Is it healthier to be a vegetarian?
Is it healthier to be a vegetarian? Does it have any logical reason? This question comes to my mind for so many years since I became vegetarian. There are many reason people choose to become a Vegetarian. Some people do so for religious purpose, while others have ethical concerns. Health is another consideration that many vegetarians have. But initially I did not have any particular reason why I wanted to be vegetarian. But later, I realized of its importance. Does is sound weird, normal or something else? Majority people would agree while many of them might not. It is how we take the issue. In the contemporary society healthy lifestyles have become dominate the minds of many people. As food is directly related to our health, it is no wonder that people have begun to pay increased attention to the food they eat. There is one famous saying “you are what you eat” so everybody should be very concern about what they eat. So that in near future they would not regrets because of health issues. In particular, this interest has sparked renewal of vegetarianism, which is an easy way to attain a healthy lifestyle through abandoning animal foods.
As Vegetarianism is the enactment of preventing from the consumption of meat, it has important philosophical grounds related to murdering animals and the fact that all life on earth should be respected and protected rather it consumed. Unlike extreme ideas about animal rights that go as far as ban people to ride mules for their benefit, advocates of vegetarianism proceed from one simple principle that killing is wrong and animals have the same right to live. In theory, such a position means that a person is determined to live in harmony with the outer world, a feature that in it can promote healthier lifestyle.
However, the more matter-of-fact arguments in favor of vegetarianism, and these arguments center on the nutritional benefits of a veggie diet. Plant diets have been found to be healthier by the American Dietetic Association that acknowledged the health value and nutritional adequacy of vegetarian diets. Thus, the Oxford Vegetarian Study seeking to related intake of meat to body mass indexes interviewed 1914 male and 3378 female non-smoker respondents to arrive at the following results. Based on the information on consumption of dietary fiber and animal fats provided in the questionnaire, subjects were classified into meat eaters and non-meat eaters. In all age groups, the body mass index was found to be lower in vegetarians than in meat eaters. Thus, vegetarianism can be a viable solution to the problem of obesity that has important repercussions for medical problems and health care budgets.
The above does not mean that vegetarianism is only good for those who have weight problems. Those who are satisfied with their body mass index can find a lot of benefits in consuming vegetarian products and abandoning meat. Few medical professionals would argue that the high percentage of fat in it is one of the main reasons for heart attacks, high blood pressure. Thus, for an average American man the risk of dying of a heart attack amounts to 50%, whereas for a vegetarian this risk is only 15%, a fact explained by relative consumption of cholesterol by meat eaters and vegetarians (Vegsource).
The effect of meat consumption upon the origin of cancer has not been studied in detail, but statistics found in different studies indicate that a person can reduce the risk of cancer greatly by reducing intake of meat and related products. Most cancer researchers report that vegetarianism reduces the risk of cancer. Consumption of meat raises the risk of breast cancer for women who eat meat daily compared to less than once a week by 3.8 times (Vegsource). Men who are used to daily consumption of meat, eggs and other animal foods the risk of prostate cancer increases by 3.6 times as opposed to those who only occasionally eat these products. Even frequent consumption of eggs or butter leads to greater risk of developing cancer as opposed to those who have totally given up animal products, as breast cancer risk increases by 3.25 times with butter and cheese consumption and 2.8 times for egg eating. These data suggest that even partial reduction in the amount of meat consumed can lead to decreased risk of cancer, a serious argument in favour or rethinking one’s attitudes towards vegetarianism.
A number of people may perhaps dispute that meat contains protein and other substances that are extremely essential for their health and help them grow big and strong. Men in particular can be concerned that if they give up meat altogether, this may leave them thin and undernourished. Scientists indicate that “the muscle meat of animals for slaughter contains an average of 3-30% fat, 21% protein, 1% mineral salts (e.g. table salt, calcium, phosphoric acid), 0,5% carbohydrates and 70-75% water, and vitamins” with fat, protein and carbohydrates being easily replaceable with plant food. This adds up to the fact that animal fats demonstrate high concentration and risk of over consuming protein with the excessive intake of meats. Protein, the main aim of many meat eaters, is available from grain, soy beans and many varieties of nuts, and so vegetarians consuming these products supply their bodies with all necessary nutrients. Thus, there should be no fear that a vegetarian diet will deprive a human body of necessary nutrients.
Besides, this discussion does not focus on some abstract concept of meat. Talking of meat that is produced in the US, for instance, one can find many additional arguments in support of vegetarianism. Thus, of all antibiotic medication produced in the US, 55% is fed to animals (internet source). This is a serious reason to ponder once again about the quality of the products we consume on a daily basis. From 1960 to 1988, the proportion of staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin rose from 13% to 91% (Vegsource). The potential danger of animals developing infections resistant to currently known antibiotics has led the European Union to prohibit their use, while it is still allowed in the US. An American giving up meat, therefore, shields one’s organism from serious dangers.
Thus, vegetarianism can help one to protect one’s health and thus is an inalienable feature of a healthy lifestyle. A person choosing a plant-based diet will more easily lose extra weight if any. Vegetarians are at lower risk for a number of serious diseases including cancer, and will not suffer from inadequate controls over meat production. These are strong arguments in favor of a vegetarian diet that can help many people improve the quality of their lifestyle.
Is it better to be a vegetarian? The rumor vegetarians are healthier than meat eaters, you have heard buzz over the years that following a vegetarian diets are better for your health, and you have probably read a few magazine articles featuring a celeb or two who swore off meat and animal products and magically lost weight. So does ditching meat automatically equal weight loss? Will it really help you live longer and be healthier overall?
First of all, what exactly constitutes “vegetarian”? There are two basic kinds of vegetarian diet: Lacto-ovo and Strict (vegan). Most vegetarians fall into the Lacto-ovo category: They eat only non-animal products (fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, soy, etc.), but do eat animal byproducts, such as yogurt and eggs. In terms of nutritional requirements, being a Lacto-ovo vegetarian is not all that different from being a meat-eater, according to Katherine Tallmadge, RD, LD, past media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Vegans, however, do not eat any animal products whatsoever — and as a result, “they must be very careful in their selection of foods so that they get all the nutrients they need,” says Tallmadge. (Potato chips are vegan, after all.)
That said, following a vegetarian diet “can be nutritionally superior to any other way of eating,” says Tallmadge. “It can be one of the healthiest ways to eat, because we know plant foods are loaded with nutrients to protect our health.”
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and lower rates of hypertension and type two diabetes than meat eaters. Vegetarians also tend to have a lower body mass index, lower overall cancer rates and lower risk of chronic disease.
First of all, to study vegetarianism everyone must have a basic understanding of the different types of vegetarians. Although every book and article discusses the categories of vegetarians slightly differently, a few large classifications remain. Vegetarian needs to make sure to consume enough protein because of the devastating effects of a protein deficient diet. A protein deficiency, according to Dixie Farley in May 1994 issue of FDA Consumer Magazine, “…in children can damage growth and in adults can cause loss of hair and muscle mass and abnormal accumulation of fluid”. Although these problems occur in protein deficient diets, protein deficiencies do not commonly occur. Editors of Vegetarian Times state that “…protein deficiency in this country is so rare that many nutritionists and doctors wouldn’t even know the symptoms if they were faced with them”.
The Advantages of a Vegetarian Diet Having a healthy dietary method can reduce the chances of receiving many health diseases. These health diseases include obesity, heart disease, and cancer. By consuming certain foods and nutrients in one’s diet the risk factors for these health diseases can be reduced. A healthy dietary method that is beneficial to reducing and/or improving these health diseases is the vegetarian diet.
Is it healthier to be a vegetarian?