Being omnivorous is not the only option. Rigorous studies confirm the advantages of vegetarian and vegan diets for better health.
The omnivorous diet is the most widespread option. And from some sectors it is presented as the only option, but vegetarian and vegan diets are healthier, even for children. We tell you the most important health benefits of opting for a meat-free diet.
5 ADVANTAGES OF EATING VEGETARIAN
Numerous studies show that vegetable diets provide extra benefits for our health.
We also take care of the planet, as we will help reduce the carbon footprint. It is estimated that the vegan diet emits half as muchCO2 as the carnivorous diet.
1. LOWER TOTAL CHOLESTEROL AND LDL
The review of 11 high-level studies, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, shows that both vegetarian and vegan diets reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels. Other systematic reviews have yielded the same results.
In this way they prevent cardiovascular disorders.
2. THEY SERVE TO LOSE WEIGHT
Several studies, such as the one published by the journal Diabetes Care, show that the balanced vegan diet with supplementation of B12, is more effective than other protocol diets to reduce weight.
They show that you can lose weight without counting calories.
3. REDUCE SUGAR
Plant-based diets lower blood glucose thanks to the abundance of fiber, according to studies such as the one conducted at George Washington University (United States) by Dr. Neal D. Barnard.
4. INCREASE ANTIOXIDANT ACTION
Plant-based foods produce less oxidative stress and less insulin resistance than meat-based foods. Therefore, the vegetarian diet may be especially recommended in people with diabetes.
These are conclusions drawn from studies such as the one carried out by Lenca Blinova at the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague (Czech Republic).
5. IMPROVE OSTEOARTHRITIS AND ARTHRITIS
The aches and pains are reduced in people who follow a vegan diet rich in whole grain products, compared to those who continue with their omnivorous diet.
These statements are derived from research conducted at Michigan State University (United States) and the University of Turku (Finland).
HOW TO START BEING VEGETARIAN?
To make a smooth transition to the vegetarian diet it is important to take into account the circumstances around you.
For example, it would be convenient that if you live with other people, they understand your decision and respect it without questioning at all times what you eat or stop eating.
It is also important that you have confidence in the diet that you will continue to take into account that the vegetarian diet is not only indicated to treat diseases, but it is ideal to prevent ailments and preserve health, as we have just reviewed.
The change of diet can be done from one day to the next or progressively. The important thing is that the diet that is started is balanced.
If the goal is to arrive at a classic vegetarian diet, which is known as an ovolactovegetarian diet, the steps would be as follows:
- First you could leave the sausages, pork in general, organ meats and seafood, which are the least recommended foods. You could introduce here the vegetable pâtés, and even the vegetable sausages that already exist in the market as a substitute for those of animal origin, although in reality they are not essential.
- In a second phase, meat in general can be eliminated, replacing it with processed vegetable protein (tofu, seitan, tempeh …) or simply protein plant foods (legumes, nuts, whole grains …) .
- In a third phase you could stop taking fish. Eggs and dairy products can be kept in moderation: no more than two or three eggs a week and no more than one dairy per day, unless personal health circumstances make it convenient to eliminate dairy. There are vegetable smoothies and derivatives of them that can replace them culinarily.
To make a healthy lacto-Ovo vegetarian diet, you would only have to replace refined foods with whole foods as much as possible, and incorporate, if you have access to them, products from organic farming.
When designing the menu, you must bear in mind that the first courses could be composed of vegetables, pasta, potatoes or cereals; the second courses, legumes, processed vegetable protein, eggs or cheese. Always accompanied by a salad, which will preferably be taken at the beginning of the meal.