Bhuvaneshwari Gupta currently works as campaigns and nutrition advisor with PETA India to promote a healthy, vegan lifestyle. She has a Masters in Food and Nutrition from Kurukshetra University and previously worked in the field of child health and nutrition.
This year's World Health Day has an extremely important theme, especially for Indians: "Beat Diabetes". According to the National Family Health Survey, there were more than 69 million registered cases of diabetes in India last year. The International Diabetes Federation expects that number to reach 123 million by 2040. Fortunately, sticking to plant-based meals can prevent, manage and even reverse diabetes.
This year's World Cancer Day on 4 February takes an inspiring approach to tackling the disease with the theme "We Can. I Can", highlighting the positive impact everyone can have -- both individually and collectively -- on preventing cancer. As a nutritionist, I'm pleased that people are becoming empowered to protect themselves, and I know that eating plant-based foods is an essential part of cancer prevention.
This World Diabetes Day, 14 November, is the perfect day to take steps to reduce our risk for diabetes -- a disease that results in an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, strokes, blindness and kidney disease and can even require the amputation of a toe, foot or leg. What's more, it is also possible to control or even reverse diabetes if we have it. Research shows this may be as easy as eating healthy vegan foods and doing away with meat, eggs and dairy products.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is vegetarian, has instructed officials not to include eggs in the anganwadi midday meals, leading some people to ask, "What about protein?" Do not be fooled. Vegetarians get protein from the same source that vegetarian animals such as elephants and rhinos get it -- from plants.
Two people have approached the Bombay High Court challenging the new ban on beef in Maharashtra and stating, among other things, that it is taking away a source of nutrition. As a nutritionist, I know people need beef like people need cigarettes. In other words, they don't. In fact, they are far better off without it.