For those lucky enough to have been born healthy, staying healthy is largely a choice.
Average life expectancies have risen but lifespans vary hugely. In Switzerland, more than 1 in 9 men are dead by 65, while close to 43% make it to 85. For women the same figures are 1 in 15 and 60%1. Healthy life expectancies vary widely too. On average, healthy life expectancy trails life expectancy by 10 years2.
In Switzerland, roughly 60% die from heart disease, cancer or type 2 diabetes, three largely preventable diseases3. Genetics play only small role. Diet and lifestyle are the main drivers. The US National Institute of Health reckons only 5-10% of cancer is genetic, and the World Health Organisation thinks only 20% of cardiovascular disease can’t be prevented, figures that might make some hearts skip a beat or two.
While we still have much to learn, following current scientific consensus on diet can add many healthy years of life.
Poor diets do slow invisible damage that starts in early childhood. Rather than diseases that strike the middle-aged, these big killers are largely the cumulative effect of decades of unhealthy eating.
Certain communities around the world, living in regions known as Blue Zones®, are living proof of the positive effects of healthy eating.
Packed with nutrition
We pack our cereals full of nutrition so you can be confident you’re getting a sizable chunk of what you body needs every day, without any bad stuff. And they’re fresh, shipped after they’re made.
Healthy diets are high in whole plants and grains and low in processed foods and foods high in saturated fats, which are mainly animal products.
Small communities in Italy, Greece, Japan, Costa Rica and California that live extraordinarily long healthy lives, live on whole-plant rich diets.
The World Health Organisation recommends diets high in whole plants, low in processed foods, and low in foods containing saturated fats.
Making the shift – WHO to trust
Changing your diet can be a step into the unknown.
Contradictory food advice is everywhere, but by choosing to only listen to the most credible evidence and organisations, the picture becomes clear.
The most reliable is probably the World Health Organisation (WHO). In 2003, the sugar lobby went to US Congress demanding an end to WHO funding unless its sugar guidelines were withdrawn. The WHO didn’t back down. Incidents like this demonstrate the organisation’s independence.
In 2013, the head of the WHO, Margaret Chan said: “Today, getting people to lead healthy lifestyles and adopt healthy behaviours faces opposition from forces that are not so friendly… In my view, this is one of the biggest challenges facing health promotion.”
Below we explain why predominantly whole-plant-based diets are so healthy, with clear references to WHO research and guidelines.
High in whole-food fibre
Our eight-metre long intestine was not designed for refined food. High-fibre, whole foods are what it needs to stay clean and healthy.
Fibre helps to slow down digestion, so any sugar is released slowly. Free sugar and refined carbohydrates slip straight into the blood stream causing sugar spikes. This eventually leads to long-term health problems.
100g of our cereal has around 12g of fibre, around 40% of the recommended daily amount.
Low in saturated fat
Saturated fat is associated with high blood cholesterol and heart disease. Plants contain very little of it. The WHO recommends keeping saturated fat under 10% of calories consumed. Our products contain less than 3g of saturated fat per 100g, which comes mainly from highly nutritious nuts.
Scientists haven’t fully explained why, but a few nuts a day are associated with less cancer and heart disease. Some studies associate nuts with lower blood cholesterol and better arterial function, which might explain some of it. Nuts, along with vegetables seem to be two key health features of the Mediterranean diet.
Why does saturated fat cause so many problems? It seems to be a design issue. Clogged arteries from eating saturated fat affects only herbivores. Cats and dogs can eat saturated fat to their heart’s content and never develop atherosclerotic plaques.
Full of protein
There is an old idea that plant proteins are incomplete, meaning they don’t contain all the essential amino acids. This is simply untrue. A United Nations database of amino acids in foods shows most plants contain all of them.
100g of our cereal contains close to 14g of protein, around 25% of the recommended daily allowance, including all the essential amino acids.
Low in toxins
Unavoidable toxins in the environment, known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs), are more concentrated in meat, fish, dairy and eggs, because they are higher in the food chain.
According to the WHO, more than 90% of human exposure to dioxins, a group of POPs continuously emitted by industry and other activities, is through food, mainly meat, dairy products, fish and shellfish. Comparatively, very low levels are found in plants.
Organically grown plants have the additional advantage of avoiding most pesticide residue.
Our products contain only organically grown plants.
Low in free-sugar
The WHO distinguishes between “free sugars” and sugars still in nature’s wrapper. Sugar, corn syrup, honey, agave syrup, maple syrup, date syrup, and fruit juices are all high in free sugar.
Free sugars pass too quickly through our gut wall causing all kinds of slow-burn health problems.
The sugar in fresh and dried fruit is still contained within cell walls the way nature intended, so it doesn’t throw the body into a spin.
The WHO recommends cutting free sugar to less than 6 teaspoons a day. That’s roughly one 300ml serving of orange juice.
Our cereals have less than one teaspoon of free sugar per serving, which comes from sparingly adding organic honey, date or maple syrup.
Full of essential nutrients
Many diets lack key nutrients. We choose ingredients that help fill nutrient gaps. A 100g serving of our cereal provides around 50% of recommended daily allowances of iron, 10% of calcium, 10% of daily folate and 10% of vitamin A.
Plant-rich diets are loaded with vitamins, however those living on plants alone don’t get enough of one vitamin: vitamin B12. Made by the bacteria and algae in the river water we used to drink, water treatment now removes it. We add some so that a single serving of our cereals gives you the recommended daily dose. We also add vitamin D3, the sunshine vitamin, because most of us spend most of our lives inside and don’t get enough.
These small vitamin additions correct for positive lifestyle changes: clean water and lower exposure to the sun’s damaging UV radiation.
1 Mortality tables for Switzerland – Federal Statistical Office
2 Healthy life expectancy by country – source World Health Organisation
3 0.83 grams per kg of body weight – source World Health Organisation
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