Vegetarian - Its Healthier

Vegetarian - Its Healthier

Vegetarians are healthier than people who eat meat. Its a fact. Scientific studies show that vegetarians suffer much less from illnesses like cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and other common health problems. A major study reported in the British Medical Journal in 1994 found that, of 5000 meat-eaters and 6000 non-meat eaters, vegetarians had 40% less risk of cancer and 30% less risk of heart disease than the meat-eaters and were 20% less likely to die of any cause (Oxford Vegetarian Study).

A US study of 50,000 vegetarians showed a very low rate of cancer (Seventh Day Adventist Study, Massachussets). It has been estimated that by following a low-fat vegetarian diet, the risk of food poisoning is decreased by 80%.

More evidence of the benefits of a vegetarian diet is being found each year.

From TIME magazine (July 2002) - A balanced vegetarian diet is better for humans than one that includes meat:

Vegetarian - Its Humane
Billions of animals are killed in slaughterhouses around the world. In the US, some half a million are killed each hour, while in the UK over 600 million are killed each year. A proportional number are killed in Australia. It is nothing more than an undercover massacre. Animals suffer enormously in the process.

Quite apart from the terror of being killed, they undergo pain and fear through routine stock mutilations and during transportation to saleyards and abattoirs.

Most animals eaten in New Zealand, Australia, UK, USA and similar countries today are intensively raised in dark, sunless sheds where they are fed a diet of processed foods. In most cases antibiotics, growth-promotants and hormones are routinely administered. As biological entities, these animals are treated as little more than meat machines. We would be horrified if our pet cat or dog was treated in this way, so why should we subject other animals to such cruelty? The fact that the killing is done by someone else makes it easy to eat meat but, by eating it, we are really condemning the next animal in line.

Have you ever really stopped to think about the cruelty we systematically inflict on other species simply by eating them?

Vegetarian - Its Economical
Meat is expensive, both economically and agriculturally. With so many starving people in the world today it is a criminal waste of food to produce it.

Meat-animals are fed perfectly good plant food which could have been fed directly to starving people. For instance, it takes 17 kilos of corn, beans, grain, etc, to produce one kilo of beef in feedlot cattle. This is like investing $17.00 in a bank term deposit and withdrawing $1.00 at maturity! It requires massive reserves of land to grow the crops which are used as animal feed. About 70% of crops grown in the US are fed to animals and not to humans.

Meanwhile, a child dies of starvation somewhere in the world every two seconds.

As the world human population grows, so too does the need for the dwindling reserves of arable land on which to grow crops to feed it.

Vegetarian - Its Environmentally Friendly
In Central America, entire forests are felled or burnt to provide land for grazing cattle. Most of these cattle end up as second-quality hamburger meat for the North American junk food market. Being hard-hooved, cattle erode the vulnerable topsoil, while each animal produces over 300 litres of methane (a greenhouse gas) per day. Also, the trees which are felled to clear land for cattle ranching are left to rot. The termites which then feed on them produce even more methane than the cattle.

Weight for weight, cattle alone outweigh the entire human population of our planet. A recent Greenpeace report told how the dairy industry of California uses enough water to supply a city of 22 million people. The effluent produced from intensive piggeries, cattle feedlots and broiler units is polluting our river systems. A NSW government newsletter pointed out that the late Homebush abattoirs was the single greatest industrial polluter of Sydneys coastal waters.

Vegetarian - Exploding Some Myths
Understandably, people are a bit apprehensive about changing their diet. Everyone seems to know someone who looks as pale as a bleached potato since giving up meat! The truth is that a well-balanced vegetarian diet provides all the protein and nutrients needed for a vigorous and healthy life (American Dietary Association Study). What is seldom pointed out are the millions of conventional eaters who suffer from constipation, malnutrition, gout and a host of other problems and diseases brought on by a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in their diet, combined with the adverse effects of meat.

A study carried out the by University of Surrey in Britain found that vegetarians were better nourished than meat eaters, and much closer to the ideal diet recommended by the governments own health advisers.

Vegetarian - Aren't We Designed To Eat Meat?
Not at all. Many people say that we are meat-eaters because we have sharp teeth. This is like judging a book by its cover. Look inside and you will find out what is really going on.

Our digestive system resembles that of the herbivores and the frugivores (fruit-eaters). It consists of a very long intestine allowing slow digestion of nutrients. By contrast, carnivores have a short digestive tract designed so that meat can quickly pass through the body before it putrefies and becomes toxic. To compensate for this rapid transition, carnivores have a stomach acid concentration 10 times greater than that of vegetarian mammals (including humans) to enable them to quickly digest the meat. When humans eat meat it begins to putrefy before leaving the body, often resulting in disorders as diverse as constipation and bowel cancer if eaten persistently over a period of time. Sure, the more fibre eaten with meat, the quicker it passes through the intestines, but why eat meat at all? Only vegetable matter contains fibre and a good vegetarian diet provides all the fibre the body needs without having to add extraartificially. If you are serious about lowering your cholesterol intake, a vegetarian diet is the best way to go since only animal products contain cholesterol.

Vegetarian - What do I eat then?
Most people imagine vegetarian eating to be meat and two veg minus the meat. To a conventional meat-eater this sounds like someone being sold a car with the engine missing! Nothing could be further from the truth. Vegetarian eating is about eating a wide variety offoods prepared in an abundance of different ways.

Being a good vegetarian means being adventurous and open-minded about food.

It is not simply about eating a predictable menu day-in, day-out. Many vegetarian staples had their origin in different countries hundreds of years ago . pasta from China (and later Italy), tofu from China, and tempeh from Indonesia. Tofu is bean curd made from soya beans. Tempeh is a sort of nut-flavoured cheese made from fermented soy beans. It is rich in enzymes and easily digested. Both can be bought at health food stores and larger supermarkets. These are not merely substitutes for meat, but nutritious food in themselves which have proved to be an excellent source of protein for centuries.

Vegetarian - Where Do I Get My Protein?
Protein is naturally very plentiful. It occurs in every living thing, plant and animal. Apart from fruit and vegetables, good sources of protein include pasta, lentils, rice, potatoes, soy beans, chick peas, nuts, seeds and grains, with or without moderate use of eggs and dairy products.

The amount you need depends on different personal attributes (weight, height, etc) and the daily requirement varies considerably from 20 to 90 grams per day.

By eating a variety of foods each day you should easily meet your individual requirements. In fact, the nutritional attitude to protein has changed dramatically in recent years. The old-fashioned notion that you can never get too much protein has now been proved wrong. Excess protein not used by the body has to be broken down and excreted as waste. In fact, a major culprit in many human degenerative diseases is a protein overdose. For example, calcium loss in osteoporosis has been linked largely to an excess of high-protein foods.

Vegetarian - What about Minerals like Iron and Calcium?
A sound vegetarian diet should provide all needed nutrients. The presence of vitamin C with iron in the diet will help iron absorption by up to 30%. It is a myth that you have to eat meat to get sufficient iron. It is readily available in breakfast cereals, whole grain products, soy products, legumes and leafy green vegetables. Tiredness is not necessarily caused by iron deficiency. It may also be caused by lack of sleep, depression, stress and poor eating habits (usually junk food).

Calcium is found in all unprocessed vegetable foods in amounts that are sufficient to meet the needs of both adults and growing children. Whatever the calcium intake, the intestine absorbs sufficient calcium to meet the bodys needs. Good sources of calcium are sesame seeds, tofu, almonds, soy beans, parsley, green vegetables and fortified soy milk. A recent dietary study on 6,500 Chinese found that even those who ate no animal products actually consumed twice the amount of iron as the average North American. In spite of the fact that dairy products were not eaten, osteoporosis was almost unknown.

People are drawn to vegetarianism by all sorts of motives. Some of us want to live longer, healthier lives or do our part to reduce pollution. Others have made the switch because we want to preserve Earths natural resources or because weve always loved animals and are ethically opposed to eating them or if you are a follower of Hinduism, Jainism or Buddhism.

Thanks to an abundance of scientific research that demonstrates the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet, even the federal government recommends that we consume most of our calories from grain products, vegetables and fruits. And no wonder: An estimated 70 percent of all diseases, including one-third of all cancers, are related to diet. A vegetarian diet reduces the risk for chronic degenerative diseases such as obesity, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain types of cancer including colon, breast, prostate, stomach, lung and esophageal cancer.

Why go veg? Chew on these reasons:
Youll ward off disease. Vegetarian diets are more healthful than the average Western diet, particularly in preventing, treating or reversing heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer. A low-fat vegetarian diet is the single most effective way to stop the progression of coronary artery disease or prevent it entirely. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States. But the mortality rate for cardiovascular disease is lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians, says Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. A vegetarian diet is inherently healthful because vegetarians consume no animal fat and less cholesterol and instead consume more fiber and more antioxidant-rich produceanother great reason to listen to Mom and eat your veggies!

Youll keep your weight down. The standard American diet high in saturated fats and processed foods and low in plant-based foods and complex carbohydrates is making us fat and killing us slowly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a division of the CDC, the National Center for Health Statistics, 64 percent of adults and 15 percent of children aged 6 to 19 are overweight and are at risk of weight-related ailments including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A study conducted from 1986 to 1992 by Dean Ornish, MD, president and director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute 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. They lost the weight without counting calories or carbs and without measuring portions or feeling hungry.

Youll live longer. If you switch from the standard American diet to a vegetarian diet, you can add about 13 healthy years to your life, says Michael F. Roizen, MD, author of The RealAge Diet: Make Yourself Younger with What You Eat.People who consume saturated, four-legged fat have a shorter life span and more disability at the end of their lives. Animal products clog your arteries, zap your energy and slow down your immune system. Meat eaters also experience accelerated cognitive and sexual dysfunction at a younger age.

Want more proof of longevity? Residents of Okinawa, Japan, have the longest life expectancy of any Japanese and likely the longest life expectancy of anyone in the world, according to a 30-year study of more than 600 Okinawan centenarians. Their secret: a low-calorie diet of unrefined complex carbohydrates, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and soy.

Youll build strong bones. When there isnt enough calcium in the bloodstream, our bodies will leach it from existing bone. The metabolic result is that our skeletons will become porous and lose strength over time. Most health care practitioners recommend that we increase our intake of calcium the way nature intended through foods. Foods also supply other nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D that are necessary for the body to absorb and use calcium.

People who are mildly lactose-intolerant can often enjoy small amounts of dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and lactose-free milk. But if you avoid dairy altogether, you can still get a healthful dose of calcium from dry beans, tofu, soymilk and dark green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, collards and turnip greens.

Youll reduce your risk of food-borne illnesses. The CDC reports that food-borne illnesses of all kinds account for 76 million illnesses a year, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths in the United States. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), foods rich in protein such as meat, poultry, fish and seafood are frequently involved in food-borne illness outbreaks.

Youll ease the symptoms of menopause. Many foods contain nutrients beneficial to perimenopausal and menopausal women. Certain foods are rich in phytoestrogens, the plant-based chemical compounds that mimic the behavior of estrogen. Since phytoestrogens can increase and decrease estrogen and progesterone levels, maintaining a balance of them in your diet helps ensure a more comfortable passage through menopause. Soy is by far the most abundant natural source of phytoestrogens, but these compounds also can be found in hundredsof other foods such as apples, beets, cherries, dates, garlic, olives, plums, raspberries, squash and yams. Because menopause is also associated with weight gain and a slowed metabolism, a low-fat, high-fiber vegetarian diet can help ward off extra pounds.

Youll have more energy. Good nutrition generates more usable energyenergy to keep pace with the kids, tackle that home improvement project or have better sex more often, Michael F. Roizen, MD, says in The RealAge Diet. Too much fat in your bloodstream means that arteries wont open properly and that your muscles wont get enough oxygen. The result? You feel zapped. Balanced vegetarian diets are naturally free of cholesterol-laden, artery-clogging animal products that physically slow us down and keep us hitting the snooze button morning after morning. And because whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables are so high in complex carbohydrates, they supply the body with plenty of energizing fuel.

Youll be more regular. Eating a lot of vegetables necessarily means consuming more fiber, which pushes waste out of the body. Meat contains no fiber. People who eat lower on the food chain tend to have fewer instances of constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.

Youll help reduce pollution. Some people become vegetarians after realizing the devastation that the meat industry is having on the environment. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), chemical and animal waste runoff from factory farms is responsible for more than 173,000 miles of polluted rivers and streams. Runoff from farmlands is one of the greatest threats to water quality today. Agricultural activities that cause pollution include confined animal facilities, plowing, pesticide spraying, irrigation, fertilizing and harvesting.

Youll avoid toxic chemicals. The EPA estimates that nearly 95 percent of the pesticide residue in the typical American diet comes from meat, fish and dairy products. Fish, in particular, contain carcinogens (PCBs, DDT) and heavy metals (mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium) that cant be removed through cooking or freezing. Meat and dairy products can also be laced with steroids and hormones, so be sure to read the labels on the dairy products you purchase.

Youll help reduce famine. About 70 percent of all grain produced in the United States is fed to animals raised for slaughter. The 7 billion livestock animals in the United States consume five times as much grain as is consumed directly by the American population. If all the grain currently fed to livestock were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million, says David Pimentel, professor of ecology at Cornell University. If the grain were exported, it would boost the US trade balance by $80 billion a year.

Youll spare animals. Many vegetarians give up meat because of their concern for animals. Ten billion animals are slaughtered for human consumption each year. And, unlike the farms of yesteryear where animals roamed freely, today most animals are factory farmedcrammed into cages where they can barely move and fed a diet tainted with pesticides and antibiotics. These animals spend their entire lives in crates or stalls so small that they cant even turn around. Farmed animals are not protected from cruelty under the lawin fact, the majority of state anticruelty laws specifically exempt farm animals from basic humane protection.

Youll save money. Meat accounts for 10 percent of Americans food spending. Eating vegetables, grains and fruits in place of the 200 pounds of beef, chicken and fish each nonvegetarian eats annually would cut individual food bills by an average of $4,000 a year.

Your dinner plate will be full of color. Disease-fighting phytochemicals give fruits and vegetables their rich, varied hues. They come in two main classes: carotenoids and anthocyanins. All rich yellow and orange fruits and vegetablescarrots, oranges, sweet potatoes, mangoes, pumpkins, cornowe their color to carotenoids. Leafy green vegetables also are rich in carotenoids but get their green color from chlorophyll. Red, blue and purple fruits and vegetablesplums, cherries, red bell pepperscontain anthocyanins. Cooking by color is a good way to ensure youre eating a variety of naturally occurring substances that boost immunity and prevent a range of illnesses.

Its a breeze. Its almost effortless these days to find great-tasting and good-for-you vegetarian foods, whether youre strolling the aisles of your local supermarket or walking down the street at lunchtime. If you need inspiration in the kitchen, look no further than the Internet, your favorite bookseller or your local vegetarian societys newsletter for culinary tips and great recipes. And if youre eating out, almost any ethnic restaurant will offer vegetarian selections. In a hurry? Most fast food and fast casual restaurants now include healthful and inventive salads, sandwiches and entrees on their menus. So rather than asking yourself why go vegetarian, the real question is: Why havent you gone vegetarian?

Vegetarian - Why Do So Many People Eat Meat?
Meat-eating in the quantity our society eats today really began with the industrial revolution. Better machines led to more efficient agriculture. When a surplus of crops was produced, this was fed to animals and the animals eaten by those who could afford meat. Thus meat became something of a status symbol. Unfortunately the status symbol developed into a habit so that most of us in the wealthier countries think that it is a normal part of our diet. As we approach a new century, it is high time we turned back to the healthier, less wasteful diet of our forebears.

Today the meat and dairy industries promote the myth of their products being necessary through heavy advertising (you only have to count the times they appear on television to see that!). Close behind them are the pharmaceutical companies which provide the hormones, antibiotics and growth promotants to the animal producers. Altogether there are many vested interests in keeping us eating animal products! Unfortunately the only interests that are lost in this expensive advertising jungle are yours. Individual health . and a healthy environment . begins with good eating habits, and a vegetarian lifestyle is the simplest and most effective way to achieve them.

Vegetarian - Making the Change
To make any change is not easy, particularly when it involves explanations to friends and family. However, making a change that you know will take an enormous burden off the environmental stresses of the planet, that will improve your health and ultimately save millions of animals from cruelty makes it easy.

Already in the US and Britain there is a massive change towards a meat-free diet. Some half a million people are adopting a vegetarian lifestyle each year in the US while the number of British vegetarians is now 4 million. The trend is catching in Australia and New Zealand where many, mainly young people, are realising that they want a healthy and humane future. Whether you go vegetarian overnight or over a period of time does not matter.

Vegetarian - Famous Vegetarians
Pythagoras, Plutarch, Leonardo Da Vinci, Tolstoy, Shelley, George Bernard Shaw, Mahatma Gandhi, Thoreau, Bob Dylan, Joanna Lumley, George Harrison, Paul and Linda McCartney, Michael Jackson, Madona, Martina Navratilova, Hayley Mills, William Shatner, Sir Mark Oliphant, Cliff Young, Peter Singer, Bob Barker, Spike Milligan, Nigel Hawthorne, Annie Besant, Anthony Robbins, Peter Sumner, Chrissie Hynde, Tim McCartney-Snape, Peter Brock, Lynda Stoner, Johnny Weissmuller (the first Tarzan), Julie Christie, Morissey (The Smiths), Marty Feldman, Murray Rose, Paavo Nurmi (9 Olympic medals), Andreas Cahling (body building champion), Dave Scott (6-time Ironman Triathlon winner), k.d.lang, Belinda Carlisle, Edwin Moses, Sean Hughes, Bryan Adams, Dennis Weaver, Woody Harrelson, Killer Kowalski (champion wrestler), Alicia Silverstone, Annalise Braakensiek, Vanessa Amorosi, Greg Chappell, Jerry Seinfeld, Uri Geller, Kimm Basinger, Alec Baldwin, James Cromwell, Radha Mitchell, Daniel Johns (silverchair), Susie Porter, Joaquin Phoenix, Josef Brown, Daniel Jones(Savage Garden).

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