Dr. Neal Barnard is president of plant-based health advocacy non-profit the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine - Media Credit:

Plant-Based Doc Dr. Neal Barnard Debunks Meat Myths In Leading Nutrition Journal


2 Minutes Read

Plant-based expert Dr. Neal Barnard debunked some of the myths around eating animal products in a recent debate published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Dr. Barnard, president of plant-based health advocacy non-profit the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, argued that plant-based diets lead to sustained good health with supporting evidence.

He cited studies showing that plant-based diets have been linked to a healthy weight, reduced risk for cancer, reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, and reduced risk for type 2 diabetes.

Animal products and health

Additionally, he added, ‘animal products are harmful to human health’, citing saturated fat, cholesterol, lactose, estrogens, and pathogenic microorganisms as harmful constituents of these foods.

Dr. Barnard cited evidence to show that ‘consumption of animal products increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and other health problems’.

He also pointed out that while some diets improve certain health markers short term, plant-based diets improve many aspects of health long term.

Busting myths

Throughout the debate, Dr. Barnard also debunked some of the common myths about eating meat.

These included the idea that plant-based diets are deficient in nutrients, citing clinical trials that do not show that adopting a vegan diet leads to deficiencies.

He also discussed the notion that hunter-gatherers were free of disease, saying ‘extensive atherosclerosis found in autopsies of Masai individuals and in ancient Inuit remains.

Finally, he tackled the inaccurate belief that plant-based diets lack protein, saying protein requirements in children and adults are ‘easily met by a diet of legumes, vegetables, grains, and fruits’.

‘Higher risk of disease’

Dr. Barnard said: “Individuals consuming animal products have considerably higher risk of serious diseases, compared with people who avoid them.

“Avoiding animal products is the surest way to simultaneously improve body weight, glycemia, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure.”

Millions around the world trust Plant Based News for content about navigating our changing planet & our role in it.

Our independent team of journalists and experts are committed to making an impact through a wide range of content—and you can help by supporting our work today.


The Author

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the former editor for Plant Based News. She has been a newspaper reporter and features writer. Her work has been published by The Guardian and The Huffington Post, among others

More by Maria Chiorando iconography/arrow-right


Leave a Comment

Plant Based News Comment Policy

In short:- If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems. Please read our Comment policy before commenting.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x