Evidence is rapidly accumulating to indicate that many of the chronic diseases plaguing modern man stem from the choice of food he eats. As a result, more and more medical authorities recommend vegetarian foods es helping prevent such diseases.
Coronary heart disease. Most heart attacks trace to atherosclerosis-a disease characterized by the accumulation of fatty material (most prominently cholesterol) in the walls of the medium and large arteries. The eating of a large amount of saturated fat (usually in the form of meats and dairy products) goes hand in hand with the development of the chronic disease.
Plant foods contain no cholesterol and, with the exception of coconut and chocolate, are quite low in saturated fat. Therefore, they do not raise the cholesterol level in the blood or contribute to coronary heart disease as do most meats and animal products. In fact, plant foods contain pectin, fiber and sterols that have a cholesterol- lowering effect, which should give vegetarians a distinct advantage in maintaining low serum cholesterol.
Interestingly, one of the ancient food laws of the Hebrews recorded in Leviticus 723. N.E.B.. states, “You shall not eat the fat of any ox, -sheep or goat.” Until recently most people considered it a strange Old Testament law unrelated to our modern lives, but medical scientists now understand the health threats posed by saturated animal fats. The Hebrew food laws also pointed out particular animal foods people were not to eat under any circumstances. The eleventh chapter of Leviticus forbids the eating of shellfish. Today we know (Bover and Church: Food Values of Portions Commonly Used, page 21) that such scavengers contain large amounts of cholesterol:
Milligrams per 100 grams
Only egg yolk and some organ meats contain more cholesterol than the shellfish. The Biblical dietary laws are not arbitrary and antiquated decrees, but rather warnings from God designed to give mankind health and longevity. Scientific studies verify their relevancy for modern man.
Tumors. “People living in the areas with a high recorded incidence of carcinoma, cancer of the colon tend to live on diets containing large amounts of fat and animal protein, whereas those who live in areas with a low incidence live on a largely vegetarian diet high in fiber with little fat or animal matter “ -Lancer, January 16, 1971, p. 96.
Shortened life span. Searching for factors determining Ilfe-span. Dr M H. Ross found that the lonqest-lived animals in his rat experiments had an ad libitum(free to eat anytime) lo, protein and calorie diet. Other experiments have also shown that high protein diets shorten the life spans of laboratory animals. Thus we can only conclude that protein is not the star performer on the stage of nutrition, but rather a member of the nutrient team valuable in sufficient quantities but unnecessary and perhaps harmful when extravagantly consumed. The vegetarian is unlikely to eat so much high fiber foods that he will suffer from the results of an excess of the nutrients. Likewise, rats on an ad libitum high fat diet had life spans shortened when compared to rats fed the same number of calories in the form of a high calorie diet.