Actress Ellen Pompeo's latest visit to the doctor turned more life-changing than she expected. After a recent routine checkup, the "Grey's Anatomy" star decided to adopt a vegan diet.
"I just went for my yearly appointment a couple of weeks ago and [Dr. Kristi Funk] told me about her book,” Pompeo told People Magazine. "Since then my whole family has gone completely vegan."
In Dr. Funk's book, "Breasts: The Owner's Manual", she recommends a plant-based diet as one way to prevent breast cancer. She's not alone. A 2013 study by Loma Linda University School of Public Health found that women who ate vegan had a 34 percent lower rate of "female-specific" cancers such as breast and ovarian cancers.
Then, of course, there are the other numerous studies that confirm that eating vegan or vegetarian drastically decreases your risk of cancer. One study concluded that "the incidence of all cancers combined is lower among vegetarians."
Dr. Funk's advice was enough for Pompeo to not only adopt a vegan diet herself, but to also include her family in her new lifestyle.
"[Dr. Funk] told me she turned her three kids completely vegan and I came home from my appointment with her where she basically gave me [the information] … and I said, 'That’s it, we’re all vegan,'" Pompeo said.
Although there is a debate about whether it's wise to raise a child as a vegan (an Italian MP once proposed that doing so is a "crime"), the fact remains that humans don't need meat or animal-based products to thrive, and as long as children -- as well as adults -- are receiving a balanced and nutritious plant-based diet then its benefits outweigh any potential cons.
One benefit, according to Pompeo, is how much 'fun' it is.
"It’s super fun," she said, adding that her husband and three children are adjusting well to veganism. "I don’t think it’s tricky at all — it’s actually easier because meat you have to cook it before it goes bad. Grains and lentils and rice and beans, everything’s in the pantry already. You just have to get vegetables, but vegetables stay good for a week — and I think we all feel better."
Pompeo also said that her decision to go plant-based was based on not just for its health benefits, but also for its far-reaching impact for the Earth.
"I think we’re at a critical point for our planet and in the United States, this health issue is out of control, the obesity, the diabetes everything … Sickness is a huge business, I know that really, really well. The message of veganism is not one that they want to get out but not only will it help us, it helps the planet."
With animal agriculture being at the center of global warming, eating vegan, even minimally, can pack a powerful punch. According to One Green Planet, eating vegan for one day can save 1,500 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of land, and 20 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Thanks to Pompeo's latest diet change and passion for a healthier world, it looks like we have a new McDreamy on our hands: Dr. Grey herself.
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