EVEN THOUGH VEGETARIAN DIETS INCREASE IN POPULARITY BECAUSE OF THEIR HEALTH BENEFITS, MANY VEGETARIANS DON’T EAT ENOUGH FRUITS, VEGETABLES, WHOLE GRAINS, AND CALCIUM-RICH FOODS TO PROVIDE THEIR NUTRITIONAL NEEDS. SOME OF THEM RELY TOO HEAVILY ON PROCESSED FOODS WHICH CAN BE HIGH IN CALORIES, SUGAR, FAT, AND SODIUM.
Many studies find that vegetarians live 6-9 years longer than the meat-lovers, but vegetarians are also more likely to exercise, smoke less and drink less alcohol. Taken into consideration all these factors (and many others) that also contribute to a longer life, it’s hard to claim the direct correlation between being vegetarian and living longer.
However, if you are an altruist concerned with animal rights, reducing meat intake will not only benefit your physical health but also the way your mind feels about the hidden confines of factory farms where animals live in conditions of suffering.
WHY VEGETARIANS LIVE LONGER
We don’t claim that it’s wrong to eat meat if you’re doing so in moderation, but researches show there are few reasons why vegetarians outlive omnivores.
First of all, they tend to have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and less chance of heart disease. People who eat vegetarian diets have improved blood sugar control, therefore lower risk for developing diabetes, and finally, 12% lower risk of death compared to non-vegetarians.
TYPES OF VEGETARIANS
- Pescatariansdon't consume meat, offal, and poultry. They do restrict their meat consumption to fish and seafood only. They include eggs and dairy products in their diet.
- Lacto-ovo vegetariansdon’t consume meat, offal, fish, and poultry, but obtain protein from dairy products, eggs, beans, legumes, and nuts.
- Lacto-vegetariansdon’t eat meat, offal, fish, and poultry, but eggs are excluded from their diet too. They obtain protein from dairy products, beans, legumes, and nuts.
- Vegansexclude meat, offal, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products. They obtain protein from beans, legumes, pulses, nuts and soy products like tofu.
HOW VEGETARIANISM CAN HELP SAVE THE PLANET
We humans eat 230m tonnes of animals a year produced in farms that can generate as much waste as a city.
Behind most of the joints of beef or chicken on our plates is a phenomenally wasteful system that devastates forests, pollutes the oceans and air, depends on oil and coal, and is significantly responsible for climate change.
A human population expected to grow by 3 billion within 50 years, and 1 billion people already not having enough to eat urge the need to rethink our relationship with animals.