4 Things I Learnt This Week: Plants v Meat, The Success Equation & Cholestrol

Happy Saturday! Here are 4 things I learnt this week:

1. This week I’ve been pondering whether to eat only plants … I watched Netflix’s The Game Changers which is about vegan athletes (& produced by a team of BIG names). My reason for watching it was precisely because I am very unconvinced of the nutritional benefits of a vegan diet. Because I tend to only consume information that fits with the way I view the world, I’m consciously trying to consume more opposing viewpoints. That said, I thought the documentary was pretty one-sided! While I’m fully on board with plant-power, all meat, poultry and fish were painted as having life-threatening properties. The chronic inflammation they discussed is most likely due to the average American eating very poor quality animal products, thanks to the FDA’s dubious animal welfare standards. I hasn’t changed my belief in the nutritional power of grass-fed meat and eggs and wild fish but it was fascinating to see the extent to which plants can power top athletes. 

2. … or only meat! If you really want to get both sides of the story, have a listen to Dave Asprey on Bulletproof Radio, interviewing full carnivore Dr Paul Saladino who shuns plants entirely and eats only meat, advocating a nose-to-tail diet. While this seems equally extreme to me (how does he poo?!!), I learnt A LOT from this podcast – in particular, how the nutritional density of organ meats leaves plants in the shade, how susceptible kale is to heavy metal thallium (which replaced lead in our petrol) and how to eat meat really healthily (never smoke or char it and never eat aged meat: the tenderising process is performed by flesh-eating bacteria which we then ingest … eek). 

3. There is an equation for successand it’s Unwavering Faith + Extraordinary Effort. This is according to The Miracle Equation, a book by Hal Elrod whose book The Miracle Morning is one of my favourite books of the year (see my review of the latter here). Whereas the Miracle Morning sets you up with time and tools to become the person you need to be to succeed, the Miracle Equation focuses on goal-setting and achieving. I am a huge fan of anything Elrod writes. The dynamic that’s of most interest is that the more effort you put in, the more you start to believe you deserve to reap the rewards and the more this strengthens your faith, so it’s a virtuous circle. 

4. A cholesterol refresher: It’s National Cholesterol Month so here are some facts from a book I love, Fat for Fuel by Dr Joe Mercola. According to Mercola: ‘Good’ cholesterol or HDL, can be protective against heart disease. Saturated fats can raise HDL. ‘Bad’ cholesterol (LDL) is not always bad as it comes in 2 types: Small, dense and large, fluffy LDL. The latter does not cause heart disease. The smaller, denser ones can more easily enter your arterial wall so may cause a build up of plaque. Trans fat, refined sugar and carbs can cause this. Saturated fat increases the large, fluffy type In fact, eating saturated fat may change the small, dense LDL to healthier, larger, fluffier LDL!

Have a great weekend, Sara

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