Why Veggie is best

I have been a total veggie for a good number of years now. I say ‘total’ because many ‘vegetarians’ eat fish and chicken.

They are NOT vegetarian – a fish eater can be called a ‘pescatarian’ but those who eat chicken are ‘carnivores’!

I’m lucky because here on Anglesey there’s a great supply and choice of locally grown, quality vegetables for all my needs.

Veggies can be classed as lacto-ovo vegetarian: those who eat dairy and egg products and vegans who don’t eat any animal products at all.

I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian because I don’t have any moral or health problem with eating honey, butter or eggs whereas a ‘true’ Vegan generally has moral objections to eating anything that is from an animal source.

Having studied vegetarianism extensively for one of my diplomas I can confidently say that this way of eating is the healthiest way and this is why:

Health Reasons

  • According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), a veggie diet offers perfect protection against diseases because of lower saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein intake, but higher intake of folic acid, antioxidant vitamins and plant nutrients.

  • You are less likely to suffer strokes caused by coronary artery disease

  • Recent research suggests that dementia [Alzheimer’s] may be linked to a BSE-like ‘prion’ found in some red meat

  • You are likely to have lower rates of obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, bowel disorders, cancers, gallstones

  • Heart disease is the No. 1 killer – but with this diet you have ½ - ¾ the risk of dying from heart disease compared to non-vegetarians

  • Cancer rates are up to 50% less than non-veggies

  • You are much less likely to develop diabetes than non-veggies

  • The incidence of high blood pressure is as much as 50% less than for non-veggies

  • It is never too late - this diet can successfully stop and reverse severe coronary artery disease

  • Longer life – you are likely to live longer and suffer less from chronic diseases

  • Bug free – 95% of incidences of food poisoning comes from meat and animal products

  • There is a much lower incidence of caesarean section births

Nutritional Reasons

  • Cholesterol – a vegatarian diet can reduce cholesterol levels [linked to heart disease] as fruit and vegetables contain no cholesterol

  • Iron – there is no evidence to support the myth that vegetarians suffer a higher incidence of anaemia than meat eaters

  • The US Government reports that vegetarians have excellent health and that protein is not a limiting factor

  • The ADA reports that zinc levels are normal for this diet

  • Antioxidants that destroy ‘free radicals’ and protect against more than 60 diseases are found mostly in fruit and vegetables, whereas cooked meat contains many free radicals

Photos are provided by PM Photography

Environmental Reasons

  • Stock grazing is the major cause of deserts spreading each year by an area the size of England and Scotland

  • Rain forests are being felled to graze cattle for hamburgers. Going vegan saves 1 acre of forest each year

  • The UN reports that 17 of the world’s major fisheries are on the point of environmental collapse because of over-fishing

  • Growing 1 lb of veg used 25 gallons of water, whereas growing 1 lb beef uses 5,214 gallons

  • More than 90% of all British agricultural land is used to feed animals. If Britain went vegetarian, less than half the farmland would be needed

  • 1 billion gallons of 200 chemical based pesticides are used every year in Britain – 50 of these are suspected of causing cancer

  • Farm animals are the second highest cause of global warming from the methane produced by flatulence and belching

I have looked at the health, nutritional and environmental reasons for going veggie, but I'm sure there will be other reasons.

If you would like to consider a change in lifestyle and/or want to save the planet through the diet you choose, then please contact me using the form below. I will be pleased to help.

This is an article by Jan Walker, our guest nutritional columnist. They do not necessarily reflect the views held by Anglesey Today.

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Return to Healthy Living from Why Veggie is Best

Anglesey Today

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