Nothing boring about a healthy, plant-based diet

Date: Tuesday 28th August 2018

Sir, I thank Mr Roscoe (Herald, 18th August) for taking the time to reply to my letter, and apologise for my lack of clarity.

However, in referring to the argument of us being omnivores, which we indeed are, I have read that our gut length, although not ruminant, is far more indicative of plant digestion than meat.

I would also argue that the medications and hormones added to meat and milk, even when in the limits of government guidelines, might not be the wisest ingredient to our diet.

I would also suggest that relying on doctors’ medication with admitted harmful side effects is worrying, and made worse when added to the side effects of other potential medications taken at the same time.

This seems rather hazardous. It is also very expensive to the country and very profitable to the pharmaceutical industry. Many doctors’ surgeries also have facilities to supply drugs, and also benefit financially.

I was being sarcastic in suggesting a plant-based whole food diet is boring. It can be enormously interesting, varied, sustaining, nutritious and healthy. It works for me.

You need only look at the vegetarian recipes of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to see how varied they can be.

I realise this is all quite rightly personal choice, but the positives and negatives of diet can be immense. At times intentional added confusion by the big players seems a deliberate policy.

Nutrition is also a subject very lacking in the training of our doctors. Less than one week in seven years, I believe.

I think it is also important to remember how much our lives have changed in the last century. Gone are the days when so many people had hard physical labour. Also, especially in the last 50 years, the nutritional value of our food has seriously declined, due to the decreased soil quality.

Diet is not simple, but I suggest we should be mindful of what we eat. What we should not eat is even more important. We should look carefully at the provenance of our meat, cereals and vegetables.

Even more importantly, in eating most processed foods we risk serious health problems, not least in the use of excess salt and sugar. I suggest that they should be almost totally avoided if you value your health and that of your family.

Is it not better to maintain health, and prevent illness, than rely on the state and our relatives to care for us in our declining health when the conditions of our ill health were perhaps avoidable? Yours etc,

MARK BRADLEY

By email