Health Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet

HK BioTek Nutritionist

 

When most people think about a vegetarian diet, they are worried about not getting enough proteins and other nutrients due to the absence of meat and other animal products. However, the truth is that being vegetarian is not about missing these nutrients, but about finding healthy replacements for it. Many scientists find that replacing meat and other animal products with healthier options can lead to better health. Here are a couple health benefits of eating a vegetarian diet:

 

  1. Closer to the ideal recommended nutrient intake: Most vegetarians tend to eat more vegetables and fruits, while avoiding meats and animal products means less consumption of saturated fats. [1]
  2. Better weight control: Vegetarians usually eat more fiber and less fat than non-vegetarians. This can lead to lower body mass index. [2]
  3. Lower risk of chronic diseases: Processed and red meats correlate with cardiovascular disease and cancer. By avoiding these meats, on average, vegetarians have lower incidence of diseases (such as Diabetes, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Cancer, etc). [2]
  4. Longer life: Because most vegetarians can avoid the aforementioned diseases and sicknesses, vegetarians are able to live longer and healthier lives. [3]

 

It is important to plan and think about the nutrients you are eating in order to get all the nutrients you need every day and not to overeat recommended limits. Although that may seem difficult, it is something that everyone, no matter vegetarian or meat-eater, should do in order to maintain a healthy diet. Even assigning one day a week or one meal every day to eat a healthy and nutritious vegetarian meal may make a difference.

 

Sources

  1. Clarys, P., Deriemaeker, P., Huybrechts, I., Hebbelinck, M., & Mullie, P. (2013). Dietary pattern analysis: a comparison between matched vegetarian and omnivorous subjects. Nutrition Journal, 12(1), 1-6. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-82
  2. Timothy J. Key, Gwyneth K. Davey and Paul N. Appleby (1999). Health benefits of a vegetarian diet. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 58, pp 271-275. doi:10.1017/S0029665199000373.
  3. Fields, H., Millstine, D., & Agrwal, N. (2014). Just Plants? Impact of a Vegetarian Diet on Mortality. Journal Of Women’s Health (15409996), 23(11), 987-988 2p. doi:10.1089/jwh.2014.4972