In the past ten years, the number of people who have switched to a vegetarian or vegan diet has exploded. The reasons for these dietary changes are based on ethical and environmental concerns, as well as concerns about one’s own health.
In the UK, veganism has grown in popularity by 350% over the past decade. Around 542,000 British people have switched to eating a meat and animal product-free diet. This rise in vegetarian and vegan eating habits is mainly due to the younger generation; because around 20% of 16 to 24 year olds in the UK are vegetarian.
„Young people today are much more aware of the ecological effects of eating meat: in 2007 it was 8%, in 2013 it was 40%,“ said the Vegetarian Society. In light of these monumental societal changes, Michelle McMacken – a state-certified internist and assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine and an enthusiastic supporter of a plant-based diet – has compiled a list of the 7 things that happen when you put meat off your diet deletes. Since we were inspired by McMacken’s article, we’ve compiled a similar list. It contains detailed information on 8 things that happen when you switch to a meat-free diet.
1) This significantly reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Studies have shown that a nutrition plan that contains animal protein, especially from red and processed meat, significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A study was conducted to compare diabetes rates among vegans and subjects from the Adventist Mortality Study and the Adventist Health Study. The Adventists are members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The mortality rate study compared male Adventists with male non-Adventists for lifespan; the health study (s) dealt with the aspects of lifestyle that protect against disease. In the diabetes study, the disease rate among Adventists had doubled. In addition, the study found that eating meat once or several times a week increased the risk of diabetes by 74 percent in this population over the course of 17 years. The result is also so astonishing because Adventists lived longer and were healthier than non-Adventists according to previous studies.
It is believed that animal fat, animal-based (heme) iron and preservatives with nitrate are responsible for this increased risk. Studies have shown that they cause damage to cells in the pancreas, worsen inflammation, cause weight gain, and affect how our insulin works. As an overall result, it is assumed that switching to a meat-free diet would significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Eliminating meat could also help improve or reverse the condition of diabetes in those who are already living with the diagnosis. It is estimated that approximately 38 percent of Americans are pre-diabetic or about to develop diabetes today.
2) Getting the Right Amounts – and the Right Kinds – of Proteins
Proteins are usually the first argument an omnivore makes in defense of their diet when questioning the mountains of meat they are devouring. However, if you meet your daily caloric needs normally, you will get all the protein you need, including from a plant-based diet.
In the United States, omnivores eat more than 1.5 times as much protein as optimal amount of protein is recommended. While many believe that consuming excessive amounts of protein – especially from meat – will make you stronger and leaner, in reality the opposite is happening. Too many proteins are stored in fat cells or turned into waste products, this leads to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation and cancer in many people who consume too much protein on a regular basis. In comparison, the proteins from the plant-based diet have been linked to disease prevention. Michelle McMacken explains it to us:
“[T] he proteins that we find in purely plant-based foods protect us from many chronic diseases. There is no need to monitor protein intake or consume protein supplements when following a plant-based diet: meeting your daily caloric needs will provide you with plenty of protein. The longest-lived people on this planet, who live in so-called ‚Blue Zones‚, get their protein from around 10% of their daily caloric intake – compared to the average in the United States of 15-20%. Calories from protein. “
3) You reduce the inflammation in your body
Meat, cheese, and other processed foods have been linked to increased inflammatory activity in the body. These, in turn, can lead to a multitude of serious, chronic complaints that those affected suffer from for a long time.
These include developing arteriosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases, among many other conditions, but studies have shown that when a person changes to a plant-based diet, their levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) can drop dramatically. CRP is a sign of inflammation in the body. Plant-based foods are rich in fiber, antioxidants and other secondary plant components (phytonutrients). This means that a plant-based diet automatically has an anti-inflammatory effect.
4) You’re Lowering Your Blood Cholesterol Levels
Studies have shown that switching to a plant-based diet can lower blood cholesterol levels by up to 35 percent. In fact, it is believed that switching to plant-based foods can in many cases reduce blood cholesterol levels to the same extent as drug therapy. An elevated blood cholesterol seal leads to arteriosclerosis, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease and stroke – two of the leading causes of death in the United States.
Michelle McMacken explains:
„Whole plant-based foods reduce blood cholesterol. Because plant foods tend to be very low in saturated fat and have zero cholesterol. In addition, a plant-based diet contains a lot of fiber, which further reduces the blood cholesterol level. Soy has also been shown to play an important role in reducing cholesterol – if you choose to include it in your diet. “
5) You live longer because your genes change
Factors from the environment and your own lifestyle can switch genes on and off. This can help us live longer and lead healthier lives, according to a recently published study. What we learned from the most recent results: For example, a plant-based diet can help reduce gene expression of cancer genes in men at low risk of prostate cancer, and it is also known that a plant-based diet elongates our telomeres.
These are the caps at the ends of the DNA chromosomes that are involved in keeping our DNA stable. This suggests that our cells and tissues age more slowly, making us less prone to age-related diseases.
6) Your intestines will be completely cleaned up
The microbiome, which consists of trillions of microorganisms, produces essential nutrients, ensures the health of our intestinal tissue, protects us against cancer, activates and deactivates our genes. Plant foods – and especially those high in fiber – help the formation of a healthy microbiome by encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Michelle McMacken has another explanation for this: “Groundbreaking studies have shown that when omnivores eat choline or carnitine (the found in meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and dairy products) then the gut bacteria produce a substance that our liver converts into a toxic waste product called TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide). TMAO causes the build up of cholesterol in our blood vessels to worsen and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Interestingly, people who eat plants make little or no TMAO after a meal of meat because they eat one have a completely different gut microbiome. It only takes a few days for the patterns of our gut bacteria to change – the benefits of a plant-based diet quickly have an impact! ”Ecological and ethical concerns.
Environmental and ethical concerns
7) You Will Help Save the Environment
Animal husbandry is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas production. It is responsible for 51 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. In addition, livestock farming is also the primary cause of deforestation, species extinction, and the consumption of land and water. In fact, 40 percent of the world’s land is used to feed the planet’s population. The vast majority of this land – as much as 30 percent of the total ice-free area in the world – is used to feed livestock, and planting all of these crops requires a large amount of water on a regular basis.
In fact, a third of the world’s freshwater is used to support the rearing and processing of livestock – including products such as meat, milk and eggs. Animal breeding does not only use our limited resources on land. The oceans also suffer from the effects of animal husbandry. Overfishing is rapidly decimating the animal population in the world’s oceans and thereby causing lasting damage to the ecosystems that are vital for our own survival. It is estimated that the oceans could be depleted by 2048.
8) You no longer support cruelty towards animals
No matter what illusions many of us would like to believe about the keeping of livestock – such as that cows, pigs, chickens are all happily roaming the pastures – the reality of industry unfortunately paints a completely different picture . The majority of animals born in livestock farming are reared on factory farms. This is the world’s fastest way to „produce“ animals.
Animals raised in such an environment grow up in misery, overcrowded cages, and are treated poorly and inhumanely. The result: The animals that grow up under such conditions suffer from extremely poor health – both physically and mentally – which promotes stress, as well as aggression and the spread of diseases. So use your conscience and common sense the next time you want to eat meat.
Wichtig: Die Informationen ersetzen auf keinen Fall eine professionelle Beratung oder Behandlung durch ausgebildete und anerkannte Ärzte. Die Inhalte von medizin-heute.net können und dürfen nicht verwendet werden, um eigenständig Diagnosen zu stellen oder Behandlungen anzufangen.