By Abigail Carroll. Vegetarian Lifestyle. At Saturday, May 04th 2019, 00:13:17 AM.
Traditionally, research into vegetarianism focused mainly on potential nutritional deficiencies, but in recent years, the pendulum has swung the other way, and studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses. According to the American Dietetic Association, "appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases."
Benefits of a vegetarian diet include obtaining more antioxidants and fiber, better protection against obesity or weight gain, and lowered risk for heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and metabolic syndrome. It may not be necessary to completely exclude all animal proteins from your diet. To prevent issues like vitamin B12 deficiency, iron deficiency anemia and low protein intake, it may be best to still consume some eggs, dairy or fish. A well‐balanced vegetarian diet should also include lots of raw and cooked veggies, limited processed foods, low amounts of added sugar, and little refined grain products.
People who eat a high amount of vegetables and fruit daily tend to have the best protection against weight gain as they age. Because plant-based foods like fresh veggies and fruit are very low in calories yet are high in terms of volume and therefore take up lots of room in your stomach, they are filling and keep you from over-eating. Plant‐based (or “mostly plant-based”) diets are tied to a lowered risk for obesity, lower BMI status and reduced complications related to obesity, such as heart problems or metabolic syndrome.