Rosie O’Donnell recently had a heart attack—and why this is important on a broader social scale than the celebrity’s personal health is that the unfortunate incident brought to light 1) the reality that a high ratio of middle-aged women will ignore important messages from their own bodies for the sake of social comfort and 2) that for anyone hovering along the borders of heart attack country, a plant-based diet can be life-saving.
In fact a recent U.S. poll concluded that many baby boomers in and outside of Hollywood are choosing vegan and vegetarian lifestyles for their health benefits. The national survey shows that in 2012, about 2.5 million Americans over the age of 55 are vegetarian.
About this time last year, Bill Clinton adopted a vegan diet under much the same circumstances –and reasons- as O’Donnell. “I essentially concluded that I had played Russian roulette [with my diet]”, he said at the time.
“Harvard researchers found that the more red meat you usually consume, the more likely you are to succumb to heart disease. Adding three ounces of meat to your daily diet (above what you normally eat) elevates the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 16 percent. For processed meat (think sausages and bacon), the numbers are even more striking: Increasing consumption by one serving a day — that would be just one more hot dog — elevates the long-term risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 21 percent.” Washington Post.
Woody Harrelson, another one of Hollywood’s green leaders, (again) topped PETA’s list of Sexiest Celebrities for 2012.
Here are 15 reasons to take on a plant-rich diet today:
- Substantially lower risk for many chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer
- Lower risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes
- (Can benefit those with existing type 2 diabetes)
- Lower risk for cardiovascular disease and hypertension
- Lower risk of gallstones
- No cholesterol
- Healthier skin
- Chemical and hormone-free food
- Increased energy
- Lower shopping bills
- Low or no saturated fat
- Increased life span
- Lots of antioxidants
- Improved blood sugar control
- Increase in fruit and veggies means lower risk of stroke