IT seems as if there is a new diet just waiting for you to try everyday. As soon as someone cuts out a particular type of food from their diet and loses a few pounds, they stamp a name on it and boom — we have a new fad diet with guaranteed results!
One diet has been around for a while, though, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon — going meatless. Whether as a vegetarian who still consumes animal products such as milk and eggs, or as a vegan who eats no meat or animal products whatsoever, people have been cutting animal food sources from their diets for numerous reasons, ranging from health benefits to concerns for animal cruelty and global food supply.
Here are 10 good reasons for you to go meatless, if you feel so inclined.
It reduces the risk of heart disease
The level of saturated fat in red meat, especially, is a main culprit for the onset of heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death globally. Studies have shown that eating red meat daily can as much as triple a person's chance of developing heart disease. Eliminating meat from the diet significantly reduces that risk.
It may help you to lose weight
Going meat-free will automatically cut many high-calorie sources of food from your diet. Not only that, but it will force you to choose plant-based alternatives to consume for energy. These are usually lower in calories for the amount of nutrients they pack when compared to meat. Fruits and veggies, which are high in fibre, also help you to feel fuller for longer, causing you to eat less.
It makes you better in bed
Eating more fruits and vegetables also improves your circulation, which significantly affects blood flow to not only the brain, but other organs — which may help to ward off erectile dysfunction and keep you stronger for longer. Women also benefit from increased blood flow to the genital region, as this enhances sensation in the clitoris, and vaginal lubrication.
Your diet will be richer in certain nutrients
A diet that is rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables and legumes will be high in nutrients such as protein, potassium, folate, antioxidants and vitamins. Folate is essential in the formation of red blood cells, while vitamins and antioxidants are great for maintaining healthy skin and hair, repairing body tissue, and keeping internal systems running smoothly.
High fibre = better digestion
Dietary fibre is essential to maintaining a healthy digestive tract. It is found mainly in fruits, vegetable and legumes — the stuff you will be chomping on during every meal if you go meatless. Fibre normalises bowel movements and reduces constipation, and helps in the absorption of important nutrients in the small intestines, helping you to get the most out of the food you eat.
It improves kidney function
Eating fewer animal-based foods puts less stress on your kidneys, as they have less acid and protein to filter. Even people who have had kidney failure can benefit from going meat-free, as it has been proven that dialysis patients who consume a plant-based diet have lower blood pressure, less protein in the urine, less inflammation, and make better use of their body's insulin.
You are less likely to die from cancer
A plant-based diet has been extensively reported to help in the prevention of breast, prostate, colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers especially, but because of its impact on overall health, it is thought to be helpful in the prevention of all cancers.
Lowers blood sugar levels
Going green also helps to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and is proven to help in the lowering of blood sugar. Plants contain properties that improve the performance of the pancreas by increasing insulin secretion, while simultaneously decreasing intestinal absorption of glucose.
You will help to slow down global warming
About 10 per cent of the gases that trap heat in the earth's atmosphere and cause global warming come from agriculture, including methane, which is found in cattle and livestock manure. The less people eat meat, the fewer cattle and livestock will have to be bred to feed humans, which ultimately lessens gas emissions.
You just might help to end world hunger
Many people contend that it takes too much food to feed an animal, just to kill it to feed a human. They believe that if the nutritious grains used to grow chickens, pigs, and cows for human consumption were to be repurposed, then starvation would not be so rampant in some countries. By not eating meat, fewer animals will have to be reared, and more food will be spared.