There are many reasons to switch to a vegetarian diet including benefiting your health and the environment. Whether you are considering a permanent switch or just a reduction in your meat consumption, here are the top 10 reasons you should consider eliminating meat from your diet.
1. Reduce The Risk Of Diabetes
Those who consume a plant-based diet generally eat fewer calories, less cholesterol, and less fat, including unhealthy saturated fat, than non - vegetarian.
Analysis of the eating habits of people worldwide along with recommendations for the treatment of diabetes indicates that a vegetarian diet leads to lower risk of diabetes than diets that contain meat products .
(Preparing to Prescribe Plant-Based Diets for Diabetes Prevention and Treatment, Trapp, et al.)
2. Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease
Consuming a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and plant-based proteins have been linked to significant reductions in heart disease.
These foods are lower in cholesterol, saturated fats, added sugars, and empty calories that contribute to high blood pressure and other heart problems.
Those who consume a non-meat diet have a significantly reduced risk for dying from heart disease, as well.
(Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in US. Adults, Satija et al.)
3. Prevent Certain Cancers
A vegetarian diet has been linked to decreased rates of colon cancer as well as other types of cancer.
Healthy vegetarian diets are high in antioxidants and nutrients, which are known to help stave off cancer.
4. Lower Cholesterol Levels
A diet rich in soy proteins, almonds, high-fiber foods, leafy greens, and vegetable oils reduces levels of blood serum cholesterol, especially LDL, also known as bad cholesterol.
(Effects of a Dietary Portfolio of Cholesterol-Lowering Foods vs Lovastatin on Serum Lipids and C-Reactive Protein, Jenkins, et al.)
5. Maintain A Healthy Weight
Those who regularly consume high amounts of vegetables and fruit tend to have lower Body Mass Indexes (BMIs) than meat eaters.
Plant-based foods are lower in calories and higher in volume than meat and dairy products, which means you will eat less to fill up your stomach while consuming fewer calories.
6. Improve Digestive Health
Eating raw foods and large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables can help you have more digestive enzymes.
Fiber-rich foods also improve digestion and help you maintain proper digestive health.
Consuming mostly whole foods with few additives allows your digestive system to work properly and consistently.
7. Less Environmental Impact
Eating less meat means you are putting less strain on the environment.
(Sustainability of Meat-Based and Plant-Based Diets and the Environment, Pimentel, et al.)
8. Higher Intake Of Vitamins And Antioxidants
A plant-based diet comprised of fruits, vegetables, legumes, ancient grains, nuts, and seeds are naturally high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
These vitamins and minerals can boost your immune system, promote digestive health, assist with cognition, and fight oxidative stress in your body.
9. A Vegetarian Consume Fewer Additives
Diets high in meats, particularly processed meats like cold cuts, hot dogs, and cured meats, are high in heterocyclic amines, which are chemical compounds linked to carcinogenic effects.
Meat cooked at high temperatures and highly processed meats are highly likely to include these harmful compounds.
(Red and Processed Meat and Colorectal Cancer Incidence: Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies, Chan, et al.)
10. Reduce The Risk Of Several Major Diseases And Disorders
Those who consume a plant-based diet have reduced the risk for many other medical conditions. These benefits include reduced risk of psoriasis, cataracts, and kidney stones, among others.
While eating a vegetarian diet is certainly not the cure for all medical issues, eating more whole, plant-based foods and less meat is more likely to bring you improved health and lowered risk for many medical problems.
As with any eating plan for health, it is important that a vegetarian diet be free from high-fat foods, processed foods, or based strictly on the consumption of carbohydrates.
A balanced vegetarian diet has many benefits when it includes primarily whole foods, fruits, and vegetables.