There are many health benefits to enjoy when choosing to eat a vegetarian diet either to help with losing weight or to improve certain health related conditions.
Many people have their own reasons for deciding to stop eating meat and live on a completely plant-based vegan diet or a predominantly plant-based vegetarian diet.
In this article, the focus is on the latter choice and why eating a vegetarian diet has so many health benefits as well as highlighting some of the detrimental aspects of meat that are avoided.
A Diet of Whole Foods
One of the main reasons for my own decision to live on a vegetarian diet was to ensure that my food source was from whole foods.
This is to reinforce my commitment to avoid processed garbage packaged up in nice-looking packaging designed to deceive me into thinking its contents are healthy and tasty. I can tell you with all honesty that they are neither!
Organically sourced vegetables contain minimal toxins (as compared to intensively farmed crops) and a higher component of nutrients. Despite what anyone else says, I am convinced they also taste better!
While it is still possible to be vegetarian and yet partake of processed meat-free foods, I find that to be a bad choice for health reasons. There are many people that choose to eat convenient, home delivery vegetarian diets because they don't have the time to prepare and cook their own meals.
However, this is something I feel is not as healthy as turning the tables on the food industry and choosing not to eat any food products that are not in their whole state. It is also my firm belief that most of what you will find to eat on the grocery store shelves are not real "food" but rather better described as "products."
I prefer to eat live food, not dead "products" that are full of artificial additives to make them look and taste good to the widest consumer audience possible. This last point is also very controversial to my way of thinking.
In my opinion, food containing artificial additives, preservatives, colors, flavor enhancers etc does NOT taste good. It doesn't even smell good. To my sense of taste, these foods taste horrible and toxic, which is what I believe they are!
No More Meat
For a person to give up eating meat, there are a number of concerns to first overcome before it becomes comfortable to do so.
The first concern that is uppermost on people's minds when they want to stop eating meat is where they will get their protein from. This is simply answered by posing a basic question:
"Where do you think the animals got their protein from to pass it onto you in their meat?"
They got it from the plants they ate before they were slaughtered, of course! We worry ourselves about getting protein from our diet when there really is not much to concern us in that respect.
We can absorb plentiful protein from plants as well as from non-meat foods such as eggs, cheese, mushrooms (fungi) and food products that come from animals but don't require that the animal has to die to provide it.
Vitamins and minerals are another area for concern when meat is removed from the diet. However, this is another thing that is easily overcome, since most of the vitamins and minerals we need also come from plants.
The only problem vitamins that tend to concern us most are where to get the B vitamins, as these are believed to be most prevalent in meat. Again, this is not true. A plentiful supply of B vitamins can be obtained from nutritional yeast, with the only difficult one being vitamin B12.
B12 can be sourced from eggs and dairy, which is OK for vegetarians, but more difficult for vegans to obtain through food. In that case, supplementation may be the best alternative.
Once a person has made the clean break with meat, their meals will now consist of more vegetables. This is wonderful from a health aspect, because vegetables contain most of the nutrients we need in any case.
It is best to source organically grown vegetables where possible, mainly for the fact that modern intensive agricultural practices strip the soil of much of its nutrients and reduce the uptake of crops. Also, mainstream agriculture seems to be devoid of any conscience when it comes to spraying crops with a cocktail of poisons to control pests, diseases and weeds.
In a perfect world, all crops would be grown in smaller batches by organic growers that know how to combine the plants in a method known as "companion planting." This is a strategy that works to minimize attacks by pests and reduce soil-borne diseases without the need for chemical sprays.
This method is more labor-intensive than mainstream agriculture that makes use of mono-cropping in straight lines on vast fields to make it easy for machines to plant, maintain and harvest the crop. This would be a fantastic idea if only Mother Nature did not object to it!
Nature hates straight lines and is not very sympathetic to planting only one species of plant in huge fields. Hence, such crop fields are magnets for pests and diseases that must be controlled using toxic chemicals!
Would it not be more sensible to instead, reduce the size of the crop fields, mix up the variation of plants and work with nature to avoid infestations without needing to resort to the use of chemicals?
Unfortunately, "sensible" is not good friend of "profit" in this case. Such is the way of the modern world!
This article: "Vegetarian Diet: Health Benefits" Posted: 15 Feb 2021