The Benefits of Being a Vegetarian

The vegetarian diet – a diet that purely consists of the consumption of plant food products such as legumes, fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds – has long been one that is well-established in different countries in Asia (Lea, Crawford and Worsley 828; Wiwanitkit 219). Despite the fact that numerous research studies have been released promoting the benefits provided by a vegetarian diet, majority of the cultures all over the world follow other forms of diet, all of which includes the consumption of meat products.

Many health professionals have discouraged the patronage of the vegetarian diet due to an observable rate of nutritional deficiencies among those following the vegetarian diet (“Vegetarianism” 6; Wiwanitkit 219). While this may be the case, supporters of the patronage of the vegetarian diet have stressed that this has become the popular belief due to the lack of knowledge and studies conducted showing that, indeed, the patronage of the vegetarian diet is beneficial to the overall health of the individual.

It is for this reason that this paper will present the health benefits one could gain from patronizing the vegetarian diet, many of which refutes claims of previous studies conducted discouraging the patronization of the vegetarian diet. The paper would also provide the societal benefits of the patronage of the vegetarian diet. Advocates of high protein and omnivore diets have strongly stressed that vegetarian diets are unable to provide the required daily allowances of protein and essential nutrients which are needed by the body to prevent certain illnesses such as diabetes and high cholesterol levels.

In fact, supporters of such diets have stated that because of the fact that high-protein diets, which promote a high intake of meat products, encourage a bodily process called ketosis. Ketosis occurs in the liver which allows the body to convert fatty acids to be converted into energy. It is also responsible for the regulation of glucose in the bloodstream, hence, contributing to the prevention and regulation of diabetes among individuals.

While this may be the case, prevalent ketosis within the human body has been found to result to individuals developing ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a Type I diabetes condition which is life-threatening. The increase of the amount of ketone levels in the bloodstream brought about by ketosis overwhelms the acid-base buffering system of the human body. It also affects the levels of insulin and glucose in the bloodstream (Manninen 23). In effect, long time patronizing of high protein diets can lead to more complications.

On the other hand, 79% of the respondents in a survey conducted on the health benefits of the patronizing of the vegetarian diet have stipulated that they have experienced the same lowering of cholesterol while another 70% of vegetarians that responded have stated that they live a healthier lifestyle since using the vegetarian diet has led to them preventing contracting diseases (Lea, Crawford and Worsely 829; “Vegetarianism” 23). In effect, vegetarians are provided by their diet the same health benefits without risking to contract life-threatening complications that can be brought about by high protein diets that focus on meat products.

On the societal level, the patronization of the vegetarian diet has also its benefits. In today’s society, organic food products are becoming increasingly in demand not just because of its flavor but the fact that since no chemicals were used during the caring of these products, they are a lot healthier to consume. Although there are meat products that make up the organic food industry, majority of the products that are sold are plant food products. In their quest to get the most out of the plant foods products that they consume, vegetarians have a high preference for organic plant food products as compared to non-organic products.

As a result, vegetarians are able to contribute in the growth in the demand of organic plant food products which, in turn, has led to the growth and expansion of the organic food industry in general not just in the United States, but in other parts of the world as well (Lea, Crawford and Worsely 829). The debate as to whether vegetarians are indeed providing their bodies the essential health nutrients it needs to function properly continues to be a heated discussion. As presented in this paper, it is apparent that vegetarian diets are able to provide numerous health benefits which other forms of diet are not able to provide.

On top of reducing and preventing the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, vegetarians are free from contracting life-threatening health conditions resulting from the long-term use of high protein diets such as ketoacidosis. The benefits of patronizing a vegetarian diet extend to the entire society in general. Because of the fact that most of the organic food products being sold are plant food products, vegetarians, through their diets, are able to contribute in its expansion.

As such, small organic farms are able to greatly benefit financially as a result of more and more people shifting to following a vegetarian diet.

Works Cited

Lea, E. J. , D. Crawford and A. Worsely. “Public Views of the Benefits and Barriers to the Consumption of a Plant-Based Diet. ” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 60 (2006): 828-37. Manninen, Anssi H. “Life-Threatening Complications of the Atkins Diet? ” Lancet 368 (2006): 23-24. “Vegetarianism: Addition by Subtraction. ” Harvard Health Letter Feb 2004: 6. Wiwanitkit, Viroj. “Renal Function Parameters of Thai Vegans Compared with Non- Vegans. ” Renal Failure 29: 219-20.

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