Why Become a Vegetarian?

The vegetarian diet comes in a collection of varieties. The vast majority do not eat meat but consume dairy products; then you have those who avoid eggs but consume milk. Vegans do not have any animal based product whatsoever and semi-vegetarians, as clearly indicated in the name, allow themselves to eat fish or maybe poultry.  The options here are vast but one thing ties them all together, they do not eat animals.

Everyone loves animals and one of the main reasons why people opt to stop eating meat is solely because of their love for the species; however, becoming a vegetarian, or even a vegan, has some astounding benefits that many have no idea about. Love of animals aside, these interesting facts about how your body is affected by the change are bound to convince even the greatest meat lover to at least give the vegetarian diet a try.

  1. Lose Weight Faster – Obesity has become a serious issue world-wide. An Oxford study conducted on vegetarians found that generally speaking, vegetarians have a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) because they consume foods which are high in fibre and low in calories; basically, a diet full of fruit and vegetables. Another study conducted in California saw how overweight people following a low-fat vegetarian diet lost an average of 10 kg in their first year and managed to keep it off five years later. They did not count calories or measured any portions and most importantly, they were never hungry.
  1. Prevent and Cure Heart Disease– Given that a vegetarian diet is naturally lower in saturated fats and cholesterol, studies have shown that the risk of death by heart disease is 24% lower in vegetarians than in those who eat meat. There have even been cases where a strict plant based diet has reversed the disease itself thanks to the high fibre content and more antioxidant rich produce.
  1. Live for Longer – Studies have shown that switching to a vegetarian diet can add up to a whopping 13 years to your life expectancy. 13 years! The type of saturated fat typically found in animals reduces your energy and slows down your immune system, hence making you more prone to illness. A 30 year study conducted on more than 600 Japanese residents over the age of 100 showed how their low-calorie diet, fibre rick fruit, vegetable and soy diet helped them live longer. Another 12 year study conducted by Oxford found that vegetarians tend to outlive meat eaters by six years.
  1. Have More Energy- Contrary to popular belief; a vegetarian based diet is full of high complex carbohydrate content that supplies your blood with great amounts of energising fuel. Not eating the saturated fat that comes from meat based products prevents cases of clogged arteries which are proven to slow you down.
  1. Look and Feel Better – The British Journal of Health Psychology got 300 participants to document their moods on a diary after becoming vegetarians. They found that following days of eating fruit and vegetables, there was a general increase of sensations of calm and happiness. The high intake of fruit and vegetables also contributes to reducing premature aging as wrinkles are partly a product of a substance which comes from cooking food over high heat.

What will I eat as a vegetarian? 

One of the biggest concerns that accompany giving up meat is the restricted choice which many believe they will have. In reality, supermarkets now stock a huge choice of meat replacement and soy products that will leave you wanting for nothing else. In reality, there are over 4,000 varieties of one vegetable alone; can you imagine the possibilities with all the fruit and vegetables put together?

If you would like to take it a step further and try cutting out animal based products all together, we suggest you do it in transition. The internet is brimming with recipes and sources that will tell you all about how you can find the perfect meat substitutes. Dining out should not be an issue either; as time passes, more restaurants  are including a rich variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes which even the most adamant meat lover would be dying to try.

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group of vegans preparing meal