Approximately 7% of the world’s population is vegetarian and we hear of more and more people adopting this lifestyle. But why do people go vegetarian? We even hear of quite a large number of athletes and celebrities who do not eat meat. What could have made so many people make the switch to a plant-based diet?
Here are 13 reasons.
They want to lose weight
Plant-based foods are much lower in calories than that of meat diet with its high concentration of saturated fats. People on a vegetarian are well on their way to successful weight loss. And because this is not really a “diet” but a lifestyle, the weight that you lose will stay off.
To treat and control illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension
Drug medication can sometimes be such a bother with its high costs and varying side effects. Many people who have opted for a vegetarian diet can attest to the fact that through their lifestyle changes they have been able to control their diabetes and hypertension without drug medication.
The Doctor put them on a vegetarian diet
Even if the doctor is not a vegetarian, he is a scientist and can’t ignore the fact that numerous studies show the tremendous health benefits of a vegetarian diet. So when you go to the doctor with your diabetes, hypertension, obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol etc., chances are he is going to recommend that you adopt a vegetarian lifestyle. He knows it is the healthiest choice you can make.
Want to decrease health risks
So many of our families and friends are suffering from various diseases. In some cases, because of our genetic predisposition, we are just waiting for our time. But hey! If there is something we can do to reduce these health risks, who wouldn’t grab it?
Studies have been going on over the years and are still being conducted to determine the benefits of a plant-based diets compared to a meat eaters diet.
The studies have shown that a person on a plant-based diet…..
- has a 50% lower risk of developing diabetes than a meat eater.
- Risk of death from cardiovascular disease is reduced by 40 percent.
- Coronary heart disease risk is reduced by 40 percent.
- Blocked arteries are unblocked partially or fully in as many as 91 percent of patients.
- Risk of developing high blood pressure drops by 34 percent.
With those statistics, who wouldn’t want to make the change? Where health is concerned, we will take all the help we can get.
Don’t support animal cruelty
Not everyone is comfortable with the idea that for them to get dinner, an animal has to have its head chopped off or be brutally slaughtered in some other way. They don’t support animal cruelty in any form and the slaughtering of animals is way off the chart.
Close friends and family are vegetarians
Some people, believe it or not, become vegetarian by association. When they eat at home or at their friend’s house, the meal is always vegetarian. They end up just gradually adopting the vegetarian lifestyle.
Probably one of the reasons they continue in this lifestyle is because of what is listed next.
They feel better/healthier consuming a plant based diet.
Eating a lot of meat fills up the system with saturated fat with the accompanying high cholesterol problems among others. The calories and nutrients that come from plant-based foods are so much better, in terms of helping with metabolism and the many functions in the body. When you adopt a plant-based diet you will realize that you feel better, have better looking skin, have more energy and sleep better.
They save money
Are you perplexed by this one? Its true. When one becomes a vegetarian it is very likely that they will notice savings in their grocery bill.
Just look at it. What’s the main difference between the grocery list for the meat eater and the vegetarian?
You got it. One has no meat. The meat is replaced by other protein sources such as lentils, chickpeas and other legumes.
According to the Bureau of Labor 2016 Survey Statistics, the average American spends approximately 800 dollars on meat (beef, poultry, pork, fish etc) per year. That’s a whole lot of money for a whole lot of meat. I can assure you that the legumes cost much less.
People who have switched from meat to vegetarian diet have reported seeing as much as $1000 – $1500 dollars savings in their family’s annual grocery bill.
Help the environment
The whole animal rearing industry which is geared to provide meat for consumers is an exceptionally wasteful system of farming that devastates forests, pollutes oceans, rivers, seas and air, depends on oil and coal, and is significantly responsible for climate change.
Red meat production creates tons of greenhouse gas emissions and takes up massive amounts of land. Not so great for our planet.
Switching to a vegetarian diet is one way of taking a stand against this destruction.
Decreases the risk of food borne illnesses
Most of the bacteria which causes food borne illnesses are found in raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood and unpasteurized dairy.
How many times have you been warned to make sure your cutting board is properly washed after cutting raw meat on it? Or maybe you have been warned not to cut your vegetables on the same board as your raw meat.
Your concerns will be greatly reduced if you do not handle raw or undercooked meat.
However, even though you are only handling vegetables you still need to ensure that they are properly washed before use.
Better bowel action
Constipation is no fun. Anyone who has experienced it can attest to that. The vegetarian eats a plant-based diet which is chock-full of fiber. There are two types of fiber, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber and they both play major roles in maintaining health.
Insoluble fiber however is what promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk. Whole grains, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fiber. Also, fruits such as raspberries, strawberries and fruits with edible skins such as apples and guavas.
If you want to prevent or relieve constipation a plant-based diet is the way to go.
Greater variety of meals
This might come as a surprise to non-vegetarians many of whom believe that the only thing vegetarians eat is salads.
Not true at all.
The fact is that vegetarians have a much wider variety of food choices because they tend to be very creative in combining vegetables, legumes, nuts, grains etc. to form delicious tasting meat substitutes. There are numerous options. Better still, one ingredient can be prepared in so many ways.
Let’s just take one ingredient – lentil.
Food is easier to prepare
Vegetarians take a much shorter time to whip up a meal than their meat eating friends. This is because it is so much easier to cook vegetarian food than meat. And while you have to spend a long time cooking the meat to eliminate the risk of food borne illnesses you hardly have those issues with your plant-based foods. As a matter of fact most times you purposely undercook your vegetables.
By the time the meat is taken out of the freezer, thawed and seasoned, you could already be sitting and enjoying your vegetarian fare.
What’s your choice?
Don’t you think these are great reasons for people to want to adopt the vegetarian lifestyle?
If you are not yet a vegetarian, read over this list again and answer this one question.
What are you waiting for?
I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.