When we switch to a vegetarian diet, we become less fat and less prone to many diseases. Our cholesterol will go down. When we become leaner by eating fewer or no animal products, then many other health and fitness problems get automatically solved. The incidence of Type II diabetes is reduced. Blood pressure comes within normal ranges. If you take medicines on a regular basis, your intake of medicines also goes down.
If your parents or siblings suffer from high cholesterol or high blood pressure, then it become all the more necessary for you to revise your eating habits. Adopting a vegetarian diet has been shown statistically to reduce the incidence of so many diseases. Vegetarians are statistically healthier than omnivorous persons; they’re leaner and live longer.
The other category for whom vegetarian diet can prove to be a boon are persons suffering from diabetes. They have to be very very careful in choosing the food they eat as each food choice they make has a profound impact on their overall health on a meal-to-meal basis. Reaching epidemic proportions and affecting more than 250 million people worldwide, this disease inhibits the body from properly processing foods. The food we eat is digested and converted to glucose, a simple sugar which is carried by the blood to all cells in the body to give energy. The hormone insulin then helps glucose to pass into the cells. But in diabetics the system which converts sugar to energy does not work properly. Insulin is either absent, present in less quantities or not potent enough. As a result glucose accumulates in the bloodstream and leads to problems such as weakness, inability to concentrate, loss of co-ordination and blurred vision. Diabetes also adversely affects the heart, kidney and other internal organs, and is therefore known as the silent killer.
Diet is perhaps the most important way of controlling diabetes, and a vegetarian lifestyle with its emphasis on low fat, high fiber, and nutrient-rich foods is very effective in this respect. Though incurable, diabetes can be successfully kept under check through diet and exercise, oral medicines, insulin injections, or a combination of them. Instead of counting calories diabetics must calculate their total carbohydrate intake so that no less than half their food is made up of complex carbohydrates. Many diabetic vegetarians have discovered that as a result of their meatless diet, they’ve had to use less insulin injections, which gives them a lot of relief.
A word of caution here is necessary. The contents of vegetarian diet is also of vital importance because some vegetarian food are also rich. Choose whole-grain products like whole wheat bread and flour, instead of refined or white grains. Try to eat as wide a variety of foods as possible, and never be afraid to try vegetables, fruits, grains, breads, nuts, or seeds that you’ve never tried before. If you decide to eat dairy products, stick to non-fat or low-fat varieties.
It’s been a well researched and established fact that vegetarians are healthier than meat eaters. Vegetarians are less likely to be obese, or to have diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. They are less likely to die from heart disease. Vegetarians have lower blood pressure even when they eat the same amount of salt as meat eaters and exercise less. There are many reasons for this. Vegetarians consume two to three times more fibre than meat-eaters, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood glucose levels, and protect against colon cancer. They also consume more antioxidants, which are found in a wide variety of plant foods and protect cells from oxygen-induced damage and reduce the risk for heart disease, arthritis, cancer, etc. Vegetarians also consume much less saturated fat and cholesterol than do meat eaters, resulting in significantly lower levels of blood cholesterol, decreased instances of heart disease and possibility of diabetes and cancer.
And lastly, vegetarianism is not only optimally healthy for your body, but for your environment and the planet’s animals. It allows you to live more harmoniously with the world around you, which improves mental and emotional health accordingly.
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