What can we do to stop the worlds biggest killer of men and women - cardio
vascular disease (CVD)? We seem too insignificant to make a dent in such a colossal opponent, but this disease has the ability to be tamed and in our posts this month we want to show you how.
In 2017 CVD, which is the disease which targets our heart and blood vessels, killed 17.8 million people and cancer came a not so close second at 9.6 million (1). So CVD wiped out the equivalent population of Switzerland and Austria, in one year (2).
The biggest reason for this is heart disease, which often leads to a heart attack and is the biggest cause of premature death (3). The dominance of CVD over the people of our planet is shown by a simple stat; CVD kills more people than if you were to combine the total deaths of the next 8 highest causes of death after cancer. This list includes respiratory disease and diabetes, demonstrating that tackling CVD head-on would have the single most positive impact on death and suffering, and change the world for the better, forever.
So what’s a quick way to help our NHS by taking responsibility for our own health. Well we know that red meat is a nutritious source of many nutrients, the issue is the baggage of other disease promoting elements that come with it. That’s why ‘Substituting red meat with high-quality plant protein sources... leads to more favourable changes in blood lipids’ (4). It’s vital to note that replacing it with refined carbs like white bread or doughnuts does not have a positive effect.
Plants come packaged with less saturated fat, no cholesterol, and has polyunsaturated fat, fibre, antioxidants and polyphenols, which meat does not (5). This creates a completely health-promoting package, and when a disease that is predominantly driven by lifestyle choices, currently kills the most people in the world, it’s time to take a stand.
We can do this by simply starting to introduce meatless Mondays, or if you’re already there, having a plant-powered weekend. Red meat tends to dominate meals so working more with plants lets you get more creative and will expand your taste and your cooking skills. Check out some of our recipes if you’re stuck for ideas.
No matter how small, if you’re making progress and living slightly healthier than you were yesterday then that’s powerful.
In no way is this information meant to replace the advice given by your doctor, always follow the advice of your health professional. Inform your doctor if you are making any large changes to your lifestyle.
As always, don't just take our word for it, have a read through some of the evidence we use which is all referenced below.
Global Burden of Disease Collaborative Network. Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 (GBD 2017) Results. Seattle, United States: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), 2018
United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects: 2019 Revision. Available at: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL [accessed 21.06.2020].
World Health Organization, 2018, http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death
Marta Guasch-Ferré, Ambika Satija, Stacy A. Blondin, Marie Janiszewski, Ester Emlen, Lauren E. O’Connor, Wayne W. Campbell, Frank B. Hu, Walter C. Willett, Meir J. Stampfer. Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials of Red Meat Consumption in Comparison With Various Comparison Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Circulation, 2019; 139 (15): 1828 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.035225
Hu FB. Plant-based foods and prevention of cardiovascular disease: an overview.Am J Clin Nutr. 2003; 78(3 suppl):544S–551S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/78.3.544S