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Plant Based Diet - Part 2

What are the health benefits of a vegetarian diet?

Good for Heart Health

A vegetarian diet can offer a range of health benefits. Studies show that a vegan or vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Vegetarians may be up to one-third less likely to die or be hospitalized for heart disease and various types of cancer.

Research indicates that plant-based diets may reduce the likelihood for specific cardiovascular complications such as; Higher LDL (Bad) Cholesterol, Elevated Triglyceride Levels, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Overweight and Obesity. A non-meat diet may also reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, which includes obesity and type II diabetes. Of course, food choices matter — vegetarian or not. If you want the heart-protective benefits of the diet, be sure to choose; high-fiber whole grains, legumes, nuts, vegetables and fruits and other low-glycemic foods. The idea is to consume soluble fiber and choose foods that’ll help keep blood sugar levels stable. By doing so, you may reduce your cholesterol and overall risk of heart attack.

Reduces cancer risk

One study found that, in low-risk populations, a vegetarian diet reduced the risk for cancer. The study also found that certain types of animal-free diets reduced the risk for specific types of cancer:

  • a vegan diet was found to reduce risk for cancer more than other diets

  • a vegan diet was also found to offer the most protection against female-specific cancers

  • a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet was found to offer the most protection against cancers of the gastrointestinal trac

Prevents type 2 diabetes

In one study, vegetarians had half the risk of developing type II diabetes compared with non-vegetarians. It is essential to choose low-glycemic foods that keep blood sugar levels steady, such as whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Following a healthy vegetarian diet may help type II diabetes and its associated complications.

Lowers blood pressure

Plant foods tend to be lower in cholesterol, fat and sodium, which can have a positive effect on your blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables also have good concentrations of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that vegetarians, particularly vegans, have lower blood pressures than their meat-eating counterparts.

Decreases asthma symptoms

An older study suggests that a vegetarian diet, specifically vegan, may decrease symptoms of asthma. Twenty-two out of 24 participants who ate a vegan diet for a year saw improvements, including less dependency on medications. It’s thought that certain animal foods may produce an allergy or inflammation response, so removing these foods from the diet can reduce these responses.

Promotes bone health

Osteoporosis rates are lower in countries where people eat mostly vegetarian diets. Animal products may actually force calcium out of the body, creating bone loss and osteoporosis. In one study, people who followed a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for 20 years or more had only 18% less bone mineral by the time they reached age 80. Omnivores, or meat eaters, in this study had 35% less bone mineral at the same age.

The risks associated with following a vegetarian diet surround deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals, like vitamin B-12, and omega-3 fatty acids. The foods you choose make all the difference.

Is a vegetarian diet for you? It can be one of the healthiest ways to eat, because we know plant foods are loaded with nutrients to protect our health. The only way to find out is to give it a try. Most people start gradually by slowly substituting ingredients and adding more veggies into their meals. You may choose certain days or meals with a vegetarian or vegan twist. Often, you can replace the main protein with a vegetarian source, like tofu or tempeh. If the recipe has an animal-based broth, you can use vegetable broth instead. If you’re avoiding dairy, try nondairy milk such as almond or soy. Stick to making smart choices and healthier lifestyle decisions even when life becomes hectic. Ultimately incorporating more fruits and veggies into your life, is important for your health!!!



Sarah Schenx – The ACADEMY powered by Heavens Fitness Ltd. Coach

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