There is an undeniable connection between what we eat and our health, and in the U.S. it seems pretty clear that we need to rethink our traditional diets.  It’s currently estimated that nearly half of deaths from heart disease, diabetes, and from stroke in the U.S. were tied to diet. On top of that, 69 percent of adult Americans are overweight and 36 percent are obese, not to mention about one out of six children and adolescents are obese.

The average American eats about double the amount of protein they need, two-thirds of which comes from animal sources – and the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) emphasizes a high intake of meat, dairy, fat, sugar as well as refined, processed, and junk foods … so, we’re not exactly setting ourselves up for success here.


With growing information about how different foods are made and a growing knowledge of how these foods affect our bodies, as well as animals and the environment – more people are looking to make “better” choices. But when it comes to deciphering which foods are better, things start to get a little tricky.

New diets and trends in “healthy” eating come about seemingly every day – low carb, low sugar, high protein all come to mind as just a few. We know that we should eat our fruits and vegetables, but there is a lot of conflicting information about things like whether organic milk and cheese is better than conventional or if grass-fed meat and processed meat products are all bad for our health … and you can pretty much find studies (sometimes questionably funded studies) on either side saying that these foods can be helpful or harmful to our health.

So where can the average health-conscious individual turn? Well – the latest episode of #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias is sure to help!

In this podcast, Nil sits down with Dr. Michelle McMacken, a board certified internal medicine physician at Bellevue Hospital and an assistant professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine. She is an advocate for plant-based nutrition and has helped transform the lives of many of her patients by focusing on their food choices and guiding them to improve their overall well-being through healthy eating and lifestyle modifications.


This in-depth conversation covers whether or not counting calories or tracking your protein is really necessary, whether organic or grass-fed meat and dairy is better for your health, if saturated fat is something you need to avoid, and shares stories of patients that were able to reduce or eliminate their reliance on medication thanks to simple diet changes.

Dr. McMacken believes in meeting patients where they are and guiding them to better health with a simple green, yellow, and red box system. Her methods have completely transformed the lives of many people – and the tips she gives are sure to win favors with vegans and meat-eaters alike!


You can listen to the full episode on the following platforms: iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher.

If you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to the #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias podcast for new episodes with food industry leaders, health, and sustainability experts, as well as entrepreneurs and creative minds who are redefining the future of food.