Advantages of Being Vegetarian Diet for Optimal Personal & Environmental Health, it has been well documented through the years that vegetarians are healthier than people who eat meat. Vegetarians are less likely to be obese, or to have high blood pressure, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or colon cancer. They are also 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.” (“Become A Vegetarian and Stay Healthy”) Many studies show that vegetarians have less instances of colon cancer, due in large part to the differences in the bacterial flora that is present in the colon.
“There are many factors in the vegetarian diet that contribute to better health.” (“About the Sea Buckthorn Berry”) Vegetarians consume two to three times as much fiber as do 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, and other diseases.
Vegetarians eat more isoflavones than meat eaters. These compounds, found mostly in soy foods, are a type of phytochemical. (“Become A Vegetarian and Stay Healthy”) Research shows that isoflavones may reduce the risk for prostate cancer and may improve bone health. Vegetarians also consume much less saturated fat and cholesterol than meat eaters, resulting in significantly lower levels of blood cholesterol, decreased instances of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. And, since vegetarians do not eat meat, they are not exposed to heme iron, a type of iron found in meat that may increase the risk of heart disease and cancer.
And lastly, vegetarianism is not only optimally healthy for your body, but 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. (“Become A Vegetarian and Stay Healthy”)
The Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet to Diabetics
“Diabetics must choose any food they eat very carefully, as each food choice they make has a profound impact on their overall health on a meal-to-meal basis.” (“Vegetarian diet: Can it help me control my diabetes …”) Diabetes affects people of all ages, all genders, from all levels of society and backgrounds. Untreated, it can cause wounds to heal slowly, infections take longer to cure, blindness, and kidney failure. Diet is one of the most important ways of controlling diabetes, and a vegetarian lifestyle with its emphasis on low fat, high fiber, and nutrient-rich foods is very complementary. (“Vegetarian diet: Can it help me control my diabetes …”)
Affecting more than thirty million people worldwide, this disease inhibits the body from properly processing foods. Usually, most of the food we eat is digested and converted to glucose, a sugar which is carried by the blood to all cells in the body and used for energy. (“Vegetarian diet: Can it help me control my diabetes …”) The hormone insulin then helps glucose pass into cells. But diabetics are unable to control the amount of glucose in their blood because the mechanism which converts sugar to energy does not work correctly. Insulin is either absent, present in insufficient quantities or ineffective. (“Being A Vegetarian Can Help with Diabetes”)
As a result, glucose builds up in the bloodstream and leads to problems such as weakness, inability to concentrate, loss of co-ordination and blurred vision. (“Blogger – Be a Vegetarian”) If the correct balance of food intake and insulin is not maintained, a diabetic can also experience blood sugar levels that are too low. If this state continues for a prolonged period, it can lead to coma and even death. (“Vegetarian diet: Can it help me control my diabetes …”)
Though incurable, diabetes can be successfully controlled through diet and exercise, oral medications, injections of insulin, or a combination. “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.” (“Vegetarian diet: Can it help me control my diabetes …”) Many diabetic vegetarians have discovered that because of their meatless diet, they have had to use insulin injections less, which gives them a feeling of power and control over their disease.
Best Wishes, Coyalita
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
See Tomorrow: “Sample Two-Day Diabetic Vegetarian Menu”
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