The health benefits of going meatless

The health benefits of going meatless

When our ancient ancestors began eating meat, humans were getting more protein and nutrients than ever before. Scientists believe this development allowed human brains to grow bigger and smarter, laying the foundation for modern life.

Now, a mere 2.5 million years and a few technological leaps later, it might be time for humans to reconsider their habit of consuming animal products.

Researchers in Italy evaluated many existing studies covering a 20-year period and discovered that eating a vegan, vegetarian or lacto-ovo vegetarian diet greatly reduces the risk of developing cancer, heart disease and premature death. The analyses did not examine diets that included meat or fish.

The benefits noted from the vegetarian diets also include reduced risk of diabetes, inflammation and high blood pressure. The diets were found to significantly lower total cholesterol and C-reactive protein, an index associated with metabolic disease, which can include obesity, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and stroke.

In the past, it might have been a challenge for the average person to get enough appropriate nutrients from a strict vegetarian or vegan diet. But the availability of a diverse variety of foods and quality supplements today make a healthy vegetarian diet much more feasible.

Experts recommend that those attempting to adopt a vegan or vegetarian diet pay special attention to their nutritional intake to avoid deficiencies.

While a vegetarian diet has long been thought to have health benefits, we might just be at a point in our evolution where the negative health impacts of eating meat may outweigh the benefits.

Related Episodes