The National Institutes of Health have proven that over five hundred thousand Americans die each year from coronary heart disease. They also have found that over seven million Americans are suffering from this disease at this present time (“Facts about Coronary Disease”). This same article explains that coronary disease is the most prominent form of heart disease. There are many risk factors that have been linked to coronary heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes and obesity just to name a few.
These are all risk factors that can be controlled by people on their own, without the use of drugs or any medical help. There are a few exceptions, however, gender, heredity and age can also lead to this disease and these are factors that cannot be controlled by a person. The diet one chooses can serve as a preventative measure. Coronary disease is caused by thickening in the heart’s coronary arteries, which prevents nutrients and oxygen from flowing to the heart.
The thickening of the arteries comes from the excessive amounts of saturated fat consumed by a person from years of careless dieting (Internet). A vegetarian diet eliminates one of the major elements in a person’s diet that contains fat. Meat is high in saturated fat. Whether it is, pork, beef, chicken, or turkey, meat contains fat from the animal that does not need to be consumed. When people cook these meats, they add different types of oils and seasonings that increase the fat intake and abuse of these foods could lead to obesity. This is another major cause of coronary heart disease.
If one’s diet is based on vegetables and other non-animal foods, the chance of acquiring heart disease dramatically drops because they can eliminate two of the major causes, high cholesterol and obesity. The reason for this is obvious, non-animal based foods do not contain high amounts of saturated fat that clog the arteries, therefore, helping one maintain a very healthy and strong heart. So far, how one’s diet affects their health by increasing the chances of heart disease has been explained. Robert Schneider, a practicing medical doctor, revealed in his book, Cancer Prevention Made Easy, that one’s diet also increases the chance of cancer. Because diet is the focus, colon, stomach and breast cancer are the most common forms that are influenced by diet.
Schneider in his research has found that “most Americans in the past consumed 40 percent of their total calories in the form of fat, and too high a proportion of that in the form of saturated, or animal, fat”(66). It has already been said that there is strong evidence of animal fat being related to heart disease, but there is also evidence that says animal fat has also been linked to different forms of cancer. Schneider also states that animal fat produces saturated fat which is the main culprit in the beginning of cancer, yet fruits and vegetables contain mono and polyunsaturated fats which are less of a threat of causing cancer. North American women are six times more likely to contract breast cancer than some Asian and African peoples because of the excessive amounts of fat in their diets.
It has been proven that Japanese women and vegetarian women have much less breast cancer than North American women and meat consuming women no doubt because of the less amounts of animal fat they consume. In countries that are known for meat consumption, especially beef, such as Argentina, Uruguay, and New Zealand, the colon cancer rates are higher than those countries whose meat consumption isn’t so high (Schneider 125). The most effective way for a person to decrease the chances of cancer, obviously, would be to eliminate meat consumption from their diet. A vegetarian diet would increase a person’s chances of avoiding cancer by eliminating its major culprit. Many people argue that the major source of protein needed comes from meat. People who argue this point are right; meat does contribute largely to a person’s daily protein.
These people fail to realize where the animals get their source of protein. Griehl Dudley explains that the animals eaten by humans gain their protein from the plants .