What are the benefits of being vegan or vegetarian, you might ask? Well, vegan and vegetarian diets may prevent chronic diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Other possible health benefits of veganism include lower cholesterol levels and a reduced risk for gallstones. Let’s take a look at more benefits of these lifestyles!
What Are The Benefits Of Being Vegan Or Vegetarian?
Health professionals have been promoting vegan and vegetarian diets to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. “A low-fat vegetarian diet reduces the number of toxic chemicals in our bodies,” said Dr. Neal Barnard, a nutrition researcher at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “A vegan diet is definitely healthier than one with meat, but we’re talking about not only foods that don’t contain animal fat, like vegan meats and dairy products, but also those that don’t have cholesterol.”
“Many vegans and vegetarians who were previously on a standard American diet are seeing benefits in their health after they switch over to a vegan or vegetarian diet,” according to the late Jim Morris, personal trainer, and owner of Jim Morris Fitness. “I’m hearing more stories about vegans/vegetarians getting sick less often, feeling better physically all around, shedding extra weight without even trying that much, having increased energy levels and endurance, and much more.”
The possible health benefits of veganism include higher fiber intake, lower blood pressure, better vision. Not only do vegetarians have a decreased risk of heart disease, but also the risk of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Vegetarians may receive additional health benefits because the lower fat content in this type of diet reduces hormone-related cancers such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer. For example, men who eat meat are three times more likely to get advanced prostate cancer than vegetarians, according to researchers at Loma Linda University in California.
Healthy Body Mass Index
Vegetarians typically weigh less than non-vegetarians, according to the American Dietetic Association. The average vegetarian is five to 20 pounds lighter than a meat-eater of equal height and build. Vegans are even slimmer than vegetarians because they avoid all dairy products, which contain significant amounts of fat.
Vegans have less body fat and more lean muscle mass than non-vegetarians. According to a study from Loma Linda University in California, vegans are on average 10 percent leaner, 18 percent thinner in the waist, and 16 percent lighter in the hip than their meat-eating counterparts. Vegans take in significantly less cholesterol and saturated fat while maintaining higher levels of essential fatty acids, according to the study.
Typical Vegan Dishes
The following are examples of vegan or vegetarian dishes that you should try:
- Vegetarian Lasagna
- Vegetarian Pizza
- Spicy Tofu Stir Fry
Bonus: Just for good measure, we’ll throw in this delicious sweet potato pone recipe to enjoy!
Whether you decide to go vegan or vegetarian, there are numerous health benefits. If you want good health, lose some weight, and look young for longer, then try one of these diets!