Vegetarianism has gained a lot of popularity in recent days and has become a lifestyle trend among the younger generation. Vegetarianism means refraining from consuming meat of any form (poultry, red meat, seafood and flesh of any animal). In recent times, people are taking up vegetarianism to protect sentient life and being empathetic towards other forms of life. Vegetarianism has been followed since earlier times because of its religious sentiments for Buddhists, Jains and some Hindus as well. Vegetarianism has become an important lifestyle change for individuals who are trying to lead a sustainable lifestyle because of the various ill impacts the poultry and meat industry have on the environment. Other than these, studies have shown that vegetarians have a 30% more healthy body thereby increasing life span as well compared to meat eaters.Some of the major highlights of developing a vegetarian way of life are as down below:
Switching to a vegetarian diet will help target several birds with one stone. Vegetarian diets are naturally lower in saturated fats and cholesterol and have a higher intake of plant based nutrients. Studies have shown that patients who have adopted low-fat vegetarian diets have been able to reverse coronary diseases as well.
Red meat has been known to increase the risk of certain types of cancer like colon cancer and oesophageal cancer. Increased fruit and vegetable intake with 2/3rd of every meal having plant based products has showed a considerable reduction in the number of cancer cases.
On average, vegetarians have a lower body mass index (a measure of body fat) than meat eaters. This is because vegetarian diets are very fibre rich and include low energy foods like fruits and vegetables. This turns out to be a perfect combination as fibre keeps you feeling full for longer and many fruits and vegetables are low in calories and have high water content.
Studies from Oxford University have shown that vegetarians live 6 years longer than meat eaters. Evidence has been found that a plant-based diet reduces the risk of obesity, type-2 diabetes, and coronary heart disease. Hence it can be inferred that a clean vegetarian diet slows the aging process and improves mortality
While looking at the health benefits of a vegetarian diet, it is important to also understand how pocket friendly they are. Even by substituting lean protein in with a comparatively expensive olive oil in a plant based diet, we would be saving almost close half the previous expenditure.
After looking through varied aspects of adopting a vegetarian lifestyle, we should all be gradually switching to this more sustainable and healthy lifestyle for our overall well-being.