How Eating Vegetarian Affects Your Health

19December 2021

Have you ever been curious about how eating vegetarian affects your health? Everything we eat affects us, and so the same with food. 

Welcome to this article from our Vegetable Food Focus: First Look Series.

Where in Wembley Can I Enjoy Great Vegetarian Food?


How Eating Vegetarian Affects Your Health.

    1. Vegetarian Diets Don’t Contain Tryptophan
    2. Vegetarian Diets Are Higher in Fibre
    3. Vegetarian Diets Lack Saturated Fats and Cholesterol
    4. Vegetarian Diets Are Lower in Sodium
    5. Vegetarians Tend to Be Leaner
    6. Vegetarian Diets Are Better for Weight Loss
    7. Vegetarian Diets Have Links to Lower Cancer Rates
    8. Vegetarians Are Less Likely to Die from Heart Disease
    9. Vegetarian Diets Are Better for the Environment
    10. Vegetarian Diets Have Links to Lower Rates of Depression, Stress and Anxiety
    11. Vegetarians tend to Have Lower Blood Pressure
    12. Vegetarian Diets Are Associated with Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
    13. Vegetarian Diets Have Links to Better Brain Function

And there are two other obvious questions.

Q1- What does it mean to be A vegetarian? 

There are different kinds of vegetarianism.

    • The first is called “Lacto-ovo vegetarianism, “ which means you primarily eat a plant-based diet but regularly allow for some animal products, like milk and eggs. 
    • The other kind is veganism which means that you don’t consume animal products, including meat, dairy or eggs.

Q2- Why are vegetarians healthier? 

The answer lies in the strains of Bacteria in the Colon. 

    • Meat-eaters have higher amounts of Firmicutes bacteria and lower quantities of Bacteroidetes bacteria than vegetarians or vegans. 
    • Too many Firmicutes bacteria have links to obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, autism, and autoimmune disorders.
    • Too few Bacteroidetes bacteria have links also to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and perhaps even Alzheimer’s.

You’ve probably figured out that a vegetarian diet is one of the best ways to improve your overall health.

Read on to learn more about a vegetarian lifestyle in the remainder of this article.


Introduction – How Being Vegetarian Affects Your Health

01- Vegetarian Diets Don’t Contain Tryptophan

People who eat meat regularly consume 500-600% more Tryptophan than people who don’t eat meat.

Tryptophan is an amino acid that the body converts into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that has links similarly to depression. 

In other words, eating meat can lead to depressive symptoms.

02- Vegetarian Diets Are Higher in Fibre

Only 10% of adults over the age of 19 eat enough fibre, while 60% consume less than half of the recommended daily value.

However, vegetarians and vegans tend to eat between 35% and 50% more fibre than people who eat meat.

03- Vegetarian Diets Lack Saturated Fats and Cholesterol 

The average American eats 94 grams of saturated fat per day (52 grams is the recommended amount), but vegetarians only eat half of this amount. Meat, eggs and dairy products also contain cholesterol.

Some studies have shown that vegetarian diets are linked to increased body mass index (BMI) regardless of age or gender. Still, other studies have failed to find any link between BMI and vegetarianism. 

Studies also show that the cholesterol levels of vegetarians and meat-eaters are similar. Still, vegetarians and vegans tend to have lower levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol) than meat-eaters.

04- Vegetarian Diets Are Lower in Sodium

Vegetarians eat about 250 milligrams of sodium per day, while non-vegetarians eat around 3,100 mg. Vegetarian diets are also higher in potassium, which is linked to lower blood pressure.

05- Vegetarians Tend to Be Leaner

A review of several studies showed that vegetarians were slimmer than omnivores, even after controlling for variables like age, gender and level of physical activity.

06- Vegetarian Diets Are Better for Weight Loss 

Vegetarians consistently have lower BMIs than meat-eaters. 

One study involving obese women also showed that a vegetarian diet was more effective for weight loss than a standard low-fat diet. 

Another study found that people on a vegan diet lost more weight at three months and five months than the control group, but there wasn’t a significant difference in weight loss between the two groups after a year.

07- Vegetarian Diets Have Links to Lower Cancer Rates

Studies have found that people who eat meat are at a higher risk for colon cancer, prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer than vegetarians and vegans. 

Men with high intakes of red or processed meat have a 32% higher risk of prostate cancer than those who eat less red and processed meat.

08- Vegetarians Are Less Likely to Die from Heart Disease 

Vegetarians are 20-30% less likely to die from heart disease than meat-eaters, even though they tend to have higher cholesterol levels and lower HDL levels than meat-eaters.

09- Vegetarian Diets Are Better for the environment

To produce one pound of beef, you have to feed the cow 16 pounds of grains, and for each pound of chicken, you have to provide it 8 pounds of grains. 

Because vegan diets are primarily on plants, they have a smaller carbon footprint than meat-based diets. On the other hand, some vegetarian diets are more environmentally efficient than others. 

Opting for a primarily plant-based diet but sparingly eating meat is better for the environment than being a strict vegan.

10- Vegetarian Diets Have Links to Lower Rates of Depression, Stress and Anxiety 

Vegetarians tend to have healthier lifestyles overall which could explain the difference in mental health. For example, evidence suggests that people who eat meat are more likely to smoke and drink than vegetarians.

11- Vegetarians Tend to Have Lower Blood Pressure 

Vegetarians tend to have lower blood pressure levels than their non-vegetarian counterparts. It’s unknown if this is due to their diet or other lifestyle factors like exercise and smoking.

Either way, there’s an association between vegetarianism and low blood pressure levels.

12- Vegetarian Diets Are Associated with Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes 

People who eat meat are at a higher risk for diabetes than those who don’t, including fish and poultry and people who eat red and processed meat.

13- Vegetarian Diets Have Links to Better Brain Function 

Some studies suggest that vegetarians have higher IQs than meat-eaters, so it’s not surprising that research has shown vegetarians tend to perform better in cognitive tests. 


Conclusion – How Eating Vegetarian Affects Your Health

The jury is no longer out. These facts are known.

But the positive impact of vegetarianism on our health is not surprising.

We get made from the same stardust from which plants get derived. So do animals, but they are complex independent sentient beings that carry their issues.

We know there is much impact not only on our health and bodies but the environment too. So hopefully, the information within this article helps you choose the lifestyle you prefer.

Where in Wembley Can I Enjoy Great Vegetarian Food?

If you have any comments, be sure to leave them below.

Don McDonald

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