For years, there has been much debate over whether a vegetarian diet is beneficial to humans. Increasing plant-based diets have been shown to lower the risk of several health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. They also help the environment by reducing greenhouse gases, and factory-farmed animals are not protected by laws that prevent animal cruelty. The question of whether or not a vegetarian diet is beneficial for the world can be answered in several ways.
Plant-based diets reduce the risk of heart disease
In a landmark study, Dr. Ornish found that following a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by 90 percent. The study did not use invasive procedures or surgery, instead of testing the effects of lifestyle changes. The results showed a ninety percent reduction in chest pain. This research was replicated at the Cleveland Clinic, where Dr. Esselstyn conducted a similar experiment on patients with advanced heart disease.
A recent study examined the connection between vegetarian diets and glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that vegetarian diets resulted in lower fasting glucose levels and HbA1c levels than nonvegetarian diets. These differences ranged from -0.31 percentage points to -0.53 percent. These findings may indicate a new treatment option for people with type 2 diabetes. The authors of the study thank Richard Holubkov, Ph.D., for his help in performing statistical analyses.
Vegetarians appear to be less at risk of cancer than non-vegetarians. A recent study shows that vegetarians have lower rates of colorectal cancer than non-vegetarians. The association between low-meat-eating and colorectal cancer may also be mediated by BMI. Women who are vegetarians may also have a lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. However, it is important to note that there are a number of caveats associated with these findings.
Factory-farmed animals are not protected from cruelty
While we might all assume that the government inspects slaughterhouses and factory farms for cruelty, the reality is that these places are rarely inspected. As a result, factory-farmed animals are sadly unprotected from cruelty. While there are state laws that protect animals from certain forms of abuse, they do not apply to factory farms. So, while animal rights activists are constantly working to pass new laws to protect animals from suffering, we can’t rely on these laws to help us.
Environmental impact of a vegetarian diet
A vegetarian diet is an excellent way to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and many studies suggest that a vegan diet can reduce the effects of greenhouse gases by up to 100%. While the benefits of a vegetarian diet are obvious, reducing animal production can have other benefits. One such benefit is reduced water consumption. In addition, a vegetarian diet reduces carbon dioxide emissions by up to 70%. This cut is substantial and can be achieved by changing dietary habits.