This has been getting recirculated lately, and it repeats statistics gathered by the FAO and WHO regarding unrefined plant consumption and death rates from heart disease and cancer. Never mind lumping 2 very different causes of death together, and forget about comparing average life spans in the countries, this is a very rough chart and really not something you want to rely on for your dietary decisions.
That said, I happen to agree that unrefined (read: fresh) fruit and vegetable consumption is key to being healthy. Forget about death from cancer and heart disease for now. I guarantee, no matter how healthy your lifestyle, you will die – quite possible sooner than you would like. That’s called life – it ends.
So why eat fruits and vegetables? Because it’s nice to be healthy while we are here on this planet. And while such a diet doesn’t necessarily ensure longevity, it might help you avoid an unusually early death. Yes, some deaths are related to poor diet.
Maybe I’m sending mixed signals here, but just eat your vegetables.
Oh… one more complication…
Consuming more than 75% of your calories in plants is a major adjustment for most of us. Remember, we are not talking about a plate with 75% salad and 25% steak. It’s not volume that counts, but calories. And plants generally have very few calories compared to the other stuff we eat, the pastas, the meats, the dairy products. In fact, the only calories you get out of your salad will probably come from the oil in the dressing, and that doesn’t count as unrefined plant food.
The reason people who get 75% of their calories in plants are not fat has less to do with the percentage of plants they eat than the fact that they are eating very few calories overall. You would almost have to have a low calorie count to reach the 75% figure, unless the plants you eat are all sweet fruits and avocados.
So forget about going for 75% in calories. Just try top make the mainstay of your diet as plant products, preferable mostly raw. And then have a steak too.