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Silverstone's Vegan Diet Kind To The Planet, Promotes Health


Alicia Silverstone, award-winning actress and former fashion model, has just released her new book, The Kind Diet, in which she promotes the virtues of eating in a way that is kind to yourself and to the planet. Ms. Silverstone, who has starred in movies such as Clueless and My Gay Life, and who is well known for her appearances in Aerosmith music videos, has been following a kind diet - a vegan lifestyle - for more than a decade.

According to an interview that appears on the MTV website, Ms. Silverstone says she has followed a kind diet for 11 years. At one time she used to suffer with asthma and allergies, but since eating a vegan diet, these conditions have disappeared, and her skin “got great.” Silverstone’s kind way of living includes not wearing clothing made from animals, including fur and leather.

In The Kind Diet, Silverstone says she wants to “give you all the most valid information available in a really concise, fun way. I tried making it a really fun conversation.” She told The Daily Green that her book “won’t ask you to freak out about calories, carbs or the glycemic index. It will change your relationship with food and your body, transforming the whole idea of dieting for you.”

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The health benefits of a vegan (consuming no animal products; this may or may not include honey) and vegetarian (consuming no meat, fowl, or fish; some vegetarians eat dairy, others do not) have been well studied and are promoted by many health and research organizations, including the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the World Cancer Research Fund, and the American Dietetic Association, which states that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”

According to a May 2009 review study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, conducted at Loma Linda University in California, people who consume a vegetarian diet can enjoy many health benefits, including lower rates of coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. Cancer rates appear to be moderately lower, and life expectancy is greater.

A recent study published in the British Journal of Cancer found a 12 percent reduced risk of cancer among vegetarians compared with meat-eaters. The reduced risk was 45 percent when cancers of the blood (e.g., leukemia, non-Hodgkins lymphoma) were examined.

Silverstone says she hopes the steps she puts forth in The Kind Diet will help other people be as joyful as she is. “I’m very grateful to this lifestyle,” she told MTV. The book helps readers ease into a vegetarian/vegan diet through a three-step approach by slowly eliminating foods that are not plant-based. The book contains vegan and macrobiotic recipes and details about how a plant-based diet can benefit health and the planet.

Craig WJ et al. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2009 Jul; 109(7): 1266-82
The Daily Green, October 13, 2009
Fraser GE. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009 May; 89(5): 1607S-12S
Key TJ et al. British Journal of Cancer 2009 Jul 7; 101(1): 192-97
MTV website October 13, 2009