To be or not to be… that certainly is an important question. Even if Hamlet wasn’t specifically referring to vegetarianism, many people contemplate whether being a vegetarian is a smart nutritional choice. Some people even try it out for a while, even years, then gravitate back to an omnivore’s food plan. With all the nutritional information out there, and so many experts seeming to offer contradictory suggestions, it can be overwhelming and confusing to sort out what works. While we are certainly not going to advocate you become vegetarian, we do believe in the benefits of a healthy vegetarian diet and challenge you to try it for a day. Then, it’s up to you to decide how to best structure your food intake plan.
Here are some of the benefits of a vegetarian diet:
- Vegetarian foods, especially the vegetables, are a great source of nutrition.
- Vegetarians have lower rates of heart disease and some forms of cancer than non-vegetarians.
- Research suggest vegetarians stay slimmer than their meat-eating counterparts.
- Another study reported that a plant-based diet can lower cholesterol as effectively as some drug treatments.
- Vegetarians live longer than meat eaters, according to a study in the Journal of American Medical Association.
Many diets that promote lean meats as part of their plan can be as healthy as a non-meat diet. Diets like the Paleo diet incorporate meat and full servings of vegetables. Whether you eat meat or not, veggies are really important aspects of our nutritional plan. The Harvard school of public heaths suggests we all eat more fruit and veggies in our day. And talks about how high veggie intake helps reduce the risks of all sorts of diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Really, it’s not so much the meat vs. the veggies, but the amount of refined sugar and processed foods that we consume. Dr. Robert Lustig, known as the “anti-sugar guy” claims he’s really an anti-processed food guy and encourages us all to be smart when it comes to choosing our food.
We hope that living a day in the life of a vegetarian will help you realize how important it is to consume your vegetables. If you need some recipe or meal ideas, check out this site. But think: egg scramble with a side of fruit, oatmeal, salads with lentils or beans, veggie stir-fry with rice, nuts and an apple for a snack..you might realize that it’s not too hard to cut the meat out of your diet, and you just might like the way your body feels fueled by veggies.