health benefits of being a vegetarian

Health Benefits of Being a Vegetarian

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Chances are, you or someone you know is suffering from one of the common lifestyle diseases such as Diabetes, Heart disease, High Blood Pressure, Stroke, Obesity etc.

You have resigned yourself to your fate because you might not have heard about the Health Benefits of Being a Vegetarian.

You might have been toying with the idea of trying a new diet but you are not too convinced that it will do any good.

Well let me tell you….

Experiencing improved health is one of the fantastic benefits of being a vegetarian.

Numerous studies have been done over the past decades that looked specifically at the relationship between a vegetarian diet and health. These studies show that the risk of certain diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer are greatly reduced in people who embrace the vegetarian lifestyle.

That’s good to know. Isn’t it?

Just think of it………….Your high cholesterol, hypertension and obesity can be controlled on a vegetarian diet.

These are all lifestyle diseases and it is in your power to control them and enjoy maximum health.

So make the choice and enjoy the Health Benefits of being a Vegetarian.

Type 2 Diabetes

Can a vegetarian diet cure type 2 diabetes? Well I don’t know that it will cure it but I know for sure that many persons have been able to come off their medications completely because they adopted a vegetarian diet in an effort to manage their disease.

A person on a plant based diet reduces their risk of developing the disease and according to  the Adventist Health Studies (AHS), a series of long-term medical research projects of Loma Linda University, which measured the link between lifestyle, diet, disease and mortality of Seventh-Day Adventists, the meat eater’s risk of developing diabetes was twice that of a vegetarian.

If you eat a plant based diet which is low in fat and high in fiber and complex carbohydrate this will allow insulin to work more effectively resulting in the efficient handling of glucose in your body.

 

High fiber whole grains and legumes are digested slowly and have a low glycemic level which keeps the blood sugar level steady.

 

 There is hope for the diabetics.

Medication for the rest of your life is not the only option.

Work with your health care professional and join the many who have been able to manage their diabetes through their diet choices.

Coronary Heart Disease

Did you know that Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women?

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease but you can drastically reduce your risk by adopting a vegetarian diet.

Risk for Heart Disease

High blood pressure and high cholesterol  are key risk factors for heart disease.

Other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put you at a higher risk for heart disease, including diabetes and obesity/overweight.

What you will notice is that the same diet that helps you to control your blood pressure, your cholesterol and your weight also plays a major role in reducing your risk for heart disease.

What diet is that?

You got it.  A vegetarian diet…….

Low intake of saturated fats, high intake of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grain, nuts, seeds.

That’s what it is.

 

 

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure

Do you suffer from high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is “the second greatest public health threat” in the US.

Persons suffering from this disease have an increased risk for a number of more serious health problems, including heart disease as mentioned before and stroke. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), many persons who are on blood pressure medication still don’t have their blood pressure under control—a fact that emphasizes the need for basic lifestyle changes in order to truly resolve this problem.

Vegetarian Diet Lowers Blood Pressure

The CDC further mentions a study that was done that suggests that a vegetarian diet may be part of the solution. A report from lead author Yoko Yokoyama says:

“For many people, the only treatment has been medication, but that means costs and possible side effects. However, in order to make healthful food choices, people need guidance from scientific studies. Our analysis found that vegetarian diets lower blood pressure very effectively, and the evidence for this is now quite conclusive.”

Wow! There really are a lot of health benefits to this vegetarian diet.

High Cholesterol

While your body needs cholesterol to continue building healthy cells, having too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to cardiovascular disease. However, there are ways that you can lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Here we go again……….high cholesterol, high blood pressure,heart disease, stroke………..You see, they are all intertwined.

 

To lower cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products,  and nuts.

vegetarian diet

Obesity and Overweight

Very few people are happy with their weight.  Wouln’t you agree?

There are a few who would like to put on some weight but most persons are trying to lose weight.

While some might be trying to lose weight just for appearance, some persons really need to lose weight because of health reasons.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.

The WHO further goes on to list common health consequences of overweight and obesity?

What are they?

You got it……..

  • cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), which were the leading cause of death in 2017;
  • diabetes;
  • some cancers (including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon).

How can overweight and obesity be reduced?

People can:

  • limit energy intake from total fats and sugars;
  • increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts; and
  • engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes spread through the week for adults).

We all need to strive for a healthy body weight which is associated with improved cardiovascular function as well as reduced risk of other chronic diseases.

 

 

According to the Adventist Health Study 2, Plant based diet was associated with lower Body mass index (BMI). i.e. BMI was higher in meat eaters and lower in vegetarians.

(BMI is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. Overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25; and obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30.)

A Swedish Mammography Cohort Study showed that the prevalence of overweight among meat eaters was 40% while among vegetarians was only 25%.

The verdict is in. Vegetarians tend to have healthier body weight than non-vegetarians.

 

So are there really health benefits of a vegetarian diet?

 

The answer is a resounding YES.

 

As you can see, adopting a vegetarian diet can result in numerous health benefits.

And there is a common thread.

The same diet………..low intake of saturated fats, high intake of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grain, nuts and seeds,

will address multiple health challenges.

Let’s take charge of our health and adopt the diet that is shown to reduce the risk of many lifestyle diseases.

Embrace the Vegetarian Lifestyle and reap the benefits.

 

If you would like step by step lessons on how to adopt the vegetarian lifestyle and thrive on a plant-based diet, please click the link below

Learn how to thrive on a plant-based diet.

 

6 thoughts on “Health Benefits of Being a Vegetarian”

  1. Hi Anne.

    I enjoyed reading about the health benefits of being vegetarian.

    You have compiled quite a list of health benefits, and it is impressive. I have recently changed my diet and eating more salads, etc. I have lost 17 pounds so far.

    I am not sure that I would be able to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle long term. I don’t eat a lot of meat; but I love milk, cheese and an occasional egg (with bacon). I’m not crazy about grains, and I don’t do really good with gas producing legumes; but I do eat them occasionally.

    You make it sound desirable because of the health benefits. I wish it were something I thought I would be able to sustain.

    Thanks for a good post.

    Jeannie

    Reply
    • Hi Jeannie

      It’s great that you have changed your diet and have seen the results in losing 17 pounds. If you want to make the switch to a vegetarian diet, it can be quite overwhelming if you are looking far ahead and wondering if you will be able to maintain this diet a year from now. Just take it one step at a time, one day, one week, one month.

      Also you don’t have to go completely vegan. You can be a lacto-ovo vegetarian and still have eggs and dairy products in your diet. There are lots and lots of vegetarian recipes to try. I hope to have some on my site soon.

      Don’t worry about taking the big leap if you are not yet ready. Just take baby steps, gradually eliminating the meat diet and increasing plant based diet. You are already doing quite well. Just continue on your new diet path.

      Wishing you good health.

      Anne

      Reply
  2. Hey there! I found your article very interesting and informative. I’m planning to be a vegetarian but I can’t help eating pork, beef and chicken. I didn’t know that there’s a lot of health benefits being a vegetarian. But after all this positive things about it I have a slight concern. I watched this video online about GMOs and organic foods. GMOs can increase the risk of getting a cancer. Do you think eating GMOs vegetables and fruits is still healthy for the body? Or should I buy organic food? I greatly appreciate your response.

    Reply
    • Hi John. Thanks for your comment.

      I hope you will be able to make the switch soon and be able to enjoy the benefits of being a vegetarian. You have already made the first and very important step i.e. you are planning to be a vegetarian. Stick to your plan and it will happen.

      There are a lot of studies and debates about GMO foods and its effects on our health. I tend to stay away from foods that I know to be genetically modified. It might not be possible all the time but as much as is in your power I would suggest that you buy organic foods. It might be more expensive but we can’t skimp on health.

      All the best.

      Reply
  3. I’ve been vegetarian for many years now and I still have to explain to people that I don’t just eat vegetables all day! I also have to explain a lot why I choose this diet in the first place, I think I’m just going to direct people to this post when they ask next!

    Reply
    • Because the vegetarian lifestyle has become so popular in these days, I was very surprised to hear that comment recently about eating only vegetables. I suppose we will have to be patient and endure these comments a little while longer.

      Thanks for your response Shirley.

      Reply

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