Switching to a vegetarian diet can be an exciting and fun way to attain a healthier lifestyle. As we have previously learned, vegetarians do not eat meat, poultry, or fish. Although some do eat dairy or eggs. If you choose to follow one of these diets and lifestyles, you will find that your risks of contracting certain diseases will fall.
Studies that have been conducted on vegetarians have shown that they have lower cholesterol levels that people who consume red meat. This is because cholesterol is found in animal products to include milk and eggs. Therefore, even if you choose to become a lacto-vegetarian you will be consuming much lower levels of cholesterol than if you stayed on a meat based diet.
To that end, vegetarian meals are also low in saturated fat, one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease. In addition, studies have shown that consuming plant proteins instead of animal proteins have led to vegetarians having lower cholesterol levels.
There have also been many studies conducted on vegetarians in concern to their blood pressure. Results have shown that vegetarians, on average, have lower blood pressure than people who consume red meat as a regular part of their diet. Adhering to a vegetarian diet is beneficial for people who suffer from hypertension due to it being low in sodium and cholesterol. In some
cases, people who have suffered from hypertension and switched to a vegetarian diet have been able to stop taking medication to keep their blood pressure under control.
Becoming a vegetarian can also be advantageous to people who suffer from diabetes. A vegetarian diet is high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat, which are essential in keeping a diabetic person’s blood glucose level at a more normal range. Some people who suffer from diabetes have actually been able to come off their medication once they switched to a vegetarian diet, while others have seen a decrease in the amount of self-injected insulin they require in order to keep their blood glucose level within an acceptable range.
Committing to a vegetarian diet can also reduce the risk of some cancers. Studies have shown that people who live in countries and cultures that have a vegetarian diet or nearly vegetarian diet have a less incidence of breast and colon cancer in their population. It is believed that this is achieved because vegetarian diets are low in fat and high in fiber. In addition, vegetables are high in beta-carotene that has been shown to help lower the risk of getting cancer. It has also been discovered that people who follow a vegetarian diet have more of what are called killer cells that are able to protect the body by fighting off and killing cells that are turning cancerous.
Just as vegetarians are at a lower risk of getting some cancers, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, they are at a lower risk for being afflicted with gallstones, kidney stones, or osteoporosis. This is due to consuming plant proteins instead of animal protein. Eating high quantities of animal protein has been shown in studies to dramatically decrease the amount of calcium from human bones. With the vegetarian diet, the consumption of plant proteins can help people from getting osteoporosis.