Why you should go vegetarian or vegan for your health

The nutritional benefits of plant-based foods

We see more and more in the literature that a vegetable diet is beneficial, and this is at every stage of life! The most important dietary risk factor that can be modified to gain years of healthy life is eating more plant-based foods.

It is therefore recognized today that plants contain all the nutrients necessary for good health. According to the World Cancer Research Fund, a simple change in eating habits could prevent 30 to 40% of cancer cases worldwide, which is as much or more than quitting smoking.

Includes more fiber in your diet

The fibers are contained exclusively in plants. Their chemical composition means that they cannot be digested, and their health benefits are numerous. Firstly, various studies show that they are protective against colon cancer. Secondly, they promote the regularity of the digestive system. Then, by their satiating power, they allow control of appetite and weight. A vegetable diet allows you to consume, on average, 50% more fiber compared to an omnivorous diet.

Keeps your heart and arteries healthy

Plant-based foods are very low in saturated fat and cholesterol and therefore significantly reduce blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, a major cause of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. Dr. Dean Cornish, a cardiologist in the United States, has even shown that adopting a low-fat vegetarian diet for a year can reverse atherosclerosis (the presence of plaques in the blood vessels). While cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world, a plant-based diet would provide better heart health and longer life.

Reduces obesity and diabetes

Worldwide, 1 in 10 adults is affected by obesity. Many studies show that the body mass index is lower in vegetarians or vegans, especially if they have adopted this diet for five years or more. The explanation for a lower BMI could result in a difference in intake of macronutrients (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates) and also in higher consumption of plants and, therefore, fibers.

Metabolic syndrome (combination of several metabolic disorders: visceral obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, high triglyceride levels and low HDL cholesterol levels) affects 1 in 5 people in Canada without this person necessarily knowing it. However, clinical studies have established that a patient with metabolic syndrome was two and a half times more likely to develop diabetes, for example.

Reduces the development of antibiotic resistance

According to the WHO, 50% of antibiotic production is intended for farm animals, and in Canada, this figure is 80%. This use makes bacteria multi-resistant in animals, and these can contaminate humans. Antibiotic treatment will then be ineffective. In addition, by consuming animal flesh that has been treated with antibiotics, we also consume a residual dose that pushes our body to also develop resistant bacteria. It then becomes much more difficult to eliminate them.

Reduces the risk of developing deadly diseases

A vegetable diet is very rich in fiber, which is excellent protection against colorectal cancer. Additionally, certain types of processed meat, such as deli meats, are classified as carcinogenic by the World Health Organization. The consumption of 50 grams of processed meat per day would increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer by 17%.

Several studies have also shown that the consumption of meat products and vegetable fats leads to an increased risk of developing bone loss in women after menopause.

A recent study by the American Society of Nephrology (study of kidney disease) explains the link between consumption of red meat and increased risk of kidney failure. The recommendations are then the restriction of the consumption of animal proteins for the management of chronic renal insufficiency as well as the slowing down of the disease.

Diversifiess your diet

Changing your habits also allows you to discover a multitude of new foods and tastes. We are often confined to our culinary culture and our traditions without even thinking of going off the beaten track. Learning about a plant-based diet means discovering a multitude of little-known products and testing new recipes.

Vegetarian and vegan products are developing more and more, and this is fortunate because it allows access to a multitude of products.

Vegetarian and vegan restaurants are becoming popular, to our delight.

Be careful, however, not to fall into the trap of ultra-processed vegan products, which then no longer have any nutritional interest.

Farewell to the prejudices of yesteryear. It’s all about balance and diversity!

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