Did you know that eating a vegetarian diet can actually improve your health? There’s plenty of research showing that vegetarians tend to have lower rates of chronic diseases and are less likely to die from any cause than their meat-eating counterparts. That’s because many common illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes, are largely caused by the excessive consumption of animal fat and cholesterol in the typical Western diet.
Reduce your risk of heart disease
A vegetarian diet has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease. In fact, a large-scale study found that vegetarians had a 32% lower risk of dying from heart disease than non-vegetarians. The reason for this may be that vegetarian diets tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, and higher in fiber and antioxidants, all of which are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Keep your weight in check
A vegetarian diet can help you lose weight and keep it off. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who followed a vegetarian diet for 16 weeks lost, on average, about four pounds more than those who followed a non-vegetarian diet. And they kept the weight off: At the end of the study, both groups had regained about the same amount of weight.
Lower your blood pressure
According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, vegetarian diets can significantly lower your blood pressure. The study found that those who ate a vegetarian diet had, on average, a 7.5 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 5.3 mmHg reduction in diastolic blood pressure, compared to those who didn’t follow a vegetarian diet.
Balance your cholesterol
A vegetarian diet can help balance your cholesterol levels by substituting animal products with plant-based foods. Plant-based foods are naturally low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and they can also help increase your HDL (good) cholesterol levels. A vegetarian diet has also been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Improve your digestion
A vegetarian diet can actually help improve your digestion. This is because fiber-rich fruits and vegetables help add bulk to your stool, making it easier to pass through your system. In addition, a vegetarian diet can help reduce the risk of constipation and other digestive issues.
A vegetarian diet has been linked with a number of health benefits, including a lower risk of death from heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. In fact, vegetarians tend to live about three years longer than meat-eaters.