The Health Benefits of a Vegan and Vegetarian Diet
Helping your Heart
Vegetarians typically do not suffer from high cholesterol levels and heart disease is less common in vegetarians. By avoiding meat, eggs, and, dairy, you are able to greatly reduce the amount of saturated fat found in your diet. A diet that is packed with wholegrains, vegetables, beans and fruits, will keep your arteries clear and your heart healthy.
A major study completed by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) has found that red meat and cancer are linked. The HSPH found that red meat is associated with increased risk of total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality1. Breast cancer rates are dramatically lower in countries where typical diets are plant-based2. Vegetarians only have around 40% of the cancer rate when compared to meat eaters, due to them typically having a higher fibre diet and lower fat intake.
Eating a well-balanced vegetarian diet can help when managing blood pressure. There is large amount of research indicating vegetarians have lower blood pressure because their diets limit fat, cholesterol and caloric intake3. Some patients with high blood pressure have also been able to eliminate the need for medication by switching to a vegetarian diet4.
Studies show that a vegetarian diet can reduce the occurrence of diabetes. By combining complex carbohydrates and fibre (found only in plant foods) can lower blood sugar levels and often reduces or even eliminates the need for medication.
You can feel it in your bones
Excessive animal protein consumption can lead to serious health problems. Diets rich in meat and dairy cause the acidic level in blood to rise and this is counteracted by the body through the drawing of calcium from the bones into the bloodstream.
Replacing animal products with plant foods reduces the amount of calcium lost.
According to the American Dietetic Association of Canada , an appropriately planned vegetarian diet is healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provides health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Choosing the vegetarian plate over the meat plate is a way to achieve good health.
The China Study
The China Study is a 2004 book by T. Colin Campbell, Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, and his son, Thomas M. Campbell II, a physician. The book examines the relationship between the consumption of animal products and illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and degenerative brain disease.
The book is based on the China-Cornell-Oxford Project, a 20-year study that began in 1983, which included a comparison of the prevalence of Western diseases (coronary heart disease, diabetes, leukemia, and cancers of the colon, lung and breast) in each rural county of China.
The authors found that as the average level of blood cholesterol levels in rural China rose, the incidence of ‘Western’ disease also increased. The level of blood cholesterol correlated highly to diet, particularly to the amount of animal proteins consumed.
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