Vegetarians, on average, are the longest living people in the world. They have much lower rates of heart disease, some cancers, and many other diseases.
“There is no question that vegetarian diets are as healthy as you can get. The evidence is so strong and overwhelming, and produced over such a long period of time, that it’s no longer debatable.” –
Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at New York University
Vegetarians also face lower risks of other diseases such as osteoporosis, asthma, hemorrhoids and even appendicitis.
Vegetarians, and especially vegans, tend to be slimmer than meat-eaters. While just becoming a vegetarian won’t automatically make you slim, it does give you a definite advantage. Just remember to stay clear of junk food, such as cakes and cookies, coca cola and french fries, as these types of foods will not help you lose weight!
Rest assured that vegetarian and vegan diets are totally safe:
“It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that 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. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life-cycle including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence and for athletes.”
This is evidenced by the fact that vegetarians live longer than others. In his book Eat to Live, Joel Fuhrman MD, analyzed medical studies and found that people who follow a vegetarian diet for at least half their life live, on average, thirteen years longer than others. They wouldn’t be living so much longer if they were missing something in their diet!
Many athletes are turning to a vegetarian diet, as they find they can improve their performance by improving their diet. Medical studies have shown that protein from veggie sources is just as valuable for an athlete as protein from meat, but without all the negative side effects that the fat and cholesterol in meat brings. In fact, it’s been found that a vegetarian diet is much more effective than a meat-based diet in building endurance.
See a list of all our health postings, or enter a topic in the search option in the header of this page to see what we’ve written about specific conditions.