As of recent, vegetarianism has become incredibly common, with a growing number of young people adopting a meat-free way of life. Despite this, meat is incredibly significant to a multitude of cultures with Qurbani in Islam and the tradition of eating fish on Fridays in Christianity. In this day and age, though, religion is slowly becoming less significant, as people are more conscious of their ethics, rather than how closely they follow a certain faith. Although many people become vegetarian from an ethical stance, there are also thought to be many health benefits that can be obtained from a vegetarian diet. Read on to discover more.
First and foremost, it’s believed that those who follow a vegetarian diet are less likely to fall victim to type 2 diabetes in later life. This is predominantly down to the fact that vegetarians tend to ingest a higher quantity of nuts, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and grains. Similarly, their limited intake of meat means that they don’t consume as many unhealthy fats. As a result, vegetarians may be more capable of maintaining a lean and consistent body shape, which will aid them in preventing the development of type 2 diabetes.
Some studies have shown that a meat-free diet lowers one’s risk of getting cardiovascular disease. This is because a higher intake of red meat may increase your risk of circulatory and heart problems. With this being said, it is mainly excessive amounts of processed meats that will clog your arteries and contribute to your risk of heart disease. Therefore, reducing your intake of processed meats can help you combat the risk of heart disease; however, this isn’t the only measure that needs to be taken. In fact, assessing your whole diet is the way forwards in bettering your chances against heart disease, and red meat isn’t the enemy.
Other studies have deduced that the incidence of cancer is relatively lower in vegetarians than meat eaters. Once again, this is mainly associated with processed meat, with people who eat 3.5 ounces of processed meat a day an increased risk of developing colon cancer, when compared with individuals who avoid processed meat all together. As with regulating your heart health, you can’t focus on your meat intake alone, as there are many lifestyle factors that contribute to your risk of getting cancer. Similarly, since cancer is caused by an issue with your cells, there’s no telling when it may arise. You could be the healthiest person and still fall victim to cancer; however, this shouldn’t deter you from leading a healthy lifestyle.
Red meat intake is thought to elevate the levels of cholesterol in your blood, meaning that those who follow a meat-free diet are believed to have healthier cholesterol levels. Your body is home to two types of cholesterol, one being good and the other being bad. The technical term for bad cholesterol is “LDL cholesterol”, and this is the type that is elevated by eating meat. Despite this, meat intake isn’t the only think that contributes to your cholesterol levels. In fact, exercise boosts good cholesterol, whilst smoking lowers this, meanwhile, alcohol increases your bad cholesterol levels. Therefore, meat consumption needn’t be your only consideration.
Anyone looking to lose weight may consider taking up a vegetarian diet, as this will limit your intake of unhealthy fats. Despite this, vegetarianism may only allow for short-term weight loss as your body will soon adjust to the meat-free way of life. The link between weight loss and vegetarianism is still relatively new and requires more research.