There are countless misconceptions about those who choose to stick to a vegetarian diet, but despite what some say, it is possible to be well-nourished on a meatless diet. In fact, provided that they don’t just live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, most vegetarians reap the benefits of improved health over time.
- Lower Blood Pressure
According to Men’s Health Magazine, vegetarians tend to have lower blood pressure than their meat-eating counterparts. Some have even determined that giving up meat could be a legitimate treatment for those with chronic high blood pressure.
2. Less Risk of Cardiac Events
In recent studies, vegetarians were found to be 25% likely to die of heart disease. Some of the best foods to combat heart disease are legumes (like peanuts) and grains that are high in fiber.
3. Maintain A Healthy Weight
It’s no secret that bacon isn’t necessarily the key to shedding a few extra pounds. A health study conducted from 1986 to 1992 in Sausalito, California found that overweight people who followed a low-fat, vegetarian diet lost an average of 24 pounds in the first year and kept off that weight 5 years later. And unlike countless other diets, participants reported that they lost their weight without counting, measuring, or feeling very hungry.
4. Reduced Risk of Food-Borne Illness
According to the CDC, food-borne illnesses of all kinds account for 76 million illnesses per year. By avoiding red meat, pork, poultry, and seafood, your risks for becoming a part of that statistic are decreased significantly.
5. Less Likely To Develop Cancer
Meat (and dairy products, for that matter) have been proven to contribute to the development of many different cancers, including breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancer. Vegetarian tend to be naturally lower in saturated fat and high in fiber, which both of which help prevent cancer. Studies in England and Germany have shown that vegetarians are about 40 % less likely to develop cancer than non-vegetarians. For example, breast cancer rates are significantly lower in nations that tend to have more plant based diets, like China.