Vegetarianism and disease
The vegetarian diet has many benefits to health. To understand them, in this section we will explain the diseases that may arise as a result of diets based on animal foods.
But first of all we must remember that the human digestive system was designed to consume foods originated from plants and not foods originated from animals. This may be better understood taking into account the following:
- The human digestive system, like that of other primates is designed to digest plants.
- Just like us, our primate relatives, are almost entirely vegetarian. When they consume animals, it is generally insects.
- While we are able to collect, extract and eat many plant foods, and we can do it easily; we are unable in general, without tools, to catch, kill, tear and eat an animal such as a cow.
- In fact the idea of having to hunt and tear an animal displeases or discourages most people.
- Although we have the ability to eat some meat, we can do so only after cooking it in fire, in acids such as lemon, or in salt, or under the sun, etc.
- A true carnivore can eat raw meat tearing their prey.
That said, we are not surprised to realize that a number of chronic diseases are related to the consumption of home products animal. This is because our body is not prepared to digest those foods.
Chronic gastritis and animal foods
Many of us have had gastritis, so this sounds familiar. Gastritis has a bacterial origin, but is accentuated under the intake of irritating food and under excess acid in the stomach. This stomach acid is produced as a natural reaction to the intake of foods high in fat and protein, because the stomach takes longer time to digest them.
While a constant intake of animal foods can provide protein in high quantities, it has a disadvantage in that it can have a considerable cost to the health of the stomach and to the balance of the rest of the digestive system.
On the contrary, a low or animal free diet represents a lower burden on the stomach because it creates less acidity and therefore it ceases to favor gastritis. If this plant based diet also avoids frying, and is made including a variety of plants, we avoid such incorrect levels of acid in the stomach and consequently we avoid gastritis.
Obesity and animal food
It has been verified that body mass indexes are higher in non-vegetarian populations than in other populations that are vegetarian. Of course, this is explained because by cosuming only plant based foods, the fat and protein content is lower on average. We must remember that the western diets include higher intakes of fat and protein than the daily human needs. In addition, the eating habits of most of the western population include the intake of fried and industrialized foods, bringing up the average consumption of foods that lead to obesity.
By contrast, a plant-based diet usually has a lower fat content, in particular it is lower in saturated fat, and it is very low in or it is cholesterol free. If you also take care of eating plant foods without frying, or without added fat, the result is a diet that will keep us with a healthier body mass index.
Remember that obesity is a disease that leads to other diseases, such as cardiac problems and diabetes. Change your diet. Reduce or eliminate your intake of animal foods and improve your health. At the same time you will be in better shape and thus will have higher self esteem.
Type II diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2009 in the United States there were 23 million people with type II diabetes and 57 million people with pre-diabetes. This amounts to 80 million people at some stage of this terrible disease.
Although there is no single factor to which directly attribute the cause of this disease, any doctor and any nutritionist agrees that being overweight, having a high intake of saturated fat and not doing exercise are factors, under control of each individual, that put them at risk for diabetes.
By eliminating the intake of animal foods, we dramatically reduce the amount of saturated fat in our body, reducing the risk. Furthermore, at the same time, the amount of protein and fat ingested is reduced, whereby a lower body weight is promoted, further reducing the risk factor for the disease.
Let's not wait to be diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Let's act in time to prevent this terrible disease in our bodies. Reduce or eliminate animal foods from your diet.
One of the main problems presented by the ingestion of meat and dairy, which is known to everyone, is its high cholesterol content. In studies that have been done, it is common to find that the rate of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension is around 30% lower in vegetarians than in the rest of the population. This is because, in general, cholesterol levels in vegetarians are 15% to 35% lower than in non-vegetarians. Triglycerides are also affected by the consumption of animal products.
The main reason for these differences is that even eating vegetable fats, these foods contain saturated fat in much smaller amounts. And if you have a totally vegetarian diet, consumption of cholesterol is null, resulting in a huge reduction in the risk of these diseases. In addition, consumption of fiber in the vegetarian diet is generally higher than in non-vegetarians, which helps further in reducing cholesterol levels.
If you move to a vegetarian diet, and you also see that the diet is low in fat by avoiding oils and fried foods, you are helping your body to reduce the risk of this disease. Remember that heart diseases are silent during long time, and when they arise it's already quite late. Act now and reduce your risk by eliminating the consumption of meat and dairy.
For a long time they have insisted that the consumption of meat, eggs and dairy in general is a requirement for good nutrition, particularly in relation to calcium levels. We can see that there are a variety of processed foods of animal origin that advertise high levels of calcium. However, it is now known that a high intake of animal protein causes the body to remove calcium from the body, increasing the need rather than satisfying it. This is because the ingestion of animal foods, increases the acid load in the metabolism, which in turn triggers the elimination of calcium to achieve acidity balance.
In other words, although an animal based diet may have a higher calcium content, the amount of calcium does not improve the quality of absorption. A varied and healthy vegetarian diet contains the levels of calcium needed by the body without causing the side effects of acidity that produce calcium excretion. Furthermore, well-run vegetarian diets contain higher levels of potassium, which protects the process of bone calcification.
The Western world has tried to solve this problem by adding calcium supplements directly in food or through medication. The problem with these processes is that they put the body in other risks, by increasing the amount of artificial substances to be processed, threatening other parts of the body such as the kidneys.
The vegetarian alternative is to take care of our calcium intake without exceeding the recommendations and ensuring that the body has adequate levels of acidity so you can naturally absorb calcium instead of removing it. This is accomplished by avoiding animal foods, avoiding excess sodium and ensuring adequate intake of other minerals such as potassium.
Cancer and animal foods
It is already known and accepted that vegetarians have lower rates of cancer than the rest of the population. In certain types of cancer such as prostate and colon, there have been found differences in incidence rates of up to 88%. For some time now, both red and white meats have already been linked to colon cancer.
The reasons for these differences is that vegetarian diets necessarily include higher amounts of fruits, vegetables and fiber, than those found in non-vegetarian diets. Besides, vegetarian diets aid digestion by significantly reducing putrefaction and formation of harmful substances that can cause cancer in the colon and other parts of our bodies.
As you know, these diseases may show enormous aggressivity and should be our greatest motivation to switch to a vegetarian diet. Once that cancer appears, life changes dramatically and will no longer be the same. Let's not wait until the disease appears, let's eliminate our risk today right away.