The benefits of vegetarianism: is it worth giving up meat

Health Tips

Almost all supporters of vegetarianism talk about the dangers of meat and animal products, citing numerous examples of evidence – from the ethical “Thou shalt not kill!” to medical statistics. One way or another, each of us makes his own choice. Today Goodshapetips decided to figure out whether it is worth giving up meat.

Argument medical: for and against

There is a claim that avoiding meat can protect us from a number of diseases. Is there any truth in this? Indeed, there are some statistics that indicate a lower rate of heart disease among those who have given up meat. In 2009, American scientists conducted a study in which about 76 thousand people took part, and the results showed that the risk of dying from a heart attack in vegetarians is 25% less.

A similar study was conducted in England from the early 1990s to the mid-2000s. Having studied the data of almost 45 thousand inhabitants of England and Scotland, British scientists found that vegetarians are 32% less susceptible to coronary heart disease. The studies took into account weight, lifestyle, age and many other factors.

However, in reality, the point is not at all in meat, but in its quality (in harmful fats and chemical additives) and, of course, in excess consumption. Accompanying a modern lifestyle, such as alcohol, nicotine, fatty foods and some endocrine diseases, lead to the accumulation of “bad” cholesterol, which immediately begins to be deposited on the walls of blood vessels. As a result, the walls narrow, blood moves worse, blood pressure rises, which leads to heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis.

In small quantities, the “correct” cholesterol is a necessary and useful substance, hormones and bile acids, vitamin D are formed from it, the membranes of all cells of our body are built. In turn, the vegetarian principle of nutrition – more precisely, eating nuts and fish – balances the production of “bad” and contributes to the appearance of “good” cholesterol.

The situation is similar with diabetes – it is not so much meat that is harmful, but meat products obtained as a result of processing and various additives.

Numerous other studies confirm that the active consumption of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of cancer. In fact, this is not a reason to switch only to plant foods: non-strict vegetarians who include fish in their diet are slightly less likely to get sick. It should be remembered that when you refuse meat, the body stops receiving proteins, iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and amino acids in the required amount.

Argument historical and anthropological: for and against

Continuing the conversation about the dangers or benefits of meat in our diet, we cannot get around the argument of vegetarians that meat is unnatural for humans. In this case, the opinion of scientists is again very different from the point of view of adherents of vegetarianism.

It is believed that man, along with primates, is included in a special category between predators and herbivores – he is omnivorous. If we exclude the version of its divine origin, become a supporter of Darwin’s theory and recognize primates, although distant, but still relatives, it turns out that the meat diet is not alien to them at all. Chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas occasionally eat insects, small birds, and other small animals.

There are objective historical and anthropological reasons why eating meat led to an evolutionary leap. The ice age is largely to blame, when changing climatic conditions led to a change in the diet. From vegetable food and gathering, man was forced to move on to meat and hunting. Consequently, new skills and abilities have emerged. To survive, I had to think faster and better.

Avoiding meat is not a panacea, but rather one of many factors that help us take responsibility for our own health and lifestyle. From the point of view of a reasonable approach and goals, the centenarians of the Caucasus, Indian yogis and the Himalayan Hunza tribe are equally right in their choice.

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