There is always a strong evidence, that diets high in animal products and processed foods that are rich in saturated fats, cholesterol, trans fats and low fiber increase the risk of chronic disease, while foods based on plants ( Vegetarian and Vegan ) are low in fat and cholesterol, rich in fiber and phytochemicals that decrease the risk of chronic deisease.1)https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017131546.htm
Though it requires more studies to completely understand the implications of Vegan diet or benefits of being a vegan on chronic disease, it is clear that Vegetarians experience less coronary heart disease, low risk of diabetes, less body weight, and low levels of LDL cholesterol.2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2677008/
We will consider the evidence related to four disease, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis, and you will know the benefits of being a Vegan or Vegetarian.
Heart disease is the number one killer around the world, and studies show that Vegan diets are effective in protecting against stroke, while vegetarian diets including lacto-ovo ( milk-egg ), and fish protects against heart disease. Studies show that heart disease 57% low in life long Vegans and 24% low in lacto-ovo vegetarians, compared to non-vegetarians.3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3115444.
Risk of Fatal heart attacks compared with the general population
- Fatal heart attacks suffered by vegan men: less than 20%
- Fatal heart attacks suffered by lacto-ovo vegetarians: about 40%
Compared with non-beef eaters
- Fatal heart attacks in men who ate beef at least 3 times a week: 60–70% more.
- Fatal heart attacks in women who ate beef at least 3 times a week: 30% more.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death on the global scale. One out of four people die of cancer in North America. Cancer strikes around 10 million people around the world every year. Though it was seen as an indiscriminate killer in the past, current evidence suggests, that cancer is preventable and directly related to lifestyle changes.
Some of the controllable factors like smoking, diets rich in animal foods, diets low in vegetables and fruits, inactivity and obesity, seem to have much greater risk of developing and dying from cancer.
It is estimated that 30-40% of all cancers can be prevented by improving diet and exercise (physical activity) alone. Eating fruits and vegetables have shown to eliminate risk of cancer by 20% and avoiding tobacco drastically improves the figure up to 60-70%.
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death, and the main risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, leg and foot amputations.
There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition, where the pancreas do not produce insulin.
Type 2 diabetes, pancreas produces some insulin, but the amount produced is not enough for the body’s needs, or the body’s cells are resistant to it.
Type 1 diabetes is only about 10% of total diabetes cases. It has been observed that greater milk consumption indicates the pattern of increased diabetes.
Studies have shown that the consumption of specific milk proteins (beta-casein A + B) correlate with diabetes incidence, beta-casein A + B is a protein that produces a peptide called beta-casomorphin-7, which suppresses the immune system.4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5518798/
It seems that the single most risk factor for Type 2 diabetes is overweight, approximately 80% of those suffering from Type 2 diabetes are overweight, and the effective treatment is usually weight loss.
Osteoporosis results in severe bone loss and depletes as much as 40% of bone tissue, It’s usually the propaganda of the dairy industry that led us to believe that osteoporosis is due to deficiency of dairy products.
But studies reveal that regions with plant-based diets that are low in calcium and milk, had lesser rates of osteoporosis., while regions with diets rich in dairy foods had higher rates of osteoporosis. Which led to think that milk causes osteoporosis, which is not true either.
Bones are composed of 35% protein and 65% minerals, and calcium is the dominant mineral with low amounts magnesium, sodium and potassium. It seems that Vitamin D plays the major role in calcium deposition, and other factors like excess protein and sodium, lack of physical activity and reproductive hormones negatively affects bone health.
Plant foods rich in calcium like soymilk, vegetables, almonds, figs can help eliminate the risk of osteoporosis.
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