By Sheela Seharawat

Hey vegans, enough of being taunted and called “uncool” for the decision that should actually make you hold your head high.

Eating a balance diet is the key to good health, alert mind and energetic body.  And guess what?  If you are eating a bowl of fruits and vegetables in combination with beans, you are meeting the average daily nutritional needed to remain healthy.  A complete vegetarian diet is an amalgamation of all the necessary vitamins, minerals, iron, carbohydrates, calcium, protein and antioxidant.  The benefits of following a vegetarian diet are far greater than the benefits of non-vegetarian diet.

Easy losing weight

Losing weight is a challenging task especially if you are obese.  If you are trying to lose weight, it is recommended that you should choose a vegetarian diet over a non-vegetarian diet.   Typically, non-vegetarians consume greater calories present in the meat products that their vegetarians counterparts.  Believe it or not!   In a study conducted in UK, it had been concluded that fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans had lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than the meat eaters.  The quest to reach the desired number on the weighing machine becomes far more onerous when you munch down fleshy food.  Determine to stick to plant food if you are looking for a speedy solution for your weighty issues.

Healthier Cholesterol levels

Eating non-vegetarian food can lead to increase in bad cholesterol level because they contain unhealthy saturated fats.  Saturated fats and trans-fat raise the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol which plaque the arteries leading to heart diseases and serious cardiovascular risk.  It is recommended to avoid eating meat especially the ones with visible fat or skin.  Replace your meat with protein rich food like soy products, nuts, seeds, lentils, beans, etc.  Such meatless, protein rich food contains amino acids which are known as the building block of proteins.  They serve to fulfill your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein without causing pain in your heart.

Lower risk of developing cancer

Studies and researches have suggested that consumption of vegetarian food can be quite healthful in terms of lowering the risk of developing cancer.  Red meat and processed meat like ham, bacon, sausage, etc. have the potential of causing colorectal cancer by 18%.   This has been declared by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of World Health Organization.  Seitan (made from wheat gluten) and legumes (like black beans and lentils) are healthier replacement for red meat and processed meat.  They may not taste like meat but contains equal value of protein, iron, zinc and phosphorous.  Legumes are healthier options as they also contain fiber and carbohydrates.

Lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes

The bad news is that genetics is one of the causes of Type 2 diabetes.  However, the good news is that intake of plenty of fruits and vegetables could lower the risk of diabetes.  Vegetarian food has a great positive impact on improving the blood sugar control and makes the body more responsive to insulin.

Thus, chomping down loads of fruits and vegetables can be highly fruitful in attaining a healthy lifestyle and escaping from major illness.

 

Author of the article is a nationally-acclaimed dietician based out of New Delhi

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