Vegetarianism or veganism as some may call it means much more than just a paradigm shift to veggies and other non-animal foods. There is a general belief that veganism is just a dietary choice. However, reality implies a different idea contrary to the general understanding. Veganism is all-encompassing, and literary affects all life aspects that involve animal products,. To some vegetarians, it means to shift from using all animal products. To some, it implies to end all the animal exploitation. More importantly, to most it means running away from the toxicity associated with animal products and live a healthier life. It means improving the living standards and bettering the day to day experiences. It means reducing the risk of contracting incurable diseases and reducing the effects for those already affected. A vegetarian diet is better used for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
In life there are those foods that are consumed for their taste, there are those consumed for their curative nature, and there are those consumed for their energy provision ability. In all the types of food, the natural and more vegetarian foods are the only food sources that can serve all the three purposes above. However, some may find that the vegetarian diet not being too tasty like the animal-based foods. Others may find the vegetarian diet not being able to produce the quickest sources of energy, and some may not be considered to be so presentable. Some associated the vegetarian diet with low life or with the not-so-privileged sections of the society that may not be able to afford the animal-based or processed foods,. For the taste and social class, people avoid the vegetarian diet. They make the argument for the animal-based and processed foods. This way, the 21st-century eating habits were born and live on.
However, as the 21st-century eating habits continue to grow and new processed foods are developed, many chronic related diseases have emerged. The late 20th and 21st century have both witnessed a significant rise of chronic diseases that are incurable. Scientists spend more time searching for the treatments of these diseases yet they are all avoidable. These are problems that human beings keep developing in the search for sweeter foods and more socially acceptable foods. At the same time, animal species are declared endangered in different parts of the world as people keep hunting them for their precious meat, skins, hides, hooves, ivory and some even the teeth. Animal-based foods and processed foods do more harm than good to the society. However, the case for vegetarian diet has become more popular with doctors advocating for their use in different occasions. At other times, people go vegetarian without the advice of the doctors or any health advisers or healthcare professionals. They go vegetarian because of their understanding of the benefits of vegetarian diets,. They go vegetarian because of their hopes for saving mother earth and her species of animals. They go vegetarian in a bid to save their lives and money spent in hospitals in the search for a cure to incurable diseases.
Advantages of Vegetarian Diet
The vegetarian diet has uncountable advantages to the society, the environment and the human body. First, the vegetarian diets if naturally grown do not have less or no toxicity at all compared to processed and animal-based foods,. In an interview with a vegetarian neighbor, I asked him how being a vegetarian has helped him either health wise or in any other way. His answer was simple, “I can’t remember the last time I felt constipated” (Jones, personal communication, 2016). This means that the vegetarian diets do not have a side effect or contraindication health wise. Probably the high class in the society may quote the association with the low class and the poor taste as one of the many contraindications of the vegetarian diet. Second, the diet always has low saturated fats. Saturated fat refers to the solid fats found in the animal food products like meat. Saturated fats are associated with cardiovascular diseases and obesity,. This is because saturated fats contain high cholesterol which has a negative impact on human body. One of the most common types of cholesterol associated with saturated fat is the LDL also known as the bad cholesterol,. There are two types of plant foods that contain saturated fats which are the palm kernel oils and coconut oil.
Another reason why plant foods are better than animal-based foods is their fiber content. Vegetarian diets have high fiber content than animal based foods. Fiber refers to the parts of food basically from plants that the human body has no ability to digest or breakdown. Fiber is also called bulk or roughage and can either be soluble or insoluble in water. Most western foods diet followed in the United States today has very low fiber content,. Fiber has many uses in the human body that make it an essential part of any diet. One of the most famous uses in the human body is its ability to prevent constipation. This occurs through the role of fiber in the digestion process. Fiber aids the body in the process of breaking down the food particles to be easily absorbed into the blood stream. This is the amazing work done by insoluble fiber as it assists in the movement of food through the digestive system. Dietary fiber is also essential in the process of breaking down cholesterol in the body,. Soluble fiber specifically helps reduce the amount of cholesterol in the human blood and body. Soluble fiber also reduces the amount of glucose in the blood. Through these functions, roughage helps a person to maintain their body weight and reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity. Other than that, it also normalizes the movements in the bowels and maintains bowel health reducing the risk of diverticular disease and constipation. High fiber levels also contribute to the reduction of the effects of diseases like hypertension and inflammation. Fiber has also been associated with the prevention of a disease called colorectal cancer. Another use of roughage in the body is reduction and prevention of ulcers, especially the duodenal ulcers found that the beginning of the small intestines,.
In a nutshell, the advantages of vegetarian diets are reduced to seven most visible and easily notable merits. One is that it helps maintain low blood pressure. Two the vegetarian diet was found to reduce the risk of death in a 2013 study where more than 12% of the subjects were found to have a lower risk of death,. Three the diet helps improve the moods as shown in a 2012 study involving vegetarian. The research showed that the vegetarian diet improved the moods of the consumers. Fourth, in a 2013 study, researchers found that vegetarian diet reduces the risk of ischemic heart disease by 32%. In another research at California’s Loma Linda University, researchers found that vegans have the lowest risk of cancer. Sixth, vegans have lower risks of diabetes. Vegan diet reduces the risk and effects of diabetes helping prevent the disease and control its effects,. Finally, the vegetarian diet reduces the risk of obesity meaning vegans are less likely to turn out overweight.
Disadvantages of Vegetarian Diet
Even with so many clear and notable merits, vegetarian diet still has disadvantages. One of the most notable disadvantages of vegetarian diet is the risk it puts the vegan in when it comes to iron consumption. Vegetarians are at a higher risk of iron deficiency than the consumers of animal-based food and processed foods. Plant-based foods have nonheme iron which is not absorbed as readily as the heme iron that comes from animal-based food,. Heme iron is only found in the animal’s red blood cells and muscles. The plant-based iron slow absorption reduces the net body iron amounts making the vegetarian to be relatively at a high risk of iron deficiency than the meat eaters. However, this is a problem that vegans can handle very easily with their vegan diet. Vitamin C foods increase the rate of nonheme iron absorption in the body. These foods that are rich in vitamin C are mostly vegetarian in nature including citrus fruits, melon leafy greens, green pepper, and berries.
Another problem with being a vegetarian is associated with low vitamin B12 absorption. Animal-based food has adequate and relatively superior amount of vitamin B12 than the vegetarian diet,. Attempts to increase the amount of vitamin B12 by a vegetarian using whole eggs and cheese would be very risky as the two will increase that risk of absorbing lots of cholesterol due to high intake of saturated fats. The only way out would be through the intake of fortified vitamin B12 in forms of soy-based analogs and cereals. Still, this is not the only vitamin that vegetarians have trouble obtaining. Another such vitamin is vitamin D which is more easily reached from eggs, fish, milk and cod liver oil. This implies that the primary sources of vitamin D are animal related,. Vegetarians also find it troublesome in their search for calcium and not to forget Zinc. However, vegetarians are at better positions to absorb omega-3 fats which are primarily found in plants like the flax seeds.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
Cardiovascular disease refers to a health condition caused by a condition called Atherosclerosis, which occurs when plaque builds inside the arteries preventing the smooth flow of blood. When plaque builds, the arteries become narrower than normal causing problem with the flow of blood,. If this problem is not solved, it can lead to a heart attack, which occurs when a clot prevents blood flow to some parts of the heart. Cardiovascular disease can be of any of the five types; heart attack, ischemic stroke, arrhythmia, and heart valve problems. Cardiovascular disease can be classified as a lifestyle disease because it is preventable by living a healthy lifestyle and eating a healthy and balanced diet. Some other types of the disease include aortic disease, coronary heart disease, and peripheral arterial disease. Most of the diseases associated with the heart relate to the blockage of the main arteries leading to restricted movement of blood and overworking the heart. Most people can survive a heart attack for the first time and lead normal lives but the lives are always accompanied by changes in the lifestyle and use of drugs.
Symptoms of CVD include chest pains or discomfort; a condition known as angina. Another symptom is pain in the limbs; it could be one or both arms, the shoulders or the neck. Back pains are also a known symptom of CVD. Affected persons also experience shortness in breath and dizziness. The heartbeats also become faster and sometimes the affected person may experience heartbeats in the stomach and feel nauseous. Sometimes the affected person experiences fatigue, the feeling of being tired. People with the disease are put under medication and requested to change their lifestyles. The affected person is required to exercise more and eat a healthy diet with a combination of foods and with minimal saturated fats. Unsaturated fats are often recommended as a replacement for the saturated fats.
Risk Factors Associated with CVD
The disease is often associated with lifestyle-associated risk factors. For this reason, most people with CVD are often advised to make changes to their lifestyles. People with hypertension are at a high risk of developing a CVD. Another risk factor is high levels of blood and body cholesterol especial the bad cholesterol. Diabetes is also a classified risk factor for CVD meaning that people with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing CVD. Being overweight and lacking enough exercise also puts a person at a high risk of developing the problem,. Other risk factors for CVD include smoking and family history in relation to CVD. Age and sex are also contributing factors since men are at a higher risk of contracting the disease at an earlier age than their female counterparts while older people are at a higher risk that the younger people,.
Vegetarians and CVD
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