Vegetarianism is eating foods that consist mainly of foods from plants sources. Examples include nuts, fruits, and vegetables. However, some vegetarians may include small portions of dairy products such as eggs, dairy products, and fish in their diets. Eating a diet pure of vegetables is considered healthy for the following reasons (Fiore, 2008). To start off, foods from plants mostly are lower in fats, animal protein, and cholesterol and higher in fiber and foliate. Therefore, vegetarians have reduced risks of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and some form of cancer such as the colon cancer.
People become vegetarians for some reasons. There are those who want to have a long life; there are those who want to live a healthy life while others love the animals that they do not want to eat them. Despite the reason for choosing to be a vegetarian, I believe that it is healthy and has so many health benefits. Traditionally, most research on vegetarian focused mainly on nutritional deficiencies but this has changed in that people research on the importance of having a meal that is free of meat (Fiore, 2008). Nowadays, eating a meal free of meat products is seen as a way of reducing the risk of getting chronic illnesses and having heart disorders as well as high blood pressures.
Statistics in America show that 7.3million people are vegetarians. 22.8million Americans also follow the vegetarian diet. Among the 7.3 million, 0.5% are vegans who do not consume animal products at all. This survey was carried out by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau. They did the survey under the instructions of the Vegetarians Times. A sample size of 5050 people was used to represent the total population of America. The study also indicated that among the non-vegetarians interviewed, 5.2% would like to follow the vegetarian diet. The survey also considered some demographic factors such as age and gender among others. Of the vegetarians interviewed, 59% were female while the males were 41%. 42.0% were from the age of between 18 years to 34 years. Also, 40.7% were between 34 years and 54 years. The remaining 17.4% were above the age of 50 (Rau, 2013).
The study of 2008 also indicated that over half of the current vegetarians in the United States of America still eat the vegetarian diet to continue improving their health. 47% of the people surveyed indicated that the reason as to why they do a vegetarian diet is because of environmental reasons. Others included the 54% of people who said the reason for them following a vegetarian diet was for the welfare of animals. Moreover, 25% said weight loss was their motivating factor, and 24% wanted to maintain their current weights. According to Elizabeth Turner vegetarian Times, the vegetarian diet is one of the most published categories of food due to its dedicated consumers. Lastly, people tend to be reducing their intake of meat, and this has seen the markets for vegetarian products increase. This trend has grown over the years according to the newsstand trades.
There are some reasons as to why people should be encouraged to choose a vegetarian diet. To begin with, eating a diet with low calories or else having a vegetarian diet helps in increasing the life expectancy of a human being. For example, a study done in Japan among the residents of Okinawa have the highest expectancy rates in Japan and most likely the highest in the world. Their secret to living longer was attributed to their diets that were low in calories and a diet that had vegetables, fruits, and unrefined carbohydrates. Michael F. Roizen The Real Age Diet: Make Yourself Younger with What You Eat Says that if an American can switch from the normal American diet to a vegetarian one, then they are likely to add thirteen more years to their life. The reasons he outlined were that meat clogs the human arteries slowing down the immunity systems.
A study was done in 2013 of more than 70,000 people, 12% of the people following a vegetarian diet lowered their risk of dying. This is simply because vegetarians live a healthy life and are likely not to have chronic illnesses (Rau, 2013). Another similar study done in 2013 to 44,000 people showed that 32% were likely not to get heart diseases. The vegetarians are also likely not to develop the sugar disease called diabetes. Although following a vegetarian diet will not cure diabetes, it will lower a persons risk by helping them lower their weights and controlling their sugars. Another benefit of following a vegetarian diet is that it lowers the risk of having cancer. A research done by Loma Linda University in the state of California showed that a person who follows a vegetarian diet may protect a human being from having cancer. This is after they studied different foods of the vegetarian diet. Although this was not the final study on cancer, vegans showed a reduced risk of having cancer especially the breast cancer among most women.
Another major reason it is healthy to have a vegetarian diet is to control weight. America is suffering from huge numbers of people with obesity. Such people end up being depressed due to the effect weight has on their self-esteem, and they end up taking their lives. Being overweight also increases the risk of having diseases such as chronic diseases as well as heart disorders. A vegetarian diet is a secret to keeping a healthy diet. Following a vegetarian diet can also a person with weight problems to reduce it.
There have been concerns that a vegetarian can have nutritional deficiencies such as protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12 among others. Some of these nutrients are contained mostly in animal products. This should not be a reason enough to eat lots of meat (Rau, 2013). A vegetarian can supplements these nutrients by taking foods fortified with these nutrients, or they can take supplements. The trick mostly is making sure that a person gets the right amounts of foods and nutrients in their diets.
To conclude, I believe that vegetarianism is the way to go. This has been supported by various studies conducted by various researchers as demonstrated in the essay. Research has been done to demonstrate the importance of eating healthy. A vegetarian diet will help a person live a healthy diet and live a happy life free from diseases such as chronic illnesses, high blood pressure, and cancer and heart disorders. It is, therefore, important for people to keep a healthy diet. This is because the foods are easily accessible, and the influences culture has on following a vegetarian diet strictly.
Fiore, T. (2008). Totally vegetarian: Easy, fast, comforting food for every kind of vegetarian. Philadelphia: Da Capo/Life Long.
Rau, D. M. (2013). Going vegetarian: A healthy guide to making the switch. North Mankato, MN: Compass Point Books.
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